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Open mike 26/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 26th, 2020 - 138 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

138 comments on “Open mike 26/02/2020 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    As much as left Govt. critics are essentially snookered by the demonstrable “lesser of two evils” scenario, and the 30 year old major party neo liberal consensus–militate for change we must.

    Benefit (Job Seeker Allowance) 13 week stand down period for Forest industry workers displaced by International virus blowback is not going to be shifted according to Mr Robertson.

    Floods or droughts see millions in largesse for the farming community, but working class people living week to week get no consideration under Labour’s hard neo liberal approach to welfare–dating back to Helen Clark’s punitive “Jobs Jolt”.

    “Work will set you free” is still WINZ/MSD sadistic approach. Even though the nature of 21st Century work has totally changed since the 1964 Social Security Act and there is little non precarious, viable work! Yes, I have seen the Labour “Future of Work” talk fest documents and they are full of it. We need UBI now. In the interim no stand downs or sanctions or abatements for any beneficiary. Carmel Sepuloni is another apologist that should hang her head in shame.

    When Labour comes knocking very shortly for votes they should think about growing the working class vote rather appeasing middle class welfare recipients such as neo rentiers.
    Who does Robertson think he is impressing really? The answer I guess has been known for years.

    • weka 1.1

      UBI without welfare bolted on will be a disaster for many people, especially disabled people, and young mums. Doubly so under National.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Not advocating welfare be ended with introduction of some form of UBI.

        Do support making Govt. payments/tax adjustments unique to holder regardless of relationships, and dropping the abatement rate poverty traps. And it would be nice to see the top echelons of WINZ/MSD reapply for their jobs, and sent packing.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          The problem is that all the NZ UBI models are based around no welfare or haven't solved the welfare issue, and when people start talking about UBI it tends to get left out of the conversation.

          Agreed that so many things are wrong with how MSD/WINZ are doing welfare, lots needs sorting out there.

          • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough point. There is no universally agreed UBI definition (no pun etc.) for what people mean by the term. Welfare absolutely should be retained–but benefit stigma and appalling treating of disabled and long term ill in particular should cease.

            A difficult problem to solve while private landlords run riot and utility costs rise. Fare free public transport and free Wi-fi nationwide and a massive public housing build would provide a better setting for a discussion on UBI/Welfare/Superannuation! But what Govt. would go there just yet.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I've got a post on UBI nearly ready to go up. I don't go into the housing crisis, but it's definitely the thing that's makes all other problems very hard to solve.

    • WeTheBleeple 1.2

      That doesn't sound right at all. The stand down periods are individually worked out and can be assessed here: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services/apply/what-is-a-stand-down.html#null Go to: work out how long your stand down is.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.2.1

        The 13 weeks is a maximum applying to people that have recently been in work and have left for reasons that do not satisfy WINZ/MSD. But, if you are taking a personal grievance etc. for say claimed unjustified dismissal, stand downs may be waived.

        I based my comment on the The Forest Industry Contractors Assn call on the Minister.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018735806/covid-19-forestry-industry-calls-for-benefit-stand-down-exemption

        Dealing with WINZ/MSD is a fraught process for most that encounter it. Because something is in the legislation does not mean it will necessarily applied to individuals.

        I am pointing to the difference between automatic verbal assurances for Farmers in weather events and the the recalcitrance here. Robertson just has to say–“no one out of work due to Covid 19 related reasons will be stood down or denied a benefit” there, not so hard is it?

        • WeTheBleeple 1.2.1.1

          The 13 week period came from the mouth of Shane Jones. I bet it is not 13 weeks, and these people are now getting a taste of reality for many – officious asshats who act like you are a criminal for having needs. These mongrels are still thick on the ground in WINZ despite the call for kindness. Maybe these workers do need an advocate, as they've thrown their toys out of the cot at round one. Got the media involved, Shane’s there… I see no reason to make blanket reassurances we have no idea of the length and scope of the virus epidemiology yet.

          • Sabine 1.2.1.1.1

            i had a very abusive boss once in NZ, the guy got taken weekly to the employment court and i am not joking here. when i went to winz to ask what would happen if i would quit my employment with this person i was told that i would be stood down for 12 weeks as a boss who is a known bully – inclusive sexual and racist abuse – was no reason for anyone to quit a job.

            So yes, this it not something Shane Jones makes up (even if it might fit the narrative that all the fuck ups ofthe kinder gentler bullshit goverment currently running the show is the fault of NZ First), this is something that everyone who loses their employment or wants to quit for reasons not acceptable by our Tory leader ship (again, blue, green, red, nary a difference) needs to keep in mind.

            So you might want to consider what you are betting on.

            https://www.cab.org.nz/article/KB00001934

            They may use 'may', but generally speaking do not quit your job unless you have enough resources to last 15 weeks, no matter how abusive your work place, how dangerous, how fucked up. Because you.will.be.stood.down. And the current lot Red/Green/Black has done absolutly nothing to change that. Kinder, gentler, bullshit.

            • WeTheBleeple 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Did the forestry workers quit their jobs? Big difference to being laid off or put on hold. Shane pulled the largest 13 week figure out from the documentation, I still see no evidence this is the actual case.

              Sorry about your nasty boss. most of us have worked for a mongrel or three. You need unions involved with bad bosses or you're on your own, unfortunately.

    • bwaghorn 1.3

      Yip .

      I watched Robinson say the other day that they would try repurpose (my word but that was th general drift) forestry workers who have been stood down . And I I thought fuck you . Your a fucking labour party . How about forcing the forestry industry to gaurentee workers wages for 52 weeks of the year you gutless cunt.

      Atleast national are honest we know they hate the working man.

      • Nic the NZer 1.3.1

        To me this strongly depends on the implementation Robertson is thinking about. The govts tree planting program could use some capable labour.

        Ultimately I don't think that any business can guarantee work for all its employees full time. There will be periods when available work is insufficient for all who want to be employed. To resolve this the govt should implement a job guarantee. We already implement a similar buffer stock policy actually through treasury and RBNZ unemployment rate targets but instead of maintaining the work skills of those who endup without work we let their willing contributions go to waste.

        • bwaghorn 1.3.1.1

          Yeah na

          Your part of the problem obviously.

          Logging is a full time job in all but name .

          You show me another fulltime employment industry where the bosses can just shut the gates and send you home with your last paycheck while expecting you to come back as soon as things pick up .

          • Nic the NZer 1.3.1.1.1

            Bit confused about what your tilting at. Is it the idea of more trees?

            • bwaghorn 1.3.1.1.1.1

              No it's the fact that forestry workers are treated like shit .

              Absolutely no safeguards or security to their employment.

              But allgood they can just up sticks and pick fruit according to Robertson.

    • Chris 1.4

      I agree with everything you're saying about benefits and a UBI but saw an opportunity to say something about the draconian, unfair, but legal 13-week stand down.

      There's no automatic 13-week stand down for forestry workers or anyone else affected by job-loss caused by coronavirus. The 13-week stand down only applies if the person, any person applying for the equivalent of the unemployment benefit (whatever it’s called right now) leaves their job without good and sufficient reason or is sacked for misconduct. This is what the Act says, but I accept the practice is different.

      Good and sufficient reason must take account of the person's circumstances, such as child care responsibilities, transport difficulties, whether the employment relationship breaks down and the person resigns: anything that affects the person's ability to continue in the employment. Good and sufficient isn't about the subjective views of the decision-maker, which unfortunately too many decisions are based on.

      Similarly, misconduct means gross misconduct. It doesn't simply mean being sacked because an employer wants to do that, or thinks the reason for the dismissal is justified. In other words, it's not the opinion of the employer that's relevant to whether a stand down is imposed. And contrary to popular belief, a PG does not have to be taken in order for a benefit to be paid in instances where the person has lost their job because of misconduct, despite MSD staff often insisting that it must.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        Stand-downs are a bit like current benefit levels: frittering around the edges makes life better for some people, but really we need to lock minimum benefit levels to a fair proportion of median income and get rid of stand-downs altogether.

  2. AB 2

    t's important to remember that bad implementations of UBI are possible, and in fact more likely than good ones under current conditions. It is a tool not an end in itself. Oops, answer to weka at 2.1

    • Nic the NZer 2.1

      Any UBI implementation provides more income to those who are in work as well as those on welfare. But if the intention is to bolster the income of people on welfare then just improving the welfare rates and associated regressive policies seems to be better targeted.

      A job guarantee is a technically better policy, as it helps with some of the difficulties caused to people finding a job without a solid employment history.

      Its also worth acknowledging that the unemployment rate is always an artifact of official govt policy.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Any UBI implementation provides more income to those who are in work as well as those on welfare.

        Not if you adjust PAYE tax rates to balance things out at the same time. I agree with AB that bad implementations are perfectly possible, indeed in general it's way easier to fuck things up than get them right, but the principle of universality is a good one worth aiming for.

        At the moment we still treat welfare as something you have to 'deserve', and then intrusively impose bureaucratic judgements that most people find debilitating and destructive in the long run. It's fundamentally counterproductive.

        In pragmatic terms I'm open to the idea of introducing a UBI very incrementally. There is no reason why it could be be initially set at quite a low number like $5kpa as a sort of 'tax free income threshold' while retaining much of the existing system. Then over a period of a decade or so we could annually move the UBI up and slowly adapt the existing systems to incorporate it, until eventually we reduced targeted benefits to the minimum judged necessary. It would be a process, not an event.

        This would allow the economy time to rebalance, discover any bugs, and create the opportunity to mitigate any issues that arose.

        • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.1

          When I mentioned that a UBI helps those in work and out I was indicating those on low income vs existing welfare. Creating a more steep income step between welfare and work seems problematic to me.

          And the intro of a tax free threshold doesn't help anybody with no income. All the UBI proposals I have seen discussed are talking about replacing benefit regimes (so to make them universal and unregressive) here but it seems that concept should be discarded as a part now?

          As far as i can see its obvious how to resolve the issues with welfare regimes, but not so for any UBI proposals.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            Creating a more steep income step between welfare and work seems problematic to me.

            One of the great virtues of a UBI is it can eliminate that 'step' altogether. Ideally you want the settings to work so that everyone has access to the base UBI, and any income earned above this is taxed at a smooth and reasonable rate.

            One of the big intractable issues with targeted welfare is that inevitably as a person earns even a small amount, it's necessary to claw back their benefit at very high marginal tax rates. This creates a huge disincentive.

            And the intro of a tax free threshold doesn't help anybody with no income.

            Well as I explicitly said, a low UBI of say $5kpa is only 'sort of' like a tax free income band, but with the added bonus that it helps everyone regardless of whether they have an income or not.

            All the UBI proposals I have seen discussed are talking about replacing benefit regimes (so to make them universal and unregressive) here but it seems that concept should be discarded as a part now?

            While most UBI advocates argue for a technically clean system for the sake of argument, reality is messy and it's probably not desirable to impose purity for just ideological reasons. I'm open to keeping a targeted benefit system during an extended transition period, and hopefully finishing up with the best of both approaches in the long run.

            • Wayne 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Why would you want to eliminate that step?
              I guess this is one of the major differences between left and right. The right always are going to believe that paid work should be significantly better paid than welfare. Not just in respect of the costs of work (travel, food, etc) but also to show the work is more beneficial to both society and the individual.

              • McFlock

                If the only benefit is pay, then the work isn't beneficial to people. The money is.

                The right think that people need to be bullied into work, so people not in work should live in hardship.

                The left know that if there is work in a good team with a competent boss who treats them with respect, people will want to do it.

                Additionally, when the economy is structured around maintaining a level of unemployment to avoid inflation, unemployed people are victims of that structural feature.

              • RedLogix

                Apologies … I expressed that too cryptically and I think you misunderstood.

                The problem I was referring to was the well known poverty trap that occurs when a beneficiary starts to move back into paid work, often part time or casual.

                Their new income isn't enough to live on, so they still need some state support. Typically what happens though is that support is taxed at very high marginal rates, otherwise you would finish up in the inequitable position that someone working full time alongside them might easily finish up on a lower net income.

                Then you get the impact of stand-down periods if the new job doesn't work out for some reason. Or you have to shift for family reasons. And the very low partner qualifying income in this country also works against families.

                The overall problem is that while benefits are damned miserable in this country, the median wage isn't much better. And this makes transitioning from one to the other problematic. You can easily find yourself working 20 or 30 hours a week, and by the time you take the costs and lost opportunity into account, you aren't much better off. This is the disincentive I was mentioning.

                Essentially a decently designed UBI eliminates issues at root.

              • Nic the NZer

                The mythical incentive gap is completely beside the point Wayne. Due to errors (inefficiencies if you like) in the Govts economic policy handling there are just not regularly enough of the kinds of jobs such that everyone is employed. Only govt policy could possibly reliably solve that but instead we leave it to the market with occasional nudges to monetary and fiscal policy (for better or sometimes worse).

                The policy which maintains this is a blight. Its also the single biggest source of waste in the economy.

              • WeTheBleeple

                I agree workers should be compensated and not so insignificantly they're comparable to benefits. But also, benefits are meant to bridge a gap in employment not drive people into poverty. So both minimum wage and benefits need to be increased.

              • Sacha

                The right always are going to believe that paid work should be significantly better paid than welfare. Not just in respect of the costs of work (travel, food, etc) but also to show the work is more beneficial to both society and the individual.

                True. In a similar vein, what is the rationale for returns on capital being better rewarded than paid work?

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I don't think we are quite discussing the income step in equivalent terms. I am suggesting there are 3 regimes being discussed, 1) welfare & work (present) 2) UBI & work and 3) UBI & welfare & work. Of these 2 can be problematic because those out of work will be on the UBI only and that will be too low to live on by itself. 3 will be less problematic but relative to 1 the difference between welfare and work will be whatever income is shifted out of welfare to the universal UBI payments. This seems to be making people in welfare significantly worse off from a bad starting point. This is also the nature of the UBI proposals I have seen. Simply making the benefit regime universally available to the unemployed would get that solved relatively simply on the other hand.

              • pat

                Sadly the fact remains that ALL the solutions are long term and the patience (within the electorate) is not there….we have created a substantial pool of individuals who are not only not productive but will be negatively productive for some considerable period…..a UBI will not turn that around, especially one at any sort of affordable level….when one considers what determines our purchasing power internationally.

                Not consigning this group to perpetual poverty would be a good start

            • mikesh 2.1.1.1.1.3

              The two main UBI advocates, that I know of, are Gareth Morgan and Keith Rankin. Both advocate coupling it wit a flat tax rate – Morgan, 30%, and Rankin, 35%. Morgan suggested a UBI of $11,000 pa, while Rankin suggested $200 pw. The main difference between the two was Morgan saw a UBI as largely replacing welfare, while Rankin would keep the welfare system intact.

              Taking Morgans suggestions one sees that someone on an income of $50,000 pa would pay $15,000 in tax but would be receiving $11,000 UBI from the government; so his net payment to the government would be $4,000 which, on an income of $50,000, is equivalent to a tax rate of 8%. On the other hand someone on $20,000 would pay $6,000 in tax and receive $11,000 by way of UBI. Therefore he/she is receiving a net payment from the government of $5,000 – he is, in effect, benefiting from the equivalent of a negative income tax.

              Similar calculations at other income levels would show that a UBI coupled with a flat tax is equivalent to a progressive tax system.

              • pat

                it is not and we have been there before

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  We have a UBI now for old people. It's called NZS and plenty of them choose to work or not and we pull some of that money back through the tax system due to the higher earnings they earn on top of their super. They have absolute freedom to choose to work or not.

                  We could start by reducing the NZS age back to 60 and lifting the top tax rate a little to help pay for it.

                  The miracle of metamorphosis from whence a bludger is reborn as a deserved and revered taxpayer that currently exists at 65 could be even more useful at 60 – especially for those – often Maori – who don't reach 65.

                  The removal of cheap labour through a UBI would also mean more investment in high quality jobs, robotics, etc. to increase New Zealand's productivity.

                  We don't need more low paid jobs e.g. cafes and restaurants, picking fruit, shop assistants, tourism, etc.

                  The biggest emerging factor is in my view the inherent racism in the labour market. New Zealand has an older declining European workforce and an increasing young Maori workforce.

                  If we want to be successful in the future we have to be investing in young Maori. No ifs, no buts.

                  To do that we have to address the poverty issue and quickly.

                  To do that we should at least put benefit rates back to the same rate as NZS- immediately and without any fuss. Get rid of the youth rate as well.

                  For those who don't believe the rates were the same here's the rates from 1976.

                  UB 18+ unmarried $28-75
                  NZS unmarried person $28-75

                  Today it is

                  UB 18+ single at home $145-98
                  UB 18 – 24 single not at home $182-47
                  UB 25+ single at home $218-98
                  NZS single living alone $411-15
                  NZS sharing $379-52

                  It is completely disgusting that we have gone from 100% equivalence to having such a wide disparity in the way we treat our most vulnerable.

                  Wayne's notion of keeping a gap between benefits and wages in order to encourage people to work reinforces how much of a lie it was that giving tax cuts to employers would mean they would be able to pay workers more. One of the many big economic lies. If they had passed those tax cuts onto workers then benefits would not need to have been kept so low.

                  It as big a lie as increased productivity leads to more work/jobs. Increased productivity can only lead to less jobs – if you had 10 people making widgets and they increased their output then you wouldn't need 10 people. Increased productivity will make you more efficient and competitive and be able to produce things at a lower cost but this is all in vain if you can't actually sell more product. It like orchardists planting heaps more apple trees and having no markets to sell them in.

                  Companies that stay around and are big innovate – not just rely on low wages to make the bottom line look better.

                  There is no rational reason to keep benefit rates low really. It actually stifles productivity and innovation and maintains rubbish employers.

                  • pat

                    do the numbers….there are roughly 4 million kiwis over the age of 18. If you are not going to reduce the income of super annuitants then you have a gross annual out going of around 85 billion pa for a UBI…current total tax take is around 93 billion

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Umm I was suggesting only four things. Increasing benefit rates to the NZS rates, dropping NZS down to 60 again and increasing the tax rate at the top to get more of the NZS back for those for whom NZS+work equals a high income.

                      Didn't suggest a UBI for everyone.

                      Tell me why do most NZS recipients work – because A they have to or B – because they want to.

                  • pat

                    Agree benefit rate needs to be increased….though so much damage has been done that wont solve the problems.

                    A 60 retirement option while sensible IMO would be a hard political sell….esp given the rhetoric over the past cpl decades.

                    A more progressive tax system with substantial clawback for exceedingly high salaries a no brainer.

                    Dont know that 'most' NZS recipients do work…though of those that do I suspect a good proportion of them do so because they have to

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      The "most" referred to of those that work why do most do so, rather than suggesting that the majority of all NZS recipients work.

                      While looking around you isn’t a good way of measuring things nearly all the people I know on super working don’t have to. The ones that do are generally raising their grandchildren and in general are Maori.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.1.2

            Assuming a tax rate of, say, 20%, a tax-free zone of $5,000 would amount to a UBI of $1,000 per year.

  3. Jimmy 3

    I'm in two minds about the 90 day notice for rentals especially reading this.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/119787941/landlords-battle-to-get-tenants-to-leave-property

    • Muttonbird 3.1

      I'd like to know how long the family had been there and when the present owners bought the property.

      It matters because by the look of it that is a troubled family requiring significant support. If they had been living in that property for many years with the previous owner and the Tuffleys bought it and kicked them out immediately that suggests an absence of duty of care. People with high needs like that can’t just up-sticks and go find another rental.

      We hear from landlords all the time what a kind, caring social service they provide the country's poorest but if the situation I have described above is true then that doesn't fit.

      The Tuffleys look like developers to me rather than landlords (the clue is in the company name) and the 'no cause' legislation is designed to make sure landlords and developers do follow a duty of care to their vulnerable tenants which has not been the case for decades now.

      Time for landlords to show themselves to be what they claim they are.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        We have a similar (although not quite as bad) tenant for the past 10 years. The property manager routinely asks that we invoke the 90 day eviction, and we probably should have. The place is going to cost us a bomb to fix when the day of reckoning arrives. Probably several years worth of rent.

        We also had a similar case where one tenant is a block of three began disturbing the other two neighbours. We lost three good tenants before we were able to finally get her to move on, again a costly and frustrating exercise. And all this was before the proposed legislation that will make the process even harder.

        While it's all very well and good to stand up for the rights of the weak and dysfunctional, but very often their failures have consequences for everyone else around them that cannot be ignored.

        In this case the Tuffleys are planning to demolish the existing end of life building and replace it with four new townhouses … and increasing the supply of homes in the area. But instead of being supported in this, they're somehow made into the villans.

        As for the existing tenants; I've always been 100% crystal clear on this … around 10-15% of the population simply need social housing. Period.

        • Muttonbird 3.1.1.1

          The Tuffleys in that article are not being made into villains, they are clearly pictured as the victims.

          Not arguing against knocking down that house and building townhouses – that is a good thing.

          But, the difficulty in this case seems to be a failure in the court and tribunal system rather than the legislation itself. If you are going to be a developer you can't cry about not being able to afford a lawyer to action existing pro-landlord rules! That seems weird to me.

          As far as I can see the new legislation would require three instances of adverse behaviour to be lodged then the 90 day order can be applied. Pretty simple I would have thought.

          As is stands now no proof of adverse behaviour is required – no reason at all.

          The other thing I hope the new law will do is for landlords who are kicking their tenants out for whatever reason to explore their duty of care.

          Finally, in your first example you say it’s going to cost several years worth of rent to fix the house. National median rent for 1-2 bedrooms is $390/week so “several years” (3.5 to be generous) is $70,000.

          What did they do, burn it down?

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1

            If you are going to be a developer you can't cry about not being able to afford a lawyer to action existing pro-landlord rules!

            Not all developers are wealthy people and are by definition almost always short of cash; especially on your first few projects.Good lawyers are very expensive; $10,000 can get gobbled up without blinking.

            There is no doubt in my mind these tenants have totally abused the property, they have abused the process and no-one, not even the taxpayer, can be blamed for not wanting give them have a house they will almost certainly wreck. High needs or not, they pretty much have themselves to blame for the mess they're literally in.

            As far as I can see the new legislation would require three instances of adverse behaviour to be lodged then the 90 day order can be applied.

            That is almost exactly the process we went through with the paranoid tenant I mentioned above. We gave her multiple chances over the period of two years, but each time she backslid and caused another tenant to leave.

            We are not social workers, and we have no capacity to determine a person's state of mind, and gathering evidence of adverse behaviour, when often it's covert and the perpetrator denies it vehemently, is also fraught. Most people want nothing to do with this kind of crap and just move on as soon as they can. You get a verbal complaint from them, but getting them to write something down and sign it is much harder. They don’t want to get involved because.

            In the end it took us over two years from the first doubts, through multiple attempts at exercising our 'duty of care', to finally evicting her. We absolutely did not enjoy the process as we also had considerable empathy for her position; yet in the end we could not tolerate her persistent interference with other tenants. Issuing a 90 day notice without reason was our last resort, but necessary. Imagining any of this is 'easy' is only possible if you haven't been in this position.

            (Incidentally here in Australia as tenants ourselves we were on the receiving end of a similarly paranoid neighbour who caused my partner a lot of stress. By contrast to NZ we had recourse to a very efficient Court process that allowed us to make a formal complaint about the behaviour without dumping the problem onto the landlord. It worked very well I have to say.)

            Let me clear. Of the roughly 50 tenants who have rented our homes in the past 20 years, exactly 5 of them … ie 10% … have created significant problems. This is about industry average over that period. Ultimately this is why property owners are increasingly turning to professional managers who dispassionate and efficient in dealing with these issues. It's also partly why your rent keeps going up.

            • Muttonbird 3.1.1.1.1.1

              You don't know whether I pay rent or not. I hope you are not fishing for personal information.

              • RedLogix

                No I am not. It has been my own choice to be transparent about my personal interest and stake in this debate over many years now … but what you say about your position is entirely up to you.

            • Jimmy 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes I can see this new rule could be a problem especially where there is a block of 3 flats joined and the middle tenant likes wild parties and has unsavoury people turning up at all hours. The front and back tenants are more likely to just move on ASAP than get involved in having to make complaints etc to landlord and the landlord will likely lose two good tenants (and have trouble replacing them).

              • RedLogix

                Well yes. Landlords do have an obligation to ensure the tenant has 'quiet enjoyment' of their home. But how to handle this when other tenants compromise this? It can rapidly become very messy.

                Of the 50 odd tenants in our experience, we have used the 90 day order on one of them, and will eventually need to on another. That's 4% of all our tenants and similar to the 3% of all tenants who are issued eviction notices annually. It's reasonable to think a majority of evictions are done for good and proper reasons.

                No reasonable person enjoys being on either end of the process, but one of the hard lessons we've been slow to learn is that when the landlord/tenant relationship goes south for whatever reason, it's usually best to get to a clean break earlier rather than later.

            • Muttonbird 3.1.1.1.1.3

              There is no doubt in my mind these tenants have totally abused the property.

              Perhaps, but my original point was did the Tuffleys know this when they bought the property. Reading between the lines it looks like they are recent purchasers, while that family has been there some time. They would have known what they bought.

              Afraid I just don't buy the 'we were going to move in there before they wrecked it' line which has been fed the writer of the article and to us, the public. They are "Tuffley Developments" after all.

              • RedLogix

                Afraid I just don't buy the 'we were going to move in there before they wrecked it'

                I can easily imagine just this happening. For a period of five years we lived in the worst of our units while we were doing up the other three in the group (and while I worked a more than full-time job).

                Developing is not just a matter of clearing the land and plonking up some houses. It typically takes around 18 – 36 months of planning, permitting, funding and organising before so much as a spade gets looked at. It's entirely plausible the Tuffley's were intending to live in the old house to minimise their cash flow until they could start building. It's what I'd likely do.

                And it's my reading of the story that while it was a definitely a mess before they bought it, the tenants made an extra effort to trash the place after the eviction process started. That's always the big reason why landlords often don't evict when unless they really have to … the frequency of vengeful tenants taking it out on the property while not especially high, is not zero either.

                There is no reasonable expectation the tenant has a right to live in an end of life house indefinitely. It was time to demolish it and replace it with something better.

                • Muttonbird

                  Your quote:

                  The tenants made an extra effort to trash the place after the eviction process started.

                  Which line in the article leads you to believe this? Is it this from Leanne Tuffley:

                  She said damage to the house had reduced it to below land value.

                  Umm. Anyone looking at those pictures will not believe that 'an effort to trash the place' dragged the value of the house down anymore than it was already.

                  Also, how do these statements match up? From the writer of the article:

                  They bought the four-bedroom house with the intention to demolish it and build townhouses.

                  and from Adrian Tuffley:

                  Adrian Tuffley said they had planned to move in but could not do so.

                  And here is Leanne again:

                  It (is) clear to the couple why people would not want to be residential landlords.

                  But they weren't being residential landlords in this case, they were being developers who kicked high needs, long term tenants out on the street. And they bought the house with full knowledge of the state of it.

                  Look at the pictures, that didn't happen since October 2019.

                  The article is just horror-tenant-porn for consumption by the land-owning class. Not saying Susan Edmunds doesn’t about bad landlords, she does, but this one is pure sneering at vulnerable people.

                  • RedLogix

                    I would guess the old owner had decided that the house was end of life and no longer economic to bring up to current standards and decided to sell.

                    The new owners clearly never intended to rent it out; but because the sale came with the tenants in-place they were forced into the role as landlords, at least temporarily, while the 90 day order was implemented. This is a novice mistake, no experienced developer would make because of exactly this kind of hazard. And the sort of problem real landlords like myself do have to confront. The idea that it's some kind of made up horror-tenant-porn is bullshit.

                    And I'm not quibbling with you about this family being 'high needs'. That is what social housing is for. The real question has to be, why didn't HNZ assist them as soon as the 90 day notice came up?

                    • Muttonbird

                      It's what I hope the new legislation will do. Help encourage landlords to take more of an interest in their tenants' affairs rather than serving up 42 or 90 day notices when they feel like it.

                      Perhaps this could take the form of them involving HNZ early and helping make the transition for a high needs family less traumatic.

                      As I said before we do hear a lot about the social service NZ amateur landlord provide for renting Kiwis. I think they need to show it a bit more.

                      You said before it’s not the job of a landlord to be social worker. Perhaps not but they should show more of an interest than the Tuffleys did.

                      Edit: Newshub say Tuffley Developments Ltd bought the property in December 2018.

                      Edit again:
                      Removed the link to the Newshub article. They have plastered the Tribunal decision at the top of the article. Wankers.

                    • RedLogix

                      Help encourage landlords to take more of an interest in their tenants' affairs

                      I hear you; it's a temptation we've fallen into a number of times now and sadly I have to report that it has bitten us firmly on the arse every single damned time. It is very, very difficult to help people until they are willing to take responsibility for their problems.

                      rather than serving up 42 or 90 day notices when they feel like it.

                      And while I can only speak directly for myself, I think most landlords are reasonable people and only resort to eviction notices with good reason. If the tenant is paying the rent, looking after the place and there is no adverse behaviour causing problems … then why would you? Far better to keep good people you know in place than taking on new tenants who are an unknown risk. There is simply no sane motivation to do it on an arbitrary or whimsical basis.

                      Edit: In this case the reason is clear; the house was no longer capable of economically meeting the new rental standards and it was going to be demolished to make way for four new units. That seems reasonable to me.

                    • Muttonbird

                      The flipping of properties is one big reason why they issue eviction notices. Nothing to do with perfectly good tenants and it happens a lot although I assume less so recently with bright line tests and the Asian money out of the market.

                      This behaviour damages the stability of local communities.

                    • RedLogix

                      The flipping of properties is one big reason why they issue eviction notices.

                      Yes I can accept this is a factor, but exactly how to deal with it? I've always maintained there is a real difference between landlords who buy, build or rennovate and hold long term, and investors who I agree are prone to 'flipping'. But determining the difference isn't easy.

                      How to deal with a landlord who decides on retirement to sell several units they've held for decades to retire their debt? Is this flipping? Or an owner in their 80's who have decided they want out of the business? And so on; people sell for good reasons.

                      And new owners may well want to develop the potential of the property for all sorts of good reasons, and existing tenants simply don't fit.

                      Yet the point you make is a decent one; there isn't any reason to evict a good tenant just because of a sale. It should need some justification beyond that. Perhaps one way forward would be to give existing tenants 'first right of refusal' on any new tenancy that arises after a sale.

            • Sacha 3.1.1.1.1.4

              By contrast to NZ we had recourse to a very efficient Court process that allowed us to make a formal complaint about the behaviour without dumping the problem onto the landlord

              Interesting. Is their tenancy law set up quite differently?

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.2

            National median rent for 1-2 bedrooms is $390/week so “several years” (3.5 to be generous) is $70,000.

            What did they do, burn it down?

            The house is in a regional town well below that median. Our net cash flow from it after rates, insurance, maintenance and sundries (but before tax and interest) is about $10k pa. As a rough guess we're going to have to spend at least $20k on it to get it back to scratch.

    • weka 3.2

      "I'm in two minds about the 90 day notice for rentals especially reading this."

      Maybe landlords should give people a decent amount of time to vacate their home, just a thought. Or god forbid, negotiate with the tenants. Lots of places 90 days isn't long enough to find somewhere else suitable. Thanks housing crisis.

      • Jimmy 3.2.1

        I think in this case if the article is correct, even if they had given six months or a years notice by the look of the photos, they were going to have problems.

        Out of interest, what do you think a decent notice period would be for a rental?

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          I think it depends on the tenants and their situation and needs. A family with kids in a local school have a different set of needs than an itinerant worker. Hence my suggestion about negotiating rather than just relying on law.

          We haven't heard the side of the story from the tenants in that situation, so there is no way to know how it might have played out differently. My comment was more general.

          I suspect that the landlords in that case were getting bad advice about process.

          • Jimmy 3.2.1.1.1

            I think it should also depend on the landlord's situation and needs (as well as tenants). So if the tenant is a family with children that have just started attending a local high school, eg. year 9 (old third form) , what do you consider is a reasonable notice period? (I agree 90 days is very short time to up sticks and find replacement) are you thinking more like six months or a year?

            • weka 3.2.1.1.1.1

              True, but then I don't consider someone wanting to buy a property to develop it a very high priority compared to someone's need for a home.

              If you are asking what I think the legally defined notice period should be, I don't know and I would guess what is reasonable will largely depend on the rentals available that will vary a lot by area.

              I'd prefer to see a national discussion about how to shift NZ towards the right to home culture that is needed to solve the housing crisis. Rental notices are part of that for sure.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                And doesn't really matter if they wreck the house – it's being pulled down. One of my favorite landlords was going to pull down the house we were living in when we vacated. Gave us a years notice and told us to happily rip up the verandah, floorboards and anything else we saw fit to burn in the fireplace over the winter. Was only half a house by the time we left.

                We had no firewood costs for the winter and he'd had some free demolition. Great fun was had by all.

                • RedLogix

                  But these days that would be illegal, the landlord would be exposing themselves to big fines in the Tenancy Tribunal for renting out a house that was no longer fit for habitation.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Good point though we would never have taken them to the tribunal and the decrepit state of many rental properties doesn’t give me any faith that councils take any responsibility for enforcing building codes in rental properties.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Duncan Garner believes the international view of the Prime Minister is:

    like reading kids a picture book.

    That'll be why United Arab Emirates projected her image on their flagship building last year. Because they are kids being read a picture book.

    Duncan seems upset international viewers only see the warm, sincere, compassionate, socially responsible, people-focussed leadership and are blind to Jacinda Ardern's devious economy-wrecking programs which will apparently bring New Zealand to its knees.

    He thinks their view is a shallow view of Ardern and following on from that Duncan must think the PM herself is shallow.

    Let's look at shallow. Let's look at cringe appearances on Letterman. Let's look at doing interviews at APEC in a bathrobe, and mincing down a catwalk. Let's look at pulling the pony-tails of adult women, and doing prison-rape jokes on the radio.

    I’ll take the world media view of Jacinda Ardern over what they saw of John Key any day.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/02/overseas-views-of-jacinda-ardern-as-a-hero-are-shallow-duncan-garner.html

    • alwyn 4.1

      I wonder if we will ever get comments from a proper US President and an Australian PM to match what Turnbull and Obama had to say about John Key?

      From the other side of the ditch we had "I do. He is a real role model."

      From the other side of the Pacific we got "Nah, he's a wonderful guy. He and I have become good friends and not just because we play golf together."

      Somehow I don't think those sort of comments will ever be said about Ms Ardern. Still with a nutter like Trump in the White House anything could happen. He might decide he likes some aspect of the lady.

      I think those sentiments will have helped New Zealand more than appearances on the front of the women's magazines.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/74225621/john-key-praise-from-barack-obama-reflects-genuine-friendship

      • Red Blooded One 4.1.1

        That damn woman's magazine "Time". Such a frivolous load of woman's nonsense. My god, we are going to be exhausted turning all these magazines around on the shelves eh, Alwyn. /Sarc

      • Muttonbird 4.1.2

        You would think that.

        I don't think there's any disputing Ardern has far, far more international profile and influence than Key.

        Key appealed to right-wing Australia only, and his friendship with Obama was for diplomatic optics only. Duncan Garner might describe it as "shallow".

  5. It's long been known that Winston (and therefore NZ First) has advocated for fishing interests, and has received donations from Talleys, so this isn't much of a revelation.

    And this has created a clash between NZ First and Green policies on fishing and on the Kermadec sanctuary.

    Which adds to other significant differences between Greens and NZ First, and there are increasing signs that Winston is walking all over the meek Green leadership. The EV rebate is one of the latest examples.

    Sue Bradford still shows that old green trait of integrity in Donations & Loss Of Property Rights Means Racing Bill Should Be Withdrawn Immediately

    The current Green Party didn't put up a speaker and voted for the first reading,. It looks like they have rolled over for NZ First again.

    Green supporters keep reiterating how strongly they are opposed to doing any sort of governing deal with National. See https://thestandard.org.nz/wtaf-nz-first/#comment-1686694

    Will the Green membership likewise rule out any future deals giving NZ First disproportionate power, which includes the power to ignore governing agreements and sideline the Greens?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • But if Greens keep wimping along until the election I think there's good chance they won't have to make decision, voters will have decided for them they don't deserve to continue.

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        What are you saying? Loyal Green voters will desert the party and vote for another party or not vote at all? And how will this help anybody? Sounds like a vengeful reaction one would expect from a petulant child 😉

        • Pete George 5.1.1.1

          Not saying anything like that.

          I just wonder why Green supporters seem not as staunch at opposing governing with NZ First as they are with National.

          I understand they were keen to have a go at being a part of a government. But it looks like they have been burnt by NZ First. Have they learnt any lessons from this? Or do they just have no idea how to deal with it?

          • Incognito 5.1.1.1.1

            Not saying anything like that.

            So, what are you saying then, in practical terms about people who voted for the Greens in 2017?

            I read a lot of words (AKA hot air) but you don’t seem to be saying much.

            • Pete George 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Try reading what I say rather than what you imagine then.

              I said Green membership (not voters), who are said to make key decisions in the party, and who chose to not do any governing arrangement with National. As per weka's comment and link:

              Both James Shaw and the rest of the Green Party itself have repeatedly stated that they will not form a government with National.

              Currently James Shaw and the Green Party are being criticised (mostly from the left from what I see).

              I think they will improve their chances of surviving the election (in Parliament) if they show some backbone and principles and stopped being walked over by NZ First.

              I won't vote for Greens going by their current performance. If they made it clear they disapproved of a number of things NZ First have been doing, like reneging on policy support and abusing the donations procedures I would seriously consider voting for them.

              Greens need to differentiate and go back to principles of integrity or on top of being walked over they risk getting dragged down by the threshold gurgler by NZ First.

              • Incognito

                Hi Pete, I’ll get my eyes checked because this is what I read @ 5.1:

                But if Greens keep wimping along until the election I think there's good chance they won't have to make decision, voters will have decided for them they don't deserve to continue. [my bold, so I can read it better]

                You won’t vote for the Greens and you think other loyal supporters won’t (shouldn’t?) either. This is your practical advice and prediction for the coming election, yes?

                To me it sounds like you’re saying that people who formerly voted for the Greens should walk over or away from the party this election unless they stop being ‘wimpy’ and being walked over by NZF? Am I getting this correct or am I imagining it?

                • You're 'imagining' quite a bit again.

                  I could vote for the Greens, but not if they wimp along like they are currently.

                  I expect loyal supporters will continue to vote Greens regardless (or abstain from voting) and I'm not giving them any advice on voting, but there may be less than 5% of them.

                  When Greens like McDonald and Bradford express concerns about how the Greens are conducting themselves I think they have a real problem. If they don't address it they could miss the cut this election.

                  That would increase the chances of a National government next term (I won't vote for National under Bridges' leadership as they are going at the moment).

                  • Incognito

                    Pretty much what I imagined said then.

                    I’m glad that you cleared that up, for your decision to not vote for the Greens, and for your prediction that “there may be less than 5% of them”, meaning votes.

                    It is up to the voters to follow your footsteps (not "advice") and “increase the chances of a National government next term”.

                    I have cancelled my appointment with the optometrist; there’s nothing wrong with my reading, as it turns out.

                    • You're getting it wrong again. Are you just trying to stir or something?

                      I haven't made a decision not to vote for the Greens. I made that clear.

                      I'm not predicting the will get less than 5%. It's an obvious possibility that Greens are concerned about.

                      "I won’t lie, the last two polls aren’t looking good for us. Last night’s poll marks the second in a row that indicate we are at risk of falling below the 5% threshold." – email from Green Party Campaign Director 14 February.

                      It is up to the voters to follow your footsteps (not "advice") and “increase the chances of a National government next term”.

                      You really do have a comprehension problem, unless you're deliberately misrepresenting what I've said.

                    • Incognito []

                      Not stirring, just getting you to be unambiguous, if not for yourself then at least for the readers here.

                      Your vote for the Greens is conditional on them stopping “wimping”, yes?

                      A possibility is a prediction of sorts; it could or might happen does not mean it will happen. An analogy: there’s a 60% chance that it will rain tomorrow. Is that a possibility, a forecast, a prediction, or all of the above? Don’t think only in absolute terms.

                      The voters can do what you do or they can stay unconditionally loyal to the Greens because the alternative (i.e. consequence) of doing what you might do is that they will be out of Parliament after the election. And you still haven’t answered how this would help anybody (except National). Do you expect other voters to behave differently from you?

                      Please point out where I’m misrepresenting you. I’m trying to point the consequences of your thinking and possible action as expressed so clearly in your comments here.

                      At least this thread is now about voters and their possible voting behaviour, which is the only thing that we, as voters, have meaningful control over. All the other stuff about the Green membership is irrelevant unless we are members as well. BTW, I take it that you are not a member of the Green Party.

                    • If you're not clear about what I mean why don';t you ask rather than make silly stuff up?

                      "A possibility is a prediction of sorts"

                      No it's nothing of the sort – "there’s a 60% chance that it will rain" suggests that there's close to an even chance that it will rain or won't rain. That isn't a prediction, it is multiple possibilities.

                      "Do you expect other voters to behave differently from you?'

                      Think about how stupid that question is.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ok, no unequivocal answers from Pete, today. Just hot air and possibilities galore.

                      The Greens may go under (5%) if the displeasure of some voters trumps their rational viewing of how politics work. That’ll teach the party keeping wimping along until the election!

                  • I could vote for the Greens, but not if [conditions].

                    Hot air. I could vote for National or ACT if they were something other than they are, but that would be a meaningless statement to put in a comment.

                    I think they have a real problem. If they don't address it they could miss the cut this election.

                    Your "concern" is duly noted. Bottom line is that there's only one party up for election that takes the environment seriously, and that's the Green Party. Labour is mostly lip service only. If you want to base your vote on trivial pissing contests over who dissed whom and who got pwned, feel free, but there are plenty of people who don't make trivia the basis of their vote.

                    • Not hot air. I could vote for Greens again if they looked like they could stand up for what they believed better and showed signs of more effective leadership in government.

                      I suspect you have never voted for National or ACT and never would, so it's you doing the hot air.

                      I agree that Greens take the environment far more seriously than any other party in Parliament seriously. Their problem is having their seriousness about the environment taken seriously enough by Labour and especially NZ First.

                      And on current performance and numbers they don't look like seriously improving on their influence.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Pete George would vote for The Greens, if only they…

                      I've spoken with The Greens. They've accepted the loss of Pete's vote and the general consensus is:

                      No

                      One

                      Cares.

                    • And if Greens don't care about enough votes to make the threshold, even you should be able to work out what might happen.

                      Green supporters aren't unique in politics, but a number of them seem more intent on driving away anyone deemed impure than attracting support and votes.

                      While the Green Party tries hard in social media to attract support they are frequently undermined by supposed supporters who seem to think their ideals are all that's permissible.

                      An all or nothing approach is likely to end up closer to nothing than everything.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      It's just the one vote they don't care about Pete:

                      Yours.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Now you're free to nail your colours to another mast, Pete!

                      Any idea who's?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "An all or nothing approach is likely to end up closer to nothing than everything."

                      Given that there's 100% of votes available, even if The Greens get 49% of the total vote, they'll be, as you declare, "closer to nothing than everything".

                      The Greens at 49%?

                      I could live with that.

                    • weka

                      While the Green Party tries hard in social media to attract support they are frequently undermined by supposed supporters who seem to think their ideals are all that's permissible.

                      Don't know who you are referring to (because you haven't said), but in this thread at least, the problem isn't that people won't discuss how the GP might manage their election campaign in the light of NZF and associated issues, it's that you're running concern troll lines that skew the debate away from a left wing perspective on the Greens to one that is paternalistic and not allied with the left (apart from the alleged concern for the Greens going under 5%, but we know that you also vote centre and right so that concern is being taken with a grain of salt).

                    • Everyone's vote is just one vote.

                      A curious aspect of political forums is there seems to be far more intent to repel support than to attract it.

    • Incognito 5.2

      What “governing agreements” have been ignored, Pete?

      • Pete George 5.2.1

        The Green Party supports a transformative Government which implements the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In this parliamentary term, the Green Party has a number of priorities to progress the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

        Relationship to other agreements

        Both parties to this agreement recognise that Labour will be working with other parties both in terms of coalitions and confidence and supply arrangements. Labour agrees that it will not enter into any other relationship agreement which is inconsistent with this agreement and the Green Party and Labour agree that they will each act in good faith to allow all such agreements to be complied with.

        https://www.parliament.nz/media/4487/nzlp___gp_c_s_agreement.pdf

        Relationship to other agreements

        Both parties to this agreement recognise that Labour will be working with other parties to deliver a stable Government. Labour agrees that it will not enter into any other relationship agreement which is inconsistent with this agreement, and New Zealand First and Labour agree that they will each act in good faith to allow any other agreements to be complied with.

        https://www.parliament.nz/media/4486/362429780labourandnewzealandfirstcoalitionagreement.pdf

        Greens have supported and are supporting (as above) some quite questionable policies implemented for NZ First.

        In return they are being vetoed by NZ First.

    • Muttonbird 5.3

      How on earth is this post about the Greens? Yet you mention them seven times and NZF five times.

      Looks like you have just used your comment to regurgitate right-wing attack talking points about the Green Party.

      • Pete George 5.3.1

        NZ First getting their way on fishing and sanctuary policies, and getting donations from people with large commercial fishing interests, has a lot to do with the relative impotence of the Greens.

        Sue Bradford claims to not be a right winger:

        I am no right-winger, but I find myself unusually in the space occupied by the right – that is, I cannot fathom how property rights can be trampled on in this way, nor how Labour and the Greens can tolerate it.

        If you follow Twitter at all you should see that the strongest criticisms of the Greens are coming from the left. Like:

        A high ranking member of the Green Party is stepping down before next year's election, citing the party's drift to the centre as one of the reasons.

        "When the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] says we have 12 years to save the world from climate catastrophe, we simply don't have time for centrism, moderation or fiscal austerity."

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/395936/high-ranking-greens-member-pulls-pin-before-election

        And:

        • Anne 5.3.1.1

          Pete George is playing his usual diversionary tactic by trying to spin this post into a critique of the Greens.

          To all the idiots in this country who don't understand the laws of the land and are screaming for Ardern to sack Peters forthwith:

          You cannot sack someone including a political office holder on the basis of suspicion. If that were the case then hundreds of people in this country would have to be thrown out of their positions on a daily basis – including Simon Bridges.

          When the SFO investigation into NZ First is complete and wrong-doing has been established (if it is established), that is the point the prime minister is able to act.

          To do so in advance of that point is to undermine the very democratic processes we are supposed to highly value.

          • Pete George 5.3.1.1.1

            Looks like your usual tactic of attacking. I have not suggested that Ardern sack Peters if that's what you're implying. But…

            "You cannot sack someone including a political office holder on the basis of suspicion."

            You can stand them down pending an investigation or prosecution. Both Helen Clark and John Key did that.

          • Climaction 5.3.1.1.2

            Employment law doesn’t apply in parliament to mp’s and there positions in cabinet.

            for someone who has been around politics as long as you have, that’s a pretty basic understanding of how ministerial posts work.
            that you are trying to invoke the wrong law to try and make this all look ok from the prime minister shows how desperate labour and its supporters have become in trying to make this a non issue

        • Enough is Enough 5.3.1.2

          Morgan and David Cormack have stood out in their strong criticism of the deafening silence from Labour/Greens over the NZ Foundation scam. The influence that the Racing Industry and the Talleys have over this government is disturbing to say the least.

          Yes National are hypocrites for being donkey deep in donation issues, while at the same time laying into Winston. But so is every other person who has an issue with National but has essentially has turned a blind eye to Winston.

          • weka 5.3.1.2.1

            Shaw told the Herald that the details of what had happened were unclear.

            "But regardless of who took the photographs and why, the fact they were passed to a blog that is designed to undermine trust in our political system is a concern."

            His comments are likely to increase the pressure on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has so far declined to comment on the photos.

            Shaw also took a step further in relation to questions about the NZF Foundation and whether it has properly declared donations to the NZF party.

            "The allegations are concerning and due process must be followed while they are investigated," Shaw said.

            "We know New Zealanders will be looking at this issue and worrying about what it means for their democracy, which is why we are focused on making the system more transparent and fair."

            Shaw has previously answered questions about the foundation by saying that the country's electoral system needed to be strengthened.

            He is now calling for an independent citizens' assembly to "clean up" political donations, which have been clouded by questions over the NZF Foundation, as well as the SFO charges laid in relation to a $100,000 donation to the National Party.

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12308988

            Green Party call for national discussion on political party funding and donations reform

            Hardly deafening silence.

            • Pete George 5.3.1.2.1.1

              More like a sideline hum in a self-interested beehive.

              • weka

                it doesn't surprise me that you would miss the importance of talking about electoral finance reform at this moment in time. Far easier to just diss.

                • I fully support electoral finance reform.

                  However National and Labour have shown far more self interest than will for transparency and fairness in the past and I haven't any sign from either that they want to change their self imposed Swiss cheese rules.

                  Effective reform won't be easy for more reasons than that.

                  I'm not sure that a citizens’ assembly is an appropriate way to reform – for anything like that it's an unproven system. And even if a citizens’ assembly came up with practical solutions it would still have to be agreed to by a Parliamentary majority.

                  And apart from the citizens' assembly idea the Green press release you link to is really quite vague. Like:

                  “Right now more than ever New Zealanders need to be engaging in democracy, not disenfranchised by it. We all must work together to ensure equality for all, healthy nature and climate action.”

                  Sounds more like electioneering.

                  “At the moment, two out of five political parties in Parliament are under investigation for potential donations misconduct. Whilst we cannot predict or ponder what the outcomes of those investigations will be, ultimately we think these investigations wouldn’t be happening had parties had access to public funds rather than vying for large donations from private interests."

                  “Everyone should have equal access to democracy and trust in the political institutions that make decisions for their communities."

                  Complete public funding of political parties would solve the donations issues and vested interests issues, but it would be difficult to provide 'equal access to democracy'.

                  Current public funding of parties strongly favours incumbent parties, especially the larger ones, and would make it even more difficult for new parties to compete.

        • WeTheBleeple 5.3.1.3

          Oh do shut up you incompetent old fool.

          • weka 5.3.1.3.1

            Please don't abuse people like that, it just degenerates the conversation.

            • WeTheBleeple 5.3.1.3.1.1

              I accept it was out of line. The conversation had degraded many posts ago as Pete repeatedly posed his patois of paternal preening. Someone had to say it. Debating a concern troll is wasted space and time.

              • Robert Guyton

                yes

              • weka

                Thanks WTB. You are more than welcome to call him out on his concern trolling (it's calling people names and telling them to shut up that tends to start fires and then the mods get grumpy at the extra work).

      • Incognito 5.3.2

        Yeah, good point; a moderator should move it to OM.

    • weka 5.4

      Green supporters keep reiterating how strongly they are opposed to doing any sort of governing deal with National. See /wtaf-nz-first/#comment-1686694

      Will the Green membership likewise rule out any future deals giving NZ First disproportionate power, which includes the power to ignore governing agreements and sideline the Greens?

      You linked to my comment but did you bother reading the link therein? It's pretty clear what the GP position is. They will work with any party on shared policy, including National. The reason they've ruled out supporting National via C/S or forming govt with them is because there is so little shared policy between the two parties now and much of National's platform is directly against GP core values. Pragmatically, the implication that they might support Nat to be govt was probably costing them votes, so they made it even clearer at the 2017 election.

      Equally obviously, this isn't true of NZF. If the GP position is that they will compromise on policy but not core values (which is how I understand it), then there is in fact room to work with a government that includes NZF. The Greens don't have to get their own way on every policy. They signalled early on that there would be compromises, because that's how MMP works.

      As for ruling out future deals, afaik the Green Party doesn't have a deal with NZF, and doesn't have the power to control what deals Labour makes with NZF. What you seem to be implying instead is that the Greens shouldn't support a Labour-led government that includes NZF. Which would mean that National would get to form government. Which would be an entirely nonsense position for the GP to take (unless it was being asked to compromise on core values, which it is not, thus far).

      • Pete George 5.4.1

        If Greens think that supporting a Labour-NZ First coalition government the way the current government has operated doesn't compromise their core values then they can go to the voters with that.

        But some ex-Green MPs and candidates seem to think those values are being compromised.

        Have Green members been asked if they support their party supporting a NZ First dominated government?

        The NZ first donation issue looks unlikely to be resolved before the election. I think there's a real risk that will drag them down, and potentially the Greens too if they continue to look like a silent compliant junior party.

        • Chris 5.4.1.1

          Few if any Green members would support their party supporting a NZ First dominated government, but you might want to have wee think about your question.

          • weka 5.4.1.1.1

            Indeed.

          • Pete George 5.4.1.1.2

            Ok, have Green members been asked if they support their party enabling a Government that includes NZ First?

            They can claim an honest expectation of something better from NZ First this term, but I think they need to show they have learned a lesson about how they have been marginalised by NZ First and would not allow similar again (if they get the chance).

            • weka 5.4.1.1.2.1

              How do you propose that the Green Party prevents NZF from marginalising them next time round? (I personally wouldn't use the term marginalise, but I'm curious to see how you make sense of your own framing).

              Active GP members are involved in internal party processes for forming positions on working with other political parties. Which you would know if you read the post you linked to.

        • weka 5.4.1.2

          "Have Green members been asked if they support their party supporting a NZ First dominated government?"

          As opposed to what? Letting National form government?

          I think most GP members paying attention are aware of this dilemma here. If you think the GP are compromising their core values, then you'd need to say how you see that. At the moment you just look like you're suggesting the GP should take a stand for an unknown principle that would result in a RW govt that would actively work against all that the Greens hold dear.

          Not sure what you are reading, but I'm seeing the GP clearly laying down election year lines with regards to both Labour and NZF. Not lines that are 'do what we want or else', but lines that show voters how the Green Party differ from both Labour and NZF and if voters want what the GP is offering then the GP need more MPs in government come Sept. Which is possibly what you are meaning, I just framed it in the positive instead of the negative.

    • Jimmy 5.5

      Considering the Greens have almost the same number of seats as NZF, they have very little say on anything in comparison to NZF. Winston just toys with James Shaw. I still believe Chloe is the future leader of the Greens as Shaw is just too weak whereas Marama is too left leaning for a lot of people (but has a lot more spine than Shaw).

  6. Andre 6

    About those polls that suggest Sanders would do as well in November against Sherbert Pervert as more moderate Dems – it seems they rely on a massive boost in turnout among young voters. That 'youth wave' is a mirage appearing at almost every election, but it never eventuates.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/25/21152538/bernie-sanders-electability-president-moderates-data

    Here's the view from someone that went through the last time we had a clearly criminal Oval Office occupant, and the left took the opportunity to nominate their no-compromise candidate – that was McGovern in 1972.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/02/25/sanders-supporters-waste-their-vote-doomed-2020-democrat-column/4821921002/

    • adam 6.1

      Do you get it's not 1972, and populism on both the left and the right have changed the game? Too Soon….

    • AB 6.2

      People tend to believe polls that fit their preconceptions and be sceptical of those that don't. C'est la vie. The race is unfolding now and I am happy just to watch it without pretending to foreknowledge of any sort.

  7. Poission 7

    US co2energy emissions plummet in 2019,largest in absolute terms 1 GT since 2000.

    The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt. US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period. A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019. Coal-fired power plants faced even stronger competition from natural gas-fired generation, with benchmark gas prices an average of 45% lower than 2018 levels. As a result, gas increased its share in electricity generation to a record high of 37%. Overall electricity demand declined because demand for air-conditioning and heating was lower as a result of milder summer and winter weather.

    The rise in developing countries from offshoring may account for some.

    https://www.iea.org/articles/global-co2-emissions-in-2019

  8. McFlock 8

    Max Rashbrooke makes some good points re: recent child poverty stats. A reduction in poverty might be occurring, and that is good, but the real test will be reducing abject poverty, not the people just under the poverty line.

  9. The fact that NACT has been used a lot here doesn't make it an actual thing.

    Last year David Seymour did more good in Parliament than possibly all the National MPs. He deserves credit on his own.

    Chloe Swarbrick stood out too, but that doesn't associate her with Labour.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [ok, enough Pete. You can definitely sing Seymour’s praises as a man in his own right. You can’t derail my posts, nor repeatedly imply that I used the term in a way I’ve already explained I didn’t. – weka]

    • Sacha 9.1

      Sheesh. It has been used on NZ political blogs for the last decade. Is that really the best problem you can find today?

      • Pete George 9.1.1

        Sheesh. Is this really the best problem you can find today?

        A decade of misuse is still misuse. A strength of MMP is diversity of parties, the term is used to diminish diversity.

        • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1

          Hang on a sec.

          National and ACT have been inseparable for a decade and National direct their Epsom supporters to vote for the ACT candidate.

          So the term NACT is 100% legitimate.

          • Climaction 9.1.1.1.1

            Labour and nz1 have been inseparable their last two Electoral cycles in government. By your logic the two are inseparable.

            • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1.1.1

              But Labour have never had the same relationship with NZF as NACT have had since John Key and the tea-pot tapes.

              Key sat down that day with a crook in John Banks, remember?

              Unless you count the 2015 Northland by-election. Why was there a by-election? Because Mike Sabin was dodgy.

              See the pattern?

              • Climaction

                Dancing on the head of a pin is so unbecoming.

                Labour / nz1 form government. Nz1 gets pilloried for making a Mockery of electoral financing. Labour / nz1 lose the election

                cant you see a pattern forming here?

            • Incognito 9.1.1.1.1.2

              ACT only exists by the grace of the National Party. This is completely different from Labour and the Green Party. As usual, you’re blurring lines and distinctions, which is something National has been doing a lot of too lately. Perhaps one day you could surprise us with an original thought and comment, yes?

              • Climaction

                If I had something original to criticise from nz1 I wouldn’t sound so repetitive to you.

                Here’s an original thought. Labour don’t need nz1 to win the next election. My question is why do they behave like they do?

        • Sacha 9.1.1.2

          Somewhere in your neighbourhood a hedge needs trimming.

    • weka 9.2

      mod note for you Pete.

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