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“Minister for Small Things”

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, March 1st, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, david cunliffe, housing, overseas investment, tertiary education, tv - Tags: ,

Yesterday, David Cunliffe, in response to Peter Dunne’s Student Loan Amendment Bill, labelled Dunne as “Minister for Small Changes” (to the student loan and child support Bills), and “Minister for Small Things”.  Small, but significant in relation to Dunne’s MO.

Cunliffe talked about the growing inter-generational swindle being perpetrated by the current costs of getting a university education, compared with the cost of “Old Peter” Dunne’s higher education.  Born in 1954 he likely paid nothing for his tertiary education, and is leading a “charmed life” on a ministerial salary, and in a few years can claim superannuation.  Cunliffe argued that Dunne doesn’t agree with “paying forward” to give the same advantages to today’s young people that Dunne received.

If Dunne had been born in 1995, and wanted to do the same university study of undergraduate and graduate study of 5 years, it would cost $5,000-$6,000 (and some change) per year.  Thus before heading to work, he’d be looking at $30,000 debt for fees alone, without considering living costs, which would extend the debt to $64,000 plus.

So today “young Peter” would be unable to afford a mortgage.  Meanwhile those of “Old Peter’s” generation who have invested in capital gains-free housing, have created the destructive housing bubble.

And yesterday, Peter Dunne used Twitter to smear as racist, the Green’s statements about limiting the ability of non-NZ residents to buy property in NZ.  TV3 gave it an anti-Asian slant last night.  The TV3 report stated,

Almost two-thirds of voters want restrictions placed on foreigners buying property in order to bring house prices down, according to the latest 3 News Reid Research poll.

Of the 200 people at an auction on Auckland’s North Shore today about half were Asian. Three houses sold in 20 minutes, all to Asians.

If the bidders aren’t New Zealand residents or citizens, if they are foreign buyers – the Greens would like restrictions placed on them.

They say it’s not racist; it’s about controlling house prices.

“Most New Zealanders are not racist. They understand that it is simply people from overseas that are driving up the price of property,” says party co-leader Russel Norman.

Two-thirds of voters agree with the Greens.

Asked, if to make houses more affordable the Government should put restrictions in place to stop foreigners from buying up investment properties here, 63 percent said yes, 30 percent no and the rest didn’t know.

Under law, in Australia non-residents cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties. The Greens want a similar ban here – at least on investment properties – but the Prime Minister won’t go there.

Dunne applied TV3’s anti-Asian slant to the Greens, even while repeating the Greens’ disclaimer of such a slant. [h/t gobsmacked]

The Green and Left xenophobes seem to be out tonight! They don’t like foreigners owning property but say it’s nothing to do with race!!!

And then Dunne followed this up with a bit of Godwin:

The Greens & Labour’s attacks on Asians owning property has eerie overtones of Nazi Germany singling out groups because of race. Not decent.

The crisis in (un)affordable housing has several causes, though all linked by underlying “neoliberal” policies and propaganda.  The main focus continues to be on the affordability of home buying.  However, the crisis is most severe for those on low incomes that are renting.  The more intense focus on home buying is part of the problem.  Also part of the problem are big spending non-resident buyers of property in NZ (from diverse countries including the US and Europe), and the shifting of the goal posts over the last few decades.

A large number of boomers don’t own property, especially those who have always been on relatively low incomes.  However, with the “neoliberal” swindle, even middle income young people are now suffering as a result of the housing crisis.

Of course, those boomers like Dunne who have benefited from the rise and rise of the “neoliberal” swindle, want to keep it that way.


51 comments on ““Minister for Small Things””

  1. johnm 1

    Dunne is a tit feeder on whichever government is in power. YUK! No wonder we’re in a mess with the likes of him.

    • geoff 1.1

      I think we can all agree that Peter Dunne is a reptile who would sell his own grandmother if it helped his chances.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Greens should return the favor, if Labour want Greens in the tent, Dunne has to be ignored completely.

      • Tim 1.1.2

        Indeed Geoff. Sincere condolences to his wife. It is of course a sign of how desperate he’s becoming.
        Not that long ago (hours), I was in Countdown J’ville (in the 12 items or less Express Queue).
        There, ahead of me, was someone with a blue rinse, all togged up with about 50 items she was expecting the cashier to process. As she did – she was engaging in political discourse – speaking as loudly as she possibly could with the cashier – in order to be heard by all. An obvious Dunne supporter. She exuded a sense of entitlement from her every pore. Behind me in the queue, about 20 people had built up were watching in amusement and with disdain.
        I’m hoping those 20 will turn up to vote come election day. The Blue Rinse lady had absolutely no idea of how she was being observed and judged by the 20 plus in the queue behind.
        I thought to myself …. the epitome of the current National Party.
        I’d actually wished I’d been standing in line with a Finlayson or someone of his ilk. An OK sort of fella but someone sat in a bugger’s muddle of a Party full of the likes of the social climbing wankers, wankeresses and snobbery of the important Mrs Blue Rinse.
        I wondered what Skeith Wholeyoak and others would be thinking – especially about the likes of Finlayson et al) – not that I’ve ever voted for such a incompetent political party (Neshnool).
        Then I thought to myslelf ….. this situation – the predicament, the attitude, the completely out-of-touch idea of the grande electorate is what a Labour ABC cabal is.
        UGLY, in every sense of the word.

      • Arfamo 1.1.3

        Dunne is just another example of how in NZ today if you don’t stand for anything you can stand for Parliament.

  2. ropata 2

    the greens are right, as usual. but this will never happen as long as most voters are also property owners, and there’s easy money to be made. most of our fellow kiwis don’t understand that true wealth = assets, they are dazzled by dollar signs

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Actually, it seems that most voters agree with the Greens. The problem is that Labour and National don’t.

  3. vto 3

    Calling for a ban on foreigners owning any property in NZ clearly covers all races so how on earth can it be racist?

    • Arfamo 3.1

      It’s not racist. And Dunne knows that. He just knows that making up and constantly repeating lies, especially big lies, works. Goebels was a master of the technique.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      The way TV3 portrayed it was certainly racist and they could have done better on this one.

  4. vto 4

    There is no advantage to having foreigners own our land. It is solely detrimental. Hence why so many other countries, like China, don’t allow it.

    This is distinct from “foreign investment”. Don’t let the deceptive pricks mix the two issues up.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      And we don’t need foreign investment either which is also bad for our society. Really, why do we need foreign currency to use resources we already own?

  5. jbug 5

    Thank goodness someone is actually delivering it to the National coalition in the House. About time! Good on the Labour hierarchy for finally starting to use the talent in the caucus for good effect!

    • Arfamo 5.1

      Yes but look at how empty the debating chamber is. He may be “delivering it” to the National coalition but nobody gets to know about it from the MSM.

  6. prism 6

    Is it racist to worry about the effect of China on our economy when the majority of clothes and tools etc etc which we buy are made in China? It’s a cheap shot to condemn reasonable concern and discussion as ‘racist’. Property purchasing from overseas by people with access to riches beyond our own distorts our market in this small country. That’s a fact and to understand it we need to look at all nationalities, but China is constantly in our lives for many reasons including the actions of some Chinese businesspeople in bringing our main money earner, milk powder, into disrepute, temporarily this time.


    How to for overseas people wanting to buy property in NZ

    Another info piece for overseas investors looking at Auckland.
    Right now we are spending a great deal of our time with the New Zealand market. In particular we are concentrating on the Auckland region that is proving to be an increasingly popular investment choice for many of our International investors. There are a number of reasons for this, growth is good, rental yields are relatively high, acquisition costs are low, taxes are low, foreign ownership is hassle free and the exchange rate for most foreign investors is particularly favorable.

    Compared to other similar developed cities across the world Auckland is offering excellent value and many suggest that in relative terms it is undervalued. Add to this its continued high projected population growth and limited supply of land and it is easy to see why many investors are excited about Auckland.
    In addition New Zealand has largely stayed out of world politics (post September 11), this plus its relative isolation is having many see it as a nice place to invest and possibly to live in the future as it is increasingly being seen as a safe haven. This article will look at some of the factors that make New Zealand, and in particular in and around Auckland a good place to invest and how as an international investor you can go about this process.

    “Fundamentally, New Zealand has a high exchange rate because we’re an attractive place for foreign investors to put their money,” Crampton says….
    But we still have a dollar worth almost US82 cents that is killing our exporters, as the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association has been saying for years.

    And the International Monetary Fund says the kiwi is about 15 per cent overvalued. It has said that repeatedly, at least as far back as May 2010.
    The high exchange rate is making buying into NZ an attractive option for overseas investors, at the same time as it makes it more expensive to run manufacturing here providing employment to NZ.

    • karol 6.1

      Good to see you back commenting, prism, and with a very full and informative comment.

      This bit from the first link to stuff is especially interesting:

      Figures released by the Overseas Investment Office show that of the 872,313 hectares of gross land sold to foreign interests over the past five years, only 223ha were sold to Chinese.

      People from the landlocked principality of Liechtenstein had purchased 10 times more land than the Chinese – 2,144ha in the same period.

      The top buyers were the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. The United States had 194 purchases for a total of 193,208ha.

      • stargazer 6.1.1

        thanx carol. i was having this debate on facebook yesterday ie that there is no credible proof that chinese or asians are buying more land than other foreign nationals. i was really disappointed with the way tv3 news covered this story, which then allows the nonsense comments we got from peter dunne.

      • prism 6.1.2

        Yes karol that was interesting. I can understand, as I said earlier, why the Chinese came up in people’s sights, Crafar farms was such a big parcel of was it 16, farms. They would have had individual owners before the Crafar guy worked his magic to buy them probably with leverage provided from finagling banks. And there was so much publicity around this ‘brave little battler’.
        Many hoped that they would be able to be bought by keen NZ sharemilkers.

        Of course the problem is that we are well trained dogs in NZ – anybody wealthy from overseas can offer us a flavoursome money treat and we’ll extend our paw for a shake and roll over to have our tummies tickled instead of showing our teeth to ensure proper respect for us as we guard our territory.

      • Poission 6.1.3

        Liechtenstein is a tax haven that uses the same methodology of hidden foreign trusts as NZ to hide assets and avoid tax

  7. fenderviper 7

    Dunne has obviously been getting too involved in the new ‘legal high’ testing. He must have a cocktail of chemicals flowing through his blackened blood and it’s also making his hair fall out. What the people of Ohariu see in this fool needs explaining, I know he’s apparently present everywhere in the electorate but can’t people there see he’s nothing but a flake. The answer may lie in the electorate I guess, as from my experience these folk would probably vote for Colin Craig if Dunne was to admit he has nothing to contribute and retire.
    I look forward to the end of UF and Act sooner rather than later, they are both irrelevant in these times and are only around thanks to modern medicine and blue rinse hair dye.

  8. Poission 8

    The minister for money laundering and tax evasion also decided that Hollywood needed a gst break


    • aerobubble 8.1

      Hard on citizens, ease up on business. This has breed lazy boardrooms and exodus of skilled kiwis.

      The role of government is to create a happy content society, and breed hard nosed boardrooms, but Dunne has consistently does the opposite.

      When we train rugby players, we don’t lower the bar, cut the weight they have to lift, we don’t losen the rules, in fact as the numbers of lean motivated rugby players increases we raise standards of training, we create clearer rules, and consistently review.

      Business in NZ does not need more investment (to pay down debt or cover interest on debt), it doesn’t need less rules around health and safety, we need better engaged government that punishes those in debt who act as a drag on our economy.

      Oh, wait, Key has borrowed us into a huge mess, and lowered taxes on those who are most indebted.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        The role of government is to create a happy content society, and breed hard nosed boardrooms, but Dunne has consistently does the opposite.

        That’s normal for neo-liberal governments. Make it easier on the rich and harder on everyone else.

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    an “IGT” yarn from across the smoko room table;
    man works entire life as Diesel Mechanic (almost obsessively)
    abrasive personality, few friends and peers
    lonely wife (yes, she told me)
    6 Days a week, on-call, for the man
    last year, both hips replaced; this year spurs will be placed to fuse spine (“won’t make old bones”)
    has diabetes and high blood pressure (investment properties to leave though)
    this man will be 70 years old on the job this year. Oil-fueled Capitalism : Lovin it!

    (and for you soft-cocks running this country? Try being a Diesel Mechanic for two or three decades,
    yet carry on, plenty of limestone chips to soak up the spills)

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Should’ve retired 10 years ago to let a young mechanic in to the workforce

      Maybe no life after work to retire to though?

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        seems to be the case; PWE and all that millstone, still, refreshing to see the Gen “Z” wising up; Gr8 to see all their tattoos, piercings, and f*ck-u attitudes; can’t stop The Children of The Revolution, just sit back and enjoy the music (wailings). The Hand-brake certainly appears to be cultural (Storm in a tea-cup over Argo ref for example). The magic of “blogs” is that nobody reads them and they are outdated by the time they reach the market shelves.Having seen Lynns FB page, it is encouraging that the Alternative is gettin’ thrown about the joint.Have a good day. Off to read the paper and see what else has blown up; nothing like the power of exponentials.Victoria.
        Be Trailer Parks next; Everclear-“White Trash and proud of It”.(on less than 12K per annum)

        • prism

          rogue T
          What do you reckon about living in trailer parks? Some people I’ve heard of, usually retired, enjoy the life. At least you can have a place of your own. There used to be one in South Auckland but the police closed it down because some crims lived there. Now they have to live elsewhere and are probably harder to keep control of. If the goverment is going to turn their backs on the ordinary citizen not getting up to $100 per hour and not even having their low minimum pay keep pace with inflation, perhaps it is time to choose a new paradigm.

          • Rogue Trooper

            greatfull for any home, personally, and both times i have lived in motor camps i have been more than content; often great community, open space, trees, facilities like pools, wifi, sports courts, barbecues, etc, a variable cosmopolitan international clientele in season, out of season.Many folk retire to them, especially keen fishermen, and sometimes the locations can be beautiful (Higher Ground is always preferable), have even been offered opportunity to add to the vege gardens other residents have already established.
            Downsides; insulation from the elements, space to swing a cat (just joking, cats love me) and too many books 🙂 (and itinerant “temptations” for an old soak like me) 😉

            • prism

              So principal problem is insulation. What about curved shell roofs that sit above the caravan roof on feet that are attached to it and create an insulating air gap and protection from the elements?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        Maybe no life after work to retire to though?

        Yep, that was the case with my father. Without a job his life, as far as he was concerned, meant nothing.

  10. Tim 10

    Indeed DtB. It’s an attitude that still prevails tho’. The manner in which people derive their self-esteem these days though is not so much being able to just do an honest day’s work for which they’re fairly rewarded alongside others, but it’s their job title, their positions in relation to others, and their ability to jerk off at various afterwork functions. Many of them roll along thinking they’re invaluable getting an earn in their creatively invented job title positions, right up until the time a ‘restructure’ or an economic downturn sees them without an income. That’s right about the time they realise they shudd cudda wudda not spent so much on the daily latte or bought that second plasma TV for the bedroom.
    Within 6 months or so, they’re getting the dose of reality that increasing numbers of NZers are facing – with mortgages behind, power bills unpaid, and wondering why they ever thought that krismetuk John came across as such an esprayshnull slippery dick.
    It reminds me of the late 80’s. A time when the Class of 87 bought properties with an Evans Bay outlook, invested heavily in CISCO shares, cultivated their Masters of the Universe personas, then had the likes of me trying to convince them that they shouldn’t top themselves or take off overseas when their it all turned to shit.

    How history repeats! They’d deluded themselves that they’d arrived when they’d obtained a mansion, a car that compensated for the size of their penis, their darlin little Johnny was enrolled at St Markwhere they’d ensure their contemporaries would see them dropping the little’un off at 9am every morning, and that they were voting National.
    Didn’t take them long to realise that National wasn’t their best option and nor was it ever going to be, especially when after they’d cashed up and were bankrupt, along would come a Ruth Richardson.
    I’m thinking her husband Steven Joyce is waiting in the wings today.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The top 1%-2% always do fine in a major depression.

      The bottom 10% poor just get poorer, but that’s what they were anyways.

      The huge section of people in the top half…i.e. the middle class who think they are doing so well, they get totally crushed.

      • Tim 10.1.1

        I agree C.V.. But somehow, this time round, I think things are changing as far as that dynamic goes.
        It’s kind of why the agenda they subscribe to will be their demise. (i.e. – already WITHIN the “1% – there are signs of infighting – the 1% versus the .01%)
        Translated to a NZ context, that huge concrete slab you see around ChCh at every turn – holding up banks (penninsula), whilst the programme of demolition goes on and fuck all is actually built – (the slabs known as “brownlees”) means that the 90 (or 90.99%) realise they’re being royally ripped.
        Even IF this next election were to be lost to those with a social conscience (whether because of apathy, a recognition that the ‘alternative Labour’ party is utterly funked, or still this phenomenon that sees people seeing Jonky as krismetic and an image to “aspire” to) – WHATEVER – the eventual reality of a scorched earth NZ will kick in. IF it has to get to that stage – all the worse for the losers (NActs et al).
        Methmetuks et play – if only that.

        • Tim

          No edit function: with a social conscience…. should read withOUT a social conscience

          Hey btw – where Gosman and the other evening’s distractions tonight?

          Do you think maybe they’re hard at Bomber Bradbury’s new venture?.

        • Colonial Viper

          (i.e. – already WITHIN the “1% – there are signs of infighting – the 1% versus the .01%)

          Indeed…the scavenging top 0.01% realise that the bottom 50% have nothing left to give now.

          All the remaining wealth is in the top 10%. The parasitic vampire squid 0.01% is now going to start consuming them.

          And you can see it happening now. Doctors losing power and pay within their own health system. Lawyers losing money and options within our public defenders system. University lecturers on pay freezes unable to get grant funding for anything. Small and medium business owners going to the wall.

          The top 10%, too often Tory voting, are next in the queue.

    • prism 10.2

      Joyces wife is called Suzanne. Best not to get us muddled about such matters.

  11. vto 11

    Peter Dunne is eerily similar to Pete George


  12. swan 12

    They understand have been lead to believe that it is simply people from overseas that are driving up the price of property,”

    FTFY Russel

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Supply and demand. There’s a very limited supply of NZ and a hell of a lot of foreigners wanting to buy here. This will, inevitably, push the price of property in NZ up beyond what NZers can afford especially as the governments since the 1980s have been working to lower NZ wages.

      • swan 12.1.1

        Do you have any stats on that? The economist I have heard interviewed on this issue believe that foreign buyers will not be having a significant effect, and in any case it would only be due to restrictions on development on the supply side.

        • Colonial Viper

          Great lets listen to the economists, that’s always worked out well for NZ.

  13. newsense 13

    what are the other Labour MPs doing? Isn’t Karol a green?

    • karol 13.1

      I’m foremost a leftie. The last 2 or 3 elections I have party voted Green + Cunliffe for my electorate. Then I moved away for a little while, but am now back in New Lynn electorate, and will most likely vote Green + Cunliffe next year again (unless Mana looks a better option).

      I support Cunliffe. He’s a very good electorate MP, and has front bench abilities.

  14. Cantabrian 14

    Peter Dunne certainly got a free university education – perhaps we should ask him if he still supports the IRA?

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  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago