web analytics

Sprawl does not equal affordability

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, October 29th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

Listening to the Nats on housing affordability, it’s pretty clear that their only plan is to allow more sprawl. So, let’s say this clearly: sprawl is expensive, not cheap, and it is not lack of housing but over-investment in house price speculation that leads to high prices. National’s ‘solution’ is for the country to needlessly spend tens of billions in infrastructure, oil, and travel time while doing nothing about the cause of expensive housing.

Bill English himself has said that New Zealand hasn’t built affordable first homes since the 1970s. It’s a symptom of the over-investment in housing. Developers chasing maximum profit by building the most expensive houses they can (with the cheapest materials and standards – which is why it’s so worrying to see National, who caused the leaky homes crisis, talking about weakening standards again). Nothing in National’s plan will get affordable homes built. It will see expensive homes built on ‘cheap’ distant land with huge infrastructure and travel costs associated with them.

The real solution is new urbanism. The construction of high-quality, eco-friendly, modestly-sized houses and apartments in compact areas centred around public transport within cities’ existing limits. Costs can be brought down by using economies of scale rather than every house being a bespoke project. But who is going to build lots of low-profit, affordable homes? Not the private sector. It takes the public sector. Public investment in this kind of housing, and a rent to buy scheme to get people out of renting into homewonership is the way forward.

But National’s only answer is sprawl.

85 comments on “Sprawl does not equal affordability”

  1. karol 1

    Yes, the NAct government approach is more sprawl and private housing.  And opposition parties also think first in terms of everyone owning their own house.  Some of us just want affordable housing for renting.
     
    There needs to be far more investment in building up state housing stock.  This will bring down costs of both house-buying and for those of us renting private or community housing.

  2. ad 2

    Those Oolong tea guys in the Waikato who had to bring helicopters in to avoid frost is a real case in point:

    These people are farmers generating a really high value export product, worth hundreds of dollars a kilo, yet when they brought the helicopters in, the newer outer suburbs of Hamilton complained.

    This is a nasty effect of RMA Reverse Effects: sure that greenfields development gave a quick sugar rush of construction profit and a few more families housed, but puts at risk precisely the kind of export businesses we should beg to keep adn support to grow here.

    • prism 2.1

      ad
      Exactly. For far too long there has not been a provision that new suburbs abutting natural areas such as farms or the sea, have to accept that there procedures used there are considered as primary. Spraying orchards, frost banishing helicopters, pigs smelling, effluent spreading, all important and lifestyle dilettantes ‘escaping’ the confines of the city to the outer areas should have to accept the importance of the local business.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Oh, FFS, people complain about low flying aircraft all the time – even after they go out and buy next to a bloody airport. The question that really needs to be asked here is: Are helicopters the best option to keep frost off the fruit?

  3. King Kong 3

    Kiwis dont wan’t to live in central city shoeboxes and why should they have to. Policy has to target the reality that the decent sized house with a good back yard is becoming a bit expensive (only really a major city issue). Opening up the supply of these type of homes has the ability to take the heat out of the price.
    You can still increase the supply of miniscule apartments in Auckland to house the Asians flooding in who are used to living like this.

    • ad 3.1

      I just wonder which kiwis you are referring to. You would be surprised at how Auckland’s ethnic identity has changed since, oh, World War II. Or 2002.

      Clearly you want some density, but not too much. So would you want dwelling density minimums in specific areas along with parking minimums per dwelling, or dwelling density maximums, or both?

      The blanket statement about “Asians” possibly not specific enough. Could you clarify what you mean.

    • karol 3.2

      (only really a major city issue)
      Auckland and Christcurch are where there are major problems with affordable housing. only issues for those of us who live in those places?   34% of NZ’s population lives in Auckland, now at 1.5 million people.
       
      Traveling across Auckland is an increasing issue for those of us living further out.  And Rodney Hide’s baby, the supercity, is dysfunctional in aiming for increasing centralisation of major service, administrative, and cultural facilities in central Auckland. 
       
      People come to greater Auckland for the work.  But targeting the margins for cheap housing means that less well-off people carry a disproportionate amount of the cost and time it takes travelling to work and other placeas.

      • ad 3.2.1

        Half of New Zealand’s population now lives between Rotorua and Whangarei. That band is shrinking every year. It’s easy to forecast half of New Zealand living in Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland inside 30 years.

        Much of the rest of New Zealand’s local authority areas are either shrinking or generally static in population. The housing affordability problem is getting more and more concentrated.

      • lprent 3.2.2

        Traveling across Auckland is an increasing issue for those of us living further out.

        It isn’t even the cost for me, it is the time – closely followed by the taxes for the roading costs.

        Auckland is huge and the work is scattered all over it. It is why I’ve mostly lived in the central city since I came back from Otago in 1989. At various times since 1989 I have worked for at least a few years in each of:- the city (~1km from home), Manakau (~21 from home), and Albany (~20kms from home). And from 1981-1985 I used to work in New Lynn (~10km from home).

        By living near the hub of the motorways in central Auckland has meant that it has been feasible to take jobs where the work was most interesting without spending much of my life driving and feeding the car. It has also meant that because I’m largely going “against” the traffic with the reduced jams, time and petrol consumption. I’ve also spent ~8 years working from home.

        But that is why I live in the Newton/Grey Lynn. I don’t have to live as much with the transport mess that is Auckland. Extending the city will simply make that more unworkable. If National want to do that, then they should levy most of the future roading and public transport costs from the developers upfront. Don’t make sensible people pay for the fools…

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1

          If National want to do that, then they should levy most of the future roading and public transport costs from the developers upfront. Don’t make sensible people pay for the fools…

          That would be nice. National won’t do it though as their entire modus operandi is to lump the costs onto the poor so that more profit can be taken from them and thus increase the wealth that the rich have.

    • tracey 3.3

      I’m afraid your optimism in this regard is going to be a big let down. Prices will not be driven down, and even if they drop a tad it won’t be anytime soon, not in Auckland.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Kiwis dont wan’t to live in central city shoeboxes and why should they have to.

      1.) That’s an unproven assertion
      2.) Because we can’t afford the sprawl

      Opening up the supply of these type of homes has the ability to take the heat out of the price.

      Never has done before so why would it suddenly do so now?

      You can still increase the supply of miniscule apartments in Auckland to house the Asians flooding in who are used to living like this.

      Ah, racism – just what we’ve come to expect from the typical RWNJ.

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        I guess Kiwis want to live in garages and packed 3 families to a house instead. You know, like happens now.

        • King Kong 3.4.1.1

          You are right. I should have been more specific and said “the overwhelming vast majority of Kiwis who are not mentally ill, drug addicts or just too thick”

    • jbc 3.5

      “Kiwis dont wan’t to live in central city shoeboxes and why should they have to…”

      High-density living does not mean shoeboxes. My apartment in Seoul is 50% larger than my bungalow in Pt Chev was (floor area). It is also roughly the same value.

      My heating costs through winter (where it reaches less than -15 celsius) are less than they were in Auckland, thanks to underfloor heating and double glazing. This place is toasty warm when the footpaths outside are frozen. 100Mbps Internet in all apartments.

      I have 2 subway stations and a big park (think Cornwall Park / One Tree Hill but with real vegetation and not just grass) adjacent to the apartment complex. This would be absent if all the apt dwellers were in single-level homes.

      Local businesses (supermarket, butcher, dry-cleaner, bars, etc) downstairs. I can get to my office in 20 minutes.

      My kid’s schools are barely 1km away (walking distance, although they take bus).

      I have underground parking, taxi, bus, subway all at my disposal.

      I have fond memories of my Auckland bungalow, and all the maintenance jobs that came with it. I’d never move back into it. It seems caveman ass-backward in comparison. Don’t get me started on the sorry state of transport in that sprawl. It’s much, much worse than here.

      “…to house the Asians flooding in who are used to living like this.”

      That’s because they are more evolved than you. Don’t forget to shave the backs of your hands, Mr Kong.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1

        Yep, had the same conversion. Grew up thinking why would people want to live in apartments and then knew a couple that did so and then lived in one myself. These days I wonder why people want to live in the horrible sprawl we’ve had foist upon us by idiotic governments.

        • lprent 3.5.1.1

          Ditto. I wouldn’t mind another 10-20 square metres of open area now that there are two of us. Where I used to rattle on my own there is now not quite enough room for two. It has to be well designed space. We were in a larger townhouse for the last few years but the spaces weren’t good to work in or lounge around.

          But I don’t miss the villas and bungalows of my youth and all of the extra cleaning, lawns, maintenance and the wasted time at all.

          • jbc 3.5.1.1.1

            Right, and with greater density comes more efficient public transport, less land use per capita, more common green space…

            • lprent 3.5.1.1.1.1

              Yep. Lower water and sewerage reticulation costs. The rest of Auckland is now learning what a unsubsidised watercare bill looks like. Fewer roads to pay for. Etc etc.

              My brother and his family are living in china at present. He wrote a Facebook that was on the same topic from his small city of 7 million people. Ok if I dig it up and plug it with yours? With a million or so kiwi’s offshore working these days, these subversive concepts ar becoming widespread…

              • jbc

                Sure, no problem. I’d have chosen a slightly different tone if not for the fact that Mr Kong’s post appeared to have an ignorant sting in the tail.

                The reality is that high-density living definitely has its upside. I suppose it can be very different to living in a leaky shoebox built by crooks in central Auckland.

                I could be in a house here, but the thought of losing the local amenities, being miles from the subway, and crawling through clogged backstreet traffic every day does not appeal in the slightest. In fact nothing about that idea is appealing.

                Knowing the state of the rental stock in Auckland I’d say there are many that could potentially feel the same way, given the chance.

  4. vto 4

    The most recent housing cost increases have come from this government and local governments.

    They include when Bill English put GST up by 2.5%. This meant all new dwelling rose on average about $10,000.

    And when, about 4 years ago, most local councils increased their development contributions by around $15,000 on average.

    Add those two up. It is unlikely fiddling with zoning etc will result in anything like enough to cover those incerases alone.

    The government is hypocritical. Quelle surprise….

    • Herodotus 4.1

      VTO you are wrong regarding the GST increase causing property to rise.
      Land prices being market driven were maintained meaning that those who develop land incurred a drop in pre GST prices. Spec homes were the same. The property market is not on a cost + basis.
      So a section or house and land package the day before GST increased was the same as the day after.
      And when, about 4 years ago, most local councils increased their development contributions by around $15,000 on average.- Where did this happen, under the law this cannot be arbitrary done the contribution must be based on additional costs associated with growth. Thanks to Rodney Hide the contribution basis paid by developers has decreased, with many contributions being standardized. reserve contributions in many cities were a % of land value now there is a standard $8k per lot be the land worth $1 of a $1m.

      • vto 4.1.1

        GST increased from 12.5% to 15%. That meant that a house and land package of say $400,000 rose to $409,000. These are the hard costs and while prices did not change overnight like beer or petrol, they do rise to meet that cost over time. I disagree that housing is not a cost+ basis. Over a timeframe that is exactly what it is. Remember that the ‘property market’ is not quite the same thing as ‘new housing’ when it comes to costs and prices.

        And re contributions – here in Chch the council tried adding up the “costs” in arbitrary ways to help get he contributions increased. They increased by about $15,000. I think many other Councils did the same (North Shore?). You say $8k per lot? I say no way jose. Maybe in your neck of the woods.

        $25,000 for the average new house and land package is how much the providers of those had to pay in increased charges by local council and central government. They have to pay that $25,000 you know – write a cheque. Out of their bank account. Hard cash. It gets recouped or else the provider goes out of business.

        • Herodotus 4.1.1.1

          Land prices did not increase and many spec builders who at the time were struggling to sell had to maintain their price at best brake even (In Auckland), most (if not all) selling land are captured by the rate they can sell based on what peoples ability to service/pay for the land & house. There are certain resistance levels that people will not go beyond, exceed these and the market goes cold. These levels have not moved to my observation since the GFC, yet there are more people willing to commit to investing in their property than over the last 3-4 years. There is also an acceptance to keep within the levels mentioned above of building smaller homes than say 6-8 years ago. Thus the demand for single level homes. But then to comply with council site coverage requirements (35% building coverage over section size)necessitates larger section sizes, so to max. densities we build larger volume homes on smaller sections which costs more Catch 22.
          And in Manuaku we were paying for a $250k section 500m2 GST $27,8k,reserve cont $18.75 Stormwater/Seweer/Discharge levies $6k , Develop Cont $8k, Water connection $6k . Council 15% and GSt 12.5% = 37.5%
          Chch has the added cost of the geotech reporting

    • prism 4.2

      Costs of housing up, wages and salary rises at below inflation level. A growing portion of the affordability problem.

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    I would definitely dispute the point that there isn’t a lack of housing. There certainly is a housing shortage. However, the solution is not greenfields development, but intensification. Greensfield development places extra servicing costs onto ratepayers, and developers don’t want to build the type of housing that has the largest need.

    Whatsmore, the government should be getting into the housing game as a builder (perhaps this could be contracted out to various building companies) and as an owner/landlord. Bill did talk about the huge cost that the rising rentals are having on the accomodation supplement – but he ignored the obvious solution – build more state houses (and not the state houses of the 1940s and 50s), but modern apartments and units that fit with the Council’s vision for a more intensified Auckland.

    • Herodotus 5.1

      The answer to Auckland housing issue is to privatise state houses, build a few new state houses on existing sites and then sell the residual land. It’s a win win? NO
      How about fully develop the area in tamaki increasing the quantity & quality of state houses available, this reduces the pressure on rents from private landlords and also saves in housing allowances paid to these private landlords.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10843563
      Under its Tamaki Transformation project Housing NZ is removing or renovating 156 of its houses in Glen Innes to make way for new or renovated state units and houses and about 140 privately-owned homes.
      But Labour commenced the privatisation of state housing with the Govt guaranteed rents for 10 years, just another case of both parties engaging in privatisation with good intentions/stealth ?

      • Policy Parrot 5.1.1

        I don’t particularly have a problem with that, although I would prefer to see more state houses being put back than were there initially, before they started worrying about private ownership. Yes, falling home ownership is major concern – but for many people nowadays – home ownership would not be achievable even under hugely adjusted policy settings, and there has to be something catered to them.

        If you are going to privatise the land formerly covered with state houses, only certain groups should be allowed to buy, i.e. owner/occupiers only, and under conditions that prevented obviously arbitrage.

  6. vto 6

    The government’s GST on land and housing needs attacking.

    Local council’s funding structure for associate infrastructure needs attacking.

    Local councils commercial charging for non-commercial services needs attacking.

    Cartels in the building supply sector need attacking.

    A capital gains tax needs consideration.

    The fractional reserve banking system needs attacking (a house is no longer worth what someone is willing to pay but what a bank is willing to lend on it).

    The land supply parameters need attacking.

    Various detailed rules around housing need attacking e.g. minimum car parking requirements. Ffs.

    If the country is serious about bringing down the cost of housing then it must be this multi-pronged attack. Each component has fat in it and can be brought back. This government will not do that.

  7. ad 7

    Does anyone recall when Labour had a comprehensive plan for a higher-density Auckland with major public housing stocks owned and operated either by the state or the city in which prices were regulated?

    Chris Trotter did a post on it about a year ago. It’s a plan from 1947. Sure, it’a Left-Melancholic Tragedy, but there are elements in that which are still achieveable. Someone find me a link will you ….?

    If only a government was prepared to say that houses are more important than cars. There is no UN Declaration fo Human Rights to car ownership. But there is one for housing.

    And prioritise using the Urban Renewal parts of the Public Works Act to step in and revive town centres.

    Auckland is in for the most ginormous scrap as this Cabinet release will be during the submissions phase of Auckland’s Unitary Plan submissions. Huge volumes of petrol to throw onto a currently small fire. Cheers Cabinet.

  8. Another missed opportunity,it’s incredible that all the nacts are doing is making it
    easier for their capitalist mates to build expensive $1m+ homes that only the elite
    can afford to buy,freeing up regulations and land makes their profit grabbing easier.
    Labour in days gone by used capitalisation of the family benefit, thank you to Phil
    Goff for that, many families benefited by ‘genuine’ policy to lift them on the property
    ladder, a great scheme of which i was one of those families.
    While we have no family benefit to help us in this day and age,there is working for
    families and kiwisaver.
    Lou Crimp who owned Andrew housing in invercargill built many homes that the
    families could afford,there was also Burgess homes,why on earth have the nacts
    missed an opportunity to really do something constructive for housing,although
    it should be expected i guess,their track record of working for ‘all nzer’s’ is
    is scant indeed.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Public investment in this kind of housing, and a rent to buy scheme to get people out of renting into homewonership is the way forward.

    Don’t need ownership. In fact, everyone would be better off if the community owned most of the houses and rented them out at a price that is solely to cover maintenance.

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      Except that you’d be wrong, as you so often are in your ideologically blinkered way:

      http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/liho01-12.pdf

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        If people have a stable place to live which won’t be and can’t be taken from them by adverse conditions beyond their control then I believe that those benefits that that report mentions will apply to housing that is rented from the community.

        • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1

          Actually, what makes them happy is the deep satisfaction of being able to decorate, adapt and add on to suit their needs perfectly – which they can do if they own. If the govt owns it, no one can absolutely guarantee that their home won’t be taken away from them, and certainly can’t be used as a threat to control people as certain Comun1st regimes had no qualms about doing.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            That’s absolute nonsense. Long term renters throughout Europe have rights to redecorate their rental properties, and long term leases are legally guaranteed, not unlike every day commercial leases which commonly have 4, 5 or 6 year terms.

            If the govt owns it, no one can absolutely guarantee that their home won’t be taken away from them, and certainly can’t be used as a threat to control people as certain Comun1st regimes had no qualms about doing.

            Are you a total ignoramus?

            Government housing was one of the reasons that relatively few people became homeless during the absolute economic collapse of the U.S.S.R.

            And the lack of which is a reason why several million Americans are homeless any given month, more added weekly as private sector banks continue to foreclose on homeowners without mercy.

            • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.1.1

              “That’s absolute nonsense. Long term renters throughout Europe have rights to redecorate their rental properties, and long term leases are legally guaranteed, not unlike every day commercial leases which commonly have 4, 5 or 6 year terms.”

              But you can’t guarantee that, can you? Especially if the govt owns ALL housing and will inevitably make a lot of things conditional. What if I want to paint my house purple and put up billboards criticising the regime? What if I want my children to have the home they grew up in? Can’t do that with a state house.

              “Are you a total ignoramus?

              Government housing was one of the reasons that relatively few people became homeless during the absolute economic collapse of the U.S.S.R.”

              No, but you clearly are to have such a rosy view of the history of the USSR. The families of dissenters were turfed out on the street. Which is all very ironic really given that you seem awfully proud of your status as a bourgeois parasite.

              • Colonial Viper

                But you can’t guarantee that, can you? Especially if the govt owns ALL housing and will inevitably make a lot of things conditional.

                Just like the private banks and private land lords make conditional.

                Further, I don’t think ALL housing needs to be Government owned. Just 5% to 10% of it.

                • Populuxe1

                  So your argument is to replace one master with another, and if you’s actually bothered to absorb what was being said you would probably have realised that I was addressing the argument that ALL housing should be government owned. I have no problem at all with state housing, but for most people the ideal is clearly to have ownership.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So your argument is to replace one master with another

                    Yep. Because the State is motivated by the common good, not by the good of a small number of private shareholders as banks and privateers are, and can deliver lower mortgage interest rates and better value buildings without requiring a profit margin.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Because the State is motivated by the common good, not by the good of a small number of private shareholders as banks and privateers are, and can deliver lower mortgage interest rates and better value buildings without requiring a profit margin.”

                      HahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahaha

                      How many contrary examples do you want? Fuck, it’s like trying to debate evolution with a fundamentalist Christian

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Pop1 I believe in increasing democracy in this country, and in ensuring Government serves the people and the commons.

                      If you don’t and instead belong to an anarchist movement, please say so.

                      By the way, I’m talking about the NZ democratic system here, not Somalia or Sudan.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What if I want my children to have the home they grew up in?

                Why would they want it?

                BTW, no ones said that government should own all housing.

                • Populuxe1

                  Actually Draco did say that the state should own all housing, catch up. And they might want to own it because human beings are sentimental beings – well most of us anyway. Are you autistic?

          • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.2

            Or rather if the government doesn’t own your home it certainly can’t be used as a threat to control people as certain Comun1st regimes had no qualms about doing.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2.1

              WTF?

              I just described to you how the very reverse of your fear-mongering bullshit is the actual reality.

              Freedom from the banksters taking your home away from you just because you got made redundant at the mines or at the carpet factory.

              • Populuxe1

                And you can’t seem to get through your thick skull that the inevitably the more responsibility we pass off to the government, the more control it wants. Private home ownership is simply a non-issue for most sane people – the issue is the availability of affordable housing.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’ve given you very real examples of where it has worked – and I haven’t even mentioned NZ state housing in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s (which helped raise generations of successful Kiwis including John Key (spit), and all you can come back with is some US idealogue bullshit about smaller government. FFS grow up.

                  • Populuxe1

                    All you’re doing is recycling foreign examples (Europe as always being a slightly different cultural context to countries like ours, having been through very different socially formative experiences, as is the Scandinavia the Utopians love to trot out) and nostalgia for the paternalistic world over half a century ago. What’s the difference?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah because people like you don’t know how to learn from history or how to apply it to modern times, even when it is the history of your own country.

                      Sad and pathetic idealogue.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I know enough about history to realise you have no understanding of why some things work in certain cultures but not so well in others – I suppose that would go against your blind faith in your prejudices.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I know enough about history to realise you have no understanding of why some things work in certain cultures

                      wtf?

                      uh, one of the examples I used – the building of tens of thousands of state houses – was the same NZ that a lot of people in their 50’s and 60’s grew up in.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “uh, one of the examples I used – the building of tens of thousands of state houses – was the same NZ that a lot of people in their 50′s and 60′s grew up in.”

                      Including John Key amusingly enough – I don’t have a problem with state housing, I have a problem with the idea that all property should be state owned as raised by Draco, and I have a problem with the bloody minded refusal to recognise the utility in home ownership

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      all property should be state owned as raised by Draco,

                      [citation needed]

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And you can’t seem to get through your thick skull that the inevitably the more responsibility we pass off to the government, the more control it wants.

                  The answer to that is to not give government control. That’s why we have democracy.

                  BTW, what we’ve been doing over the last few decades is giving the control to the capitalists and that’s why our economy is fucked, poverty has increased and people fear losing their jobs.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah Pop seems fine with the private sector getting all the control, as long as the peoples’ government stays small and weak.

                    • Populuxe1

                      No actually, though I’m always amazed at how you never cease to find ways to misrepresent what I’ve said. I believe in a mix of state housing, private rentals, and private home ownership. I believe in the choice. I also believe that the government should be makeing home ownership more affordable.

                      Out of curiosity, CV, is your home freehold? 

                  • Populuxe1

                    Are you see that’s the complicated thing. Democracy should give the citizenry the right to choose how it wishes to be governed – which may very well include the right to own property. Which of those points is the least negotiable for you?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Democracy should give the citizenry the right to choose how it wishes to be governed

                      Wrong, democracy is the populace having a say in their governance.

                      which may very well include the right to own property.

                      I didn’t remove the right to own property did I? Although I’m pretty sure that, given the conditions that I’ve already stated, most people would prefer to rent from the state.

                      Which of those points is the least negotiable for you?

                      Inane question that has no relevance to the conversation.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Although I’m pretty sure that, given the conditions that I’ve already stated, most people would prefer to rent from the state.”

                      That’s a big assumption and given human nature I’m willing to bet they wouldn’t. For example it would be easier to come to a flexible or accomodating relationship with a private landlord than the state.

                       

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s a big assumption and given human nature I’m willing to bet they wouldn’t.

                      Human nature is flexible and changing, not the fixed and immutable thing that some people seem to think.

                      For example it would be easier to come to a flexible or accomodating relationship with a private landlord than the state.

                      No, really, it won’t.

          • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1.3

            wot a load of rubbish Pop; if I may be so bold, peddle your nonsense some blog else: Jesus wept!

            • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Blogs are for debate. If you can’t handle that then you are the one who should perhaps go elsewhere.

  10. aerobubble 10

    Bell curve. As you can see in cities like Sydney, high rise blocks in the center and a tapering off fo building heights as you move out. But not in Auckland. More sprawl at the outskirts in one monolithic economy of low rise building excess. No wonder NZ lags, people have no choice in housing, its sprawl or sprawl.

  11. ad 11

    I dont think even the Greens have figured out how addicted New Zealand is to Real Estate Capitalism. Karl Marx was right about Land.

    If a Labour-Green government really has a crack at this by limiting land ownership and therefore development rights ni order to promote deisity and ownership, (through other than the CGT), they will be in for the most almighty fight from land owners and the whole real estate industry.

    If a 2014 Gvoernment was going to use up some political capital, use it on this, but do it in your first three months, bulk up Crown Law for a few years to defend it, and hold on tight.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      If a Labour-Green government really has a crack at this by limiting land ownership and therefore development rights ni order to promote deisity and ownership, (through other than the CGT), they will be in for the most almighty fight from land owners and the whole real estate industry.

      It’d take some meticulous strategy but its very do-able.

  12. Ad 12

    I am surprisingly pleased with the Auckland focus in the Government announcements today, particularly support for medium sized developments.

    But not happy with Key saying he has “control of very few of the housing levers”. Simply not true.

    If National wanted to really crush Labour for good, Key could take the nation builder mantle off them with both a generous and transformational approach to the Christchurch rebuild, and housing in Auckland.

    Fortunately that takes skilful massive transformational direct public sector intervention, not just massive intervention. No sign of that yet.

  13. Descendant Of Smith 13

    More private sector housing would seem to conflict with their benefit liability reduction intents.

    The third highest liability in the report is Accommodation Assistance at 10.21 billion.

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/news/2012/key-findings-and-background-facts-120912.pdf

    Much of the other non-recoverable hardship assistance will likely be for Special Benefit / Temporary Additional Support to cover high rents as well.

    In the 80’s you couldn’t get this paid to you if you weren’t on a benefit. It’s now more of a liability than unemployment benefits. There housing plan will just see more high rents being paid with the state propping them up. and an increased ongoing subsidy cost.

    Just another way the well off get their tax dollars back. Rent subsidies.

    With an aging population building state owned retirement housing ( one and two bedroom units) for older people to move into and free up other housing makes more sense.

    Auckland used to have some but John Banks sold it off.

  14. Drakula 14

    Yes Folks the answer is very short and simple, build more modern, quality, affordable state housing with a rent to own option.

    But slum Landlords and developers wouldn’t like that would they.

  15. millsy 15

    I would love the proponents of ‘freeing up more land’ to explain how people on these cheap suburban deserts are going to have access to amenites such as shops, public services (medical care/schools), banks, parks, libraries, etc…or are they going to have to trave for hours and hours to get to them?

    FWIW, even National ministers have openly admitted that state and council housing eases the pressure on rents and housing avalibility, it was in relation to Christchurch, but still…

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Good, short post on sprawl:

    But as long as banks and mortgage brokers are prepared to lend, as long as people think they have no choice, & as long as others who can afford to do so, buy houses to rent to those who can’t afford to buy, where is the market impetus for developers to sell their houses for less? All that really happens is the developers reduce their costs & increase their profits – so you have to ask: is this a solution for Jo(e) Bloggs, or a solution for business?

    Simple reality is that this forced opening up of more land for housing isn’t to make housing more affordable (it doesn’t) but to line the developers pockets.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      And as we know, profits like this are a dead loss on society. So many of these developers are the same people who walked away from the leaky homes damages that they played so close a role in. And here they are readying for another dip in the trough.

    • jbc 16.2

      Well, as long as the govt is willing to open up more land then it probably weakens the business case (increases the risk) for any significant intensification projects. That, and the current state of getting consent, etc.

      Buying a plot on the fringe, laying some hotmix and kerbing is likely seen as the quickest way to fast money.

      In many cities they are constantly renewing the (already intensive by NZ standards) housing as developers seek to squeeze even more value out of small plots of land.

      Not that we necessarily want that, but pretty much all of it is controlled by govt policy. As soon as it becomes more attractive to redevelop / intensify then that is what will happen.

      Govt (local and national) is likely too timid to make the necessary changes.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    42 mins ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    21 hours ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    21 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    22 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    24 hours ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago