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Reaction to housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, July 31st, 2013 - 133 comments
Categories: housing, labour, Media - Tags: ,

Labour will be pleased at the reaction to its Latest housing policy. Vernon Small – perhaps the best neutral commentator? – had this to say:

Homes for Kiwis plan may be a winner

It has to be said from the outset, Labour’s newly minted “foreigner ban” on buying existing residential houses has a lot more going for it than the late and unlamented “man ban”.

For a start there is not a big constituency of voters to turn off among property investors who are not even in the country. It reminds you of that old joke that the best people to tax are foreigners living abroad.

And it is a fair bet the idea will win public favour, given the overwhelming opposition to any sell-off of Kiwi assets that shows up in most polls. Prime Minister John Key tapped into it in 2010, when land sales rules were being revised, by voicing concerns Kiwis may become “tenants in their own land”. …

Labour’s plan to build and on-sell 10,000 affordable homes a year – alongside a promise of more state houses – remains its most potent weapon.

Nat friendly John Armstrong is (as usual) all about the game:

Shearer sets agenda with foreign sales ban

Labour’s plan to bar foreigners from buying existing homes may turn out to be riddled with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese in terms of likely effectiveness. The policy may be condemned as unworthy of a party which has always scrupulously avoided playing the race card. Whichever way you look at it, however, promising such a ban is still darned good politics.

In one swoop, David Shearer has got people talking about what he wants to talk about – instead of endlessly debating whether he can cling on as Labour’s leader.

When Labour’s opponents shout “xenophobia” or “racism”, Shearer only needs to say Labour is merely copying what Australia is doing to curb soaring house prices.

Crucially, the policy is very much in tune with public opinion, judging from a 3News Reid Research poll taken back in February which found two-thirds of respondents favouring restrictions on foreigners buying property.

The commentator who surprises me most is Colin Espiner – usually a ranting tory – but here he weighs in with a (mostly) excellent piece:

Labour housing plan is clever politics

I never thought I’d say this, but John Key ought to be just a little worried about David Shearer’s latest policy.

Labour’s proposal to ban foreign investors from buying existing residential homes in New Zealand is likely to be extremely popular with the public. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s likely to be the most well-received policy Labour has come up with since its plan to renationalise the electricity sector, with the bonus that it’s actually a good idea as well. …

The rationale for the policy is that one of the main reasons for our overheated housing market is too much demand and not enough supply. Stopping foreigners from bidding in the residential market removes some of that demand and returns a bit more supply. …

Key’s reaction to Shearer’s policy is predictable: he says it’s ”desperate”, that the number of people who will fit the category is “very small”, that people will find loopholes to get around the new rules, and that the policy is xenophobic – in essence, a dog-whistle to racists who resent buyers of certain ethnicities crowding the auction rooms, particularly in Auckland. …

I don’t agree that Labour is being xenophobic with this policy, though I accept it will appeal to rednecks. Protecting a country’s housing stock from foreign investors looking for a quick buck isn’t racist – it’s common sense. It would only be racist if it applied solely to certain ethnic groups, and I don’t see Labour proposing any such thing.

As for the argument that this is an attack on Chinese because they are the biggest overseas buyers, that’s bunkum too. English and South Africans are also in the top four, alongside Australians (who are excluded from the policy) but I don’t hear anyone complaining Labour is discriminating against Brits.

Australia already has rules in place limiting foreign purchases of houses, while America, Britain, Singapore, and Hong Kong have gone down the route of imposing extra taxes to achieve the same ends.

I’ve read claims in the past couple of days that such a ban could contravene our free trade agreement with China or discourage foreign investment in New Zealand generally. I find both arguments weak. …

In sum, what the electorate will see is that Labour is proposing solutions to a pressing problem while the Government is sitting on its hands.

In short, I am impressed with the coverage from all three. It means that the only folk peddling the “race card” attacks are the likes of John Banks, Cameron Slater, and Judith Collins. ‘Nuff said I think.

housing-poll-1As for popularity with the electorate, the poll cited by Armstrong provides good evidence. Also, both The Herald and Stuff ran their (unscientific) online polls yesterday, The Herald’s is to the right.

Stuff’s poll disappeared from view very quickly, but looked very similar to The Herald’s when last I saw it.

Later in the day Stuff ran a second poll on a related topic (below). Between them such polls suggest that we the public are looking for leadership and action on housing. Labour are supplying it. National are not.
 
 
housing-poll-2

133 comments on “Reaction to housing policy”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Prime Minister John Key tapped into it in 2010, when land sales rules were being revised, by voicing concerns Kiwis may become “tenants in their own land”. …

    He may have voiced it but he still went and made sure that NZers would become tenants in our own land by selling off state assets.

  2. stpat 2

    Your pic of the Herald poll is fascinating as the Herald manages to place a link to a piece around John Key’s negative reaction to the policy announcement right next to the graphic. It is framed in a way that gives people who simply turn to the PM for their opinion a simple (negative) way to react. Even if this is only on the results page, it is a very poor way for the Herald to operate a poll given the influence this could have (these polls are crap anyway) if people go to the results before voting.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Sadly, being on holiday has stopped David Farrar from posting much on this matter (or on the Vance affair) ;), so I guess we’ll never know what the right’s official line on the matter is. My analysis is that most Kiwis like all Labour’s housing proposals and that is really pissing off the Tories. They have no answer, because they are a do nothing Government. Interfering in a positive way for the majority is anathema to them, so they are stuck, as Espiner says, sitting on their hands. With their thumbs slightly further up.

    One other upside is that the fantasy 90 days for Shearer to get his act together won’t be mentioned again. He’s the big winner, politically speaking. We, the majority of Kiwis, are the big winner, practically speaking.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Let’s pause a moment and wait for positive reaction to a Labour Party policy to translate to positive reaction for the Labour Party. Previously No Asset Sales and NZ Power were policies also very popular with the electorate.

      • Sable 3.1.1

        Just for once I agree with Viper.

      • Mary 3.1.2

        Any positive increase in the polls for Labour’s still well within any margin of error. I can’t help thinking that no Labour policy or set of policies can increase Labour Party support, and the problem is the current leadership and the lack of depth within the party that allows that problem to continue. It’s as if no matter how well dressed up Labour gets or how much makeup it puts on it’s still rotting away from within.

        • Arfamo 3.1.2.1

          Well, I said I’d give Shearer another fortnight to pull his finger out so I don’t like to renege on that when he’s still got a week to go.

          • Mary 3.1.2.1.1

            I share your pessimism but the fact there’s nobody to replace him may very well mean Shearer stays and Labour limps along indefinitely and until who knows what happens. In the meantime Russel Norman will keep gathering momentum as the strongest opposition voice for the Left and, again, Labour keeps hemorrhaging away. Doesn’t look good, but that’s what happens when a party sells its core values. The litmus test is how Key’s behaviour should have been enough for demands for an election. The only hope we have is that Key misjudges things and steps over the line enough to displace the disdain or at least diffidence towards Labour and all Labour hasn’t got to offer.

    • Bob 3.2

      On this site I would be seen as Right Wing (on others Left Wing, go figure), I agree with the policy but don’t know how much of a change it will have on Labours numbers, as NZ First and the Greens have both had this policy for months, and both have come out swinging at Shearer saying exactly that. As for whether this will save Shearer as Leader, this is one small step, but IMO he will require another couple of big vote winning announcements in the next month or so if he is going to lift in the polls.

  4. Tamati 4

    Given the NZ Herald polls usually have around 104% support for John Key, Labour are clearly on the right side of public opinion on this one!

  5. Sable 5

    Sorry but anything from Stuff in particular has to be taken with a grain of salt. The Herald are not a hell of a lot better. Moreover, if I’m not mistaken its not asking people which political party they think is doing a good job on the housing issue just how this might influence their decision to vote.

    I would love to see Keys and co gone but not sure this really represents anything substantive.

  6. Bearded Git 6

    Banks, Collins, Slater pathetic with their racist lies, but don’t forget Key’s initial reaction (from Korea) was also that the policy was racist. He’s equally pathetic-but then we knew this.

    • vto 6.1

      Yes it will affect the “white” race more than any other race i.e. the yanks, poms, yarpies, huns and frogs. Is that what they mean by racist do you think?

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        lol you do know about the many ‘people of colour’ contained within those descriptors I suppose. So you need to not put the ‘for instance’ because that doesn’t actually help your argument – it makes it look a bit silly really.

  7. Bill 7

    And so a Kiwi living in Monaco these past 20 years can speculate on housing in NZ to their heart’s content. Meanwhile, Chinese parents looking to buy a house in NZ for their kid to live in while university studies are undertaken (just as wealthy parents of Kiwi kids do), and who are not speculating in any way, can’t buy jack-shit.

    • Arfamo 7.1

      Well, yes, because they’re Kiwis, but they’ll be paying capital gains tax on their speculations.
      The Chinese parents will probably be ok with renting a house for their kid to live in while university studies are undertaken. They’ll know Kiwis can’t buy houses there in the same situation.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        Firstly, I’d assume that CGT would have fallen on anyone selling a house, regardless of their national status.

        Secondly, why would parents of foreign kids (Swiss, German, Canadian etc) view the financial environment of flatting involved with 5 years worth of study any differently to kiwi parents?

        And a CGT will only result in a blip in property prices during its introduction. Once it’s the norm, ‘the game’ will continue as before with CGT effortlessly factored in.

        • Bob 7.1.1.1

          Exactly as has happened in every other OECD country that has a CGT.
          Just look at Aus, it’s not as if a CGT has been a magic bullet over there.

          • ScottGN 7.1.1.1.1

            The fact that a CGT might not lower house prices over the longer term is hardly a good reason for NOT introducing a CGT though if what you are interested in is a fairer tax system that encourages the productive sector.

    • weka 7.2

      What is unfair about the second situation?

      • Bill 7.2.1

        You don’t see the discrimination? Two kids at the same uni. Both with wealthy parents who, to save some money on uni related costs, figure on buying a house/flat for their kid to live in and flicking it after 4 or 5 years. Neither have a particular eye on the speculative side of things, but rather, simply reckon that paying a mortgage for 4 or 5 years and recouping those payments via the eventual sale is a cheaper option than paying 5 years worth of non-recoverable rent.

        The parents of the Kiwi kid can do this. The parents of the Chinese/German/US kid can’t.

        Also, I’d be interested in a breakdown of foreign house purchases to see how many of those purchases are in line with the above scenario as opposed to foreigners building up portfolios. Seems to me, they’ve been lumpeed together as ‘foreigners buying houses’ as though every foreign buyer is a speculator building a portfolio.

        The policy (as I understand it) claims to hit speculators but, at best, hits only a small proportion of them while leaving the vast majority to carry on as usual. And by having a blanket ban on foreigners purchasing houses, may well be hitting a goodly number of people who are not speculators.

        • richard 7.2.1.1

          The idea of foreigners not being allowed to buy propertty in New Zealand sounds particularly fair and reasonable to me.

          • Bill 7.2.1.1.1

            And does that swing both ways insofar as you’d be theoretically in favour of the NZ government banning NZers from buying properties overseas?

              • Bill

                No. I’m asking if you agree that the very same restrictions being placed on non-residents should be placed on Kiwis when they are in the position of being non-residents. That’s a straight ‘like for like’ comparison – not a dilemma. Y’know – goose and gander and what not.

                • Arfamo

                  Yeah, I suppose that’s a genuine enough issue. I don’t think they should be subject to restrictions because they’re NZ citizens. But if you think it’s a good idea I reckon go for it and strongly advocate for it to be included in the housing policy of whatever political party you support.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Bill, as I undersatnd it, Kiwis living overseas will not be affected by this policy. So, isn’t your question a bit of a strawman argument?

                  • Bill

                    Kiwi’s living overseas who have no intention of ever returning here but who retain their NZ citizenship can build up extensive property portfolios in NZ. They won’t be affected. But what makes them substantially different from the overseas person (ie, non-resident) building a portfolio here who doesn’t have NZ citizenship? I can’t see any.

                    Meanwhile, my comment above (which you seem to have misunderstood) was a purely theoretical reference in the interests of eeking out some consistency – that would imagine NZ ers, who live here in NZ, being banned from investing in properties in other countries.

                    • weka

                      “that would imagine NZ ers, who live here in NZ, being banned from investing in properties in other countries.”

                      How does that serve NZ’s interests?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That means those NZers will not be exporting investment capital offshore. No problem there.

                    • weka

                      What if they want to buy property overseas for philanthropic reasons? Just wanting to see how far the controls on indiviudal freedoms go. And how much is ideology compared to how much is real world usefulness.

                      hmm, we should probably stop NZers from emmigrating too and taking their money with them.

                    • Bill

                      What if they want to buy property overseas for philanthropic reasons?

                      What if a German wants to buy property in NZ for philanthropic reasons?

                    • Bill

                      How does that serve NZ’s interests?

                      What exactly are ‘NZ’ interests? And how do they generally accord with the interests of people living on these islands? I suspect the two do not overlap or intersect as a matter of course.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      What makes them substantially different? They’re Kiwis.

                      I didn’t misunderstand your question, Bill, and you’ve confirmed it was rhetorical. But it’s still irrelevent to the policy Labour has put up. It’s our country, we get to decide. I’d like the next Parliament to go further and limit foreign ownership of the means of production, natural wealth and the like. I want our economic and political independance back.

                    • Bill

                      Aye well, we agree that economic and political independence is a good thing…maybe I’d suggest economic and political autonomy as a better phrase. I guess we just differ insofar as I can’t – not for the world of me – see how having a nation state, a market economy and a ‘representative’ parliamentary system of governance achieves that for us.

                      But anyway…

                    • weka

                      “What if a German wants to buy property in NZ for philanthropic reasons?”

                      This is getting a bit silly…

                      NZ legislates against non-NZ ownership, for the good of NZ

                      If other countries want to legislate to prevent NZers from buying property there, that is entirely up to them (sovereignty). They may choose to or not according to how THEY wasn’t run their own affairs.

                      You ask why NZ shouldn’t also legislate to prevent NZers from buying property overseas. Why should NZ do that?

                      “What exactly are ‘NZ’ interests? And how do they generally accord with the interests of people living on these islands? I suspect the two do not overlap or intersect as a matter of course.”

                      NZ interests are the people of NZ and the land they live on. Am really surprised that needs to be explained in a conversation like this. I have no idea what you mean by NZ being something different than the people living here.

                    • Mike S

                      What makes them substantially different is that they are not NZ citizens. They would have to come and live here to become citizens.

                      And in regards to an earlier post of yours, I doubt there are many NZ parents living in NZ, regardless of their wealth, who would buy their child a house. The number would be miniscule if any at all. But if wealthy Chinese parents wanted to buy a house for their child who is studying here they could, by giving the child the money to buy it. They would have to sell it when their study is finished though, unless they decide to take up residence.

                      There is a reason it’s called the residential housing market, because it is supposed to be for residents.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And in regards to an earlier post of yours, I doubt there are many NZ parents living in NZ, regardless of their wealth, who would buy their child a house. The number would be miniscule if any at all.

                      Parents providing the deposit, or their own home as security to the bank, is fairly common.

                • richard

                  It is actually the perogative of each government to decide who buys land in its country. Several countries have restrictions on the ability of foreigners (even New Zealanders) to buy land there. So I can’t really see the point of your argument.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I fully expect other countries to do as they wish. Some of them already have such restrictions on buying houses so I really don’t see what you’re problem is.

                  • Bill

                    How’s about the simple fact that it does not in any meaningful way address the problem of shit housing, extortionate rents and the general unaffordability of housing? Throw in Kiwi Build and CGT and in my opinion, the problem still isn’t being addressed.

                    If the problem is seen to lie in the fact of property speculation then the solution is to kill off the profitibility of speculation – not offer up some half arsed bullshit that ‘takes out’ a tiny proportion of speculators while locking in discrimination against people who aren’t necessarily speculators.

                    • Mike S

                      There is no one silver bullet for the problem, but that is no reason not to do things that might help in making small differences. It is part of a much broader policy initiative on housing which taken all together may help solve the problem.

        • BM 7.2.1.2

          A lot is to do with racism.

          People see an Asian buying a house at an auction and automatically assume it’s a foreigner buying “their” house.

          Doesn’t matter if the chaps a kiwi or not, he looks like a foreigner therefore “it’s another bloody foreigner buying our house.”

          People are dumb and easily led, media aren’t helping either

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.2.1.2.1

            🙄

          • Bill 7.2.1.2.2

            The policy has effects that are obviously discriminatory. Whether the driving principle is conciously xenophobic is, to me, a moot point. The results are.

            Way it seems to me is that the mess results from people’s hang-up with private ownership – as though that’s the be all and end all. Fact of the matter is that 100% ownership with 0% control = 5/8 of nothing. On the other hand, 0% ownership with 100% control = Game, Set and Match.

            Did I mention jingo-ism? No. And I won’t. Suffice to say that I broadly agree with your conclusion (if not necessarily your reasoning) which, given that we are from opposite ends of the left/right spectrum might say a lot about the pickle in the middle.

            • weka 7.2.1.2.2.1

              “Way it seems to me is that the mess results from people’s hang-up with private ownership – as though that’s the be all and end all.”

              Not really. I don’t see people in this discussion for instance saying that the Labour policy is stand alone and nothing else should be done. I also don’t see people saying that private ownsership is the be all and end all. Who were you meaning excactly?

              “Fact of the matter is that 100% ownership with 0% control = 5/8 of nothing. On the other hand, 0% ownership with 100% control = Game, Set and Match.”

              But it’s not as black and white as that is it. People who own property don’t have zero control.

            • Mike S 7.2.1.2.2.2

              0% ownership with 100% control???

              That sounds a lot like ownership to me. What’s the difference between 100% ownership and 100% control?

          • tricledrown 7.2.1.2.3

            BM you are an insidious race baiter by implying and lying like your leader!
            the English and Australians and European aren’t mentioned in any of your lies your trying to shift the blame !
            yet the English make up the largest individual non resident property speculators i’m surprised you haven’t called us pom bashers at least that would be fair but implying an untruth make you the RACIST!

          • Mike S 7.2.1.2.4

            Got any proof that that is what people assume? Or is that just what you assume, so you assume everyone else does?

            Yes people are dumb and easily led.

        • weka 7.2.1.3

          “You don’t see the discrimination?”

          If you want to call NZ having laws about non-citizens/residents to protect the interests of NZers discrimination then sure, it’s discriminating, but not in a bad way. I have no problem with treating NZers different from non-NZers within NZ when there is a clear case of public or national good. eg we don’t offer welfare or health services to non-NZers. How is that any different?

          Parents from the UK or China or wherever that can afford to send their kids to uni here, and can afford to buy them a house while they study, can probably afford to outcompete in the local property market. This is anecdotal, but it’s a fairly common story to hear of people upping prices because the exchange rate enables them to do so.

          I’m not sure where are you going with this line of argument. The one about NZers speculating is well made, but are you also suggesting that non NZers should be given a level playing field? Why? And should that be extended across the board, not just with property. Why have any immigration laws for instance?

          • Bill 7.2.1.3.1

            Can’t quite see where the ‘clear social or national good’ is in excluding a very small number of speculators while leaving the vast majority unaffected. What’s going to be achieved in practical terms? At best (and if your anecdote is accurate) domeciled speculators will contnue to drive house prices up and only maybe possibly at a slower rate.

            As for the rest of it, well you know that I disagree with ordering our affairs and social relations according to market principles. (Seems the liberal left paints itself into a corner on issues like this one because it wants to make those relations work somehow)

            Borders? Immigration and health care? Level playing fields? Abolish the first and second, make the third available and develop/protect the fourth. And that all requires the abolition of ‘the market’…but that’s a discussion for another thread.

            • weka 7.2.1.3.1.1

              “Abolish the first and second,”

              Ah, ok. That’s the end of the conversation for most people then I suspect. I believe in sovereignty and you can’t have that with open borders. The idea of a global village sucks majorly IMO.

              “At best (and if your anecdote is accurate) domeciled speculators will contnue to drive house prices up and only maybe possibly at a slower rate.”

              I think it’s already been pointed out that many on the left want controls on domestic speculation too. You can keep running your argument in isolation, but I don’t think it works.

              “As for the rest of it, well you know that I disagree with ordering our affairs and social relations according to market principles. (Seems the liberal left paints itself into a corner on issues like this one because it wants to make those relations work somehow)”

              For me it’s more about the pragmatics of how to get from where we are now to somewhere good. Even if I agreed with your vision of how we should organise, I don’t see a coherent analysis of how that could be achieved.

              • Bill

                Yes, the concept of the ‘global village’ sucks. That’s not what I’m suggesting or anything I’ve ever suggested. Meanwhile, your concept of sovereignty is different to mine. To me it is meaningless without the right to excercise meaningful agency. NZers and others living within modern nation states have the word sovereignty, but no meaningful actual sovereignty.

                But back to the issue under discussion. The social democratic or liberal left talk of equality and so on. Yet in this instance (I’d argue due to a lack of follow through on political thought processes or, more cruelly, a lack of political integrity) many wind up being supportive of policy that promotes inequality and discrimination. And then they try to rescue a modicum of coherence by glossing over the contradictions made evident by their stance.

                It was the same with the Crafar Farms. Some very ugly xenophobia and ludicrous denial was on display in that instance alongside tacit approval and support for one of the most venal capitalists NZ has produced.

                And there as here, the difficulty seems to arise (at least in part) from being tied to capitalist and Marxist concepts of property and ownership that would have us believe those things to embody at least the basis for some inherent and immutable power. They don’t.

                • weka

                  “Meanwhile, your concept of sovereignty is different to mine.”

                  True. I don’t need a nation state to sanction my existence or right to exist. True agency would be a wonderful thing, and it’s what we’re all fighting for, but I do in fact have meaning as a person and as a NZer despite relative absences of agency. And my agency is not non-existent, it’s just curtailed.

                  Nevetheless, my point still stands. Open borders are inherently exclusive of sovereignty. If you believe that anyone can live anywhere and have access to the same things as anyone else, then that’s your argument against Labour’s policy. But hardly anyone else here from what I can tell agrees that having a nation state, or whatever, is xenophobic.

                  You’re also arguing with the wrong person. If I had my way, there’d be no such thing as industrial dairy so fuck the Crafars, the Chinese buyers, and the NZ government. Futher, there are arguments to be made about x country being more acceptable than y country depending on context. eg It’s pretty easy to argue buying herbs from the US instead of China because the US has higher safety standards and Chinese herbs are known to often be contaminated. That’s not racist or xenophobic. The problem with the Crafar farms debate was that (a) we live in a country that practices racism against Chinese (both NZ Chinese and non-NZ Chinese), and (b) the left seems incapable of the teasing out the subtleties of the debate because it is afraid of being accused of being racist.

                  When you talk about the liberal left, of which I include myself partially, and many of the people I know, and you make blanket assertions about them as you have done in this discussion, I think you lose the track of your points, because the liberal left is not one amorphous thing. Naturally enough, those of us who identify with the liberal left will defend themselves against your accusations where they are not true, and so your point gets lost.

                  Thus

                  But back to the issue under discussion. The social democratic or liberal left talk of equality and so on. Yet in this instance (I’d argue due to a lack of follow through on political thought processes or, more cruelly, a lack of political integrity) many wind up being supportive of policy that promotes inequality and discrimination. And then they try to rescue a modicum of coherence by glossing over the contradictions made evident by their stance.

                  Who exactly are you talking about there? And perhaps you could be explicit about what inequality and discrimination you mean, because the discrimination you’ve pointed to today has been against non-NZers. Is that who you mean? If it is, then why not just say that any laws that apply to non-NZers but not NZers is discriminatory and then we’d all know where we stand?

                  What’s really interesting me in the discussion about Labour’s policy in the past few days is the amount of ideology that’s arisen. I still haven’t had a straight anwser to my questions from last night about landlords owning multiple properties. I’ve been given lots of abstract theory, and some circular arguments, but I’m still failing to see why it is so hard to explain in lay terms. It’s probably a good thing, because NZ still hasn’t gotten to terms with colonisation, and any discussion about land ownership eventually has to happen in that context too.

                  Off to town now 🙂

                  • Bill

                    Off to town meself. But your last point….on multiple ownership. My view is that i don’t give a toss. But then, as I’ve said a few times, it’s control, not ownership that constitutes the basis of power.

                • Mike S

                  Private property ownership was not brought about by capitalism or marxism or any other ism. It has been enshrined in common law for centuries, since the signing of the magna carta. Private property rights are a fundamental aspect of our law of the land.

        • wtl 7.2.1.4

          Do you realise that the Kiwi kid will be paying domestic fees whereas the non-Kiwi kid will be paying international fees?

          Would you also say that this is discrimination as well?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.5

          You don’t see the discrimination?

          The parents of the Kiwi kid can do this. The parents of the Chinese/German/US kid can’t.

          So?

          • Bill 7.2.1.5.1

            So you’re happy with discrimination. And the next time discrimination targets the poor or who-ever else you’re response, in the interests of consistency will be ‘So?’.

            • weka 7.2.1.5.1.1

              Bill, I think this conversation would be much clearer if you stated your view that nation states are inherently discriminatory/racist/xenophobic when they priortise their own affairs (or how it is that you see it).

              I don’t think all discrimination is bad, when you think about what the term discriminate can mean.

              • Bill

                Yeah, but that’s not my view. Within a market context, protectionism definately has its place and a positive role to play. The opposite is the rush to the bottom in terms of wages and conditions as companies relocate off shore. Other government initiated interventions in the economy have their place too – whether that be union or workplace rights, health and safety regulations and so forth and so on.

                Are nation states inherently racist or xenophobic institutions? Well, given the colonial past of some of them, I guess that argument could be made for those states. And given the patriarchial underpinnings of modern states, then sure, discrimination may well be an inherent feature.

                But that’s all so many red herrings in the context of this thread.

                When discrimination becomes evident, that fact is either recognised and acknowledged (and maybe something done about it) or not. I have no doubt you are fully aware that discrimination in this instance is fully based on the negative connotations of the word as usually understood within a socio/political context. Or maybe you think foreigners are going to ‘suffer’ from some form of positive discrimination via this proposed legislation? No – I thought not. So why are only foreigners targetted as speculators and it taken as read that any foreign buyer is, de facto, speculating – while kiwis abroad or residents are untouched by this legislation…this legislation that claims to tackle the problem of speculation in the property market?

                It obviously, in practical terms, does sweet fuck all. Oh, it ‘feels good’ (note the pap content of the articles linked and mentioned in the post – no actual analysis). It offers a rationale and a vague hope for the ‘downtrodden property seeking kiwi’ to run with (Fcking foreigners…thems the problem. Ban them. Problem solved – partially at least – apparently). But in reality, it is going to do nothing – nothing at all – in terms of dealing with the fucking problem it purports to address.

                edit – off to town this time on the understanding the fcking bus actually stops this time around

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why would upper middle class voters with investment flats want the “problem” of increasing property asset prices effectively addressed?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You missing the fact that Labour and other parties of the left have a CGT as policy which is the policy for curbing speculation.

                  Banning foreigners from buying houses is policy to reduce demand.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.5.1.2

              So you’re happy with discrimination.

              There’s no discrimination in Labour’s housing policy.

              And the next time discrimination targets the poor or who-ever else you’re response, in the interests of consistency will be ‘So?’.

              When I see discrimination I call it as it is.

    • Murray Olsen 7.3

      Sorry Bill, but I’m far more concerned for kids who have to sign up to a lifetime of debt to get a tertiary education. People who can afford to buy a house while their kids are members of ACT on Campus and then flick it on for capital gains don’t really budge my sympathy meter.

  8. BM 8

    I’d be interested to know what part of the country the people who agree with the banning Asians/foreigners from owning NZ houses come from
    North or South Island.

    From my experience and from what I read and heard I’d say the majority would be from the South Island as they tend to prefer their “kiwis’ to be of a lighter shade and rather more insular than their North Island brothers and sisters.

    • vto 8.1

      That has to be one of your most bullshit comments ever BM.

      Firstly, it is not banning Asians, it is banning everybody except Australians. Why on earth would you claim that it is only banning Asians?

      Secondly, it is my experience that racism is a lot keener in the North Island – on all sides.

      • BM 8.1.1

        Really?, high praise indeed!

        I disagree about the South islanders not been a bit wary of other cultures and non Caucasians.
        Hardly surprising though, it’s a fairly mono cultural sort of place, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
        Good traditional kiwi way of life seems to be the order of the day down south.

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          Well yes it is along those lines for sure, but they seem to be more tolerant and open once you get past their reticence.

        • tricledrown 8.1.1.2

          Blind Mysogynist we south Islanders have had chinese living in our community for over a 150 years and now with tourism and education we are only to happy to please our Asian immigrant students tourists as they bring a lot of money they are very courteous by and large they prefer the south to the north because it is so peaceful down here and we are friendlier!
          It only takes one Jerk off right wing skinhead to spoil our reputation!

        • tricledrown 8.1.1.3

          BM when was the last time you visited the south island probably 20 years ago’ you walk down the main sts of any major city in the south island and you will see more asians including Indians than in the north Island the universities polytechnics and teachers college high schools attract a lot of Asians because the see it as a cheap place to study and rent friendlier and safer than the miserable North Island which is full of Nasty race bait ors like your self!

      • weka 8.1.2

        I live in the South Island and I hear far more complaints about the English than I do about Asians. The anti-Asian narrative has always seemed more driven by Peters and issues going on in Auckland.

        Love your xenophobia in the last paragraphy btw, classic.

    • srylands 8.2

      I’d be interested in how views about the policy correspond to education levels.

    • Mike S 8.3

      Why do you say “banning Asians/foreigners” in your post ???

      Why not simply say “foreigners” ??

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1

        Because BM, like all the RWNJs, wants to make it about race when it isn’t.

  9. Sam 9

    So can someone tell me how this will work in practice? Looks like the only way will be for New Zealanders and Australians will need a New Zealand ID card. Will Shearer go for that I wonder.

    • weka 9.1

      A birth certificate or passport is proof of citzenship. Government departments like WINZ already have citizenship/residency requirements and ways of collecting proof, so it shouldn’t be that hard.

  10. Fair call 10

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Already banned and now subject to an extra 8 weeks ]

    • richard 10.1

      No need to change your vote FC. Labour has been all about redistributing middle NZ’s wealth since 1984

  11. Vinscreen Viper 11

    While I’m glad to hear almost anything from Shearer this is pretty vacuous. I’m not an American, have never been there and have no idea if I would be allowed to buy a house there to rent out even if I wanted to, but as it happens I have no need to as instead I just buy and own shares in several US REITs:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_investment_trust

    REITs of some sort also exist in Australia and many other countries although not (yet) in New Zealand it seems.

    But if Labour pushes this one through I’m sure it will only be a matter of time – and not much of that – before we have New Zealand-based Trusts or companies raising money to purchase real estate for rental, and selling shares or units for a cut in the profits to all those nasty foreigners.

    • srylands 11.1

      The easiest wat to circumvent it is to use a New Zealand Trust with an Australian comany as the beneficiary of the Trust. Australian registered comapnies are exempt from the policy. So the NZ lawyer advises his Chinese client to set up an Australian company. The lawyer sets up the NZ Trust for the Australian company. NZ authorities have no ability to determine the residency status of shareholders of Australian companies.

      Problem solved.

      • tricledrown 11.1.1

        we could get the gscb to spy on them like they spy on us srylands problem solved!

        • srylands 11.1.1.1

          The GCSB can spy on me whenever they like.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            Sick exhibitionist bastard. You better tell all your friends and family never to call, text or email you ever again as they will come under suspicion too.

            • srylands 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes caus my phone conversations are so interesting:

              “What time will you be home?”
              “About 7”

              “Do we need anything from the supermarket?”
              “How about those salmon steaks we had last week?”

              “Have you sent out the invites to the Spring garden party?”
              “No you said you were doing it.”

              and so on and on

              Yep I really fear for my friends getting caught up in that.

              • weka

                Nice demonstration of your complete failure to understand why the GCSB and co want to collect meta data (and content).

              • Colonial Viper

                Like I said, an exhibitionist who doesn’t care about the privacy of others, even friends and family.

      • vto 11.1.2

        Oh, there you are srylands, I been trying to find you today to see if we can’t finish the very good debate we were having yesterday which went right to the very heart of the labour/capital split and the consequent left/right divide. You left just as it was getting good. Here it is … http://thestandard.org.nz/this-gives-me-heart/#comment-671537 … see you there shortly eh?

        • srylands 11.1.2.1

          I would like to but I have important work to do.

          • vto 11.1.2.1.1

            HA. Pathetic gossie, I mean srylands…..

            You are running because you failed and the complete fallacy around your entire philosophical outlook on how a society should work when it comes to income and wealth distribution was exposed.

            This of course renders any discussion with you on these issues worthless.

            But when you have finished your important work let me know and we can pick it up again http://thestandard.org.nz/this-gives-me-heart/#comment-671537

  12. srylands 12

    So Labour has the chance to get behind increasing land supply in Auckland. The real problem. Do they grab the chance? No of course not. Increasing land supply to bring down the cost of sections – how on earth could that be a solution? idiots.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8986861/Housing-changes-no-help-for-Auckland

    • vto 12.1

      what proportion of an average house and land package of say $500,000 is made up of bare undeveloped land cost?

      • srylands 12.1.1

        In Auckland the land makes up about 60% of the cost of a residential dwelling. mad. In NZ it is about 40%.

        Land immediately outside the MUL is only about 20% of the cost of land inside the MUL.

        Fixing this is exactly what the Productivity Commision recommended. But what would they know? They only got some of the smartest policy analysts in NZ and asked them to analyse the problems for 6 months.

        Of course David Shearer knows better. It is foreigners.

        • vto 12.1.1.1

          It is foreigners. It is land supply. It is GST. It is building code regulation. It is Council taxes. It is building supply cartels. It is scaffold instead of ladders. It is many many things.

          As for your land supply issue, that is really quite minor. Follow this (for Chch environs)…

          $500,000
          less GST 434,000
          less margin 378,000
          less sales agent 363,000
          less funding 341,000
          less build (150m2 house at 1700) 86,000
          less council 61,000
          less land devpt 36,000

          There you go – $36,000 is the max payable for the area of bare land needed for that house.

          So even if you manage to free up enough land to bring the bare land down by 50% (which is unrealistic) you are only going to save $18,000 on a $500,000 home i.e.3.6%

          Council development contribution increases around the country about three years ago went up by a similar sum.

          Government GST increases by Key a couple of years ago put the cost up by $12,000.

          This idea that freeing up the land will solve the entire problem is just dreamworld stuff. Wake up you silly egg. It requires multiple solutions.

          • srylands 12.1.1.1.1

            That is complete bollocks. The average section price in Auckland is $325,000 – if it could be reduced by only 10% that is a $32,000 saving on a residential property.

            For god’s sake stop making shit up and read the Productvity Commission Report

            Click to access Final%20Housing%20Affordability%20Report_0_0.pdf

            • richard 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I wouldn’t give anything from that commission more than a passing glance. And then only to find out what the neo-liberal remnants were thinking. As I’ve said before it is headed by the guy who brought about the conditions for an unmitigated disaster for the NZ kiwifruit industry. So anything he comes up with is immediately suspect.

              • srylands

                Oh of course – he censored the inquiry team’s report. Maybe he doctored the analysis – all by himself?

                The paranoia here knows no bounds – you decide to ignore the most authoritataive piece of work on housing affordability we have done in NZ in the last decade. Alternative = make shit up. Typical left wing dogma approach to policy making. Pathetic.

                • richard

                  Who is the inquiry team? Is it made up of the same calibre of analysts who advised Max Bradford that his electricity reforms would result in lower prices? Is it made up of the same calibre of analysts who advised Ruth Richardson on the mimimum amount of food a beneficiary needs to survive?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Alternative = make shit up. Typical left wing dogma approach to policy making. Pathetic.

                  You know you are actually describing the Right Wing governmental process, don’t you? It would be funny if you weren’t being so contrived about it.

            • vto 12.1.1.1.1.2

              It is not bollocks actually srylands, it is reality on the ground. Show us which figures are wrong.

              You spend too much time sitting in an office and not enough digging foundations, dealing with Council, engaging with suppliers and subbies, nailing, screwing, glueing or lifting.

              Do you do any of those things? If not then how the fuck would you know how the figures add up on a $500,000 land and house package.

              (Oh, and by the way, Auckland is not the be all and end all, it is only 25% of the people. Get it? Three quarters of NZ lives elsewhere.)

              So come on srylands, stump up, give us some figures. Some real ones. Some examples. Some where you have dug the ground, poured the concrete, and written the cheques.

              And if you fuck off from this conversation like you did the last one then I will pursue to the ends of the Standard………. sag …..

              • lprent

                More like a third. ~1.4 million out of ~4.4 million – just type in “population of x” into Google

                But the real issue with Auckland has been the persistent under funding of basic infrastructure within the city over the last 30-40 years to keep up with the growth. National’s routine interference and long-term ‘policy’ to only put in motorways to the land banks on the edges has resulted in s city that is increasingly difficult to work in, maintain, and upgrade.

                The politics around Auckland is increasingly reflecting that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Over 30% of the population on approx 0.22% of the country’s land. This is never going to work particularly well for huge numbers of people.

                • vto

                  Sure lprent, those are surrounding issues tangential to the basic housing affordability issue. Those numbers put up for a $500k house and land package are roughly very accurate. I challenge anybody to challenge them.

                  That is why the land supply will only have a minor effect….

                  …. but you see, 3% from increased land supply (or increased densities in Ak), 3% from banning foreigners, 4% from dumping Council taxes, 5% from attacking cartels, etc…. and suddenly the $500k home is $400-450k.

                  A bit here and a bit there.

        • tricledrown 12.1.1.2

          srylands your are obviously lying and shallow thinking. David Shearer’s quote “this is not the complete answer its just a small part of it”, and gauging the publics response nactional are running scared and are sending their Mignons out to spread cynicism thats you right wing shallow thinking srylands reneck!

        • lprent 12.1.1.3

          You haven’t quite captured the point really. Land prices near where the work is are many times what the land is worth on the urban limits. I guess people aren’t willing as willing to pay much for spend 2-3 hours per day driving. Using your silly analogy we should be growing higher on the more expensive land closer to where people want to buy property. Because then the land price per unit is less.

          Basically your argument is as moronic and spurious as you are. Sub-talkback wanking of silly catch phrases.

          Don’t you ever bother to use your brain or attempt to learn how to use google? For instance the makeup of the carefully selected “productivity” commission? How given the group that the government selected, that they’d like to help land-bankers as much as possible? Hardly a independent and about as believable at research as you are…

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.4

          They only got some of the smartest policy analysts in NZ and asked them to analyse the problems for 6 months.

          If they’re recommending opening up more land for urban development then they’ve actually got the most stupid. All the research shows that more land cut up for urbanism is far more expensive due to loss of productivity, increased costs of supplying services and increased costs for travel for the people who end having to live in them.

          It is foreigners.

          Foreigners have an impact on house prices due to increasing demand and their ability to pay more.

  13. Blue 13

    In Auckland, I’d say most of it.

  14. srylands 14

    “Land now accounts for around 60% and 40% of the cost of a new dwelling in Auckland and the
    rest of New Zealand respectively. As a result, appreciating land prices have been a key driver of house price inflation in New Zealand over recent years.”

    Productivity Commission, 2012

    • tricledrown 14.1

      Srylands Sections can have more than one dwelling mixed multi story high quality well designed like in Melbourne!
      Meaning that your telling a lie just like your leader!
      say that section had a mixed multi story apartments built on it with six separate dwellings the land cost would be $55,000 per unit 15% of dwelling cost!
      shallow short sighted redneck reactionary right wing thinking have a brain scan it will help recognise your Mignon status!

      • srylands 14.1.1

        Yes but most don’t = read the research and stop making shit up. Bloody left wing ignorant making shit up fucktards. No wonder I gave up on the Labour Party.

        When you have read the Productivity Commission Report come back, otherwise shut the fuck up.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Productivity Commission Report. What a goal-seeked joke.

          No wonder I gave up on the Labour Party.

          Yeah things improved after Douglas, Caygill and Prebble’s lot left.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      You really want to drop the price of land per dwelling by 10% or more? Well, build more dwellings on each section. Build two on a section, the price of land per dwelling goes down by 50%. Get rid of the useless car parks that each dwelling has to have and the price drops even further.

      That Productivity Commission, 2012 reads like a land-bankers wet dream. It makes them money but does absolutely nothing for the city or the people. But, of course, they don’t actually care about the people.

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