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Open mike 23/03/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 23rd, 2021 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open mike 23/03/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    Oh no this is not good. And just before Easter and a possible travel bubble being announced.

    Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland Grand Millennium Hotel MIQ worker tests positive – NZ Herald

    • Sabine 1.1

      well the travel bubble will not be annunced before April 6th and personally i won't hold my breath. Not because a worker at a hotel cought the virus – i am impressed they don't more often catch it, but because of something like this blunder yesterday where returnees from various plague hotels all were bussed to an exersice area, where they then exersize in outdoor pens akin to sheep mustering (as per the article) and do yoga or sit in the grass, all mixed, and one of them got tested positive, so now all 23 people on that bus need to get retested etc.

      At the end of the day, anyone needs to be prepared to just be told to go home, stay home, and shut up.

      “Returnees at an Auckland isolation hotel who shared a bus to an exercise area with a positive Covid-19 case have had their stays extended.

      The case, who tested positive on day 12, was among guests at the Grand Mercure in central Auckland who were bussed across town for exercise in Mt Albert.”

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1

        At the end of the day, anyone needs to be prepared to just be told to go home, stay home, and shut up.

        Missed that last bit – is it official advice? I don't understand how shutting up might slow the spread of Te Virus.

        • Andre

          Well, if it's official advice, I've missed it. But it's probably good advice.

          Talking generally involves being in close proximity and expelling air that is passing through a constriction that is vigorously vibrating in a part of the body likely to be shedding virus. Ideal conditions for creating aerosols. H, T, P, S sounds in particular seem to need more expelled air. Not to mention those that turn into spitters when they talk (I'm occasionally one of those, and it's deeply embarrassing).

        • Sabine

          i find it amusing that you are ok with this type of bullshit and the risk to us.

          But then i guess that you are a groupie first, and a citizens and neighborgh last.

          And yeah, neither you nor i have the right to do anything other then go home when the phone rings and our alert levels are changed. Remember that.

          So i post it again for you, so that you realise just what risks the largest town is being put through ever day, and the rest of the country.

          “Returnees at an Auckland isolation hotel who shared a bus to an exercise area with a positive Covid-19 case have had their stays extended.

          The case, who tested positive on day 12, was among guests at the Grand Mercure in central Auckland who were bussed across town for exercise in Mt Albert.”

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            i find it amusing that you are ok with this type of bullshit and the risk to us.

            But then i guess that you are a groupie first, and a citizens and neighborgh last.

            Guess again Sabine.

            Glad I could provide some amusement. Wishing you well in navigating any restrictions intended to keep us all safe during the pandemic; didn't we do well!

            And, if it all seems a bit much, just remember (in the words of my maternal grandmother), "Could be wuss."

      • Jimmy 1.1.2

        Who pays for the extended stay? They shouldn't have to surely?

        • Sabine

          Chances are you and I get to pay for that fuck up, as we paid for all the other fuck ups courtesy of us paying taxes.

          • McFlock

            How is it a fuck up? The only way of avoiding that situation is to ship them there in individually-ventilated coffins. Or lock them in their rooms for two weeks, no exercise or anything.

            It's a known risk that results from repurposing the least inappropriate facilities into isolation facilities. A fuck up would have been if they didn't know which people shared the bus.

            • Sabine

              it was several people from different hotels with different testing dates. Now we have had several times where a person showed infection late.

              now how about each hotel has their own shuttle to bring people to and from their exercise pens. So that at least they don't have to mingle, and at the very least you reduce the number from some mid twenties to a few per bus.

              Yes, that was a fuck up. And i expect that procedure to change.

              And yes, ideally they should stay in their rooms for two weeks. Sorry, but you know….the global pandemic that is so bad that we can't open the borders, can't travel, have to go into lockdowns every now and then…..but these guys can get shipped about to have a walk in a park near a neighborhood.

      • RedBaronCV 1.1.3

        Are they vaccinating people as they get off the planes? Isn't there some antibodies after three days or so – maybe to stop people actually spreading it around in quarantine . Is this feasible from a testing point of view?

        • Sabine

          No they are not. They are vaccinating border and plague hotel staff. (And pretty much have done most at least one shot, if not both).

          The new variants are a bit trickier and one can test several times negative and then boom, positive.

  2. Incognito 2

    A Government-guaranteed interest-free loan to FHBs, much like student loans?

  3. Adrian 3

    There is something amiss on house supply, in a year when immigration is negligent and the returning Kiwis numbers are a lot less than the normal inbound migrants, and who knows how long they are going to stick around for, housing should be either in balance or in spare capacity. It doesn’t make sense that prices are going up so fast although this is not unprecedented, I’ve lived through 3 or 4 of these seemingly ridiculous spurts.

    Aside from FOMO and low interest rates ( although not historically so ) there must be something else going on. Has there really been hidden built up demand?

    • mac1 3.1

      Adrian, I heard the PM say at her post cabinet briefing that investors comprise the largest single group of house buyers.

      The extension of the bright line test out to ten years might help curb profit taking.

      There might also be the question of ghost houses connected to this- empty houses owned by investors looking for capital gains.

      In other words, many people suffer for the benefit of the wealthy few.

      It's the stuff of social movements.

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        and no one could have forseen this ……that record low interest rates would be used by the wealthy, or those with equity to buy more houses to rent for max dollar to the few that still believe a house is a right in this country.

    • Anne 3.2

      Adrian from what I've heard, people with Chinese sounding names are buying up large in Auckland again. I suspect they are taking advantage of the Covid created boom in house sales.

      I live in a fairly leafy part of the North Shore and properties are being snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market. I have relatives in Mt Eden who were recently offered an exorbitant price for their home by a Chinese buyer and it wasn't even on the market.

      Looks like Phil Twyford was right all along – not that I'm expecting anyone to admit it.

      And no… it is not racist to speak the facts of a particular situation regardless of the ethnicity of the people it concerns.

      • Peter chch 3.2.1

        Ah yeah, that IS a very racist post.

        Are the buyers who are 'Chinese' actually Chinese, or are they Kiwis (NZ Citizens or Permanent Residents) who are ethnically Chinese?

        Perhaps you would prefer an apartheid system, where 'Chinese' Kiwis can not buy houses? Perhaps you would like to extend your ban to ethnic Philipino Kiwis, or black
        Kiwi people?

        The rules about foreign ownership are pretty clear. I suggest you take a read of them.


        • Jimmy

          Everything is racist these days, even Police 10/7.

          • Peter chch

            Come on Jimmy, advocating apartheid house ownership policies based on how a person looks is pretty extreme.

            Especially as someone of Anne's age was no doubt very vocal (and rightly so) condemning South African apartheid system, yet sees nothing wrong in dividing Kiwis into who can or cannot buy houses based on their ethnicity.

            As I said, unbelievable in 2021.

            • Anne

              Yeah I knw P chch, its hard to admit you're up the boohai. So best to double down and denounce the person with some absurd allegation bordering on defamation.

              I don’t give a damn whether a portion of the people from a specific country – who are significantly adding to the housing crisis – are permanent residents or not. What is far more important is: they are impeding the government's efforts to open up the market to first home buyers in particular – some of whom will no doubt hail from the same specific country.

              I have met plenty of people who originated from China. They are good people who have assimilated well into NZ society. Their good name is being besmirched by a group of former compatriots who are screwing NZ for their own ends – or the ends bestowed on them by the Chinese government by way of an endless trail of cash.

              • alwyn

                "I have met plenty of people who originated from China."

                Of course you have Anne. They are called Maori. The genetic record apparently shows that Maori, and most other Polynesian groups, are descended from Taiwanese roots. I imagine you accept the argument that Taiwan is part of China?

                • Peter chch

                  Well I guess with racist apartheid views that she clearly holds and even repeated, maybe Anne also opposes Maori buying houses (especially now she knows they originated from China).

              • Peter chch

                I have absolutely no idea what 'up the boohai' means. Please enlighten me.

                And no Anne, not defamatory. You clarified your racist and colonialist views in your reply.

                Unbelievable in 2021.

              • Peter chch

                If they are Permanent Residents or NZ Citizens, they are Kiwis, pure and simple. Advocating different rules for them based upon your clear colonialist viewpoints is advocating apartheid.

                Please read up what that means (along with the rules on foreign ownership and investment).

                Guess that's your bedtime reading for this week Anne.

                • RedBaronCV

                  With I understand 40% of Auckland being foreign born so when does immigration become colonisation and do we have policies that transfer wealth to the incomers- which surely we can discuss?

                  I also have at least some reservations about some of our assymetrical trade deals which allow ownership here where no similar right is conferred on us there.

            • Jimmy

              And that programme Border Patrol.

        • DukeEll

          Lee, could be Chinese, could be Korean. Could be from Singapore

          Complaining about a li buying your house?

          definitely racist.

  4. Adrian 4

    But Sabine, the fact that an investor has bought a house does not remove it from the rentable pool, it is not being bought and burnt down although some may be shuttered and not rented very few landlords have the ability to service loans without rent.
    The best thing out of this package is the Government underwriting for the want of a better word, the infrastructure to make housing development possible. Previously councils have wanted to get all such costs recovered in the year of supply instead of over 50 years as a part of rates as they used to do, thus making section prices highly expensive.

    • mac1 4.1

      I'm afraid that obviously there are many owners who can afford to leave a house empty.

      "A total of 196,506 homes were left unoccupied across the country at the 2018 census, according to Stats NZ. The figure includes homes with no current occupants, unoccupied properties being renovated, baches, and holiday homes. Empty new-builds and homes that aren't up to government rental standards will also make up some of the total."

      How many of 200,000 houses, in 2018, were 'shuttered and not rented"?


      The article asks what would get these houses into the market?

      I know of two radical solutions. First, Spain.

      "Barcelona’s Latest Affordable Housing Tool: Seize Empty Apartments

      Fill vacant rental units with tenants or we will take over your properties, the city is warning landlords." https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-16/to-fill-vacant-units-barcelona-seizes-apartments

      The second is to allow in law the right to squat as happens in other jurisdictions.

    • Sabine 4.2

      yes, it does remove it from the public housing market if the Investor is not in the renting business but the land banking business. But i guess you know that.

      We have ghost houses, borded up houses, houses that are falling apart while still being tenanted (so as long as no one complains its all good, right) up and down the country, while we have people that can't rent a kennel.

      And you can increase availablity as much as you like, its a bit like the government spending money on providing access to say mental health care or Winz. They fund a phoneline, hire two fulltimers and a part timer, and voila you have created access. No on is getting the help they need, but they can dial a number – if their phone has credit.

      And this is the same.

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    I haven't gone into the finer details and was listening peripherally, but the Housing announcement post mortem on Natrad earlier featured the Property Investors Federation spokesperson literally choking on her words.

    Things might be looking up?

  6. Sabine 6

    I can't see all of this change much from what is going on i n the housing market.


    But it made for an interesting read.

  7. UncleBob 8

    I know this new housing policy comes from a place of good intentions. But the removal of interest claims against tax, simply isn't sensible. In business all costs get passed onto the consumer, who in this case are people who rent their homes. Interest payments are likely the number one cost for most landlords. The interest claim removal, will certainly lead to increases in rents. If interest rates begin to rise, that situation will become worse. Ultimately, we may greater homelessness. Creating a larger problem than the one it sought to address.

    • mikesh 8.1

      I know this new housing policy comes from a place of good intentions. But the removal of interest claims against tax, simply isn't sensible. In business all costs get passed onto the consumer, who in this case are people who rent their homes.

      This is actually not true. The mortgage payments, which incorporate the interest, are the landlord's responsibility, not the tenant's. The "consumer" of the interest expense is actually the landlord himself. The mortgage payments are for the house itself, of which the landlord is the owner, and have nothing to do with the operation of the tenancy.

      The tenant’s only responsibility is to pay the rent, which is usually determined either by market forces or by regulation.

  8. Jimmy 9

    I think the biggest change is the non deductibility of interest payments on rental properties. Unfortunately, this may mean landlords will increase their rent more (in their once a year increase) to partly cover.

  9. Sabine 10

    oh boy….why not.


    BNZ is providing interest and fee-free funding for a payroll scheme cash-strapped workers can use to get paid early.

    The bank&rsquo;s chief executive Angela Mentis hoped it would provide an alternative to loan sharks for financially vulnerable workers.

    The PayNow scheme has been developed by NZX sharemarket-listed fintech Paysauce, and will be available to around 20,000 employees whose payrolls are managed by Paysauce.

    But Paysauce co-founder Asantha Wijeyeratne said the number of employees covered would rise as Paysauce expanded, and the company was willing to let rival payroll companies use PayNow to spread the social benefits.

    what could go wrong.

  10. RedLogix 11

    And just to add to the general fun, where we are in Brisbane at present is surrounded by flood water, with only one way out. Not worried as the sea is close enough to ensure it will drain, but kind of cool all the same.

    Crazy contrast to how it usually is.

  11. greywarshark 12


    Radionz carefully tells us about US shooting.

    However there is already a report about a NZ shooting looked into by the ICPA control. It seems justified, for a multiple murderer shooting at the police in a town area – so perhaps 49 rounds makes sure. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/438954/police-justified-in-fatally-shooting-man-during-tauranga-pursuit-ipca

    One shooting news report is adequate to keep us stressed I think. I feel that the US can keep their shootings for themselves and we should do the same with ours.

    It is an unhealthy trait in RNZ (RadioNZ) to be so obsessed with 1, the US, and 2, outbreaks of violence there whether they involve police or not.

    I don't know whether RNZ has put up this US story about the husband of a shooting victim being held in handcuffs for four hours, still after pics of the suspected perps were shown, and he was actually arrested. The question is why – was it because he is a Mexican? https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/shooting-victims-husband-says-police-detained-him-for-hours/

    Cherokee sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker was removed as spokesman for the case after telling reporters the day after the shootings that Long had “a really bad day” and “this is what he did.” A Facebook page appearing to belong to Baker promoted a T-shirt with racist language about China and the coronavirus last year.

    That is mind-boggling horrific racism from police there.

    Then there is another Seattle Times report of a shooting.

    Also one in Tennessee. one in Kansas.

    4 dead and 8 injured in Umlazi South Africa.

    Perhaps both RadioNZ and GoogleNews have bias against reporting the rest of the world's tragedies.

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