Social housing providers

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, November 12th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, housing, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

Key is trying to frame flogging off much of the state housing asset as a move to “social housing”. When he does so, he likes to use the Salvation Army as an example of a possible provider:

State house could be sold to community housing groups – Key

Prime Minister John Key says state houses could be offered to community housing groups at a discount price as part of Government’s plan to sell off part of its housing stock.

Mr Key said providers such as the Salvation Army might not have the money to provide more houses for needy tenants.

To help them increase their housing stock, the Government could sell them some of its 69,000 state houses at a cut price, he told TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning.

Asked about the cost to the public of selling houses for less than their value, Mr Key said taxpayers would be “better off over all”.

Questions. (1) How exactly will we the taxpayer be “better off over all” for flogging state assets at cut prices? (2) Will the cut price offer apply to other providers – why or why not?

The second question is especially pertinent because your typical social housing provider is more likely to be a liquor company than the Sallies. “A liquor company???” I hear you cry? Why yes:

Liquor firm eyes more state houses

A liquor company that bought about 500 state houses under the last National Government wants to buy a further 1500 now that state houses are up for sale again.

Masterton-based Trust House bought all 541 state houses in the Wairarapa and Tararua districts, keeping on their tenants, for $10.5 million in a 1999 deal that current chief executive Allan Pollard describes as a discount of “probably 50 per cent” off market value.

He says the company now wants to buy 1500 more state houses “anywhere in the lower North Island”. It is looking “from New Plymouth and Hastings down to Wellington”.

So if history is a guide then the answer to the second question is yes, flog off state houses at half price to a liquor company. As a taxpayer I just can’t wait to be “better off over all” in that world.

46 comments on “Social housing providers ”

  1. b waghorn 1

    Here’s a idea why not sell them to there tenants for a cut price get some good people in to advise the prospective owners about the in s and out of mortgage’s . these houses were probably built and payed for at pre 1970 s prices. Although I doubt national can get there head around putting people ahead of buisness’s

  2. RedLogix 2

    Nah – that was a rather unfair line in the Herald

    A quick look at their site strongly suggests that they are a bit more than just the “liquor company” you characterise them as.

    And one that has operated a pretty good social contract for a long time now. Most people living in the area regard them as a positive (or a least bad) presence in the community. A Licensing Trust is not really a company in the ordinary sense:

    Licensing Trusts, a form of community enterprise, were given a unique mandate when they were formed in the 1940s. Today that translates into:

    A primary responsibility to enhance the well-being of their defined community;
    The distribution of (surplus) profits back to their communities;
    The provision of good, ‘model’ facilities;
    Accountability back to the communities who own them.

    In addition, there is an inherent responsibility to efficiently operate commercial businesses profitability.

    And from experience I know they are a reasonably decent landlord operating consistent policies. There are way worse private landlords about.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      It would be better to describe them here:

      “Sixty years after its formation the Masterton Licensing Trust remains the governing/controlling organisation of the group as 75% owner of Trust House Limited, which was formed in 1998 to better co-ordinate and operate the diverse business enterprises of the Trust.

      Two sister licensing trusts, Rimutaka and Flaxmere, which became closely linked with Masterton in the 1980s, were formed in 1963 and 1975, and like Masterton, are actively involved in their communities.

      We began life by building and operating bars, restaurants, and hotels. Of those first businesses, only the recently refurbished Horseshoe remains today. But there is much more diversity today with a housing estate of 528 houses, three supermarkets joining the eleven cafes, restaurants and bars, six bottle stores, and two hotels. The organisation also covers a wider geographic area, with interests in Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, and Wellington as well as the Wairarapa towns.
      As licensing trusts they have regular elections the same time as councils.

      Whether to sell off state houses is one thing , but the stuff story is inaccurate as it sounds like a private liquor company, when its a community owned charitable enterprise.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        but the stuff story is inaccurate as it sounds like a private liquor company, when its a community owned charitable enterprise.

        It’s either a good example of a journo not knowing a basic fact about the story they are writing – or they did know – but chose to distort the facts to fit into today’s spin cycle.

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          The Salvation Army keeps being mentioned by Key and others in his Government. Is this going to be like offering shares to “mums and dads first” knowing, or not bothering to find out, that they can’t afford them and the shares will go to companies?

          WHY has no one asked him why he thinks the Sallies can afford the homes? Have they told him? Where will they get the money?

          It’s just odd that our PM is now placing such faith in the SA…

          “Rt Hon JOHN KEY: If the author of that report really meant what they said, then the author actually needs to get out a bit more, because this is a Government that has done in Auckland a housing accord…. By the way, the officials who used to advise Helen Clark are some of the same officials who advise me, and they spent virtually their entire time in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet giving her advice on housing, for which she did absolutely nothing. So if the author does not understand—” February 2014

          Twyford speaking to May budget 2014

          “The NGOs—the Salvation Army, VisionWest Community Trust, and all the others—are waiting for capital grants to help them get going so that they can build houses, ”

          rather suggests that at cut price or any other price the Sallies cant afford to get skin in this game.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        Anyone know who owns the other 25%?

        • RedLogix 2.1.2.1

          The other 25% consists of three sister Trusts which amalgamated with the Masterton one decades ago. While they retain their legal existence – for all practical business purposes it’s just one big entity.

        • tracey 2.1.2.2

          Total Number of Shares:10637000 Extensive Shareholding:No
          Shareholders in Allocation:
          Allocation 1:8000000 shares (75.21%)

          863969 MASTERTON LICENSING TRUST

          The Offices Of Masterton Licensing Trust, Level 1 4 Queen Street, Masterton, 5840 , New Zealand
          Allocation 2:2150000 shares (20.21%)

          MASTERTON LICENSING (CHARITABLE) TRUST

          The Offices Of Masterton Licensing Trust, Corner Chapel And Russell Streets, Masterton ,
          Allocation 3:337000 shares (3.17%)

          FLAXMERE LICENSING TRUST

          16 Swansea Road, Flaxmere, Hastings, 4120 , New Zealand
          Allocation 4:150000 shares (1.41%)

          FLAXMERE LICENSING (CHARITABLE) TRUST

          C/- Flaxmere Licencing Trust, Swansea Road, Flaxmere, Hawkes Bay ,

  3. greywarshark 3

    Just a thought on the lack of housing for the needs of the present. I understand the situation in housing insurance policies causes problems for those claiming after disaster or destruction. I have heard that though insurance is prepared to pay out on it, they demand that you build again in that place a house to the equivalent of what was there before. But that is not helpful for the housing market.

    If someone has to rebuild to past norms then the opportunity to use that space and building for modern requirements is lost. And it might be better to sell the land and build elsewhere. I suppose everyone else knows about this but it has just occurred to me.

    And it would explain why insurance in Chch, when an area is zoned for no rebuilds, won’t pay out for building elsewhere. The people, after paying insurance all the years, would find refusal to help them after all. These would be some of the people who could need social housing.

    • tracey 3.1

      If you are atalking about a new house then I am surprised Council will issue a CCC (Code Compliance Certificate) based on prior, not current regulations?

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        @ tracey
        I am thinking about the need for more concentrated housing. It might be that an innercity house could have a duplex put on the site so there are two dwellings where there were one. Or it may be suitable for light industrial or retail while the person buys their housing elsewhere. More along those lines than the details of some compliance code.

        And Ad yes, our NZ world is being dissolved in the acid rain of NACT’s determined attacking spray that undermines any defences.

        And RedLogix I have wondered about the Housing Associations that they have in Britain. We are slow to pick up on ideas here, I feel there must be a place for them and now would be it. How would line start and carry out useful stuff?

  4. Ad 4

    This is doing to housing what Max Bradford did to electricity in the 1980s.

    Within two terms of this kind of government we will have very little public housing left (perhaps other than in Christchurch).

    What we will have is a series of massive trusts – some with public good intent, others as tax minimising instruments – who will control most of the 60+% of New Zealand who cannot afford to buy their own house.

    This means the owners of those trusts don’t get to be held to parliamentary scrutiny, have no rent controls, no specific ethical codes in common, and whose sole regulator is the Tenancy Tribunal.

    Their next goals will be to do this to our entire public schooling system.

    New Zealand’s entire public realm is being dissolved before our eyes.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Or we could consider it an opportunity to move towards the Housing Association model – which provides a space in the market somewhere between social housing and ownership that is an alternative to private sector renting.

      Of course it’s wrong that National are dismantling our social housing system in order to achieve a change. That’s their usual ideological stupidity and laziness in action.

      • tracey 4.1.1

        Agree with this IF there are genuinely players in the market who are not looking to make profit but fill a social need, who can actually afford to buy the houses OR raise a loan to buy the houses.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          It’s not hard. Here’s the website for Community Housing Federation Victoria

          Housing Associations manage a combination of DHS properties and/or own other properties. They range in size from 400 properties to as large as 2000+.

          More like a traditional rental option, these organisations manage and maintain the property using their own staff. Housing Associations are eligible to receive Government funding to build or acquire new properties. In the past the state government has transfered a small number of properties to Housing Associations.

          And this is just one model.

          Personally I’m thinking that rather than trying to hold back the tide on National flogging off the State Housing asset – that Labour would be smarter to be pushing for more transparent and socially acceptable alternatives around who actually finishes up purchasing them.

          • tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            is that one of the options our Government has in mind red? I haven’t seen any detail on what models they have in mind.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hence my concerns around transparency.

              The very, very worst thing that could happen is another free-for-all fire-sale that happened in the 90’s when the Nats last did this.

              Lots of speculators made out like bunnies on that one.

              • Tracey

                i am with you 100%.

                based on past behaviour the nats have little or no intention of doing anything other than selling to developers…

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.2

            What is missing is a proper price regulator for rents.

            Back in the day there were rent controls. No more.

            For both lines companies and generators, the Electricity Authority sets very clear controls on the amount these privatised utilities can charge, against the assets they hold. There are of course expensive court cases about this, but that’s natural when there’s such a huge amount of revenue at stake.

            Currently there is nothing to hold these massive private landlords to account.

            Of course there are a few good trusts operating housing at the moment. But what is there to stop there charging full market rents, for example? Nothing.

            This debate occurred over the last five years for example in the Community of Refuge trust, one of central Auckland’s largest landlords who bought a significant amount of housing stock from Auckland City Council – and are already in partnership with central government for a major housing development in Weymouth.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2.1

              First of all I’m not sure it’s fair to label a Trust or Community charity as a ‘private landlord’. We get all wound up when the right distort meanings to put their spin on it – it’s no prettier when we do it.

              But I do agree with the need for better regulation in the whole rental sector. I’ve argued for this many times previously – while wearing my hats as both a landlord and a tenant at the same time.

              I’m not sure that just straight rent controls are the whole answer. Overseas experience shows that they can badly distort the market with quite perverse outcomes. If for example rental incomes are fixed too low – then landlords simply stop maintaining or improving their properties. That’s not greed – it’s just cash flow.

              What I would prefer to just straight rent controls is a well resourced system that worked to protect the rights of both good tenants and good landlords. And made life harder for the bad ones.

              If you do that then the price thing tends to sort itself out. The DBH site already gives excellent transparency for rents – which has helped market efficiency a lot.

              • Ad

                I am not proposing any solution.
                But this is what you can expect in a few years, as corporations break open the public sector properly, trading on extracting about 1/3 of people’s income for a place to live:

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11357109

                Nor am I imputing that all private landlords are bad. After all, I’m one.

                We have corporatized housing, out-sourced, it, and now privatised it. Even within Trusts there is zero public accountability. I am simply stating that only a strong public housing sector can best guarantee a house over my head at a reasonable cost, and further degrading this part of the public realm degrades society as a whole.

              • Ergo Robertina

                And there’s loads of genuine charities and community organisations involved in providing social care, such as DHB home help, which don’t pay a living wage, provide job security, professional development, or decent mileage rates.
                Their argument is they work with funding parameters set by the government, and if they relinquish the work it will all be left to corporates. But it’s made hypocrites of them.
                The state housing selloff will create a similar situation of lower standards and entrenched exploitation.
                Read David Harvey’s book on neoliberalism in respect of the role of NGOs as enablers.
                A good rental WOF as proposed by the Greens will prevent the perverse outcome you conjured in regards to rent controls. They are needed urgently.

                • RedLogix

                  I agree that becoming the defacto agents for the state does create issue for many social providers, mainly because as individual operations they lack negotiating clout with the govt.

                  Problem might go a long way toward being solved if they formed an umbrella organisation that is willing to fight for minimum standards on their collective behalf. Somewhere above I linked to a similar sort of entity that represents all the many dozens of social housing associations here in Victoria – so it can be done.

                  A good rental WOF as proposed by the Greens will prevent the perverse outcome you conjured in regards to rent controls.

                  Couldn’t agree more. All our units would fly through the Greens WOF proposal I saw with room to spare. Bring it on.

                  But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.’

                    Why not?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘Problem might go a long way toward being solved if they formed an umbrella organisation …’

                    My point is the real world outcomes of the system that’s been in place for 20 years.
                    And what you suggest is likely to fall foul of the terms of tender processes anyway.

                    • RedLogix

                      Professional and trade bodies exist for this exact purpose all over the place.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Yes.
                      But you touted your ‘umbrella organisation’ as a solution to the problem of worker exploitation and low ball contracting, thus I assumed you meant something different.
                      Existing bodies like the NZ Home Health Association appear to have been ineffective, despite making submissions etc about the problems of low funding and worker pay.
                      What will your organisation do differently?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.’

                    In the absence of an answer to my question above I will infer you mean that without the cashflow of high rents landlords can’t afford to get their properties up to scratch.
                    Thing is though good landlords like yourself would ‘fly through’ the Greens’ WOF scheme now.
                    Why should the bad ones get longer to gouge tenants just because they made poor choices and haven’t maintained their properties?
                    If a few decide it’s not worth their while and sell their ‘investments’ to first home buyers, that’s a good outcome. Same with the reduction in hospital admissions caused by respiratory illnesses from substandard housing.

            • Tracey 4.1.1.1.2.2

              average rent increase of $24 a week. …

        • minarch 4.1.1.2

          “Agree with this IF there are genuinely players in the market who are not looking to make profit but fill a social need’

          the two aren’t mutually exclusive you know ?

  5. NZJester 5

    The Salvation Army will be very unlikely to be able to afford any of the houses without cutting back on other important services they currently offer to the sick and needy groups such as food and clothing. Things that a lot of people they help can no longer count on the government for. Now they want the Salvation Army to also try and supply the poor with houses on the existing budget they have?
    Using the Salvation Army name is just a big lie unless they are willing to give them the houses for free.
    Even given free to them the Salvation Army might find the cost to high as a lot of the houses need a large injection of cash to be repaired as the government has been very lacking on the maintenance needed on a lot of them to keep them in a habitable condition.
    I can see a lot of the sick and needy people going without food and clothing if the Salvation Army did take the government up on the offer of taking over those houses.

    • Ad 5.1

      Oh, they can afford them.

      Check out the Salvation Army properties on the Ak Council website. Whether developers are inside a trust or charity or a business, banks understand equity wherever it is.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Agreed. Banks look at three main criteria – equity, serviceability and credibility.

        If the Sallies buy them for 50% of market value that takes care of the equity and serviceability.

        And as a sound organisation with decades of social work experience – they also have the credibility to manage the loan. Something many social housing tenants on their own simply do not have.

    • greywarshark 5.2

      ! NZ Jester
      And the poor are being bled more for second hand clothes and other things. The SA prices have been going up for some time. Also other well known charities, St Vincent de Paul, Red Cross. Anything really cheap or free is likely to need sewing, mending, or is marked, spotted, or the surface rubbed and worn. The government loves to tell us there is no free lunch. But then it wants to operate in denial of that basic truth itself.

    • Treetop 5.3

      I’m with the free concept (capped at 20% of homes), but with a gradual increasing dividend paid to the government dependent on profit.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Let’s get it right.

    State Housing is public – Social Housing is PRIVATE!

    Beware the use of charities and Iwi as Trojan horses for the PRIVATISATION of State Housing – the sell off of this major State asset for which there is NO electoral mandate!

    The simple answer is for State tenants to stay put – refuse to accept 90 day eviction notices – refuse to budge – and for those who are opposed to the privatisation of State Housing to support them.

    As has happened with Niki from the Tamaki Housing Group in Glen Innes.

    Penny Bright

  7. coaster 7

    If a liquor trust has a chance to buy a half price house, why cant mum and dad investors.
    I would like a half price house.

  8. A voter 8

    Easy money, no morals ,wont sell or mortgage to tenants cant be bothered ,Im here to tell you the Mickey Savage history is over you idiots, Im the Capitalist Antichrist of the socialist history of NZ and any hope the poor have will be lost
    I ONLY CAME BACK TO RUN THIS COUNTRY TO THE GROUND
    And turn it into another American military base like Hawaii you know its about the same strategic position in the Pacific but south
    Cheers NZ I will stay pissed for you
    JK

  9. Treetop 9

    The government are not interested in housing. They need to stop their STALE bullshit and just hand over 20 % of the state homes to the Salvation Army. Then some people with families living rough, just may get a decent roof over their head. Instead the government just piss about trying to sell precious assets which can be made over by more intelligent management which actually cares about housing.

    A lot has been handed over by this government already e.g. partial privatization.

    Some sort of dividend could be paid to the government.

  10. Religious groups are the last people who should be in charge of social housing ,
    The are judgemental and biased .
    If in their narrow minds you have been naughty then no house.
    Dickens must be turning in his grave.
    Just imagine those Tory religious Blue Rinses deciding who is deserving of a social house . I shudder , and I wonder just what has happened to our lovely egalitarian country . I cannot believe we have allowed our country to have such a ghastly right-wing government ,

    However on a brighter note it was good to meet Penny last Saturday at the protest meeting in Hamilton. Nice to have meet you Penny .

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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    4 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
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