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Open Mike 16/05/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 16th, 2018 - 140 comments
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140 comments on “Open Mike 16/05/2018 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Even simple steps in going green can have unexpected problems. Change wiring insulation to something soy-based, and rats are even happier to chew on it.


    I gotta admit that when it comes to causing problems in new cars, it’s mostly just a “heh” moment for me. But if that problem spreads to wiring in buildings … well … vermin-damaged wiring is already a significant cause of fires with nasty toxic PVC insulation, so making the insulation more snackable is a definite worry.

  2. Ed 2

    Israeli war criminals still not being held to account by the media.
    It wasn’t a clash.

    It was a massacre.

    Stop lying media.
    Stop lying.

  3. Headlines in the Herald!

    New Zealand roundly condemns Israeli action in Gaza and calls in Israel’s ambassador for dressing down!

    Nah, only kidding. We’d never do something so morally uplifting, would we?

    • Ed 3.1

      I refuse to read that scum rag.

      • Well, knock me down with a feather!

        Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon! Well done, this government.

      • Cinny 3.2.2

        Good to hear, take a stand NZ and remove the Israeli ambassador, through all the carnage during the conflicts of 2014, john key did diddly squat about it.

        Meanwhile, Israel is celebrating today and those in Gaza are burying their dead (including children) the hospitals in Gaza are currently at breaking point.

        Do we have an ambassador in Israel? I see that South Africa and Turkey have removed theirs.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury

          Those two bastions of

          • Ed

            No doubt you were an avid supporter of apartheid South Africa and cheered on as the racist regime massacred people at Sharpeville and Soweto.

            Amazing you can defend the actions of the Israelis.

            • Muttonbird

              Tuppence will be an immigrant pom of the Thatcher loving type. He’ll think apartheid benefitted blacks and ended too soon.

        • Macro

          Meanwhile the US has vetoed a UN call for an independent investigation into the cause of the Gaza killings.
          Mind you we all know what caused it…
          Some stupid prick had the bright idea that he should move the US Embassy to Jerusalem – I mean what could possibly go wrong? Now I hear 7 Republican Governors have endorsed him for a Peace Prize!

      • Grey Area 3.2.3

        “Let’s call for restraint on both sides given where we’re at”.

        So No Bridges wants the Palestinians to stop throwing rocks and the Israelis to stop killing people with shots from high-powered sniping rifles, reportedly to the head and genitals.

        • Gabby

          Well throwing rocks doesn’t seem to be working out too well does it greysie.

          • McFlock

            They don’t have much else to throw.

            And expected someone treated like that to throw nothing is as callous as treating them like that in the first place.

            • Gabby

              Nothing callous about it. That makes no sense. Thinking you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs would be callous.

          • Grey Area

            Your point is? You seem to have missed mine.

  4. Ed 4

    Radio New Zealand please explain why you repeat the pr of dairy farming as news.

    • gsays 4.1

      on the subject of rnz…
      i have sworn off ‘the panel’ for a while now, however, while in the workshop yesty, my i pod went flat.
      so i tuned into rnz, just in time to hear david farrar, excuse,diminish and celebrate the goings on in palestine.
      i eventually calmed myself down from both the comments and the way an opposing point of view (allie jones from christchurch) was interupted.

      it then became open season on the government performance for the national party pollster, advisor and princess party organiser. he was joined by a commenter who seemed to to be singing from the same songsheet.

      i get the government is due to get criticised, but by a person holding such vile opinions is getting too much for me.

      • Grantoc 4.1.1

        Go and have a nice cup of tea then if its all too much for you..

        I listened too, and Allie Jones, representing the red team, was just as strong in presenting her point of view.

        Its called debate where you contest ideas. This is what happens in a democracy. I presume you believe in democracy?

        • gsays

          ha ha ha, believe in democracy.. excellent.
          thigh slapping stuff.

          i will take democracy without the lies, spin, lobbying and obfuscation thanks.

          your view of red and blue, as ‘views’ is so last century.
          do you agree with and share farrar’s view of the most recent deaths in palestine?

          • Grantoc

            No I don’t agree with Farrar’s opinion re the current deaths in palestine.

            I also didn’t agree with Jones views on the same show on Labour’s lack of preparedness when coming into govenment.

            But I do agree with their right to express their opinions; even though I don’t agree with them.

            This is an enduring principle of democracy, like all of the others; and one that is not time bound. Or do you consider this principle (and others) to be ‘so last century’. If so how do justify calling yourself a ‘democrat’? If in fact you do.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But I do agree with their right to express their opinions;

              I don’t when those ‘opinions’ are manifestly wrong and supporting Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians is manifestly wrong on a public broadcast. There is neither right nor logic to Israel’s slaughter.

      • Anne 4.1.2

        ….he was joined by a commenter who seemed to to be singing from the same songsheet. “He” being David Farrar.

        And by sheer chance (?) the guest commenter was Farrar’s favourite journalist, Richard Harman.


  5. Sanctuary 5

    To paraphrase J M Barrie: Every time a National/ACT supporter says “silly little girl” somewhere a little girl resolves to never, ever, ever vote for them.

    • Ankerrawshark 5.1

      Sanctuary …100+++++

      We could do an add like the “a little girl waits” ad”…………

  6. Jenny 6

    Being killed in Palestine, Being killed in Yarmouk refugee camp, being killed in Latakia refugee camp, dying in the Mediterranean

    The International Organization for Migration has called the Mediterranean “by far the world’s deadliest border,” as more than 33,000 migrants have died at sea trying to enter Europe since 2000.


  7. Jenny 7

    “Gaza bleeds alone as liberals and progressives go mute”
    Ramzy Baroud May 2, 2018

    “Ramzy Baroud: bringing the voices of Palestine to NZ”
    Kia Ora Gaza May 8, 2018

    ‘A horrific situation’: Dozens killed as US opens Jerusalem embassy
    Ramzy Baroud May 15, 2018

    For an authentic voice on the crisis in Palestine you won’t get anywhere else in New Zealand.

    Ramzy Baroud New Zealand Tour

    9:35am: Listen to 95bFM radio for Mikey Havoc’s live studio interview with Ramzy Baroud

    10:30am book signing event at UBIQ Auckland University Bookshop, 2 Alfred Street, Student Commons (off Princes Street, City.)

    Ramzy will speak at the Nakba Rally, 2pm Aotea Square, Queen St, CBD.

    Free public talk: 7pm Freemans Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn St, Auckland.

    Free public talk: 7pm: Wintec, Room A2.05, City Campus, Hamilton.

    Access via Gate 3 or Gate 2 on Tristram Street. Free parking.

    Book signing from 12pm to 1pm: Vic Books, Easterfield Building, 1 Kelburn Parade, Wellington 6012. [email protected]

    Evening event: 6pm Free Public talk: St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington City 6011. (Wellington event book sales by Vic Books)

    Free public talk: 7pm Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral, 234 Hereford St, Christchurch 8011

    Free public talk: 5:15pm Burns 2 Lecture theatre, Ground Floor Arts Building, Albany Street, University of Otago.

    • Ed 7.1

      Thanks Jenny

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.3

      Allowing holocaust deniers into New Zealand as they’re Palestinian supporters?

      This is a new low

      • Brigid 7.3.1

        You’re saying Ramzy Baroud is a holocaust denier? Why?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.2

        Does this sound like Holocaust denial?

        When the crimes of the Holocaust are discussed, the discussion almost immediately becomes two pronged: one of the Holocaust as a despicable crime against humanity, which should be duly remembered, as not to be repeated against any other nation, and the memory of those who perished in that most dreadful time in history also be recalled. But there is also another Holocaust discussion, one that is hardly concerned with the plight of humanity and the dignity of people. It’s not about remembrance and is scarcely pertinent to issues concerning human rights. The second reference to the Holocaust is always used in political contexts, often infused to justify vile human rights violations against other nations, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese, and utilized as a pretext to infringe about the sovereignty of other nations, like Iraq, and now Iran.

        I wonder where you got your (apparently false) impression from. Care to share who’s been duping you?

      • Ed 7.3.3

        Defending the massacre of unarmed civilians.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Kieren Read echoes the entire country’s thoughts on the Christchurch rebuild. He says the lack of progress on an indoor stadium reflects the lack of progress in Christchurch. John Key, Bingles and the previous National government crowed about the Christchurch rebuild being one of their crowning achievements. They said Christchurch would never stand alone.

    The reality of National governments sucks eh, Christchurch.


    • Sanctuary 8.1

      Gerry Brownlee, the incompetent nincompoop who was appointed “Tsar” of Christchurch is primarily, obsessed with his own towering, but somehow also fragile, ego. His pathological levels of arrogance means he becomes becomes “incensed” at any criticism of his time in government, thinks he can pick and choose who talks to and dismiss anyone he doesn’t agree with with a maximum of condescending and patronising language.

      His highly flawed character and refusal to listen to anyone who says anything he doesn’t like has made the rebuild of Christchurch a fiasco.

    • mauī 8.2

      If the nats wanted to keep their base happy they could have poached a piece of stadium land in the cbd or very close to it after the quakes, and had people dreaming of a Lancaster Park of the future. Then they could have had the temporary stadium in the right place to start with instead of the middle of nowhere.

      The temporary stadium cost $30 million, it needs some roofs at either end of the ground and the roofs on the sides need to be extended a bit. $40 million I reckon and you have a stadium that’s waterproof.

    • Ad 8.3

      Dunedin is fine with it.

      Dunedin has already established itself as the premier entertainment venue for sport and music in the South Island.

      The Christchurch one won’t be seen for at least a decade.

      • Stuart Munro 8.3.1

        In fact, but for the Christchurch disaster, Dunedin’s stadium project would have ended a few political careers.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Which shows the problem with NZ as a whole, there are certain things a city needs like museums, art galleries etc to be considered a city and not just a collection of people living in the same general area (IMHO) so the Dunedin stadium is a good idea as its adds to the city

          • Stuart Munro

            Given the DCC was running around trying to close community things like bowling clubs, the stadium was ill-considered – in fact if you’re looking for ill-conceived projects world wide, stadiums are second only to convention centers for not paying their way.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Sure they don’t pay their way but neither do a lot of things a city requires, like museums and art galleries, however the Dunedin stadium seems to be doing good at putting Dunedin on the map in a positive way

              • greywarshark

                True PR
                I was agin it, it seemed OTT but literally having a roof over the top – which made it expensive – was a rational measure considering Dunedin’s cold weather. And with the change in climate and weather drops etc it could be wise in any of the big cities.

                We have to realise that tourism and performances are businesses and keep the money flowing. There has to be lots of things happening for employment and money circulation, we aren’t just cows and houses.

                So Dunedin will find it keeps them on the map. Even if it is a base investment that needs subsidising, it will be the ginger that keeps other business fizzing.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I’ll admit I have a bias in that I’m from Dunedin and a roofed stadium makes for better rugby 🙂

              • Molly

                The point is, both convention centres and stadiums are unlikely to pay their way even using indicators like SROI (Social return on Investment), whereas other facilities such as libraries, and local sports clubs (and perhaps museums and art galleries) would.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I agree with the convention centre but i’d argue that the importance of rugby and/or other sports (whether some on here like it or not) and musical acts are as important to a city as an art gallary

                  • Molly

                    Rugby is of national significance, but perhaps the funding of local sports clubs and investment at grassroots level would be a better return on investment – both economically and socially.

                    (Coming from a rugby mad household, I have no love for the game myself, so I can’t be bothered having a look for any comparative studies. Might be worth having a look at though, in terms of funding stadiums or grassroots clubs)

            • Ad

              The Dunedin Stadium is doing its job bringing in anchor events and tens of thousands of visitors. How one determines that it ‘pays its way’ or indeed whether it needs to is a bureaucratic equation explained here:


              Dunedin is justifiably proud of its well conceived and highly effective stadium.

              It’s a model that Auckland can but aspire to.

              • McFlock

                lol not all Dunedin, mate.

                regardless of whether it turns out to be a net good, it was essentially a gift by rugby-loving councillors to the ORFU that turned into a badly-organised white elephant that still hasn’t had its true costs released. And apparently the concert sound can be hit-or-miss.

                At least they’re finally getting in acts that started well after I was born, though. For the first several years it was like the same rich small-town businessmen who voted for it on council (some of them profiting from the land sale) had their personal spotify playlist as a booking guide.

                But that’s all water under the bridge. There seems to be a bit more honest consultation regarding the waterfront redevelopment.

                • Ad

                  Indeed not all Dunedin.
                  My household pays Dunedin, Otago, and Wanaka rates into that stadium, and there’s one side of my household that will not visit the ForsythBarr stadium on principle. There’s no pleasing such (ahem) people.

                  • McFlock

                    I have a mate who just won’t STFU about how awful the plan was. As in almost every mention of the DCC or whatever brings a snide comment about the stadium.

                    I’m tempted to watch Frozen just so I know the song “let it go” lol

                    although on the other side, when the most recent hotel was declined ISTR a letter to the editor moaning that we didn’t get a smelter at Aramoana, either. Whingers have looooong memories 🙂

            • alwyn

              “close community things like bowling clubs”.

              What on earth did Bowling Clubs have to do with the City Council?
              Surely the Council didn’t own the land and provide the workers to maintain the greens did they?

              If not what the hell did it have to do with them? Bowling clubs may be dying but if the people who play it are willing to keep the clubs going at their expense what does it have to do with anyone else?

  9. DH 9

    Both stuff and the herald have launched one of their bleeding hearts crusades against poverty. How long before they say “Job done, our conscience is salved for now, fuck the poor lets get back to pimping the property market”… ?

    12yrs ago I rented a 3brm house in a fairly affluent suburb on the North Shore in Auck for $270 per week. No catches, it was advertised in the ‘paper and was the typical basic weatherboard ’70s house in tidy condition. The same house now would easily fetch $600 per week.

    At 18 I was earning adult wage doing shift work in a factory. I was paid the absolute minimum award wage, take-home pay was $96 per week. I was flatting and four of us were renting a nice 4brd house in a reasonable suburb in Auck for $50 per week. A 3brm house could be rented for half the miminum (award) wage.

    Why are there working poor? Because they’re being bled dry by extortionate rents. No-one wants to admit it because the solution to usury rents is to lower the price of houses and we can’t have that can we. So they just chuck the poor a few crumbs every now & then to shut them up for a while.

  10. Pat 10

    “The UST 10yr yield is now at 3.08%, up +9 bps on the American inflation prospect. The Chinese 10yr is at 3.72% (up +1 bp) while the New Zealand equivalent is at 2.77% (up +4 bps).”


  11. Herodotus 11

    Who thinks that having part ownership of a house and a mortgage of $400k is affordable and still live in Auckland ??
    “There’s no way they could take on a $600,000 mortgage – a $400,000 mortgage, maybe, then you’d get a much bigger group of people.”
    The NZ dream of owning your own home has “officially” been declared dead and buried. Thanks you to BOTH Nats and Lab for policies that have led up to this.

    It had initially promised to build houses for between $500,000 and $600,000. They will now be priced according to the number of bedrooms, and three-bedroom homes will be sold for $650,000 – higher than promised during the election.
    No What was promised “The stand-alone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-$600,000 with apartments and TERRACED HOUSES UNDER $500,000. ”

    • Cinny 11.1

      I really feel for the current government, national left behind a huge mess, it’s like every day we learn more about the disaster of the last nine years.

      The new government is doing everything they can. Looking forward to the budget tomorrow.

      • ianmac 11.1.1

        And “Amy Adams: Careless fiscal strategy will send nation into decline.”
        A bit sad is Amy because she can only put out her plaintive Chicken Licken doom is nigh line as she struggles to be credible any more. A good example of unaccepting defeat.

      • savenz 11.1.2

        @ Cinny, Yes but Rogernomics started it. Labour lit the fuse and National ignited it. Labour still find it hard to come to terms, that rogernomics and free trade and liberalisation has created the increasing inequality. All the government subsidies like WFF and accomodation allowance and all the handouts to developers isn’t working, because it is based on a profit model not a long term and practical social good model.

        If the main driver of everything is low cost and profit and a business gets more rights as an entity than a person, an offshore person or business has the same rights as a Kiwi or a Kiwi business so someone who pays 50 cents an hour is competing against $16 p/h , then of course we are going to have leaky buildings, lowered wages and high house prices, increasing bio security risks, more pollution and drop to the bottom.

        What National has done is despicable and the Ponzi scheme worked for a bit but the wheels are coming off. Labour is better but still suffer from similar ideology for the most part such as TPPA and PPP’s and a lack of analysis of what went wrong and why.

        • solkta

          But providing financial support for families with children is nothing new and nothing to do with Neo-liberalism:

          In 1946 universal family-benefit payments replaced means-tested family allowances, and each mother received some money each week to spend on her children. … Between 1945 and 1960 parents living on a mid-range wage with two children would receive through family benefit payments and income tax relief about 50% of what a single old-age pensioner received.


          • savenz

            Yes but globalism and the rise of tax havens and use of vehicles to blur the assets someone owns, so rich can be poor, has changed the equation and criteria of who we should be supporting. See 14.1.1.

            What is going to happen within one generation, if less and less people are actually working in NZ and more and more people qualify for welfare well beyond natural population growth.

            • solkta

              Can’t see how your rant at 14.1.1 has any relevance to my point. If you actually read what i have quoted you will see that “in 1946 universal family-benefit payments replaced means-tested family allowances”, so wealthy people got this in the past. Likewise owning a house has never ruled someone out of receiving the DPD.

              You are just a xenophobe who gets all wound up when immigrants and the children of immigrants get the same allowances as the rest of us.

              • savenz

                Well I do when the rest of us actually work and pay the taxes. The end result will no welfare at all if this abuse is allowed to continue. Obviously that’s fine if you are the ‘fake’ poor but less fine if you are the ‘real’ poor.

                We are a country of only 4.5 million people – where do you think the tipping point will be 1 million people accessing NZ welfare, 2 million, 3 million…

                • McFlock

                  If there’s a progressive taxation system, there’s no reason 4.5million shouldn’t get some benefit if the math adds up.

                  Now, that’s a lot of math, and to my mind UBI proponents tend towards a bit of hand-waving in the gap ‘twixt money in and money out, but it’s a logical possibility that deserves more than a simple rhetorical escalation.

              • greywarshark

                I don’t think you should call savenz names solkta.
                The situation is difficult and there is no easy answer that will please everyone and it needs to be looked at from all perspectives. It might not please you to have one point looked at and questioned which you might favour. The same will apply to someone else and their preference.

                The right way may put limits on you, or me but the hard work of thinking it through should be done by people who are concerned about we people. Otherwise things can get bad and all of a sudden it’s TINA and machine-minds from Treasury and haute finance impose their favourite theories.

      • crashcart 11.1.3

        Do you really think the current government weren’t able to work out from available information how much they would be able to build and sell “affordable” housing for?

        Yes National did fuck all to control housing prices but Labour promised prices far below what could be achieved and as much as I hate to admit it I am pretty sure it was pointed out to them at the time.

      • Bewildered 11.1.4

        Come on cinny all power to you been a COL supporter but don’t believe every thing your fed, judge government with an open mind on their actions and outcomes not words, inputs and excuses

        • Gabby

          I certainly judged Ponyboy on his lies and fudging beewee.

        • Cinny

          Yeah but it’s like who knew the extent ChCh appeared to be screwed over by the last lot, or middlemore etc, for example, and did our new government have knowledge of those two big issues prior to the election?

          And how about the cattle disease? Did the prior government know how much damage they had done by not doing enough and the cost of their negligence? Do they care?

          I knew it would be bad, but dang I didn’t think it would be that bad.

    • AB 11.2

      It’s impossible to leave the current bubble intact and build truly affordable houses. The bubble precludes affordability for the majority.
      Deflate the bubble by turning down the immigration tap and making owning houses you don’t live in yourself, and land that is rezoned as residential, really unattractive as investments.

  12. Muttonbird 12

    Serco strikes again.

    When will the rabid right accept that private industry cannot run core social services satisfactorily?


  13. savenz 14

    Vancouver’s Hot Housing Market Gets Tougher for Wealthy Chinese


    “Starting Wednesday, foreigners will pay the province a 20 percent tax on top of the listing value, up from 15 percent now, and a levy on property speculators will be introduced later this year, according to budget documents released Tuesday. The government will also crack down on the condo pre-sale market and beneficial ownership to ensure that property flippers, offshore trusts and hidden investors are paying taxes on gains.”

    “The levy, she said, will also capture “satellite families” — a term with Chinese origins to describe those families where the breadwinner remains in the home country while the children and spouse reside abroad to take advantage of educational and employment opportunities.”

    • Muttonbird 14.1

      Satellite families are here too. Been going on for ages.

      Nat voters of course don’t see the problem as long as their property portfolios show gains.

      • savenz 14.1.1

        Yes, but NZ is completely blind to what’s going on. One family is just bringing in more and more relatives under whatever weird rules NZ has. This is a real example of people I know living in Auckland – note they are NOT Chinese – it’s NOT just a Chinese issue.

        Wealthy family arrive in NZ with 3 children under some investor category about 20 years ago both not speaking English and buy up some property. Husband leaves NZ and wife files for ‘abandonment’ and goes on DPB with 2 children even though she has a million dollar house. Husband takes other child back to home country. NZ Children grow up as NZ citizens with dual passports and go to university here. They marry and new partners get NZ citizenship and they leave to get good jobs overseas while buying up property in NZ. Aged parents arrive in NZ to look after grandkids and can get residency. The child that went back with Father as a child, comes to NZ not speaking English with new partner and has two kids and they get residency and access WFF and various government welfare for their low wage job and they bring over their aged parents to look after the kids.

        So now we somehow have a family who have been on NZ social welfare all their lives while being uber wealthy and working offshore, and at this stage we have 4 aged parents, the main person who originally got residency who never worked and was on the DPB living in the million dollar house who now will get super as well, and 3 adult kids, 3 adult partners of which only one works in NZ (the one that did not get educated in NZ and has a low wage job and gets WFF stayed in NZ) and the other two tertiary educated in NZ are offshore workers and their two young children going to school here.

        All their assets are in companies so apparently they own nothing.

        That’s just one family where one family that has never worked in NZ, is now somehow about 20+ people with marriages etc, who have accessed NZ welfare systems most of their lives and buy property here without ever working here! They need to urgently tighten up the laws!

        • greywarshark

          I have heard hints about this but not seen it exposed so brightly. Thanks we need to know this.

          • alwyn

            Just how is anything “exposed”.
            Suppose I simply reproduced this but claimed that the people were, say, “Pacific Islanders” but gave no real evidence would you jump in and say we should keep out all Pacific Islanders from coming here?
            Such a story, without names doesn’t actually expose anything.

            • Zorb6

              Insert your own names to appreciate the scenario.

              • savenz

                The difference up until 20 years ago it was much harder and more expensive to travel and people were not getting divorced at the drop of a hat. People don’t even marry now, they have multiple relationships and children through their lifetime with different partners.

                It’s a whole new society now and the tax laws and residency laws are still working on 1 migrant comes and works in NZ and marries one person and has 2 kids that they support..like 20 years ago, no longer happening in society…

            • savenz

              @alwyn. No it is NOT Pacific Islanders, it’s an Asian country – not China – but now the 2nd generation have married native Chinese then their Chinese parents and relatives can also come into NZ under what ever weird loop hole there is.

              Does it really matter what race they are, satellite families is a recent world wide issue, that needs to be addressed as it is disproportionally affecting NZ as we have a low population.

              Even the voting rights for example when you have more people not living in a country or even speaking the language but have full voting rights and able to access family welfare in NZ on a large scale through marriages etc.

              Surely it should be of concern whether you are a righty or a lefty?

              It’s one thing to be a migrant and for what ever reason you are poor but you battle on in NZ and may need to access welfare. But to be rich get all the benefits of NZ society without paying taxes, and NZ allows it to be a place to send your relatives who are poorly educated to work and access welfare top ups, free health, super and gold cared for your elderly relatives who don’t work and free health, education and so forth for all your children who don’t work, who when becoming successful go overseas.

              How will a capital gains or higher taxes tax those people? They pay no taxes so higher taxes doesn’t work and they can avoid capital gains by putting the houses and assets into individual names of relatives as their primary residence.

              So any new taxes enable those satellite families to become richer while taxing tax resident families more and giving more voting rights to them to continue.

            • savenz

              @Alwyn – also Pacific Islanders have low population in their country so are hardly going to create a massive social change in NZ within a few decades which is currently happening. They have historically worked in NZ when they come here and retire back in the Pacific, I don’t think they really fit the profile of what is happening with the rise of satellite families mostly from Asia that clearly is hitting Canada for example.

              Pacific Islanders are also are not generally buying up million dollar houses for their relatives to live in NZ or leaving them empty, so not creating a shortage of houses and a market for larger houses that cost more or have a government political strategy to execute here.

  14. savenz 15

    Canada’s plan to tax foreign investors is already working

    HOUSE prices in Toronto have fallen dramatically after a new tax on foreign investors was introduced. Should Australia follow suit?

    “Announcing the measure, the government of British Columbia said the tax was intended to help cool the province’s booming property market, where demand from foreign investors — many from China — had increased the cost of a detached home some 39 per cent in just 12 months.

    “There is evidence now that suggests that very wealthy foreign buyers have raised the price of housing for people in British Columbia,” the province’s premier Christy Clark said at the time.

    “The foreign buyer tax is intended to make sure we can keep home ownership within the reach of the middle class.

    “I make no apologies for that.”


    • alwyn 15.1

      Can you please explain what a tax on foreign investors in British Columbia has to do with supposedly massive house price falls in Toronto?
      Toronto is in Ontario and is about 4,000 km East of Vancouver. If house prices in Vancouver fell when a tax is introduced while at the same time prices fell even more in Toronto without such a tax surely it provides no evidence at all that the tax does any good?
      Do you think that the person who wrote this doesn’t actually have any idea at all about the Geography of Canada?

      • Macro 15.1.1

        I’m sure they meant Vancouver.
        BC have introduced a tax on foreign investors, and yes it is having the desired effect of:
        a. bringing house prices down and
        b. stopping the crazy practice of investing in houses for monetary gain. Like the dutch and their tulip bulbs.

        I visited Vancouver in 2014 and was amazed to see rows of houses boarded up – this was before the fall when Canadians board up their houses for the winter. These apparently were all investment houses bought by foreign investors and left empty – to be on sold later for Capital gain. Vancouver’s housing market (like Auckland’s Melbourne’s and Sydney’s) was going through the roof at the time. Vancouver was also experiencing the same problems with increasing homelessness, as locals – no longer able to afford the skyrocketing rentals from a reducing housing stock (the houses were being bought up and left empty) were forced out of their homes.

        I understand that those overseas investors are now targeting Toronto. So I guess Ontario will be forced to follow BC’s lead and introduce a tax as well.

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    I’m really concerned about this idea of an interest free loan to first home buyers because of a number of reasons all to do with inflaming house price and rent extortion further.

    If they do this it should go to people shut out if social housing due to disability needs not being met.

    • savenz 16.1

      Yet another subsidy idea, while not addressing why they now need to subsidise so many people…

      • indiana 16.1.1

        …but if its free, why wouldn’t you want it? Surely you cannot discriminate who you give free stuff to. It’s either free for all, nothing is free for anyone.

      • greywarshark 16.1.2

        Finance wouldn’t be needed or considered for the real strugglers if there were more state housing for them. Stop playing around with the problem government. Provide plain but reasonable living accommodation and run it to some standards, with advantages for keeping to them, and loss of privileges for not.

        One part of the problem is that some of the lowest strugglers aren’t coping at any level, and no-one is going to take them in, they need pastoral care. For the really poor and needy people have concrete apartments up to 3 stories high, two apartments of two bedrooms each at each level. These can be available for those who haven’t learned to manage their lives without drunkenness and kicking walls in etc. Give them somewhere to live, and then give them pastoral care to help them make their lives in a self-respecting way.

        I lived in a concrete apartment block in Melbourne. Good, and strong, fit for the purpose of rental.

    • McFlock 16.2

      Finance is easier to magic into existence than 100,000 homes. The latter takes time, the former can be implemented within weeks of announcement if not sooner.

      • Molly 16.2.1

        Doesn’t make it the right thing to do. In fact, it provides nothing at all in terms of living quarters for those unable to find a place to sleep tonight. Might as well focus on the right issue, and solve that, instead of identifying another instance and making a token gesture.

        • McFlock

          There’s no single right thing to do.

          • Molly

            Agree. Yet that is the first horse from the gate, and gives an indication that housing is about getting the middle class into owning homes rather than recognising the real crisis is that many cannot find somewhere to live, renting or otherwise.

            The fiscal responsibility restriction that they have committed themselves to is only part of the problem. I would like the government to indicate that they recognise the housing crisis is a crisis for more than just the disappointed home buyers. And this action keeps feeding the inflationary nature of house prices in NZ.

            • McFlock

              ISTR that they’re also building houses and making housingnz a housing provider rather than a profit generating exercise. I believe they’ve stopped the housing sell off and have committed to increasing the HNZ stock.

              But as I said, finance is the easy to do quickly. So they’ve done that too.

  16. Enough is Enough 17

    It feels like Christmas Eve today.

    The day before the budget. The budget which will signify the beginning of the transformation of our great country from the corporate run shit box it is today, to a truly wonderful country that works together for all.

    The budget to end poverty and homelessness.
    The budget to end the underfunding of schools and hospitals.
    The budget to end corporate greed.
    The budget to end the hopeless situation our working poor have been in for the past 9 years.

    I am very very excited about what tomorrow will start.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      Not sure if genuine or sarcasm…

      • The Chairman 17.1.1

        Indeed, Puck.

      • Enough is Enough 17.1.2

        To clarify PR – I don’t think tomorrow will result in ending all those issues, but it will show a change of direction which will begin the process of eliminating those things.

        That is why I am excited.

      • AB 17.1.3

        Does it have to be either of those things? Does your radar not detect irony, despair, hope, faith…?

        • Puckish Rogue

          I was hoping for sarcasm otherwise Enough might be a little disappointed tomorrow

  17. The Chairman 18

    More good news for the poor – not.

    “Tax hikes imposed or announced under the Labour Government have hurt the poorest the most, and it is planning more regressive taxes in the years to come.”


  18. ankerawshark 19

    the Chairman read Gordon Campbell latest article on the poor and regressive tax. I trust his view point 100%

    • The Chairman 19.1

      Thanks for pointing out the article, ankerawshark.

      Let’s have a look at Jacinda’s spin from the article.

      The criticism being offered, Ardern continued, implies that all those families smoked. “The reference to excise [tax on petrol] if we’re talking about someone in regional New Zealand, would amount to 3 cents [per litre] Does $75 dollars [per week] make up for that? Yes, it does.”

      First off, re the number of low income smokers, it was reported in the same article that it sits at around 30 to 40%. So on top of the 3 cents per litre, 30 to 40 percent will be impacted by tax increases on tobacco.

      Now lets look at the 3 cents per litre claim.

      Jacinda overlooked (intentionally or not) that the prices of all goods and services will also be impacted as the burden of the 3 cents per litre increase will be passed on. Will the $75 on average be enough to offset that?

      Additionally, those struggling that don’t have kids or their kids are now adults don’t get to receive a Families Package. So there is no offsetting for them.

      Next, lets look at the winter energy payment. They seem to be a front runner for what the Government has in the pipeline – see link provided below.

      From the link below. “The industry’s solution is for taxpayers to subsidise electricity purchases by the poor, thereby underwriting the electricity industry’s profits in the same way as the Accommodation Supplement has enabled landlords to hold up rents.

      “Woods duly refers to ‘the wider context of supporting New Zealanders to afford their energy bills'”


      On top of all that, income tax (which is progressive) has been ruled out from the tax working group’s terms of reference.

      So once we breakdown the spin we soon realise the touted benefits are unlikely to outweigh the mounting new costs the poor will face going forward.

  19. greywarshark 20

    Respect for workers, even skilled ones, comes second to squeezing the utmost out of them and reducing labour costs, boosting profits. Even for air traffic controllers who keep us safe, and keep the height of confidence in airlines and airports high, so also keeping their share prices high.

    Nine-hour shift, no toilet break: Air traffic controllers fight for toilet change

    16 May, 2018 9:56am
    Quick Read

    Solo controllers take ”creative ways” to relieve themselves while managing air traffic

    (And greedy share market expectations for high returns not met because of investment in business development cause a drop in A2 milk shares for that reason. They don’t want to invest in a solid forward-looking good business, they just want to spin the roulette wheel winning all the way.)

    A2 Milk’s share price crashes, pulls down entire market.

    • alwyn 20.1

      I wonder how much the Government Super Fund, now operating under their investment orders from the Government, have got invested in A2?
      Actually, however much it is it would still be a better investment than putting money into the Auckland tram system that Goff and Genter are so keen on throwing money at. That will prove to be a good way to lose the lot.

  20. Draco T Bastard 21

    This is why we have a deteriorating environment:

    The offending, which saw a huge amount of untreated dairy effluent put into the Manganui River, which feeds into the Wairoa River and the Kaipara Harbour was described as “blatant, ongoing and serious”, with one of the farms being “awash with dairy effluent”, resulting in “gross contamination”.

    And this is why it keeps happening:

    The companies agreed to provide all the requested information but only provided some. What it did provide revealed that the companies had no remaining assets.

    The accountant said if there were any funds they were likely to be in other companies or trusts related to the Websters, and access to these funds would be “very unlikely”.

    Property records show that the Clear Ridge farm sold for $4.56 million in January, 2016, but there is no record of when the farm owned by Beejay Stud property was sold, or the sale price.

    They’ve done the crime, admitted to it even, and then structured their finances in such a way so as not to pay.

    This is why the government needs to change the law so that the finances can be traced and all of it returned to the government. Leave these fuckers with nothing.

    • savenz 21.1

      +1 Draco.

    • John up North 21.2

      Agree strongly!, time and time again criminal acts which accrue large sums of $$ for the offenders fall into a hole when it comes to compensating victims or paying fines. Money is sequestered into trusts or other worm holes to different dimensions and after playing golf, doing a few courses or having adverse social talking points jewellery for a bit the crims still get to enjoy their ill gotten gains.

      Quite rightly the police swoop on the likes of head hunters presidents etc and grab everything as proceeds of crimes (act) leaving it to the offenders to prove from whence all the toys came from.

      Maybe it’s time the same tactics were employed on farmers like these two, and other white collar crims still enjoying being broke but driving the trusts bimmer and living in the trusts Parnell digs.

    • McFlock 21.3

      Putting a huge amount of effluent into a river would be a health hazard to everyone downstream, surely.

      Forget environmental policy, do them under OSH. The managers/directors will be personally liable.

    • Sacha 21.4

      And the council dropped the personal charges, relying solely on the easily-dodged corporate ones. Muppets.

    • alwyn 21.5

      Do you feel the same way about the attempts of King Salmon to get the tax-payer to pay for cleaning up the mess they are making in the Marlborough Sounds?
      As far as I can see the company is causing the mess, and has plenty of money to fix it.
      What the hell are those bludgers up to? I like their product but I don’t see why I, as a taxpayer, should have to clean up after them.
      Still I imagine Shane Jones will kick in from the slush fund. Winston likes seafood companies.

      • McFlock 21.5.1

        Well, almost – it’s more looking for a better way of disposing of waste and turning it into a product, rather than just cleaning it up.

        So a 50/50 investment by the government would generate more tax revenue over time than was spent, rather than it simply being cleaning up after companies that ran cheap to strip profit and then wound up assetless before they got held to account.

        But without looking more closely at the situation it’s difficult to tell whether the delays if the company doesn’t get the govt cash are real cashflow constraints, or just a bit of hopeful accounting looking for a subsidy.

      • Cinny 21.5.2

        King Salmon should build a fishmeal plant, that would take care of it.

        Climate change strikes again, those rising sea temperatures, dead fish, high priced salmon, strains on those restaurants who use their product, due to inconsistency in availability, least that’s the word on the street.

  21. savenz 22

    Warning sounded over China’s ‘debtbook diplomacy’
    Academics identify 16 countries loaned billions that they can’t afford to repay

    “China’s methods were “remarkably consistent”, the report said, beginning with infrastructure investments under its $1tn belt and road initiative, and offering longer term loans with extended grace periods, which was appealing to countries with weaker economies and governance.

    Construction projects, which the report said had a reputation for running over budget and yielding underwhelming returns, make debt repayments for the host nations more difficult.

    “The final phase is debt collection,” it said. “When countries prove unable to pay back their debts, China has already and is likely to continue to offer debt-forgiveness in exchange for both political influence and strategic equities.”


    • The Chairman 22.1

      This (link below) is well worth a look

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      Sounds exactly like what the West did.

      Confessions of an economic Hitman

      • McFlock 22.2.1

        Pretty much.
        The Chinese make better roads though, lol

        • savenz

          Yes but I guess at least with the west you can vote them out, hopefully.

          • Zorb6

            Yes you can vote an administration out.Unfortunately you can not vote the debt out.Private bondholders especially are insistent and persistant in wanting their pound of flesh.

          • McFlock

            Some would say that the slim hope is more a means of control than empowerment.

            But all we can do is keep NZ dancing around the elephants’ feet, trying to avoid being trodden on.

            • savenz

              Maybe we should learn a trick or two from our national bird, and use camouflage against super powers…
              the reality of what happens to natives, have a look at what’s happened over the years to our native birds – marooned onto smaller and smaller places like Tiritiri Matangi Island …

              • McFlock

                There’s also an art to being one of the weaker members in the game of bullrush, as I recall.

  22. greywarshark 23

    The trains …
    Radio comment reported in full on Scoop.

    Dr Roger Blakeley is a former Secretary for the Environment. Bob Norman is a former Commissioner of Works. Alex Gray is a professional civil engineer and Senior Project Manager. Keith Flinders is an Electrical Services Consultant.

    4 Points –
    1. Costs of Diesel v Electric Locomotives.
    2. Reliability and Time performance
    3. Greenhouse gas emissions
    4. Towards Full Electrification of the North Island Main Trunk

    The facts in plain language – a must read.

    • Molly 23.1

      Dr Blakely was also the chief planning officer for Auckland Council to help negotiate it through the Unitary Plan process, after he had worked with Porirua District Council (IIRC), noted for it’s community planning processes.

      I spoke to him at one of the last Auckland conversations I attended, and he said he was looking forward to going back to Wellington and working on national issues there.

      TBH, reading the article it seems that Kiwirail (by continuing to misuse figures and conclusions found to be flawed) is positioning itself for a subsidy if the government decides to follow through on its transition policy. There may be another reason for such determined adherence to diesel, but I’m thinking that is probably the most likely.

      • mac1 23.1.1

        Molly, as you say-follow the money. I wonder whether there are other money-driven motives in the deals which would be struck with the suppliers of the trains, as to whether they be electric or diesel.

        Whatever it is, this debate has been going on for years about the diesel versus electric options, and also about the quality of the Chinese diesels. I just googled ‘trains purchase from China’ and got good media coverage. The issue is not new but may be for the new Minister.

    • Ad 23.2

      There is no sign yet of a national rail strategy from this government.
      Easy to blame the Kiwirail Board, when it’s not now.

      This government are very keen on electrified light rail funneled through NZTA.

      But when it come to Kiwirail they show no sign of a single nationwide role and purpose, instead choosing to improve its network RLTP by RLTP.

  23. eco maori 25

    Good morning The AM Show

    When the Labour government is in power they spent a bit more on service and social services the people who receive this income don’t invest it in shears or property they spend it so the reality is a labour lead government allways gets more revenue flowing in our tax system that’s a fact. Ka kite ano.
    Does the Govt have the money? Yes

    EXPLAINER: Cutting through the spin on how much money the Government has to spend this year.

  24. eco maori 26

    P.S ECO MAORI has to choose his words Wisley Ka kite ano

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