Saying one thing and doing the other

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, July 22nd, 2015 - 40 comments
Categories: bill english, class war, john key, national - Tags: ,

Saying one thing and doing the other has always been National’s style, but this morning’s interview on RNZ makes it particularly clear:

House price rise increases inequality – English

The Finance Minister agrees rising house prices in Auckland are making inequality worse by shutting low and middle-income earners out of the property market.


Opposition parties say rising inequality is not only hurting those who cannot afford to buy a home, but is also bad for the economy.

Opposition parties and the IMF and the OECD (ref NZ) and a bunch of economists (and that’s not to mention the social costs).

Bill English said house prices were making life tougher for low and middle income earners in Auckland and said inequality was a problem.

Nice to have that on record.

“We’ve been concerned about that for some time, that there’s parts of Auckland where there’s been really no new supply of lower value houses that low and middle-income families can afford.”

“Concerned” – but not actually doing anything. Seven years and counting.

Prime Minister John Key is also worried about rising inequality, but said he did not believe home ownership was no longer possible for low-income families.

Prime Minister John Key will say anything, mean nothing, and is obviously living in la la land.

However, that’s both Key and English now on record as being “concerned” about rising inequality. So why are they acting to increase it? Weakening workers’ rights at every turn. Not acting to rein in the Auckland property bubble. Ruling out capital gains tax. Their latest tax changes saw an upturn in inequality measures (of course).

Talk is cheap. You’re not concerned about inequality unless you’re acting to address it.

40 comments on “Saying one thing and doing the other”

  1. adam 1

    Funny how churlish Key, and the rest of the mob from national are looking over this issue.

    The market has failed. And when your tethered to market solutions – you look inconsistent when you do something, and you look like a fool when you do nothing.

    Oh wait, that is exactly what we are getting from national. Inconsistent – foolish – nothings!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      The market hasn’t “failed” – it’s done what markets always do: lurch around sniffing after money. Some idiots left it unattended in the Auckland housing market for fifteen years, and the problem is now so acute that “we’re keen to see prices fall”.

      Being keen is the plan by the looks of it.

      It is very very difficult to avoid the conclusion that stupidity is at work.

      • Crashcart 1.1.1

        What annoys me is that every time it comes up they say that the major issue is supply side and that is what they are working on. Now it is true that increasing supply is probably one of the best ways to try and attack this problem (as long as it is done with demand side initiatives) however I don’t think I have seen anything actually achieved on the supply side by this Government.

        Just once it would be nice to see a reporter challenge a Minister on this. Ask them exactly how many houses have been built as a direct result of National Policies. Not how many area’s have been identified. How many actual affordable houses have been built and sold.

        • BM

          Short of taking over Auckland council and kicking out all the left wingers, the government is rather ham strung.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if National puts up a National aligned mayoral candidate and team at the next Auckland election.

          Nationals lack of focus on local elections especially Auckland is hurting them.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Off shore capital distorts the residential housing market and the solution is to scrap democracy.

            Just in case anyone was wondering why I call them trash.

            • BM

              Labour runs candidates in local elections, it’s about time National did as well especially since the Auckland amalgamation.

              For NZ to work to it’s potential both the government and Auckland council need to be on the same page and working as one, they can’t be separate any more.

              Lack of local body representation is Nationals Achilles heel.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                National is New Zealand’s Achilles heel. The problem is their stupidity and dogma, not Auckland democracy.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I think NZ could survive their stupidity and dogma – it’s their corruption that really threatens NZ – it buys media like the execrable Gower , and it changes their focus from public interest (albeit with a rightwing lunatic fringe perspective) to self interest – hence their inability to act in any real way on the major problems facing NZ.

              • maui

                In other words more roads, sprawl and housing speculation. You sure do have all of Auckland’s answers!

                • BM

                  Compared to forcing people into shoe boxes and having to use rail.

                  • Skinny

                    What an interesting election battle Bent Bankie for the Right of centre and Phil Goff-Off for the centre Right.

                    Some will be thinking too right it’s wrong.

                  • maui

                    I may be wrong here, but most citizens of an international city with a population over a million would rather use the cheapest and quickest transport and live IN the city without a section, instead of living outside it and commuting for hours to to get in and out of it.

                    • lprent

                      That would certainly seem to be the case with the demand for apartments, townhouses, and houses with minimal sections in the suburbs close to but outside of the CBD. There are rings of decreasing values the further you get out, distorted by values for views.

              • McFlock

                National doesn’t run candidates in local elections.
                National supporters run chequebooks.

                There’s no shortage of tory candidates, it’s just that local body politics tend to allow folks to get to know more about the candidates through the local rag.

          • Crashcart

            So what you are sayign is that National are lying when they say they are addressing supply side because they are not capable of addressing supply side. Roger.

            Perhaps if they can’t do much about supply side they should look at addressnig demand side where they obviously can do something. Mabe they could restrict forign buyers to only buying new homes. Perhaps they could create a disincetive to speculation by having a blanket capital gains tax on property (assessed on sale). Perhaps they could lower the profitablility of being a land lord by removing accomodation suppliments. Maybe they could incourage companies to move out of the centers and into the regions by improving mass transit such as rail and have tax credits for companies that set up there.

            No no, instead they will say that they are doing every thing they can on supply side and then blame the Auckland Council which by the way they set up.

            • BM

              They’re trying but the council is working against them.

              I agree with some of the stuff you’re saying about the demand side, the NZ real estate market has been distorted for the past 20 plus years and some controls need to be put in place.

              The Chinese are just the latest group, 20 years ago it was the English, then the Australians, now it’s the Chinese.

              Each group has been able to out bid the locals by a long way, the key is how to still maintain investment and migration while keeping an even paying field.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                An even playing field where the locals get outbid every time.

                Like I said: wingnuts have no clue: their “plan” is aspirational and that’s where it ends.

              • Crashcart

                I don’t think council are deliberately working against so much as to big, to unwieldy and too incompetant to work with government. It doesn’t help that governmennt has no clue what they are doing either. They can’t even identify what property they own.

                Sounds like having a massive council isn’t working out for anyone involved …… except for COO’s of course which basically got removed from any control by their owners teh rate payers. What was it that caused that issue. Oh yea the National government. They made their bed and now the are laying in it.

                I agree Chinese are just the latest group. I deliberately didn’t specify an ethnic group because the conversation needs to be about how we help all Kiwi’s compete against any over sea’s money coming into the property market.

              • lprent

                They’re trying but the council is working against them.

                The other way around.

                Some idiots in Wellington who have appear to have never lived and worked in Auckland (or haven’t done so for decades) are experts on the city.

                Brownlee, Nick Smith, John Key, that fool from Tauranga and others are working against the people who actually know how Auckland City works.

                I know you worship at the alter of stupidity sometimes, but that one really did take the cake… What makes you think that getting elected to Wellington or working there grants expertise on the infrastructure in Auckland?

                • Sacha

                  In that article, English also continues his campaign of blaming the council. See they’ve been distributing talking points to the footsoldiers as well.

                  Shame it is far from the truth, as you say. Auckland has a long history of being dicked over by National governments, including the ripping up of our tram network in favour of diesel buses and short-changing the harbour bridge to remove rail and cycling and pedestrian components.

                • BM

                  I think the main issue in NZ at the moment is Auckland, it’s far too big relative to the size of NZ.

                  Rodders super city has ended up creating what is basically a second country within NZ, without any of the checks and balances you need, which is not a great thing to have.

                  Currently we have the Auckland council moving in the opposite direction to what the government wants and you can’t really have that.

                  The government of the day should always be in control.

                  • lprent

                    I agree about the size of Auckland being an issue. However this is a world-wide issue. There are some fundamental economic issues that are making information based large cities larger, and small cities that don’t get to critical information densities smaller.

                    The conflict between Auckland and the National politicians is a whole lot older than just this. It goes back to after WW2. National has been trying to force it into a particular mould for electoral reasons that have nothing to do with making the city operate better.

                    Currently we have the Auckland council moving in the opposite direction to what the government wants and you can’t really have that.

                    Yes you can. This is what usually happens in all cities. The only reason that it shows in Auckland is because the infrastructure requirements are complex in such a large system, and the simpletons in Wellington don’t know how it operates here. That shows up in their decisions all of the time – for instance their estimates for vehicle traffic that are based on fantasy growth rates.

                    The ideal would be to remove the relevant budgets and put them in the hands of the people who can get the required projects started early enough to be useful. Generally the councils here and the various organisations working with them tend to do that. For instance the decade of fixes to the 19th century water and sewerage systems across the isthmus. Same with the infill housing and apartment densities in the CBD in the 90s that dropped a new city several times larger than Dunedin into the Isthmus. Or the new city areas at Albany

                    The idiots in Wellington always seem to wait until it gets to be the biggest possible disruption and put in something that pretty inadequate and unsuited for purpose. You’ll notice that over the last two decades that we have increasingly just ignored them and gone ahead anyway. That is because they are pretty useless.

            • Clemgeopin


          • Clemgeopin

            I think the council has no problems in allocating land and giving consents. It is the central government that is neither building any commercial/residential houses to cater to their policy of huge influx of immigrants nor are building state houses to cater to local people of different means, but more importantly, the National government is not helping to build the crucial infra structure such as roads, rail, lighting, water supply, drainage etc. In reality we have a stupid, crooked, dishonest and cunning government that is primarily working for the wealthy and their overseas interests.

            • Brendon Harre

              Exactly. What National are doing is not going to end well. They are buggering up the infrastructure and systems needed for our urban environments, they are pricing out locals and they are destroying the productive parts of the economy. It will end in tears.

          • Smilin

            They could manufacture the same state of emergency without an earthquake in Auckland with the help of Crosby the Defector
            of democracy and convince us all its for the good of the nation as a whole and get all their rightwhingers in then Key can bail
            and we will have another round of insanity over Auckland

        • wyndham

          I think that question has been asked of Nick Smith several times.
          Need I say more as to what his answers have been ? !

  2. NZJester 2

    If P.A.Y.E went back up to its old level and G.S.T. went back to 12.5% from its current 15% the majority of those on the lower end of the wage scale would actually be far better off. G.S.T. taxes the poor far harder than P.A.Y.E. tax does.

  3. Sable 3

    They don’t care, its as simple as that. Weasel words to appease the sheeples, no more no less….

  4. Smilin 4

    Maybe the NACTSM should just stop paying Crosby defector and face the truth weve all known about Aks bs economy- EXPLOITATION of the rest of the country

  5. The Fairy Godmother 5

    What nonsense BM. Of course National has candidates in the Auckland local body elections. They tend to run on independent tickets, an oxymoron if you ask me. By my calculations the right wing control the council although the mayor has links with Labour a bit like the Republicans controlling the Senate in the us and the president being a Democrat. This is the cause of a lot of probs in the council domination by proxy nats.

    • Sacha 5.1

      Not even independent. National has run Citizens & Ratepayers in Auckland for decades.

      • lprent 5.1.1

        Act sort of subcontracted it for an election or two because of some splits in the local National coherence. But the local Act campaigns were shockingly awful. C&R has never really recovered after that.

  6. Smilin 6

    7 billion to the rich back a bit
    And last round 5-7 hundred thousand to the others
    “Prime Minister John Key is also worried about rising inequality, but said he did not believe home ownership was no longer possible for low-income families”.

    BULLSHIT KEY you’re just another patronising do nothin but state the obvious

    • mac1 6.1

      Depends upon what you call a home. And where. And in what condition. And what low-income means. And how well off your parents are. And whether you’ve got a full-time job. And how many kids you’ve got. And how handy you are with a hammer. And mates to help out. And whether you’ve got other, undeclared income. And whether you have a chance to inherit.

      See, Key’s right. it is possible for low income families to own your own home, eventually, with a Labour-led administration and a government that cares a damn for the poorer in our community.

      • Smilin 6.1.1

        But Key is not Norman Kirk who actually did what you say

        • mac1

          Yep, Norm Kirk was handier with a hammer than John Key. And NZ was a different country when Kirk built his home in Kaiapoi.

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    Metiria Turei exposes the shallowness of John Key and how silly and out of touch he is with the less advantaged people of this country. A clear case of a government that is constantly lying. A government that is primarily working for the corporates and the wealthy and not for the common people.

  8. hoom 8

    Well of course they are ‘concerned’ about increase in inequality.
    Their ‘problem’ with it is how to find new ways to increase the rate of increase in inequality.

  9. Smilin 9

    It was suppose to read 5-7 hundred million

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