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Polity on Housing

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, May 20th, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: housing, national - Tags:

Two posts from Rob at Polity yesterday on National and Housing:

Auckland house prices

First, here’s John Key talking in a speech about a housing crisis in early 2008:

Well, I’ve got a challenge for the Prime Minister. Before she asks for another three years, why doesn’t she answer the questions Kiwis are really asking, like… Why can’t our hardworking kids afford to buy their own house?

Fast forward to today, and the REINZ house price data (based on a Reserve Bank calculation method), as published by Bernard Hickey.

Under Labour, Auckland house prices rose around 9.6% a year.

Under National, they’ve grown at 12% a year.

So, in John Key’s world, sustained 9.6% price rises equal a housing affordability crisis, but if you take those increases and all another 12% a year on top for another sustained period, the crisis goes away. Ridiculous.

National really is losing the plot on this issue. And hardworking families, especially in Auckland, are suffering as a result.

At the end of the day what most New Zealanders ackshully accept is… (Housing edition)

Capital gains taxes don’t work.

That’s why we’re not introducing one.

In fact, New Zealand already has a capital gains tax.

Which we’ve decided to strengthen.

It won’t affect house prices much.

Because Auckland doesn’t have a housing crisis.

Although supply is really the only answer to it.

That’s why building houses is crazy.

39 comments on “Polity on Housing”

  1. ropata 1

    When teachers and police and nurses cannot afford housing there are some pretty ugly consequences down the road

    • Brendon Harre 1.1

      If a teacher cannot afford to house themselves in a city that needs teaching what does that mean for the future of that city?

  2. Ad 2

    So far housing is Labour’s strongest policy area.

    I’m sure he tries, but we don’t hear enough from Phil Twyford on this. Twyford can and does make the links between more housing and funding transport infrastructure links to enable it.

    Twyford needs a strong response ready for Budget 2015 and its promise of government using its own land holdings in Aucklnd to build more homes faster. The risk is that government will essentially leave Labour no room to move on Labour’s main policy success. Labour will then be even more successfully snookered than they were by Key’s tax changes.

    Housing is the only thing that will shift enough votes to change government in 2017. If Twyford can’t get the cut-through, give it to Goff. Labour, it’s your move.

  3. Another bonkers, out-of-touch, Wellington-elite effort by Labour’s number’s guru.

    “[H]ardworking families, especially in Auckland, are suffering as a result”?????

    He can’t be serious.

    Hardworking families, especially in Auckland, are absolutely thrilled about house price inflation because they can use that increase in their equity to borrow for a boat or Aussie holiday.

    This may be bad economics it is the reality of the politics.

    (It has penetrated into Rob’s Wellington consciousness that there are around 500,000 home owners and 100,000 boats in Auckland, I assume?)

    • dv 3.1

      Yippee More debt Mathew
      And what about those renters!!

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Some hardworking families, that own houses, are thrilled.

      Other hardworking families, that don’t own houses, are suffering.

      Some amazing insight you have, Hooton 🙄

      • But the “some” significantly outnumber the “other” and in political economy that is what counts.

        You will be aware of the wealth effect in economics and politics. It favours incumbents. Labour has got the politics of this all wrong, because its political staff is dominated by young and youngish Wellingtonians renting in the likes of Berhampore and Aro Valley.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1

          So because more people in Auckland own homes than not, we should pander to them and ignore the minority.

          Tyranny of the majority, anyone? Pulling the ladder up after you? Who cares about social mobility or everyone getting a fair chance? You can even throw in shades of No True Scotsman with your phrase “hardworking families”.

          Oh right, it is Labour that cares about social mobility and everyone getting a fair chance. Not National. Why do they keep lying that they do care about everyone?

          • felix 3.2.1.1.1

            Yep and I heard him on the radio saying the same thing a while back.

            “Renters? But they’re the MINORITY!!”

            And in Matthew’s world, minorities don’t matter. Disgusting.

            • Matthew Hooton 3.2.1.1.1.1

              The relevance of property owners being the majority is that neither National nor Labour nor the Greens nor anyone else will propose a policy that reduces house prices.

              • vto

                And what is to be done about that Mr Hooton?

                Just carry on and barrel over the cliff full tit?

                • I expect the market will flatten sometime soon all on its own, and prices may even fall a small bit. But then whatever politically motivated left-wing interventions the National Government finally gets around to implementing will kick in, and drive prices down. If this happens before the election, National will then be kicked out of office by Auckland voters.

                  • vto

                    Yes of course I don’t disagree with what you are saying. Falling house prices will result in the incumbent being voted out, that is for sure.

                    However it is a fools paradise. High capital values serve to ensure the economy has more debt than necessary. And less money in our back pockets.

                    High capital values are in fact damaging to everybody except the banks.

                    When will the political will to address this be taken up?

    • Bunji 3.3

      Not all “hardworking families” own a house Matthew – I know a lot who can’t get into the market.
      And if you look closely I think you’ll find the “hardworking” is Rob using John Key’s words against him – if there were hardworking families in 2008 who couldn’t afford a house at a median $496k there’s more now who can’t afford one at a median $809k.

    • Anno1701 3.4

      “Hardworking families, especially in Auckland, are absolutely thrilled about house price inflation because they can use that increase in their equity to borrow for a boat or Aussie holiday.”

      These people THINK they are much wealthier than they actually are….

    • Pat 3.5

      youre right Matthew…many of those home owning Aucklanders are over the moon with their capital gains paper wealth….until their children want to enter the property market and are still living with their parents aged 25+

    • You_Fool 3.6

      I am a hard working AUcklander with a family and I own my own home and I have made a good capital gain in the last 5 years since I brought and I am using said gain to upgrade to a better hose, but I still think that it is all horribly horribly wrong.

      I need to sell my house at an overly inflated price just to be able to afford to buy anything else as they are all overly inflated. Everyone I know, who own houses or not, all are of a similar mindset that the current situation is not good and needs to be changed.

      I am pretty sure the ones who are happy with the current situation are those who have no ability to see outside themselves or past the next 5 days. Actual intelligent rational people who want to have a good, secure life know that the current situation will not last and will implode badly (like last time.)

      But you know Mr Hooton, you keep believing that everything will be alright, just keep borrowing more & buying property and I will watch as in the not to distant future you have a massive issue.

    • Brendon Harre 3.7

      ROB SALMOND SAYS: (on Polity in reply to Mathews same post)
      20 MAY, 2015 – 16:51
      Ah, Matthew. Welcome.

      Latest figures show that more than half the people in Auckland live in rented accommodation. So most people do not get the bourgeoise benefits you’re crowing about. Which, if we’re going to talk about “the reality of politics” seems important, no?

      • Yes, and Rob was wrong, unless there has been a change since 2013, when the census found that:

        “Almost two thirds (61.5%) of households in private occupied dwellings owned the dwelling they lived in, or held it in a family trust. The rate of home ownership had decreased from 63.8 per cent in 2006.”

        See http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/Docu

        And even this understates the financial and emotional investment Aucklanders have in this issue. For example, when the kids go flatting they still have an interest in the value of their parents’ home. Phil Twyford understands this and is very careful to say he doesn’t want the value of houses in Auckland to fall – just for inflation to slow, which if course it will anyway.

        • Grant 3.7.1.1

          There is a difference (perhaps you missed it but I think you probably didn’t) between half the people in Auckland, on the one hand and 61.5% of households on the other.

          This is yet another clear example of the slippery intellectual dishonesty for which you are renowned.

          • Matthew Hooton 3.7.1.1.1

            I see. Where are these stats that show more than 50% of Aucklanders are renting? Do they exclude people from out of town? Say, people coming to Auckland to study at UoA, AUT etc? Or on short-term contracts?

            • felix 3.7.1.1.1.1

              More to the point, do they exclude people with matching socks?

              What about people with an aunt named Mabel?

              Or people who drive blue cars?

              Surely we don’t consider any of those people to be “living in Auckland” even though, by virtue of the fact that they’re living in Auckland, they are living in Auckland.

              🙄 🙄 🙄

              • I don’t think the socks or the aunt’s name are that relevant do you? Whereas cities will always have rental accommodation for people who are studying or working temporarily, and it wouldn’t make sense to include them in an analysis of the politics of home ownership.
                Still, it would be interesting to see the statistics that show more than 50% or Aucklanders are renters, whatever definitions they include.
                If it is true that the majority of Aucklanders are renters, then you would expect a political party to promise to try to reduce the value of houses (and therefore rents) but none do, as far as I am aware.

                • felix

                  The relevance, my dear fellow, is that you seem to have forgotten what you were arguing.

                  Rising house prices in Auckland are bad for people who live in Auckland and don’t own a house there.

                  It doesn’t matter a blind titfuck to that point whether someone is in rental acom short or long term.

  4. DH 4

    This is wrong, it’s damned annoying when people use housing as a political football.

    When interest rates were cut drastically in 2008/09 real house prices fell by nearly 30%. The real price of a house is what people pay for it and since they’re buying with borrowed money the price includes the interest.

    In 2008 mortgage rates were over 9%, a $300k 25yr mortgage cost some $580 per week. Today the same mortgage can be had for 5.5% with a cost of $424 per week.

    $580 per week now pays off a $410,000 mortgage, which should partly explain to people why house prices have risen so much. People today can borrow over 35% more at no extra cost to themselves. Rents didn’t fall when interest rates fell so the gap between rent & a mortgage closed creating a greater demand for houses.

    The real hurt being suffered by most low income earners is the higher deposit brought about by the LVR restrictions, higher house sale prices and lower interest rates on savings. For typical low income savers the deposit has increased over 250% since 2008.

    The higher deposit has squeezed out many lower income earners from the housing market and consequently increased the demand for rental properties. That pushed rents up, the higher rents in turn have been pushing house prices up further.

    IMO there’s too much dishonesty in talk about housing, from both National and Labour.

  5. Andrew 5

    I posted this the other day, but this post seems like a better home for it:

    House prices (in NZ) more than double between 2001 and 2008 and there is no problem:

    PDF Link

    Now prices are going crazy in Auckland, up to insane levels in my view, and pretty much static everywhere else in the country outside of Christchurch, and it’s all Nationals fault?

    • Colville. 5.1

      Exactly right.

      And during the same period of 01 – 08 personal debt rose by 60%.

      Everybody ticking up frivolous spending against their houses exactly as per Mathhew Hootons comment @ 9.59.

      • Who says it is frivolous?

        2008: $400,000 house, with $350,000 mortgage, meaning $50,000 equity, and no “boat” or “holidays with the kids” or whatever the family values, and a nervous bank that won’t extend the credit card limit.

        2015: $800,000 house with $450,000 mortgage, meaning $350,000 equity, and a boat in the drive, a whole lot of holiday snaps from Fiji and easily enough for the school rugby trip to Australia in August, and a happier bank willing to extend the credit card limit if asked.

        It’s called the wealth effect, and it benefits incumbents. It’s how Mrs Thatcher won the 1983 and 1987 elections, and John Major in 1992. And it significantly helped Helen Clark in 2002 and 2005. And Clinton in 1996. And Lange in 1987.

        Yet Labour’s Wellington-based strategists think it it good idea to tell these people this represents a “crisis” and that they want to either cut the value of their house (and destroy their equity) or “slow the rate of house price inflation”. (BTW, which is it, because the latter doesn’t seem much of a response to an affordability “crisis”?)

        Isn’t it obvious how Labour has got the politics of this so dramatically wrong in recent years? And what a new CGT that satisfies the RBNZ to deliver an interest rate cut next month, but will not in fact reduce the price of houses and may even further increase them, is such brilliant (albeit cynical) politics by John Key?

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          And it’s all built on debt, ie consuming future productivity now. To expect endless growth to continue forever on a finite planet is rather silly.

          Eventually the can will not be able to kicked any further down the road, and all of that $350,000 of equity will vanish in a bonfire.

          • John 5.1.1.1.1

            Total private mortgage debt in NZ went from $60b to $160b under Helen Clark – a 166% increase.

            Under the current government it has now increased from $160b to $200b. – a 25% increase – just 1/6th the increase in percentage terms.

            Which gives us a clue that a small number of house sales in a small number of suburbs in one city are giving a significantly skewed picture.

          • Enough is Enough 5.1.1.1.2

            I think you are missing the point Lanth.

            Yes it is bad.

            Yes it is unsustainable.

            But if you own a house that is worth $100k more than 12 months ago, you don’t want to hear about politicians ending the gravy train.

            • Matthew Hooton 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes, that is my point.

              • Ovid

                Nobody likes a party-pooper. When Irish economist Morgan Kelly kept on issuing notes of caution in that country’s bubble, he was vehemently shouted down by politicians and anyone else with skin in the game.

                We’re at a point where responsible governance and good politics are at an impasse and we can’t expect current conditions to last forever. There is a boom and bust cycle in property and as much as we may laud it, Auckland is not London or New York or San Francisco or Sydney. These chickens will come home to roost.

            • vto 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Thing is… it is not a gravy train at all.

              Where is the gravy you refer to?

  6. Charles 6

    On the upside, a bit of working-class-aspirational/middle-class “suffering” might crowbar open a few perspectives that wouldn’t otherwise reach consciousness.

    For example, back in the eighties, a hardworking aspirational/middle-class man turned into a Penny Bright style protestor over the interest rates issues – ran him ragged. Everyday he worried about losing his home. Every month he lost more money. He still hates Brash and certain banks, even ones that don’t exist anymore. But did it change his central core mindset? Nope. He didn’t lose all his money, he didn’t lose his home, because his job was safe. Unions were out in force. His industry had strict safety standards and regulations. The only thing he really had to lose was his pride and his sense of status above those dirty frikken renters. He turned out in support of National in the end, like, hardcore. He knew what “A Decent Society” really meant. Nothing he went through was really suffering, or enough to make him see.

    Since then I’ve seen some real suffering (not mine), and if that stuff happened on a larger scale, to the nice polite people, it’d change a nation’s perspective quick-smart. This blog would fall silent.

    So good one, National and John key, you keep lying and switching and screwing the working classes and the Mids. Screw ’em real good, push harder and faster, till they lose everything including their minds. Then we’ll finally see some change in people’s core beliefs – minus the 25% of Paula Bennet types who’ll come to the conclusion that screwing people isn’t such a bad thing, only not being the screwer is the bad thing.

    OR

    the parties on the Left can redouble their efforts to explain as simply as possible about what’s going on and what they’ll do about it from now until 2017. Simply. Loudly. Don’t discuss it. Don’t waver. No choice. Truth is truth.

    We can do it the hard way, or the easy way…The Left can’t lose in an equation like that.

  7. feijoa 7

    Well, I have read today ( sorry can’t find the link) an economist Shamubeel Eaqub is about to release a book called Generation Rent
    He states – of persons over the age of 15, FIFTY TWO percent are renters (based on the last census), so for the first time in NZ , renters are in the majority.

    Go and pull your head in Matthew

  8. Brendon Harre 8

    First home buyers numbers have dropped from 28% to 20% since 2007/08

    See this graph.

    What this and other housing facts means is that National are in full scale panic mode as there bull shit ‘aspirational, hardwork leads to success’ spin is proven as a big cover up for policies benefiting the usual well connected elites on the backs of others hardwork.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    It’s astonishing that the supposedly fiscally aware party and fellow travellers like Hooton are ignoring the negative effects of a property bubble for short term political gain, especially when real growth rates, those excluding immigration and Christchurch are practically stalled.

    It would be interesting to see what proportion of hypothetical gains are in fact realised as boats and so forth, rather than being reinvested in property to reinforce the pernicious cycle.

    • I’m not ignoring them. I’m just saying what’s happening. And why the politics aren’t what Wellington-based Labour strategists think.

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  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    11 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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