web analytics

Open mike 12/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 12th, 2022 - 468 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

468 comments on “Open mike 12/03/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    In the nexus where art, culture & capitalism intersect with leading-edge tech, we have NFTs:

    NFT stands for non-fungible token. It’s generally built using the same kind of programming as cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but that’s where the similarity ends.

    Physical money and cryptocurrencies are “fungible,” meaning they can be traded or exchanged for one another. They’re also equal in value—one dollar is always worth another dollar; one Bitcoin is always equal to another Bitcoin. Crypto’s fungibility makes it a trusted means of conducting transactions on the blockchain.

    NFTs are different. Each has a digital signature that makes it impossible for NFTs to be exchanged for or equal to one another (hence, non-fungible)… Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) seem to have exploded out of the ether this year… Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT for more than $2.9 million.

    https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/nft-non-fungible-token/

    A year ago an NFT hit the big-time:

    On March 11th, 2021, a momentous auction was held by Christie’s. It was a dramatic departure from precedent, partly because its realized price was a record-breaking $69,346,250, but mostly because the lot that commanded this fortune was not a painting by Vincent Van Gogh, or even a sculpture by Jeff Koons, but a purely digital artwork by an artist with no prior auction record.

    Everydays: The First 5000 Days exemplified a brand-new aesthetic genre: it was a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), created by Mike Winkelmann, who works under the pseudonym “Beeple.” Neither of these names meant a thing to the fine art world a year ago. They do now.

    Julia Friedman is an independent art historian, critic, and curator. David Hawkes is Professor of English Literature at Arizona State University. On Quillette they have co-authored an excellent essay from which I copied the above two paragraphs. It explores the way the avante garde has morphed into commerce in the past half-century, with literary criticism from Tom Wolfe. Coincidence with neoliberalism is no accident: art was essential to politics and progressivism prior to that!

    one of McLuhan’s intellectual strengths was his ability to identify significant cultural developments in their most incipient, germinal form. And from our 21st-century perspective, it is clear that Wolfe shared this talent, for the tentative trends and tendencies he described in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s are now reaching fruition.

    The idea that a blockchain inscription by a complete unknown could be worth so much money caused widespread cognitive dissonance. Within a week, the term “NFT” leapt from the esoteric realm of specialist discourse straight into the mainstream. As if in reference to Beeple’s title, NFTs became the stuff of everyday.

    Responses ranged from celebration to lamentation. Digital-art partisans hailed the sale as finally leveling the financial score with painting, sculpture, video, and installation. Optimists deemed NFTs truly democratic: they enabled anyone to produce art easily and cheaply, allowing artists to monetize their work unimpeded by the art world’s established gatekeepers.

    The art world’s evolution since 1975 confirms Wolfe’s claims about the primacy of theories over objects. And his merciless exposé of the socio-economic motives that determine aesthetics is more important than ever in the age of the NFT.

    The emergence of NFTs brought the financialization of art to a climax. NFTs exist only in theory. An NFT is not a material entity. It comes into being through a financial transaction, in which the purchaser acquires ownership rights to a digital image otherwise available to anyone with an Internet connection. Anyone can view the artwork, but only the buyer of the NFT can own it. The pleasure of ownership is now an aesthetic experience. The blue-chip auction houses fell over themselves in their rush to validate digital art NFTs: these days money talks and walks (and runs) too. An artwork’s total lack of physical existence is evidently no obstacle to its acquisition of financial value.

    Given that the economy is driven by those with excess capital, we can see the implications for culture. How this process brainwashes the young is something for readers to contemplate – keeping in mind the consequences for political participation.

    You may think the struggle for survival is more relevant. You'd be wrong then. That would only be true if those struggling ventured into political activism -there's no evidence that they do. They make themselves irrelevant to politics. It's their choice…

    https://quillette.com/2022/03/09/against-de-materialization-tom-wolfe-in-the-age-of-nfts/

    • Incognito 1.1

      In theory, NFTs could benefit creators (not just artists), but in reality this is a pipedream [intentional pun]. Digital ownership and property rights are something to watch because almost everything is digitised nowadays, including claims over actual physical property. Fr example, it used to be barcode that you could register somewhere in a database, e.g. for insurance purposes, but now it is a QR code (variation on a theme). This has been happening (and evolving) for some time.

      For a local perspective: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2021/06/03/nft-turning-artists-into-multimillionaires.html

      For the record, I’m old school (a traditionalist, if you like) and so is my taste in ‘sensory’ art. I can only experience art fully in real life, not from a screen (with audio), and that includes going, being, and leaving there, physically and in person and preferably (and usually) in company of others – art is only art when it is shared. For that experience, people are willing to pay, e.g. for the ownership, rent/hire, or access (e.g. museum visit). That said, with the developments in virtual reality these lines will move, undoubtedly.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        ‘sensory’ art

        Makes sense to me too – a humanistic position. Humans have multiple senses, so art engaging them on those multiple levels ought to have more of an effect.

        The commercial side of art leaves me cold. I must be old school in that respect. However it's true that artists ought to be able to make a living off artistry and that's an important economic principle. Chalk up a point for neoliberalism there!

        Re screen art, perhaps it has generational relevance, huh? As in an evolutionary edge, I mean. But I do miss the days when art constantly appeared on the leading edge of social change in my early boomer generation – when it actually seemed to be operating as the fuel in the sociopolitical fire…

        • arkie 1.1.1.1

          art constantly appeared on the leading edge of social change

          Art long has been a luxury commodity and the association of NFTs with the art world is just the latest incarnation of that. That being said; what goes up, must come down:

          The multi-billion-dollar industry took a turn in February. OpenSea’s trading and transaction volumes fell, plunging 36.9% and 14.49% respectively over the past month, according to blockchain data dashboard DappRadar.

          NFTs generated over $4 billion in sales in February, per DappRadar – declining 28% from January. Trading volumes last month, however, are still higher than November and December.

          Searches for “NFT” dropped 58% in February from January, according to Google Trends.

          For those interested in a deeper dive there is a very detailed podcast that stays abreast of all things crypto: Scam Economy

        • Incognito 1.1.1.2

          I didn’t word it well. I meant art that’s experienced through our senses, i.e. mainly audio and visual. Then there’s the added experience of being there. For the creator/artist, the experience of creating is much more encompassing especially when it involves a lot of manual/physical effort. I’d like to think that the more/better the artist can share with others of his/her/their own experience, the better the art. In essence, art is communication.

          There are still young people, i.e. school leavers, who’d love to make a living out of art, but all the cards are stacked against them. Digital art or digital media lowers the threshold for sharing/displaying/publishing but this doesn’t solve the perennial question of how to make a living from (creating) art.

          I think the artists-activists are still there, but they’re crowded out by the huge masses of others wanting to have a say without actually having anything to say and their 5 minutes of fame, which they can have, thanks to social media.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.2.1

            I meant art that’s experienced through our senses, i.e. mainly audio and visual.

            I got that. It reminded me of how our '60s youth revolution was powered by rock music, in which visual imagery played a part, group resonance with audience produced tactile responses (improvisational dancing).

            Getting high communally intensified the sharing & often caused sex & food focus. Multisensory. Although individualism was the end result the counter-culture was a powerful manifestation of group identity for a few years – it had a strongly creative thrust to it (until the trend-followers defaulted into banality).

            artists-activists are still there, but they’re crowded out by the huge masses of others wanting to have a say without actually having anything to say

            We had that too. Around 1% creative leaders vs 99% boomer conformists! Perhaps the difference is that we shared optimism whereas there seems less of that evident nowadays. The myth of progress had tremendous power then. Folks have lost faith in it since…

            • gsays 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Reading the conversation you two old timers are happening makes me think of another angle of the Young/Rogan/Spotify brouhaha,.

              How, back in the day, Neil Young represented a response/reaction to the old guard of his time. Through popular music,an art form, a medium so foreign and irrelevant to them. Rogan is now doing that and Young's fans feel themselves in the 'firing line'.

              The times they are a changing.

              • Dennis Frank

                There is that, but I noticed how none of the others who could have jumped ship in solidarity with Neil & Joni did so. Many of us are more ambivalent about vaccination even though we do it.

                I think it comes from a lifetime of being alternative yet working within the establishment, so you see many issues from both sides of the divide. Free speech is more important to me but I get why Neil felt Joe was promoting disinformation.

                I think but sides of a controversy need to feature in public debate, but managing the framing of the debate has to be carefully done to avoid the mass-production of victims of disinformation. Particular when a life & death hinge is inherent!

                But yes, I'm happy to acknowledge there is artistry inherent in what Joe does even though I've never listened to him. The number of listeners (10 million) is proof of that. He must be good at exploring the depths of issues, to retain that many listeners.

    • Ad 1.2

      Pop over to Art and Object off K'Road if you want something in a reasonable range.

      The book auctions are now on line as a starter – and there's one going now.

      Art+Object – Rare Books (artandobject.co.nz)

  2. Macro 2

    Hmmm that didn't work. 🙁

    moderator – can you please delete the above – posted from my phone and I cant delete.

  3. Macro 3

    Retry:

    image

  4. Janice 4

    My daughter is a senior nurse on the pandemic coalface at Middlemore Hospital. She is working ten to twelve hour shifts and is very stressed and exhausted. She also has to do all the usual things when she gets home, shopping, cleaning, washing checking homework, etc. Her face has lesions from wearing a heavy mask continuously and she wonders if ACC will pay to repair the damage. She could leave but knows her team would probably go down like a line of dominoes if one more of them goes. These nurses need their jobs and some are still paying back student loans, but all are thoroughly burnt out.

    The cowardly, selfish. super spreader antivaxers should be ashamed of themselves. Some are still turning up in denial saying it is a bad flu, the government is irradiating them or blaming the 5G towers. How did we get to this place?

    The nurses and the front line supermarket workers should be in line for a large government bonus when this is over………waiting……waiting………

    Sorry for the rant, but I had to clear my anger.

    • Herodotus 4.1

      Fully support your rant 👍

      I have thought and mentioned a few times, how do we as a grateful nation show our gratitude to the many who are going well beyond, and when do they get an extended time for R&R ? Perhaps gifting those workers extra leave was 1 thought. If they catch COVID generous sick leave and I gather being a govt worker $ bonuses are out.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        She could leave but knows her team would probably go down like a line of dominoes if one more of them goes.

        More money (e.g. pay rise and/or bonus payments), more or extended leave, none of these will make a meaningful difference and could even make it worse for others because one of the major issues is that there’s no spare capacity in the workforce. Only when they/we are willing to pay the price of over-staffing* (and over-stocking) to smooth over ups & downs is when we can hope to see a real improvement in the conditions. For example, increasing ICU capacity is a large investment that takes time and is expensive to keep up. More staff (on the payroll) can also mean fewer work hours during quiet times. This could lead to casual hires, under-employment, et cetera, none of which are ideal either.

        *what one considers enough and sufficient another might consider frivolous and extravagant. The beancounters generally lean strongly towards one side of the coin [pun intended].

      • Sanctuary 4.1.2

        I've said it before – we need a new, one off, honour for those who have contributed to fighting the pandemic. Call it the Pandemic Response Medal – awarded to recognise and reward the service of anyone who was recognised by government promulgation as having contributed to the community in the fight against covid and also public service in elected or appointed public office. The PRM would be like any other medal, be formally party of the honours system, the letters "PRM" could be used after your name and it could be worn on special occasions like ANZAC day.

    • weka 4.2

      good rant.

      I can't believe that nurses had to take industrial action to get a pay increase.

      • gsays 4.2.1

        "I can't believe that nurses had to take industrial action to get a pay increase."

        I agree.

        What shocked me was more than one, round these parts, sided with Minister Little's obfuscations and borderline called the nurses greedy.

        As an aside, apart from the neo-liberal mindest, why have we lost the kaupapa that the union movement strived to maintain for a bit over a century. I get the concern about Covid, but there was virtually no concern nor care expressed here for people who lost jobs, careers and professions. Not just mandates, but the massive upheaval in tourism and hospo.

    • Anne 4.3

      You have many friends here Janice. The level of selfishness and the total lack of awareness of these people becomes more astounding by the day. Liz Gunn, the former TV and radio presenter developed a sore throat, coughing, her temperature "spiked" and she also had difficulty breathing. She said there were a lot of people like her at the protest and they were wondering what the government had done to them.

      The insanity is mind boggling!

      • DB Brown 4.3.1

        Ah yes, the case of the dodgy sausages.

        Disgraceful delusional clown that Liz Gunn (and all her stupid mates).

    • All power to your daughter Janice. Hope she hangs in there.

      Labour could mine some serious vote potential by offering all frontline health staff significant pay increases. I mean 20%, not 2%. I think the population would support this.

      Luxon would not match this-he is focused on giving money to landlords and the rich in general. Nurses are not on his radar; the ones he meets at his private hospital are probably doing just fine.

    • gsays 4.5

      Your daughter has my sympathy, Janice.

      My wife is a senior nurse in our local ED. But not for long. After 27 years there are 6 shifts to go and counting. Moving to maternity and she is hoping her compassion may come back.

      I would suggest to your daughter, her fears for her colleagues are admirable but she will pay the price personally, in mental and emotional harm as she is already paying physically. I would urge her to think of those she is close to away from work- friends, family, hobby, community. This life ain't a read through.

      That 'Post-Covid' light at the end of the tunnel may be the locomotive headlight carrying rising ill health (diabetes, obesity, long covid, mental health..). Still lead by those institutionalised fools who lack the imagination to operate outside this Chicago School paradigm ushered in by Labour in the '80s.

      The last 8 or so years the situation has deteriorated markedly. The last pay round, the main objective was to improve conditions so both staff and the public were safer. Disgustingly, Minister Little, deliberately focused on 'the money', lumping the on-going pay equity catch-ups with the current wage negotiations. As Covid has shown us, there is always money to be found, what is lacking is a will.

      Time and time again, each pay round the PTB come up with a new system, the latest, Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) has been reported on.

      https://kaitiaki.org.nz/article/government-commissioned-review-finds-safe-staffing-programme-not-fit-for-purpose-nurses-under-pressure/

      Instead of blaming "The cowardly, selfish. super spreader antivaxers.." (no doubt they have added stress to a already stressed environment), I suggest some ire be directed towards those that control the purse strings and direct the budget priorities.

      This includes every Health, Finance and Prime Minister for the last two decades. Also the CEO and General Manager, Finance and Corporate Services (I am not making this shit up) and anyone clinging to the notion this neo-liberal experiment is serving us well.

      It is easy to punch down, so often we are better served to punch up.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.6

      I could not agree more. Thank you for the work your daughter does. The fact some are in denial about this disease just seems crazy. Yes I think a covid bonus would make sense and alleviate some worries.

    • Anker 4.7
      • Your daughter and her colleagues are absolute hero’s. I have long thought frontline workers, particularly nurses are grossly underpaid and overworked.
      • The govt seemed to have found additional money to employ others during covid. I would be interested to know whether there was an increase in staffing levels for nurses over the last two years? Having to work longer hours and double shifts just shouldn’t be. We are burning these people out.
      • interested to hear that a CEO, legal team and other admin people are helping staff the hospital, serving meals, making beds etc. some credit to them. But of course them not doing their, mostly much better paid jobs than the nurses, will not impact the way it would if the nurses walked off the job.
      • I am really sorry for all your daughter is going through Janice.
    • mauī 4.8

      Thank you to your daughter, one of the heroes.

      I am wondering if your line about "super spreader antivaxers" is an opinion or based on evidence from your daughter? Because we have seen outbreaks start from numerous vaccinated sports teams and the vaccinated Soundsplash concert. On the other hand the protest presumably with low vaccination rates has only seen a few cases from what I'm aware of.

      • Anne 4.8.1

        On the other hand the protest presumably with low vaccination rates has only seen a few cases from what I'm aware of.

        Then your awareness is lacking maui. It is well known that Covid spread through that protest. The problem is, many of them are in denial and few appear to have been notified. Therefore no-one can be sure of the exact number. Others took the virus back to where they came from and no doubt spread it through family and friends. I find that deplorable. Some of them ended up in hospital and, from the sounds of it, at least one death has occurred in recent days but it has not been confirmed as far as I know.

        In Liz Gunn's own words but slightly paraphrased: many of us have fallen sick and we are wondering what the government has done to us to make us sick.

        An insane response if ever there was one.

        • mauī 4.8.1.1

          That looks to be based on rumour Anne, personally I would like to see some evidence. I've seen two news articles that said first there were about 4 cases linked to the protest, and later something like 28. Out of many thousands of attendees that does not seem like a super spread to me…

          • solkta 4.8.1.1.1

            This was so obviously our biggest superspreader event.

            • mauī 4.8.1.1.1.1

              So obvious it didn't need to be documented… or have any supporting evidence. Hmm ok.

              • solkta

                There was plenty of evidence that covid was there. 28 cases were documented, as you have said. Several people ended up in hospital. Combine that information with all the maskless shouting and screaming while crammed up against each other, the maskless food prep, sharing of limited toilets etc. Your denialism is pathetic.

          • Anne 4.8.1.1.2

            Based on rumour? You can't or won't face reality. All the experts (the real experts not the pseudo ones) agreed it had to be a super-spreading event. Anyone with half a brain can recogise as much.

            Media and police personnel in close proximity to the protesters reported people were showing all the symptoms of Covid. Most of those reports were filed under the "live" online edits the main media channels ran on a daily basis.

            But the fools are never going to admit they had Covid of course, including the deluded former TV presenter, Liz Gunn. That is why the official figure is way below the actual figure.

            If I was you I would cease commenting on the matter. You are making a fool of yourself.

      • Jilly Bee 4.8.2

        I read in one of the news outlets that unvaccinated and possibly Covid positive people were climbing over the perimeter fences to avoid having to show their non-existent Vaccine Pass to get into the Soundsplash venue and probably spreading it around.

    • weston 4.9

      Pretty disgusting that to train to be a nurse even requires a student loan .Wouldnt you think we could have made at least one exception for something so vital to all of us ?I wonder how many are paying crippling rents at the same time as working their arses off ? .I despise the whole neoliberal system of enslavement and although im against sending more arms and foreign nationals into ukraine id happily send Milton Freidman there !!

    • Ad 4.10

      Full respect to your daughter.

    • Julian Richards 4.11

      Since AUGUST 21ST 2021- 29% of what you frame as "the cowardly selfish super spreader antivaxers should be ashamed of themselves" account for all hospitalised (not including exempt). So what about the remaining majority, doesn’t that make them the ‘super spreaders’ are they also the nasty slogans in the team of 5 million?

      Please don't misconceive the above, I applaud AND respect your daughters work/profession, but his narrative has to stop. It's sick, tired and boring.

      https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-case-demographics

      I'm not that angry slogan of #antivax.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.11.1

        NZ hospitalisation rates indicate that 75% of the unvaccinated people in hospital wouldn't be there if they had got vaccinated and boosted. That is a massive and completely unnecessary extra load on health workers.

        • roblogic 4.11.1.1

          Also anti-vaxxers tend to be higher vectors of infection because of their disregard for reality and the lives of other people. Case in point, the Parliament protest that turned into a super-spreader event.

          • Julian Richards 4.11.1.1.1

            Soundsplash? Oh right that was the #antivax crowd spreading it to the vaccinated crowd.

        • Julian Richards 4.11.1.2

          And the 60% hospitalised whom were vaccinated, how does your rational work with them?

          • Drowsy M. Kram 4.11.1.2.1

            Vaccination against COVID-19 isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing.
            We don't know how lucky we are.

            4.8x less likely to be hospitalised after catching covid, when compared to an unvaccinated person
            https://covid19map.co.nz

            Covid-19 death toll reaches 105: 'People are losing years of a potential healthy life' [12 March 2022]
            There are more than 206,000 active cases of Covid-19 in the community, with another 18,699 new community cases reported today.

            The Ministry of Health announced seven further deaths of people with Covid-19 today which, after another seven deaths yesterday, has taken the total death toll to 105.

            But University of Otago professor of international health Philip Hill said international statistics for deaths showed that New Zealand's number could easily have been in the thousands had the country not had high vaccination rates and effective pandemic restrictions.

            "I think what we are seeing is just how wonderful a vaccine we've got, that we're having a massive Covid-19 outbreak and not experiencing huge numbers of deaths."

            Hill stressed it should be remembered that Covid-19 was continuing to kill New Zealanders, and just like earlier variants Omicron was a life-threatening disease.

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/463206/covid-19-death-toll-reaches-105-people-are-losing-years-of-a-potential-healthy-life

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.11.1.2.2

            Hopefully this helps.

    • logie97 4.12

      Janice, living rurally, we're unable to offer support physically.

      However, perhaps some groups could volunteer to help out in these situations by taking in some laundry and doing some of the shopping etc. Obviously the parental duties still have to be done.

      I do remember at the start of this pandemic that whenever I went into a BP WildBean I could donate a coffee to these frontline workers. I am not sure what has happened to that scheme now either. Society has become pretty selfish and are "over" the pandemic. Not helped by the likes of Morrison and Johnson removing all restrictions as if it is over.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    For those of you who are actually interested in some balanced reportage on the Ukraine crisis…I know there are still one or two of you out there…..Aaron Mate’ interviews Nicolai Petro. Professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, editor of “Ukraine in Crisis,” and the author of the forthcoming “The Tragedy of Ukraine.” He is also a member of the board of the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord.

    The Ukraine tragedy, from US-backed coup to Russian assault

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    A journo does political analysis…

    The far Left’s most pleasing character trait is its cowardice. It collapses easily. https://unherd.com/2022/03/the-cowardice-of-the-far-left/

    Stop the War says we shouldn’t arm Ukraine or impose sanctions: it will only encourage Putin. Such is their determination, a man with a Ukrainian flag was escorted from a meeting this weekend as he cried, “Shame!” I would have listened to him but that is not part of their culture… They are only anti-war when the West is the aggressor.

    For George Galloway, an original sponsor of Stop the War, closeness to tyranny seems to be a soothing and instinctive need. His address to Saddam Hussein in 1994 is infamous: “I still meet families who are calling their newborn sons Saddam. Sir, I salute your courage, your strength and your indefatigability and I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory in Jerusalem.”

    their world is binary. They do not think the West can be saved, and they will not help others save it. I sensed the anti-democratic tendencies of the far Left when I first met Corbyn’s Labour Party in 2015. It was obvious in the way they spoke about their enemies, which they define as anyone who has ever disagreed with them. Tory Right or soft Left: to the far Left there is no difference. Every day they say so on social media: Liberals and Centrists are bemused to find themselves called far Right.

    Violence was always acceptable if it was against your enemy: the rhetoric itself made it necessary. I heard many far Left cheerleaders call the throwing of milkshakes and eggs acceptable if they landed on the wrong kind of politician… I saw a journalist attacked at a far Left meeting last autumn; they applauded when the victim left the room.

    I concluded that they do not believe in parliamentary democracy, because they do not believe in the legitimacy of opposition. It’s a defect that makes a nonsense of any good within them. It isn’t a whimsical thing. It’s a structural fault.

    That Shakespearean character flaw thingy again. She's trying to figure out pro-Putinism. Simple minds frame a binary as good one side, bad the other, regardless of real-world complexity – but she fails to discern this.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.1

      Your whole piece is hinged on a premise that we live (in the West) with a functioning fourth estate…you talk as if there has been mature analysis and debate around this crisis…show me one link were there has been one Russian voice speaking from their perspective on this matter on NZ media.

      One does not have to condone the Russian Invasion while still maintaining a critical overview of the West and the Ukraine Nationalists and their part in this avoidable crisis.

      BTW…"Liberals and Centrists are bemused to find themselves called far Right"…that is because quite plainly in their actual actions in matters of foreign policy they are…that is just a fact.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        that is just a fact

        Who is likely to believe you?? When someone asserts personal opinion as fact others tend to eye-roll. Mis-identifying centrists & liberals as far-right is so self-indulgent one is tempted to call it narcissism.

        I agree with your second paragraph though. Re the first, it would help if Russian voices were included, I agree. Russian immigrants with operational experience in the Russian power structure would be especially helpful as informed commentators.

        • DB Brown 6.1.1.1

          Well you claim to be all manner of mild Dennis, but you certainly like to entertain some far right nonsense. And you'll sit here for weeks talking shite to tell me I'm delusional.

          Only a couple of days ago you linked to Breitbart, a far right news source.

          And you've ALWAYS got an excuse for your mild excursions into this territory.

          Now, 1, 2, 3… play victim.

          • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1.1

            And you proved yourself too inadequate to invalidate their report. That's the problem with bullshit – others will always call your bluff when you spout it.

            My political praxis includes giving credit where it's due. Therefore on those rare occasions when someone on the right makes a valid point I will happily acknowledge it. If I do so onsite here, my purpose is education. Obviously bigoted readers will be unable to learn anything new in consequence, but they remain a small minority here…

        • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1.2

          @Dennis Frank
          "Who is likely to believe you?"..oh don't know…maybe people who like facts maybe…..

          How Obama Went From Being a Peace Candidate to a War President
          https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/obamas-quiet-war-doctrine/

          The Obama Administration Wrecked Libya for a Generation
          https://www.cato.org/commentary/obama-administration-wrecked-libya-generation

          Hillary the Hawk: A History
          https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/27/hillary-the-hawk-a-history-clinton-2016-military-intervention-libya-iraq-syria/

          Tony Blair: I thought Iraq invasion was the right thing to dohttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/tony-blair-justin-welby-iraq-afghanistan-archbishop-b2029560.html

          Stop trying to pretend you Centrists are any different than the Right when it comes to Foreign Policy… modern Centrist Liberals, like many have shown again and again, quite plainly on this very site, are just as Imperlalistic as the traditional Right ever was and is….and I will go further, I also know that it is nothing more than a bunch of racists that lurk just underneath the thin layer of their woke Liberal sensibilities

          From Bush to Obama, and Trump to Biden, U.S. Militarism Is the Great Unifier
          https://theintercept.com/2021/11/21/america-militarism-foreign-policy-bush-obama-trump-biden/

          • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.2.1

            I know all that stuff already. Stop trying to pretend I'm a typical centrist and I haven't written along your lines onsite here an uncountable number of times!

            You aren't really incapable of nuance, are you?? Since I've published here the exact same critique as you re liberals & imperialism that many times over many years, it's as if it goes on one of your ears & out the other without any interaction with brain in between. 🙄

            • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Centrist?–“by their posts ye shall know them”–right opportunist is my pick Dennis.

              • Dennis Frank

                Would you rather be delusional or accurate? Since I agree with the left policies rather a lot & say so here, I mean. You can't actually cite any rightist policies that I support, can you? With evidence, I mean.

                Not saying there aren't any, mind you – just that none enter my head when I wonder about the possibility. angel

      • Ed 6.1.2

        Totally agree, Adrian.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.3

        Here you go – one Russian voice speaking from their perspective in NZ media.

        Naturally, they are condemning Putin's invasion. The only people who like the genocidal totalitarian despot are still in Russia.

        • mikesh 6.1.3.1

          And there are also NZers who call Jacinda dictatorial. Happens in every country.

    • weston 6.2

      George galloways mid week show in which amongst others he talks with former wmd inspector Scott Ritter . You,ll find his number there Dennis and you can take him up on his remarks to Saddam …good luck you,ll need it !!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEIS3wKm6JM

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        I'm not the type of person who would try to engage with any motormouth – waste of time! Have seen one or two entertaining rants from him onsite here in past years. I suspect he's not as thick as he was back then. But wasting 3 hours watching someone with acute perception on some stuff while expressing total ignorance on other stuff ain't my idea of entertainment.

    • swordfish 6.3

      .

      The behaviour & worldview outlined in Gold's final 3 paragraphs (of your quote) are much more apt as a description of Woke Cultural Dogmatists rather than the Foreign Policy Left.

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.1

        Yeah, I agree. Obsession with labels is bad enough, inability to put them on the right thing is worse. Irrationality trending into mental illness. 🙄

        And then there's the fact that this type of behaviour emanates from universities, and the guilty folk are supposed to have been trained in critical thinking! 😵 👽

      • Ad 6.3.2

        The left haven't been that good at foreign policy for a while, but it doesn't help that democracies are in full retreat, the US will likely never recover from a kleptocrat idiot who shamed the entire country, China and India are sitting on the fence re Ukraine, and Russia is about to default after completely losing its shit.

        The 'woke left' can be blamed for that. Unless you're Glenn Greenwald or Fox News.

        • swordfish 6.3.2.1

          .

          Nyet, Comrade, Nyet … I'm suggesting that at the cultural (rather than foreign policy) level, the behaviour & worldview of Woke Dogmatists dovetails closely with Gold's broad description …

          ie (to quote & paraphrase Gold): their world is binary … good vs evil … zero nuance … double standards … selective morality … they do not think the west can be saved … anti-democratic tendencies … they define (their enemies) as anyone who has ever disagreed with them … every day they say so on social media: liberals and centrists are bemused to find themselves called far right … they do not believe in parliamentary democracy, because they do not believe in the legitimacy of opposition. It’s a defect that makes a nonsense of any good within them. It isn’t a whimsical thing. It’s a structural fault.

          And so on & so forth.

          • roblogic 6.3.2.1.1

            Agree with your analysis. Woke philosophy been around for a while, but feels like it's sweeping the (post Christian) Western world as its main proponents in the Gen X/ Millennial generations come of age and take positions of power.

            It is an intolerant religious hegemony "we are right, everyone else is wrong/ bigoted/ stupid/ evil" that is incompatible with pluralistic secular democracy.

            No, the Revolution Isn’t Over – by N.S. Lyons (substack.com)

      • SPC 6.3.3

        Bollocks there has been appeasement on the left long before the term woke turned up to describe social policy liberals.

        • swordfish 6.3.3.1

          See comment above … you & Ad have read too much into my original comment … nothing to do with foreign policy.

          [And Woke is not a synonym for social liberal … it describes the extreme Year Zero views of what is essentially a quasi-religious cult]

    • SPC 6.4

      An exchange of views on a necessary distinction between woke cultural dogmatism and a more measured liberal democracy assertiveness.

      https://letter.wiki/conversation/814

  7. Jester 7

    Unfortunately nothing in this article on rent increases is really a surprise. If a landlord is increasing rents more than once a year, he probably shouldn't be a landlord.

    Property managers recommend big rent increases | Stuff.co.nz

    But I can see why some annual increases are larger than normal as the extra costs and uncertainty.

    • weka 7.1

      long past time we used rent caps.

      • Blazer 7.1.1

        Can you imagine the avalanche of abuse if rent caps were introduced?

        The Govt clearly…can.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          possibly, but I think the actual sticking point is ideological. Labour are committed to the investor class because they think they're crucial to the economy. People living in poverty are an unfortunate side effect.

          • Blazer 7.1.1.1.1

            I guess not wanting to be labelled 'communist' is….an ideological consideration.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              not really. If one is not a communist and one is clear in what one is, then being labelled a communist is just another part of contemporary politics and can be dealt with. It shouldn't stop one from taking necessary action.

              • mikesh

                The problem with rent controls is finding a rate of rent that is fair for everybody, landlords and tenants alike. That rate would probably have to be some percentage of the QV valuation of the property. But then the question arises as to whether one takes mortgage payments into account in calculating an appropriate percentage. These are the landlords problem and shouldn't really be part of the calculation. But landlords still have to make ends meet, and a mortgage free landlord is in a different position from an interest only mortgagor. Also, landlords with mortgages tend to take them on for short periods and roll them over at regular intervals, so the interest rates that they are paying keep changing.

                QV valuations also tend to be fairly conservative.

                • weka

                  One thing that could have happened is a rent freeze in Chch for 3 or 5 years after quake 2. They could have used that time to assess impacts on tenants and landlords.

                  Beyond that I agree that the whole picture needs to be looked at and that we need way better information than we have on how landlords are and what their situations are.

                  landlords with mortgages tend to take them on for short periods and roll them over at regular intervals, so the interest rates that they are paying keep changing

                  Why are they doing that?

            • Siobhan 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Labour get labeled that anyway..so its not a consideration ..not to mention the embarrassing/insulting carry on that day in Parliament when they "hilariously" self identified as "Socialists" (see link)

              Labours problem is they appear to not have much in the way of any ideological considerations… beyond watered-down, wrap-around, neo liberalism ..and they don't want to be labeled that either..in fact its probably a miracle that they are willing to still be identified as Labour…

              https://jacobinmag.com/2021/05/new-zealand-labour-party-socialists-jacinda-ardern

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.1.3

              Even Labour can see the polls telling them the voters have just had enough of more and more and more regulation …

              … whether that's in housing ownership, loans, COVID restrictions, travel, water, or anything else.

              The people are saying this government has hit its high water mark.

              • arkie

                Can you cite these polls?

                You seem very certain of this theory of 'over-regulation'.

                Yet the people still want the government to act on climate change:

                In total, 57% of New Zealanders believed the government would be failing its citizens if it didn’t act now to combat climate change

                A majority of New Zealanders (60%) also believed businesses should act now to combat climate change

                Looking at it purely as a survey of 1010 New Zealanders, it shows a clear majority want the government, business and individuals to take immediate action on climate change, he says.

                “This is giving the government a mandate to do something and people want the government to do more.”

                https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/08-09-2021/does-new-zealand-care-less-about-climate-change-than-other-countries

                And inequality:

                It found approval for increasing income support was largely consistent across salary groups, age ranges, renters and owners; and across the political spectrum.

                There was a majority of support by voters for the four major parties, led by Greens' supporters at 89 percent in favour.

                "This poll shows that ensuring liveable incomes for all would be a popular move for the government, across the board, as well as the right thing to do," Janet McAllister from Child Poverty Action Group said.

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436866/survey-finds-69-percent-want-income-support-for-those-in-need-increased

                and according to some surveys, house prices too:

                We asked, ‘would you like to the see the price of housing in New Zealand fall?’

                Twenty-nine per cent said ‘yes, a little’, while nearly half of all respondents (47%) said ‘yes, a lot’.

                That's 77% of Kiwis wanting house prices to fall.

                Just 18% said ‘no’ when asked, while 5% didn't know.

                https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/01/31/three-quarters-of-kiwis-want-house-prices-to-fall/

                I mean, regulating is what governments do; that is their primary purpose in any functioning state.

          • Gabby 7.1.1.1.2

            I'm not convinced it's seen as unfortunate. Pour encourager les autres.

      • aom 7.1.2

        We need stringent legislation to punish this sort of behaviour! Not likely though as it is the neo-liberalist way. Don't hurt the investor seems to be the over-riding creed.

        • Gypsy 7.1.2.1

          We need to stop passing legislation that has the predictable consequences of pushing up rents. Unfortunately we have a government who doesn’t understand the market and won’t listen to people who do.

          • Jester 7.1.2.1.1

            Well said.

            • arkie 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I keep telling to them to abolish absentee ownership but as you say, they won’t listen to those who see landlords as a blight on us all; like ‘the Father-of-Capitalism’ Adam Smith:

              “[Landlords] are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labour nor care, but comes to them, as it were, of its own accord, and independent of any plan or project of their own. That indolence, which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation, renders them too often, not only ignorant, but incapable of that application of mind”

              https://www.adamsmithworks.org/documents/chapter-xi-of-the-rent-of-land

              • Ad

                If you make it near-impossible to evict people, you shouldn't be surprised if more owners prefer to just sit back and let the new valuations roll in.

                • aom

                  If only!!! No tenants – no income – high interest rates – dropping house valuations. Be careful what your smugness and stupidity might result in. It sounds like an elegant and apt solution.

                • arkie

                  Yes, evict everyone, that will solve the crisis of the unhoused. /s

                  No, here I am advocating for no more evictions, no more rent, no more owners-of-other-peoples-homes. It's a feudal holdover with parasitical societal benefits. And Adam Smith agrees with me.

                  I am aware that it remains a forlorn dream with the current lot in charge.

          • Adrian 7.1.2.1.2

            Nobody understands the market, its a chimera.

          • KJT 7.1.2.1.3

            Unfortunately most of the things that discourage house hoarding, will push up rents, short term.

            Some are looking at long term solutions, however.

            • Gypsy 7.1.2.1.3.1

              What is ‘house hoarding’?

              • roblogic

                Pretty obvious I would have thought. Anyone who grabs more than their fair share, causing shortages that artificially jack up the price of the whole market.

                NZ property market is a fucking disaster when it is dominated by parasitic, anti-competitive behaviour. Only 30% of NZ households are owner/occupier of just 1 home. The rest of the market is dominated by parasites and speculators and land bankers. People who own 20 houses are a blight on society, and the main reason for widespread poverty and misery.

                Revealed: Who's really buying up New Zealand property (newstalkzb.co.nz)

          • Stuart Munro 7.1.2.1.4

            Look, if the market isn't delivering the required social outcomes, it must be regulated. The fiction that unregulated markets are anything but a disaster has run its course.

            Rent controls now – and let us never hear of 'property investors' again – they are tax evading parasites, and any competent economist will tell you that rent-seeking is intrinsically bad for economies.

            It's time the mass of MPs and Treasury charlatans stopped trying to pretend real estate inflation is growth, and starting doing their jobs.

            • Gypsy 7.1.2.1.4.1

              The housing market was delivering tents substantially below what they are now before the government began interfering. So your suggestion seems to imply that having made things more difficult for tenants, they enact more changes to make it worse.

              • Stuart Munro

                By no means. The market has failed. Massively. Indisputably, and with significant social consequences. The government is obliged to come in and clean up that mess, and to recover costs from the miscreants.

                Yes, we know the speculators, the real culprits, will try to transfer the blame to government – but it won't fool anyone. We know who the self-serving (choose your own expletives) are who are ruining our country.

              • gsays

                Your first six words are unintentionally accurate.

              • Gypsy

                You don’t seem to understand how the market works. Markets deliver goods and services between willing buyers and willing sellers. Governments intervene in markets, generally (but not always) to the detriment of both. This government has proven that beyond all reaasinabke doubt.

                • Stuart Munro

                  This government has proven that beyond all reaasinabke doubt.

                  Nonsense – it has barely intervened at all – and that's the problem. It gave the market free rein, and the market, as always when not properly regulated, has made a complete hash of it.

                • arkie

                  A renter is not a ‘willing buyer’, they require housing, as does everyone. The landlord has already monopolised the house that the renter needs and must pay what the ‘market’ has determined or become unhoused. The ‘seller’ of rental housing often charge as much as they can, aware that successive governments have been more than happy to distort the rental ‘market’ through housing supplements to the tune of $31.5 million a week (2020).

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125195278/accommodation-supplement-propping-up-rental-market-by-30m-a-week

                  • Gypsy

                    If a renter requires housing, then they are a willing buyer. The landlord and renter meet at the market price. If the government screws with the market and drives prices up, then blame the government. Housing supplements are just another form of government intervention. Are you proposing we end them?

                    • arkie

                      Housing is a human right, that's not really negotiable.

                      Also renters are renting, not buying, and are coerced to meet the landlords demands because said need of housing.

                      You can read what I propose above, but what you are failing to understand it that your 'market' is, and has always been, underwritten by the government and it's interventions.

                      You have already brazenly admitted to passing the regulatory costs onto your tenants and there are precious few other options for them but to accept your price; the supplement ending up in your pocket. Isn't that bludging?

                    • Gypsy []

                      Housing is a human need, not a right. There is no need for the government to ‘underwrite’ the market at all. I believe there is a place for the government, but it should be minimal, otherwise we see precisely the distortions that have made it so difficult for renters.

                    • roblogic

                      You really have a lot of faith in the invisible hand. As if power relations and market cheating/corruption do not exist.

                    • Gypsy []

                      Power relations and cheating are human nature. They exist on both sides of the market.

                    • mikesh

                      Are you proposing we end them [rent subsidies]?

                      I think they should be phased out over time, and existing subsidies gradually reduced.

            • gsays 7.1.2.1.4.2

              "It's time the mass of MPs and Treasury charlatans stopped trying to pretend real estate inflation is growth, and starting doing their jobs"

              and do what with their property portfolios?

          • mikesh 7.1.2.1.5

            “We need to stop passing legislation that has the predictable consequences of pushing up rents.”

            And landlords shouldn't rely on covering borrowing costs as part of their rent calculations.

            • Gypsy 7.1.2.1.5.1

              Hey that’s fine with me. If landlords can’t claim a legitimate expense, then rents go up. Not my desired outcome, but if you’re ok with it?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Sure, some landlords will always feel that they’re hard done by, but what do they reckon about poverty – everyone's problem?

                Why poverty in New Zealand is everyone's concern
                Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

                A Kete Half Empty
                Poverty is your problem, it is everyone's problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru

                Children in poverty worry because they see the awful choices their parents are having to make [13 March]
                And to see a child’s face when they’re handed a hot lunch, or a brand-new pair of shoes, or a warm jacket, no questions asked, I can assure you that look of joy never gets old.
                http://www.kidscan.org.nz

                • Gypsy

                  I provide good value, warm and healthy homes to my tenants. I purchased those property’s in good faith, but when a third party (the government) increases my costs, ultimately those costs have to recovered. Most landlords are keenly aware of their tenants situations, and work with them. But ultimately it’s the government forcing rents up by changing long established rules.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    There is no good faith in rentier capitalism.

                    You sequester part of a scarce resource and exploit it like any other monopolist.

                    Even market libertarians despise landlords – they are a deadweight cost to the economy, preventing growth – that eternally undelivered holy grail of neoliberals.

                    • Gypsy

                      Being a landlord takes a large dollop of good faith. And we don’t ‘sequester’ anything. We purchase property on the open market, and rent it to the market. I get the feeling you have a massive chip in your shoulder about landlords. I can only imagine why🙂

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I provide good value, warm and healthy homes to my tenants.

                    As attractive as you make it sound, I'd never rent by choice.

                    Personally I agree with Rebecca – poverty in NZ is every Kiwi's problem. One possible way to alleviate this particular problem (and its legacy of societal damage) would be to enact policies promoting greater redistribution of wealth so that more goes where it's most needed. Open to other suggestions.

                    • Gypsy

                      Wealth redistribution is effectively theft. We already redistribute income, and I’m in favour of greater relief to low to middle income earners.

                    • roblogic

                      Rent is effectively theft. Landlords already take workers income, by unproductively hoarding a scarce resource, and exploiting their market power to jack up rents so much that demand for food banks is at an all time high. And then the landlords expect subsidies (accommodation supplement) and tax breaks, and spit the dummy any time the government makes the slightest move to make life bearable for actual workers

                  • Stuart Munro

                    The 'massive chip' you hypothesize is merely the economically rational response to the corruptions and failures of governance that have inflated our property market by getting on for 20% a year practically since the Great Swindle of Rogergnomics itself.

                    Rent-seeking is a well-established sociopathy, in the economic sense, deriving income without corresponding productivity.

                    Now, it is the false god of the economy that is always wheeled out to explain why any policy that might benefit our country or citizens cannot be done.

                    But when it comes to an undeniably negative phenomenon, suddenly the economy crowd are making excuses and exceptions – at the expense of the productivity and lamentable actual economic growth which constrains the standard of living growth we would have enjoyed as a country were our economists not liars, fraudsters, charlatans, and rogues.

                    • Gypsy

                      "the corruptions and failures of governance that have inflated our property market by getting on for 20% a year "

                      No, that would be a chip on your shoulder about governments, not landlords.

                      "Rent-seeking is a well-established sociopathy, in the economic sense, deriving income without corresponding productivity. "

                      No, it would be a legitimate source of income that simultaneously provides a social good.

                    • roblogic

                      "No, it would be a legitimate source of income that simultaneously provides a social good."

                      No, it would be preying upon the vulnerable and keeping a generation stuck in the rent trap. Destroying families and people's futures so that they have to go to Australia to actually have a decent income and affordable accommodation.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Wealth redistribution is effectively theft.

                    Davos Man: the billionaires who looted the world's economies [24 February 2022]

                    Goodman calls it one of the most monumental heists in human history; the systematic transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the billionaire class.

                    A massive redistribution of wealth from ordinary people to a global billionaire class over recent times has been the fruit of a process initiated decades before now, Goodman says.

                    We didn’t get here by accident," he says. "That’s the primary take away I hope readers will receive from this book. We got here through the systematic manipulation and corruption of our democracies, through lobbying, rewriting of tax rules and dismantling of the pubic infrastructure by this group I call Davos Man, by transferring the proceeds to himself.

                    Whether one views “wealth redistribution” as “theft” likely depends on one’s personal wealth and the direction of redistribution. If your priority is the accumulation of personal wealth, then the poverty of ordinary Kiwis will seem like small beans – just a ‘price’ that others pay.

                    Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

                    Anyway, your idea of "greater relief to low to middle income earners" is excellent. Reversing the 2010 increase in (the regressive) GST would be a start.

                    PM defensive after video reveals GST flip-flop

                    Easy to make any decrease in GST revenue neutral by introducing more progressive taxation in other areas.

                    • Gypsy

                      "If your priority is the accumulation and protection of personal wealth, then the poverty of ordinary Kiwis will seem like small beans – just a ‘price’ that others pay."

                      You're presenting this as a binary. It isn't.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    You're presenting this as a binary. It isn't.

                    Could you explain what you mean – preferably using words that Rebecca and I can appreciate. ‘Trickle down” maybe, or perhaps ‘lifting all boats‘?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    No, it would be a legitimate source of income that simultaneously provides a social good.

                    As is often the case with sociopaths, you have confused legal with legitimate. Nor does it provide a social good, it competes to sequester that good from people impoverished by the chronic and frankly outrageous local failure of neoliberalism.

                    There is no justice without economic social justice – and rentier capitalism is the obdurate enemy of both.

                    • Gypsy

                      "you have confused legal with legitimate."

                      Not at all. Providing housing is a legitimate source of income. If it were not, many people would have no-where to live.

                      " it competes to sequester that good from people impoverished by the chronic and frankly outrageous local failure of neoliberalism."

                      We've never had neo-liberalism in NZ. We have a mixed market economy. I'm assuming you would join me in condemning Kainga ora for using the power of the state to outbid first home buyers on a fairly regular basis?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/wealth-tax-address-five-global-disruptions

                    You're suggesting that the accumulation of personal wealth by some ipso facto means others must get poorer, even be driven into poverty. That is of course not true.

                    Some people seem to have a rose-tinted and somewhat insular view of the accumulation of personal wealth ad infinitum; it's as if there's no downside at all.

                    I can see the sense of accumulating enough wealth to be financially secure. That's a level of wealth I would wish for everyone, and it could be facilitated through progressive taxation – NZ is a wealthy country.

                    Otoh, the accumulation of much more wealth than one needs should be more difficult than it currently is. Seriously, what's the point – how hollow is that goal? Not wealth-shaming, but there really is more to life.

                    A progressive redistribution of wealth (~1.6% of $800 billion) would lift many Kiwis out of a life lived in debt.

                    "The bottom 10 percent has a collective $13 billion of debt. The top 10 percent has $800 billion in wealth – more than the other 90 percent combined."

                    Imagine a life of perpetual indebtedness – the stress alone would likely be crippling to me. Maybe involuntarily 'donating' 1.6% of my net wealth would be similarly devastating, but I'd cope – somehow.

                    Clearly there's a real need for the many organisations in NZ dedicated to alleviating real hardship.

                    .foodbank.co.nz
                    .nzchildren.co.nz
                    .greatpotentials.org.nz
                    .philanthropy.org.nz
                    .onepercentcollective.org
                    .acornfoundation.org.nz
                    .montececilia.org.nz
                    .atwc.org.nz

                    The reluctance of most wealthy people (let's call them 'sharing hesitant') to part with even a small portion of their wealth voluntarily does not give me hope for the future of this iteration of civilisation, but time will tell.

                    INEQUALITY: a New Zealand conversation
                    Inequality is a corrosive force, like rust. Big income and wealth imbalances eat away at trust and empathy, making the country less healthy and less united. They also leave some people with much greater opportunities than others. In New Zealand, income imbalances widened faster in the 1980s and 1990s than in any other developed nation. The wealthiest tenth own more than half of all wealth. This is the result of deliberate policy choices that could be reversed. In doing so we would create a country in which people recognise each other as equals and come together to tackle common problems.

                    Common problems, eh, common problems…

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Providing housing is a legitimate source of income

                    Are you a builder then? If not, you are not providing housing.

                    • Gypsy

                      A house is somewhere for people to live. The government aren't builders either. Are you suggesting they don;t provide housing?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Let's take this to today's open mike – it's becoming difficult to comment or follow.

              • mikesh

                Interest is not a legitmate business expense. So if you relying on it being deductible then you are a crap businessman, and you probably should exit the landlord business.

                • Incognito

                  Incorrect!

                  • interest on borrowing money for the business

                  https://www.business.govt.nz/tax-and-accounting/reducing-your-tax/claiming-expenses/

                  • mikesh

                    I have always argued that the IRD's take on interest expense is incorrect. I have yet to see a refutation of my arguments.

                    Grant Robertson seems to be in the process of rectifying the situation, at least in respect of rental property investments.

                    • Incognito

                      I have yet to see a refutation of my arguments.

                      From a business taxation perspective, it’s clear that you’re incorrect. As soon as somebody puts up an argument you close your eyes & ears and keep on repeating the same dogmatic lines. That’s not a debate, but an exercise in futility, not too dissimilar from trolling.

                      This and previous governments, some more reluctantly than others, have been treating the business of rental property differently and traditional principles and taxation rules for businesses have been changed to induce societal changes. I believe this is the wrong way to go about and the wrong tools to affect change; it’s messy and overly complicated and hasn’t delivered the desired outcomes, at least not yet.

                • Jester

                  Mikesh, you are the reason some people argue there should be an intelligence test that you have to pass prior to being allowed to vote. You are obviously not an accountant.

                  If I borrow 500k to fund the purchase of earth moving equipment that I then hire out to people to earn taxable income, why is the interest not a tax deductible expense?

                  When you are in a hole, it is advisable to stop digging!

                  • mikesh

                    If I borrow 500k to fund the purchase of earth moving equipment that I then hire out to people to earn taxable income, why is the interest not a tax deductible expense.

                    The business process involved hiring out the equipment, not borrowing money. It made no difference to the business whether the $500k was borrowed or came from your own pocket. Of course it made a difference to you personally, and that's the point. It was a personal loan which you happened to invest in a business; and the interest paid on the loan was a personal expense.

                    • Belladonna

                      Tax department doesn't agree with you. Nor do the banks.

                      I think, at this point, we're talking past each other.

                      I'm trying to explain how capitalism works. You're telling me that society shouldn't run on capitalist lines.

                      These are two totally separate debates.

                    • mikesh

                      Tax department doesn't agree with you. Nor do the banks.

                      I've mentioned on a couple of previous comments that I don't agree with the tax department on this particular point. The banks have a vested interest in the matter. Non deductibility may force them to lower interest rates in order to sell their loans.

                      I'm trying to explain how capitalism works. You're telling me that society shouldn't run on capitalist lines.

                      I'm not where you got that idea from.

                    • Jester

                      Tax dept. doesn't agree with you. Neither do accountants, lawyers or probably around 5 million other people. Seems like you are alone in your world.

                    • mikesh

                      Tax dept. doesn't agree with you. Neither do accountants, lawyers or probably around 5 million other people. Seems like you are alone in your world.

                      Yes. An idea, no matter how irrational, can become pretty entrenched – so much so that it can be difficult to extract an economy from it. Moving away from it can cause a lot disruption, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Perhaps the way to go is to move away from it in incremental steps, as Grant Robertson is doing with respect to rental property investment.

                      I seem to recall some-one (it may have been Keynes, though I'm not sure) saying that it is difficult to get some-one to understand something if his income depends on his not understanding it.

                    • mikesh

                      Tax dept. doesn't agree with you. Neither do accountants, lawyers or probably around 5 million other people. Seems like you are alone in your world.

                      Those accountants, lawyers, etc. are probably taking their cue from what the Income Tax Act says. However that act, I think, is about to be amended with respect to rental income, so I trust those accountants, lawyers, etc. will change their minds.

            • Incognito 7.1.2.1.5.2

              Purely from a business perspective, all costs to the owner/landlord, including mortgage interest and principal payments, ought to be covered by an income stream, i.e. the rent. If not, the business runs at a loss.

              • mikesh

                The landlord own owns personally the house that he rents out. So mortgage costs, including interest, are personal costs, not business costs.

                • Incognito

                  Nope, not all landlords personally own the house as such. Many have set up a business/company such an LTC or a Trust. When you run a rental(s) as a business you'd expect to be treated as a business, by IRD.

                  • mikesh

                    A limited company stands in loco proprietoris of its underlying business, and therefore should be subject to the same tax liabilities as a landlord who operates as a sole trader.

                    • Incognito

                      With an LTC, the ‘owner’ is the Director and Shareholder of the Company that owns the rental property. The landlord does not “personally” own the property, as you asserted.

                      You have to lift your game and be clearer and more specific.

                    • mikesh

                      With an LTC, the ‘owner’ is the Director and Shareholder of the Company that owns the rental property. The landlord does not “personally” own the property

                      The company is the landlord, and should therefore be be treated, for tax purposes, like any private landlord.

                    • Incognito []

                      Not the point. Anyway, the Company is a Business.

                    • mikesh

                      Not the point. Anyway, the Company is a Business.

                      A company is not in itself a business. It is a form of business ownership. You can't really have a company unless you have shareholders who own it.

                    • mikesh

                      QED

                      Not sure what you are getting at so … … non fuit demonstrandum.

                    • Incognito []

                      It means that I had already covered that. Please keep up or shut up.

                    • mikesh

                      It means that I had already covered that. Please keep up or shut up.

                      You haven't covered any points satisfactorily, so I assume you haven't covered that particular point, whatever it is.

                    • Incognito []

                      And you keeping missing the point due to your wilful blindness, it seems. Remember how you asserted this (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-12-03-2022/#comment-1874263):

                      The landlord own owns personally the house that he rents out. [my italics]

                      Now you’re referring the Shareholders, of a company operating as a business, hence QED.

              • mikesh

                If not, the business runs at a loss.

                The business does not run at a loss since the mortgage payments, including the interest components, are external to the operation of the business. And the landlord himself is not suffering a loss since the house will be his "freehold" once the mortgage is paid off.

                If it’s any consolation I think that if we had a capital gains tax in place then interest paid should be deductible against that. If not then a landlord will just have to be satisfied with his untaxed capital gain instead of being ale to deduct interest.

                • Incognito

                  You have no idea of what you’re talking about. Interest payments are a large part of overall costs of a rental. As such, they need to be offset by the rent (income). Until the cash flow becomes positive, e.g. because of lower interest component due to reducing mortgage, not increasing rent or even lowering it will lead to an annual operating loss of the business. Same as with any other business.

                  • mikesh

                    Interest payments are a large part of overall costs of a rental.

                    NO they are not. One can and rent out a property without paying one cent in interest. The same thing of course cannot be said about real business expenses such as rates and insurance. One would have to own the property "freehold" of course; which is exactly the point – the purpose of taking out a mortgage is to obtain a property that one can rent out, not the collection of taxable income. The aggregate of the mortgage payments is offset by the value, to you, of the freehold value of the property, and so to regard interest as a business expense is an illusion.

                    • Incognito

                      You seem to only approve of freehold rentals, which is very cute, but less than approx. a third of all houses are freehold. (NB incidentally, many over 65 years of age still have a mortgage) Secondly, not all rental properties have been bought as investment properties as such; there are a number of ways how people end up ‘owning’ more than one property. Thirdly, you completely ignore the loan-to-invest principle of businesses, which is clearly a bona fide tax-deductible expense. Fourthly, you seem to wish landlords bleeding money until they sell up at which time there’s no guaranteed capital gain in real dollar terms; if they sell at a loss, it is just too bad, just like losing money when gambling. Fifthly, landlords may have to take out a loan (e.g. a mortgage) to do repair & maintenance and/or to make the rental compliant with changing rules. This is a genuine business cost and not dissimilar to what owner-occupiers are faced with. The cost of the loan should be offset by rental income.

                      Your wishful thinking doesn’t change the reality which is that interest payments are a genuine cost (loss) to landlords just as they are to any other business.

                      QED

                    • mikesh

                      Thirdly, you completely ignore the loan-to-invest principle of businesses, which is clearly a bona fide tax-deductible expense.

                      It's a tax deductible (I don't know about "bona fide") only because the Income Tax Act says so. I have already said, on an earlier comment, that I believe the Act has got it wrong. In any case I think the Act is about to be changed, at least when it comes to rental income. So I think I'm not entirely wrong on those grounds.

                      Fourthly, you seem to wish landlords bleeding money until they sell up at which time there’s no guaranteed capital gain in real dollar terms;

                      Businesses sometimes make a capital loss on winding up their activities. This is not a reason for regarding a particular expense as deductible if the reality of the situation insists that it should not be.

                    • Incognito []

                      Do you want to change the Tax Act to remove “interest on borrowing money for the business” as a bona fide expense claim for tax purposes for all businesses or only for rental businesses?

                      Do you seriously want landlords to provide a more than charitable service to tenants and bear the brunt of financial costs? At what point is a landlord allowed to make a profit, in your view, if not only at the sale of the property?

                    • mikesh

                      Do you want to change the Tax Act to remove “interest on borrowing money for the business” as a bona fide expense claim for tax purposes for all businesses or only for rental businesses?

                      All businesses, as a matter of fact.

                      Do you seriously want landlords to provide a more than charitable service to tenants and bear the brunt of financial costs?

                      It's his house. He owns it. Why shouldn't he bear the "brunt of the financial costs".

                      At what point is a landlord allowed to make a profit, in your view, if not only at the sale of the property?

                      He can make profit on the rent. He can also make a capital gain on the sale of the property. A capital gain of course is not a profit, but that's an issue for another day.

                    • Incognito []

                      All businesses, as a matter of fact.

                      No further comment necessary.

                      It’s his house. He owns it. Why shouldn’t he bear the “brunt of the financial costs”.

                      He may own it, but he doesn’t get to use it, live in it, enjoy it, and can’t even enter it whenever he wants to. The tenant, OTOH, does get to use it, live in it, enjoy it, and enter whenever he wants to. You’re trying to argue that the owner should therefore pay for a large and often the largest part of the housing cost, i.e. the mortgage, and often with his own home as collateral, just because his name is on the property title. That’s ludicrous.

                      He can make profit on the rent. He can also make a capital gain on the sale of the property.

                      How can he make a profit if he pays for the mortgage and he’s not allowed to recoup this through the rent? A capital gain in real dollars is not and never has been a guarantee. In addition, it may only be actualised at the point of sale, which can be decades into the future.

                    • mikesh

                      How can he make a profit if he pays for the mortgage and he’s not allowed to recoup this through the rent?

                      No doubt you are familiar with saying: if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

                      Nobody’s twisting your arm and forcing you to invest in property.

                    • mikesh

                      He may own it, but he doesn’t get to use it, live in it, enjoy it, and can’t even enter it whenever he wants to. The tenant, OTOH, does get to use it, live in it, enjoy it, and enter whenever he wants to. You’re trying to argue that the owner should therefore pay for a large and often the largest part of the housing cost,

                      His ownership befits him in other ways. He collects rent.

                    • Incognito []

                      rental income offsets the real costs plus some profit, if possible. You’ve argued that the landlord ought to make a profit from the rent without covering for all expenses. This is nuts.

                  • Jester

                    Incognito…you have the patience of a saint!

      • Jester 7.1.3

        If I knew a rent cap was definitely coming in, I like many landlords would do as large an increase as possible as I may not be able to raise again for years. I have actually gone back to the company that manages it and said to only increase by 1/2 the amount they recommended as I have a great tenant. Tenant is very understanding about the need to increase due to additional costs (non deductible interest and other items etc.)

        • aom 7.1.3.1

          Fuck the rentcaps – what do you suggest will arrest the rent rorting that is significantly contributing to the 'cost of living crisis' that self-satisfied wankers moan about.

          • Barfly 7.1.3.1.1

            Well the first thing I would do is find out how many ghost houses there truly is .

            'Bricking' houses severely distorts the "sacred market" unleashing possibly tens of thousands of houses into the market would have a significant effect on rents

            • Blazer 7.1.3.1.1.1

              Ardern was presented with the evidence=200,000 empty houses in NZ,40,000 in Auckland.

              She was NOT interested.

              Vancouver introduced a levy on houses empty for 6 months with no plausible reason=25% drop in numbers,'over night'.

              Easy to track through power/water use.

              • Barfly

                So who do we need to 'encourage' and 'motivate' to get the ball rolling?

                All the talking heads would have no interest (IMO)

                The MSM may follow it if the ball starts rolling but their masters have no interest in helping start it rolling.

                How about a Gofundme to encourage Nicky Hagar to write a book on it to drop sufficiently early before the next election? devil

                I would happily chip in some $ for that

              • Gypsy

                One of the reasons she may not have been interested is that KO own a lot of those houses. They shift tenants out and then move at a snails pace to replace the houses.

              • Jenny how to get there

                Ardern is not interested because as Barfly points out releasing tens of thousands of houses onto the rental market would slash the capital gains of Mum and Dad investors.

                House valuations are determined by rents they can obtain. Slash the rents slash the values. slash capital gains.

                Releasing tens of thousands of empty houses onto the market would also negatively effect the housing developers and speculators waiting to buy these houses.

                Ultimately to avoid a price crash. As well as letting tens of thousands of houses stand empty. To keep house prices up. newly built houses and even entire new subdivisions will be bulldozed before anyone ever lives in them.

                I predict that Karaka in South Auckland is where new houses in a partly unfinished subdivision will start being demolished.

                It's all happened before

                America

                Developers opt to raze homes that go unsold | The Seattle Times

                https://www.seattletimes.com › business › real-estate › dev…

                9/05/2009 — Banks that financed new homes are deciding to demolish the partially … the latest fallout from Southern California's real-estate crash.

                China
                https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/1931741/ghost-town-developer-demolishes-over-100-houses-unsold-nearly

                Spain

                Time to swing the wrecking ball on Spain's vacant homes?

                https://english.elpais.com › Spain

                4/11/2013 — In the wake of the crisis, the country has been left with 800000 unsold properties Demolishing unfinished buildings might be the only …

                Ireland

                Exorcising Ireland's last ghost estates: Demolition begins…

                https://www.dailymail.co.uk › news › article-2531852

                1/01/2014 — Abandoned: Unsold houses lie next to land bought for development at the … with some finally being completed but many being torn down.

                • Incognito

                  <sigh>

                  Here we go again sad

                  The housing market doesn’t just exist of rental homes, as many houses bought & sold are actually owner-occupied. Maybe try fit your narrative to reality rather than the other way round.

                  PS too many links again in your long-ish comment that is mostly copy & pasta, which triggered Auto-Moderation again crying

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    How many links are allowed?

                    I admit that I did put in about five links. What's the limit?

                    Extraordinary as it seems soon we will be seeing here, the same phenomenon as happens overseas, of brand new unsold houses being demolished to keep prices up on a falling market.

                    As Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

                    Destroying perfectly good housing, is only a step up from purposely keeping them empty.

                    I could have found a lot more links to deliver the extraordinary proof of perfectly good homes being bulldozed.

                    So it would be helpful to know the limit..

                    Anyway here's one more.

                    As well as immoral it should be illegal, my hope is that this government does make this disgusting practice illegal before it comes here, which it will and it won't be long.

                    …A Texas bank is about done demolishing 16 new and partially built houses acquired in Southern California through foreclosure, figuring it was better to knock them down than to try selling them in the depressed housing market.

                    No Sale: Bank Wrecks New Houses

                    Michael Corkery – The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2009

                    • Incognito

                      After all this time (many years) here on TS and running over the limit so many times you still have to ask this question!?

                      What do you think is the optimal number of links in one comment?

                      Do you expect readers to check and read all links in each of your long comments?

                      A common characteristic of comment spam is a large number of hyperlinks. It’s also common characteristic of commenters who cannot construct a succinct argument/comment.

                      To support an opinion, assertion of fact, or to provide proof/evidence, one or two good quality links generally suffice – less is more.

                      The answer is that a comment with 10 or more links will end up in the Auto-Moderation queue.

                      The rest of your comment made zero sense, e.g. an article from 2009 in the WSJ about a Texas bank in Southern California!? Frankly, I don’t want to know.

                      Have a nice day.

          • Gypsy 7.1.3.1.2

            I can’t help you about ‘rent rorting’ (whatever that means). However I can tell you what has pushed rents up by near record levels in recent years. 1. Passing legislation that requires landlords to upgrade rentals beyond what some live in themselves. An example – the current healthy homes standards for heat pumps is above manufacturers guidelines. 2. Removing interest deductibility for landlords. 3. Ring fencing rental losses. 4. Annual using rent reviews. 5. Increasing the landlord risk by making it more difficult to remove bad tenants. There’s more, but any landlord, and I am one, is going to increase rents to cover increased costs.

            • weka 7.1.3.1.2.1

              if all that is true, what it tells me is that far too many landlords have been treating tenants as incidental to being a landlord, and they need to get out of the business.

              Anyone complaining about healthy home standards for renters shouldn't be a landlord.

              (and if landlords are living in substandard housing, that's on them).

              • Muttonbird

                Yes. How to get them out of the business without a register of landlords and agents, though. Need legislation for that. Good landlords should welcome this.

                Also a good point, if landlords are living in worse squalor than their tenants*, perhaps they might like to improve their own conditions before buying more houses?

                *I think this is a load of bullshit, and a right wing meme used to promote the fallacy that landlords are simple, hard done by folk just trying to get ahead.

                • weka

                  I don't know what it refers to. There are landlords living in uninsulated houses?

                  • Gypsy

                    I’m sure there are. I know landlords who live in houses without under floor insulation or ground sheets. I know landlords who live in homes without heat pumps or bathroom fans ducted outside.

                    • weka

                      ok, so they're living in decent conditions, but their houses aren't at that rental standard. What's the problem exactly?

                  • Gypsy

                    "What's the problem exactly?"

                    The government imposed standards are driving up rents. That's the problem.

                    • weka

                      Like I said, rent caps. The standards aren't driving up rents, landlords are. We need the standards, we don't need all the landlords, is my point. To my mind you're looking at it backwards (hence my comment about the conflict of interest). Start with healthy homes for everyone, figure out how to get that.

                    • weka

                      and to be clear, this isn't a value judgement on landlords as people, it's saying that if we put landlord needs aside for a moment, and centre values like 'healthy home for everyone', then it's incumbent on people who own rentals to get on board with that if they can, and to sell if they can't. There's nothing wrong with making a living from renting out houses, just not at the expense of people.

                  • Gypsy

                    "The standards aren't driving up rents, landlords are."

                    No, the government is driving up costs, so landlords are recovering those from tenants.

                    "We need the standards…"

                    We need standards, but the ones used by the government are artificial, and have driven up costs when taken into account with the other measures the government have initiated.

                    • Incognito

                      There is a huge distortion in the distribution of wealth in the context of housing and the housing market. The Government (with a bit help of its buddy the RBNZ) has attempted to fix this forcibly by distorting the legal/taxation framework. Two wrongs (distortions) don’t make a right – rents have not demonstrably dropped.

              • Gypsy

                The current healthy homes standards for eg a heat pump are above the manufacturers specs. That’s nuts, and it’s costing tenants.

                [typo in e-mail address triggered Auto-Moderation. Please be more careful – Incognito]

              • Gypsy

                I made 5 points, only one mentioned healthy homes standards. I totally support rentals having a WoF, partly because it drives unethical landlords to exit the market or get their act together. But when the standards call for a heat pump to be installed at above manufacturers guidelines, costs are being unnecessarily pushed into landlords, and ultimately tenants.

                • weka

                  But when the standards call for a heat pump to be installed at above manufacturers guidelines,

                  what does that mean?

                  • Gypsy

                    I have a 2 bedroom unit in Auckland that I rent out. When I bought it it needed a complete fit out. I had a new heat pump installed based on the installers calculations to the manufacturers spec. When we had the healthy homes inspection we were told it was not ok because the healthy homes specs are more stringent.

                  • Gypsy

                    The kw output required by the healthy homes standard for the size of the building (in this case a north facing, fully insulated 2 bedroom unit) was higher than the manufacturer recomended for that space.

                    • weka

                      I can think of a couple of reasons for why that might be. The government wanted a higher standard. Or the manufacturer's instructions aren't suitable for NZ conditions.

                      It's relative to the house and climate, right?

                  • Gypsy

                    "It's relative to the house and climate, right?"

                    Yep, one set of standards is a blunt instrument for the whole country. My rentals are all in Auckland, where a heat pump is used more for alleviating humidity than heating!

                    "Or the manufacturer's instructions aren't suitable for NZ conditions."

                    According to the installers, they are. The government regs are well over the top. Seriously, how many private property owners put ground sheets under their houses in addition to insulation?

                    • arkie

                      You seem to not actually know the standards despite being a landlord. Not a great look. The requirements change depending on which climate zone the house is in.

                      The idea being the heater should capable of raising the living room temperature to 18˚c on the coldest day of winter in that location/insolation.

                      The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18˚C. By installing heating that can reach this temperature on the coldest days of the year, tenants will be able to keep warm all year round.

                      https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/healthy-homes/heating-standard/

                      There is a online heating assessment tool that can workout the wattage of heater (no requirement that it is a heatpump) you’ll need to meet the standards:

                      https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/heating-tool/

                    • Gypsy

                      "You seem to not actually know the standards despite being a landlord. "

                      Well I did say all my rentals are in Auckland. But its still a blunt instrument, considering there are only 3 zones.

                      "(no requirement that it is a heatpump)"

                      1. The heating source has to be a permanent part of the building. 2. You can't use an electric heater if you need more than 2.4kw, unless as a top up.

                      So Heatpumps end up being the default due to price and convenience.

                    • arkie

                      Seeing as you also said they alleviate humidity then they are helping you provide a healthy home free of mould and damp, that's a good reason for their use too. Heat pumps also function reasonably well at lowering temperatures, which some tenants may appreciate in Auckland.

                    • Incognito []

                      Not the point; things are over-specified by Wellington bureaucrats, which is wasteful and unnecessarily antagonistic because it doesn’t serve a purpose beyond actual need & requirement.

                    • arkie

                      it doesn’t serve a purpose beyond actual need & requirement.

                      It serves the point of meeting the requirements of letting a house, and I would have thought the purpose was to deal with the actual need of warm, dry healthy housing for those restricted to the rental market.

                      If we are prepared to view landlords as ‘providing a service’ then it makes absolute sense that the important aspects of their ‘service’ are regulated in the consumers interest. For example, if you were providing traditional hotel rooms you may like to see more regulation of those amateurs using AirBNB and the like:

                      The Motel Association says private home and bach owners are able to rent rooms but avoid the “commercial” rates paid by motels for many items and high compliance costs.

                      Homeowners renting space needed to fall under stronger scrutiny from rule makers, Motel Association chief executive Michael Baines said.

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/70456355/moteliers-seek-regulation-change-in-sector

                    • Incognito []

                      If it meets the requirements for a warm dry healthy home then it is specified appropriately and fit for purpose. Anything (i.e. capacity and/or capability) beyond those requirements is over-specified and thus a waste of money & materials (and possibly power too).

                      That was the point. Nobody here in this thread is arguing against kitting out rentals to make them warm dry healthy homes, as far as I can tell, which, BTW, can require more than just installation of a heat pump, for example.

                    • Gypsy

                      "It serves the point of meeting the requirements of letting a house,"

                      No, it doesn't. It serves the purpose of meeting arbitrary and unnecessary rules that are driving up rents.

              • Shanreagh

                Agree totally with this. What type/quality of house a LL lives in is their choice. We should not make this voluntary standard that some LL live in though the standard that tenants, in a captive market, have to endure.

                We, meaning NZ, have a greater interest in healthy homes than just the fact of extractor fans, heat pumps in rentals and that is with healthy homes there is less likely to be preventable illness such as childhood respiratory illnesses. These respiratory illnesses can lead to disrupted education, children who cannot take part in sport or school outings and ultimately sickly adults.

                I agree with all of these moves below.

                1. Passing legislation that requires landlords to upgrade rentals…..

                2. Removing interest deductibility for landlords.

                3. Ring fencing rental losses.

                4. Limiting the numbers of using rent reviews pa.

                How LL meet these costs is their business but as LL ourselves we have not found it has led to increased costs. The reasons for this are personal philosophy mainly.

                A keeping up to date with modern heating, ventilation trends.

                NB Kitchen and bathroom extractor fans have not just come on trend in the last few years. They help ventilate/dry a home and a ventilated home is a better maintained home as well as a home that is healthier for tenants. Heat pumps have been a trend for at least 10 years and we updated heating arrangements 9 years ago. We have taken advantage of every scheme offered to improve heating/ventilation. This has led to long term tenants.

                Of course if you are a LL that is not keeping on trend until 'forced' by Govt legislation then you will not be able to take advantage of either schemes to encourage or smoothing rent increases. If you are a LL that is fiendishly leveraging to buy more property then you won't have the SSSS ability to stop still to take advantage of some of these schemes.

                We have also chosen to pay down mortgages rather than using them as a springboard to acquire more property. Thus the interest deductibility has no effect on us.

                We are carrying tax losses at the moment and every year these will gradually abate. Once that time comes then we will pay tax on the profit deducting what we can.

                Legally minimising ones exposure to tax is fine. Evading is not. We expect to pay tax if need be. We have not built our business around not being able to pay tax if necessary.

            • mikesh 7.1.3.1.2.2

              A landlord's own living conditions shouldn't really be a factor in determining rent. A more objective criterion is needed. And mortgage costs are the landlord's concern, not the tenant's – a landlord should not expect the tenant to pay his mortgage for him – and interest is part of the mortgage, so should not be deductible, ie the taxpayer should not be contributing to the landlord's mortgage payments either. To be fair, though, the government has agreed to phase out deductibility over a four year period.

              One of the problem with rental losses is that it is usually mortgage costs that are causing them. And as the house is basically the landlord's own property, he should be paying for it himself; hence ring fencing is appropriate; the taxpayer should not be contributing to the cost of a privately owned house even if that house is rented out.

              • Gypsy

                Mortgage costs are part of the cost of providing the service. By any measure they should be deductible. But the bigger point is simply that these changes have increased costs to landlords that will result in increased rents.

                • mikesh

                  Mortgage costs are part of the cost of providing the service. By any measure they should be deductible. But the bigger point is simply that these changes have increased costs to landlords that will result in increased rents.

                  One borrows to obtain capital. Businesses don't own capital, they own assets. The item in a balance sheet labelled "capital" has a credit balance, which indicates that ownership of capital lies outside the business. As that is the case it cannot be contributing to the acquisition of taxable income, as required by the Income Tax Act, so should not be deductible.

                  Apart from that, deductibility of interest contributes to the "inequality" that everyone seems to be complaining about at the present time. It is simply a subsidy by the taxpayer.

                  • Gypsy

                    "However I think a lot of rental property is driven by greed, rather than a willingness to provide a service for a price."

                    Of course some might be, as with any other business or investment. But of the 120,000 landlords, 80% only own one rental. I doubt many of them are motivated by greed.

                    • mikesh

                      I think many landlords are in the business not because the business is particularly profitable, and it won't be profitable if they are paying outlandish amounts of interest, but because they are dazzled by the prospect of large capital gain. It is that sense in which I think they are "driven by greed".

                    • Incognito []

                      That’s unheard of! If one invest in shares of a company one cannot and must not expect dividend payments and/or be able to sell their shares at a profit in real dollar terms and after fees and taxes (i.e. costs) have been deducted. LTCs have shareholders …

                  • Gypsy

                    "It causes an artificial shortage of own-your-own type properties. "

                    So like KJT, you are shifting the debate every time you hit a dead end. But even then, there is no shortage of 'own your own type properties', because each landlord is simply one bidder when a property comes on the market.

                  • Gypsy

                    "I think many landlords are in the business not because the business is particularly profitable, and it won't be profitable if they are paying outlandish amounts of interest, but because they are dazzled by the prospect of large capital gain. It is that sense in which I think they are "driven by greed"."

                    You 'think'? How many have you interviewed? How many do you even know? I have been a landlord for long enough to have had heavy losses on properties trashed by bad tenants or when tenants get behind on rent and refuse to pay up. I currently have a tenant paying off a $7,000 damage and arrears bill at $10 per month. When someone goes to work and works hard hoping for a promotion are they 'driven by greed'? When someone sets up a business hoping to build capital value, are they 'driven by greed'? You really are quite ignorant.

                • KJT

                  Capital gains on sale are part of the profits on providing the business.

                  So, if interest is deductable, the capital gains should be taxed.

                  In the example of the machinery for a contracting business. Interest is deductable, but if you sell it later for an amount greater than it's depreciated value, you are taxed on the difference.

                  Housing speculators/house hoarders, want it both ways. Interest deductability, without tax on the final gains.

                  You can argue as much as you like, as an accounting concept, that Capital gains are not "income". These are definitions for accounting and tax purposes. The effects on peoples real world accumulation of wealth….. "if it walks like a duck". And yes, I did study accounting, and economics.

                  The treatment of land, and thence housing, for taxation, is currently more favourable than the tax treatment of other assets bought for a business. The bright line test still allows the avoidance of tax on gains. You just have to defer taking your gains out for a few more years.

                  Encouraging way to many "businesses" to be in the business of land speculation", not production.

                  • Gypsy

                    "So, if interest is deductable, the capital gains should be taxed."

                    Interest is generally deductible as a business expense because it is a cost incurred in deriving accessible income.

                    If I am a landlord, my properties are specifically purchased for rental. Therefore I pay tax on my net rental income, and interest should be a legitimate deduction. Capital gains may or may not occur. In some places at some times landlords sell at a minimal gain, or even at a loss. Any gains are subject to CGT via the brightline test.

                    If I am a property speculator, and I buy and sell properties with the sole intention of making profit's on the process, those profit's are taxable on sale.

                    There is no rational argument as to why interest should not be a deductible expense to landlords. It has been acknowledged as such for eons, until a government desperate to rein in rampant house prices decided to start messing with the market.

                    • KJT

                      There is a very good rational reason why landlords should be treated differently from another business.

                      For the same reasons that we tax extra on other businesses that cause community harm.

                      However they are not.

                  • Gypsy

                    "There is a very good rational reason why landlords should be treated differently from another business."

                    Not really. They provide a service in exchange for a price. Housing is a human necessity, but then so is food. Should we treat butchers differently to other businesses?

                    • KJT

                      Butchers provide a service.

                      House builders provide a service.

                      Landlords hoard houses and then charge rent, exacerbated by the shortage they have caused.

                      A "service" on the same level as ticket scalping.

                      What did someone say. "Hard for a person to see the harm in their occupation, when their income depends on it".

                      https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/13-03-2022/sunday-essay-the-chain-across-the-river

                    • mikesh

                      Landlords hoard houses and then charge rent, exacerbated by the shortage they have caused.

                      A "service" on the same level as ticket scalping.

                      I don't think you being entirely fair. There is a demand for rental accommodation, independently of those who rent because they cannot find a property which they can buy. Some don't want to own a property, and actually prefer, for various reasons, to live in rented accommodation.

                      However I think a lot of rental property investment is driven by greed, rather than a willingness to provide a service for a price. Many of these types of investor may be mortgaged up to hilt, and are about to be "punished" by rising interest rates and Grant Robertson's moves to rectify the interest rate deductibility situation. It's no wonder they're screaming.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Butchers provide a service."

                    So do landlords. It's called housing."

                    "Landlords hoard houses and then charge rent…"

                    Landlords don't hoard anything. They stake their capital on providing rental housing.

                    "…exacerbated by the shortage they have caused."

                    How does owning a rental property cause a 'shortage'? There is still the same number of houses.

                    • KJT

                      Already explained that with the analogy of toilet paper hoarding.

                      Went right over your head, obviously!

                    • mikesh

                      How does owning a rental property cause a 'shortage'? There is still the same number of houses.

                      It causes an artificial shortage of own-your-own type properties. As most of us prefer to live in our own homes – though of course there are a few who prefer to rent – this would seem to be ethically problematic. Much landlordism (if there is such a word), whilst legal, can scarcely be be regarded as being in the public interest.

                      It also puts first home buyers at a disadvantage in the competition for houses since the landlord can use equity in one house to provide a deposit for others.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Already explained that with the analogy of toilet paper hoarding."

                    The toilet paper analogy failed because you couldn't demonstrate there was less toilet paper overall. Likewise by my owning a rental, there is no reduction in the number of properties available for houses. In fact if I build a new rental, or renovate a derilect home to rental standard (which I have) I am adding to the housing stock.

                    • KJT

                      How to totally miss the point, again.

                      Just like housing hoarders, the toilet paper hoarders cause a shortage of affordable toilet paper.

                      Both are unethical as well as economically damaging.

                      The rent seeking means the hoarders take unearned economic rent from everyone else. Just like the Lord putting the "chain across the river".

                      The total supply is irrelevant, if the people who need it cannot fucking afford it.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Just like housing hoarders, the toilet paper hoarders cause a shortage of affordable toilet paper."

                    Ah, so now your changing your story to a discussion about affordability. Ok.

                    "Both are unethical as well as economically damaging."

                    My owning several houses and renting them out is not unethical or economically damaging. I do not reduce the housing supply, in fact I increase it.

                    "The rent seeking means the hoarders take unearned economic rent from everyone else."

                    Who are these 'hoarders'. The overwhelming majority of landlords only own one rental.

                    "The total supply is irrelevant, if the people who need it cannot fucking afford it."

                    The total supply is irrelevant to price? FFS, don;t you know anything?

                    • KJT

                      It's always been a shortage of "affordable" housing, said that many times.

                      As for the rest.

                      Whatever helps you justify yourself, so you can sleep at night.

                  • Gypsy

                    "It's always been a shortage of "affordable" housing, said that many times."

                    I offer 'affordable' housing. I have no problem retaining tenants, and, at least for some years now, no problem in collecting rent. If you want more affordable housing, perhaps you should not support the governments measures to increase landlords costs.

        • weka 7.1.3.2

          pretty sure we could legislate to prevent that if we wanted to. If landlords cannot afford stable, affordable rents, they can sell to the government who will manage the house.

          • Gypsy 7.1.3.2.1

            I’m a landlord. I offer stable, affordable rents, and have done for years without government interference. But when they do interfere, and my costs increase, that inevitably means my rents go up. That’s the story of the rental market today.

            Edit: the government are just about the worst landlord in NZ.

            • weka 7.1.3.2.1.1

              that's nice for you. My priority is that everyone in NZ can afford to have a home.

              • Gypsy

                Mine too.

                [same typo in e-mail address again. I will delete your comments in Auto-Moderation from now on – Incognito]

                • Incognito

                  Second Mod note for you.

                • Gypsy

                  Sorry, My normal browser is not allowing me to post relied, so I’m using Safari, and it’s requiring me to retune my email each post. I thought I was typing the correct email?

                • weka

                  Unless you are willing to make a loss if necessary there is a clear conflict of interest between your position as a landlord and prioritising homes for everyone.

                  • Gypsy

                    I have and will make a loss to assist a tenant in difficulty. But in general terms if I am putting my on the line, it is reasonable to expect a rate of return.

                    • weka

                      it is. reasonable. And all I am saying is that if regulations that ensure everyone has a good home to live in mean that you cannot make that rate of return, then the solution is for you to stop being a landlord, not for the regulations to be lessened.

                  • Gypsy

                    It isn’t only those changes, as I have pointed out. It’s a host of changes that have increased costs to landlords.

            • Blazer 7.1.3.2.1.2

              Despite all that…still…'the best game in…town'!

              The big sell off …never ,ever was going to…happen.

            • mikesh 7.1.3.2.1.3

              But when they do interfere, and my costs increase, that inevitably means my rents go up.

              If interest becomes non deductible then your costs are reducing since interest is no longer part of your business costs. (Not that it ever was.)

              • Gypsy

                The deductibility of an expense doesn’t determine whether it is a part of the costs. The landlord still incurs those costs in the same way they incur maintenance, rates etc. also, if the costs are non-deductible, the overall costs go up, because of the extra tax paid.

                • mikesh

                  When the mortgage is is paid off you will own the house outright. That compensates you for the mortgage costs so there is no actual loss.

                  Any loss on the house itself is covered by the depreciation allowance. Depreciation I understand is not deductible at present, though I think it should be.

                  • Incognito

                    Again, you’re incorrect. There are three components to mortgage payments: fees, principal to pay off the outstanding loan, and interest to the mortgagee (i.e. the bank). The interest paid by the rental property owner to the bank is an operating loss for the property owner. Also, paying of the outstanding loan (claim by the bank) doesn’t guarantee an asset value of the property and if house prices have dropped over one or more decades, in real dollar terms, the property owner stands to gain little or nothing or even lose out. During these years, the property owner does not have the enjoyment of living in the property rent-free.

                    • Gypsy

                      We’ll said.

                    • mikesh

                      The interest paid by the rental property owner to the bank is an operating loss for the property owner.

                      Unless one is well heeled, one cannot acquire a property without taking out a mortgage and incurring thereby a liability for the payment of interest. So, interest is really a part of the acquisition cost of the house rather than of the cost of doing business; and it is the business activity that produces the taxable income. It is the contribution to the acquisition of "taxable income" that make an expense deductible.

                  • Jester

                    Yeah you just have to get through the next 25-30 years assuming you can afford the repayments over the next 25-30 years!

              • Jester

                Mikesh…you win dumbest comment of the day!

                Just because it becomes non-deductible doesn't mean he can stop paying the bank! So his costs haven't decreased, just his tax deductible costs and therefore tax liability increases.

                • mikesh

                  You fail to take my meaning. I guess that makes you "the dumbest person of the day."

                  It is the recognition that inerest is not a business expense that brings about the apparent reduction of his expenses.

                  • Gypsy

                    There is no reduction, 'apparent' or otherwise. The expense remains real and tangible. So you can keep your award.

                    • mikesh

                      I was alluding to the fact that while interest was deductible he could treat it as a business cost. Now that that has changed he can no longer do so. So in that sense the expenses that can be treated as business costs have been reduced.

                  • Gypsy

                    "So in that sense the expenses that can be treated as business costs have been reduced."

                    Well you certainly didn't say anything like that initially.

                  • Gypsy

                    "I had to spell it out since you seem too dumb to have worked out for yourself."

                    No, you had to spell it out because your initial attempt was ludicrous and I wasn't the only one to call you on it. This comment "It is the recognition that inerest is not a business expense that brings about the apparent reduction of his expenses." has to be one of the most discombobulated imaginable.

                • mikesh

                  My original comment said that interest was not a part of a landlord's business costs, and carried the implication that prior to Grant Robertson's move landlords had been treating it as though it was. You just read your own, incorrect meaning into it.

          • Belladonna 7.1.3.2.2

            Don't see how selling to the government helps, they've specifically exempted themselves from compliance with the healthy homes standards until the middle of 2023. And, I'd say it's highly unlikely they'll meet that deadline.

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/444486/govt-accused-of-double-standards-over-health-of-state-houses

            [This is from the middle of last year – but given Covid, and the building materials shortage – I'd be surprised if they've made significant progress]

            All private rentals are now required (and have been since the middle of last year) to meet the healthy homes standards. Anyone living in 'mouldy, cold housing' is almost certainly living in a State house (or, possibly, flatting with a home-owner – many, many home-owners don't have insulation or heat-pumps).

            Upgrading housing to meet new standards is a legitimate business cost. And, of course, landlords are going to increase the cost of rent to cover it.

            Meanwhile, there is a significant rental housing shortage (ignoring the red herring of ghost houses). If the government continues to make it unattractive for private landlords to rent out houses – they they'd better be prepared to have the current KO waiting list (already at unsustainable high levels) quadruple.

            Is it their desire that the only provide of rental housing is the State?

            • weka 7.1.3.2.2.1

              the solutions to the housing crisis need to be a range of things that interact with each other (and imo, need a values base as a start eg everyone is entitled to a home not just a house).

              So obviously the places where the government isn't doing well need to be be mended. I'm not saying only landlords are an issue.

              The difference between the govt and the landlords is the govt doesn't need to make a specific level of profit. That's a game changer. If a landlord cannot meet the standards because it becomes financially unviable, then sell and do something else for investment.

              I have no problem with private rentals. I do have a problem with this idea that landlord's needs must some how be balanced with tenant's needs. Centre people/families and their homes, and build the system from there. If landlords can't fit into that then stop being a landlord rather than arguing that the people should be compromised.

              • Belladonna

                I have no problem with private rentals. I do have a problem with this idea that landlord's needs must some how be balanced with tenant's needs.

                That's the core of the matter. Public landlords (KO, councils, trusts, etc.) can afford to have welfare of tenants as a bottom line (though, I'd argue that KO, at least, rarely do this in practice)
                Private landlords, who are running housing as a business, need to have a reasonable rate of return – or at the very least cover costs.

                Those are 2 very different calculations – and sometimes they are in opposition.

                If you don't want a housing environment where landlords and tenants needs are balanced – then you really do want to have only State provided rental housing.

                • mikesh

                  If you don't want a housing environment where landlords and tenants needs are balanced – then you really do want to have only State provided rental housing.

                  If a landlord is unable to make a profit in a situation "where landlords (sic) and tenants (sic) needs are balanced" then the property market is not the place where he should be investing his hard earned (or borrowed) cash.

              • Gypsy

                Hi Weka. I’m not sure why landlords and tenants shouldn’t have basically balanced rights. The landlord is putting their capital in the line to invest. The landlord bears the brunt of a bad tenancy (and I can tell you some real doozies), just as a tenant bears the brunt of a bad landlord. My view is that the state should provide the bulk of social housing, with the private sector providing the next tier up. When I heard the promised Labour was making to build homes to sell (kiwibuild), I cringed because I knew it would fail, and at the same time divert resources from building social housing. Which National neglected.

                • Molly

                  Agree.

                  When I heard the promised Labour was making to build homes to sell (kiwibuild), I cringed because I knew it would fail, and at the same time divert resources from building social housing.

                  And it did.

        • Stuart Munro 7.1.3.3

          would do as large an increase as possible

          Yes, we know.

          Which is why a likely mechanism would be something like a maximum of 1/4 of the median wage per bedroom – leaves no escape route for the irresponsibly greedy.

        • mikesh 7.1.3.4

          non deductible interest and other items etc.

          Interest costs are the landlord's concern, not the tenant's. So non deductibility should not influence rent calculations.

          • Belladonna 7.1.3.4.1

            Ahh the difference between philosophies.
            You're looking at housing rental as the provision of a 'public good'.
            The landlord is looking at it as selling a service.

            ATM both philosophies have space in the public sphere in NZ.

            The government, through KO, and other public housing providers, provide rental as a 'public good' with rents capped at the capacity to pay.

            Unfortunately, there are many, many more people who would like to have this form of housing provision (after all, it's a good deal – setting aside undesirable gang members in the neighbouring house), than there are properties available.

            Private landlords provide rental housing as a business. And, as all businesses, they charge to at least cover their costs, and at most, what the market will bear. If costs go up, they either increase their prices, or go out of business (in the housing sphere, sell to someone else). Yes, the new home owner is no longer a tenant (although, these days, will have a swinging mortgage), but it hasn't improved the lot of any of the other tenants in the population. In particular, it is highly unlikley that the new owner will be freeing up a KO house.

            • mikesh 7.1.3.4.1.1

              The mortgage payments you make, including the interest components, are offset by the fact that you will own the house outright once the mortgage is paid off; so there is no actual loss. and therefore the "interest expense" is an illusion.

              • Incognito

                You’re just repeating the same nonsense. The interest is paid to the bank to cover their cost & risk of lending the money in the first place. You will never see it back in any way shape or form – it is a direct loss incurred by the property owner.

                • mikesh

                  You may not see it back but, nevertheless it's part of what you paid for the house, and therefore not part of your business operation. You obviously thought it worth paying in order to have a house which you could rent out. It is the renting out of the house itself that earns the taxable income, not the acquisition of it.

                  It could be said, I suppose, that I’m making a distinction between investment in a business and the operation of a business. The two are in fact separate, and the costs relating to the first are not applicable to the second. A useful analogy is bus fares incurred traveling to work. These don't contribute to the earning of taxable income. The latter process doesn't until you actually enter the workplace.

                  • Incognito

                    You may not see it back but, nevertheless it's part of what you paid for the house …

                    Nope, what you pay for the house when you buy it is your deposit + principal of the loan. If you win Lotto and you pay off the loan early, you actually pay the principal and save yourself all future interest payments. Interest payments disappear into a black hole called the bank – they don’t add any value to the property. They are the cost of financing.

                    If I understand you correctly, rates and insurance should be covered by the rent. I’m not clear where you stand with respect to a mortgage for major compliance & repairs such as replacing a metal roof or to the exterior of the rental (e.g. cladding or replacing an unsafe deck + balustrade).

                    In other words, the tenant can live in the rental relatively care-free, i.e. even minor repairs & maintenance are the owner/landlord’s responsibility and paying only for the insurance and council rates, and pay less than when he/she actually owned the same property, most likely with a bigger mortgage than the owner/landlord. The tenant can give notice at any time and possibly leave the rental vacant for a while at no risk to the tenant.

                    The owner/landlord cannot enjoy [living in] their own property whilst it is being run as a rental business (unless you’re an entitled double-dipper) but has to pay for all the financing from his/her personal pocket.

                    All that seems just in your eyes because when the property is sold the owner stands to make a huge profit. Or not.

                    If so, I think it’s nuts.

                    • mikesh

                      I’m not clear where you stand with respect to a mortgage for major compliance & repairs such as replacing a metal roof or to the exterior of the rental (e.g. cladding or replacing an unsafe deck + balustrade).

                      The question of whether major repairs or alterations should capitalized, or whether they should written off to "expenses" is something you probably need to discuss with your accountant, or with the tax department.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nice diversion/evasion! I know the answers to the technicalities, thank you. The actual question was and still is whether you think the interest on a loan to pay for (major) repairs should be covered by rental income or not.

                    • mikesh

                      Nice diversion/evasion! I know the answers to the technicalities, thank you. The actual question was and still is whether you think the interest on a loan to pay for (major) repairs should be covered by rental income or not.

                      If you know the answers, why ask the question? It is hardly "evasion" if I answer, as best I can, irrelevant questions of that sort.

                    • Incognito []

                      You have avoided answering the question, again.

                      A landlord obtains a [first or second] mortgage from the bank to replace a roof. Who pays for the loan, in your view?

                      Simple enough question.

                    • mikesh

                      A landlord obtains a [first or second] mortgage from the bank to replace a roof. Who pays for the loan, in your view?

                      Simple enough question.

                      OK, I'll bite. Since it's not Father Christmas, I'll say "it's the landlord!" as he is the one who has to pay back the loan.

                    • Incognito []

                      Father Christmas? So much is becoming clear now. And you’re also confused about paying back the loan; it’s called the principal. The interest is the cost of borrowing the money. Both are expenses to the landlord or any other business owner with a loan.

                    • mikesh

                      it’s called the principal.

                      Why do you chide me for calling it a loan. That was what you called it. I was merely answering your question.

                      The interest is the cost of borrowing the money. Both are expenses to the landlord or any other business owner with a loan.

                      I see the penny has dropped. You've finally realised that interest is an expense to the landlord, and not to the business. That's what I have been saying all along.

                      There is a convention that accountants recognise called the entity convention. (google it if you've never heard of it) It holds that the proprietor and his business are separate entities. It means that if, for example, a proprietor uses business funds to pay, say, his grocery bill, then that payment is not a business expense, and should not appear in his profit & loss account. Nor would it be tax deductible. In other words it doesn't actually matter where the interest is paid from. What matters is on whose behalf is the payment being made. Is it being made on behalf of the proprietor, or on behalf of the business. The answer to this question, I think, would determine whether or not it should be deductible.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ok, here straight from a Bank’s document: “Where we refer to the ‘loan amount outstanding’, we mean the outstanding principal amount.” Ok, “paying for the loan” might be ambiguous, i.e. does it mean paying the loan amount outstanding aka principal or the principal plus interest? In almost all cases we understand it to mean both, but we were discussing specifically the interest component.

                      The interest is an expense to the entity (e.g. LTC) renting out the property of which the LL usually is a Director and Shareholder. You keep arguing that this should be a direct personal cost to the LL with no recourse of (re)covering this expense by rental income. Since the LL doesn’t actually occupy the rental property it does not make sense to argue that he should pay the interest expense from his own personal pocket. You’re trying to force reality into your fantasy world.

                      Whether an expense is tax-deductible or not makes no difference, as it still is an expense. You’re barking up your straw-tree.

                • mikesh

                  You will never see it back in any way shape or form – it is a direct loss incurred by the property owner.

                  This can be true even if interest was deductible, so it can hardly be used as an argument against non deductibility.

              • Belladonna

                The capital component of the mortgage payment is indeed offset by the (presumed) rise in the asset value (in this case property).
                The interest however, is simply a 'cost' in your business (just as rates, insurance, maintenance, etc. are).

                If your costs go up, and you are not able to increase your prices (rent from your tenants) – then you, as a business owner go broke.
                Believe me, the bank isn't the slightest bit interested in whether the value of the asset is going to go up in 10 years – if you can't pay the mortgage now, then they'll force a sale.

                • mikesh

                  The capital component of the mortgage payment is indeed offset by the (presumed) rise in the asset value (in this case property).
                  The interest however, is simply a 'cost' in your business (just as rates, insurance, maintenance, etc. are).

                  The interest paid is as much a part of the acquisition cost of the property as the principal.

                  • Belladonna

                    In which case, that principle should apply to the deductibility of all commercial interest and principal payments (e.g. a business borrowing to finance heavy machinery, or to expand, or re-tool). Those are just as much adding to the growth-in-value of the business.

                    It doesn't. IRD recognize that the interest cost (at least) is a cost-of-doing-business – and it is able to be claimed for tax purposes.

                    And, of course, the regular interest payments owed to the bank, are a factor in the prices the business charges for their goods or services.

                    • mikesh

                      In which case, that principle should apply to the deductibility of all commercial interest and principal payments (e.g. a business borrowing to finance heavy machinery, or to expand, or re-tool). Those are just as much adding to the growth-in-value of the busines

                      Yes. I agree. Interest should be non deductible in the case of ordinary businesses as well. Not just rental businesses.

                    • Incognito []

                      For consistency, that would include all lease & rent of commercial property too. For example, retailers can look forward to a significant drop in their business costs, if you have it your way. Which they will then pass on to their customers, of course. Everybody wins! Or do they?

                    • mikesh

                      Everybody wins! Or do they?

                      Of course, like everybody else (except the banks), I would like interest rates to be lower. Perhaps the banks might be forced to lower interest rates with interest being non deductible.

                    • Incognito []

                      The bank(s) always wins – somebody has to pay the piper. At this point I assume you also believe in a free lunch. What you would like is wishful thinking that seems to be grounded in some deep bias that clouds your critical and constructive thinking.

                    • Belladonna

                      In that scenario

                      Perhaps the banks might be forced to lower interest rates with interest being non deductible.

                      I forsee massive capital outflows overseas, as interest rates drop for NZ investors.
                      This is the reverse of what happened with Japanese investors (effectively negative rates at home, so invested heavily in NZ, where there was a significantly better rate of return)

                      https://www.ft.com/content/dad95b22-fc98-433b-baca-1cf354b4f3fc

                      Did no favours to the Japanese economy which stagnated for over a decade, and is still in serious strife.

                    • Incognito []

                      In mikesh’s world that seems to be a ‘win-win’.

                    • mikesh

                      In which case, that principle should apply to the deductibility of all commercial interest and principal payments (e.g. a business borrowing to finance heavy machinery, or to expand, or re-tool). Those are just as much adding to the growth-in-value of the business.

                      On looking at he above comment a second time I realize it deserves a more nuanced response than the one I gave originally.

                      If heavy machinery requires an installation cost then that cost should be capitalized initially, and then depreciated as though it were part of the asset. No problem with that. Accountants generally would agree. However interest being a financing cost, and since financing is the proprietor's problem rather than the business's, it should not be deductible. I know the IRD says otherwise, but I have already made it clear that I disagree with them on the question of interest deductibility.

                    • mikesh

                      I forsee massive capital outflows overseas, as interest rates drop for NZ investors.

                      I rather doubt that. And even if the capital did flow overseas, the assets would remain here.

                  • Belladonna

                    The interest paid is as much a part of the acquisition cost of the property as the principal.

                    Neither the Bank nor the IRD regard the interest component of the mortgage payments as part of the value of the property. It's a payment to the bank for choosing to lend you money (a separate transaction).

                    If, for example, your mortgage payment is 99% interest and 1% capital – both credit you only with the 1% increase in ownership.

                    The value of property is only what you can sell it for – not what you paid for it, and especially not what you borrowed to buy it.

                  • mikesh

                    The interest however, is simply a 'cost' in your business (just as rates, insurance, maintenance, etc. are).

                    This would imply that without paying interest you could not operate your business. So, if a rich uncle died and left you an inheritance large enough, and you paid of the balance of your mortgage immediately, you would not be able to operate your business since you would no longer be paying interest.

                    • Incognito

                      This would imply that without paying interest you could not operate your business.

                      Correct!

                      Without paying interest you default on your loan payments and lose your business or you would not get the loan in the first place because of your bad credit history.

                    • mikesh

                      Without paying interest you default on your loan payments and lose your business or you would not get the loan in the first place because of your bad credit history.

                      Are you being deliberately obtuse on order to obtain cheap debating points; or are you just plain stupid.

                      OK. I should have said; without having to pay interest you could not operate your business. My mistake. But most intelligent people would have understood my intent from the context.

                    • Incognito []

                      The whole premise is and has been all along that the landlord does have a mortgage on the rental property. Thus, the landlord has to pay interest. You have missed this crucial context, or choose to ignore it now because it suits you, which is typical of most of your comments in this thread.

                    • mikesh

                      The whole premise is and has been all along that the landlord does have a mortgage on the rental property. Thus, the landlord has to pay interest.

                      This is exactly what I have been saying right from the start. The landlord has to pay the interest so that interest is a personal cost to the landlord, and has nothing to do with the business. It should therefore not be deductible against business revenue. That's just plain common sense.

                    • Incognito []

                      What’s clear is that you keep going around in circles. That’s not common sense, it is futile.

                      No business operates this way and no business can operate this way unless they have a cash flow that is so positive that it can bear the interest costs of doing business. That, in itself, would raise questions, but is at least a possibility if the interest costs are relatively low. That would be a choice, not the default.

                      The landlord also has to pay for repairs & maintenance, rates, and insurance, in the first instance, as he’ll receive the invoices, and by your ‘common sense’ logic this would also be a “personal cost to the landlord”, it seems. You make no sense except nonsense.

                • pat

                  Everyone appears to be missing the critical point in this debate…..how tax is applied is a political decision and there is no requirement for it to be either fair or consistent.

                  • mikesh

                    Everyone appears to be missing the critical point in this debate…..how tax is applied is a political decision and there is no requirement for it to be either fair or consistent.

                    Fair comment. But it doesn't settle the question that we are debating: the logically correct path for a tax system to follow.

                    Nevertheless there may various factors, perhaps of an economic nature, which may suggest a departure from strict logic. However, such departures would need rational justification.

                    • Incognito

                      Nevertheless there may various factors, perhaps of an economic nature, which may suggest a departure from strict logic. However, such departures would need rational justification.

                      Dear readers of this site, we are honoured and blessed to have such a deep thinker in our midst. \sarc

                    • mikesh

                      Dear readers of this site, we are honoured and blessed to have such a deep thinker in our midst. \sarc

                      Interesting. I'd like to meet him whoever he is. I haven't come across him so far.

                    • Incognito []

                      self-reflection is not your strong point

          • Jester 7.1.3.4.2

            And winner of the second dumbest comment of the day as well!

            Of course it will effect the rent calculations. If the rent too low, Landlord cant afford to pay the bank. Its all very well saying the house will increase over the next ten years, but you cant use that increase to pay your mortgage! (unless you sell the house).

            • Gypsy 7.1.3.4.2.1

              I’ve given up with Mikesh. Incognito is doing a great job explaining this to him. I don’t have the patience.

              • Jester

                Incognito has more patience than me (and I often don't agree with him) but even he seems to be struggling to explain to Mikesh.

              • mikesh

                I’ve given up with Mikesh. Incognito is doing a great job explaining this to him. I don’t have the patience.

                You also seem to lack an understanding of the issues involved. All you are doing is re-iterating that interest is a part of running a business. But you don't explain how it actually contributes to the running of a business, as required by the Income Tax Act for deductibility, As I have already pointed out in one of my earlier comments (I don't remember which; I've made many on this thread) one can operate a business perfectly well without paying one cent in interest.

                • Gypsy

                  You're confusing how the IRD define a deductible expense, and what is a real cost of conducting a taxable activity. Earning rent is a taxable activity. Borrowing costs associated with that activity were deductible, thereby reducing the tax expense. That has changed, a landlord's tax increases, his costs increase and the tenant pays more rent. It's simple economics.

                  "one can operate a business perfectly well without paying one cent in interest."

                  One can operate a business perfectly well without employing anyone. But not all businesses do operate that way.

                  • mikesh

                    You're confusing how the IRD define a deductible expense, and what is a real cost of conducting a taxable activity.

                    I know exactly how the IRD defines a deductible expense. I maintain interest doesn't fit that definition. The issue is not whether or not interest is a "real" expense, but whether it's the landlord's private concern or a concern of the business.

                    One can operate a business perfectly well without employing anyone. But not all businesses do operate that way.

                    If a business needs workers it would usually be difficult to envisage it operating without them. One cannot however envisage a situation where a business needs to pay interest. The proprietor pays the interest, but it makes no difference to the operation of the business whether or not he has to do so.

                    • Gypsy

                      "I maintain interest doesn't fit that definition. "

                      You can maintain all you like, but interest is the cost of borrowing to purchase the house to be rented. There is no logic by which you can argue that is not, therefore, an expense in the course of deriving assessable income.

                      "One cannot however envisage a situation where a business needs to pay interest. "

                      Are you actually serious? How do you think most businesses fund working capital, purchase capital equipment, increase their stock for a new project? Before wasting any more of my time, have you had any experience in business as all?

                    • mikesh

                      "I maintain interest doesn't fit that definition. "

                      You can maintain all you like, but interest is the cost of borrowing to purchase the house to be rented. There is no logic by which you can argue that is not, therefore, an expense in the course of deriving assessable income.

                      As I recall the act defines a deductible expense in the following way: An expense is deductible if it is incurred for the purpose of acquiring taxable income.

                      I don't think that means interest is deductible if the loan is for the purpose of purchasing a house, particularly a house which is to be a personal asset of the borrower, regardless of what the borrower does with that house. To be deductible it would need be related to some business activity; in this case presumably the renting out the property. It is difficult to see a connection between the payment of interest and the "renting out" process. If the interest was payable only if the house was rented out then I suppose one might infer a causal connection. However, that clearly is not the case.

                      Let's face it. The acquisition of a house is not a taxable activity, so the incurring of interest for that purpose doesn't fit in with the act's definition. All the loan does is place the the borrower on an equal footing with some-one who able to purchase without borrowing,

                      You demanded logic. Does that "logic" suffice to satisfy you?

                    • Incognito []

                      The only ‘logic’ you display is your confusion about tax deductibility as the benchmark of a genuine expense to the business owner, regardless of what kind of business it is.

                      Here is a list of deductible and non-deductible expenses for rental income:

                      https://www.ird.govt.nz/property/renting-out-residential-property/residential-rental-income-and-paying-tax-on-it/rental-expense-deductions

                  • mikesh

                    The only ‘logic’ you display is your confusion about tax deductibility as the benchmark of a genuine expense to the business owner, regardless of what kind of business it is.

                    I have never asserted that tax deductibility is "the benchmark of a genuine expense to the business owner". You are putting the cart before the horse. I am saying that the fact that interest is an expense of the business owner's that makes it non deductible.

                    Throughout this debate I must say your comments have displayed a certain woolly mindedness. Perhaps you should take more time to think about what you are trying to say.

                    • Incognito

                      You’re so confused that you don’t even realise it! There are expenses that are deductible and there are expenses that are non-deductible. Both are expenses, which need to be paid by revenue. Anything else is just word salad emanating from your brain soup.

                    • Gypsy

                      What Incognito said.

            • mikesh 7.1.3.4.2.2

              Of course it will effect the rent calculations.

              I didn't say that it wouldn't, Dumbo. I said that it shouldn't. There is a difference.

            • mikesh 7.1.3.4.2.3

              And winner of the second dumbest comment of the day as well!

              Of course it will effect the rent calculations. If the rent too low, Landlord cant afford to pay the bank. Its all very well saying the house will increase over the next ten years, but you cant use that increase to pay your mortgage! (unless you sell the house).

              If my comment is "the second dumbest comment of the day" then your rejoinder is downright cretinous. If you can't pay your mortgage the hell are you doing in the property market in the first place. Not only are you given to making stupid comments, but it looks as if you make stupid investments as well. You should stick debentures. Of course you could try the stock market, but you would need a modicum of native intelligence for that, so that doesn't look like a good alternative.

              • Incognito

                Again, you’re missing the point and twisting things. It doesn’t really matter how high or low the interest payments are. The point is that they need to be covered by the rental income.

                • mikesh

                  The point is that they need to be covered by the rental income.

                  Why? Are trying to say that if the interest is not covered by the rental income you would not have to pay it?

                  Or am I just being obtuse? Of curse you have to pay it. But if it means you would be operating at a loss then that just proves the point I was making above. ie That you shouldn't be investing in the property market.

                  • Incognito

                    The only point that you have ‘proven’ is that debating with you is pointless because your ‘arguments’ are not founded in reality – you don’t even agree with Acts. Utterly pointless and futile.

                    • mikesh

                      Guilty as charged, You are quite right. I don't treat treat the act as "the word of God".

                    • Incognito []

                      We know that you like to mention Father Christmas and God, but prefer ‘logic’ and ‘rational thinking’. I think you’re away with the fairies.

                    • mikesh

                      Well, I guess that concludes the debate. You seem to have run out of arguments.

                    • Incognito []

                      You’re like a gift that keeps giving, but I’ve come to the realisation that you’re so disconnected from the present reality that there’s little point in continuing indulging you. I suspect you’d want to have the last word.

                • Shanreagh

                  Not necessarily. It is a choice.

                  It is a LL's choice as to whether they wish to load the rent with all the costs relating to a rental business plus expecting an annual return. Most of us do this but it is a choice. If you are running a tax loss it becomes easier and will be until the ability to do this is lost due to ring fencing expiring.

                  • Incognito

                    Yup, if circumstances allow it, it is an easier choice for the LL, which I’ve already acknowledged here (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-12-03-2022/#comment-1875210). If interest payments are low enough and/or cash flow is positive enough then indeed the rent could be lowered by the LL without incurring a financial loss (which is not the same as a tax loss!).

                    I don’t follow your last sentence.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Actually I was not thinking of lowering but more that the necessity to raise the rent all the time to reflect every last dollar that is spent on the property is not as imperative as it is for a highly leveraged operation.

                      If you run a loss you can debit against this.

                      This is what I meant in last sentence

                      ….. means that investors will no longer be able to offset losses for tax deduction purposes. Instead, the loss will be “fenced off” and will only be deducted from future property income.

                      and

                      Often referred to as “ring-fencing rental losses”, deductions for residential properties are ring-fenced so they can only be used against income from that property. From the 2019-20 income year new ring-fencing rules mean people cannot use rental losses to offset other income like salary and wages.

                      Ack about financial and tax losses.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Steven Horrell, a retired US Navy captain and former intelligence officer, is now a senior fellow with the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis. He's warning about a false flag operation triggering escalation.

    "A ship in the Black Sea with the Kalibr land attack cruise missile could reach Berlin," Horrell told Fox News. "If they viewed one of the European capitals as being a weakness in NATO, they could do that sort of escalation, non-nuclear, but they could strike outside the immediate theater of conflict and start hitting native targets."

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/fabricated-incident-by-russians-could-spark-larger-war-in-western-europe-former-navy-intel-officer-warns

    This scenario comes into play if Putin believes the west will wimp out if he applies more leverage. Seems feasible.

    • Barfly 8.1

      "This scenario comes into play if Putin believes the west will wimp out if he applies more leverage. Seems feasible."

      I would think (hope?) that Putin has realised his earlier miscalculations and is open to a way of extricating Russia from the hole it's in rather than buying a shovel factory and digging harder.

      • arkie 8.1.1

        Current sanctions seem unlikely to be as convincing as we may hope (from Dave Troy):

        Westerners misunderstand Putin’s power and think he serves at the pleasure of rich people. That’s wrong. Russia is an oligarchy, not a plutocracy. It’s vital to understand the difference. Wealthy people have power because of their proximity to Putin. He *allows* them…

        to possess wealth. In that sense, the wealth is *his* wealth. Any oligarch can be defenestrated at any time.

        The West is more of a plutocracy — rule by the rich. Anyone can become rich and thus wield power in a plutocracy. That is not how Russia works.

        Suggesting that Putin will piss off the oligarchs or that he “answers” to them is just backward. They may be annoyed with him or question his strategy, but they have no leverage over him. He has leverage over them and can eliminate their fortunes on a whim. They know this.

        The people who could do Putin in are military, civil service, and media.

        If they turn on him his war apparatus ceases to function. And Putin may get the Qaddafi-style ending he fears so much — but at the hands of the Russian people who are angry for destroying their lives. But the people will need help.

        https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1497420231970627584.html

      • mikesh 8.1.2

        I would think (hope?) that Putin has realised his earlier miscalculations and is open to a way of extricating Russia from the hole it's in rather than buying a shovel factory and digging harder.

        The same thinking could apply to Zelinskyy. As soon as the invasion started he should have flown the white flag and sought a negotiated settlement. He probably thought the West would send in troops to assist him – a bad miscalculation if true.

        Even if he succeeds in defending Ukraine it will probably be a Pyrric victory.

    • Stuart Munro 8.2

      If they try that, the missile launchers currently bombarding Kyiv from Belarus and Russia will be gone in moments.

      Russia is seriously outgunned, even with Nato force reductions. If they trigger Nato, anything sticking out will go. That might include forces in Syria, the Kerch Strait bridge, the Black Sea Fleet presently investing Odessa, the Russian adventure in Georgia, not to mention the Russian bombers over Ukraine.

      • Dennis Frank 8.2.1

        Sounds reassuring, hope you're right! yes

        • Stuart Munro 8.2.1.1

          Yeah – but the downside is it makes Putin even more dependent on his nukes. Although a proportion of them are probably as poorly maintained as all his other gear, Nuclear Russian Roulette is a fool's game.

          Unhappily, Putin is a fool. He is accomplished at destabilizing countries by propagandizing and stimulating dissent – enough to procure the Capitol riot in the US. So why did he not wait for Ukraine's election season, play his well practiced dirty tricks, claim the result was faked and invade to remedy the result. The Ukraine populace would have been divided – easy prey for the crude assault recent events have shown "The Liberators" to be.

          He's on track for a crushing defeat – and he REALLY doesn't like to lose.

          • Blazer 8.2.1.1.1

            So is Biden a 'fool'…Trump….Bush….!frown

            • Stuart Munro 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Biden has a lot on his mind – trying to second guess or accommodate Putin isn't going to work.

              Trump is a traitor – and now his money tree has died, he's heading for his next bankruptcy.

              Bush fils was a fool and a wastrel of epic proportions – stupid enough to let the hawks talk him into war crimes. His father was no more moral, but at least understood what he was playing with.

        • mikesh 8.2.1.2

          Sounds reassuring, hope you're right!

          I hope he's wrong. If what he says eventuates, Russia will probably resort to nuclear weapons.

          • Dennis Frank 8.2.1.2.1

            Putin's that irrational? Doubt it. He's unlikely to do so for a variety of reasons. First, retaliation would punish him – even if only tactical.

            Tit for tat strategy in warfare works like a ratchet: you match your opponents move, then see if he ups the ante or not. Poker uses a similar play.

            Second, Xi would have to authorise it and is unlikely to do so. As long as the hegemon retains a power advantage, other great powers can't risk a challenge.

            Third, a palace coup gets more likely if Putin loses the plot. Desperate moves function as a signal of weakness, not strength. Russia needs to conserve strength militarily, then recover economically. If Putin threatens the prospects of recovery, his colleagues will lose confidence in him. A plot will ensue…

            • Stuart Munro 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Putin is probably playing Crazy Ivan in respect of nukes – pretending to be crazed enough to use them to try to secure an otherwise unavailable advantage.

              This requires opponents to call or meet the bluff, or they simply get pushed around, as the US and Nato have been over no-fly zones and aircraft transfers. The problem is that Putin is at the end of a career of failing to restore Russian greatness, with no prospect but the scorn of subjects and enemies alike. He may well be bitter enough to try to destroy the world.

              The worst outcome is if Biden folds, and lets Putin keep his unearned gains in Ukraine. Some years down the track, when Russia's ordnance inventory is full again, Putin's successor repeats the process with Moldova or Poland.

              • Dennis Frank

                I agree with all that. Re the first point, Putin would have learnt how to get away with that from seeing how well it worked for Trump. We could call it the loose cannon ploy.

                Dunno if you saw my earlier comment on Putin's #2 but the profile is worth a read: https://newlinesmag.com/reportage/the-second-most-powerful-man-in-russia/

                What we learn is that Putin's world view has been warped by conspiracy theorising, and he shares that with #2 who is even more serious about it.

                The state security apparatus, which since the early 2000s has become a veritable “state within the state,” had the final say on everything that went on in Russia. It also managed and directed Russian intelligence and other resources outside Russian borders.

                Patrushev has remained head of the Security Council. He has turned the vast Security Council apparatus into his power base and has been able to steer high-level political decisions in the direction of his conspiracist, anti-American understanding of world events that he had cultivated from his KGB idol, Andropov.

                Patrushev’s ideological influence on Putin has become more evident over time. While Putin still espoused some elements of a liberal worldview in the mid-2000s, Patrushev clearly signaled his preference for what he called “traditional values” as early as 2000. These values are premised on the creation of an anti-liberal, “multipolar” world in which Russia’s sphere of influence would expand dramatically, which Patrushev has referred to in numerous interviews with Russian state media over the years.

                In a 2015 interview, Patrushev claimed that “the formation of a multipolar world” was the only way to restrain what he perceived as the liberal hegemony of the West. He proudly stressed that Russia was the main antagonist to the Western liberal world order and warned that Russia would leave nothing off the table when pushing for its geopolitical interests abroad.

                The Chinese regime has also started using the multipolar framing of geopolitics during the past decade, as they converge on parity with the hegemon.

                In the months preceding the invasion, Patrushev amplified his anti-American conspiracy theories to its highest pitch, attempting to provide justification for Russia’s activities. In September 2021, on state-run Radio Sputnik, he asserted that the U.S. was conducting covert biowarfare against the citizens of the former Soviet republics. “The biological laboratories opened by Washington … are a threat to the health of tens of millions of people.”

                In November 2021, he stated that “the appearance of deadly viruses and pandemics is caused by lab experiments with pathogens,” implying that the Western laboratories he had mentioned in September were to blame. According to Patrushev, some of these laboratories were operating in Ukraine, and he appeared to suggest that their work had to be stopped no matter what the cost.

                Moreover, Patrushev made a series of sensationalist geopolitical claims designed to misinform international audiences about the global balance of power. In September 2021, he said that we are witnessing the resurgence of the British Empire. “Under the concept of ‘Global Britain,’ ” he declared, “the British want to rebuild their empire using their ‘old’ methods.” Patrushev also insisted that the group of seven leading industrial nations has lost “its significance” and is now only “a discussion club.”

                Since nobody in their right mind in the west would take this seriously, it must have been intended to spook his domestic & Chinese audience. Like in China, such disinformation works on the basis of selective programming and the lack of access to alternative world-views.

            • mikesh 8.2.1.2.1.2

              If Putin nuked Ukraine do you think Biden would retaliate on their behalf, and risk the annihilation of his own country. After all, what is the Ukraine to him other than a pawn in some sort of power game..

    • gsays 8.3

      In Poisson's post below, @ 14, there is a Twitter feed about India and an 'unauthorised' launch of a missile into Pakistan.

      What follows in that thread is a story about a crude drone/cruise missile landing in Zagreb.

      Both Hungary and Romania had tracked it through their airspace.

      I don't think we necessarily need a false flag event for the ante to be upped.

  9. weka 9

    Sorry arkie, you're out of the ban list now. Can't move your comment to the front end though.

  10. Patricia Bremner 10

    Better brains than mine might know… If "Luxon" is the answer, what was the question?surprise

  11. weka 11

  12. weka 12

    Another gender critical person nailing it.

  13. Belladonna 13

    So the judicial system is split over whether to mandate vaccination for a child, if the parents can't agree.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-omicron-outbreak-judge-orders-boy-11-to-get-vaccinated/5KI4IE52U3B4JOMZTOGLXZHQ44/?c_id=1&objectid=12510448&ref=rss

    In the previous case, the judge ruled the other way.

    Looking at the reporting, the fact that the child has asthma seemed to be the key element for the ruling. Other matters mentioned weren't strictly relevant – no school requires parents to tell them whether a child is vaccinated, school sports are mandate free (according to a recent school notice), and unless you tell your peers – they're never going to know, so no bullying.
    Birthday parties and events may be an issue (though no vaccine pass for under 12) – but if they are, it's likely to motivate the kid to want to get vaccinated.

    It will be interesting if the case is appealed (based on the previous case law), since, by the time the appeal is heard, the vaccine mandates will, likely, have shifted.

    • Barfly 13.1

      "It will be interesting if the case is appealed (based on the previous case law), since, by the time the appeal is heard, the vaccine mandates will, likely, have shifted."

      Or rendered moot by the death of the child from covid /sigh

      • Belladonna 13.1.1

        More likely by the death of one of the parents (infection and fatality rates for under 12s are minute internationally, let alone in NZ)

  14. Grafton Gully 14

    "- If this happens, right there, in this very second – not even an hour, but a second – there will be those who want to do the same with other territorial formations of Russia, – Vladimir Putin said. – And this will become a tragedy that will affect every citizen of Russia without exception."

    https://rg.ru/2011/12/20/reg-skfo/gudermes-anons.html

    He was predicting tragedy for all if any tried to secede. I suppose the tragedy would be a brutal repression by forces he controls. I have met three emigrants from his regime, highly trained and productive, honest, good humoured and polite.

  15. Poission 15

    Ooops

  16. pat 16

    If growth is the model then let us use it to our advantage and 'grow' the things we need.

    Rather than encouraging ever increasing investment in non productive assets (housing in NZ) we should legislate/regulate for investment in a decarbonised economy….and not the lip service we currently pay.

    There are billions currently available in both the public and private purses that could be invested in currently available technology AND research that will likely provide more chance of long term return than continuing to prop up the existing failing model….if the right incentives were in place.

    • weka 16.1

      Good idea.

      Isn't the growth model dependent on a relatively free market ie people are free where they invest their excess wealth? Do we have examples currently of regulation to promote or limit investment?

      • pat 16.1.1

        The growth model isnt dependent on 'relatively free' choice of investment….there is no 'free' investment choice…..all choices impacted by various factors including regulation, taxation, legality, demand, supply, return etc.

        The recent tax changes to interest deductability for investment property are an example of attempting to incetivise away from buying existing property for investment….but Im talking about this type of thing on steroids. Go the whole hog and make investment in decarbonising projects a no brainer…the investment du jour that has the most available credit, the most favourable tax implications, the most regulatory assistance…..and at the same time make it harder to fund carbon producing projects.

        And watch the excess money flow out of housing into the new game in town…..and the conversation at suburban BBQs switch from housing to solar farms.

    • Ad 16.2

      We need money into houses because we need houses.

      Are you aware of the green investment funds in NZ and what they are used for?

      • pat 16.2.1

        I dispute that and have for years…..we need more available and affordable housing….we have a higher ratio of dwellings to population now than in the 1990s

        • Ad 16.2.1.1

          That is precisely by volume what is being built. It's not hard to check the ratios of dwelling typology being consented. The pattern's been going the right way for a decade. Catch up.

          You also need to educate yourself about the public Green Investment Fund launched by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate Change in December 2018.

          Government mulls more money for green investment fund :: NZ Green Investment Finance (nzgif.co.nz)

          • weka 16.2.1.1.1

            That is precisely by volume what is being built.

            Not really. There's sweet fuck all low cost housing being built in lots of places.

            How can investor built housing be built without contributing to increases in the property market? Aren't investors now attracted by capital gains? Building more houses in this way makes the situation worse.

            • Ad 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Townhouses, flats and units have long since outstripped standalone houses in the 12 month rolling total.

              Bring on the Density – Greater Auckland

              Apartments and units are now our dominant new form, both in the public and private sectors.

              The new standalone houses are fewer and larger and cost more.

              What constitutes affordability for a new house I will leave to those to discern from historical trends of wage and salary ratios. Mostly now you need a well established couple in their '40s with savings of $200k. We have far more single parents, low savings, but more boomers dieing and splitting up their equity. We also now have over a decade of Kiwisaver for first house loans.

              Note even a good Tiny House from Shaye Homes is over $220k – and they have removed prices from all their models.
              (dammit how does one input graphs better)

              • weka

                (dammit how does one input graphs better)

                put width="100%" inside the image tag (I put it at the end). You usually have to do it on edit, not the original comment. I fixed it this time.

              • weka

                ok, so we agree there isn't a lot of low cost housing being built (relative to income).

                You didn't say anything about how to prevent investor building from increasing house prices and making the situation worse.

          • pat 16.2.1.1.2

            Nothing to do with volume being built….it is the total dwellings in existence in relation to population….a stat thats difficult to fudge.

            As to the Green Investment Fund..what advantage does it offer other than a feel good factor…as far as I can ascertain, none.

            • Ad 16.2.1.1.2.1

              Not hard to find stats on that rather than just bleating. I've already provided plenty. Go for it.

              You need to do something more than just whine like a petulant child if you don't like a policy being implemented when it's shown to you. Try contacting James Shaw: he actually responds.

              • weka

                the Green Investment Fund is a really good thing. It's not the same as regulating to channel funding into transition work though.

              • pat

                So no answer again….just reverting to type. Brilliant.

              • pat

                NZ private housing stock 1991 1.307 million

                Population 3.5 million

                Ratio 2.67 per dwelling

                Private housing stock 2020 1.963 million

                population 5.1 million

                ratio 2.59 per dwelling

                We also know the average size of dwellings has increased, despite apartment/terraced developments.

                We also had a reduction in state housing stock of around 10,000 units (that has since returned to previous absolute level) that remains per capita well below historical levels.

                And then there is the issue of un/under utilised housing (holiday homes, Air BnB, vacant for capital gain)….unmeasured.

                28 January 2022 at 10:40 am

  17. Incognito 17

    I was drawn (in) by the headline: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/prosper/128011926/what-ive-learned-perfection-kills-progress

    It gives a glimpse (only) of how ambition and ideals meet reality and business considerations.

    They should market those overalls!

    Their website is super-slick and ‘trendy’, but I do like it (guilty).

  18. Patricia Bremner 18

    Second question for the day.. for your opinions.

    How will it help our current situation to as Luxon says "Take us back to 2017 and undo all Labour's taxes and housing regulations?"

    • Adrian 18.1

      Because you will have privatised health and education systems and they will be so much more efficient and be staffed by people with little English and work for a lot less and will be owned by the rich who will pay more taxes ( chuckle, chuckle ).

  19. Blazer 19

    'keeping an eye on …things'

    Then-2017

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced at the pump.

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced by the supermarket duopoly.

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced by foreign banks,obscene profits.

    -Rents are skyrocketing.

    -House prices are skyrocketing.

    Now-2022

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced at the pump.

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced by the supermarket duopoly.

    -Kiwi's are getting fleeced by foreign banks,obscene profits.

    -Rents are skyrocketing.

    -House prices are skyrocketing.

    devil

    • Adrian 19.1

      Every possibility of a large war threatens all of the above, add in a global pandemic, which incidentally is why Putin moved now, and it is no wonder that this is the situation. It is instigated by the fear of shortages and fueled by the greed of those holding the tradeable assets. That is the case in 2022.

      The shortages in 2017 were the culmination of National selling residencies and bringing in 500,000 immigrants with nowhere to live and their Putin like closeness to the robber barons of the banks and supermarket owners. Count how many National MPs went on to bank and supermarket jobs. Corruption..oh look over there…ponytails.

    • Dennis Frank 19.2

      But but but, Grant's a good boy, he always does what he's told, don't be mean to him. He's almost got his knighthood, he just needs to screw the poor a wee while longer.

      • Adrian 19.2.1

        You really are on another planet. So Grant Robertson owns all the world's oil companies, both NZ supermarket chains, all the banks and every rental in the country.

        You are an idiot.

        [You have received several warning recently from three different Moderators about insulting others. So, take a week off and when you come back you may want to leave out the insults and any implications of violence too – Incognito]

      • Patricia Bremner 19.2.2

        Good Lord Dennis!!! Don't go there!! You are just provoking… yes just so. Well I am out of here for a week as well because Dennis does this and gets away with it. Adrian at least believes what he writes.
        Solidarity all the way.

        • Dennis Frank 19.2.2.1

          Relax, Patricia. It worked for Cullen, didn't it? And you can't claim that Grant is producing a smaller number of poor than he did, can you? So we need to be realistic about what's happening.

          Is there any reason you believe Grant ought not to be held responsible for the consequences of his economic policy?

          I'm reluctant to draw the conclusion that you've never heard of the principle of ministerial responsibility. It's not as if the cabinet manual contains escape clauses that define circumstances where the principle does not apply, and which apply to him personally right now…

    • Ad 19.3

      We could always solve the fuel crisis by massively cutting fuel taxes … but don't complain about the potholes, cancelled train services, and higher deaths.

      Bank with our local NZ-owned bank.

      No government in 50 years has moved as hard against real estate investment or for renters. Who knows if it's going to work.

      • Blazer 19.3.1

        '

        'No government in 50 years has moved as hard against real estate investment or for renters. Who knows if it's going to work.'

        Not sure how that justifies todays situation.

        I think Rowling introduced a speculation tax…wasn't effective but let's face it the dynamics have changed..imo especially since 2008…low interest rates and the effect RE has on GDP has captured the..politicians…

    • SPC 19.4

      The rent freeze is coming.

      Lower rent, or Luxon the man with 6 properties and a salary in the hundreds of thousands who

      plans to repeal the 39 per cent tax bracket, and allow landlords to deduct interest costs from their taxes … estimates suggest they would cost in the vicinity of $1.3b a year at first

      lifting the tax thresholds, effectively giving every income tax payer in New Zealand a tax cut … the party costed that policy at $1.7 billion. … giving National's total plan an annual cost of $3 billion.

      as PM.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/christopher-luxon-wont-say-if-tax-cuts-will-be-staggered-or-if-landlords-should-cut-rents-after-being-given-tax-cuts/IIKUPY3W4QZCCPFVIKTKUXS3SU/

      I cannot see how they can afford to boost the AS to support those paying rent, or target support to those on low income families (who get miserly amounts from changes in tax scales) – so poverty is going to get much worse.

      And we all know National will hand out small MW adjustments and obstruct fair wage and industry award developments – and enable resort to migrant labour to place downward pressure on wage levels.

      In the UK there is a term for the policy – class warfare.

      The alternative (as well as a rent freeze) involves either a bump in the lowest zero tax on income threshold and or tax credit adjustments for low income families.

  20. arkie 20

    South Korea’s recent election will worry the nation’s workers and women with the elevation of Friedman acolyte Yoon Suk-yeol, who is anti-labour, wants to lower the minimum wage and remove the maximum 52hr work week, also:

    As an avowed “anti-feminist” he has pledged to abolish the ministry for gender equality, claiming South Korean women do not suffer systemic discrimination – despite voluminous evidence to the contrary.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/09/yoon-suk-yeol-elected-president-south-korea

    • Ad 20.1

      Ahn Cheol-Soo left the unification ticket too late to make a difference for the left.

      Still, at least it's a democracy and there ain't that many of them left.

      • arkie 20.1.1

        If democracy is the choice between status-quo capitalist parties then the people don’t really have a choice.

        To call Ahn Cheol-soo and his Peoples Party ‘left’ really is a stretch (surely it is the centre-left/liberal DPK), and he was considering but did not end up running for the nomination of the same party that just won with Yoon Suk-yeol on the ticket.

  21. Reality 21

    Not sure how Luxon would be able to with a clear conscience accept his extra $8000 pa on his lesser tax rate. And stand by while lower paid get their few extra dollars a week. Seems morally wrong somehow. Has any reporter really really grilled him about what cuts he would make to cover the tax shortfall given every sector is crying out for more funding. He of course will be able to pay private school fees, private health insurance etc

    There is something shifty about him and his lack of eye contact.

  22. joe90 22

    Fucking awful on so many levels. Large bolide impact event, anyone?

    Ukrainian women carrying the babies of wealthy Westerners must remain in their war-torn country — or leave only to return to give birth in the midst of Russian attacks.

    Due to complex legal requirements, the mothers-to-be in one Kyiv surrogacy clinic must give birth in a bomb shelter-turned-maternity ward, despite the ongoing devastation in their country after Russia’s unprovoked invasion last month.

    Several women at the BioTexCom clinic fled as the attacks worsened, but arrangements were made for them to return to the medical center closer to their due date, Denis Herman, a legal adviser for the surrogacy center, told Newsflash.

    He advised the surrogates to not give birth in neighboring countries, since surrogacy is banned in many places proximal to Ukraine.

    The tragic conundrum underscores a divide in the commercial surrogacy world: Critics of the practice, which is legal and inexpensive in Ukraine, dubbed it “rent-a-womb tourism” and classified it as human trafficking, claiming it exploits women.

    https://nypost.com/2022/03/09/ukrainian-surrogates-must-return-to-war-zone-to-give-birth/

    Since Russian tanks began rolling over the Ukrainian border, the international media have reported on the plight of foreign couples using paid Ukrainian surrogate mothers. Usually, these articles make scant reference to the surrogates’ wellbeing, instead being written up as breathless tales of derring-do, as plucky couples launch daring raids to bring their babies to safety.

    The Irish Independent, for example, reported on a County Kerry couple who had brought their son back from Ukraine without making any reference to their surrogate, presumably left postpartum in a war zone. Sometimes, the couples appear indifferent to the plight of the women left behind: one American parent recently wrote a 1,257-word Instagram post about getting her newborn out of Ukraine in which she thanked her gym for keeping her “fit enough” to make the journey and the travel agent who had arranged her hotel, but did not make any reference to the woman who had carried her baby.

    Olga Danchenko, a surrogacy lawyer from Kyiv who fled to western Ukraine with her family on the first day of the invasion, has been inundated with emails and phone calls. In their worry for their babies, many of her clients forget her own predicament. “The parents who are facing problems getting their babies don’t care about us,” she says. “They say: ‘Hi, Olga, give me the documents.’ ‘Hi, Olga, please draft this.’ ‘Hi, Olga, I need a birth certificate, I need my baby, I signed a contract with you.’ Not a single question about how I am doing.” She sounds exhausted. “We have nightmares during the day and during our dreams at night,” Danchenko says. “Can you imagine? Everything is broken in one day.

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/mar/10/will-the-babies-be-left-in-a-war-zone-the-terrified-ukrainian-surrogates-and-the-parents-waiting-for-their-children

    • Sabine 22.1

      Oh well, war breaks out and all sort of stuff happens. And i mean seriously why would the buyers of life human beings worry about the body that they rent to incubate these ordered human beings. They paid for these services!

    • Molly 22.2

      Good article here Joe90.

      “Collateral damage”: The invasion of Ukraine reminds us of the cost of surrogacy, and who pays the price – abc au

      Women are the collateral damage of the surrogacy industry — not only its unintended damage, but its intended and calculated damage. For the industry and what it calls “clients”, the damage done to the woman who fills the role of “surrogate” is considered as entirely proportionate to the “happy ending” — a new healthy baby — that is the selling point of the industry.

      Surrogacy is a human rights violation of the woman who is turned into a breeder of the “product”, an embryo manufactured by the IVF industry and grown in her body into a baby which is then removed (mostly by caesarean). Often, she is not allowed to hold her child, whom she is not likely to see ever again.

      Surrogacy is also a human rights violation of the child who never consented to be a take-away baby. The practice of surrogacy violates several international conventions. It can be likened to slavery, which Article 1 of the 1926 Slavery Convention defines as “the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised”. This is now universally accepted as the base definition of slavery, with the status of jus cogens in international law. The conditions of standard surrogacy contracts leave little doubt as to the status and compulsion of what many buyers refer to as “my surrogate”. Surrogacy also profoundly violates the rights of the child. Article 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires: “State Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form”.

      • Sabine 22.2.1

        Capitalists mining the bodies of women for life human beings, human eggs, human breast milk. The body of others to be exploited like dairy cows to fulfil the needs/wants of some to the enrichment of others. I wonder when these will be the last options for 'women' to make a living, that and the dignity of sex work.

        • Molly 22.2.1.1

          Yes. Would think analysis of this would be interesting on a political blog.

          At least Julie Bindel doesn't shy away:

          The sly sexism of Left-wing men: Supporting porn and prostitutes isn't feminist

          https://archive.ph/LBVdT

          And you can see this toxic mix guiding policy. Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch (and a highly paid white man), has lobbied for the removal of all laws pertaining to prostitution, including pimping and brothel owning. When criticised by feminists (including black women) for his support of the sex trade, Roth erected a façade woven from arguments about free choice, and economic empowerment for women from the Global South. “All want to end poverty, but in meantime why deny poor women the option of voluntary sex work?” tweeted Roth. To which sex-trade survivor Rachel Moran responded with: “Wouldn’t you say, if a person cannot afford to feed themselves, the appropriate thing to put in their mouth is food, not your cock?”

          But patriarchy is depressingly resilient. It can thrive in all sorts of environments. “As a member of the Labour Party my whole adult life, I’ve always taken it for granted that lefties were the progressives ones, and the racism and sexism was left to the nasty party (the Tory’s)”, says Lucy Masoud, a former firefighter who was one of the very few black elected officials in the Fire Brigade Union, and the only black lesbian. Like many feminists, she is sick of the new breed of progressive man. “They describe themselves as ‘cis’ and hang around in Dalston drinking stout and declaring that trans women are women. But under all the faux progressiveness always lays the same entitled misogynist.”

  23. gsays 23

    I just discovered this is on.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/300538384/watch-live-timbersports-new-zealand-championships

    Reminds me of A&P shows of yore.

    There is a young Bolstad doing well too.

    • Poission 23.1

      There is a young Bolstad doing well too.

      Chip off the old block?

    • Shanreagh 23.2

      Thank you for the link. Of yore ……perhaps even the 'olden days'.

      Yes indeed from a family where wood chopping at local A & P shows was for two little girls the chance to do some hero worship of first, our uncles then our older cousins doing this. Even had aunts doing the Jack and Jill sawing. And the Bolstads were 'connections' of our family – my mother defined connections as the relations of aunts/uncles, cousins etc who had married into the family. Makes for a wide circle, some of these connections were family friends and were connected twice or three times over as members of our family later married into the connections.

      Recently I have been trying to go to A & P shows and to the Central District Field Days but seem to have got the urge when Covid has been around.

      These rural sports like wood chopping, show jumping and dog trialing not to mention the cooking, sewing and gardening competitions were/are very important.

      https://www.cdfielddays.co.nz/

      Boo hoo perhaps next year?

  24. SPC 24

    A Covid comparison

    New Zealand 7 deaths in one day (and now 105 total)

    UK at 140 per day (twice our rate)

    USA over 1200 per day (50% higher than the UK rate)

    We are though now just above the Oz rate – they have now fallen below 30 per day.

    Their number of deaths is 5500, comparable to around 1000 here. It's possible our death rate per million will be similar by the end of the year.

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      #Omicronismild

    • Poission 24.2

      NZ models are forecasting 450 deaths by Queens birthday,Australia around 7500 by Anzac day (in absolute numbers) projections in Australia are around 10-20k (by Xmas) depending which scenario is used.What is an acceptable death number?

      • SPC 24.2.1

        The first shipment of the Merck anti-viral is due here in April.

        Those at risk of hospitalisation have to get PCR tests to identify infections early (the RATS tests won't show a positive as quickly) and get the anti-viral treatment delivered to as fast as. That and boosters (vitamin D, zinc and ) are where we can still do something.

  25. Joe90 25

    Yeltsin's foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev talks about Putin's totalitarian state and Russia's disastrous war.

    "As to the pundits and policy mandarins who think the West sleepwalked into this crisis, which now threatens to bleed out beyond the borders of Russia and Belarus and Ukraine, Kozyrev thinks that’s simply nonsense. “Unfortunately, there are many wishful thinkers especially in academia here and intellectuals who have ties to Russia. They go to Valdai [a Russian think tank forum]. They consume caviar and vodka and are treated like kings by those who exist solely to manipulate them. This argument about NATO is just propaganda fed to Americans who then regurgitate it in their opinion and journal essays. The only real analysts who come here from Russia are dissidents. The rest are front people, just like in the Soviet Union, and they manufacture Western champions of the Putin regime, chumps and useful idiots.”"

    https://newlinesmag.com/reportage/russias-ex-foreign-minister-on-his-totalitarian-country/

    • Dennis Frank 25.1

      Damn good stuff there. Clinton the clueless liberal fucked up big-time. I always suspected that, just didn't have the evidence.

      Where America erred, Kozyrev insists, was in not investing as a matter of “strategic necessity” in Russia’s nascent and fragile democracy, which he and Yeltsin — at least in the earlier phase of his career — represented. “We had considerable public support in 1993. I was elected to the Duma [the lower house of Russia’s Parliament] in Murmansk, and a large part of my base were naval officers at that city’s major naval military base. Seventy percent of them voted for me. Why? Because our policy of partnership with the West had considerable support at that time.”

      The U.S. sent plenty of economic advisers, investment bankers and McKinsey consultants to help with the privatization of state assets, but Washington, D.C., didn’t mobilize all of its resources, Kozyrev believes, “to help us win the civil war against revanchist, hardline Russian nationalists. It was the only way to get rid of this mad situation. We were ready to cut our nukes to the bare minimum and end our strategic doctrine of preparing for a showdown with the West. The window of opportunity existed until 1994. And for America this wasn’t just a moral imperative — to help us. It was an existential one.”

      Kozyrev has high praise for President George H.W. Bush and his cabinet, particularly Secretary of State James Baker and Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney. “Those guys were Cold Warriors. They understood the enormity of the problem — and also the opportunity. Unfortunately, Bush lost re-election. [Bill] Clinton came in and he was, generally speaking, helpful. But he could not … fully grasp the challenge of solidifying Russian democracy.”

      I was working in the TVNZ newsroom at the time cutting stories about the Russian situation & felt seriously concerned that all we seemed to be getting from the US was propaganda about how Russia was becoming a democracy. Rah rah blather. No substance in any of it. No actual facts reported about surveys of public opinion, referenda about how to do it, etc.

      Just the pushing of the wishful thinking at us. No wonder Yeltsin drank himself to death so fast. The yanks didn't support him. Perhaps they were too stupid to realise that democracy to people that haven't learnt how to do it gets similar results to planting a crop at the wrong time of year.

      • Blazer 25.1.1

        File that under …'Capt Hindsight'…Dennis.wink

      • Francesca 25.1.2

        I've been banned, but have no idea if my punishment is up

        Anyway, won't do a long comment

        Dennis, surely you remember the Yeltsin era?When the US flagrantly interfered in Russian elections? and boasted about it .And surely you remember how disastrous the US savage destruction and pillaging of state assets was under the compliant Yeltsin and his ministers Our own Chandler brothers made their massive fortunes there.This was most definitely not the nascent flowering of democracy, it was the outright rape and theft of the Russian people, destroying their society and heavily reducing their life expectancy

        http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19960715,00.html

  26. Byd0nz 26

    NATO and Ukraine.

    Question: Why will NATO, who has sent multi millions of dollars of heavy armaments into Ukraine since the Coup of 2014 that ousted a democratically elected Government who in fact had good relations with Russia, not allow Ukraine to join NATO?.

    Answer: In NATO's own words, (and no need for links, it's easy to find). Ukraine will not be permitted to join NATO until it cleans up it's Politics and wider Corruption in the Country.

    That answer begs the question of, why would you pour millions of dollars of weapons into such an unstable environment?

    In speculation then, was it in order to provoke conflict with it's larger neighbor , Russia, and if that was so, knowing that Ukraine in such a conflict would be left to it's own devices to fight against Russia, all be it with the heavy armaments supplied by the West. This then shows how NATO and the rest of the West have used Ukraine as a pawn in a proxy war against Russia.

    All Countries in the UN are complicit in this tradgedy because they ignored Russias concerns regarding this mass of weaponary being sent to such an unstable State.

    • SPC 26.1

      What level of corruption within a county legitimises invasion of it?

      That in 2002 Iraq …?

      In 1949 the UN banned acquiring territory by war/invasion.

      When Russia came to the aid of Syria did they check whether the Damascus regime was corruption free?

      • Francesca 26.1.1

        Lets see SPC

        I doubt Putin wants territory.He's going for Luhansk and Donetsk as two independent states, not annexed to Russia

        But that is really not feasible.

        I suspect its wiggle room to compromise with the Minsk solution .The two republics

        within Ukraine's borders but autonomous

        • SPC 26.1.1.1

          He certainly wants Ukraine to recognise Crimea is part of Russia – it was part of Putin's terms for peace.

          • Francesca 26.1.1.1.1

            Agree.But to retake Crimea by force , as Zelensky proposed was never going to happen.Better to recognise that Crimea is never going back to Ukraine.

  27. Grafton Gully 27

    The Putin regime and the Russian Orthodox Church are significant supporters of a Russia beyond the Russian Federation.

    This recently from Patriarch Kiril.

    "Today we lift up a special prayer for His Beatitude Onuphry, for our Church and for our devout faithful. May the Lord preserve the Russian land. When I say “Russian”, I use the ancient expression from “A Tale of Bygone Years” – “Wherefrom has the Russian land come”, the land which now includes Russia and Ukraine and Belarus and other tribes and peoples. That the Lord may protect the Russian land against external enemies, against internal disorders, that the unity of our Church may strengthen and that by God’s mercy all the temptations, diabolical attacks, provocations may retreat and that our devout people in Ukraine may enjoy peace and tranquillity – these are our prayers today. And I ask you all to mention His Beatitude Onuphry in year prayers in church and at home, to mention our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and to pray for peace."

    https://mospat.ru/en/news/89032/

  28. joe90 28

    Pack the captagon, boys.

    The Russian authorities allowed the sending of volunteers from the Middle East to the Donbass against the backdrop of the fact that a large number of foreign mercenaries are coming to Ukraine ready to participate in battles against the Russian military, said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, RBC correspondent reports.

    Peskov was asked what was the purpose of the decision to send volunteers from the Middle East to the Donbass and whether it was to strengthen the forces of the DNR and LNR.

    “It's all happening in general. We have a huge number of paid mercenaries who come to Ukraine in order to take part in hostilities against our military. At the same time, applications are coming in who want to take part in what they consider to be the national liberation struggle for free,” he replied.

    “If, let’s say, the Western world welcomes the arrival of diverse mercenaries, then there are also volunteers from this side who want to take part in this,” Peskov added.

    google translation

    https://amp.rbc.ru/rbcnews/politics/11/03/2022/622b271c9a7947da24782289

    • pat 28.1

      Not a good sign for anybody….dont imagine the Russians anticipated needing to use mercenaries or want the complication….but then they are also a convenient scapegoat for all manner of acts.

      • joe90 28.1.1

        That. And their mums won't make a fuss.

    • SPC 28.2

      I don't think the Russians are being serious – they specified "16,000 Syrians who would fight for nothing" the exact same number of "internationals" who have gone to fight for Ukraine. It's propaganda.

    • joe90 28.3

      Trouble at mill?

      1/ Many Russian elites are dissatisfied with the war. But these two could not say it spontaneously. This show is pre-recorded and carefully orchestrated. Which means that these discussions were approved and permitted.

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1502337993012658177.html

  29. weka 29

    Keir Starmer last night tried to bring some clarity to the controversial question of defining what a woman is.

    jfc. The state of humans.

    Anyhoo, Starmer is apparently committed to ensuring UK Labour never become government. He apparently thinks that women are what the law says they are, they don't have any actual existence in and of themselves.

    For the TWAW insistence crowd, he also says that women are entitled to female only spaces.

    See if there's a way to make sense of all of that.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10604829/Keir-Starmer-calls-respectful-debate-controversial-issue.html

    • Sabine 29.1

      He might find out this:

      Susan B. Anthony | BOOK OF DAYS TALES

    • roblogic 29.2

      As expected, on international women's day there was an outbreak of idiocy on social media, thinly disguised misogyny IMO from those who consider themselves unimpeachable moral paragons.

      • Incognito 29.2.1

        Idiocy is always present, but it leeches onto new targets all the time. If you want to know where it is, follow the trending trends and you can’t miss it. Be careful though, it can be highly contagious and can also suck you into long dark rabbit holes from which there’s no easy exit.

        • roblogic 29.2.1.1

          Sometimes those who fall down those rabbit holes are just very lonely people looking for community on social media – and finding it. Even if it is crazy, people need a tribe to belong to. When we scapegoat them it just increases their sense of alienation and pulls them even further from 'polite' society

          • Incognito 29.2.1.1.1

            That is true – we all need and long for human connection. But people have choices and critical thinking faculties. It is like having a perpetual one-night stand with the same person or group of people (one at a time, of course) that satisfies some of our desires and needs some of the time, but prevents us from moving forward to better more meaningful and thus more fulfilling connections and experiences. That’s why they’re called rabbit holes: rabbits are prolific breeders and holes are hard to escape from 😉

            • roblogic 29.2.1.1.1.1

              Those who are victims of abuse and neglect often find such connections difficult or impossible, and toxic relationships feel normal to them. Hard to escape from indeed. 🥺

Recent Comments

Recent Posts