Ratepayers vs affordable housing

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, June 12th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: housing, leadership - Tags: , , ,

Great piece by Bernard Orsman in The Herald:

Large affordable housing project in Manukau hits snag

A $140 million housing project on council land in Manukau has hit a snag on the eve of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff releasing a major report to tackle the city’s housing crisis.

The council’s development arm is being blamed by New Zealand Housing Foundation chief executive Paul Gilberd for wanting too much for the land, where hundreds of homes, including more than 100 affordable homes, are planned.

Just in passing, why aren’t all the planned houses in this project “affordable”? The New Zealand Housing Foundation’s site is here: “We are a not-for-profit, charitable trust delivering affordable housing for low income households, and supporting many other community providers also to provide affordable housing in neighbourhoods that work for low income and disadvantaged households”.

“The whole process has collapsed and is off the table as of Wednesday last week,” Gilberd told RNZ.

He said the foundation offered $13m for the land but Panuku Development Auckland wanted $24m, making affordable homes too expensive.

The project highlights the difficulty balancing the cash-strapped council’s desire to maximise the value of selling surplus land and using its landholdings to deliver affordable housing.

“The other important factor is that the sale of the site needs to make a reasonable financial return for Auckland ratepayers,” the statement [Panuku Development] said. …

From the council / ratepayer point of view why shouldn’t they want the best price possible for the land? But that drives up the prices of supposedly “affordable” housing still further. We are going to see versions of this dilemma played out everywhere.

In my opinion the needs of affordable housing should come first. Existing ratepayers need to make way for those who need a home too. The land should be cheap, “cash-strapped” councils can put up the rates.

This needs leadership from central government. I won’t hold my breath.

60 comments on “Ratepayers vs affordable housing ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Part of the issue here is that this is a very high density location ( its across the motorway from the Manukau Court and Police station) in the heart of central Manukau.

    Could it be the zoning is for apartment blocks, when the Housing Foundation wants to build terrace style homes. ? This mean the land cost per dwelling is completely different which is why they disagree

    As has been pointed out only a portion of the homes are affordable, others being at market rates ( previous sites seem to be 1/3 in this category)

    • adam 1.1

      dukeofurl, people want, can handle, and indeed thrive in medium density housing. High density not so much. Exceptions every where of course, but in broad sociological terms medium density is better for peoples well being.

      High density is not the solution, it comes with it’s own set of problems.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Not all households are ‘family type’ I think Auckland has a large number of single and two person households, who could be very happy in apartment blocks.
        Im not thinking 15 stories, but from 4 to 9 levels.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          I think Auckland has a large number of single and two person households, who could be very happy in apartment blocks.
          Im not thinking 15 stories, but from 4 to 9 levels.

          I am one of them. I have absolutely no interest in a house – don’t have time for one. I’m certainly not having one so just I have an hour each way commute. And for you provincials out there, in my areas of expertise I either work in Auckland or I emigrate to where at least equivalent work exists. While there may be work in other cities in NZ, there simply aren’t enough employers to be worth taking the risk of uprooting. In Auckland I have a moderate range of choice.

          I have a 51 sq meter one bedroom city fringe apartment in a 3 level complex (with two other parking floors). Originally I was rattling around on my own. In the last 9 years my partner has been there as well – which makes it slightly tight. We’d like to find a slightly bigger two bedroom apartment (about 70 or even 65 sq meter would do) so that we can separate out work area from our living area. But as far as I can tell they either don’t exist or they are priced for millionaires who like paying exorbitant body corporate fees for lifts and things that they never use.

          Instead what we have in Auckland is a lot of 70 sq meter 3 bedroom apartments (with two bathrooms), low ceilings and no parking designed for flatting. Which are even tighter than our existing openish plan apartment. Or teeny 35 sq meter apartments for single people who don’t need a workable desk.

          Eventually my partner brought her own 53 sq meter one bedroom apartment in the same block. The only way she was going to get property in the city that she wants to work in was to get another small apartment.

          Basically Auckland has a lot of 3 bedroom housing. It is bloody short of 1-2 bedroom housing.

  2. Keith 2

    With neoliberalism we labour under the maxim of maximize return on investment, aka Greed is Good. There is no other way, this is the cross we are nailed to.

    Housing cannot be sorted and will only get worse until there is a substantial shift from the way this country is run.

    • tc 2.1

      +100 also what’s affordable isn’t the same as what’s a reasonable COST to build.

      If we stripped out the cartel/monopoly style pricing that CHH/fletchers etc indulge in our cost of building would reflect our abundant natural resources and not the bottom line of the few companies who control the supply side.

      This is aside from the pittance developers contribute to the perennial infrastructure issues they create and walk away with Profit banked and favours repaid.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Yes . Im suprised that steel framing hasnt made a headway, especially in strong siesmic areas.
        Yet it seems to be priced as a premium product on top of the ridiculous prices paid for wood. ( especially since the fall in iron ore and sheet steel prices)
        I have heard rumours you can buy NZ cut timber framing cheaper in Australia than in NZ ?
        Another issue is NZ has all these boutique builders building medium to high end homes.
        the 3 bedroom / 130m2 home with a carport has practically disappeared. Yet this is what young familys want.

        • mauī 2.1.1.1

          Whoever put steel framing on the market and managed to convince people to use it is an idiot. It’s another rort. It’s not a renewable resource, it takes large amounts of energy to manufacture, its more expensive and it’s great if you want to lose heat through your walls in your home. And we’re using this to replace a perfectly good material – timber.

    • Gosman 2.2

      You want to turn NZ in to a fully socialist state to solve the housing issue do you?

      • Keith 2.2.1

        Yes. Because this shitty system sure ain’t working!

      • Craig H 2.2.2

        I’m personally not for a full command economy, but markets can be seen to be functioning best when the outcome is equilibrium i.e. supply = demand. Suppliers naturally prefer when there is some sort of scarcity i.e. more demand than supply as they can make more money. That’s not always possible to achieve in all markets, but for land and housing, there is clearly a scarcity in some regions, particularly urban, and it’s often easily manipulated by a relatively small number of people. We can try to reduce demand in Auckland by reducing incoming population and shifting demand into regions where there is no scarcity of supply, but part of the solution for Auckland still has to be more supply.

        That assumes housing is even some sort of reasonable market at all – given some of the demand involves “consumers” who are unable to pay the prices the suppliers require to sell/rent, but still require housing of some sort, my personal belief is that housing is not a fully functional market, and therefore state intervention is required. I would do it by having the state provide basic housing at low cost, and leave the higher end housing to the market.

        • As a possible tangent, socialism doesn’t require a command economy. You can have demand-driven socialism, it just requires either a lack of capital property or some sort of redistributive function that addresses wealth inequality. (eg. everyone gets a UBI, but you still have co-ops or corporations who get together to produce and sell things, and they still have varying success based on consumer demand)

          This is actually one area where Marx and his derivatives got pulled into thinking that was too conventional, buying into the very supply-side thinking that capitalists at the time also supported.

          • Gosman 2.2.2.1.1

            Example of this working in action please.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Like a lot of communist political theory, it’s never been tried, my point is that the command economy part isn’t an essential part of marxist theory, it’s just one of the things he suggests a revolutionary government does in the transition period.

              Of course, capitalism doesn’t exactly work in action either, so I wouldn’t get on a high horse about its results if I were you.

        • Gosman 2.2.2.2

          Why isn’t supply meeting demand?

        • Gosman 2.2.2.3

          The supply problem in Auckland is largely artificial. It is easily rectified. Remove the restrictions on building on land.

          • In Vino 2.2.2.3.1

            We were told back in the 70s that we could not go on and on eating up productive land for unproductive urban spread – but that is what you want to do now. Idiot. Every other country in the world with a growing population has had to adapt and stop gobbling up land. But you want to continue the utter madness of house/garden, house/garden?

            • Gosman 2.2.2.3.1.1

              How many people live in the UK (Similar land area to NZ)?

              • In Vino

                How long ago did the UK realise that urban sprawl was unsustainable and increase dwelling density? Don’t ask me dumb questions – NZ is obviously at the stage where the UK and so many other countries were when they accepted the inevitable. Do your own research – all too often you cherry-pick questions to make out that the people you are querying should do heaps of research for you to justify themselves. Go jump in a lake somewhere, Goose.

          • dukeofurl 2.2.2.3.2

            “The supply problem in Auckland is largely artificial. It is easily rectified. Remove the restrictions on building on land.”

            SHAs did that.
            “Tranche 10, comprising 36 new SHAs, was declared on 19 May 2016 with an estimated final yield of nearly 2,749 dwellings bringing overall potential yield from 154 SHAs to 55,757 dwellings.

            Actual number built ?
            The number of dwellings issued with building consents continues to accelerate in special housing areas into Accord Year 3 and reached 1,750 by 31 March 2016 with new data to 30 April 2016 showing over 1,000 dwellings completed*.

            land available and consented is 55,000. Building consents is 1750

            This refutes your claim not enough land is available.

            SHAs being land consented for subdivision, the first step in the process. the reality is creating the sections is high risk and most SHA developers dont have the capital to do so

            http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/housingsupply/Documents/aucklandhousingaccordmonitoringreport20160622.pdf

          • lprent 2.2.2.3.3

            Can I (politely) request that you pull your head out of your arse and deal with the real world for a change?

            It has been tried.

            1. The Special Housing Areas (SHAs) in Auckland have been an unmitigated disaster.

            2. In Auckland the constraints are often the sewerage, water, stormwater, power and roading systems which take a lot of leadtime to expand – bothin greenfield and intensification areas.

            3. Whenever the ideological idiots like you in National announce another ill-considered plan like SHAs, they immediately assume it has been completed and raise the nett inwards migration levels.

            Basically be need to get rid of the idiots in government

      • Who said anything about wanting socialism just to solve this one issue? 😉

      • dukeofurl 2.2.4

        Gosman “you want to turn NZ in to a fully socialist state to solve the housing issue do you

        have you forgotten that Nick Smith has been talking about the compulsory purchase of private land- but only so that private developers can create larger subdivisions.
        Of course for many years up to the mid 80s, the state did this for state rental houses

        Gosman you need to ask the beehive for more emails on their own policy rather than the attack labour/greens bumpf you are getting

      • greywarshark 2.2.5

        Trolling Gosman? You seem to float through the posts and don’t seem to be learning anything except the next empty question or challenge you pose.

      • georgecom 2.2.6

        How you doing pulling that really really long bow Gosman?

  3. Gosman 3

    Surely the cost of the land is determined by the market (Willing Buyer and Seller). If you don’t have either of these two things then there won’t be a transaction. Are you suggesting that the State forces people to accept less than they are willing to accept for land?

    • r0b 3.1

      The state has that legal power already:

      http://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/acquisition-and-disposal-land/land-involved-public-works/landowners-rights-when-crown

      I think there are circumstances where the use of this power is justified, and in principle this could be one of those cases (I don’t know enough about the specfics to be sure).

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        The State has the power to take your life if it so desires. That doesn’t mean it should exercise that power.

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          The state does not have that legal power. And reductio ad absurdum is seldom a good form of argument.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            And reductio ad absurdum is seldom a good form of argument.

            That’s the only ‘argument’ that the RWNJs actually have.

          • Craig H 3.1.1.1.2

            The State does, it just chooses not to use it. Granted, there would be law changes required and a treaty to repudiate, but legally it could be done.

            However I agree that the argument that taking someone’s land at slightly less than current market rate and taking their life is somehow analogous is BS.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.1.3

            Actually reductio ad absurdum is fine, so long as you don’t exaggerate your opponents position all the time like Gosman tries to.

            Like any logically sound debating technique, it requires you to be careful of what your opponent is actually saying and to try and respect their points, principles, and integrity.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.4

            Police can be authorised to use lethal force.

    • Keith 3.2

      You have hit the nail on the head Gosman. “The market” is the problem.

      “The market” could not care less if you live in a car or on the street, the market is all about money and profit. “The market” is ill equipped for the inevitable instability in society when too many people fall foul of it.

      “The market” is essentially feudal in its workings, Lord, vassal and peasant.

      “The market” is where everything goes to the highest bidder and in time and it is speeding up, on ultimately to the wealthy until they have nearly everything and the vast majority have nothing.

      This appears to be working at the present time because there is still land to transfer but its rapid transference upward means the logical outcome will be fewer land holders and more and more people left only to rent and even then to struggle.

      “The market” relies on greed and selfish individualism, pure and simple.

      A rerun of the middle ages may suit the few but it sure as shit doesn’t inspire me.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Why can’t houses be tendered from australia so bringing back our cheaper wood in a cost efficient manner, and putting up by teams of locals trained to erect and fix these packed down houses?

    Going onto sites where the sections have been planned properly with appropriate services, they could be up and running with a central community room on the side of a small store/post office, (no booze, ciggies), visiting dental and GP room, bus stop.) This would provide a hub and be something along the lines of one established by Sisters Pauline O’Regan and others years ago.
    http://www.nzine.co.nz/views/oregan.html
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/28131/sisters-of-mercy-in-the-community

    What a great thought and all that it requires is the will by those who have the power, and commitment from start to finish with services in place. Maori community interests such as those who provided help with housing last year, would be interested in the services and might wish to do this.

    Seeing the timber trade has been monpolised by big players, and so the market is captured and buggered, we should look at alternative ways to use this ‘great’ market we are stuck with.

    • Gosman 4.1

      It’s not really the houses that is causing the problem so much as the land availability. You haven’t solved that issue.

  5. Treetop 5

    Government need to make up the shortfall or 50/50 otherwise no lower cost housing will get built. Were I to have it my way the land would only be used for low cost housing.

    • lprent 5.1

      Especially since this government is the problem. Having high return migration on top of high immigration is a central government decision. Since the greedy fuckers have made it to have a high performing economy without extra investment, then central government can damn well pay for it.

      After all central government are the people picking up the extra tax for having an estimated extra 800 cars per week on Auckland roads (rego + warrants _ drivers license), the extra income tax, and the extra GST.

      Auckland ratepayers aren’t going to be picking up the bill for the National stupidity of trying to have high immigration after under funding infrastructure. Everything from the Auckland super city they imposed, the public transport, roads and all the way to not training sufficient builders.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.1

        This. And what of the Farrar types who blame Auckland council for not selling assets to fund the city’s growth (which is out of their control) yet uses any and every chance to also blame the opposition for not backing these private developments. I suppose Farrar is all for Auckland Council to sell for $11 million less than it’s worth – I mean that’s a dozen Maseratis for the developers right there.

      • Poission 5.1.2

        So you make the hard decisions on migration.(being the most cost effective option).

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/332816/labour-would-aim-to-reduce-immigration-numbers

      • Gosman 5.1.3

        Local bodies should receive a significant proportion of the GST on new builds consented under their watch.

        • lprent 5.1.3.1

          You really don’t understand GST do you?

          The central government will receive the GST on consents. The local council will only recover the GST that they have already paid for their goods and services purchased.

          • Gosman 5.1.3.1.1

            No, you don’t understand ACT party policy. The central government will direct 50% of the GST collected on building to the council that consented to the work.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    From the council / ratepayer point of view why shouldn’t they want the best price possible for the land?

    Do the ratepayers even want to sell the land?
    Would they be happy if the land was used to build some council flats on that could then be rented out to people on an as need basis at a cost neutral rent?

    From the ratepayers perspective, actually selling the land is a bad idea as they’d lose that value.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Good point DTB. Why sell the land. I can’t see why it can’t be carried forward as a special financial project. The houses would be built and valued at today’s prices, the land also at a reasonable value. Then the rent worked out to cover costs and some maintenance allowed for and then rent them at that rate or close to it. The rent should cover costs, but wouldn’t be put up to match market rental. Perhaps it would go up by about 2% a year so it shifted slightly. The maintenance would go up by the same per year.

      I think it is important that the values changed regularly as surrounding housing and land values go up. And that maintenance would be covered and attended to regularly to keep the stock in good order.

    • Craig H 6.2

      Very good point.

    • dukeofurl 6.3

      yes . the Council could be the developer/builder and then all could be affordable homes, with the Housing foundation as ‘project manger’ ?
      But the current circumstances mean they have enough problems with transport, amenities, infrastructure etc and wont be going down that path.

  7. Gosman 7

    Why is the housing market one of the very few areas in NZ where supply cannot meet demand?

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      A lack of transport and utility infrastructure and a lack of immigration planning.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Actually it is a lack of the ability to convert land from one use to another as quickly as needed.

        • Muttonbird 7.1.1.1

          Yes, the lack of ability is because of under-investment in utilities and public transport infrastructure.

          Why don’t RWNJs get this?

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes and that is why 50% of GST paid on buildings receiving consent by a council should go back to that council to pay for the infrastructure required.

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        Try lack of ability to change land use very easily.

    • Barfly 7.2

      Because your corrupt mouth breathing RW Government is obsessed with juking the stats by mass importation of people to artificially inflate the GDP.

    • Gabby 7.3

      Because we’re importing lots of people but not many houses.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      Because ‘The market’ is a fictional construct that’s sole purpose is to steal from everyone else.

  8. saveNZ 8

    The easiest way out, is for the council to build the affordable houses themselves and run them and take the profit from them, just like in the past before Mayor’s like John Banks sold them.

    Housing appreciates in general. It’s a good investment – that’s why the developers want the land.

    Also 100% of the housing should be affordable for a 11 million discount! Zero profit for the developer and who knows how many ‘charitable trusts’ are just fronts these days.

    Auckland council have zero concerns bankrolling Westgate malls for development -maybe they need to put their money out of corporate aid and actually build some bloody affordable houses for ratepayers. They are so desperate to fill up the city with low paid workers and demolish as many affordable houses as possible with McMansions replacing them.

  9. mauī 9

    They could fix it if they really wanted to. Build out central Auckland really quickly and you have an oversupply of houses sending prices/rents down towards the affordable direction as long as they slow immigration.

    I don’t know what the minimum lot size is, but let’s say they halve it straight away and then you have people wanting to subdivide their properties all over the place. Garages and backyards become new small houses or low rise apartments. Because you’re increasing building in central Aucks you’re not adding too much to the traffic chaos as people will be tempted to make use of public transport and biking instead.

    Unfortunately the Council won’t do something like this because they’re tied to archaic planning laws. Ironically it’s the oldest suburbs like Freemans Bay that were by and large built without planning restrictions that are the most desirable to live in.

  10. greg 10

    they cant just give away ratepayer assets at knock down prices that is a subsidy
    rate payers should expect the full value for the land .the problem is the bubble economy and in-balances that has infected the whole system.

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    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
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