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Open mike 26/11/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2020 - 88 comments
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88 comments on “Open mike 26/11/2020 ”

  1. Andre 1

    What to do about ridiculous housing prices prices? What actions would bring things back to only somewhat crazy, instead of the absolutely insanely ludicrous we have now?

    Ashley Church has reckons, but as a spokesgargoyle for the wealthy land-owner class, his comments have the whiff of throwing out silly ideas in hopes of poisoning the well for more credible ideas.


    Personally, I see a lack of reasonable investment alternatives as part of the problem in New Zealand.

    The local share and bond markets are viper pits stuffed with unaccountable predatory wide-boys, leading to significant risk of serious losses for ordinary small investors. Yields have dropped to negligible levels.

    There's certainly a lot of room for government actions to make improvements there, starting with more personal accountability for those at the top, and making it much harder for those that have behaved poorly to get back on the grift train after their wet-bus-ticket slap.

    In the US, the managed investment community (mutual fund managers, pension managers etc) actually play a significant role in holding company top brass accountable. That doesn't seem to happen here. Dunno how much of that is fragmentation of that industry here, we've got lots of small players like Fisher, Kiwiwealth, Simplicity etc etc etc, each too small to have significant clout (and that smallness also contributes to the exorbitantly high management fees here). Some of it may be cultural, these people just don't see exercising accountability as part of their role.

    Beyond that, there's potential punitive measures targeted directly at housing "bad people", ie landlords/investors. Such as mortgage surcharges for non-owner-occupied property, differential rating for owner-occupied vs unoccupied vs tenanted, stamp duties etc.

    Coz sure as shit, the "solutions" being tossed around at the moment such as LVR, brightline test are going to have negligible effect at best.

    • Pat 1.1

      The biggest impact on house prices is and always will be, fear.

      Fear of missing out (FOMO) will drive them up…and fear of financial loss will drive them down….time to scare the crap out of those that think property is a one way trip.

      There are multiple options to do so, but the gov has to have credibility or speed of ACTION….not jawboning

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        add to that fear of being unable to paying rent and ending up in a ditch with no help, cause well, where would you go to if you end up in a ditch? Winz? Lol.

        • greywarshark

          It may be educational to see and hear this doco dated 1984 about the UK housing plan and how it became a political football where the parties threw large housing number targets at each other like mud pies, with chest beating similar to Twyford's.

          Targets are a form of snake charming I think. Watch them rise up out of the throats of ambitious pollies and officials to the tunes of mendacious businessmen. But watch out they might bite you sooner or in later years when they show their cracks and faults.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Thanks Andrew and very topical. Mind if I convert this into a guest post?

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Of course you're welcome to turn it into a guest post.

        As a brief(-ish) comment it was more intended as a conversation starter. As a post, I'd fill out the ideas a bit more, but I'm about to take off for some errands so I can't do that filling out right now.

        • Phillip ure

          I have been doing some reading that offers solutions/different ways of doing things..that I was going to start sharing today…I'll save it for the post…

    • Grafton Gully 1.3

      Any evidence for Andre’s claim of "serious losses for ordinary small investors" on the "local share and bond markets" since the 1987 crash ?

      • Andre 1.3.1

        Just the first two that come to mind where family members have lost five-figure sums are Feltex and CadmusProvenco. There's been plenty more. You got any recollection what was happening around the 2008ish timeframe?

        BTW, "significant risk of serious losses" (my actual phrase) is a very different concept to "serious losses" (the truncated quote you chose).

    • aj 2.1

      From the horse’s mouth

      Dann interrupted almost every answer before Orr finished. Very annoying as usual.

      • Pat 2.1.1

        Yep…surprised Orr didnt tick him off this time

        • Herodotus

          Also of interest post the exchange of letters between Orr and Robertson, Orr mentioning that he would appreciate a debt to income ratio. And to date after previous requests this tool has not been granted to the RB.

          Now did not Roberson seek "Robertson has written to the Reserve Bank seeking advice on possible ways it could support the Government to meet its economic objectives, in particular with relation to house prices." Well Grant how about allow the RB this tool to limit the amount of debt anyone can accumulate, as was commented on during the interview – This tool is already available elsewhere ??? Low hanging fruit easy to pick !!!

            • Phillip ure

              If it was a tennis match…that was an excellent return from orr..that will have robertson running..

          • Pat

            The DTI was requested by a previous RBNZ Gov. (not sure when) but it was declined….Orr mentioned this yesterday at the stand up. He has since said that he would be happy to add DTI to the tool kit …that dosnt necessarily mean he will use it now or that he believes it will change prices. As he has reiterated, his mandate (and primary concern) is unemployment and financial stability.

            The reality is there are many things the gov could do (or done) to improve housing affordability and they have done sweet FA.

            I hope that at least there is considerable background work done the previous three years that can accelerate a response now, though I doubt it on past form

  2. Speech from the Throne about 11am today on Parliament TV Channel 31.

    In which the government outlines its legislative programme for the session – will this government with an impressive mandate be truly 'transformative' or merely another place-holder neokindness sort of do nothing government?

    Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath!

    • Phillip ure 3.1

      This would be the most-paid-attention-to speech from the throne in a while…they have to start pulling rabbits out of the hat…if they don't we will see some direct action pretty soon..methinks..

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        Direct Action will happen, and I will be looking for opportunities to be involved.

        No Labour Minister or new MP should make a public appearance from now on without a small or large crew reminding them of a few items that need attention…

    • Sabine 3.2

      She'll finally get her crown? Queen Jacinda, the first and the last of her name?

    • So far, decidedly underwhelming. Lots of platitudes but basically, 'steady as it goes.'

      Nothing really innovative or radical.

      ‘Govern for all NZers’ code for do bugger all to upset the wealthy!

      • Foreign Waka 3.3.1

        Don't despair, we have the next emergency already being lauded and it will be all focus on that since it is urgent and popular. Environmental emergency. There is another price to be won.

        And everybody will forget that we have an infrastructure that fails – drinking water and sewage in particular – as this is palmed off to local councils. How they want to build new housing without getting that one right is beyond me.

        Hospitals millions being used for contractor payouts and not the much needed upgrade to this "3rd world" hospital. But thank god we paid billions(!) to those needy companies to make sure the shareholders get their pound of flesh.

        Labor is stumbling around without any action plan and may I say clue.

        Very soon we will be going back in time. Get the horses and carts out, dust off the medical tools that have become museum pieces, be prepared to have all those yesteryear illnesses – Encephalitis, Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever etc…

        Meanwhile, incomes are not covering real inflation. Desk theorist that have never done a honest day job in their live are in charge and it shows.

        • greywarshark

          Tuberculosis was all the thing back in George Orwell's day. And new strains of it are out and about – the old one could lurk and infect as covid does. Meningitis kills almost overnight sometimes.

        • Phillip ure

          Is it not a tad crazy to not include house prices when measuring inflation..?…when it is inflation on steroids..

          • Incognito

            Nope, it’s not a tad crazy unless you base it on your gut feeling AKA ‘common sense’.

          • Stuart Munro

            In science people are encouraged to be critical of their measurement systems. In economics, not so much. For a long time not measuring housing inflation allowed a pack of charlatans to pretend to, and be handsomely paid for, their "expertise". As that system fails, the cornerstone falsehood of neoliberalism – the expertise of economists and bankers – has crumbled. Watch those with a political stake in it continue to defend it even as it washes away.

            • Sacha

              Are there any good articles to understand how they decided to exclude housing costs from the CPI in the first place?

              • Stuart Munro

                I think this is the reasoning

                Rents are included in the CPI, because they are expenditures that are "consumed" in current period of time. But house prices are not, because they are expenditures on an asset to be consumed over many years. If you own a house, you will benefit from the rising prices–if and when you sell it. In a sense, houses are treated like capital goods–for consumers. That is, rising house prices are not a burden to home owners, whereas rising rents are a burden to renters.

                inflation – Why aren't house prices included in CPI? – Economics Stack Exchange

                Plausible, that they just didn't consider a market with scarcity created by ill-considered immigration policies on top of a building deficit created by the destruction of apprenticeships and compounded by the shoddy regulation and even shoddier inspection regimes that caused the leaky homes debacle. Plausible – but not excusable. They are paid like professionals – they ought to be responsible for outcomes.

  3. Adrian 4

    Could it be as simple as the small movement of people or families moving to smaller cities and towns. It only takes a few numbers to distort a market and cashed up buyers from Auckland or Wellington descending on a town of 20 or 30 thousand will push up prices substantially. The houses they are leaving will inevitably get a very good price because of one simple fact, a lot of people want or need to move to Auckland but the fucking place is full.

    A sure way to make things worse is to get the government trying to fix it with numerous measures ,the vast majority just inadvertantly making the problem worse.

    This situation crops up every 10 years or so and has done since the 60s.

    • Sabine 4.1

      Mangakino is one of these places, and even worse, they knock down the houses to build boatsheds. So when it all comes crashing down the locals can buy boatsheds, cause the houses are all gone.

      Ah, if we would just have a government that would actively try to entice businesses to settle elsewhere then just AKL, or even move some of the government burocracy to some other towns like it used to be.

      Ah, if we just had a government that could, and would, but alas, nothing much will get done, just like the last three years nothing much was done.

      • Sacha 4.1.1

        What do you reckon is stopping people moving to smaller towns?

        • Sabine

          Jobs. Simple as that.

          One of the reasons i always lived in AKL was simply the fact that i can earn a living there.

          Now i am self employed and i can take my trade with me, but if you are a standard office drone, female – and want a little bit of a career, it will be the big towns. Also for schools, recreation etc. The need for at least two cars – just to go shopping for food, lack of choices in regards to food, cost of living, housing is the same, but food costs more, line charges add a huge amount to winter heating, no access to doctors, i still travel to my dentist and gp to akl as do other people i know, lack of tradespeople to fix the delipidatedet houses, trades people that can't move cause they can't find an affordable rental or house to buy, trades people that can't find affordable commercial properties, you know all that stuff that for years have been ignored by all and everyone who ever called themself a 'honorable' MP/PM.

          btw, Mangakino has a rental crisis. Go figure, as does Tokoroa. Locals can't afford to buy anymore. Go figure.

          But the Queen is gonna give a speech telling us all that she will do fuck all as outlined before the election. We are going to have this discussion again in three years, just as we did under John Key a few years ago.

          • Sacha

            Seems tricky for any government to make recreation and employment opportunities that arise from greater concentrations of people somehow appear in small towns.

            Nothing unique to NZ about it either. Most people like what cities offer more than they dislike the downsides. Others who prioritise things differently will thrive in smaller settlements.

            • Sabine

              its not like, its must have.

              Hospitals, or rural clinics, birthing centres, etc.

              Jobs, yes, if the government is in job creation, then they must look also at the overlooked parts of NZ. One thing to make moving jobs to the country side easier would be adequite public transport, say trains for goods and people. I think Winston called it 'heavy rail'. A start. There is absolutly no need for Morrinsville, Huntly, etc to not be busy feeder towns. But alas, they are not. Go figure.

              Recreation, i.e. restaurants, cinemas, playgrounds,swimming pools etc generally come with population mass. No population, no recreation.

              So the question is not what can the government do, the question really should be 'why the fuck is the government not doing anything'. Start with reviving some rural clinics, birthing centres.

              Schools, i hear we closed a whole bunch of them under John Key, and with many of these schools the last 'community centre' of the rural area closed. Well gee, THANKS A BUNCH government.

              And honestly if this is not part of the Government why the fuck do we need one in hte first place? To give these empty, unintelligent, unimaginative people a pay they would not earn in private industry? and we have to pay them perks, and accommodation allowances and all that jazz, just so they can say 'We do nothing"? Really? If they can't to what needs to be done, we can fire at least half of either side of hte bench, and only do hte min. Build more roads.

              • Sacha

                What does the public of NZ get out of subsidising facilities in small towns to the same level of service that a city can sustain? Which other things could be funded instead that would benefit more people?

                • Sabine

                  Jobs. It will get jobs. For a starter. I don't see hte issue, why the government can not help a company move to a rural area via tax incentives rather then the town that is full to bursting the seems.

                  Why can the government not build small clinics in thbe rural areas? The ones in our towns are pretty much at capacity. Again, these are jobs.

                  Schools. The government could really start building better schools, some on the country side are really really crappy i hear, and Jobs.

                  By the same token we could say, why should hte Government build another bridge over the Harbour? Let some private entity build it, and the users will just have to pay toll.

                  And then, we don't need government, and we do away with elections, and rulers and usless suits, Cause why would the Governement be needed if tey don't do what is needed?

                  And currently the thing that would benefit people is jobs. Jobs that generate Tax revenue, that bring life back to towns that are needing the influx of young people, it takes the pressure away from the larger towns etc etc etc.

                  Btw, "the government' funds but pays for nothing. "the taxpayer' pays for everything the government 'funds'. Just in case that people reallyh believe that 'the government' has any money to its name. It does not. The money to fund all the vanity projects that generally only serve the few – see Americas Cup (now what could be funded with all that money down that rich mans drains) – comes from us, the Tax paying citizens.

    • vto 4.2

      Yes Adrian, I have seen this in the past when people from cities and bigger towns have descended on smaller more isolated towns and bought up. Locals thought great, my house price has gone up. A few months later, when the excitement has passed (which it always does) the out-of-towners leave and the local house market is back to the locals only, and the prices slowly slide back down again.

      Is happening exactly like this again right now.

    • greywarshark 4.3

      Adrian – sit back in your seat and enjoy the spectacle. As if it is the Colosseum and the needy are being pitted against well-fed, muscled gladiators.

      This situation crops up every 10 years or so and has done since the 60s.

      Don't bother to write and explain that it is a cyclical thing, 'been there, done that' before. That makes me feel sick and a number of people here who have to confront the problem. Your point must be, it has happened before, so the government should know about it, the causes and the horrific results on people, and the degrading of society and the country.

      The people are revolting, and the government draws back from this indelicacy to positions above the maddening crowd.

      • Adrian 4.3.1

        The point is that shit happens in spite of governments best intentions. Governments racing around trying to control every little, or big thing, just becomes a shit-fight and begets bad law. Everything is cyclical, like the weather, sometimes you just have to ride it out with a little bit of sail trimming here and there until it blows over and then plan for it in calmer waters.

  4. vto 5

    A general truth about society and the wealth it produces… (repeat, sorry)…

    Push the wealth down and society strengthens and prospers

    Push the wealth up and society weakens and fails

    Here endeth the truth

  5. Brigid 6

    The unbelievable shitfuckery of Oranga Tamariki continues


    • Sabine 6.1

      yep, that is quite the fucked up story there if ever there was. Suffer the little children cause the adults in charge give no fuck, and their overseers don't either.

    • Chris T 6.2

      That is fucking disturbing as.

      Well done Labour govt.

    • Molly 6.3

      I was witness to a similar situation with a close friend of mine who adopted her daughter on a permanent placement order, which her lawyer advised her to couple with a care support order.

      The care support order, which required CYFS to provide additional counselling and support if the child required it became the bone of contention for social workers who diligently worked to put in obstacles to actually providing the support. Despite reassurances that the child was not affected by issues to do with Foetal Alcohol syndrome, it was only several years after placement that the social worker admitted that the way they determined this was to ask the biological mother if she had drunk during pregnancy. She said No.

      Despite taking her daughter to the numerous consultants requested by CYFS, and others privately, and having a confirmed diagnosis of FAS, ADD, and a severe attachment disorder, CYFS continued for years to refuse to honour the care agreement. Until they came up with a solution during a family meeting. If my friend and her husband would sign a care order during the meeting, CYFS would then have access to all the funds they needed, and her daughter would then receive any and all support that was necessary.

      They returned home, to discover the next day that the meeting records had them relinquishing custody to CYFS, who had organised that their daughter be removed from their care and given to the biological father and his new wife who had had no contact with the child at any stage. This family lived in Christchurch.

      After watching the love, care and attention given to this child for years, it was painful to watch the distress of my friend who immediately challenged this interpretation of the meeting minutes. She was told that her view was not accepted. It took two years of legal intervention and a judgement in the Family Court to overturn this malicious act. The judge advised that he considered what had taken place as abuse by CYFS towards the family.

      My friend was able to borrow the $20,000 from her mother to fight the case, but that is not always available to others. I suspect the ease of practice and disregard they had for the family, and also the wellbeing of the child, comes from repetition – and getting away with it more often than not.

      They maligned the previous caregiver, and when it suited them, maligned my friends family, mostly because they asked for the professional support that the child was supposedly entitled to receive. I have a disregard for the way the previous institution was run. I have a suspicion that the same practices have been maintained in OT.

    • gsays 6.4

      Thanks Brigid, that is heartbreaking to read.

      This is beyond a bad apple or an oversight, it speaks to culture, inflexibility and perhaps being able understaffed.

      Celia Lashlie spoke of this. The parent, often Mum in isolation, is held accountable for every action or inaction. Meanwhile the PTB can carry on acting appallingly.

      • Brigid 6.4.1

        Ego driven social engineering where it goes without saying that the consequential harm to these children is completely ignored, but countered with bullshit 'it's a journey we're all taking' speak.

        Most of what the social worker was saying in the interview with the foster parents was completely unintelligible and/or grossly insulting.

  6. Scud 7

    Might want to watch the opening segments of Alan Kohler’s Finance Report on the ABC as he has a couple of interesting graphs which made be of interest to a number of people here on the The Standard which would confirm what we already know about wage growth vs company profit vs sharemarket prices.


  7. Andre 8

    Shitty people with shitty motivations can still sometimes produce a worthwhile result.

    In this case it seems Kim Jong Orange Jr's desires to murder wild animals were influential in denying a mining company's desire to poison wild animals by ruining their habitat. This time it's the Pebble Mine in Alaska, that had been previously denied by the Obama administration and then the Mandarin Mugabe cast some incantations over its crypt and it rose again. Hopefully this time the lid is on for good.


  8. Andre 9

    The flood gate of pardons has opened. Starting with "Lock her up" Flynn.

    In theory, that's a move that could backfire. Since Flynn is now no longer at risk of personal consequences for the crimes he committed in service of Twitterfinger J. Putinpussy, he cannot take the Fifth Amendment. So now, he has no grounds to refuse to testify fully and truthfully, and is at risk of criminal charges if he doesn't.


    • Barfly 9.1

      Surely he can refuse and take the fifth – as the pardon is only for FEDERAL offences

      • Andre 9.1.1

        That's if a state goes after him for something.

        In this particular case, the interest is more about Flynn taking the Fifth as a witness in a potential prosecution of Individual-1.

        • Barfly

          Unless he gets an immunity from the relevant state he could make himself liable to prosecution – I don't think you can get him convicted for refusing to incriminate himself by testifying against someone else.

    • Brigid 9.2

      Have you watched this Andre?

      • Andre 9.2.1

        Nope. Not going to, either.

        For starters, it's an hour and three quarters of video, which probably only has the information content of a few minutes worth of reading.

        Video as a format is great for propagandists wanting to hook the gullible into investing a lot of time into having emotions manipulated who then have a sunk time cost in absorbing and regurgitating the intended message.

        But video is a terrible medium for conveying factual information to anyone that likes to fact-check by looking for alternative sources and views on a topic in the midst of considering an argument being presented..

        Every now and then I'll read something of Greenwald's, including a couple of his pieces on Flynn, to see if he's developed anything useful to say. But every time it's a disappointment. He's a propagandist presenting gish-gallops of misrepresentations, partial truths, omitted context, false equivalences, omission of any big picture, and other misinformation. Dunno what his angle really is, but his blind hatred of … something… taints his polemics to the point of uselessness.

    • Macro 9.3

  9. Sacha 10

    Official 'speech from the throne' about what our government intends to do with its mandate: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2011/S00086/speech-from-the-throne.htm

  10. Robert Guyton 11

    The Government intends to declare a climate emergency and will propose the move next Thursday.


    As the councillor who, last year, proposed that the Southland Regional Council (Environment Southland) do the same thing, I'm hugely supportive and encouraged by the Government's proposal and at the same time greatly disappointed by my own council's failure to make the declaration, despite my best efforts to build support and understanding for the action. I've alerted my fellow councillors to the news and to my thoughts around their response 🙂

    • solkta 11.1

      Let's hope that Shaw can get some actual action to go along with it.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        I think he will but for the moment, this is a huge step forward; first comes the story, then follows the action; it's always been the way.

        • solkta

          It does say in the article that Climate Change Minister James Shaw signalled that the symbolism might be joined by some sort of concrete action.

          Though i'm thinking "concrete" may have been a poor choice of words.

          • Robert Guyton

            Ha! Concrete – yes, I baulk at the use of that word also, solkta, along with "ground-breaking" and "road-map"; these get used a lot in governance and tell me that we are bound by our language and until that changes or broadens, we will make change but slowly. The recent acceptance of Maori words and phrases by the courts and the Government ("hauora" and "te mana o te wai" in particular) gives the possibility of change a huge lift! I'm becoming excited at the potentials here.

    • Foreign Waka 11.2

      Yes, but lets start at those things that matter. Like drinking water and sewage. If both fail, we wont need to think about any other issues as the illnesses from yesteryear will take care of those who still drive cars, heat their homes without expensive power, etc..

      • solkta 11.2.1

        You don't think Climate Change matters? My sewage and drinking water are fine thanks. Climate Change though is likely to restrict my use of that drinking water for other things like it already has.

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    From the Speech from the Throne:

    "To add further stability to the New Zealand Government, the Labour Party has agreed to work together with the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand through a Cooperation Agreement. This agreement commits the Government to working in the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders, working to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and working together on specific policy areas where the Green Party can continue to add expertise and where both parties can achieve mutual gains that advance the goals of the Government."

  12. greywarshark 14

    Women who are concerned about the welfare of their poorer sisters will be thrilled to read of this help. I think that we are onto this as well.


    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      I'm pretty sure there are plenty of us men concerned about the welfare of our poorer sisters as well. We sadly have gone the "pilot" route when common sense says just do it.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Thanks DoS I am sure you are right. But I am particularly concerned about how many middle-class ambitious women are self-contained parcels – 'untouchable girls' to the reality of other less able and differently encultured females living within stone-throwing distance of them.

  13. greywarshark 17

    I have wondered what would happen to the country if there was a breakdown in the chain for milk sales to the world. We could only dry a proportion of it. In Denmark they have been intensively breeding mink and in the wake of Covid 19 being passed by the animals have done a panicked kill with had results.


    and food in USA – big demand from hungry families of colour in particular – twice the percentage.

  14. Andre 18

    The best people:

    Kellyalien Conway: "alternative facts"

    Oozy Ghouliani: "truth isn't truth"

    Jenna Ellis: “I posted it because the ifea itself is true, whether or not he said it!”


  15. aj 19

    This is one of many stories that will fester on from the last 5 years, and continue to polarise opinions.

    Key Mueller witness Rick Gates debunks key Russiagate conspiracy theories: Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian spy; Paul Manafort served Russian interests; and Roger Stone gave Trump campaign advance notice on Wikileaks’ email releases.

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