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Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, November 14th, 2012 - 216 comments
Categories: Annette King, david shearer, greens, housing, labour, Politics, vision - Tags:

A policy focusing on increasing state housing and affordable rents would be a good start. However, my criticism of the current Labour leadership focuses more on the policy direction of the leadership team, rather than solely being on the leader.  The neoliberal scam is falling apart, the global economy is struggling, and the global environmental and resource base is under threat, while those with least power, resources and income are being scapegoated.  A bold new left wing plan is needed to deal with the difficult challenges ahead.

So it looks like David Shearer is aiming to win over left wing critics by taking the opportunity at the Labour conference to announce a policy on affordable housing.  This is a welcome plan, but is it just a one-off bone thrown to the nay-sayers?  Some of us on the left, would like Labour to decisively move away from the soft-neoliberalism of the past.  That means not just one isolated policy, nor one that provides a bit  more government intervention, but one designed to tackle the vast challenges of the early 21st century.  This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.

The good thing about the pre-announced policy is that it just doesn’t focus on home-buying.  There is also mention of increasing state housing and improving private rentals.

Details of the policy, seen as appealing to core Labour voters, are closely guarded to ensure maximum impact by Mr Shearer in his keynote speech in Auckland on Sunday.

But sources suggest it will see a big push on affordable housing as well as more cash to upgrade state housing stock.

Annette King is reported to have said:

“It’s time for a long-term housing policy, which includes a real partnership with local government, starting by including housing as part of their core services.

“We need to have more houses in the $350,000 to $450,000 range built, have quality and efficiency standards in rentals, have more social housing and introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

I am hoping for some bold moves from the oldest left wing party in NZ, but it is not just their policies, framework and narrative that I will be watching closely.  I am also critical of the shift towards the centre recently from the Green Party.  I am looking for the Greens to move away from soft-neoliberalism, as, for instance expressed in the focus on endless growth.

Update:  and a new left direction, doesn’t involve these moves suggested by Josie Pagani:

“If we don’t win the debate about responsibility, the responsibility when you are on a benefit to make yourself work-ready as much as possible, then we’re not going to win the debate on increasing benefit levels – and there are people out there living on a benefit in absolute poverty.” ..

But he needs to be bolder, she says, such as condemning those in the party resisting moves by former Cabinet minister John Tamihere to rejoin Labour.

She still doesn’t understand that bennie-bashing dog whistles play to the neoliberal agenda.

On Tamihere: becoming a party member is about conforming to the Labour Party rules; but becoming a Labour candidate is a step too far.  It’s an insult to women, especially feminists and lesbians/gays.  Labour does need to reconnect with people struggling on low incomes, but not by embracing bigotry.

216 comments on “Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy”

  1. Mary 1

    And it needs to include having the guts to restore the welfare benefit system by reversing the nasty right-wing changes Labour introduced between 1999 and 2008. An apology saying they got it wrong wouldn’t go amiss, either.

    • Bill 1.1

      Hear, hear. And why not the ability to sign into life long lease arrangements with landlords? Or giving house building standards a thorough going over and have two sets of legislation. Commercial building outfits adhering to stringent standards. Self build and such like allowed to innovate on design and materials on an ‘at your own risk’ basis….kind of like in France (as I understand it).

      I read recently of a guy who built a house in the SW of Scotland for 5000 pounds. Now, lets assume that he can sell it but wouldn’t get whatever reports would go with a ‘standard and to spec’ dwelling/house that offer a sense of guarantee and ‘come back’ should anything go awry? I can’t see anything too wrong with that – and somewhat ironically, would probably trust his standards of building more than I do NZ’s regulated standards that seem more concerned with cost cutting and protecting monopolies.

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    “I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.”

    Warren Buffet.

    “…introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

    Annette King.

    The notion that taxation deters investment is simply yet another false frame. Is it too much to ask that the Labour Party stops spreading right-wing myths?

    Of course there should be a capital gains tax: income is being earned (or un-earned if you prefer).

    • Stephen 2.1

      You’re aware that Buffet, as a disciple of Benjamin Graham, uses “investor” in a narrow sense that is distinguished from “speculator?” Buffet is frequently quoted on this point because so many people DON’T behave like sensible investors.

      • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1

        Yeah, I read the whole article “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich” – and it’s clear that he thinks there are a whole group of people who don’t have the first clue about it. He calls them “a billionaire friendly Congress” and calls for “shared sacrifice”.

        Note that the take-home message has got nothing to do with quibbling over narrow definitions of “investor”.

        The “speculators” make money? Tax that too.

        • Stephen 2.1.1.1

          I think we’re arguing at cross purposes and actually agree because we have different definitions of investor and speculator. I may have misunderstood the thrust of your original comment.

          I think that investors will still invest for a reasonable return, even if there is a tax, but that marginal deals and speculative deals will be deterred. Yes?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            No it wont work that way. If people think that property prices will go up 20% in the next year, but they have to pay 1/7 of that gain in CGT, they still get to keep 6/7.

            So, money will still pile in to property speculation.

            • Bunji 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It won’t stop property speculation. The Productivity Commission I think said in 2009 a capital gains tax would have taken out half of the noughties property bubble. It’s probably noticeably less than that, but it would have some effect. It boils down to:

              Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

              More often it won’t be the same number either way, so we’re not suddenly going to go from all housing speculation to all productive economy investment, but it will make a difference at the margin. And then the less housing speculation there is the less profit there is from rising house prices, so you establish a feedback loop…

              So it’s more about pushing in the right direction instead of the wrong one than a silver bullet.

              Of course a good housing policy that gets lots of houses built will ruin housing speculation if there’s no longer a shortage, so that’ll probably help get investment in the right place too…

              • Stephen

                Yeah, that’s my take on it too. CGT isn’t THE answer, it’s part of a set of responses.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  A part of the “set of responses” to stop a further housing boom, and tax the wealthy should be a 4% per year tax on land. This would put a strong downwards pressure on the price of land, and would deter speculation. It would also stop farming for capital gain in it’s tracks.

              • Colonial Viper

                Unless you directly include the role of banks and banking debt in your rationale, you will have missed a big chunk of the equation.

                For instance:

                Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

                If you have a good income, the banks are happy to extend a large amount of credit to you (say $500,000) in the form of a mortgage on an investment property; all you need is a $100,000 deposit, maybe not even that.

                You won’t get that $500K of finance to start a factory and create jobs on the same basis. Further, ma and pa investor can get into the property game pretty easy, but who is to say ma and pa investor have the skills necessary to start up and run a factory with plant and equipment?

                Which means for most people, regardless of any CGT, investing their money in a productive way is not a realistic option at all.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I think CV has it right: why would “speculators” be any more deterred than “investors”?

              The current tax-free status of capital gains distorts the economy and starves the public purse. The whole notion of taxation as deterrence is a false frame, a right-wing fantasy.

              Remember how if we lower taxes we’ll get trickle down? How’s that working out?

              PS: When the next Labour government increases the top tax rate and some lying Tory shill claims it will deter investment, Annette King has already conceded the point.

              • David C

                Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  Agreed. That’s why the corporate and trust tax rates should always be aligned with the top marginal tax rate.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                  You simply increase the penalties for evasion until its not worth trying it on.

            • David C 2.1.1.1.1.3

              1/7? a 14% CGT rate?

  3. Pete 3

    One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party. An activist base so narrowly focused on ideological purity that any potential voters who might swing from National to Labour will be repulsed. By all means, cease the bennie-bashing and have a more human-centred approach to government, introduce a CGT too, but it’s a long road to Scandinavia.

    • karol 3.1

      Pete, I agree on the shifting towards a more humanity-valuing approach that doesn’t get into bennie-bashing.

      However,you are making a false equation between “Tea Party” misinformation, and Scandinavia social democracy.  Social democracy is hardly “ideological purity” but a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

      The dominant discourse has moved pretty far to the right over the last few decades.  And the “left” have colluded by making small steps and appealing to the centrist middle-classes.  Left wing parties need to re-engage with people who have stopped voting, not try to win over people who would as easily support National policies.

      • kiwicommie 3.1.1

        Well the National party is mostly the party of angry white men/women [correction: and homophobic religious nuts], and a lot of their economic policies match up with the Tea Party, especially the returning to surplus rhetoric through cuts to welfare and social services i.e. ‘making the government smaller and more efficent’. The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy. Partisianship isn’t always needed in politics, but when it comes to the current National government and the Republican party in the United States; there is no option but to be partisan and push what you believe in.

        • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1.1

          “…what you believe in…”

          aka “reality-based policy”.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy.

          http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/centrist.jpg

          And, yeah, it just doesn’t work because it’s basically trying to compromise with the delusional that, as soon as the compromise is in, will become even more delusional and demand another compromise. It just keeps shifting the ‘centre’ further to the right which fucks up society.

          PS, someone be nice and embed the image.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party.

      What would the Standard do with $50M worth of funding from a rich Lefty billionaire or two?

      More seriously: your analysis of the situation goes off track in one crucial way – Tea party candidates WON elections, not lost them. yes, they lost the Presidential election, but they won numerous State and Federal House of Representative races over the last couple of years, and re-energised the Republican Party.

      when you analyse it the power of the right wing Tea Party is that they brought onboard huge numbers of supporters passionate about their values, and got those people selected as public officials proudly espousing the causes they believed in, and they GOT RID OF elected Republicans who didn’t suit their tastes.

      Republican congressmen who weren’t Tea Party supporters had to start moving to the extreme Right in order to placate them.

      Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.

      • kiwicommie 3.2.1

        “Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.”
        Pretty much, though at the same time do we really want the Right Wing of the Labour caucus, a small re-alignment to the left in those electorates won’t hurt too much; especially as anyone that isn’t brainwashed by National propaganda can see a weak economy, shit jobs and people leaving overseas in droves.

  4. One Tāne Huna 4

    Pagani “…the debate about responsibility…”

    What “debate”? Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

    Is this some attempt to win over the “personal responsibility” cretins? A momentary lapse of concentration? An inability to articulate a left wing position even though one just fell on you?

    Get with the program.

    • QoT 4.1

      Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

      Yep, I’m pretty sure she means that debate. Besides, it can’t be beneficiary-bashing if Labour does it.

      • karol 4.1.1

        And anyway, no argument holds up if it’s posted using a pseudonym, because that is behaving like the KKK with hoods.

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          EXACTLY.

          • David C 4.1.1.1.1

            Should we use full birth names and email addys as handles on here?

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you may have missed that karol was sarcastically alluding to Fran O’Sullivan’s whinging about bloggers.

              • karol

                Actually, QOT, that was from Josie Pagani at the FB page you linked to. Pagani begins:

                There’s been a bit of comment about me on the Standard blog. I’m not going to reply there because the people who make the most defamatory comments do it anonymously, like the KKK putting on their white hoods. At least on Facebook, they have to identify themselves. 

                And I don’t like the way the Standard deals out lifetime bans to anyone who disagrees with them.  

                • QoT

                  My apologies – I was getting confused with this eerily similar comment from O’Sullivan. I guess conflating critics with extremist hate groups was in some kind of memo they both got.

                • lprent

                  I think Josie was referring to the way I treat people who abuse authors on this site. In this case probably John Pagani for lying about what an author had said so he could claim it was defamatory. Mostly we disagreed on who ran this site and who could tell authors off. He seemed to think that he did. I disagreed.

                  Mythbustin’: Waitakere Man

                  But as QoT points out, it is surprising how closely a right wing business columnist and a left wing nonentity politician sound in their choice of language and phrasing.

                  Reminds me of the 80’s when I saw the same kinds of transitions in politicians like Richard Prebble and Rob Campbell from left firebrands to the favorites of the non-productive business community.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Now tell me a bit about this. Someone was saying to me the other day how a red flag wouldn’t have looked out of place being waved by Prebble or Douglas…until they transformed.

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Heh.  And JP’s faith in people always using their real names on FB is quite quaint – not to mention her lack of issues with the way FB makes use of our identities and “privacy”.

  5. Uturn 5

    Labour cannot exercise “bold moves”, which is basically restricted to buying existing houses for state housing, and think they are going to get support from the type of people they currently address. The type of people they want to vote for them are currently building houses, quite happy with the neo-liberalism that is making them rich. What could they say? “Vote Labour, we’ll end your gravy train and raise your taxes.” There might be a few that think, yeah ok, that sounds fair, always wanted to work for the nation instead of for myself – but probably not many. If soft NeoLib is just as bad, apart from necessity induced by total economic collapse, how will Labour or anyone else entice these people to share skills for not much personal monetary gain? Big job ahead, really big job. Labour can’t do it. Wrong mindspace.

    Greens or Mana could do it, by starting at the beginning with attitudes in apprenticeships. Use whoever we already have that wants to help, but otherwise import the necessary tutors/tradesmen to grow a new bunch of apprentices who know what they’re getting into and why. The workers won’t be hard to convince, since many won’t be working right now. Core base of tradesmen, directing new apprentices formally unemployed, build new state housing. Hit several birds with one stone: attitudes, skills, social need, new political direction. The money has to come from somewhere, but that shouldn’t be difficult since government wastes so much already.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

    From what you quoted of Annette King, you’re going to be disappointed.

  7. prism 7

    Some people have been researching housing practices, availability and affordability for more than a generation. I feel sure of this but I don’t know who they are. Whatever ideas they have come up with, they will have not been listened to in entirety. (The NZ way is to cherry pick ideas from any inclusive report, and half-do these then the pollies praise their small achievements when applying for the next election). And they know that good housing stocks and controls that will prevent speculation in this necessary human need are not what excite voters. So thumbs down for continuing innovative plans to meet the ordinary family’s and single people’s needs.

    Innovative plans would allow for groups of units and houses where extended family can live.
    This would be enjoyed by the Pacificas. Duplex housing on an individual property. Well-built three storey units not built to boundaries. etc.

    Other countries have methods of provision, and passing on housing and mortgages to new owners which would include families or pre-ownership agreements with elderly people. Housing trusts and committees to have training and more ability to create housing clusters. In London I lived in a part of Kilburn with close packed two-storey houses with small private back gardens and with a portion of their section amalgamated into a small grassy park for the residents. There is a sterility of thinking in NZ.

    • Uturn 7.1

      These are all excellent ideas. You are right that design of “state housing” does not need to be defined by the large square brick and tile of the past or the apartments centred around a carpark. An approach to state housing encompasses more than just building houses.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        If Savage could design a solution for the times in the 1930’s with next to no money, maybe all these vaunted PhD types around could do so now, for us.

  8. Olwyn 8

    The difficulty is that Labour under Shearer seems happy to be complicit in these conditions as opposed to seeking ways to contend with them. And given that their conception of middle class seems to be “avid reader of Jane Clifton’s column” and that these people having been given management plus a housing bubble to compensate for the lack of alternative investments, I will be startled if his housing policy comes anywhere near meeting housing need.

    What I would like to see it the bottom line for negotiating with our lords and masters raised to include genuinely widespread affordable housing, employment opportunities and living wages. It is possible, since no one else in the OECD seems to have lowered the bar to our extent.

  9. Chris 9

    Agree that Tamihere should be left in the past where he belongs.

  10. prism 10

    That being work ready as being the main goal of a beneficiary sounds as if Josie Pagani has absorbed the 1984 stuff. Time to open a window of the mind, perhaps someone could find a portal in to Josies a la film Being John Malkovich.

    With housing in general one of the main problems is the inflation in housing, which everyone acknowledges when talking about the housing bubble. One thing that could be done is to have housing trusts set up with different options for people so they could afford to buy a house or unit. It would be revalued each year by the trust in light of the term deposit rates applying that year and would have to be sold back to the trust for their accumulated valuation. The QV valuation would apply for only Council rates etc. Then the Trust would onsell the property once redecorated, for perhaps a 10% rise in valuation. There would need to be control on the Trust onselling price to ensure prices didn’t inflate unreasonably. Also the housing would only be for homeowners not for rental properties or investments.

  11. fatty 11

    In addition to housing in Auckland, the same problem exists in Christchurch…I hope there will be something done there too.
    I fear that there is a perception that Chch Central will shift towards Labour without much of a challenge, and that Wigram and the Port Hills will stay with Labour. But those 3 electorates have experienced major population shifts and I’m not sure how they will play out. Many Labour voters have left for Australia.

    “This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.”

    Yes…the number of students who vote National astounds me, those votes could be gained easily if Labour’s policies represented their principles…the problem is that Labour are hardly any different than National regarding student loans etc. At least they got rid of Goff, its a bit much to expect students to vote for very the same person that introduced the student loan scam.

  12. pete 12

    Pagani is correct. Handing even more more to people who have no intention of working is not going to hunt.

    For the simple reason that most voters will not vote for it. That should be obvious to all but the most out-of-touch party ideologues.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.1

      Pagani is wrong.

      That is not the focus of the public provision of welfare. Your second sentence is utter nonsense. Of course no-one will vote for it: that is why only a complete moron would characterise it thus.

      So you bought into a bunch of complete fabrications about beneficiaries? More fool you. Have a little cry then try a reality based argument next time.

      • pete 12.1.1

        Pagani is right.

        If the last two elections haven’t convinced you that you’re on the wrong side of the debate, I guess nothing will.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1

          Reality check. Pagani is wrong.

          If the outcome of three out of the last five elections and the track records on employment during that period doesn’t register with you, perhaps you simply lack the cognitive ability to recognise the gaping hole in your “argument”.

          • pete 12.1.1.1.1

            Pagani is right.

            The electorate has moved on since Clark. People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

            You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious. You are out-of-touch and very likely surrounded by hardline Labour supporters.

            Will it take yet another election loss before you see it?

            • fatty 12.1.1.1.1.1

              If Labour get in as National lite…then what is the point? If Shearer continues with Pagani’s third way logic then NZ would be better off if National won.

              Will it take yet another 30 years of neoliberalism before you see it?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

              So…tax an extra $1B from the bankers and distribute it to the people (from which it was taken from originally).

            • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1.1.3

              “The electorate has…”

              Says who?

              Your assertions don’t actually constitute a coherent argument – you do get that, don’t you? Have you ever heard of the analogy for politics that “the pendulum swings back and forth”?

              I’m so out-of-touch? That no doubt explains the opinion poll trend.

              Can you please stop eye-balling your haemorrhoids and try a reality based argument?

              • pete

                So, let’s say a left wing government is elected. It lasts three terms. It’s a return to the golden weather policies of the 50s.

                And everything is going great.

                But after three terms, you’re very bored with everything going great, so vote in ACT. Just for a change.

                What kind of half-wit believes Labour lost because people were “bored and wanted a change”?

                Labour lost because people were sick of their double-talking politicians and their policies.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  What kind of half-wit thinks your feeble, shifting, strawman argument is going to be met with anything other than derision? Why, you, I guess.

                  But not me.

                  • pete

                    Because you’re so one-eyed, you can’t react any other way. I’m the enemy. You’re surrounded by people who think exactly as you do, and they all know they own the truth.

                    Will National lose because they have failed to deliver? Yes. I’m sure you agree.
                    Not “National will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them”.

                    Yet you’d have us believe that when Labour lose, it’s only due to the “electoral cycle”.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Hello, Earth to Pete – one minor detail – the notion that “National/Labour will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them” is yours and yours alone.

                      Why are you arguing with yourself?

                      Because you’re not just one-eyed, you’re actually no-eyed? Because all you’ve got is moving goal posts and strawmen?

                      You: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”

                      Me – “Not according to the opinion polls which predict a left led government if an election were held now, let alone in 2014”

                      You – “bluster mumblefuck a load of irrelevant crap”.

                      Care to address the point I made or will you argue with your own drivel some more?

                      PS: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”? That explains the rise in union membership. Oops, reality comes crashing in again!

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1.4

              There’s not even any logic in there never mind an argument.

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession.

              And people know that this recession was caused by the policies that National are following.

              They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight.

              Yeah, and that would be why the CEOs and banksters getting massive pay rises while the majority of people are getting pay cuts is pissing people off. Also, the very low level of unemployment before the GFC shows that most people are willing to pull their weight and so the only reason those people are out of work is because of the people at the top not employing people – even though they got massive tax cuts.

              You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious.

              Psychological Projection.

              It’s the RWNJs, such as yourself, that deny reality.

              • pete

                You are very dishonest. Why did you edit my sentence:

                “They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries”

                Then respond as if I never said bankers?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I didn’t edit your sentence – I left off the one I wasn’t responding to. The point is, of course, that people on welfare are willing to pull their weight as the recent high levels of employment showed and that the massive tax cuts given to the rich didn’t create any jobs as promised by this government.

                  It’s the rich that aren’t pulling their weight but that’s been true for 5000 years.

  13. lefty 13

    Too many politicians have investment properties for them to ever do anything meaningful about housing.

    This applies to MPs across the parties.

    As long as there is a shortage of housing it will remain a great investment regardless of whether there is a capital gains tax, or any other form of taxation of it.

    Investors got used to getting lots of free money from their savings but this changed with the GFC.

    But it remains possible to manipulate housing to get superdividends from it as long as the politicians play the game.

    All you need is an artificial shortage of housing and big state subsidies for low income people who have to pay rent.

    Thats why so many red herrings are presented in the debate over housing.

    Its quite simple to solve the housing crisis really.

    Go out and build a shitload of suitable housing and get people living in it.

    There’s plenty of materials, plenty of land, the jobs are needed and the money could easily be found.

    We were able to do it way back in the 1930s when things were much tougher than they are now.

    Once the rent (or mortgage payments) starts coming in it pays for itself.

    But if you build enough to meet the need then rents start falling, the need for the state to pay rental subsidies to private landlords decreases, rents drop even further and so on.

    There’s plenty of houses around to buy and the price drops.

    Lots of people, including many – if not most – of our MPs, lose a lot of money.

    Over the years our politicians have created a situation where the middle class will punish them severely if they solved the housing crisis because their biggest asset would lose value.

    Thats why Mana is the only party that is honest about housing – because the middle class is not its constituency (yet).

    And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house all the people who live in this land of plenty.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      +1

      Well said.

      And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house, feed, clothe, employ, and generally provide a decent living standard to all the people who live in this land of plenty.

      FIFY

      The capitalist system is about restricting the nations resources in such a way so that only the few benefit from them.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.2

      lefty, you summarise well!
      (DTB, just saw Max Keiser touting the OWS Jubilee debt buying programme)

  14. Ron 14

    I think we are getting off track here. The task is to provide housing. We have a perfectly good vehicle for doing this in Housing NZ. We just have to give them proper direction and provide the finance to invest in housing.
    Apart from the CGT which is a given how about providing houses where the state owns the land. That would remove a big incentive to speculate on housing.
    Put people in to good quality housing whether rent or purchased. Let them rent to own if that helps
    Thing big. Imagine the cost savings if Housing NZ was to build several thousand houses in Auckland alone. OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need. Pharmac no doubt drepresses the market for medicine thank goodness we have them otherwise only the rich would get affordable medicine.
    We keep going around in circles. We know what a Labour government needs to do for New Zealanders so how about doing it and stop worrying about a few wealthy individuals who might not make as much.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need.

      Depressing the “market” in housing is exactly what needs to be done. If the upper middle class and the speculators/rentiers will allow it…

      Markets, as you imply, aren’t interested in ensuring that basic needs are provided for.

  15. Ron 15

    I agree but why are we not planning in this direction. I will bet that Sundays speech will not even touch the real problem instead it will skirt around things by talking about cooperation between council and state which is a real waste of time. We want a party to state the problems and then present firm policies to deal with problem. Once upon a time we had that kind of grit but it is sadly lacking. So what if its two years out from election if its a good policy it will still be a good policy in two years,

  16. pete 16

    Even you do find the magic money, where will you build these slums? I guess Len wants you to build vertical slums.

    They’ll be nice! I’m not sure it will affect the housing market, except at the slum level.

    • Ron 16.1

      Pete
      We are not short of money either. Did i not read in paper yeaterday that NZ wants its own satellite system for the military. From memory it was costed at $82 million. WTF. What the ehck do we need a military satellite for. And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million. I would imagine 300-400 houses.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Plus money for a satellite would leave the country and go to foregin firms, whereas spent in NZ on housing it would generate a lot of NZ jobs.

        Our defence and intelligence establishment are dreaming.

        • Ron 16.1.1.1

          Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA
          Reading the article again it sounds like 82 mil it’s only the start

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.1

            Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA

            That would be some of it same as when National sought to buy the F16s which are absolutely useless for NZ (At least the satellites will be useful).

            • Ron 16.1.1.1.1.1

              No satellites are not useful. They are military use only. Why cannot the military send emails like everyone else

              • Draco T Bastard

                Really? So you don’t find the weather forecasts useful?

                And, as I said, we do need to defend ourselves. We may be the most peaceful people ever but there really are psychopaths out there and they really do get to be dictators of countries with weapons.

                So, yes, the satellites will be useful.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2

          The answer to which is to have our own space program and weapons development.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        What the ehck do we need a military satellite for.

        Because we need to defend ourselves.

        And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million.

        None, completely different set of resources used.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Because we need to defend ourselves.

          Wrong way to go about it.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1.1

            You got a better way to watch several million square kilometres of empty sea and air?

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

              In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

              Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

              A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

              • Draco T Bastard

                yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

                And what’s the ongoing costs of maintaining a satellite?

                Considering that we’re talking military here it’s unlikely that a commercial satellite will have the required capabilities anyway.

                In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

                Need to monitor all approaches out to two or three thousand kilometres (effective attack range of missiles).

                Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

                Again that comes down to ongoing costs. At a guess, I suspect Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs haven’t got a snow balls chance in hell of being able to do the required surveillance for anything like the cost of satellites.

                A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

                I’m going to have to point out that some of our Pacific neighbours are the psychopaths that I mentioned.

        • prism 16.1.2.2

          The houses come a while after we get attacked, areas area flattened and we have had a chance to use our defence weapons. First things first.

    • fatty 16.2

      nah…most of the top rated cities in the world have dense housing and it allows for a nice lifestyle, rather than prevents a nice lifestyle. Most people I know do not want to live in the suburbs and have to maintain gardens, have high cost of transport, live in a boring neighborhood etc. This ain’t the 1950s, it time we put our outdated ideals behind us eh?
      The slums you are talking about are the result of greedy economic policies, not dense housing.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1

        +1

        Much prefer living in an apartment.

      • Ron 16.2.2

        I dead recently that we are already pretty far up the scale of housing density.Now you must want to make it worse. You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.2.1

          You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

          They get to live there to and play in the local parks – just like normal.

      • When you have kids you might feel differently.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.1

          Most adults don’t have kids.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2

          Move out of the apartment

          • fatty 16.2.3.2.1

            yes, and then move back into an apartment when the kids have gone.
            We really don’t need that many stand alone houses. But to make smaller places livable, we need livable cities… and the problem is that more sprawl and suburbs makes boring cities, whereas we need decent cities to make high-rise living enjoyable.
            We don’t need big living spaces, just creates the ‘need’ to full it with stuff that we don’t want. Many people could live in places half their size if their cities were worth venturing into.

        • millsy 16.2.3.3

          Youre a pretty nasty person Monique. Piss off.

          • Monique Watson 16.2.3.3.1

            How exactly am I nasty Millsy. Is it because I call a spade a fucking spade? Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself? Is it because I spend every spare moment volunteering for community organisations because my basic creed is to give back more than you receive?
            I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits.
            In which case I’m okay with your judgement.
            I probably won’t piss off either BTW.

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.3.1.1

              well, you could do the country a lot more good by staying out of politics. Or at least, to stop shilling for the wealthy asset owning class.

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.2

              You hate your tenants
              You want the poor thrown on the streets
              You want wages slashed
              You support American style heath care
              You want to destroy state housing
              You want to ban trade unions

            • fatty 16.2.3.3.1.3

              “I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits”

              To be honest I think you are nasty because of your posts. I also have no time for fuckwits.

              “Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself?”

              When you put it like that, yes

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.4

              Plus you hate rail and you think youre better than everyone else.

              I deal with ladies like that every day.

              I just make it more or less clear to them that they are not.

            • QoT 16.2.3.3.1.5

              Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision?

              No, but it might be because you’re willing to use that sponsorship and those children as a way to bolster your apparent “niceness”.

              • Colonial Viper

                African children poverty is real poverty; NZ children poverty – well, it just doesn’t exist.

  17. Ron 17

    We are not short of Land. We need the will to build and to provide the infrastructure around that land. You are correct that Len would prefer to have so called vertical housing but that is becasue the love the idea of getting rates of all the occupants but not having to provide infrastructure to a newighbourhood. Instead we just run it upwards. There is a wealth of information out there about what happens to peoples health when you start storing the vertically but heck why shoudl we worry about that

  18. pete 18

    I think this is the wrong question.

    We’re not short of land. We’re not even short of cheap houses. We are short of regional taxes.
    Simply attract business to the regions by way of a differential tax. If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

    • One Tāne Huna 18.1

      I can imagine why no-one has thought of this before. Sorry, I can imagine why no-one has seriously proposed this before.

      Are you a tax accountant, by any chance?

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

      That’s already true – businesses are still moving to Auckland.

      • pete 18.2.1

        Yeeeess….so make it worth their while to head in the other direction. You’ll save a lot of money not building new roads and silly trains, for starters.

        • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1

          Citations needed.

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.1.1.1

            Only commonsense needed, OTH. Studies won’t show jack shit.

            Or maybe you think having 30% of the population of the country in just 0.3% of the space is somehow going to be sustainable?

            On second thoughts, keep the Aucklanders where they are, we don’t want them moving to rest of the country.

            • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, I just think the conflation of “new roads” and “silly trains” may indicate underlying bias.

              Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

              • Colonial Viper

                Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

                I really don’t mean to be short with you good sir, but…FORGET THE FUCKING SCIENCE

                The first question to ask is: what kind of society and environment do we want to live in, in terms of housing options and lifestyle.

                THEN set science and policy to work to achieve it.

                Frankly the idea that people would “want” 100-120 minutes of commute per day is laughable. Live in Wanganui, Napier or New Plymouth and your commute each way is probably 8-12 minutes. So much more time with the family, practicing the piano, spending time with mates.

                And did I mention that the cost of housing is probably 30% to 40% less???

              • pete

                I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                Plenty of underused infrastructure around the country.

                I agree with Mr Viper here….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                  /facepalm

                  If people move out of Auckland then the new places will need roads and/or trains so that they can move about.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Why? Just walk or cycle 10 minutes to work. You can actually do that outside of the big centres!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      My point was that the small centres wouldn’t remain small if Auckland moved into them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not saying add 10,000 population to Otaki.

                      But you could share 150,000 people out of AKL without blinking. To Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Invercargill, Timaru, Nelson, Whangarei, Gisborne.

                      10K people each, no probs.

                    • pete

                      Perhaps Draco is a home owner in Auckland, Viper? Worried about his house price if pressure is taken off Auckland?

                      He might like capitalism a bit more than he lets on…..

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.

                    • pete

                      “I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.”

                      I think it can, Draco.

                      What was it someone said before – which I also kinda liked. You decide what you want first, then you let the science work out how to do it.

                      It’s not hard. We simply attract business out of Auckland and spread it around the country. There are various mechanisms to do this, and one is differential tax.

                  • pete

                    Dunedin, Palmerston North, Nelson, etc could absorb a few thousand extra each year with little strain on existing/planned infrastructure.

                    It’s under used.

                    • David C

                      Palmy cant take another 1000 let alone 10,000. Fucking useless council cant sort out residential land zoning for future building.

        • prism 18.2.1.2

          Having built infrastructure for trains is going to be much appreciated over the years as oil gets more expensive. They aren’t silly. We just have to do sufficient scoping to ensure trains are running where they will be used.

      • insider 18.2.2

        That’s because the golf and sailing are much better, and teh CEOs like golf and sailing.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.2.1

          Actually, it’s because the business is more likely to find suitable people to work for them in 1.3m+ people as well as have a larger market to sell to meaning that, even though it costs more, they’re going to be better off.

          • David C 18.2.2.1.1

            Nah, build it and they will come.
            unless you put a depot/wharehouse/factory in a utterly toxic town and you have good stable work people will move to you.
            good solid jobs are hard to find.
            annnndddd…. if you put it in a “low rent” place your employees are likely to be $100’s a week better off than living in Dorkland.

  19. pete 19

    Whilst you incentivise Auckland, you’re going to get high land prices, which leads to high housing costs. Aucklands plan is up, not out, so your state housing is going to be cheap high rise apartments, tenements and terraces.

    Nice.

    There are many ways to incentivise the regions, regional taxes being just one option. Unless you want Auckland extending to Hamilton, then it’s pretty obvious building tens of thousands of state houses is a bad idea.

    • Ron 19.1

      I disagree disagree can purchase land and if they remain the land and lease it for homes it will not cause high land prices

      • pete 19.1.1

        Sooo……you’ll rewrite the district plan in Auckland? Or should I say. Auckamilton? Where are all these tens of thousands of state houses going to go?

  20. Penalising investors with a more stringent CGT is not the way to go. The solution is to increase the supply and make it easier to consent houses that the buyers are asking for. And for those who have short memories, I’ve blogged on the background to the housing “bubble”.

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/11/or-we-could-build-our-own-houses-part-1.html

    • It is only “penalising” investors if they chose to continue property speculation; this is the whole point of a CGT type tax. To “encourage” investors to do something more productive and useful with their money.

      Some of those who are buying, building and doing up and selling houses, may continue to do so. Those who are in for a quick buck and fuck off and try elsewhere and stop causing basic needs to become un-affordable for increasing numbers of people.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Property speculators need to be severely penalised.

      Those wanting to make a steady month by month income by being professional landlords should be assisted.

      And of course, the Government should immediately build 50,000 new houses itself. Don’t leave it up to the private sector or the market.

      • pete 20.2.1

        A CGT won’t stop property speculation. All it will do is drive up rents.

        Why?

        Your problem is lack of supply. You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

        That problem is solved by encouraging people not to place demand pressure all in the same two/three cities. Doesn’t cost as much, and boosts the regions.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.2.1.1

          You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

          Yes we can, yes there is, no we won’t as we won’t be leaving them to the private sector to own and operate.

          • Ron 20.2.1.1.1

            exactly

          • pete 20.2.1.1.2

            So you’ll have to change the district plan, then. Len wants out, not up. Britain tried vertical state housing. Truly horrible.

            Doesn’t matter if it’s private sector or public, you’ve still got a sprawl problem.

            • karol 20.2.1.1.2.1

              Britain went into high rise state housing.  interestingly, high rise apartments work fine in many central cities, including London.  It’s just that they have so far worked better when they are expansive privately owned ones.  It’s all in HOW it’s done.

              Also, it doesn’t need to be high rise – just more low level: e.g. 2 storey apartment blocks.  And in the middle of community facilities, not the wastelands of Pepys Estate  – which I have visited more than once.  Was quite grim inside, lifts not working, smelling of pee.

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.2

          Pretty sure that District Plans get rewritten every few years.

          Also I’m not just talking about a CGT. I;m talking about a raft of measures to make property asset speculation something which no longer happens.

          • David C 20.2.1.2.1

            District plans must be looked at every 10 years, usually 15 years between finished versions.

            “the market” usually leads the district plan with private plan changes which are hugley costly to both developer and councils and in the end just get ticked onto the price of the house.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      Catering to the investors/speculators is what’s led to the problem. Time to start catering to the people rather than the rich.

      • pete 20.3.1

        Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

        So, you build a lot more. Where? The plan for Auckland doesn’t want any more sprawl, so you’ll have to go up.

        Doesn’t it make more sense to spread people around the county a bit more? Use the wealth of infrastructure we’ve already got, rather than overloading Auckland, or sprawling it ever further?

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.1.1

          Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

          You missed a really big factor.

          Profiteering. The state would not need to make big profits off these properties, in fact the statem doesn’t need to make any profit off these properties.

          So will there still be too few houses…yes. But rent will also be cheap.

          This is what happens when you tell the market and the privateers to go get fucked.

          • pete 20.3.1.1.1

            I didn’t “miss” it. It’s not relevant to my point.

            You could eliminate profiteering, and it still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is you have more demand than there is supply.

            So, the question remains: WHERE are you going to build the supply? If you stay within Len’s plan, then you must build up. If you ignore Len’s plan, then you must sprawl.

            My point is that there is no need to do this. Simply redistribute demand to other centers, which solves a number of problems, not least of which is affordability.

      • Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
        If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.1

          There’s no problem with the state creating jobs and a housing service to look after those properties.

          We want more jobs after all, and this kind of thing has been done by NZ governments for many years.

          you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”

          Not my fault if they negatively geared and have a massive negative net worth. Silly them.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2

          It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

          Nope, it won’t or, to be more precise, it would cost each taxpayer significantly less than what it’s presently costing individual renters through private development which comes with the dead weight loss of profit. Either way, you need those property managers.

          • kiwicommie 20.3.2.2.1

            Yep, I wouldn’t say that the USSR was true ‘communism’, but certainly even back then (despite the police state apparatus and hardship) it was proven that state ownership of housing lowers housing costs and allows everyone to get a home. Plenty of people in East Germany fondly remember the free education, free health-care and the community spirit back then. I am not trying to suggest the USSR and it’s satellites were a wonderland, it was not. But public housing is achievable, and is a lot fairer on people than the ‘private developer’ crowd, that build high cost housing that barely anyone can afford to live in.

            • pete 20.3.2.2.1.1

              Tenament living. You can have that tomorrow.

              Strangely, Kiwis don’t want to live in them.

          • pete 20.3.2.2.2

            You really are living in a fantasy world.

            What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity. All you’re doing is leaving that equity with the tenant-as-owner, so it’s zero sum. The house isn’t any cheaper.

            You still haven’t solved your supply problem. Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2.2.1

              What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity.

              The landlords may not be making a profit (which I find hard to believe) but the banks certainly are.

              Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

              It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.

              • pete

                “It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.”

                Can you point it out?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The same places that the private sector would build them. Plus a few others, since the State has the power to appropriate land it sees as important. The private sector is weak and can’t do that.

                  • pete

                    The places the private sector and public sector can build them, in Auckland, must conform with the district plan. The plan for the future of Auckland is up, not out. Public or private, that means towers, townhouses and tenements.

                    As I say, it makes more sense to spread business around the regions. This solves a number of problems. It creates enormous social benefits. It’s just a lot nicer that cramming everyone into one place, no?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No doubt. I agree its insane to cram 30% of NZ into 0.3% of the space.

                      But essentially, the public sector will do a better job of building affordable housing because they don’t have to add an extra ticket clip for making profit, and they can get financing way cheaper than the private sector.

                    • pete

                      I’d argue that what you gain in margin you lose in added production cost. Financing, I agree.

                      We’re getting sidetracked with the public/private debate.

                      It shouldn’t matter who builds them, so long as the end result is what people want i.e. an affordable, warm place to live.

                      Yah?

                      If the state can do that better than private, great, but I don’t see it happening, for reasons outlined.

                      One role the state could play well is the establishment of factory built modular houses. Industrial scale. I dare say it could also be PPP.

                      The problem still remains as to where you’re going to put them. I say adopt a regional approach. Boost the regions, take the pressure off Auckland.

        • Ron 20.3.2.3

          Good God what in the world are we arguing about. I find it hard to imagine why anyone would want to make money out supplying people a basic need such as housing. Lets all speculate on medicine and food supplies and hospitals. Why draw a line at anything. Affordable good quality Housing is a basic human right. It is the purpose of a good government to make sure that its citizens are adequately housed. It should not be left to the whims of so called investors.
          Bring in CGT and also stop landlords from deducting costs of their mortgages from profits accrued elsewhere.
          Then we might see how many good citizens are keen on buying and renting property.

          • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.3.1

            Ron – the entrepreneurial capitalists of free market lore have actually become nothing more than risk averse rentier ticket clippers.

            So of course, they want to profit off the provision of necessary basics such as housing, power, phone and internet, water, schools, prisons, ….

            • Ron 20.3.2.3.1.1

              I have no problem with private enterprise as long as we have proper controls to ensure they play fair.
              When we have a properly developed Commerce Commission and have proper laws for protecting and safeguarding our people then private enterprise will be welcome to operate.
              And with that goes proper laws to protect workers who always seem to be the forgotten lot these days.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The problem, of course, is that under those conditions private enterprise can’t. That’s why the free-market delusion was brought back in.

            • pete 20.3.2.3.1.2

              Being a landlord is work.

              The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed. Is that not work? The house needs maintenance. Is that not work? Tenants sometimes destroy property. Is that not work? The tenant sometimes doesn’t pay the rent? Is that not work/risk? The area may decline in value? Is that not financial risk?

              It’s all work. The return is modest. It’s the short-medium term accommodation business.

              • QoT

                It’s all work

                Be honest, pete. It’s work if you choose to give a shit about your tenants. Plenty don’t.

                • David C

                  Its work either way. if you were a moron you could choose to utterly ignore your tennants wishes but you still need to look after your building. A happy tenant is a good tenant, vacancy is what kills good returns. A tenant that stays for 15 years is the perfect tenant.

                  • QoT

                    but you still need to look after your building.

                    I assure you this will come as shocking news to 3/4 of the landlords I have ever rented from.

                • pete

                  It’s work. It’s risk. You could love your tenants, or loathe them, and the work remains the same.

                  In return, you might may some money. Not guaranteed, as many have found out.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Safer to have the government do it through Housing NZ.

                    Private landlords who can’t make it worth their while need to exit the market.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yep, there’s work involved but not as much as people like to make out. Somebody working a 40 hour per week job does more and doesn’t get their house paid for out of other peoples work.

              • fatty

                “The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed”

                You could own 50 house for 50 years and I doubt that would happen more than once. If there was a leak then they would ring the next day, not in the middle of the night. Stop making up stories

                • pete

                  Just an example, Fatty. The tenant has a problem – they ring you up, you deal with it.
                  That’s your job. In return for them not having to deal with such problems, they pay you a fee – rent.

                  Anyone who thinks it’s lucrative clearly hasn’t done it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If it’s not lucrative then private landlords should get out of the market and let the Government take over.

                    • pete

                      Then the cost transfers to you – that taxpayer, or to the homeowner.

                      The landlord is swapping time for equity. The public servant must be paid directly. If you get the public servant up at 2.30 in the morning to deal with a flood from a burst pipe, that costs you. It doesn’t at the moment. It’s a cost borne by private landlords. Or directly by you, if you own the property.

                      Many people don’t like such headaches and maintenance, which is one reason they rent. Landlords do provide a service. Like in all occupations, there are good and bad operators, but it doesn’t change the fact being a landlord is work.

                      Should they not be paid for their work?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.

                      If this kind of work is not financially rewarding for private landlords, they really should just get out of it.

                    • fatty

                      “The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.”

                      that’s the way I see it too. We have the option of paying rent so the profit sits in a rich person’s bank account, or we could pay rent to the government which creates more jobs and the profit gets redistributed throughout society. I’d love to rent off the government if I could. I’d call that a no brainer

                • lprent

                  Ah no. The leaks that that they ring about are when a pipe cracks or a dishwasher valve jams and they come home to find water inches deep on the floor (or leaking into an apartment two floors down).

                  There are 60 apartments in my block. I wasn’t a landlord, but when I was the goto person here for years I called them quite a lot at all hours. Not a lot for any particular landlord, but a lot of landlords fo various reasons.

                  • fatty

                    well that’s news to me, I’ve flatted for a long time in some very average properties and never had a leak

                    • lprent

                      It is the luck of the draw. In 60 apartments over about 10 years we had probably 5-6 significant immediate attention leaks. I’m not counting the couple of days after a water main cracked outside the house and we had a flood of high pressure water sprouting (and I do mean sprouting) out of the walls of the two underground garage levels.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think there should be a reasonable return for professional landlords generating an income stream from rent.

                But an end to property speculators seeking to make a quick buck on asset appreciation.

                By the way its far more efficient to have Housing NZ be the landlord for tens of thousands of properties, they can have full time staff handling those problems 24/7.

          • PlanetOrphan 20.3.2.3.2

            No need bud, Just sell / rent state housing at a reasonable rate.

            Everyone thinks those home owners are speculating, they’re not, they just want a solid asset.

            If the inflated prices come down then CGT is superfluous.

            It’ll hurt on the current mortgage front (owing a lot more than the house is worth),
            But state houses wont have the same developments a longer standing house will have so there would be balance as well.
            The Government could even cover the difference in mortgage value from the Float, What’s the difference between South Canterbury Finance and the housing bubble afterall ?

          • David C 20.3.2.3.3

            Sure stop all deductions for landlords and the cash freturn of the rent needs to equal real cost plus a return.

            So a $400K house needs to rent at $800? $900? a week?

            100% of capital at bank rates plus rates and insurance plus depreciation plus wear and tear which is huge plus management plus an actaul profit margin! yippee!

        • blue leopard 20.3.2.4

          Monique Watson says: “Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
          If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.”

          Monique Watson, again, you miss the point.
          If the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property decided the was no longer sufficient profit in buying and selling houses due to a percentage being taken off them through a capital gains tax, the prices of houses would go down, which would create a larger number of people who could afford to buy them.

          Alternatively if the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property did their calculations and decided that despite the CGT, the activity was still profitable for them, then the Government would at least have a source of income to provide for the increasing number of people, both with jobs and without, who require accommodation supplements, due to the high property prices caused by the speculators.

          It is simple really.

      • David C 20.3.3

        When “the people” get off their collective arses and do a large scale property development it will really be something to see.

        in the mean time “the rich” putting their money on the line deserves a return for risk involved.

        Lots of chaps have been thru bankruptcy court recently on the downside of that risk.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1

          Safer and cheaper for all then if the Govt became the main player.

          • David C 20.3.3.1.1

            Your hi on crack if you think that bunch of twunts in the beehive can do a development close to as well as a chap who has done it for a living for a long time and lays awake at nights thinking about the drainlayer that might be sneaking in a extra half a hours charge beacuse of an unforseen hiccup.

            Good residential developers tend to be closely held companies with fingers on the pulse. Look at Carrus Corp for a good one.

            • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1.1.1

              Government can do it better and cheaper. Government can borrow money cheaper and doesn’t need to lift a profit from the project so it will be cheaper for home buyers.

              And of course, Government has built a couple of hundred thousand houses over the decades.

              Easily done.

          • pete 20.3.3.1.2

            Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh. It’s high risk. Give it a try, sometime.

            Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly. The same happens to a state pen pusher – but he’s got even less incentive to keep it on budget. He just goes back to the taxpayer for mo’ cash. Result: your tax increases.

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.3.1.2.1

              Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh.

              Probably better than the private guy.

              Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly.

              Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…

              Oh, wait, we’re paying for those.

              The reason why the state servant is going to be doing it better is because that’s what he’s paid for and, often, they actually believe in doing a good job because it benefits the community.

              The private developer, on the other hand, is incentivised to do the job badly. Low wages to boost profit, cut corners to boost profit, and to do it as fast as possible (not the same as fast as practical) to boost profit. It’s all about profit and profit is a negative motivation.

              • Colonial Viper

                I agree, these fellas seem to have really quickly forgotten what a shit multi-billion dollar mess PRIVATE DEVELOPERS did up to the early 2000’s.

              • pete

                “Probably better than the private guy”

                Why? They have no skin in the game. Much easier to just sign the account, take the tradesman’s word for it. Makes life easy, less grief. A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                “Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…”

                Just once, perhaps you could listen, rather than just reacting.

                It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                End price: not cheap.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                  Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.

                  Plus it’s easier to co-ordinate the build of houses on the scale of 10,000 to 20,000 units pa. Only Government can do that.

                  A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                  Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.

                  A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.

                  • pete

                    “Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.”

                    Sure, but consider what “profit” means. You’re making out that if the developer doesn’t make any profit, the total cost must come down. I contend it can cost you more if you remove a profit incentive, as your production cost will likely rise.

                    Let’s say you have a 9-5 state employee managing a large development. They have no personal cash on the line. Their motivation is to bring the project in, of course, but they have an incentive to make life easy for themselves, rather than hard. That’s just human.

                    It is hard to confront tradesmen who often like to create problems where there aren’t any. Much easier just to sign their invoices. It’s hard to reorganise projects around schedule failures. Much easier just to let the cost blow out and add it at the end. Why not? It’s not your money. Cost blow outs are “inevitable”, eh. Easy to explain away. And next time, make sure your budgets include this “blow out insurance margin” when you’re costing the job. The benchmarks creep up.

                    See how the production cost can rise if you don’t have a personal stake in the outcome?

                    It happened in the USSR.

                    “Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.”

                    It’s still their debt. If you blow it, you’ll lose your line of credit for future projects.

                    “A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.”

                    I think that is Utopian and unrealistic. Again, the USSR demonstrates that the public servant may not act in the interests of “the people” when it comes to production.

                    Which explains the Trabant….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Why? They have no skin in the game.

                  And how many of those developers that lumped us with all those leaky homes are actually losing money from doing so? I’ve heard of at least one getting off scot free and there will be others.

                  This is the problem with private developers – they don’t actually lose.

                  Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                  End price: not cheap.

                  May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.

                  • pete

                    Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                    “May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.”

                    It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                    Bob Jones, who I’m sure you’ll admit knows *something* about property, is of the opinion all developers eventually go broke, which is why he’s not interested in being one. The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                    I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately. In which case, it’s a zero sum game.

                    And how does one benchmark costs? Do you do so against private developers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Private sector developers drove the leaky homes issue. Of course its related. The private sector is shit at doing things without cutting corners. This is to be expected as they want to keep that extra profit for themselves, and to walk away from problems which might only appear 3 or 4 years down the track, leaving Councils and Govt to pick up the bill.

                    • pete

                      It’s a tangent.

                      Leaky homes was a problem created by bureaucracy. The councils created jeopardy by assuming the risk. They thought they were getting into a lucrative ticket-clicking game.

                      They vastly underestimated the risk. They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh. The environmental lobby remains very quiet on this topic up until this day…..

                      Look at the houses of the 1930’s. Very little regulation back then. Still solid as a rock.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      State Houses were designed by government engineers who knew what they were doing. The private sector did not.

                      Councils got suckered in by the private sector push for deregulation and self-regulation, and private developers walked away with windfall profits cutting corners and dropping quality.

                      Leaving Councils and Government with the billion dollar private sector bill.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Pete, it’s time for your reality check.

                      “…a problem created by bureaucracy..” – nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation, as your comment tacitly acknowledges when you say that Councils “…did not monitor builds correctly…”

                    • pete

                      “nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation”

                      It wasn’t. You’ve swallowed a party line. If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      See:

                      http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/leaky-homes-part-1-myth-of-deregulated.html

                      “FOR A START, JUST think about this: there was a much more light-handed regulatory regime in the early 1910s and 1920s, when most of the villas and bungalows were built for which people now pay huge money – even for “original” examples. Things couldn’t be more light-handed then, but the disastrous systemic problems now being experienced weren’t in evidence then – not even for the many stucco (solid plaster) buildings like these two on the right still decorating some of our leafiest suburbs.

                      In fact, even in 1982 when I started building, a relatively light-handed regulatory regime was still in existence – even in those Muldoonist times.

                      The ‘Bible’ on site was a document called NZ Standard 3604, which back then was about forty pages long; permits took around two weeks at most to process; council inspectors were seen on site around three times maximum – and the thing called a Code Compliance Certificate didn’t even exist. “

                    • lprent []

                      If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      Essentially you’re talking crap. The liability was always with the council and always has been. You can see cases all the way back into the 19th century. What changed was how tight the building regulations got with different materials and systems and the slow reassessment of the earthquake risks.

                      The less redundancy there is in a building system, the more regulation there is to ensure that it is allowed to be built in the first place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ah pete I see you are a building industry shill

                      Since Councils and Govt end up paying for Private Sector blunders in housing, they should just do the whole job like they used to and tell the private sector developers to F-OFF

                    • pete

                      No, I’m not.

                      The councils and government should not pay for it. The matter is between three entities – the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      The state should **** off, except when it comes to earthquake standards, safety and utility connection issues.

                    • lprent []

                      What – no building regulations?

                      Who pays for the provision of the courts?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                      I was using it as an example to show that the risk isn’t what the privateers say it is. I could have used the banks and the bank bailouts just as well.

                      It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                      That’s an unfounded assertion especially considering that evidence is showing the exact opposite.

                      The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                      Actually, that would be a result of stupid management.

                      I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately.

                      A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is.

                      And how does one benchmark costs?

                      Use of real resources.

                      They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh.

                      IIRC, BRANZ had more industry personnel on its board than state employees. Guess who were making the recommendations about the materials and codes.

                      the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      And the best insurance company and builder is the state.

                    • pete

                      “Actually, that would be a result of stupid management”.

                      It’s a very difficult process to manage well, which is why so many developers get into trouble.

                      “A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is”.

                      Uh-huh. I can pretty much count long-time profitable developers in NZ on one hand. Yet you’ll find hundreds of them willing to work for a state salary for the seemingly altruistic benefit of “helping people”.

                      Good luck with that. What you’ll most likely get is low-level middle managers who fancy themselves, inflated pricing, and inevitable cost over-runs.

                      The state would be better off staying away from bespoke projects and focus on industrial-scale modular house building.

    • millsy 20.4

      Increasing the state housing stock, buy either building or buying houses can probably do most things that a CGT does, including pushing out the fly by night slumlords, and leaving only the private landlords who are a more businesslike and professional in their dealings (ie dont see their tenants as something that they would scrape off their boot).

  21. millsy 21

    The Standard should invite Josie Pagani on to guest post about what her vision of social democracy/socialism is, and what policies she would implement if she became PM? (And if she would oppose homosexuality like her mate JT).

    What changes would she make to the welfare system?
    Does she support the building of more state housing?
    Does she support privatisation and contracting out?
    What changes will she make to our health and education system?

    So far I have heard meaningless Blairite rhetoric from her but nothing about actually policies she supports (whining “I support free education and healthcare” doesnt cut it darling).

    Come on Pagani? What do you stand for?

    What would **YOU** do?

  22. PlanetOrphan 22

    The Government needs to float the economy properly, plain and simple Karol.

    That’s the new policy required, not a new idea, but desperately required for our country.

    A Trillion dollar float.

  23. prism 23

    When housing was being given the neo lib makeover it was pointed out that paying beneficiaries accommodation supplements would have a long term effect of boosting rental prices. If there was a sensible government in at any time we could have tried multiple ways to advance people’s housing.

    One would be – People saving for a minimum of two years to a level that a financial advisor say with Kiwibank, would consider affordable for them. That would establish their financial competence, on a fairly low wage. There were 3% and 5% 25 year loans available in the 1960s for first home buyers. The amount of loan money might be low, but there would be the opportunity of buying a modular house chosen by them that would suit their section and the direction of the sun, starting off with the basics and one and a half bedrooms that would provide adequate living space for a few years. There would be a planned suburb on a bus route that would go past a shopping centre with supermarket and other services.

    Then if they had children they would be paid a weekly child allowance which they could choose to take in a lump sum and interest free build onto their house, or along with this make an addition to their mortgage on top of the allowance.

    It worked well years ago. There is no reason why we have to hark back to 1840 when NZs were gulled by land speculators right at the beginning. But going back to the future with 1960 ideas would provide current policies that are relevant. But no way should anyone get an interest free holiday on mortgages or overvaluation. Everything would be done prudently and simply and effectively.

    Mr Micawber would approve. “Mr Macawber said – ‘Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness’.”

  24. Ron 24

    Why do we keep on talking of developers. I do not think they are the problem, What we need to investiaget is why people feel the need to own multiple houses. I read recently of a politician who had 5 houses that he rented out. Why does he need 5 houses. Is the mp salaray and pension scheme not sufficent for him to live on.
    If he did not purchase those 5 houses there would be 5 houses for people to buy and own and live in.
    I said before allowing people to buy and make money of ou a basic need such as housing is socially iorresponsible. We should discourage such actions and have a firm policy to enable housing all New Zealanders.
    We should also discourage people hidding their assets in trusts. I think that any party that claims to support New Zealander’s social concerns that has MP’s with trusts should seriously think if it wants such people as its politicians.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Its greed and rentier capitalism mate. To these people its not a matter of what they “NEED” to be reasonably comfortable, it’s a matter of acquiring and collecting AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A mix of ego building and empire building.

    • prism 24.2

      Ron
      To be fair – if a pollie has houses rented out, they are likely to be full because people are looking for a place to live even while they save for a house. And pollies need to have a basic income because of the possibility of not keeping his or her seat and so being without that handy salary. I am inclined to think that all should step down after nine years, three terms, anyway.

      • Ron 24.2.1

        For goodness sake Pollies get a housing allowance and if they are cabinet ministers they get free accomodation. If they did not try to make money by buying houses and renting them there would be more houses for people to buy.
        I dont really care what other political persussions do but I want a left political party to behave with proper care and not use their service in parliament to be seen as s good way to make money on the side

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    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago