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Screw democracy – Auckland to get the Canterbury treatment

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 28th, 2016 - 171 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, auckland supercity, democracy under attack, john key, local government, national, privatisation, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

We all want a solution to the housing crisis. But this isn’t the way:

Key gets tough on Auckland with new policy forcing councils to release land

The Prime Minister has come down hard on Auckland saying a new policy will force the city’s council to release more land and bring down house prices. …

Bernard Hickey was first with the story:

Key says next week’s National Policy Statement on urban land use will direct Auckland Council to release land if it fails to meet targets; says developers will take Council to court and win; says Council may have to sell assets to fund infrastruce

Prime Minister John Key has upped the ante in the Government’s battle with the Auckland Council to free up more land for housing, saying a new National Policy Statement in the next fortnight would direct Councils to release land as a matter of law.

Responding to Council concerns that it could not afford the NZ$17 billion infrastructure bill to provide the roads, public transport, water and sewage pipes to underpin that housing, Key said the Auckland Council may need to look at selling assets. …

See also:

Commissioners could run Auckland if Council doesn’t free up land

Prime Minister John Key has given a strong hint that the Government could go as far as appointing commissioners to run Auckland if the council refuses to free up more land for housing.

“Mark my words,” he told reporters today after being asked about the possibilities for dealing with an uncooperative council. …

So it’s naked panic now. In response to the crisis that isn’t a crisis Key is going to overrule the council that his government created and screw over Auckland democracy just like he screwed over Canterbury. What do you think of that Aucklanders?

171 comments on “Screw democracy – Auckland to get the Canterbury treatment”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    i thought all political parties including ACT and Labour were agreed on the fact that Auckland land urgently needs to be freed up for rapid housing development, and that the Auckland City Council has to act quickly to do so. Or is that not the case?

    • mauī 1.1

      Not what the Deputy Mayor is saying,

      “We’ve got six and half years of land planned for, infrastructure in the ground and ready to go. Government themselves have got more than 20 special housing areas that belong to Housing New Zealand that are ready to go.

      “There’s no shortage of places to build. Our question to government would be, perhaps you just need to get on with it.”

    • ropata 1.2

      There are plenty of other measures to be taken than concreting our precious rural environs, there are underutilised buildings all over the damn place. A land tax, CGT, and proper interventions by govt are needed to fix the broken market. Government could double taxes on building McMansions and incentivise more affordable housing projects by developers.

      The gnats could fix the housing crisis almost overnight but they just don’t want to. By breaking the urban boundary the Gnats are essentially giving free money to their land banking mates. The land bankers and speculators are the problem not the council. Where are the f$cking penalties/taxes etc to stop this behaviour?

      • Macro 1.2.1

        That is it in a nut shell!
        The greedies sitting on land on the outskirts are rubbing their fat little palms in glee at the prospect.
        CV if you can’t see this you’re blind. It’s all about taking decisions away from the populous and enriching your mates. It’s as corrupt as Kiwi Keith’s Kinloch. These people are simply despicable.
        Indeed this move will ensure that in the future Key will be seen as surpassing Holyoake as NZ’s most corrupt PM.

        • Colonial Viper

          None of you have replied to my comment. That most political parties in Wellington either tacitly or actively support the urgent opening up of AKL land.

    • Lloyd 1.3

      Several points in your question colonial Viper:
      -I didn’t see the Green party agreeing to expansion as they way to solve Auckland’s housing crisis.
      -“Freeing up” land for housing implies that land is somehow locked away from housing. The Rural-Urban boundary Auckland Regional Council and now the Auckland Council have been working with is the practical limit of where sewage services get to. The land outside the limit needs a massive investment into infrastructure to support high density housing.
      Lets look south of Auckland. Sure you could put in four houses per hectare with septic tanks but you would need all the land from Pukekohe to Hamilton to really satisfy the housing demand. That’s just the sewage problem. Water is a little easier but in many places storm-water from all those roofs, roads and driveways is also a massive problems. Now transport – The southern motorway is almost always blocked every weekday morning. Fill in the onion fields of Pukekohe what have you got? No onions and people who can’t get to jobs in Auckland.
      If the Nats had got stuck into Auckland’s rail, finished the CRL and got the electrification of the line to Pukekohe finished and extended the line’s electrification to Hamilton the transport might not be so bad as it will be for the next few years.
      OK what can the Council do about this/ Borrow money to install infrastructure? I think you will find that earlier Nat government’s have made borrowing by Council’s too complicated to allow Auckland Council to do this.
      My guess is that a government jumping into this mess would find the action would be politically beneficial for a very short time before the public realised they had been raped again by the Nats.
      I think the THREAT of doing something to the Auckland Council makes a good sound bite and creates an appearance that
      1. The government is doing something about the housing crisis, and
      2. It puts the blame for the housing crisis on someone other than the government.
      Intensification with the government leading the way on spending on small dense housing in areas already served by infrastructure will get us out of the housing mess.

  2. tc 2

    Naked panic probably because penguins polling is telling them they are not getting back in next year so it’s an all out plunder during local body elections.

    Their developer mates will be prepared and ready to go up against an unprepared council as the CT manufactured crises model gets another run as per ACC, ECAN, DHB’s etc

    • Mosa 2.1

      This is NOT naked panic but a well thought out strategy.
      Key and this govt don’t do anything without a plan.
      1 look tough and issue ultimatums.
      2 be seen to acknowledge the problem.
      3 local body election in Oct so they want a right leaning council.
      4 threaten a commissioner to run Auckland giving the perception the current council is inept and should be dismissed.
      5 great platform for the right wing in Oct.
      Key is showing “leadership” in what he has said is not a crisis but a problem going in to the 2017 campaign.
      The real legacy here is National keeping control of serious issues that are their own failure and blaming in this case the Auckland council ahead of remaining in office for another 2 terms,keeping them in a position of strength in our MMP parliment.
      This last 8 years has been anout laying the groundwork for a 15 year term.
      The left is STILL underestimating their enemy.
      One of their biggest assets is control of our media, unprecedented in NZ political history.

      • roy cartland 2.1.1

        I tend to agree. One thing we know about Key et al is that they’re NOT stupid. They know how economics works, and are adept at public manipulation. Saying they’re panicking assumes that they didn’t know the crisis would happen.

        It’s frightening to think that they would actually engineer this misery (who could be that cynical?) but remember he does not work for us. It’s no conspiracy, the neolib have been quite open about it.



        • KJT


          Making money out of disasters they have caused is SOP for Neo-liberals.

          Like stuffing the public education system so they can make a profit from private(sorry “partnership”) schools.

          I do not think Neo-liberal leaders are so thick as not to have a plan.

      • Unicus 2.1.2

        Very true – disolving Auckland’s democracy was Nat/Act ‘s sh…ty little plan all along .

        They knew the “super city” was a sham from the begining . Disqualifying an elected council is easy when it’s task is impossible to implement .

        Government by Commissioner (dictator) is simply the end game of these repugnant traitors .

        And will Aucklanders resist – don’t hold your breath

    • Chooky 2.2

      +100 tc

  3. madtom 3

    Just what “Auckland land” are we talking about? Parks?

    And what does “freed up” mean? Free rein for developers? Loss of exactly how much more local control? No notification or consultation for neighbors of the new high-rises who will lose sun or view?

    But most of all, what about the traffic, already excessive and costly? Just build higher population density now and worry about moving people around later?

    Are we supposed to just bow our heads or also kneel for the ease of the headsman?

    Specifics, please.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      What about infrastructure?

      It takes years to put in water and sewage pipes, power, adequate access roads, schools.

      A desperate government. A Salvation Army official said, “This crisis has been building for ten years. It will take ten years to solve it.”

      Neo-libealism: the slow growing social cancer.

    • Lloyd 3.2

      Tory mates own land just outside the RUB. The Nats’ mates will make lots selling this land for “modest” 400 square metre tilt-concrete dwellings with schist pillars around the front doors. This of course will solve the housing crisis.

  4. Keith 4

    National have lept into inaction on the housing crisis, but behind this bullshit excuse and kite flying by John Key lies the real reason;

    Not enough houses to satisfy the speculators
    Not enough houses threatens the bubble
    Got to be seen to be doing something but don’t want to change a thing in reality but are using Auckland Council as a whipping boy in case the bubble bursts.
    And best of all National can use this opportunity to simply take over Auckland Council fully this time, because they failed last time in 2010 when they created this monster and they will do it without a vote being cast by Aucklanders. Nationals true colours are showing here.

    The possibilities are endless, lots of assets to sell off to Nationals people, no more stupid public transport initiatives, total unquestioning adherence and undemocratic control all based on a massive lie. The Brighter Future.

    Fuck right off National, your disdain for peoples rights and your born to rule arrogance is buying a fight you will not win!

    • tc 4.1

      Nice summary on a ‘crises’ manufactured by their cheque book immigration, no cgt, no rules on foreign ownership of residential land, state housing sales, haven based tax free funds etc

      Smiths completed the scoping so here comes the implementation before goff gets the mayoralty maybe.

      Urgency on the way for some developer drafted legislation similar to the way talleys authored OHS changes.

    • AmaKiwi 4.2

      @ Keith


  5. save nz 5

    National has already over ruled Auckland democracy and created the Super City – full of cronies and fiefdoms.

    Just look at the billion dollar Auckland IT debacle that rate payers have to pay for, (no integration yet, call up and see for yourself when you ask to access a record). Just loads and loads of F ups and individuals getting rich of it off the backs of ratepayers.

    Under the Supercity how about look at how much legal action has been generated – a bonanza for law firms – in particular around the unitary plan forced through by the government in record time and brainiac council planners who think the it is ok to steal 1km of Harbour for the Ports of Auckland, the Kauri tree massacre, someone losing 1/4 of their cladding on a duplex without being notified and many more examples of taking from the community to give wealth via planning to a developer or COO.

    Soon height limits will be gone, goodbye views and sun. Just like the Wellington neighbour that decided to put up a wall to block their neighbours sea view for some sort of bizarre retaliation. The point is the council approved it and the poor neighbour was forced to fight to reverse it. If you think a $5,000 rates rise is unaffordable for Nationals supercity IT debacle, try $50,000 to get an absurd Trump like wall decision to be reversed at environment court that some nuisance neighbour dreams up.

    But wait, didn’t the government arbitrarily rezone land into SHA and say they will put in government land for affordable housing? Never got the houses! Maybe because land is not the problem it is the building of the houses and the fact you can’t build affordable houses in NZ because of underinvestment in trades (just relying on overseas labour to build) and the monopoly of building materials and price fixing to name but a few. Instead of encouraging individuals to build, everything is bigger up and made more complex by handing the responsibility to a handful of developers whose motivation is profit not building affordable houses.

    Like the Soho hole in Ponsonby, developers get so greedy, they big everything up and run out of time and money before they build anything. In the end they had to full in the Soho hole in Ponsonby to make a smaller development which at least will be built. Planners and developers need protection from themselves and their own stupid ideas these days.

    The Natz are recreating Auckland in their own neoliberal image, Empty houses owned by tax haven offshore based wealthy nationals while local families live in cars and the we are all stuck in traffic and being told tolls are the answer and to sell off our council assets to pay for National’s F ups.

    The point is too, what are our future Mayors and councillors got to say about it? No problem prime minister – dictatorship is our middle name or are they going to get some guts and do their job protecting Auckland from leaky buildings, out of control idiot government and worse?

    Key did not like his international reputation tarnished by the Guardian revealing he has turned our country into a disgusting underclass of families in cars under his 8 years of IDU rule while his tax havens 0% status for offshore investors sit pretty. Now he is going to kick out democracy openly by taking over Auckland so his developer mates can build up monstrosities (if like in CHCH it is going to take years even for this as they try to squeeze out as much tax payer welfare as possible)!

    • save nz 5.1

      Hello, we are now in round #2 – National lets developer mates take control of housing, last time was the leaky building syndrome….

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.1

        save nz (5)

        National said the Supercity would be more efficient and lower AKL rates . . . NOT.

        What a bunch of dictatorial f*cking liars.

        • Stuart Munro

          Like Max Bradford’s ‘Power Reforms’. Since it doesn’t work, let’s have our public electricty assets back. Nova and Meridian can go fuck themselves.

      • tc 5.1.2

        Going all out now to get as much as they can across into the private sector of mates and sinecures.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    You want to see rents go down?

    1. Require rental properties to meet minimum standards for health and safety, with tough inspections and severe penalties for non-complying landlords.

    2. Take away the tax deduction for landlord’s mortgage interest.

    3. Put a supertax on non-resident landlords.

    4. Ban non-residents/non-citizens from buying property.

    The government is sovereign. It can do anything it wants, so long as it doesn’t stop the rich from getting richer.

    I have read in history books about class war. Now I get to experience it first hand.

    • TepidSupport 6.1

      Unfortunately your points probably wouldn’t force rents down, but up.
      Impose costs (min H&S requirements), take away other income streams (tax ring fencing) so rents would likely increase to offset this.

      It should help property to stop increasing uncontrollably though, again forcing rents up as speculators/ landlords can’t make as much from this and so want to increase their ROI.
      Also, more people could buy homes, thereby reducing rental stock and forcing up rents.

      A good solution to help stop rapid capital gains, but not rents…

      • Rae 6.1.1

        Well if house prices end up more reasonable, many of those tenants will buy for themselves perhaps creating a shortage of tenants, then rents will take a nose dive

      • AB 6.1.2

        You would have to accompany those measures with a rent freeze – probably quite a lengthy one. You want to make owning rental properties not worth the effort so they go back on the market for owner-occupiers. Private landlords would take a bath – and you would want to make the bath deeper based on how many rentals they own. The state would have to become the predominant provider of rental accommodation.

        Probably it would be messy & chaotic and in some marginal cases unfair. Probably there would be unintended consequences.
        And most likely it would be very damaging politically if the speculative wealth of the middle classes was evaporated in this way. Though part of me would love to hear the bleating, I can’t see anyone doing it.

        • ropata

          Make it illegal to *ever* increase rent on a current tenant. Make it illegal to *ever* forcibly end a tenancy (with rare exceptions)

      • The New Student 6.1.3

        cut your losses and offload the thing. Voila, more houses on the market coupled with watered-down demand and decrease in the pool of tenants. It’s really not that complicated

      • Lloyd 6.1.4

        Both Amakiwi and Tepidsupport are right. To really drop house prices you have to make renting an uneconomic business. As well as Amakiwis rental rules, rents should be frozen and renters should have the rights of property owners with eviction set as an almost impossible task. Once rental disappears property values will drop rapidly and buying a house to own to live in will again be the norm.
        Rental demand should be met by the government erecting low cost housing. Simple. Sorry. Get rid of the Nats. Then it is simple.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      1. Who is going to pay for the inspections? Who is going to pay for the upgrades? Landlords. Who will then pass the costs on to the tenants.

      2. Landlords will just put up the rent to compensate. Tax deductibility of mortgage interest is parallel to what any company would receive on their own loans. Providing rental properties is actually a business. Tax deductibility therefore acts as a subsidy for renters. Now, if you made this apply to new loans started after a certain date (rather than all existing loans), then I think it would make a dent in the sales price of houses and will flow through to reduced rents that way.

      3. This would likely result in those particular landlords selling their properties. That may free up more houses for people who are currently renting to buy – or more likely just means the houses will be bought by local landlords instead.

      4. I think Labour party’s policy of allowing them to buy new houses only better. It allows for foreign investment to increase our housing stock. Out of your ideas, this is the only one that is seriously likely to reduce rental prices, as it will force the housing stock to grow if foreigners want to invest, and should reduce house prices by damping down on demand, which flows into rents.

      • AmaKiwi 6.2.1

        @ Lantanide

        ” I think Labour party’s policy of allowing them to buy new houses only (is) better.”

        We need affordable houses, which means small, basic, low priced house (or flats). Rich foreigners building luxurious new houses makes things worse, not better.

        • Visubversa

          If you want to know what the rich foreigners are building – take a drive around the new subdivisions around Albany. The houses are all enormous – 6 bedroom, 7 bathroom monstrocities which are crammed into every square metre of usable space on the site. They all look the same and are marketed to other foreigners.

        • Lanthanide

          Hmm, this and Visubversa’s reply are definitely points to consider.

          I was of the understanding that many foreign investors are buying up apartments and other such things that they ‘know’ which have management structures in place to deal with any required maintenance etc – low hassle investment returns.

          But you’re right, the foreigners if they’re going to build houses, are unlikely to be building the basic 3 bedroom 1 bathroom type of houses that we need for many families, instead they’ll be the 220m+ 4-5 bedroom 2-3 bathroom type.

          So tweak Labour’s policy further – require that the houses that foreigners build must be at the median house price or lower. Think that might be tricky to police, though.

    • Ovid 6.3

      I have read in history books about class war. Now I get to experience it first hand.

      A class war has been going on for at least the past two centuries. There have been some wins (the progressive era and social security) and some losses (neoliberalism and the surveillance state) but it’s not over yet.

    • AmaKiwi 6.4

      I apologize if I gave the wrong impression earlier (6).

      I do have experience of one good landlady and one good landlord. They were the exceptions.

      More typical were houses that were leaking, moldy, broken bathroom fixtures, and unfit for human habitation. The rent got raised every year but the landlords (all of whom lived nearby) NEVER set foot on the property, NEVER made a single repair, and NEVER did maintenance. They milked it (and me) for every penny they could get.

      If I gave the impression I am concerned about the needs of these leeches, I don’t. If legislation to lower rents and make landlords fix up these animal pens costs them their shirts, they got what they deserve.

  7. whispering kate 7

    What a spiteful vindictive response from the PM. Because he knows that he should bring in a Capital Gains Tax and make new immigrants create new builds only, plus a myriad of other tools he has in his toolbox to ease the burden of housing in AK but ideology stops him from doing it, this is the response from him. How does he think Auckland ratepayers are going to pay for all of this infrastructure and why does AK Council have to go the way of the Government and sell an income stream that funds its business with the threat of selling off assets. Dictatorship isn’t far away with his manner of leadership.

    This is repeat, a vindictive spiteful, caught in the corner and no way to turn and not getting his own way response – he is a person with low-level development between his ears and nasty to boot. Its time we had some more marches in protest at how he treats the hand that feeds him.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 7.1

      +1. There was lots of ways the government could have constructively engage with solving the housing crisis -but they repeatedly refuse to take them. Now they are trying to put Councils in an impossible position -forcing councils to be responsible for new developments without giving them the infrastructure resources to do it properly.

      You are right -there is a real nasty core to John Key.

      P.S As a Cantabrian -our urban development model is not the answer for Auckland -we probably have better land supply -in part due to better geography. But transport/congestion is ridiculous for such a small city. National is leaving an awful legacy for the next government to fix up.

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 7.1.1

        It is partisan ideological crap that Brownlee refuses to open up the rail corridor in Canterbury for commuter rail to give people another transport option.

        The cost would be modest -especially in comparison to the Billions they spend on Roads of National Significance and the benefits much larger.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      and why does AK Council have to go the way of the Government and sell an income stream that funds its business with the threat of selling off assets.

      Because the Tories see that income stream and want it for themselves. It’s nothing but greed and legalised theft.

      Dictatorship isn’t far away with his manner of leadership.

      We don’t have a democracy but an elected dictatorship but the dictators are now showing their true colours. Hopefully Labour/Greens/NZ1st will come out and say that they will reverse this and do it retrospectively with all loss to the developers.

    • Esoteric Pineapples 7.3

      A chorus of boos everywhere ministers meet the public would be nice

  8. Sabine 8

    Frankly, Aucklander have known that that was coming for a while now.

    But the rest of the country was just to fucking busy to tell us to leave if we don’t like it here or can afford it here.
    Fuck they are now gonna pay money to people so that they leave.

    How the fuck do you like that NZ. One day this shit is gonna come to a neighbourhood, town, city, rural community near you.

    Could this country please understand that Auckland is a. part of New Zealand, and b. Full of New Zealanders and c. is fucked up by an elite that really does not give a flying fuck about you, me and even themselves in the long run.

    Fuck yeah, New Zealand, how did you like becoming a Tenant in your own country.

    • save nz 8.1

      If Dave Henderson’s are examples of Developers to save Auckland on behalf of the government…. from wiki… is anyone else feel they have gone done the rabbit hole into Planet Key of PlunderLand…

      David Henderson (born 1953) is an Auckland property developer. He is regarded as one of the city’s most influential businessmen and is said to have development work worth up to NZ$1 billion.

      The son of a fitter and turner, he grew up in Milford, and started his empire by renovating old Ponsonby houses. In the 1970s, he opened the Stove Shop, a second-hand dealership in Ponsonby Rd. In 1997 he bought and developed Princes Wharf and has since developed the $100 million Interplex industrial park at Albany, Q City and Q Central apartment block and Precinct apartments.[1]

      He was declared bankrupt on 9 June 2011.[2][3]

      David Henderson (Christchurch, New Zealand)
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Not to be confused with David Henderson (Auckland, New Zealand).
      David Ian Henderson
      Occupation Property developer
      Known for Battling with the IRD
      David Henderson is a Christchurch, New Zealand based property developer.

      In 1994 he founded the libertarian magazine the Free Radical.[1] He was also a student of Zenith Applied Philosophy, “It really sparked my interest. I found it greatly stimulating and inspiring, immensely so. They got a terribly bad name, a bad rap.”[2]

      From 1992 to 1995 he was audited 27 times after claiming a GST refund and the Inland Revenue Department demanded he pay $NZ924,341 in taxes and penalties. He was charged with fraud, his business failed and he was bankrupted and had to sell his house. The IRD eventually conceded that he did not owe it $NZ924,341, and fraud charges against him were dropped. They also admitted that they owed him $NZ64,000.This experience led him to write a book Be Very Afraid: One Man’s Stand Against the IRD. In 2007 his story was made into a film by South Pacific Pictures,[3] entitled We’re Here To Help.

      Henderson’s company, Property Ventures Limited is undertook a number of developments including the billion dollar new town, Five Mile, in Queenstown. This failed and the resulting site was known as “Hendo’s hole”[4]

      In November 2007 saw the opening in Christchurch of a new style of hotel named HotelSO. This building, acquired by Henderson in 2004, was occupied by the Inland Revenue Department.

      Applications were made in the High Court at Christchurch on 16 May 2008 to have Mr Henderson’s Five Mile Holdings and Property Ventures placed in liquidation. [5]

      In early August 2008, the Christchurch City Council held a short-notice urgent meeting about sensitive central city property purchases, then on 8 August 2008 announced that it would buy five of Henderson’s properties[6] for approximately $NZ17 million. Henderson was to have first option to buy back the properties. This decision caused much civic controversy.[7]

      The High Court in Christchurch placed Henderson in bankruptcy on 29 November 2010.[8][9]

      • ropata 8.1.1

        High-rolling sociopaths like these Henderson dudes escape the consequences of their frauds/theft by convenient bankruptcy laws.

        Beneficiaries and students are saddled with a lifetime of crippling debt.

        That’s your brighter future, New Zealand

    • Wensleydale 8.2

      National have long wanted to treat Auckland like a glorified sock puppet, and this is quite possibly the “crisis” they need to do it. Install the Cameron Brewers of the city in council ensuring the citizens of the “leafy suburbs” are pulling the levers of power, and the property development gravy train is clear to leave the station. Meanwhile, shuffle all the undesirables off to the jobless provinces, where they can continue to collect the unemployment benefit as they slowly decompose in their state homes. Auckland will become one massive gated community, and only “the right sort of people” will be permitted entry. Brighter future, kids! Brighter future!

  9. Richardrawshark 9

    Great move . hope they do it. I really do, as Auckland basically is the election hopefully it’s put a few off voting National.

    • tc 9.1

      They’ll not be bothered too much about the election, plunder is the priority.

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        yep – this is the point – whatever they do they are thinking of how someone (their mates) can make money – that is it. That is the vast majority of their motivation – it has very very very little to do with fixing the problem – they don’t care about the problem, they care about money and sometimes votes, because they (the greater they) make more money if they stay in power, but they never take their eyes off the money.

    • save nz 9.2

      Only if Labour and Greens don’t run about braying about what a great idea unity plan and zoning changes are. If they do they, they could reverse the situation and the MSM blame Labour and Greens for it in the minds of voters.

      Goff and Shearer are bound to help the Natz again with their big mouths.

      MSM are already setting housing up to be ‘Labour/Green policy’ – on the one news the other day they had all the parties interviewed about relaxing zoning to bring in affordable housing.

      If MSM are interviewing a Labour/Green – it is t to set them up as the fall guys.

      Goff and Shearer will sound byte it home for the Natz.

      One person we will never see on the issue is John Key, that is because he does not like to associate his face with bad news like housing. Wish the other leaders could be more strategic.

      • ropata 9.2.1

        Rogernome Phil Goff (architect of the TPPA) is a wannabe ACT mole, I don’t know what Shearer thinks he is doing

      • Chooky 9.2.2

        +100 save nz…only NZF doesn’t seem to fall into the holes they dig for them

        • Chooky

          the issue is over- heated immigration, foreigners buying up NZ properties out of proportion to the size and population of our country ….and jonkey nactional selling off existing State houses to property speculators

          this is what the opposition should be talking about NOT jonkey’s eating up valuable land , slum housing for New Zealanders ….and supporting jonkey’s unravelling democracy in Auckland

    • Ovid 9.3

      I couldn’t find Auckland-specific figures, but the voter turnout in the last local body elections nationally was 42%. People just don’t give a fuck.

      • Anne 9.3.2

        As an Aucklander, I don’t think its as simple as “people not giving a fuck”. You will find that the majority of Auckland L.B. voters reside in the well established and/or leafy suburbs whereas the poor and struggling in Sth. Auckland and parts of West Auckland are less likely to vote. They have more pressing issues to deal with like … struggling to keep a roof over their heads, paying the bills and feeding and clothing their families – not to mention often coping with serious health issues caused by poor housing conditions and lack of educational opportunities.

        From their perspective, who can blame them for not bothering to vote. Nobody cares about them.

  10. dukeofurl 10

    Looks like they will screw the process about creating National Policy Statements as well

    ‘A national policy statement is usually developed in four stages: scoping, drafting, consultation and implementation. In most cases reference groups will be set up with representatives from key agencies. Reporting back to ministers occurs after scoping has been completed and before formal consultation.”


  11. Tarquin 11

    I don’t know if I agree with Key, but let’s face it Auckland is basically a bloated fiefdom run by bureaucrats who don’t give a toss what the citizens think – they’re only hostages anyway. Free up the land and limit rate rises to the rate of inflation. Force all councils back to their core business instead of empire and monument building.

    • Lloyd 11.1

      Of course you agree with John Key.
      You are regurgitating all the crap the Nats put out.
      If the bureaucrats don’t give a toss, who set them up? John Key and Rodney Hyde. Not the bureaucrats.
      Only problem for John is he didn’t get the colour of mayor he was expecting. Everything else you don’t like about Auckland you can blame on the present government. You are hostage to John.
      How are you going to free up land? Do you want the Council to speculate on development and install all the infrastructure that will be needed if the city is to expand outwards? You realise this is not core business?
      “Freeing up” land will cause rate rises! arrgh…

      By the way you do realise that Aucklanders have some of the lowest rates in New Zealand…

      • You_Fool 11.1.1

        The fun thing is, if John and Rodney had got the mayor they had wanted, we would be in the exact same mess but they wouldn’t have the tools they are trying to use to fix it – i.e. there would be no assets to sell for infrastructure as they would have already been sold to their rich mates to pay for rate reductions for those same rich mates, who are controlling the development build rate anyway in such a way to maximise their profits by building the bare minimum acceptable quality house at the slowest acceptable rate.

        God bless Len Brown for ensuring at least we have a way to pay our way out of the National/Act mess – even if really it makes everything worse! Just imagine if Corrupt and crooked John Banks had become mayor in 2010… it makes you glad for Len, no matter his failings.

  12. Incognito 12

    John Key wants to finish what he and Rodney Hide started. But Len Brown threw a spanner in the works and now Phil Goff is threatening to do the same again. Ironically, many people, including Aucklanders, would not have a bar of Brown or Goff.

    • dukeofurl 12.1

      Brown won two elections, so most voters chose him. Put that in your pipe

      • newsense 12.1.1

        by people he doesn’t mean voters. ergo this post

      • tinfoilhat 12.1.2

        … most voters who bothered to vote chose him, the turnout for local body elections in Auckland is woeful.

        • dukeofurl

          The people who vote are like a very large polling sample of the whole population. so instead of 3-4% margin of error of 1000 people poll with 40% turnout you get 0.01% margin of error that the voters represent the whole population.

          • tinfoilhat

            That’s a bit of a long bow..

            • You_Fool

              Just remember the x% of voters vs population when discussing National and Act as well – since they are the ones imposing these new rules on Auckland – so we still are not at a majority of people wanting this either…

  13. upnorth 13

    I totally support the government view on this and I hope they push it through.

    Just backs up Tywford so I don’t know why this post is even up?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Someone’s got to: where would incompetent right wing trash be without dupes to mindlessly swallow and regurgitate their billshit? When your lying Prime Minister changes his tune you’ll parrot that too.

    • ropata 13.2

      is that because you
      a) support billionaires looting NZ assets
      b) prefer crony capitalism/feudalism over democracy
      c) are a drooling incompetent RWNJ

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    says Council may have to sell assets to fund infrastruce

    And there we have it – the whole purpose of the city restructure forced upon us by a dictatorial bunch of Tories. The scum are after our asset so as to turn us into serfs and increase their own wealth and power.

    This truly is a return to feudalism.

  15. Mike Bond 15

    So National have been blamed all along for the housing crisis in Auckland. They have continually said it is the local councils fault. They now want to use string arm tactics and still get blamed for it? The opposition will moan about anything and everything National does and that is why they will remain in power for a long time to come. Where is an opposition that is demonstrating that they ill be better for New Zealand? Currently that opposition does not exist.

    • upnorth 15.1

      Labour support is crumbling badly. Andrew Little is at 9% – when you have ineffective opposition you have poor democracy.
      Len Brown is Labour so lets not kid ourselves here. Phil Goff may win which means Auckland have been under a left wing leader for near on a decade – you go figure.
      Classic labour big taxes (in this case rates) and big spend – outcpme as per normal run away inflation and soon to be higher interest rates (debt downgrade will increase interest rates on debt meaning higher rates (ratepayers form of taxes)

      Open up the boundary and lets go for it. Will decrease ariable farming which the Greens will love and it solves their housing crisis issue

      • Rae 15.1.1

        Some of that arable land is some of the best horticulture land in the country, if that is not protected then Auckland and the government are stark staring mad

        • save nz

          For Fucks sake we have plenty of land in Auckland, (just no public transport) – no one is building houses on it that are affordable, why should they, it is about making profit! Most people are just renovating existing houses, bigger or making big houses which surprisingly are not affordable!

          And the new apartments and builds are more expensive than existing stock.

          Rents are high because who would want to be a landlord? There is a shortage of both houses and landlords.

          Culturally some investors like to keep the places they buy empty and so do speculators who flip them over, so less rentals. None of these people pay any taxes now, let alone declare the rents even if they do rent them. We do have a capital gains tax in place if the person does it for the intention of making a profit and a speculator tax but it does not seem to be inforced and IRD people are being cut.

          Also why is there so much demand on houses? Government policy on record immigration. It is the usual deception from National, blaming demand which they themselves have created – even having the property investor category to get a NZ passport and citizenship for new migrants to buy property here.

          Why do we need migration, because otherwise the country will work out we are bankrupt – there is no growth or new jobs or any other way to grow. There has been no investment for a decade in ‘real’ income generation. They are just borrowing and flogging stuff off and pretending all is well.

          The reality is most existing property in NZ would cost more to rebuild than to buy. That means property itself is not unaffordable (i.e. rebuild is more expensive not less therefore overpriced existing houses is not the factor but the cost of building) but there are other factors at play which are too many to mention but poor wages are a big factor and the cost of building.

          • ropata

            It’s not about housing people, it’s about turning Auckland into a giant casino for foreign speculators to make money. Houses aren’t for living in, they are for ripping off stupid (gnat voting) kiwis and extracting rent from the poor.

            • marty mars

              + 1 yep that is all horribly true.

              • Chooky

                …and what is wrong with renovating and doing up existing State houses?…many of them are made with good wood are are repairable

                …NZ youth should be trained in carpentry and set to work on renovating existing State houses for the homeless …and these should be kept by the government in State ownership

                ( it a crime that State housing is being sold off when there are homeless people living in cars and garages)

                btw…seems like jonkey nactional is trying to erase all reminders of his own childhood in a State house..instead of being proud of it

      • ankerawshark 15.1.2

        Disagree Upnorth. Think Labour have been doing a great job as opposition…..

        DC with his exposure of the Argentinian brothers who bought NZ land for a start. Sue Moroney’s paid parental bill and Phil Tyford v Nick Smith………..no contest there.

        Norman Kirk’s support consistently low in opposition…………………….

        One thing about Andrew Little, I really trust him. I think he is genuine………

        All the opposition have to do is keep going, keep batting the ball.

        The msm has started to do their job by exposing the housing scandal that is happening in Auckland (I prefer the word scandal than crisis. Crisis can sometime be an accident no one’s fault. I am afraid next years election is in the hands of the msm………………..

        • Chooky

          DC, Phil Twyford and Sue Maroney are the exception….and are on the outer of Little’s Labour Party ( Parker is also good on water)

          ….any of those three would make good leaders of the Labour Party….and get rid of the dead wood and bring in a new caucus imo

          • leftie

            Too close to the election, besides Goff and Cosgrove are leaving. Shearer, who should be in the National party, has been put in his place. Completely disagree with you that DC, Phil Twyford and Sue Maroney are on the outer of Little’s Labour Party, don’t know where you got that idea from, because Andrew Little as leader has let them shine, and has given them full credit for their work. Iain Lees-Galloway is another Labour mp who shines.

        • leftie

          Completely agree with you Ankerawshark, so was Helen Clark’s for example, 2%. Polling ratings go up when in office.

      • millsy 15.1.3

        List of libaries you want to close and parks you want to sell off please.

      • leftie 15.1.4

        Boundaries are not the cause of the housing crisis Upnorth, and you conveniently forget what Brown inherited. How long was key’s crooked fraudster mate John Banks mayor? He tripled Auckland’s debt and Auckland had nothing to show for it, and what was the cost left by Key after he hijacked Auckland and formed the super city? Brown has been hamstrung by central government and the Nats inside council, it could have been a hell of a lot worse for Auckland if John Banks had of got back in. John Palino is just as bad. Any Aucklander with an ounce of principles wouldn’t ever have a bar of those Johns now, or in the future.

    • ankerawshark 15.2

      Um….Labour have a housing policy for Auckland that sounds pretty sound. As opposed to National who have no policy as such.. That’s where the opposition is.

    • Stuart Munro 15.3

      Tell the truth – not even the craziest Gnats think Nick Smith has any idea whatsoever what he is doing. Housing is failing catastrophically and Key is determined that the blame shall fall elsewhere.

      This time though it isn’t going to go away. Housing is serious, and the Gnats don’t have a plan that could work even on planet Key. Dumping the blame on the council won’t get Key off the hook this time – people want to see him get off his arse and actually do something.

      Not run his stupid mouth off. Not blame someone else. Build some houses, build some apartments, do something sensible about regional development and tell his tax-evading target immigrants to gtfo.

      Key won’t do that – never done a day’s work in his life and not about to start now. There will be tears before bedtime.

      • Chooky 15.3.1

        +100 Stuart Munroe ….and we don’t want jonkey nact to spread the problems of Auckland into the provinces…this is Nact policy ( NZ turned into a slum Bangkok or Hong Kong ….as long as it gets him and his mates mega rich)

  16. lprent 16

    This isn’t Canterbury after an earthquake. Aucklanders will tear Key and National apart.

    The problem hasn’t been the council, although there are some gutless fools there. The problem is directly related to the actions of this fuckwit government and previous National screwups.

    1. This government imposed the cockup solution of a fully merged council on us – essentially ignoring the royal commission’s plan that would have caused a lot less disruption. Doing that task caused massive delays because of the merge

    2. National governments have not maintaining a state accommodation building program and the building infrastructure that went with it.

    3. A previous National government did the massive screwup with their deregulation of the building industry back in the 1990s that caused the diversion of building resources into fixing leaky buildings over the last decade. They would up fixing buildings rather than

    and so on.

    Why would we want these kinds of bumbling idiots trying to directly run Auckland. Their proxies in C&R were bad enough. But could you imagine someone as incompetent as those south island idiots of Brownlee and Nick Smith up here. They seem to barely have enough ability to scratch their own arses.

    • upnorth 16.1

      Incorrect – I have had the privilege of reading the Royal Commission on the Super City. Took an active role in reading and understanding.

      The outcome was simple – one council to make one decision

      Pretty simple and yet put a Labour man in charge and as per usual goes to crap.

      The government and Phil Twyford are correct – get rid of the boundaries.

      • leftie 16.1.1

        The government doesn’t give a shit about boundaries, it wants to flog off Auckland’s assets in a fire sale to their crony mates. Do you live in Auckland Upnorth? I do, and I can tell you Aucklanders hate the “Supercity” they see it as a big rorting fail.

        • Nessalt

          actually, Aucklanders see the council as a big rotting fail, not the supercity. the idea was right and the execution was fine. it was the big muppet brown who mucked it all up to keep his house price on the up and up.

          The one good thing about the supercity is that the council don’t know much of anything. so you can slide almost anything past them if you know the lingo.

          • ropata

            so nothing to do with central govt policies of record immigration, no proper taxes on speculators, running down state housing, leaky buildings, or the GFC?

            simple minded dimwits like you are the main problem with NZ democracy. not poor old Len

          • ropata

            ultimately the buck stops with the Gnats and their free market deception. it is all about screwing over the average kiwi to enrich the top few % gnat supporters. and using the dirty politics machine to pull the wool and blame others.

          • leftie

            You don’t know Aucklanders Nessalt, they do see the supercity as a rorting fail. John key’s idea is rotten to the core, and nothing about its execution was “fine” and its National that is behind keeping the “house price on the up and up”

            There is nothing good about John Key’s supercity, and the organizations he set up, that operate within it, but are outside of council control and rules. As posted previously, its all about an “Auckland take-over, the biggest land and asset grab in New Zealand’s history.”

          • Ad

            Even if you were right, which you’re not, firing the Council and erasing the right to vote in five months won’t make a bit of difference to the housing crisis.

            Only central government has the means, agencies, capital and legal capacity to solve the housing crisis. You could replace the entire Council, wake up the next day, watch the same number of people waking up from inside their cars and bridges, and realize that Key prefers a short-term nuclear option to actual policy that uses everyone including the Council to fix the problem.

          • Draco T Bastard

            actually, Aucklanders see the council as a big rotting fail, not the supercity. the idea was right and the execution was fine. it was the big muppet brown who mucked it all up to keep his house price on the up and up.

            Nope. It was the wrong idea implemented badly because of the stupid ideology of ACT and National. Brown has actually done his best to ameliorate the worst effects but the government hamstrung him, and any other mayor, from the get go.

            Quite simply: National sabotaged Auckland so that they could force Auckland to sell our assets.

            That didn’t work quite as well as they had originally planned because Auckland voted in a left council rather than the RWNJ one that National wanted them to. Now they’re forcing the sales through central government.

            The entire present government should be jailed for treason.

            • ropata

              +1 precisely. big business has been trying to turn Auckland (and its assets) into their fiefdom for decades and been stymied by the inconvenient democratic will of the people. In short, the plan is to plunder Auckland’s wealth and transfer it to elites. They will take the water, the ports, the roads, the rates, and change the bylaws to benefit themselves, while ordinary ratepayers get ripped off mercilessly.

              Green MP Sue Kedgely got closest to the truth in May 2009 when she accused Act Party Leader and Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide of staging “Rogernomics part two” by passing a law under urgency to strip Auckland’s local councils of their powers and transferring control to the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) peopled with Rodney Hide’s cronies. She was right, but Rogernomics part two extends well beyond the transitional agency. The entire concept of the supercity is based around business running the city for the benefit of business. It represents the culmination of a well-orchestrated campaign over several years by the likes of the Employers and Manufacturers Association and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce for control of the region’s local government policy and community assets to the value of some $28 billion. The second round of Rogernomics will really wind up once business interests dominate the region-wide council.

      • ropata 16.1.2

        ??? if you agreed with the royal commission’s super city plan then surely you must admit that Rodney HIde’s rogue “transition agency” cronies were a blight on local democracy and a big “fuck you” to Auckland voters.

        • leftie

          “John Banks is clearly part of the inner cabal that Rodney Hide and John Key are working with to achieve their Auckland take-over, the biggest land and asset grab in New Zealand’s history.”

          “Their agenda has been in play since 2006 when John Key’s private members bill gave the first indication that the National Party was intent on foisting a super city structure on Auckland, and has gathered momentum in recent times, culminating with Rodney Hide’s ‘under the radar’ Cabinet paper which paves the way to privatisation and stifles public input into local government decision-making.”

          Endorsing Banks for super mayor a super blunder
          Monday, 8 June 2009, from Scoop.

          <a href="http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0906/S00079.htm

      • gnomic 16.1.3

        “The government and Phil Twyford are correct – get rid of the boundaries.”

        They are dead wrong. If more sprawl is the answer, it’s the wrong question.

        That’s the problem.

      • Lloyd 16.1.4

        Inside the RUB is where you can have sewer lines connected. Anything outside the lines will take years of major investment to be usable for high density housing. If you aren’t going to use the land for high density housing don’t bullshit us with arguments that the land is needed to eliminate the housing crisis. All you want is to sell land at much higher value than you bought it. Outcome will be big houses with septic tanks on big sections and horrible traffic problems.

    • Karen 16.2

      +1 lprent

      The Nats have created Auckland’s problems. As well as the debacle they created by loosening building regulations in the 1990s they also decided to sell off state houses and subsidise private landlords instead. The last Labour Government managed to build more than 8000 state houses but the Nats got back in and have sold off thousands and deliberately left many empty. According to the Herald there are 2200 empty state houses in Auckland alone.

      Property speculators are also a major problem and often leave houses and land empty. There need to be a hefty financial cost for doing this. The Nats aren’t willing to do so as these speculators are their supporters.

      • save nz 16.2.1

        Apparently National have sold off 2700 state houses. That is a lot of social housing gone and now lecturing Auckland about affordable houses!

        Does anyone know how many in Auckland were sold?

    • left for dead 16.3

      They seem to barely have enough ability to scratch their own arses.

      Be fair lprent Brownlie honestly cant reach his arse, Smith, well he’s just learning to dress himself, then the training wheels might come off christ the man’s only been in parliament 25-26 years.

    • Pat 16.4

      please take our S.I. idiots Brownlee and Smith, we don’t want them…..well even throw in $5k for each one.

  17. Katipo 17

    In a supposedly first world country providing adequate shelter for all should be fundamental, and the and no matter how much you dislike “some bludger and their kids getting a free house” the cost to our health, education & legal systems for not doing so is many times higher. There is no shortage of bedrooms in Auckland. This issue has more to do with growing inequality than land supply. The less egalitarian we become the worse this situation gets, with proportionately fewer people owning the land in the prime locations as high density slums are created on the fringe.
    As in naturesociety, society ‘abhorrs an inequality’ and the longer it takes us to address this the more severe and the correction will be.

  18. Hmmmm….wheres all the good comedy when we needs it, guv?

    They weren’t shy about it back in the day…

    • millsy 18.1

      That was pretty cool.

      Amazing what could be done with 1940’s technology (ie a guy sitting out the back with a pair of scissors and a roll of tape)

  19. ropata 19

    disaster capitalism 101:
    1. manufacture crisis (or use an existing one)
    2. throw out democracy
    3. install cronies
    4. loot!!


    • leftie 19.1

      Yep, that’s it in a nutshell Ropata.

    • Paul 19.2

      Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

      • leftie 19.2.1

        Watched that a few years back, its an awesome documentary, and should be compulsory viewing.

    • SherylJ 19.3

      That’s it, in a nutshell! Well said ropata.

    • Nessalt 19.4

      but it’s always labour who are declaring a crises? is it because they are useless and can’t get to stage 2 that the crises keep on resolving themselves?

  20. John shears 20

    Up North
    upnorth 16.1
    28 May 2016 at 12:03 pm

    “Incorrect – I have had the privilege of reading the Royal Commission on the Super City. Took an active role in reading and understanding.”

    Sorry I disagree with you Upnorth and with the use of the word Democracy at the start of this post.

    The current Auckland City was not formed by a Democratic process that was done by the Royal Commission that Up North refers to above.

    BUT what we got was a multi city amalgamation devised by John Key’s crony , the Act member Rodney Hide after their tea cup affair. They threw the Commissions report in the garbage bin, the result of a long period if consultation and investigation, and then in a few months came up with the disaster that was forced upon Aucklanders. Len Brown and the elected Councillors have made a reasonable fist of trying to make it work.

    Just one example of a change that will cost Auckland for many years was allowing Watercare to NOT be responsible for Stormwater. The Commission was quite clear that the 3 Waters , Potable Waste & Storm under one management was the best option. There are plenty of other examples , the multiple levels of management separating the AHB from the Council is another classic example.

    John Key’s National Party does not like Democracy it means they have to listen and discuss matters.

    • ropata 20.1

      +1. If upnorth actually read the supercity report as s/he claimed, s/he would realise that the plan was OK, but the implementation by NatCorp™ and Rortney was a complete travesty

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        Upnorth could easily be replaced by a sign reading: “I agree with the Prime Minister”. No-one would notice the difference.

      • upnorth 20.1.2

        Lol I know more – even did a submission

        • leftie

          Lol Upnorth, obviously you don’t, you are nothing more than a shill for John key and his government of corruption.

        • Incognito

          Overinflated ego and superiority complex manifesting through a condescending attitude towards others.

          Please provide a link to your submission so that we judge it for ourselves on its merits and whether you are entitled to have bragging rights here on TS.

  21. Ad 21

    Greg Presland in his blog has an excellent point of origin of our current housing to crisis: the claps of second tier financing , and with them over a dozen major housing construction companies.

    See: http://www.gregpresland.com

    He also points to this harshly misplaced blame:

    “Blaming a plan that is not even in effect yet and threatening to replace elected representatives with commissioners is not a civilized way to deal with the largest local authority in the country.”

    But we also need to clean out this Council with better Councillors, like Greg Presland himself.

    • Cricklewood 21.1

      Other overlooked issue is that it’s not politcally expeadiant to attempt to address it in a meaning full way. Basically the massive capital gains and subsequent borrowings are driving the economy and keeping the tax take up.
      A large amount of my work is from professional people who purchased 10-15 years ago fairly small mortgage left and often upwards of 600k in capital gains. They tend to remortgage around 2-300k and do the reno or put in the swimming pool etc.

      Choke the capital gain and the houses of cards that makes up or economy falls over then you get voted out….

      • Ad 21.1.1

        If the MSM keep this up, and housing/rent cements itself as the new vectorial language for discussing poverty, in a middle class language that regular voters understand, then Key knows that his best shot at escape is to offload blame as hard and fast as he can.

        It just won’t work. Key and this government can’t solve the accelerating burn of the housing market. Sacrificing Auckland Council will only make the pyre burn higher.

        And even if they tried a further actual public sector intervention – as in the Tamaki Transformation Project – it would be too slow to make a major difference. They needed a hundred Hobsonvilles going right now, but they have deliberately privatized and liquefied more and more of the public housing stock, including that of Auckland Council some years ago.

        I can see the whole market burning around me; almost no one younger than me can get in. The bracket who can get into this market are going to get older and older, until this FIRE economy consumes the hopes of even most of the elderly.

        This FIRE economy is going to burn this government to ash. Along with it goes the schadenfreude of monetarism that they themselves instigated.

        • Cricklewood

          It will burn this and likely subsequent governments.
          It’s so out of hand now that any opposition parties would be well advised to be very cautious around any promises made about ‘solving’ the problem.
          You either address the issue in a meaningful way and tank the Auckland economy or fail to ‘solve’ the problem in a voters eyes neither are particularly desirable for a newly elected govt.

          I think best we can hope for is to slow price rises through a suite of measures and undertake a massive infrastructure build in terms of public transport as there is no point expanding the city if you cant get the people in. My preference is for bus infrastructure as they can service commutes in a more flexible manor. Going to take 20 years easily for a softish landing from this and anything else could be disasterous.

          • Ad

            My preference is for the full Labour Party housing policy to be enacted.
            Build, build, and build. Sort out the tax instruments once you start shifting the first furniture in.

            In transport, my preference is for the Auckland Transport One Network system to be implemented far faster than is currently funded. This includes the continuing dominance of buses, but with enhanced rail systems as well.

  22. Ad 22

    Collapse. In 2008-09.

  23. feijoa 23

    Great comments all you Standardistas.
    I only wish all the people of NZ could read these comments, and I really wish Labour and the Green would hammer the Nacts on this.

    It closely resembles the ACC “crisis”, which amazingly ( well, not yet anyway ), didn’t lead to a complete sell off to private insurance companies

    I’m sure people can think of other examples

    • seeker 23.1

      Good comment feijoa @ 1.45pm
      Didn’t Nick Smith create the ACC ‘crisis’? Is that his roll in government – crisis fomenter? I this the 21st century equivalent of a ‘witchfinder general’

      He is very good at it. Crisis after crisis follows Nick. A through and through true blue poverty creator.

      How proud he and his colleagues in this government will be of themselves and their lives as they lie on their deathbeds…… and possibly contemplate how many ‘earlier than necessary’ ones they created for their fellow countrymen.

    • Incognito 23.2

      I only wish all the people of NZ could read these comments

      Since TS is freely accessible to all people with internet access I’d say that, in fact, all the people of NZ could indeed read these comments.

      It doesn’t harm to leave a comment on the NZ Herald site from time to time …

      The real question is on how to organise people to join forces and get rid of this obviously anti-democratic government before our Democracy is eroded so much that it’ll be too late.

  24. greywarshark 24

    Key seems a snake and brought to mind Nagini Lord Voldemort’s animal. Behind Key
    there must be many Voldemorts.

    • gnomic 24.1

      The smirking weasel is not a nice guy. Nor even very bright. But with the help of polls he appeals to the group of NZers who are doing pretty well thank you very much under the current regime. He masquerades as a funny guy, for people with a Nat frame of mind at least. And at the end of the day he can be comfortable with the most dire of outcomes for the little people because he is fully vested. And will wind up as Sir John. A knight just like his hero, the late Sir Robert Muldoon.

  25. ropata 25

    Greg Presland’s tweet should be in the main post ..

    Govt blames Auckland Council for GFC, leaky buildings and heavy immigration levels, Commissioners threatened https://t.co/9umIbeIz57— Greg Presland (@GregPresland) May 27, 2016

  26. Enviro Gal 26

    FIGHT BACK Auckland.
    We have a Government with no answers to the
    problems that they have created: bullying and buffoonary are not

    • Ad 26.1

      The best preparation for a change of central government is a change of local government across all our major cities, who actively resist this government.

      It can be done, and it’s coming to a New Zealand city near you.

  27. Observer Toke 27

    . ” Screw democracy – Auckland to get the Canterbury treatment”

    . Well may you say Screw Democracy Anthony Robins. But Auckland gets it much easier than many towns and cities in New Zealand. For a start Aucklanders have Hospitals.

    Housing prices throughout the nation are rising horiffically as Auckland people cash in on their $million houses push out of , crimanal, drug addicted, violent Auckland, They buy much cheaper better houses in Tauranga – and in every town in the country. The locals of course don’t have Auckland purses.

    Auckland has been a hell of a mess for the better part of two centuries. It likes itself with an ego that knows no bounds. South of Pukekohe, Aucklanders are not respected. They are not wanted.

    When Winston Peters, Andrew Little and Meturia get into power they must first of all look after the Towns and Cities of New Zealand. Let Auckland fix itself.

    After all, the forgotten towns of NZ have to soldier on without any assistance. Have to wait and travel a hundred and more KMs for Health Treatments. Have to pay exorbitant monies to banks and stinking landlords.

    A new Government must stop Immigratation. Must heavily tax the wealthy. Must keep Aucklanders in their own crap. They are not welcome in Aotearoa.

  28. Once was Tim 28

    Dat dear demockrissy is jiss so damned inconvient ain’t it! Local representation – yeah/nah….the facade of lekted representatives somehow controlling the admin wing of the corporatised council: yeah/nah
    Central Control herr Commandant!! Dress it up the best way you can. That Nick Smith has Green creds – we’ll give him a shot at it. FAIL
    Pulla Bent has pulled herself up by her bootstraps – give her a shot. FAIL
    Chris Finlayson moight jiss appeal to the rainbow lektrit. FAIL
    Anne Tolley … FAIL
    Funny how they can’t bring themselves to ask the obvious question (WHY).

    Talk about the Big Con!. I bet Gordon McGlaughlan never imagined it’d amount to issues other than those economic.

    The harder they rise, the harder they fall. Let the games begin – really. It’s all so self-defeating it’d be funny (if it wasn’t so serious).

    There are signs the captured neo-lib Labourites are beginning to awaken, alongside some of those staunch half decent Natzis.
    Personally I’ll find it bloody hard to offer any sympathy when the shit hits the fan and they’re all busy claiming victimhood, with all that “I was only following orders” kaka.

    Given the apathy, the manipulation, the spin, the capturing (of even once-were HALF decent people heading institutions such as the SIS and GCSB) of people, I’ll be finding it bloody hard to shed a tear – it’ll probably be more like a smirk on some black humour reality TV show (going forward)

  29. Penny Bright 29

    In my view, PM John Key should NOT have used the “c” word – “commissioners”.

    Four months out from the Auckland local government elections???

    If PM John Key thinks concerned Aucklanders are going to put up with that idea – best he think again.

    In my view, PM John Key should BACK OFF and BUTT OUT!

    There IS a fightback being organised ….

    This control of Auckland by Wellington and corporates MUST stop.

    Enough of this ‘democracy for developers’!

    More news soon when some planning details are confirmed – but concerned Aucklanders – get ready to STAND UP and be counted!

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Sabine 29.1


      frankly, he does not give a shit.

      To many concerned Aucklanders have sold and shipped out. Mission accomplished.
      To many unconcerned Aucklanders have moved in – many from oversees – Mission accomplished.

      All they need is a big board that tells them to “Party Vote National” so they know what to tick on the ballot and here you go.

      Fuck, is this country really devoid of any imagination?

      This is the intended outcome. And there are not enough Aucklanders left in the City.
      They either have moved, or are planning to move, or will be paid to move. And the others are so transient they don’t even appear on an electoral roll anymore as they have not had a stable address in the last several years.

      • Observer Toke 29.1.1

        . Hi Sabine

        . Using Mandarin, what is:

        . “Pay the National Party big money and get a lovely house and John Key’s special help if you are in danger of going to Gaol”

        . Likewise: “Vote for nice man who only tugs little blonde Girls”

        . Also: “Please choose any house you like. Ten houses if you like lots. Nice man will help you get rid of tennants. He very pleased with Asian. Good or Bad.”

        PS: I should have asked Barfoot and Thompson.

        • greywarshark

          Observer Toke
          You are likely to be right that Asian people look kindly on John Key et al, and vice versa. But Key’s vice extends widely amongst his class of people with awkward amounts of excess money that they have to park somewhere in good reliable, solid assets.

          This includes wealthy Kiwis, Australians etc. It is a group of special people with special problems worldwide. They probably have a secret society representing them, with a special handshake or tattoo or exclusive expensive watch only they can source, perhaps they get together at the meetings of the Bilderberg society.

          Bilderberg Group – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, Bilderberg meetings, or Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of 120 to 150 people of the European and North American political elite, experts from industry, finance, academia, and the media, established in 1954.

          It is too simple to point accusing fingers at the latest in a line of sufferers of the Affluenza virus, that really got going in NZ when white settlers brought their individualistic and capitalistic culture. They proceeded to achieve capital accretion, with a break mid 20th century when it seemed that we lived in a society well-knit and advancing as a nation of joint endeavour and concern.

          But the Affluenza virus dis-ease causes an endless itching and scratching coming from the stress of having and accumulating so much more money than is needed to enable one to live a relatively simple and enjoyable life as part of humanity.

          • Observer Toke

            Hi Greywarshark

            . I enjoyed your piece.

            . Affluenza is a brilliant word and it makes sure that carriers of the virus do not infect decent members of society.

            Affluenza is uttterly and totally committed to its own, and has oathed and oathed again and again that Affluenza shall not be shared with the common man.

            • greywarshark

              Observer: Toke
              When I saw your pseudo I thought you would have come up with something – er – different.

      • Ad 29.1.2

        Key’s tactic is going to backfire big time.
        Any voter will see he is no longer trying for a solution.
        He’s just setting the scene for a wholesale clean out of Auckland Council.

        The alternative scenario for Key – wiping the 2016 election in Auckland – would ignite an almighty anti-National storm that would play and play right through to November 2017, and then again into election year.
        A no-win framing for Key. Boo hoo.

        • Unicus

          This is the execrable one’s springbok tour – he and the National Party have plumbed these depraved depths before of course – 1951 – 1981 .

          Creating social turmoil for a hoped for political advantage is stock in trade for these despots.

          Bring it on I say – if there is to be blood in the streets let’s make sure it’s theirs.

      • greywarshark 29.1.3

        I think that the answer to your question as to Nzs imagination, comes in another comment you made where you said that NZs laid back attitude seemed attractive some years ago. I think you may have put your finger on a vital flaw, that attitude turned into inertia, and from there unwillingness to be active partners in democracy and contracted that role out to government itself and also contracted out the oversight in a neo lib way.

  30. infused 30

    “free the land and build more houses”

    national do that..

    “fuck national and john key”


    • ropata 30.1

      they have talked a lot, that’s for sure. but there are still hundreds of kiwis sleeping in cars this winter.

      • leftie 30.1.1

        But can those people still vote? Having a residential address is a requirement for voting eligibility is it not?

  31. millsy 31

    So who is going to force people to build all these houses that everyone wants built when this magic line of the city limit is rubbed out by Key himself?

    • Jack Ramaka 31.1

      Unfortunately there are not the companies in NZ with the financial backing and horsepower to build large numbers of houses, we have systemically destroyed the NZ building industry by abolishing the Apprenticeship Schemes and introducing shoddy Building Codes because the industry wanted to make more profit?

    • ropata 31.2

      the urban limits are not the problem, that is just a gnat PR line used to bash the Council. the problem is lack of tradies, and the existing ones are too busy constructing flash houses for wealthy immigrants. it’s a crisis entirely manufactured by central government policy

  32. Jack Ramaka 32

    Council management have got the Council in debt up to their eyeballs, god knows how as they haven’t done anything, now we have the Neoliberal Goff arriving on the scene to sell off Regional Assets, sh*t Council and sh*t Government for the past 40 years?

  33. dave 33

    free the land up yeah good one there is a major problem land can only be freed up when the supporting infrastructure meets subdivision so when that asshole smith sets a special housing area 10 km away from the last upgraded infrastructure that has the capacity for the next block he creates a major problem blocks in the past have only been released as we built in the capacity in the infrastructure sewerage pipes town water supply roading capacity ie you have to get the shit to the treatment plant what the real row between the council and this incompetent government is about who pays for kms of pipes pumping stations to reach one of smiths housing fuck ups in the middle of nowhere km from the last upgraded block and the costs are in the 100s of millions this key government is making a right mess.

  34. Repateet 34

    I see in reference to a Related item, “Hosking wants Auckland Council deposed.”

    Hosking knows what is best for Auckland (actually the whole world) but he is too gutless to stand for mayor. He has the answers but wants to sermonise, pontificate and rave for the sidelines. Maybe he thinks the pay is not high enough.

    This is my public challenge to Mike Hosking to stand for the Auckland Mayoralty. He should put his money and giant ego where his big mouth is.

    Or is he hoping Key will simply go autocratic despot and put him in charge?

  35. Jack Ramaka 35

    Hoskings is a paid National Party shrill, on the taxpayer funded TV Network.

    He is given his lines every night before he fronts the NZ public, we should have Dear Leader reading the news every night.

    Why can’t they just give us the facts rather than spinning us B/S, which most of us know is B/S

  36. OneTrack 36

    “The government must do something”.

    Now it is doing something.

  37. Observer Toke 37

    . No new housing

    . While the hopeless National Tories speak and shout about what they are going to do, nothing is getting done.

    Perhaps the Standard non-tories could take a case to the High Court indicting National Party for forcing unrepayable debt on the poorest of the poor.

    The case would be built around the evil intention of the entire Tory Caucus. For each of them has delighted in what they are doing to desperate people.

    Perhaps too, a Pro Bono Lawyer would take the case on our behalf.

  38. Neil 38

    Christchurch was first, Is Auckland second? certainly looks like at a tilt to a dictatorship

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  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
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    6 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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    7 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
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    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
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    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Queenstown infrastructure package to bolster local economy
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    1 week ago