web analytics

National’s innumeracy and Auckland’s Housing crisis

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, May 11th, 2015 - 23 comments
Categories: Media, national, national/act government, Politics, radio, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

The Auckland housing crisis, and that is exactly what it is, poses major political threats to the Government.  All Auckland landowners are having a great time, totalling up increases in land prices which seem to be increasing daily.  Everyone, apart from the young and renters, is having a party.

But it is becoming more and more likely that there will be a significant correction, and the effects could be disastrous.  And besides any city that makes it so difficult for young people to own their own home is going to have problems.

The Government is facing a politically difficult choice.  Clearly it does not want to rain on everyone’s parade but it realises that it has to do something.

It has hitched on a tactic, blame Auckland Council for everything.  If things go pear shaped it is someone else’s fault.  The added benefit is that it can claim that the Council is Labour aligned and therefore it is all Labour’s fault.  The facts that Len Brown was not endorsed by Labour, that only two of the twenty councillors were elected on Labour tickets and only another two were elected on a Labour endorsed ticket are irrelevant technicalities.

Over the past week this tactic has reached absurd heights basically because National ministers have been pulling figures out of their arses in trying to blame the Council for the current situation and also for associated growing transport problems.

As reported by Radio New Zealand’s Todd Niall (in more careful terms than I would use):

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has used two council figures he said showed the local body had reduced its previously planned spending on transport.

Earlier in the week, Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith inflated 33-fold the number of new sections that would be delayed, after the council deferred three Special Housing Areas.

In both debates over the past week, the underlying message from the ministers has been it is the council which is getting in the way of solving the region’s two biggest problems – both require the council and Government to work collaboratively.

Firstly Bridges claimed on the Nation that Auckland Council had shaved $600 million dollars off its transport spend for the next three years and that the figure was going from $2.5 billion to $1.9 billion.  He even claimed that the reduced spend included the recently passed transport levy, even though this is clearly not the case..

With careful language Todd Niall describes the situation in this way:

Let’s keep this simple. The minister’s base figure came from the council’s ten year budget as it was written in 2012. In those more optimistic times, the budget counted on early Government backing for the downtown rail tunnel, or City Rail Link.

So, according to the council, for the years 2015 to 2018 it listed $1.4 billion for major works (including the Government’s share). In the latest ten year budget, or Long Term Plan, that has now been pushed further out in the decade, after the Government insisted it would not back major works before 2020.

Instead it has been replaced by a council-funded programme of $400 million on early stages of the project.

The council in a statement said, “The council in its 2015-25 Long Term Plan is budgeting for $2 billion of transport capital investment over the first three years of the plan. Adjusting for the significant change to CRL budgets, this is a very similar level of investment in transport as was planned for in council’s last LTP.”

Get that?  The reduction is because the Government has delayed funding for the City Rail Link.  Bridges is criticising the Council for spending less money even thought the Government is clearly to blame.

The second case of innumeracy is by Nick Smith and involves his claim that Auckland Council had deferred the creation of two to three thousand sections in Huapai.

Transport and housing merged several days earlier, when Radio New Zealand reported that the council had deferred approving three rural Special Housing Areas in the north-west, until the Government was prepared to discuss additional transport spending along State Highway 16 which serves the area.

The council had decided to draw a political line in the sand, to ensure that new rural housing subdivisions created under the Government-driven Housing Accord would be backed by adequate government investment in projects such as the proposed northwestern busway.

When asked on Morning Report how many sections were involved, Dr Smith ventured “two to three thousand”. The correct answer, according to the council which made the decision, was 40 to 90.

Get that?  Smith was out by a factor of up to 75.

The least this Government could do is get its facts straight before attacking Auckland Council.  And if it wants to actually do something about Auckland’s problems it should sit down and work out a cooperative approach to resolution of these issues.

23 comments on “National’s innumeracy and Auckland’s Housing crisis”

  1. jenny kirk 1

    Brilliant expose of such a dim-witted government !

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      They’re not dim-witted. They know exactly what they’re doing and the lies that they’re telling.

    • Sabine 1.2

      can we please stop referring to the national party and their government as dim witted.
      they are not, they are cold, calculating business men, and their time in government must be spend at all cost to advance their financial and professional well being. This land speculation crisis, this housing crisis, this affordable housing/rental crisis, is by default, qui bono – who profits, and the answer to that question shows that what is happening is engineered, made and it is by decree.

      The crash will come eventually, it always does, but the rich, the very rich and the technocrats really do believe that by then they will have insulated themselves enough to weather the storm – and for the rest, the last seven years should have shown us that the National Party, its supporters, their donors and their enablers do not care about the rest.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.1

        +1

      • Molly 1.2.2

        Dim-hearted, or dim-ethical perhaps. Although I also tend not to think of them as sharp wits, more like dullards.

      • Mike S 1.2.3

        “This land speculation crisis, this housing crisis, this affordable housing/rental crisis, is by default, qui bono – who profits, and the answer to that question shows that what is happening is engineered, made and it is by decree. ”

        Yep, and you can add the high New Zealand dollar to that list.

  2. Interesting observations. It doesn’t address, of course, the fact that the Chinese elite are trying to get all their ill gotten gains out of he country, together with their families, and in doing so are driving real estate prices up around the globe to unsustainable levels, after they had to more or less stop building empty cities in China itself because that became to obvious a scam.

    It also doesn’t address the fact that the international financial elite is printing money out of thin air in order to buy up everything they can get their hands on because, let’s face it, there are no more factories other than in China and some up and coming economies so who needs all those useless eaters. Especially since they don’t need the tax revenue to finance their ridiculously expensive (and evermore expensive due to the fact that you are just printing funny money) lifestyle.

    But who cares about the bigger picture? Let’s keep this all about small town, back water politics eh?

  3. dukeofurl 3

    Smith a bare faced liar !

    Bridges a total tool ?

    And Key hasnt even got revved up yet, but will add to the confusion marketing

  4. adam 4

    Can I suggest a slight change in the title of this blog.

    “National’s innumeracy, and Auckland’s Deepening Housing crisis.”

    Great piece Mickey.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    the problem of rapidly increasing housing costs has been going on for YEARS…given that fact, where are Labour’s comprehensive proposals and plans to halt rapidly increasing Auckland (+Christchurch) rents and property prices?

  6. Peter Watt 6

    For at least two years Nick Smith has worn accurately the title of Housing Inaction Minister. Hundreds of affordable homes to be completed before the election in September amounted to no more than a dozen ready for occupancy, as evidenced by Duncan Garner. Further promises made at Hobsonville have been broken, and now the development at Ardmore won’t help relieve the crisis. Meanwhile wizard Key continues to be in denial – “there is no housing crisis”.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Housing Developers Minister

      The number of affordable homes built in Hobsonville was less than 10% of total homes built BUT the whole project is “sold” to the public and the land “freed” up and the consent process streamlined on the basis of providing affordable homes…

      I would also like to see a Council/Govt edict that ALL new subdivisions must pant trees alongside the footpaths/roadside.

      Flat bush is creating a ne whome jungle with no (or limited) greenery or connection to the environment. Tree lined streets are a must for community pride and connection to environment by residents. IMO.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Meanwhile wizard Key continues to be in denial – “there is no housing crisis”.

      He’s not in denial at all – He knows that there’s a housing crisis. He’s just denying that there is one. This is called lying.

  7. Tracey 7

    BUT unless you listen to RNZ you will only be in possession of the false figures presented widely across TV News and MSM newspaper/online outlets…

    The lie becomes the truth.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    The least this Government could do is get its facts straight before attacking Auckland Council.

    Getting the facts straight would be the last thing this government would do as that would show that it’s them that’s causing the problem. They lie so that they can dodge accepting their responsibility.

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    Any housing answer that does not include significantly reducing the rate of population growth of Auckland is no answer at all. But reducing Auckland’s population growth is tantamount to reducing Auckland’s economic growth.

    Yet another reason why no political party will touch this issue in a serious way.

  10. Richard@Down South 10

    And he was Minister of Education… no wonder the Education system is in a mess

  11. BLiP 11

    Nick Smith is a hopeless case. He’s been lying about figures his entire Parliamentary career. Just consider the battery of lies he told about ACC back when the levies were hoisted. Simon Bridges, on the other hand, has only recently got into full stride when it comes to lying. He’s obviously been learning at the knee of his master, John Ponytail Key. Its great to see at least some in the MSM pull these liars up. Julie Anne Genter of the Greens also did a great job last week detailing Bridges lies about the Auckland transport issue —> https://youtu.be/X4QjHvz5gOY

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks BLiP. I must say that I am very impressed by Genter. Her comments are always spot on and she is able to present the case for PT and a change in transport spending very well.

  12. Brendon Harre 12

    Rob Salmond at Polity gives a good account of the strategic error National is making with the housing crisis.

    http://polity.co.nz/blog-front

    • Sable 12.1

      Th reality is NZ politics is typically short term focused and has no long term plan. National are behaving much like any NZ government in this respect. They will exit office and then blame the incumbent for the problems they created. One advantage for them is the MSM will be quick to back them up and after a few years in opposition they will use their own fuck up’s which by this time will be someone else’s as a justification to slither back into power. The cycle then begins anew….

  13. Sable 13

    Just another weak attempt to shift blame.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago