Spinoff series – rent week

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, March 27th, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: class war, housing, journalism - Tags: , , , ,

While much of the coverage of the housing crisis focuses on buyers, the situation facing renters is just as bad. Last week The Spinoff ran an excellent series on renting in NZ. Editor Duncan Greive summed up:

After rent week: we know renting in NZ is a disaster. But it can be fixed

We first mooted a Spinoff ‘rent week’ in late 2016. It was based on the idea that the stories of home ownership were being told constantly, but the challenges and evolving reality of renting were being covered far less frequently. Additionally, because a number of our young staff were looking for flats at the time, we had a sense that the market was getting pretty freaky out there. Fifty or 100 people turning up to look at properties, letting agents mysteriously renegging on agreements, secret bidding wars which saw potential tenants offering $20-$100 more than the weekly asking rent to secure a property – all this appeared to be bedded in.

That was just to secure a tenancy. The dismal realities of renting on this country also felt ripe for appraisal, in blackly comic style. It seems everyone you know has lived in multiple properties featuring some combination of damp, mould, cold, rodents, intrusive landlords and terrifying flatmates. We felt that would be fertile ground to explore from a writing perspective.

While those might seem like quite different angles in, they stem from the same place: renting in New Zealand is one of the most lightly regulated activities in this country. When you go out for dinner or a drink, put a car on the road or keep livestock in the city, those activities are covered by some combination of law, regulation and licensing. For whatever reason, your home escapes such scrutiny.

Last week was the second-biggest for pageviews in Spinoff history. Over 30 different stories had 3,000 or more views. Peter Newport’s shocking report on the situation in Queenstown (more on that later) was read 25,000 times, and led the Herald online for hours after they syndicated it two days later.It was less the numbers than the emotion which overwhelmed, though. We’ve never had such a barrage of emails and comments from readers. We ended up publishing a record number of reader submissions, from bleak stories of bad rentals, to a landlord decrying other landlords’ callousness, to the venerable Citizens Advice Bureau informing tenants of what rights they do have, and followed up on a half-dozen more.

But even a cursory engagement with what rent week became will have made it clear that our current laws around tenants and tenancy are not fit for purpose. They were designed in a different era, one which fundamentally assumed that renting is a brief weigh station en route to ownership.

As Core Logic data released just yesterday shows, that’s just not a reality any more. In the first three months of this year, 44% of Auckland property was purchased by investors. Over half of our 15+ population live in rentals. And while the inaccessibility of purchase remains a major problem and contributor to our housing crisis, it’s also a pernicious one which will take years if not decades to resolve.

It’s getting desperate out there.

Which is why, over the next six months, we’ll be asking our politicians what they intend to do about renting. Like the housing crisis, this is a problem with many authors. It’s been brewing for decades, but a combination of an ageing housing stock, a national fear of investing in shares or businesses and the over-crowding the housing crisis has wrought has brought it to a boil.

Now that we have a sense of just how much it means to our readers, we’ll dedicate part of our election coverage (the shape of which we’ll announce in the next week or so) to following this issue. In so doing we’ll find out which parties care about it sufficiently to deserve your vote.

Read all The Spinoff’s Rent Week coverage here

Read the series on The Spinoff – great work from the team.  Look out for coverage of responses from the political parties…

58 comments on “Spinoff series – rent week ”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    I appreciate all coverage of our housing crisis, the thought being if housing issues saturate our media then it becomes impossible to deny.

  2. Keith 2

    Okay, it’s undeniable that there is serious problems with our housing market that are growing, be it availability, ownership or renting. This is obvious.

    What is not obvious is in this building boom is even big building companies are losing money, namely Fletchers, and worse, small companies are going broke. This is in part because of rampant speculation and the time delay between the agreed to price of a home and its completion date. Building firms have to cope with a shortage of tradesmen and equipment that means completion dates blow out and blatant profiteering by suppliers which means substantial differences in costs.

    This is leading to some projects stalling and is seeing situations now where the buyer cannot buy off the plans and know the end price, which is eye watering anyway. It is cowboy shit and very risky.

    This boom does not address infrastructure problems and Auckland is currently groaning under the shortage of road space and raw sewer contaminating everything including our harbours. Councils are losing the battle to do anything to address these problems from Nationals lassez faire – nonchalant approach to this nightmare.

    It is exactly the kind of thing that happens when there is NO planning for large scale housing projects. It is exactly what you would expect if your pet cat planned a housing development boom for New Zealand. This is exactly what you get from the invisible hand of the market and fuckwits like Nick Smith!

    It is obvious National have:
    A) No plan to fix it
    B) No will to fix it
    C) No idea how to fix it

    In respect of C, many of the issues are its making, no planning, immigration & low pay, the two are intertwined, no will to regulate the rental market, no will to tax speculation ruthlessly and virtually no will to deal to speculating anyway so it most likely goes back to points A and B.

    So with so many people negatively affected why is this not showing up in polls?

    • saveNZ 2.1

      Q, So with so many people negatively affected why is this not showing up in polls,

      A, because 65% of people are temporarily better off as their house outstrips their wages and of the 35% affected only about 30% of them vote. Don’t think just because people are young, they vote Green or left.

      Gen x and Y are the generation brainwashed by neoliberalism from Labour and National.

      And the second reason is that Labour and Greens liberal views don’t want to acknowledge the real reason for the housing shortage or take any heavy action on the real cause.

      After that big demand issue, there is the investment issue, to do with wages, gig economy and how piss poor NZ is on encouraging investment outside of construction post 1990’s.

      Likewise now we have opened our country up to foreign ownership in a huge way and also encouraged tax havens and easy gambling flights into SkyCity where you can also pick up a property or 2.

      I’m sympathetic to how awful it is to be renting and have little hope of a house or rental on NZ wages, but if you want to avoid making it worse, then vote Natz out.

    • JanM 2.2

      I have no sympathy at all for developers – they sent the best builders to the wall years ago with their lying, cheating ways. I wouldn’t encourage my family to go anywhere near the building industry – being deliberately bankrupted over and over is too much for most people to bear 🙁

    • Antoine 2.3

      > It is exactly the kind of thing that happens when there is NO planning for large scale housing projects. It is exactly what you would expect if your pet cat planned a housing development boom for New Zealand. This is exactly what you get from the invisible hand of the market and fuckwits like Nick Smith!

      Actually, it’s what you get from Auckland Council (among others).

      A.

      • Richard McGrath 2.3.1

        It’s what happens when new supply is choked off by council bureau-rats and the RMA

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.1.1

          If that were true (and it isn’t – why do you tell so many lies?), how would it prevent central government building houses?

        • saveNZ 2.3.1.2

          Yep keep that right wing discourse going Richard McGrath…

      • Keith 2.3.2

        You will not deal with the fundamental problems blaming straw men like the RMA or bloody councils. Go to the source to fix it!

        I don’t recall Auckland Council wanting to cling to power by promoting what is in essence open immigration and tourism for “growth” without first having the infrastructure to deal with it. No, it was your National Party blundering fuckwittery that is the reason for that.

        As a ratepayer and plenty of people like me I have to pick up the tab on Nationals last brain fart, deregulated building and leaky homes, that councils have somehow had to cover the cost of because they did not comply with the rules. So if you think councils are a little sensitive about obeying the laws parliament set them then there’s a good place to start.

        But obfuscation is the way of the world nowadays isn’t it.

  3. saveNZ 3

    Isn’t the Spinoff the Herald’s faux little sister to preach right wing ideology to the new generation of liberals?

    I bet they never mentioned what is causing the ‘demand’ factor that has led to the rental shortages.

    I still remember Granny right before the election leading a huge furore about poor first home owners – Labour took the bait, put up super and put in capital gains and we got stuck with the Natz fuckers for 3 more years.

    Spinoff also advised voters to vote in the Auckland council elections against lefty Mike Lee and tick Ralston instead. The unitary plan was a must to solve the housing affordability issue according to the Spinoff as unregulated development is the only way to solve the housing crisis, however no affordability criteria let alone sustainability was even in the unitary plan.

    So fuck off Spinoff and stop stirring to keep the Natz in power.

    I’m sure everybody understands there is a rental crisis and when you push in 100,000’s of extra people into a city and country that is when you run out of houses.

    • Antoine 3.1

      I think you’re mixed up, the Spinoff is pretty consistently left.

      A.

      • adam 3.1.1

        I think you need to put your crack pipe down Antoine. The spinoff is liberal, so pretty much labour or the national party. And neither of those are left.

      • saveNZ 3.1.2

        Spinoff’s more centre right. It’s the herald for younger people with ‘funky’ look but the same propaganda for it’s right wing advertisers… In fact Spinoff is more about paid promotion than news… but I guess they are open about it in most cases…

        • Antoine 3.1.2.1

          All I can say is that it seems like Pravda to me

          Why would a right wing rag be doing an expose of bad rental conditions??

  4. Sabine 4

    behind the shop that i used to occupy in AKL lives a young pacific islander family. two adults one three year old.

    In the last floods in West Akl they too were flooded. Badly.
    No it took them about a week for the Agent to come around and inspect the property. A carpenter duly came and took out the carpet and underlay, hung both over the fence to dry and he told the women to run the fan/heater to dry out her flat.
    She is on a glow bug. So that did not happen, and she asked the dairy lady for help. Together whith the dairy lady they emptied up the house, cleaned everthing out, streched out the carpets and underlay for proper drying and that was it.

    She now lives with her husband and her child in a flat that is semi dry, with flood damaged underlay and carpet and is too scared to say anything lest she ends up homeless.

    Brigther futures.

    • weka 4.1

      yikes. Auckland, isn’t that now a mould incubator?

      What’s a glow bug?

      • Antoine 4.1.1

        Prepay electricity meter. Key point being she couldn’t afford the power to run the fan heater to dry the place out.

        I will speak for myself, If I was the landlord above I would be happy for the tenant to contact me, and I would pay the power bill myself to get the place properly dry. And do whatever else was necessary for their comfort during the drying process. (I would also try to get a real drying firm in, not just a carpenter with a blow heater, but I don’t know if it would be possible to obtain one promptly when so many other houses were affected. Further I would have made sure that someone was around there well before a week was out.)

        If however I found out that the tenant had been keeping the property in a wet and water damaged condition for an extended period without telling me, I would have them chucked out and try to use the bond to repair the damage.

        Both tenants and landlords have responsibilities.

        A.

        • Sabine 4.1.1.1

          you try contacting a landlord who lives in india.

          I had rented a shop of him and saw him once in three years – He handed us over 10 grand worth of ‘invoices’ that he forgot to oncharge us over the three years we rented the place – and did so to the other three shops in the same block. Two days before christmas. We had a good laugh, and reminded him that he has certain responsibilities under NZ law.

          It really is about time that people pull their head out of their backside, cause shit does not smell like roses, no matter how deluded one might be.

          50% of all of AKL rentals is rubbish, and this i was told by a person from Akl Council when i called years ago in regards to a rental that had duct tape where it should have had pitch flashing. The roof was so waterlogged that the water came through everywhere at once, the door frame moved from the wall and cracks appeared all over the walls (this literally happened within one week, the roofer that i called went up, laughed, and told me to move out pronto before that roof came down on me) . That was a 300$ plus rental over 10 years ago. i still have the pictures of this house. I was told by that housing guy (inspections ) that to have this house condemned it literally needed to fall down on me, his words, if we were to condemn every house in AKL that needed condemning we would loose over 50% of our rental housing overnight.

          I really wish that the ‘landowners’ that are doing the right thing would actually understand that you are the minority. You are not the standard setters.

          And again, try contacting your Landlord who lives in India, and who will tell you to move on if you don’t like it.
          She, her hubby and the child do not have the luxury to move on, they have no where to move.

          Brighter futures for some, mold, disease and rheumatic fever for others.

          • Antoine 4.1.1.1.1

            More fool this landlord, his house will be badly damaged by the moisture from the sound of it

            • Sabine 4.1.1.1.1.1

              you don’t get it?

              his ‘house’ will be demolished and the land will be onsold for a lot more money than he ever paid for thanks to the unitary plan.

              Again, do not look at this from your perspective, look at it from an investors point of view.

              He rents the place until it kills someone, then mea culpa who would have thought, he might gets slapped with a hundred dollar fine, the block of flats will be demolished and a new block of flats will be build by a new developer. Landlord smiles all the way to the bank.

              Rinse fucking repeat.

              The only ones paying for this type of shit is the tax payer via Accommodation Supplements for people to rent these shit holes, and the admission to emergency departments when people are so sick that literally they can’t breathe anymore.

              These guys are not landlords, they are slum lords. And over half of AKL and the rest of NZ are legal slums.

              But go on waxing lyrically about how this Landlord is stupid to feel better about yourself or something.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +111

              • Antoine

                Let me get my head round this. You’re saying this guy is honestly unworried about his place being physically destroyed because he’s simply going to demolish it anyway?

                Hard to know what to do about that (apart from opening up lots more housing in Auckland so that investors can’t count on the price of land going ever upwards). A housing WOF wouldn’t help as he’d presumably be quite happy to take the place off the market…

                • Sabine

                  Yes.

                  And if you were to drive around the country, and you would remove your own bias for a moment, you would be surprised to see how many shacks are masquerading for houses and even worse, you would feel nothing but pity for the people trying to live in it, cause they can’t afford anything else, or literally there is nothing else there.

                  Welcome to New Zealand, where every pile of wood can be sold for a million dollars and rented for 500+ a week cause Accom supplment and a lazy do nothing but posture cant’ give a fuck government refusing to see the issue make it possible. Thanks fucking National.

                  And last but least, in any City of NZ the ‘shacks’ are worth nothing, its the section that is worth money, especially if you have a legal frame work that allows you to knock down the shack to build a three story shack in its place.

                  its called land banking ,and there are a lot of people in NZ that do that instead of working. And yeah, like the cow for the dairy industry the tenant for the slumlord is nothing else but a resource to be extracted until the beast falls dead.

                  New Zillind, brighter futures, fuck yeah!

                  A housing WOf at least would make a minimum standard legally enforc able. This women if she were to go the Tenancy Tribunal might get 300 bucks for her misery and would need to find new digs. so yeah, lets not change this…..ey, casue a WOF would give Landlords a sad.

                  • Antoine

                    I support a WOF for rental housing, but maintain it wouldnt be enough to solve this problem (for the reason above, the property would be taken off the market leaving the tenant without a home).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If only there were some central body that could take note of this and build more houses in response.

                      Don’t worry Antoine, no-one will expect you to be capable of doing anything about it.

                    • Antoine

                      I’m still not convinced that central government is the best placed party to solve the housing shortage. Can’t help thinking the best solution is for the councils to heavily relax planning restrictions. Don’t understand the problem well enough to be sure though

                      PS one thing i’m sure of is that if we had a left wing central government and a right wing council, the likes of you would be blaming the council!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Thank you for illustrating my point so clearly. The next local body elections are more than two years away, and people need houses right now.

                      You are incapable. Get out of the way.

                      PS: no, I’d be blaming the government, because councils are bound by the RMA, and in the case of Auckland, Rodney Hide’s witless and destructive fantasies.

                    • Antoine

                      Are you saying that getting rid of Goff is part of the solution?

                    • weka

                      “Can’t help thinking the best solution is for the councils to heavily relax planning restrictions.”

                      Problem there is that private developers are part of the driving force behind property costs, so giving them more latitude will just lead to higher housing costs across the board. I know you don’t like this, but the biggest thing that can help now is authorities who have no financial motive to intervene (I’m good with national govt and local body). And as OAB points out, not waiting for the market to sort it out, acting now. It’s not that hard, houses can be built very quickly these days. The thing that’s stopping that is the number of people prevaricating over abandoning the neoliberal model and going social democracy instead. In other words, people like you are responsible.

                    • Antoine

                      I agree there is merit in central Govt funding more social housing now.

                      I am still of the view however, that freeing up planning restrictions would also help. Agree to disagree on that one.

                      A.

                    • Draco T Bastard []

                      I am still of the view however, that freeing up planning restrictions would also help.

                      Considering that’s what’s brought about the present crisis what makes you think that it’s suddenly going to start working now?

                  • Richard McGrath

                    You have a good point. Accommodation subsidies are just a means for transferring wealth from middle class taxpayers to the rich pricks who own rental property

                    • Sabine

                      you might not like it mate, but poor people pay tax.

                      It is only the working class that is fleeced. And there is not one National Party member or supporter that really gives a flying kite about workers in this country.

                  • weka

                    “Welcome to New Zealand, where every pile of wood can be sold for a million dollars and rented for 500+ a week cause Accom supplment and a lazy do nothing but posture cant’ give a fuck government refusing to see the issue make it possible. Thanks fucking National.”

                    And previous Labour. The accommodation supplement issue is a thorny one and I’ve yet to see a credible proposal for how to remove it without harming people.

                    btw, in lots of places in NZ AS is fuck all and not going to make much of a dent in $500/wk.

                    For those that don’t know much about AS, you can see the rates here

                    https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/deskfile/extra-help-information/accommodation-supplement-tables/jobseeker-support-current-01.html

                    And the areas here,

                    https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/deskfile/extra-help-information/accommodation-supplement-tables/definitions-of-areas.html#Area45

                    • Sabine

                      i don’t have an issue with the Accommodation supplement per se.
                      I don’t have an issue with using Motels as ’emergency housing’ per se.
                      both are tools in a social market society to help make that society fairer and more equal for all citizens.

                      I have an issue when these two tools are being abused to cover up the fact that we have a government in place that deliberately had let things go so bad that now we are spending billions on rent supplements as even a dog kennels is now unaffordable and we are paying motels millions more then they would do if they were to rent the rooms to tourists.

                      I am not giving any government a pass, but as far as i am concerned the current government is National led, the issue has been identified a few years ago, everyone who has to say anything on this issues be it Sally Army, our Children’s commissioner or or or has rung the storm bells and yet, the likes of these people do nothing. In fact, they are still denying that there is a problem.

                      So I am not going to talk about labour and their failings 9 years ago, i will however hold Labour to account should they get into government and not do enough to change this situation. I will also give grief to the Greens if they should get into government and not do enough to change this situation.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The accommodation supplement issue is a thorny one and I’ve yet to see a credible proposal for how to remove it without harming people.

                      Massive build in state housing. The more state housing the less subsidy.

          • saveNZ 4.1.1.1.2

            Sounds like she has a case for the tenancy tribunal. They can rule and get her compensation (and will rule if the landlord does not show up).

            Saying that, the floods were not the landlords fault but their responsibility to fix it.

            • Sabine 4.1.1.1.2.1

              in any sane and normal society she would not have to go to a tribunal with all the assorted stress, and the damage of the flood would be covered by insurance.

              i went to the tenancy tribunal once, and was awarded a grand total of less tehn two weeks wages for living in a contaminated house. its not worth the days of work you need to go there.

              in fact i suggest that the tenancy tribunal is set up to discourage people from using it. it is however a good tool for people that have money and lawyers.

        • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.2

          Chuck the tenant out? Where would they live? What sort of bully slumlord would you be?

          • Antoine 4.1.1.2.1

            If a landlord is a good landlord, then they absolutely can expect that the tenant notify them of major damage. I wouldnt want someone in my house who wouldn’t do that.

            Obviously the situation Sabine describes is different as that landlord made themselves uncontactable and generally failed to endear themselves to the tenant in any shape or form.

            • weka 4.1.1.2.1.1

              “Obviously the situation Sabine describes is different”

              Yes. Because this is a post about how fucked up renting is in NZ, in many different ways, and Sabine is talking about a tenant whose home was flooded. And you want to have a conversation about tenant responsibility.

              • Sabine

                but it must be the tenants fault. It can only be the tenants fault. And no landlord has ever tenanted a block of slums. No siree. cause bullshit.

                • Antoine

                  > but it must be the tenants fault. It can only be the tenants fault.

                  Both tenants and landlords can do wrong things.

                  > you want to have a conversation about tenant responsibility.

                  I raised the issue because I think a tenant can put themselves at risk by knowingly concealing damage to a property (although in this case it sounds like it may have been the right thing to do).

                  • weka

                    You really are clueless on this one Antoine. Even if you want to discuss the ways that tenants fuck up, this isn’t the place to do it. It’s literally got nothing to do with either the post or Sabine’s comment that you replied to.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1.2

              And there’s no regulations to ensure that he’s a good landlord.

              • weka

                Yep. And from what I’ve seen of Antoine’s arguments on this, he doesn’t want many regulations.

                • Antoine

                  Dunno, I could maybe be persuaded, what regulations did you have in mind?

                  • weka

                    How about if the landlord lets their rental go mouldy from neglect the govt confiscates it* and they’re banned from ever renting out a property again? 😈

                    *then the govt repairs it and adds it to the HNZ stock.

                    Ok, just kidding 😉 Kind of. I think certainly that something like that should be happening with repeat offenders (give them the GV price for the property).

                    But go have a look at the GP housing policies for an idea of a what a centre left govt could do in terms of regulating. Best approach is to look at the interwoven policies rather than in isolation.

                    • Antoine

                      Their policies are too full on.

                    • weka

                      For you I’m sure. For tenants, not so much.

                    • Antoine

                      Well, let me qualify that. I think the home WOF policy is pretty good. I don’t agree with the security of tenure policy and I don’t think it would leave tenants better off (because of the way in which landlords would react).

                    • weka

                      “I don’t agree with the security of tenure policy and I don’t think it would leave tenants better off (because of the way in which landlords would react).”

                      And yet the people working with tenants have worked out the policy. Given you often side with the landlords, I’m not sure that your concern weighs up.

                      I don’t care about the scare stuff with changes. Let the bad landlords have a fit and sell their houses or whatever. The whole point is that we shouldn’t be beholden to them and the state needs to step up e.g. build some houses. The only reason that is not happening is because the right are ideologically opposed to state intervention even when it’s blatantly obvious that it’s needed and the market has utterly failed to provide a solution. Of course one could use National as an example of state incompetency, but that’s a reason to change the govt not give up.

                    • Antoine

                      Honest question, I looked for the green policy on building more houses and didnt find it, could you give me a quick pointer?

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Just want to put in a word for all the people who have medical issues and need specific housing such as modified access, transport/location specific, low noise/intrusion.

    Many of these are not being catered to in either social housing (who are going for volume) or the private market.

    • weka 5.1

      Thanks for that.

      One of the things that makes me nervous about the top down ideas about housing is that if we fix social housing in such and such a way then poor people will all be alright. Which might be true when you think about people being homeless or not (although I think there are still issues there based on individual need). And it’s true-ish at a population level. But people need homes for wellbeing, and that means a lot of different things to different people.

      I would add closeness to family, friends and community to that list.

  6. greg 6

    in end we will need to build thousands of social housing projects that is income assessed the home owner route is dead on NZ wages the other reason is if technology is set to displace thousands of jobs then there is no way a mortgage can be paid without stable income

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    Late 1996, The Dogs Bollix, Tamaki Makaurau.I’m at the front of the bar yelling my order to the bartender, jostling with other thirsty punters on a Friday night, keen to piss their wages up against a wall letting loose. The black stuff, long luscious pints of creamy goodness. Back down ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 1
    Nicola Willis, Chris Bishop and other National, ACT and NZ First MPs applaud the signing of the coalition agreements, which included the reversal of anti-smoking measures while accelerating tax cuts for landlords. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: November (+ Writing Update)
    Completed reads for November: A Modern Utopia, by H.G. Wells The Vampire (poem), by Heinrich August Ossenfelder The Corpus Hermeticum The Corpus Hermeticum is Mead’s translation. Now, this is indeed a very quiet month for reading. But there is a reason for that… You see, ...
    2 days ago
  • Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies.The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. They also describe the processes of the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Finally
    Henry Kissinger is finally dead. Good fucking riddance. While Americans loved him, he was a war criminal, responsible for most of the atrocities of the final quarter of the twentieth century. Cambodia. Bangladesh. Chile. East Timor. All Kissinger. Because of these crimes, Americans revere him as a "statesman" (which says ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Government in a hurry – Luxon lists 49 priorities in 100-day plan while Peters pledges to strength...
    Buzz from the Beehive Yes, ministers in the new government are delivering speeches and releasing press statements. But the message on the government’s official website was the same as it has been for the past several days, when Point of Order went looking for news from the Beehive that had ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Luxon is absolutely right
    David Farrar writes  –  1 News reports: Christopher Luxon says he was told by some Kiwis on the campaign trail they “didn’t know” the difference between Waka Kotahi, Te Pūkenga and Te Whatu Ora. Speaking to Breakfast, the incoming prime minister said having English first on government agencies will “make sure” ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Top 10 at 10 am for Thursday, Nov 30
    There are fears that mooted changes to building consent liability could end up driving the building industry into an uninsured hole. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Thursday, November 30, including:The new Government’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how climate change threatens cricket‘s future
    Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, M Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else, and complaining that he has inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” – which is how most of us are ...
    2 days ago
  • We need to talk about Tory.
    The first I knew of the news about Tory Whanau was when a tweet came up in my feed.The sort of tweet that makes you question humanity, or at least why you bother with Twitter. Which is increasingly a cesspit of vile inhabitants who lurk spreading negativity, hate, and every ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Dangling Transport Solutions
    Cable Cars, Gondolas, Ropeways and Aerial Trams are all names for essentially the same technology and the world’s biggest maker of them are here to sell them as an public transport solution. Stuff reports: Austrian cable car company Doppelmayr has launched its case for adding aerial cable cars to New ...
    2 days ago
  • November AMA
    Hi,It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Ask-Me-Anything on here, so today’s the day. Ask anything you like in the comments section, and I’ll be checking in today and tomorrow to answer.Leave a commentNext week I’ll be giving away a bunch of these Mister Organ blu-rays for readers in New ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • National’s early moves adding to cost of living pressure
    The cost of living grind continues, and the economic and inflation honeymoon is over before it began. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: PM Christopher Luxon unveiled his 100 day plan yesterday with an avowed focus of reducing cost-of-living pressures, but his Government’s initial moves and promises are actually elevating ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Backwards to the future
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has confirmed that it will be back to the future on planning legislation. This will be just one of a number of moves which will see the new government go backwards as it repeals and cost-cuts its way into power. They will completely repeal one ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • New initiatives in science and technology could point the way ahead for Luxon government
    As the new government settles into the Beehive, expectations are high that it can sort out some  of  the  economic issues  confronting  New Zealand. It may take time for some new  ministers to get to grips with the range of their portfolio work and responsibilities before they can launch the  changes that  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • Treaty pledge to secure funding is contentious – but is Peters being pursued by a lynch mob after ...
    TV3 political editor Jenna Lynch was among the corps of political reporters who bridled, when Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told them what he thinks of them (which is not much). She was unabashed about letting her audience know she had bridled. More usefully, she drew attention to something which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • How long does this last?
    I have a clear memory of every election since 1969 in this plucky little nation of ours. I swear I cannot recall a single one where the question being asked repeatedly in the first week of the new government was: how long do you reckon they’ll last? And that includes all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • National’s giveaway politics
    We already know that national plans to boost smoking rates to collect more tobacco tax so they can give huge tax-cuts to mega-landlords. But this morning that policy got even more obscene - because it turns out that the tax cut is retrospective: Residential landlords will be able to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Who’s driving the right-wing bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In 2023, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • GRAHAM ADAMS:  Media knives flashing for Luxon’s government
    The fear and loathing among legacy journalists is astonishing Graham Adams writes – No one is going to die wondering how some of the nation’s most influential journalists personally view the new National-led government. It has become abundantly clear within a few days of the coalition agreements ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    3 days ago
  • Top 10 news links for Wednesday, Nov 29
    TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere for Wednesday November 29, including:The early return of interest deductibility for landlords could see rebates paid on previous taxes and the cost increase to $3 billion from National’s initial estimate of $2.1 billion, CTU Economist Craig Renney estimated here last ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Smokefree Fallout and a High Profile Resignation.
    The day after being sworn in the new cabinet met yesterday, to enjoy their honeymoon phase. You remember, that period after a new government takes power where the country, and the media, are optimistic about them, because they haven’t had a chance to stuff anything about yet.Sadly the nuptials complete ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • As Cabinet revs up, building plans go on hold
    Wellington Council hoardings proclaim its preparations for population growth, but around the country councils are putting things on hold in the absence of clear funding pathways for infrastructure, and despite exploding migrant numbers. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Cabinet meets in earnest today to consider the new Government’s 100-day ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • National takes over infrastructure
    Though New Zealand First may have had ambitions to run the infrastructure portfolios, National would seem to have ended up firmly in control of them.  POLITIK has obtained a private memo to members of Infrastructure NZ yesterday, which shows that the peak organisation for infrastructure sees  National MPs Chris ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Evidence for global warming
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Who’s Driving The Right-Wing Bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In ...
    4 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • National’s murderous smoking policy
    One of the big underlying problems in our political system is the prevalence of short-term thinking, most usually seen in the periodic massive infrastructure failures at a local government level caused by them skimping on maintenance to Keep Rates Low. But the new government has given us a new example, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • NZ has a chance to rise again as our new government gets spending under control
    New Zealand has  a chance  to  rise  again. Under the  previous  government, the  number of New Zealanders below the poverty line was increasing  year by year. The Luxon-led government  must reverse that trend – and set about stabilising  the  pillars  of the economy. After the  mismanagement  of the outgoing government created   huge ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • KARL DU FRESNE: Media and the new government
    Two articles by Karl du Fresne bring media coverage of the new government into considerations.  He writes –    Tuesday, November 28, 2023 The left-wing media needed a line of attack, and they found one The left-wing media pack wasted no time identifying the new government’s weakest point. Seething over ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • PHILIP CRUMP:  Team of rivals – a CEO approach to government leadership
    The work begins Philip Crump wrote this article ahead of the new government being sworn in yesterday – Later today the new National-led coalition government will be sworn in, and the hard work begins. At the core of government will be three men – each a leader ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Black Friday
    As everyone who watches television or is on the mailing list for any of our major stores will confirm, “Black Friday” has become the longest running commercial extravaganza and celebration in our history. Although its origins are obscure (presumably dreamt up by American salesmen a few years ago), it has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • In Defense of the Media.
    Yesterday the Ministers in the next government were sworn in by our Governor General. A day of tradition and ceremony, of decorum and respect. Usually.But yesterday Winston Peters, the incoming Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, of our nation used it, as he did with the signing of the coalition ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Tuesday, Nov 28
    Nicola Willis’ first move was ‘spilling the tea’ on what she called the ‘sobering’ state of the nation’s books, but she had better be able to back that up in the HYEFU. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • PT use up but fare increases coming
    Yesterday Auckland Transport were celebrating, as the most recent Sunday was the busiest Sunday they’ve ever had. That’s a great outcome and I’m sure the ...
    4 days ago
  • The very opposite of social investment
    Nicola Willis (in blue) at the signing of the coalition agreement, before being sworn in as both Finance Minister and Social Investment Minister. National’s plan to unwind anti-smoking measures will benefit her in the first role, but how does it stack up from a social investment viewpoint? Photo: Lynn Grieveson ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Giving Tuesday
    For the first time "in history" we decided to jump on the "Giving Tuesday" bandwagon in order to make you aware of the options you have to contribute to our work! Projects supported by Skeptical Science Inc. Skeptical Science Skeptical Science is an all-volunteer organization but ...
    5 days ago
  • Let's open the books with Nicotine Willis
    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
    National is promising to bring back offshore oil and gas drilling. Naturally, the Greens have organised a petition campaign to try and stop them. You should sign it - every little bit helps, and as the struggle over mining conservation land showed, even National can be deterred if enough people ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Don’t accept Human Rights Commission reading of data on Treaty partnership – read the survey fin...
    Wellington is braced for a “massive impact’ from the new government’s cutting public service jobs, The Post somewhat grimly reported today. Expectations of an economic and social jolt are based on the National-Act coalition agreement to cut public service numbers in each government agency in a cost-trimming exercise  “informed by” head ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • The stupidest of stupid reasons
    One of the threats in the National - ACT - NZ First coalition agreements was to extend the term of Parliament to four years, reducing our opportunities to throw a bad government out. The justification? Apparently, the government thinks "elections are expensive". This is the stupidest of stupid reasons for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A website bereft of buzz
    Buzz from the Beehive The new government was being  sworn in, at time of writing , and when Point of Order checked the Beehive website for the latest ministerial statements and re-visit some of the old ones we drew a blank. We found ….  Nowt. Nothing. Zilch. Not a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: A new Ministry – at last
    Michael Bassett writes – Like most people, I was getting heartily sick of all the time being wasted over the coalition negotiations. During the first three weeks Winston grinned like a Cheshire cat, certain he’d be needed; Chris Luxon wasted time in lifting the phone to Winston ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon's Breakfast.
    The Prime Minister elect had his silver fern badge on. He wore it to remind viewers he was supporting New Zealand, that was his team. Despite the fact it made him look like a concierge, or a welcomer in a Koru lounge. Anna Burns-Francis, the Breakfast presenter, asked if he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL:  Oranga Tamariki faces major upheaval under coalition agreement
     Lindsay Mitchell writes – A hugely significant gain for ACT is somewhat camouflaged by legislative jargon. Under the heading ‘Oranga Tamariki’ ACT’s coalition agreement contains the following item:   Remove Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 According to Oranga Tamariki:     “Section ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record. Brian Easton writes – 1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Cathrine Dyer's guide to watching COP 28 from the bottom of a warming planet
    Is COP28 largely smoke and mirrors and a plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel? Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: COP28 kicks off on November 30 and up for negotiation are issues like the role of fossil fuels in the energy transition, contributions to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Monday, Nov 27
    PM Elect Christopher Luxon was challenged this morning on whether he would sack Adrian Orr and Andrew Coster.TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am on Monday November 27, including:Signs councils are putting planning and capital spending on hold, given a lack of clear guidance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the new government’s policies of yesteryear
    This column expands on a Werewolf column published by Scoop on Friday Routinely, Winston Peters is described as the kingmaker who gets to decide when the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded but equally important role as the ...
    5 days ago
  • The New Government’s Agreements
    Last Friday, almost six weeks after election day, National finally came to an agreement with ACT and NZ First to form a government. They also released the agreements between each party and looking through them, here are the things I thought were the most interesting (and often concerning) from the. ...
    5 days ago
  • How many smokers will die to fund the tax cuts?
    Maori and Pasifika smoking rates are already over twice the ‘all adult’ rate. Now the revenue that generates will be used to fund National’s tax cuts. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The devil is always in the detail and it emerged over the weekend from the guts of the policy agreements National ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How the culture will change in the Beehive
    Perhaps the biggest change that will come to the Beehive as the new government settles in will be a fundamental culture change. The era of endless consultation will be over. This looks like a government that knows what it wants to do, and that means it knows what outcomes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • No More Winnie Blues.
    So what do you think of the coalition’s decision to cancel Smokefree measures intended to stop young people, including an over representation of Māori, from taking up smoking? Enabling them to use the tax revenue to give other people a tax cut?David Cormack summed it up well:It seems not only ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 19, 2023 thru Sat, Nov 25, 2023.  Story of the Week World stands on frontline of disaster at Cop28, says UN climate chief  Exclusive: Simon Stiell says leaders must ‘stop ...
    7 days ago
  • Some of it is mad, some of it is bad and some of it is clearly the work of people who are dangerous ...
    On announcement morning my mate texted:Typical of this cut-price, fake-deal government to announce itself on Black Friday.What a deal. We lose Kim Hill, we gain an empty, jargonising prime minister, a belligerent conspiracist, and a heartless Ayn Rand fanboy. One door closes, another gets slammed repeatedly in your face.It seems pretty ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • “Revolution” is the threat as the Māori Party smarts at coalition government’s Treaty directi...
    Buzz from the Beehive Having found no fresh announcements on the government’s official website, Point of Order turned today to Scoop’s Latest Parliament Headlines  for its buzz. This provided us with evidence that the Māori Party has been soured by the the coalition agreement announced yesterday by the new PM. “Soured” ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • The Good, the Bad, and the even Worse.
    Yesterday the trio that will lead our country unveiled their vision for New Zealand.Seymour looking surprisingly statesmanlike, refusing to rise to barbs about his previous comments on Winston Peters. Almost as if they had just been slapstick for the crowd.Winston was mostly focussed on settling scores with the media, making ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • When it Comes to Palestine – Free Speech is Under Threat
    Hi,Thanks for getting amongst Mister Organ on digital — thanks to you, we hit the #1 doc spot on iTunes this week. This response goes a long way to helping us break even.I feel good about that. Other things — not so much.New Zealand finally has a new government, and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Thank you Captain Luxon. Was that a landing, or were we shot down?
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Also in More Than A FeildingFriday The unboxing And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Cans of Worms.
    “And there’ll be no shortage of ‘events’ to test Luxon’s political skills. David Seymour wants a referendum on the Treaty. Winston wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Labour’s handling of the Covid crisis. Talk about cans of worms!”LAURIE AND LES were very fond of their local. It was nothing ...
    1 week ago
  • Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Misinformation is debated everywhere and has justifiably sparked concerns. It can polarise the public, reduce health-protective behaviours such as mask wearing and vaccination, and erode trust in science. Much of misinformation is spread not ...
    1 week ago
  • Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record.1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is not even an entry in Wikipedia. ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The New Government: 2023 Edition
    So New Zealand has a brand-spanking new right-wing government. Not just any new government either. A formal majority coalition, of the sort last seen in 1996-1998 (our governmental arrangements for the past quarter of a century have been varying flavours of minority coalition or single-party minority, with great emphasis ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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