Open mike 16/09/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 16th, 2022 - 95 comments
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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 …

95 comments on “Open mike 16/09/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Lotto : more Harm..than good. RNZ and Guyon Espiner.

    New Zealanders now spend $1.5 billion a year on Lotto's gambling products – Lotto, Strike, Powerball, Keno, Bullseye and Instant Kiwi – nearly double what they spent a decade ago.

    Selah Hart said that like fast food and alcohol outlets, the gambling industry looked to the demographic most likely to buy their products.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/474134/lotto-stores-in-poorest-half-of-nz-account-for-70-percent-of-sales

    Online bingo

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/474349/lotto-warned-25-million-online-bingo-plan-could-create-more-harm

    Lucky

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/474779/how-nzers-bought-the-lotto-dream

    "NZ's Luckiest lotto stores" ? Fabricated..if not an outright LIE !

    Good work, Guyon and RNZ . I hope Jan Tinetti as Minister…investigates this insidious, well advertised/promoted everywhere, harmful to the target communities, ..as much as Guyon has.
    There are more in this series Links on RNZ
    Incl 9 year olds !

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/474574/government-under-pressure-to-change-law-as-9-year-olds-buy-lotto-tickets

    • Stephen D 1.1

      Any promotion of any aspect of institutional gambling; Lotto, Instant Kiwi, TAB, should be made illegal.
      Additionally, all pokies should be shut down. The revenue they raise for the community is far outweighed by the harm they cause.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        Aye. lotto has become some kind of "acceptable" monster….

        When the Lotto Powerball jackpot went up, food sales dropped.

        The documents also show that, at some stores, staff are spending more than $5000 a month on Lotto products and sometimes more than $500 in one transaction

        The woman who spent $100,000 on Instant Kiwi

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/474779/how-nzers-bought-the-lotto-dream

        These will be just the visible. Harmful …but extremely well promoted . Definitely a conflict of interests here in NZ

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.2

        And absolutely re pokies! Always touted as of great benefit to their communities….the reality is they suck all benefit…out, and into the pokie owners bank.

        I am heartened to see change from some NZ Councils…who can see the harm. Waitaki an example…apart from right wing "humourist" ol' Jim Hopkins.

        https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/sinking-lid-pokies-approved

    • Peter 1.2

      Are we to question the social harm of casinos as well while we're at it?

    • AB 1.3

      John Ralston Saul said it such a long time ago (Doubter's Companion, 1995).

      When governments raise money by acting as croupiers, the systems they manage are degenerate and closer to their end than their beginning… Early in the 1970's Western governments turned to licensed gambling to provide the funds which taxation no longer seemed able to raise.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.3.1

        Oh thanks for that ! Have to say that the Standard and Standardistas (first time user: ) does raise the bar…as to previously unknown (well to me anyway ! ) Authors,Scientists, Economists,Historians,etc; etc;

        Great stuff : )

        His work is known for being thought-provoking and ahead of its time, leading him to be called a “prophet” by Time[3] and to be included in Utne Reader’s list of the world’s leading thinkers and visionaries.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ralston_Saul

  2. Ad 2

    Oh Roger Federer.

    The most elegant player we've ever seen.

    Hope you go out on a high.

    • Jimmy 2.1

      Out of the three greatest (IMO) Federer has always been my favourite. I think Nadal is probably statistically the best as he's won the most grand slams. I think Djokovic will eventually become the 'greatest' or most grand slam winner as long as he remains injury free.

      • Binders full of women 2.1.1

        Alcarez may get too strong b4 djocj can overtake Rafa. BTW alcarez is coached by rafas uncle Tony

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      A tennis great indeed, but I have always found Nadal to be a nicer guy. Federer is a bit too much into himself for me.

      Djokovic is an anti-vax wanker of course.

      • Shanreagh 2.2.1

        Djokovic is an anti-vax wanker of course.

        Of course!

        'But, but, but don't you know who I am?', as well? & Mountains and mere public health whims of multiple Govts must be moved for me

        My partner's aunt in Staffs is keen on Andy Murray and she would want me to throw his name in somewhere.

      • mauī 2.2.2

        Of course he's a wanker. He's standing up for bodily autonomy and basic human rights that many on the left were fine with trampling all over.

        • Shanreagh 2.2.2.1

          I'm sure you are right…..NOT!wink

          A little over wrought I would say. I mean having a choice about vaccinations and mask wearing for the good of society and oneself are really shameful breaches of basic human rights.

          /sarc.

  3. Bill Drees 3

    We’ve been told not to upset those who are in the 10 week mourning period for the late monarch. So I’ll focus on some interesting facts.

    I haven’t had a pint since the Elizabethan Period.

    Brian Tamaki was in Hotel Bonaparte in Paris during Elizabethan times.

    Matthew Hooton hasn’t rolled a National Party leader since the Elizabethan age.

    How am I doing? Anyone else with interesting facts?

    • Peter 3.1

      60 days seems to be the vital period in America for walking on eggshells.

      "The Department of Justice may now hold off making any decision on whether to criminally charge Donald Trump until after the midterms in order to abide by the so-called "60 day rule."

      While the 60 day rule is not official legislation, there is a long running tradition that the Department of Justice will avoid making any decisions that could affect how people vote so close to an upcoming election or elections."

      The DOJ prioritises not wanting to affect how people might vote instead of prioritising not wanting to deal with people who commit crimes.

      https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-unlikely-charged-crime-midterms-60-day-ruledoj-1741535

  4. Stephen D 4

    Pablo always an interesting read. You can see elements of what is happening in the US being attempted here.

    https://www.kiwipolitico.com/2022/09/democratic-compromise-as-the-mutual-second-best/

    ”That is what has been lost in the US: the acceptance that democracy rests on a contingent economic and political compromise between the electorate and elites. Workers agree to accept capitalism in exchange for better wages, job security and living conditions, including educational opportunity and access to affordable housing, drinking water, transportation, power and the like. Elites agree to use a percentage of their pre-tax profits an/or increased corporate and individual taxation to provide the mass of wage-earners with the material conditions required for social peace. Regardless of partisan identity, governments mediate interests and administer the broad terms of the bargain.

    That is a central feature. What brings this all together as a workable outcome over time is a regularly refreshed political bargain between agents of elites and workers in all of their guises–lobbies, unions, parties, non-profits, community organisations etc. They all have their specific interests that make for differences in priority and approaches to pursuing them. But they have a larger common interest in seeing the system work because it is the best guarantee that everyone comes away with something now and in the future. All political actors understand this and governments act accordingly.”

  5. arkie 5

    Viv Beck pulls out of the mayoral race:

    “My decision comes with a heavy heart but given the strength of concern about issues that need addressing across our region, it is important to avoid splitting the centre-right vote.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/474881/auckland-mayoralty-viv-beck-pulls-out-from-race

    • Incognito 5.1

      So, down to brown vs. Brown then?

    • Jimmy 5.2

      Now it's a two horse race.

    • observer 5.3

      One of the worst campaigns in recent political history.

      Beck started out as a front-runner, a "moderate" Nat, apparently more reasonable than the Leo Molloy clown show. Then the curse of Jordan Williams struck, and she put out nasty social media posts and destroyed her own chances. She got what she deserved.

    • Ad 5.4

      OMG the papers are printed and go into the mail today. It's too late.

      Auckland mayoralty: Viv Beck withdraws from campaign with 'heavy heart' – NZ Herald

      What a comprehensive meltdown for C&R.

      $$millions down the drain, right on the eve of the actual voting.

      Thousands of voters will put their vote beside her dutifully since they are loyal to C&R, and they will be disenfranchised because of this stupidity.

      The right-leaning citizens should not hold back on this.

    • Bearded Git 5.5

      She will have come under massive pressure from the rich old white men in the "smoke filled rooms".

      They have probably reimbursed her election expenses and lined her up for a plum job somewhere.

      • Ad 5.5.1

        I'd expect she'd go straight back to her actual job as CE of Heart of the City.

        This is funded by CBD businesses and Auckland Council.

  6. observer 6

    Next time you're told that we need that right wing business competence because the left couldn't run a bath, remember this:

    Viv Beck has withdrawn from the mayoral race in Auckland only after the ballot papers are printed and sent out, and after the hoardings have gone up.

    Vote Viv!

    • Visubversa 6.1

      There are Molloy advertisements still up.

    • AB 6.2

      The objectives of a business are narrow, comparatively simple and self-interested. Government is the opposite. Its responsibilities are wide, horribly complicated and involve service to the common good. Business is therefore terrible preparation for government – other than the habits of diligence, sociability and problem-solving that it can foster.

      In any case, it's clear that the instruction has gone out and Beck has done as required. Collins will need decent turnout I fear – and Brown has the grumpy old white man who knows all the answers and the problem is that no-one is listening to him because they are all so woke vote all sewn up.

    • observer 6.3

      I mean, this is just absurdly funny … and she wanted to run a city?

      Auckland Council have confirmed Viv Beck can’t technically pull out of the race at this stage. Any votes she receives will be counted and if she wins, she’d have to resign or take office.

      https://twitter.com/katieabradford/status/1570548287689883649

  7. Jenny are we there yet 7

    Latest polling shows National and Act overtaking the Greens and Labour.

    As we approach the dying days of the Ardern administration.

    If the Prime Minister wanted to get a lift in the polls and see her administration last beyond the next election, all she has to do, is end the housing crisis.
    She could do this easily and immediately, without any cost to the tax payers..
    Ending the housing crisis would be the easy part, convincing her fellow cabinet Ministers to want to, would be the hard part.
    As Chris Trotter so aptly put it, the neo-liberal fanatics in Labour would rather keep their control of the losing side than, than lose their control of the winning side. Neoliberals would die in a ditch before allowing our homeless families to be housed, if it was at the expense of the banksters, the housing speculators, the profiteering rack-renters, the wealth storing creeps, (ie their people).

    What Auckland’s ‘ghost homes’ could do for the housing crisis

    There are about 40,000 ‘ghost houses’ in Auckland. Cat MacLennan asks if a tax on these empty homes could help house homeless people and low-income workers.

    ….According to the 2018 Census, there are approximately 40,000 empty private homes in Auckland. That is 7.3 percent of the total, up from 6.6 percent in the previous Census in 2013. And Auckland is not the only place in Aotearoa with vacant homes at a time when accommodation is expensive and in short supply…

    ….a significant number are empty simply because the owners are focused on capital gains. This is now an international phenomenon. In England it is called “buy to leave,” in New York it is described as “warehousing,” while in British Columbia it is known as “wealth storing”.

    ….

    Vancouver was the first city in North America to introduce a tax on empty houses. The 1 percent tax was levied on 2538 vacant homes in 2017, but on only 1989 properties in 2018. A 22 percent drop in the number of vacant homes taxed occurred at the same time as the number of properties rented to tenants climbed by 7 percent. There was also a 21 percent leap in the number of condos being rented out in the city.

    It is very early days for the tax and there are many reasons for variations in property occupation statistics, but the first results from the levy are encouraging.

    …..Heavy lobbying by real estate agents sank such a tax in New York City.

    ….an empty homes tax might be more effective at providing housing than building more homes, as the key issue was intense competition for desirable properties, rather than a lack of properties.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/cat-maclennan-on-ghost-housing

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 7.1

      As we approach the dying days of the Ardern administration.

      As Chris Trotter so aptly put it

      Oh really !..And I dont think Mr Trotter would know apt from ass…even if he had to sing it. Perish that….

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      Interesting. I increasingly think however, that polls should be required to report undecided, and actual levels of support, which gives a more realistic picture to the voting public, rather than pretending that either party commands a valid majority.

      • Jenny are we there yet 7.2.1

        The overall general downward trend is what is what is significant.

        The P.M. would have to do something dramatic and progressive to reverse that general downward trend, if she wants to stay in office.

        In my opinion an empty homes tax would do it.

        The PM would have a hell of a battle on her hands to convince her cabinet colleagues.

        The struggle over the CGT is instructive. This mildest of tax reform on housing speculation, recommended by the Tax Working Group, was rejected out of hand by the government.

        I think we can safely conclude from this failure to achieve even the mildest conservative reform to deter housing speculation, that this government has done all it's going to do on progressive legislation. It's done. That's it. Sayonara

        …..The Secretariat of New Zealand’s Tax Working Group in 2018 prepared a paper titled Taxing vacant property. It took a negative view of such taxes, describing them as difficult to enforce, contentious to define and likely to involve high administration and compliance costs.

        In short, the document had nothing good to say about empty homes taxes. That is a pity and does not seem borne out by the overseas experience.

        The Tax Working Group’s final report released in February 2019 recommended the introduction of a capital gains tax in New Zealand. However, the Government swiftly put the kibosh on this suggestion, making no attempt to sell it to the electorate even though it is obviously an essential tool to rebalance investment away from housing.

        It would be very helpful for New Zealand to introduce a tax on empty homes, to create Empty Homes Officer positions in councils, and to encourage the owners of vacant properties to bring them back into use….

        Cat MacLennan

        What Auckland’s ‘ghost homes’ could do for the housing crisis

        Cat MacLennan is a barrister, journalist, and media commentator.

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.1

          It was certainly a bizarre move. When an organization as conservative as the OECD recommends a CGT, you have to wonder how far right Labour have drifted to ignore them.

          • roblogic 7.2.1.1.1

            Land taxes, wealth taxes, inheritance taxes. Let's do a Jubilee every 49 years. Let's make all land leasehold for 99 years. No more private landowners building disgusting little billionaire fiefdoms all over Aotearoa

        • Grey Area 7.2.1.2

          The P.M. would have to do something dramatic and progressive to reverse that general downward trend, if she wants to stay in office.

          I know. She could come out and say that climate change is her generation's nuclear-free moment.

          Oh wait …

          (She could still show how the government was going to lead us – including farmers – to do something meaningful about it).

        • Nic the NZer 7.2.1.3

          Seems to me to be a major issue with this narrative. That being that, in extending the bright line test to 10 years and some minor reforms at IRD the govt did implement a CGT. This was also accepted by National, with the caveat that Key was happy with the two year bright line test.

          I mean what is the problem with the understanding that if your speculating on housing appreciation that you will pay tax on that activity in NZ?

          I remember Mickeysavage alluding to this point in a recent tax post. Maybe some credit should be given for actually following through on a Labour campaign promise. This is probably due even if twitter doesn't really understand that its the same policy with a different name.

          Otherwise some reflection seems due on what critical differences exist which make it impossible to acknowledge a policy success. Surely the policy name is not an important part of the policies workings?

      • AB 7.2.2

        Yes agreed. I am also a bit uncomfortable about this poll. It's done by a right wing National party operative (Farrar) for a far right think tank (Taxpayers Union). If Farrar had done it for a reputable client I would be OK with it – because the client would actually care about the methodology and accuracy of reporting, and Farrar would lose the contract if these weren't up to scratch. But the whole purpose of the Taxpayer's Union is propaganda – and we are in an age where polls are increasingly weaponised and used to form opinion, rather than to merely report it.

        That said, I have no doubt that it's all very close between the two sides now, and has been for some time – because other polls show something similar.

    • Bearded Git 7.3

      Nats/ACT 49

      Lab/Gr/MP 44.5

      Hardly definitive when the government is suffering from a Cost of Living crisis not of its own making. 14 months is a long time in politics.

      • Jenny are we there yet 7.3.1

        The general downward trend in government support has hit the point of intersection. In my opinion reversing the direction of this trend and make it head in the upward direction, or even level off will take some effort. The cost of living crisis is not of the government's making, but more affordable and attainable housing will go some way to address it.

        I might suggest taking GST off food and replacing the lost revenue with an FTT, (Robin Hood Tax), as another measure to address the cost of living crisis. The Labour Party once supported removing GST off food in opposition. But in government, removing GST off food is a step way too far for most neoliberals, (even in an unaddressed cost of living crisis that could see them turfed out of office).

        P.S. Fancy that, just like Labour when they are out of office, Jim Bolger is out of office, he is all for tax justice.

        Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger backs letter calling for tax on rich

        Zac Fleming 14/07/2020

        Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger is backing calls for taxes on the rich to be raised, saying the wealthy need to help pay for New Zealand's COVID-19 recovery.

        "The tax system is totally unbalanced," Bolger says, "and the multibillionaires, and the billionaires, and the millionaires are all not paying their fair share of taxes."….

        ….The Millionaires for Humanity letter was organised by the United States group The Patriotic Millionaires, and says that while they aren't essential workers with frontline skills, "we do have money, lots of it.

        "We ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently," the letter continues…..

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/07/former-prime-minister-jim-bolger-backs-letter-calling-tax-on-rich.html

        • Bearded Git 7.3.1.1

          As I have said many times on TS, a Wealth Tax is what is desperately needed to reduce inequality….only the Green Party supports this.

          • Craig H 7.3.1.1.1

            Even Piketty has backed away from wealth taxes because France tried one and failed. Land tax would work though.

            • Descendant Of Smith 7.3.1.1.1.1

              I have some difficulty in how a land tax would work. On one income it is already hard enough to pay bills let alone try and save for retirement for two people and the occasional getting kids out of the shit when bad things happen. I already pay an extra $6,000 a year more in tax than two people earning the same amount as me.

              Rates, house and contents insurance all continue to rise faster than my income (I'm begrudgingly delaying some maintenance while I save for paint) and yet I think I'm fortunate to at least have a job and a reasonable income – though my middle and single son earns $30,000 a year plus more than I do.

              So I'm thinking how do I even start to pay a land tax on my over inflated land value when I'll still be paying my mortgage into my just past mid-60's.

              Then I think about all the old people who were fortunate to buy a house in the 70's who only have NZS as an income but whose land values have also risen to ridiculous levels.

              My house and land value is a nonsense and certainly doesn't reflect disposable wealth. We bought it and took on its mortgage when young to live in and live in it we still do. From my perspective it is worthless as an asset unless it is sold and its benefits are safety and security and stability. It costs money rather than generates an income.

              I'm not convinced of a land tax unless something gives elsewhere like rebates for dependent partners – or exempting the family home that you actually live in.

              • Nic the NZer

                Agree. The issue with a lot of these tax proposals is they make and carry completely incorrect assumptions of how the economy works around with them.

                For example, replacing GST with a FTT. This carries the assumption that the ideal balance of govt payments is what ever the present state is. Thats almost certainly wrong and will definitely fluctuate over time of that policy change. On the other hand just dropping GST is a perfectly reasonable proposal by itself.

                On land taxes, the fundamental assumption is that the country is selecting to have too much land sitting idle (under housing) and by taxing land it will change investment to put more land into use. Now, for one thing thats a very simplistic view of the drivers of productive land use, so I doubt this is the key decision point between these two uses. But also there are regular payments due to owning property, called rates. I know what popular opinion is on rates and its typically that councils waste too much money and so rates are too high.

                Dont even get me started on Gareth Morgans proposals for a basic income, so that the tax base can be fundamentally reconfigured, so that every asset must be productively invested to avoid tax.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  I've oft argued for a turnover tax to spread the tax burden across all businesses so every business pays tax. This would simplify the tax system and allow it to be collected at the transaction time for electronic sales.

                  Also reduce the ability to transfer costs off-shore and mean that expenses are mainly between shareholders and the business as they make no difference to the tax position.

                  Couple this with a commitment that a portion of any annual surpluses being returned to business's – say 40% of a surplus when good years occur.

                  This would also simply business's in that they wouldn't need to do all the vertical integration they do to minimise tax – in fact it would discourage them from doing so. It would also reduce the under-the-table black economy as their would be little point.

                  South Africa has turnover tax and some of the EU has started putting in turnover tax rates for businesses who operate in their country but do not contribute to the taxation system in that country – again on the basis that they should contribute towards the country they are selling products in.

                  As things like robotics takes an ever increasing number of jobs the lack of PAYE that robots pay will also start to reduce the tax take. The greatest proportion of tax is paid by workers not businesses. Different models are needed particularly with globalisation.

                  It isn't about taking more tax it is about spreading the same tax burden across every single business. May will pay less than they do now, others more.

              • Bearded Git

                Read the Green's last manifesto to see how a Wealth Tax would work. It spells it out very clearly.

                • I've yet to hear an answer from the GP on how land-rich, but income-poor people (i.e. elderly who own their own home, but don't have other significant assets) would actually be able to pay this 'wealth tax'.
                  Over $1 million is 3/4 of the houses in Auckland (well, it may change with the dropping house prices – but the average is still well over $1M). That's a heck of a lot of people potentially affected.

                  The 'Granny Tax' headlines will have frightened off all of the other political parties.

                  • Incognito

                    You do know it is one mill per person, yes?

                    • Yes, I do. Grandpa dies (typically first), and Granny is left with the wealth tax.

                    • Incognito []

                      No different from paying rates then and any other costs, for that matter. There should be a mechanism for asset-rich cash-poor grannies to defer the wealth tax to the estate, so it effectively becomes an estate tax. Wheeling out old mourning grannies makes for good counter propaganda but not for a strong counter argument against Wealth Tax. Bring it on!

                    • So, effectively, then, Estate duty, would be a better/fairer argument.

                      The argument against ‘Bring it on’ is that the Greens floated this at the last election (may have been in 2017 as well) – and no one else (i.e. Labour – since it doesn’t really matter what ACT/National policies are, since the Greens won’t go into coalition with them) wanted a bar of it.

                      Given that the Green vote is persistently around 10%, unless they want to declare this as a bottom line in negotiations (which seems against their standard practice, to do) – the chances of the policy going anywhere, seem ….. minor.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nope, a Wealth Tax primarily, for each individual who has a net wealth of more than one Million dollars. Under exceptional circumstances only, such as demonstrable economic hardship, the tax could be put against the value of the property (with interest), because that’s what we mostly talk about here, and then settled upon sale or death.

                      I don’t speak for or on behalf of the Green Party, I speak for myself and I think something like a Wealth Tax is a good thing. That said, unlike many others, the Green Party doesn’t drop as many policies or proposals because they are too hard and/or not popular enough, mainly with the middle class that occupies the large political centre – I’d call that integrity – and that’s very likely one of the reasons that they seem to have a base of around 10%. I do hope that next government will be a true MMP coalition, be it what it may.

                    • Replying to your point below (run out of 'reply' function)

                      And the GP are (demonstrably) not selling it to the electorate as ‘fair’. [my italics]

                      That’s inaccurate and misleading, but since you made the assertion you need to back it up with evidence although you will have difficulty proving a negative – I can disprove it with one simple positive – the onus is on you.

                      No support from Labour

                      https://www.interest.co.nz/news/105763/green-partys-wealth-tax-sees-jacinda-ardern-distance-herself-policy-and-national-lump

                      Review of the wealth tax (op ed piece) – basically saying 'no' it's not the best form of tax

                      https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2020/08/10/should-aotearoa-have-a-wealth-tax-.html

                      Poverty advocate against the wealth tax

                      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/10/nz-election-2020-why-a-poverty-advocate-is-against-the-green-party-s-proposed-wealth-tax.html

                      Curia research poll for the TU showing that 3/4 NZ against. [I know that TS don't like Curia or the TU – and I'll welcome a GP commissioned poll showing something different, however I was unable to find one]

                      https://www.taxpayers.org.nz/asset_tax_polling

                      It's clearly a GP platform, but there is no evidence that they are gaining any cut through with the electorate. There is no evidence that increased numbers of Kiwis are being convinced this is the right way to go. The GP remain at (or around) 10% in election polling – this is not shifting their base-line of support upwards.

                      And, as I said above – given that it's been ruled out by Labour (National and ACT are irrelevant, since the GP won't go into coalition with them) – unless the GP make it a bottom line for negotiations – it's going nowhere.

                    • Incognito []

                      The Green Party is most definitely and demonstrably advocating for fairer taxes in NZ and their Wealth Tax policy is a major plank (mechanism) of and for that. Whether you and/or others don’t want to buy it as such is a different issue and one that’s more of your own making. AFAIK, the Green Party hasn’t dropped the proposal and are not going to. It is all about increased fairness, for as long as the problem remains, and the policy is a tacit admission that it won’t go away any time soon. So, a Wealth Tax makes eminent sense, at least to me.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    https://www.greens.org.nz/progressive_tax_reform

                    The tax on wealth advocated by the Green party seems to apply to wealth over one million dollars (excluding any and all single assets worth <$50,000), so those legions of elderly (retired) individuals living alone in mortgage-free homes worth ~$1,156,000 (the median house price in Auckland in June 2022), and driving a typical NZ car would have to find $156,000 x 0.01 = $1,560 per annum, or about 0.14% of the value of their home.

                    And who knows – if Auckland house prices continue to fall, they might end up being exempt from any wealth tax before it could be introduced.

                    If two people are living in the home then they pay nothing until the value of the home and other combined high-value assets exceeds $2,000,000.

                    Seems simple and very fair to me, as long as some of the tax revenue is invested in getting people out of tents, cars, garages, motels etc. and into their own homes. I’d be happy to pay my share.

                    Is this a tax on all homes worth more than $1 million?

                    No. Many people with homes worth more than $1 million would not pay any wealth tax.

                    The tax would only apply to the portion of an expensive home that someone owns outright and isn’t mortgaged. For example, if someone’s home is worth $1.2 million but there is a mortgage for $700,000 of that, then their net asset is only $500,000 and no tax would apply.

                    And the tax would apply to individuals: so a $1.2 million home is actually only $600,000 of assets each if it’s split across a couple.

                    https://www.greens.org.nz/progressive_tax_reform

                    • Median isn't very useful in this area – as it includes a heck of a lot of lower value apartments.
                      Try 1.5 million, which would leave the single occupant (usually Granny) with a 5,000 pa bill. A lot to find off a pension, given that you also have to pay rates, insurance and maintenance.

                      As I said, the headlines would kill this proposal dead in the water – which is why only the Greens espouse it.

                    • Bearded Git

                      Agree entirely Drowsy that it is "simple and fair". IMHO a WT is the best tool available to alleviate the chronic wealth imbalance we have in NZ.

                      And Incog's idea to defer the WT to an Estate Tax (with interest applied of course) is a good one. This should only be an option where hardship can be demonstrated.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Try 1.5 million, which would leave the single occupant (usually Granny) with a 5,000 pa bill. A lot to find off a pension, given that you also have to pay rates, insurance and maintenance.

                    @Belladonna (4:17 pm): With a 1.5 million asset, most Grannies could survive several few decades via a reverse mortgage, which would progressively shrink Granny's wealth tax.

                    Here's the real problem a wealth tax tackles – is there a better way?

                    • Maybe they could. Though most (I'd guess) would be very unhappy to be in that situation. Most older people have a very strong aversion to reverse-mortgages.

                      The real problem, that the illustration you're showing represents, is people owning more than one house. Which Granny (in my example) doesn't.
                      So, effectively, you're taking a chunk of her single meal away, and giving it to people further down the table. That doesn't seem fair to her….

                      If the CGT (bright line) excludes the family home – then how come the Wealth tax doesn't?

                      And, a Wealth tax (as proposed by the GP) does absolutely nothing about the buy-do-up-sell, rinse and repeat cycle, which does so much to drive up the housing market.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Though most (I'd guess) would be very unhappy to be in that situation. [Belladonna @9:54 pm]

                    Depends which side of the table you're sitting on, don't you think? Most of the Grannies you seem concerned about might indeed be "very unhappy" at the prospect of shifting closer to the centre of the table, and resist moving with every fibre of their being – so disappointing.

                    Guess I'm more concerned about the relatively miserable lot the very large number of Kiwis at the 'wrong' end of the table, and how much happier they might be to suddenly find themselves in "that situation", i.e. owning sufficient personal assets to be affected by a wealth tax.

                    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

                    The point being that “taking a chunk of her single meal away“, along with a larger chunk of the multiple meals enjoyed by those at the ‘top’ of the table, leaves Granny with much more on her plate than most other Kiwis – and you talk about ‘fairness’?

                    • 'Fairness' is in the eye of the beholder.

                      Its up to the Green Party (and presumably those who support their Wealth Tax provision) to sell it as 'fair' to the rest of NZ.

                      And, as I pointed out, originally, they've not succeeded in doing so, to date – given the fact that no other political party is willing to countenance the idea.

                      Granny – living in her house for 50 years – and who hasn't participated in the do-up-and-sell ponzi scheme (fueled by mortgages – so entirely untouched by this tax – how is that 'fair') – is a pretty solid example of people who are 'unfairly' affected by this proposal.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Its up to the Green Party (and presumably those who support their Wealth Tax provision) to sell it as 'fair' to the rest of NZ.

                    Not seeing how introducing a Wealth Tax would make our current tax system, that funds programmes and public services, less 'fair' overall – perhaps one has to have a neoliberal mindset to see this.

                    The impact of New Zealand’s macroeconomic
                    frameworks on living standards
                    [March 2022; PDF]
                    Available measures appear to indicate that New Zealand’s tax and transfer system redistributes less than the average OECD country and that our level of redistribution has been falling since the late 1980s.

                    Imho, those who are broadly comfortable with the current distribution of (abundant) wealth in NZ must be wearing fairly expensive rose-tinted glasses if they can't see the harm its doing, i.e. how much less resilient and less sustainable Kiwi society is becoming as a whole.


                    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-08-2022/the-side-eyes-two-new-zealands-the-table

                    Granny – living in her house for 50 years – and who hasn’t participated in the do-up-and-sell ponzi scheme (fueled by mortgages – so entirely untouched by this tax – how is that ‘fair’) – is a pretty solid example of people who are ‘unfairly’ affected by this proposal.

                    And yet the majority of Kiwis can only dream of being “‘unfairly’ affected” in this way. Maybe it comes down to where you’re sitting at the table, and what your prospects are.

                    • So, how about you design a wealth tax scheme targeted at the people who are actively participating in the property Ponzi scheme? The people who are (or were – not sure what they're doing right now with dropping property prices) – actually pushing up the prices, and shutting out first home buyers.

                      You're still not selling it to me as 'fair'. And the GP are (demonstrably) not selling it to the electorate as 'fair'.

                      The cry of 'do something' doesn't mean that people will accept 'anything'. And, really, it's not the 'majority' of Kiwis who are affected – Census stats say 65% of households (down from the historic high of 74% in the 80s)- and basically stable between 2013-2018. I'd say it's unlikely to have dropped since then, and may well have risen.

                      https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/homeownership-rate-lowest-in-almost-70-years

                    • Incognito []

                      And the GP are (demonstrably) not selling it to the electorate as ‘fair’. [my italics]

                      That’s inaccurate and misleading, but since you made the assertion you need to back it up with evidence although you will have difficulty proving a negative – I can disprove it with one simple positive – the onus is on you.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      It seems much simpler to reverse some of the changes that have bought us to this position than to design something new i.e. bring back stamp duty so tax is paid at the transaction point (increase it even), increase taxes on high incomes and reduce GST, allow rebates for dependent partners, bring back estate duties, increase tax rat eon businesses and trusts – in fact make the trust rate higher. Establish a trust register to show who is entitled to benefit from such trusts and who is actually benefitting (as these aren’t always the same people).
                      Renationalise electricity and tele-communications – things that give government other income streams other than taxation.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    You're still not selling it to me as 'fair'. And the GP are (demonstrably) not selling it to the electorate as 'fair'.

                    Not trying to 'sell' anything, just saying that the GP Wealth Tax appeals to me as a way of increasing the redistribution of wealth in NZ.

                    If we agree that a more even distribution the (abundant) wealth in NZ is desirable, then I don't mind what mechanisms (as per DoS’s suggestions @2:06 pm) are used to achieve that goal for a more sustainable and resilient society, as long as any ‘sale’ is substantially free from the taint of self interest.

                    One thing's for sure – smoke and mirrors aren't very nourishing.

                    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

        • Belladonna 7.3.1.2

          Given Ardern's very …. cautious … approach to anything controversial – I think the chances of a new tax would be very slender, indeed. Especially as she ruled out a CGT while she was PM.

    • Bruce 7.4

      Driving around Auckland gives me the impression that the housing crisis is just about over, I see three residential cranes from my window in suburbia, and everywhere I go I see areas of massive development, and those I talk to tell me of the swathes of development in areas I don't go.

      I feel the big beat up is just a last chance to make mileage of a situation that will soon disappear. But then again the borders have reopened so I may be wrong.

      • Peter 7.4.1

        I've seen what you see. North, South, East and West of Auckland are changing astonishingly with all the houses going up. Go to Christchurch you'll see the same.

        • Visubversa 7.4.1.1

          Yes, our drive to the supermarket takes us past half a dozen apartment developments on New North Rd, and we come back through Hendon Ave in Owairaka where Kainga Ora is redeveloping whole streets. Add to that the Kiwis who came home in 2020/21 when their overseas consultancy jobs dried up who are now moving out of the dwellings they bought when they returned and are selling or renting those as they return to Lindon or New York.

      • Belladonna 7.4.2

        I agree that it feels as though there is building all over.

        However, the completion totals don't seem to bear out the contention that we're getting on top of the housing crisis.

        https://www.interest.co.nz/property/116242/new-home-construction-auckland-down-94-year-ago

        And here's an interesting snapshot of what's being built

        https://knowledgeauckland.org.nz/publications/auckland-monthly-housing-update-june-2022/

        Now, I'd hope that some of this is the slow-down on building completion caused by the building supplies shortages (certainly some of the sites around us have had quite substantial down periods where no one was working) – and that there will be a rush of completions in the 2nd half of this year.

        However, there are also pessimistic forecasts that building activity has already peaked, and is now in decline

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/129579736/residential-construction-has-peaked-forecast-to-slide-to-decade-low

        So, apart from KO building – which is relatively unaffected by building costs (though would potentially be affected by a change in government) – developers are not committing to new work.

        • Incognito 7.4.2.1

          I’d say that the housing crisis is an affordability issue, primarily. Locking in first home buyers into a lifelong debt spiral cycle by assisting them to get on the first rung of the property ladder is sending the wrong message and simply perpetuating the meme that owning property leads to financial wealth and in fact is a sure and best bet to get there. It’s an f-ing Ponzi scheme where the rich get much richer must faster with a lot of (indirect) help from the government. Not to mention the banks, and the whole FIRE industry that benefit from the government largesse.

          • Belladonna 7.4.2.1.1

            I agree about the affordability. However, I don't see a solution to this (apart from huge Government building projects – which seem (given the KO budget blowouts) to be off the horizon for now. The biggest part of building cost is land (around half of the value of the home) – and the next biggest is building materials and labour – with the actual developer profit, fairly low down on the list. I don't see any way that the Government can control any of those factors.

            I don't think that it's untrue that owning your own home (well, at least once you've paid down a reasonable bit of the mortgage) is a route to financial stability in NZ. Or, to reverse it, not owning your own house is a route to financial insecurity.

            What other alternatives (apart from Lotto /sarc/) are there for financial security? Renting is insecure tenure AND you'll be paying off someone else's mortgage, rather than your own. [Even Eaqub has admitted that he was wrong about renting being a better solution– in NZ at least]

            Now, if you're talking about buying for capital gain (not that that looks like a viable option in the market ATM) – then I agree that it is indeed a Ponzi scheme (though, perhaps one reaching the end of its life).

            And the money the Government has spent on motel rents – giving bloated profits to motel owners with crappy 4th grade buildings – is obscene. It's like the accommodation supplement (aka landord supplement) on steroids.

  8. joe90 8

    As Mr Clemmens is reputed to have said, history may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

    https://twitter.com/lindyli/status/1570269725711814657

    After three days on a Greyhound bus, Lela Mae Williams was just an hour from her destination—Hyannis, Mass.—when she asked the bus driver to pull over. She needed to change into her finest clothes. She had been promised the Kennedy family would be waiting for her.

    It was late on a Wednesday afternoon, nearly 60 years ago, when that Greyhound bus from Little Rock, Ark., pulled into Hyannis. It slowed to a stop near the summer home of President John F. Kennedy and his family. When the doors opened, Lela Mae and her nine youngest children stepped onto the pavement.

    […]

    But President Kennedy was not there to meet her. And there was no job or permanent housing waiting for her in Hyannis. Instead, Lela Mae and the others were unwitting pawns in a segregationist game.

    "It was one of the most inhuman things I have ever seen," recalled Margaret Moseley, a longtime civil rights activist in Hyannis, in a televised interview a few years before her death.

    Fuming over the civil rights movement, Southern segregationists had concocted a way to retaliate against Northern liberals. In 1962, they tricked about 200 African Americans from the South into moving north. The idea was simple: When large numbers of African Americans showed up on Northern doorsteps, Northerners would not be able to accommodate them. They would not want them, and their hypocrisy would be exposed

    https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2020/02/29/809740346/the-cruel-story-behind-the-reverse-freedom-rides?

  9. weka 9

    I'm finding it increasingly difficult to understand some people's thinking and logic.

    https://twitter.com/Shenshenpshen/status/1570403738837286916

    well, no, it was never wrong to refer to Africans as other than savage if you asked Africans themselves. Likewise, ask lesbians.

    If it's just up to individual choice, then words have no meaning. Maybe this is the point now.

    (wondering what's going on? Gender ideologists believe and are pushing hard the idea that males who self ID as women are then lesbians. Self ID being based on a male saying they are a woman, and nothing else is required. Understandably lesbians aren't ok with this).

  10. Bill Drees 11

    Suspension of Sanity over yet?
    When are we allowed to discuss Aotearoa having a new Head of State that does not live here, takes million in cash as back/handers from despots, has appointed an even more corrupt brother his deputy, married a 19yr old for breeding purposes only, a Head of State that no one here elected?

    How did we end up with not just a foreign king as HoS and a crock of a human being. This adds insult on top of insult.

    Is there any platform in Aotearoa up to having this debate?

    • Ad 11.1

      Go on then,

      Stretch your mind and put up a post on the next move in NZ constitutional reform.

    • joe90 11.2

      a Head of State that no one here elected?

      Patience, Bill….

    • hetzer 11.3

      I would imagine the floor is yours Bill. Interested to hear your views on it.

      Hoping it doesnt include any politician ( from any party, or some dreary Maori aristocracy tho). The current system spares us either non entities.

      But other than that Im all ears!

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    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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