Standing up for landlordism

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 19th, 2009 - 89 comments
Categories: national/act government, tenants' rights - Tags: , , ,

So, National has decided to scrap a raft of tenant protections proposed by the last Labour Government and tilt the deck back in favour of landlords. Clearly the new Government thinks tenants have had it too good for too long, and in hard times like these it’s the 8% of New Zealanders who own investment properties that need the most help.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says he wants to remove limitations on tenant liability for damage to the property, even if the tenant did not cause the damage intentionally or recklessly.

That’s the clause that was inserted after four Dunedin tenants were held financially responsible for someone else setting their flat on fire while they weren’t even on the property. The judge in that case said the outcome “though in accordance with the law, is unjust.” But apparently Phil’s cool with that.

Heatley also wants to scrap the right to professional tenant advocates in Tenancy Tribunal hearings, thereby tipping the balance of power even further in favour of landlords and property managers. Oh, and he also wants to make sure real estate agents can keep charging those extortionate letting fees.

The Auckland Property Investors Association is said to be thrilled.

Good to know whose side they’re on.

89 comments on “Standing up for landlordism ”

  1. rave 1

    I say fuck the landlords and their millionaire MPs.
    How can landlords and tenants be equal before the law?
    How many landlords sleep under the bridge.
    Farmers look after their stock better.
    I blame Labour for not replacing state housing stock.
    Like John Key I was raised in a state house and wouldnt want it any other way.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Why don’t tenants just take out insurance against risk as I’m sure most landlords do.

  3. Redbaiter 3

    Gee, Helen Kl*rk, with (what is it?) six or eight houses, and who while she owned those houses engineered a flood of migrants to push house prices to record highs, and therefore now bears a lot of blame for the current collapse, and is of course a landlord like so many other Labour party members, will be really pleased.

    Of course, she and others of the left could always prepare a rental agreement with an opt out clause in respect of the above changes. Anyone reckon they would??

    PS- I ban TomS from reading Redbaiter comments.

  4. QoT 4

    Look, Tane, these are difficult economic times and the people who helped drive up property prices in the first place and provide the working class with mould-ridden hovels to live in out of the goodness of their own hearts are obviously the ones we need to be taking care of. Where’s your empathy, man?

    *loves her not-rent-raising landlord to bits*

  5. DeeDub 5

    I would humbly suggest it’s not the landlords who prompted NACTM to do this, rather the insurance companies who don’t want to loose their ‘right’ of subrogation.
    Most landlords would not be stupid enough not to insure their properties against such accidental damage or loss.. the only possible losers are the big insurance companies.

    Tick up another one against the little guy!

  6. vto 6

    I say fuck the tenants and their gangster mates.
    There is no equality before the law.
    How many tenants see their hard work smashed up and abandoned?
    Farmers look after their stock better.
    I blame Labour for discouraging landlords from being such.
    Like most people I was raised to respect others property and wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Dear god, who on earth would be a residential landlord…

  7. DeeDub 7

    February 19, 2009 at 10:08 am

    “Why don’t tenants just take out insurance against risk as I’m sure most landlords do.”

    Yeah, and whilst we’re at it let’s make party guests take out insurance for any damage THEY might do accidentally at a party?

    Yeah, that’s the answer… let’s make EVERYONE in the world take out personal liability insurance!

    And while we’re at it can we have some more lawyers please?

  8. TomS 8

    Abraham Lincoln seems terribly topical just now, what with his invocation by Obama in their time of crisis. Unfortunately, it got a bit garbled in its translation to the National Party, which since 1936 has thought he said “…Government of the rentier, by the rentier, for the rentier, shall not perish from the Earth…” and have made that their guiding principle ever since.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    “And while we’re at it can we have some more lawyers please?”

    no, no, no, we haven’t finished hanging the current batch yet, and we’re running out of priestgut…

  10. lprent 10

    hs: “Why don’t tenants just take out insurance against risk..”

    Yep – just like car insurance – list all of the drivers of the car flat.

    Did you read the post?

  11. DeeDub 11

    February 19, 2009 at 10:11 am

    “Of course, she and others of the left could always prepare a rental agreement with an opt out clause in respect of the above changes”

    Only if she accepted that such a clause would probably make all her insurance totally worthless.

    Seriously mister Baiter, this is obviously just insurance companies trying to firm up their profits. It’s so obviously not about tenants versus landlords – although it helps their cause to make it appear so. We all know how insurance works and I’m sure the actuaries have the numbers sorted to make them plenty of money without having to sue innocent tenants or their guests…. but I guess NACTM like the idea of gigantic strings of pointless litigation clogging up the courts – if it helps their corporate pals that is.

    Let’s all sue each other and she/he with the most money and best lawyers wins!

    And screw the innocent losers.

    :Rolls eyes:

  12. ropata 12

    This is a stinker from the Nats.

    According to one of the links there are approx 1 million renters in NZ. Making tenants liable for ANY damage by ANYBODY is not about making tenants take ‘personal responsibility’, it’s about landlords avoiding a bit of insurance. Why don’t landlords want to ‘take responsibility’ for their own property?!?

  13. I dont know know how strict the law is going to be, but if your renting and you damage the property your in, you should have to pay for it, and no I dont own property,

  14. Redbaiter 14

    Deedub- It has been decreed that Redbaiter posts must be ignored. Please do not defy this decree, or you will be taken to a place in the country and shot in the back of the head.

    (by a bunch of landlords and lawyers and insurance brokers from the Labour party) –

    [lprent: Take comfort – I don’t ignore them. They get scanned just like the rest of the comments for things that get my moderation reflexes activated.]

  15. higherstandard 15


    “hs: “Why don’t tenants just take out insurance against risk..’

    Yep – just like car insurance – list all of the drivers of the car flat.

    Did you read the post?”

    Ah Yep …….. did you read the link to the case history.

    Ropata read the link the landlord had insurance it was the insurer that went after the tenants.

  16. lprent 16

    hs: Yeah I did, and did you notice that it wasn’t even tenants who caused the damage.

    Don’t know about you, but in the insurance industries eternal search for reduced liability, I suspect that they’d put in restrictions about who and how they’d sell tenant insurance.

    Something similar to car insurance would be my guess. Age related costs and restrictions about who can have access to the property come to mind as being reasonable from the insurance industry side. That gets interesting when you consider it against things like the BORA.

    The public health issues come to mind as people are unable to find a place to live because they’re too young to get tenant insurance…

    Think it through or some mindless Act/SST member will pick it up as being a good policy. They don’t think things through either.

  17. DeeDub 17

    Brett Dale
    February 19, 2009 at 10:45 am

    “I dont know know how strict the law is going to be, but if your renting and you damage the property your in, you should have to pay for it, and no I dont own property,”

    You seem to be saying that damage sustained completely outside the tenants knowledge or control should also be the tenants concern?

    So are you advocating compulsary liability insurance for tenants then? Because that is the only way this stupid law change could possibly work in practice….. who benefits from that?

    Insurance companies. Even without compulsion this amendment will drive up liability cover sales without question.

  18. Pat 18

    So let me get my head around the supposed logic of the argument here…

    If I am a homeowner, and I have a party in which there is some damage done to the property, I am responsible for the cost of the damage.

    If I am a tenant, and I have a party in which there is some damage done to the property, then I should not be responsible for the cost of the damage?

    vto – very good version of rave’s post! I know which version the majority of NZers would agree with (I only have to look at the polls).

  19. DeeDub 19

    All this talk of cars versus houses….

    I mean I understand having to have insurance for my OWN car… but does this kind of bizarre thinking mean if I RENT a car I will have to have my own liability insurance???

    I mean why should the party PROFITTING from the arrangement have to have any liability?

    Patently ridiculous….

    ROLLS EYES for the fifth time today.

  20. higherstandard 20

    A bit harsh Lynn I’m sure there’s the occasional good insurance company out there …….. Good Lord there goes a flight of pigs past the window.

    . and it was a tenant who caused the damage.

    I think the most pertinent comment was the judge’s when he said..

    ” “The outcome of this proceeding, though in accordance with the law, is unjust. It is unlikely that the defendants were ever aware that their landlord (or the landlord’s insurer acting by right of subrogation) might sue them for major damage to their flat, even if caused by the carelessness of one of them. I have no doubt that while most residential tenants assume (almost invariably correctly) that their landlords insure and will be indemnified against damage to, or the destruction of, the insured property, they have little or no understanding of the insurer’s right of subrogation.’

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    This plus ACC – someone really needs to look at the causes for National’s hard-on for the Insurance industry. Do they all get free Viagra?

  22. DeeDub 22

    Matthew….. ROFL!

  23. MikeE 23

    How many of you have risked your money and lively hood to provide housing for others (i.e. become a landlord)

    How many of you have had to dip into your own pockets to serve the mortgage because the tenant refuses to pay rent, has skipped out, or has done ridiculous amounts of damage to property.

    I have yet to meet a single landlord who doesn’t have horror stories from their tenants.

  24. Tigger 24

    Who sued that tenant? The insurance company or an uninsured landlord. If the former – well, if your name is on the contract so too bad. If the latter then that person is an idiot and shouldn’t own property.

  25. DeeDub 25

    February 19, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “How many of you have risked your money and lively hood to provide housing for others (i.e. become a landlord)

    How many of you have had to dip into your own pockets to serve the mortgage because the tenant refuses to pay rent, has skipped out, or has done ridiculous amounts of damage to property.

    I have yet to meet a single landlord who doesn’t have horror stories from their tenants.”

    Hah hah… you poor landlords make me laugh.

    It’s all good at the end of the year when the profits are counted though, eh?
    Providing housing out the goodness of your heart….. hah hah

    It’s called a ‘market’ when you’re winning and charity when you lose is it?

    What a d***head.

  26. lprent 26

    hs: The insurance company went for for all of the flatmates. From Maryn Street’s introduction to the bill (linked in the post)

    One of the clearest and most definitive judgments on this issue came in the case of Harrison v Shields and others andThe presiding judge was Judge MacAskill.

    The case involved six flatmates at an address in Dunedin. Five of the tenants had signed a common written tenancy agreement. The sixth tenant had not signed it. On 11 June 1999 the only tenant at home at the time left some bacon cooking on the stove and went next door. While he was away, the place caught fire and considerable damage was done. None of the man’s flatmates were home at the time of the fire. The other four signatories to the tenancy agreement did not intentionally, or carelessly, damage the flat by fire. As they were not present in the flat, they had no knowledge of, and were unable to control, their flatmate’s actions.

    See pigs do fly.. The insurance company didn’t just target the stupid one. Wasn’t that generous…

  27. Pascal's bookie 27


    QoT beat you to it.

  28. higherstandard 28


    Pigs don’t fly……….

    “In the event, the judge ruled that the four flatmates who were signatories to the tenancy agreement, as well as the flatmate whose carelessness caused the damage to the property, were jointly and severally liable for the net recoverable loss of $67,381.07 plus interest.”

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Pat, somewhat close, but no cigar.

    “If I am a homeowner, and I am not present at a party in which there is some damage done to the property, the person who did the damage is responsible for the cost of the damage.

    If I am a tenant, and I am not present at, nor responsible in any way for a party in which there is some damage done to the property, then I am liable for the cost of the damage”

    Well, that’s how it stands now, due to the majority of residential leasees being jointly and severally liable.

    Try not using terms such as ‘supposed logic’ until you’re sure you understand the argument.

    P.S. there are more tenants in NZ than landlords, and a vast majority of those tenants aren’t ‘gangsters and their mates’, so I suspect you and vto are a touch misguided with your supposition of support for those statements. And tying it to a poll? That’s pretty weak, but I’m sure you knew that!

  30. MikeE 30


    I’m not a landlord.

    I do own a property and have considered using it as a rental (I currently live in it) but I’m too scared to do so after having seen how the tenants treated the unit next door.

    I simply could not afford to pay the thousands of dollars in repair bills that the landlord next door pays.

    Personally – I just think that tenants should be liable for any damaged caused to the property while they are there. Same thing goes with rent, late payment etc… its fair enough.

    You are in a property and you break it, you should have to fix it. You cook P in it, you pay for the cleanup etc.

    What we have now is a situation whereif I go and do an inspection (if I owned a rental) and I found a P lab in there, I wouldn’t be able to kick my tenants out. I’d have to report it to the cops, let them deal with it, then stuff about with the tenancy tribunal. Its pretty much common sense that if people have a P lab in my place, that they sholdn’t be able to do this.

    One of my old flatmates had this happen to him. Ended up costing him something like $30,000 to get the place back up to a standard that he could rent out to a new tenant.

    If you think Landlords have it easy in NZ, you are dreaming. Most are just average Kiwis, trying to get by, struggling with multiple mortgages and having to pick up shit after dodgy tenants.

  31. lprent 31

    Sorry was editing the message (after I read the stuff more closely)…

    It is that joint liability plus if it’d been the non-sig who burnt the bacon…

    It looks like insurance companies don’t believe in individual responsibility..

  32. MikeE 32

    Another example is down the road from me in Ivanhoe road. Long term housing NZ tenant, has a P Lab explode and set the house on fire.

    Housing NZ had to go to the tenancy tribuanal to get costs back, and get this, they still have to provide a state house to the people who were cooking P while they go to court.

  33. DeeDub 33


    You give yourself away with your comment about ‘P labs’. (Edit: Actually after seeing your more recent post I can see that you’re OBSESSED with it?!!)

    I have a family member with a number of ‘investment’ properties. The last thing he would do is bitch to me about how tough it is at the moment after recently building and moving into his new $1.4M home. Yes, he has had some problems… but in the long run he has profited. He realises the costs of being a landlord but at the end of the day he thinks the profit is worth the hassle. Like he always says : ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” – oh and no, no P was cooked in that kitchen….

    It’s a business mate – there are good landlords who get good advice, do the numbers and do business wisely, and then there are people who seem to think it’s a ticket to easy money and get into it without doing a business plan first

  34. lprent 34

    MikeE: but how does this relate to burning bacon? There are few P labs compared to a lot of flats where breakfast gets burnt…

    T o make law based only on the abnormal is pretty draconian.

    For instance, people get drunk in public and sometimes do dangerous things. Does that mean that to prevent this we should have locked up Muldoon and Peter Garrett for possibly being incapable. Both of whom it would have probably been possible to make a prima facie case from where I was sitting watching TV.

  35. Deedub:

    No im saying if some students have their mates around and their mates wreck the place, those students should be liable for damages.

  36. rave 36

    Why don’t we just put tenants in cowsheds and milk them then?
    I don’t wonder that some tenants disrespect private property when their landlords are extracting rent for doing fucking nothing.

    Get this, the only reason that landlords exist is that they have taken advantage of their income to keep workers out of houses by bidding up the price of those houses beyond the income of workers.
    Landlords are parasites and perform no useful social function however they spin it in church or at Rotary.
    Landlords can offset renovation, depreciation etc against taxes and still get a tax free capital gain which they did nothing to earn.

    VTO I grew up in a state house so the property that I respected first was state owned, not my families or some parasite living off our rent. By the age of five I was mowing the lawns not dreaming that I could own this one day and live off the backs of some poor tenant.
    The people I respect are those that work for a living, and don’t live off the workers. I spent a number of years defending tenants from greedy landlords. I can understand the disrespect that some workers have for landlords.

    I agree that tenants damaging property is an issue. I would rather tenants formed tenants associations and took responsibility for looking after property and organising to defend their interests against rapacious landlords, insurance companies and Bankster governments.

    But ultimately the problem is a shortage of state housing, and governments that would rather pay off their rich mates than spend more money to provide public housing for all who need it are the scum of the earth. The only way to clean up such scum is to socialise it.

    capcha: wrong part of town and wrong generation

  37. Rave:

    Are your views represented of the communist party of New Zealand?

    Just asking because of your blog?

  38. tsmithfield 38

    Tane: “That’s the clause that was inserted after four Dunedin tenants were held financially responsible for someone else setting their flat on fire while they weren’t even on the property.”

    So, Tane, by your argument:

    If I lend you my car, and someone else sneaks around in the night and slashes its tyres, you shouldn’t be responsible for fixing the damage?

  39. DeeDub 39

    Brett Dale “No im saying if some students have their mates around and their mates wreck the place, those students should be liable for damages.”

    Even if their name is on the tenancy but they had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the party or it’s consequences?

    Yeah, that’s justice, National-style.

  40. DeeDub 40


    “So, Tane, by your argument:

    If I lend you my car, and someone else sneaks around in the night and slashes its tyres, you shouldn’t be responsible for fixing the damage?”

    Sad-assed anaolgy that ignores the fact that the landlord is not LENDING the premesis to the tenants. He is charging MONEY, supposedly running a business. IMO insurance should be one of the costs he bears. If he wants to pass that on as a part of the rent then so be it – but wouldn’t that make things a lot more simple and less contentious….. oh, but hold on, then the insurance company couldn’t just ‘recover’ it’s costs…

    Work it out for f***s sake!

  41. Deedeb

    No, its justice, fairness style.

    If your going to throw a boozy party and invite people around, then yes you should have to pay your landlord for the damages, while should he/she be out of pocket?

  42. DeeDub 42

    Jesus Brett… what IF you’re not there when your flatmates throw the party. What if you know nothing about it and you’re out of town? Should you have to pay then?

    You’re a fucking twat!

  43. DEEDUB

    The last line doesn’t help your argument. No your other flatmates will be responsible.

  44. Alex 44


    No, its justice, fairness style.

    If your going to throw a boozy party and invite people around, then yes you should have to pay your landlord for the damages, while should he/she be out of pocket?”

    Why should a tenant, who was not there at the time of the party and had nothing to do with it, have to pay for the damage?

    “The last line doesn’t help your argument. No your other flatmates will be responsible.”


  45. Felix 45

    So Brett, are you saying that you’ve completely misunderstood the entire argument? Or that you’ve been in agreement all along?

  46. DeeDub 46

    Brett just isn’t that bright, guys. He thinks life is all about absolutes.

  47. Matthew Pilott 47

    Tane: “That’s the clause that was inserted after four Dunedin tenants were held financially responsible for someone else setting their flat on fire while they weren’t even on the property.’

    So, Tane, by your argument:

    If I lend you my car, and someone else sneaks around in the night and slashes its tyres, you shouldn’t be responsible for fixing the damage?

    No Tsmithfield, if your car is insured and you rent it to me and two other people, and someone slashes the cars’ tyres when I was not using the car, your insurance company should not be able to charge ME for it. That’s the actual car analogy…

    You’re even further away than Pat was.

    Brett, let’s consider this rationally. Say you and I and two others sign a lease, jointly and severally, for a property. What are you and I signing up for? Would you consider yourself liable for my actions, and of the other two? Under current law, you are arguing that yes, you are indeed equally responsible for my actions as I am.

    Now that makes sense when it comes to such things as paying rent and normal maintenance of the property – all us happy tenants should, and are, in the eyes of the law, equally responsible as parties to that contract.

    But you think this should also apply if I am negligent or engage in a wrongful activity that results in damage? Think carefully…

    DeeDub – no need for that eh. Brett has different views, few of which I agree with (And vice versa of course!), but lets keep some decency to the debate please.

    Edit: No your other flatmates will be responsible.

    This is where you are mistaken, Brett. Under a joint and severally liable tenancy contract, you are equally as responsible for your flatmates’ actions as they are!! This is why this discussion, and thread is happening. Labour wanted to change this, National doesn’t.

  48. Felix 48

    Only the Sith deal in absolutes.

  49. I’m just sure that any reasonable landlord would go after the tenant that caused the damaged and not the innocent one.

  50. Matthew Pilott 50

    Only the Sith deal in absolutes.

    I dunno, mathematics at a primary school level probably only deals with absolutes as well.

  51. Alex 51

    Honestly, why doesn’t the right advocate personal responsibility here? A landlord is going into business when he/she lets a property. The landlord knows there is a risk involved and so should be responsible for taking out insurance, especially given how unlikely it is most people would even be able to pay for a burnt down house.

    No matter the number of tenants, tenants are in law one person – “the tenant.” So when one tenant (in reality) destroys property, “the tenant” (i.e, all tenants in reality) are liable for damage. That means guests of one tenant are guests of “the tenant.” “The tenant” is responsible for damage caused by guests. Tenants, in law, are one person. That is why the judge called the law “unjust” in the Dunedin case and why there needed to be a law change.

  52. Matthew Pilott 52

    I’m just sure that any reasonable landlord would go after the tenant that caused the damaged and not the innocent one.

    Unfortunately it’s the insurance companies that do the going after here (though every landlord I’ve dealt with is indeed more reasonable than any insurance company I’ve had to deal with!)

  53. Felix 53

    I dunno, mathematics at a primary school level probably only deals with absolutes as well.

    Statements like “Only the Sith…” are pretty absolute too.

  54. Matthew Pilott 54

    Statements like “Only the Sith ‘ are pretty absolute too.

    No they aren’t.

  55. jbc 55

    Isn’t it the case that if tenant’s liability was limited in law then insurance companies’ abilities to recover costs would be reduced so the result would simply be higher insurance premiums for landlords – which would ultimately be added to the cost of renting?

    Ultimately it’s the poor bugger at the bottom that will pay – either with or without limitation of liability.

  56. renee4tkc 56

    In my experience as a budget adviser some years ago;
    Tenants must have Contents Insurance to protect themselves from the sorts of damage done in the Dunedin case.
    Problem; most insurance co demanded that you also insured your car with them to qualify for contents insurance.
    They also usually set minimum values for household contents
    It’s expensive and often, the tenant/s don’t own a car. Have limited income. Can’t afford Contents Insurance.
    This is a lawchange that benefits insurance companies not landlords nor tenants…

  57. Jasper 57


    I used to work for IAG who underwrite a lot of policies, generally done through Banks.

    IAG has a contents insurance policy that is a minimum 10K, which works out at about $3.50 a week.
    Most students do have 10K of contents, without realising it – computer, clothes, ipod, phone, camera, sofa, microwave, fridge etc… what else have I forgotten.

    Under that contents policy, you had tenant insurance of 1million.

    Only downside to that policy is that the insurance companies end up going for the only responsible tenant who has contents cover.
    This happened to me when I was renting due to fire damage caused in the kitchen.
    However, $15K later, and able to prove I wasn’t in the property (out of the city even) I didn’t have to pay.

    It all depends on how clever clogs tenants are, and most aren’t. Unfortunately.

  58. Matthew Pilott 58

    JBC – the original amendment would increase cover Tenants had to that of their Landlord, as part of the Landlord’s cover. Premiums would probably increase, where such cover was not already in place, but the liability would rest where it should.

    I’d prefer a different solution, such as specifically removing such damage from lease agreements, but that would lead to problems in proving who was responsible for damages – i’m not sure if that’s a practical option or not, but it would negate the insurance issues.

    To put it simple, tenants would not be jointly and severally responsible for liability damages – they would be personally responsible. Thus liability would rest with those…liable!

  59. Redbaiter 59

    Dipshits leftist once again totally unable to grasp that there’s no free lunch. A landlord’s property gets wrecked, someone has to pay, and if you think that insurance means no renters have to pay then once again, you don’t have a fucken clue about economics.

    Where do you think landlords will seek to recover the cost of ever increasing insurance premiums??

    Leftist whine on/

    “I was out of town when the damage occurred it was my flatmates”

    Leftist whine off/

    Flat with some responsible people and not children then you dick.

  60. Pat 60

    MP said “I’d prefer a different solution, such as specifically removing such damage from lease agreements, but that would lead to problems in proving who was responsible for damages – i’m not sure if that’s a practical option or not, but it would negate the insurance issues.

    To put it simple, tenants would not be jointly and severally responsible for liability damages – they would be personally responsible. Thus liability would rest with those liable!”

    So in that case, the onus would be on the landlord and/or his insurance company to prove which particular tenant was at the party. Can you see some inherent difficulty in this?

    Furthermore, is that fair on the landlord? The house is trashed and he may be facing a Kahui-like code of silence and denial.

  61. Pat 61

    By the way, I’m copywriting the “Kahui-like code of silence” phrase, before all the link whores among you scuttle off home to your own blogsites.


  62. Matthew Pilott 62

    Yes Pat, I can! But this is common practice in insurance claims. What you’ve suggested is wrong can actually be seen as ‘guilty unless proven innocent’. Can you see the inherent flaw in that?

    Edit: Pat, you know that the onus is not on the Landlord, but the insurance company, which makes a profit out of taking such risks. The Landlord will be fine, unless they have no insurance. The ‘code of silence’ (like the phrase btw) is probably a fairly unique problem, given the abberation of responsibility that is presented by the type of lease.

    Redbaiter – where are your standards? Your flatmate is a screw-up so it becomes your responsibility? It’s a little known fact that the Right hasn’t got a monopoly on Personal Responsibility – but it’s a joke for you of all people to argue against it.

  63. Alex 63

    “landlord’s property gets wrecked, someone has to pay”

    clearly regardless of who does the damage it should be a person who had nothing to do with it PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY rite

  64. MikeE 64

    If you are on the lease, i.e. head tenant, then it *should* be your responsibiilty to ensure your flatmates aren’t complete idiots.

    Can’t keep them under control. Then keep them out of my house.


    It should not be the landlords problem if you are flatting with irresponsible idiots.

  65. Matthew Pilott 65

    head tenant, then it *should* be your responsibiilty to ensure your flatmates aren’t complete idiots.

    There is no head tenant. Jointly and severally. So you believe you should be directly responsible for the actions of your flatmates, and them for yours. That seems at odds with what I’d expect from you, MikeE.

    I reckon love of property rights is clouding some peoples’ belief in personal responsibility – and I must say it’s telling to see property rights trumping personal/human rights from the Right crowd!

  66. Alex 66

    “If you are on the lease, i.e. head tenant, then it *should* be your responsibiilty to ensure your flatmates aren’t complete idiots.

    Can’t keep them under control. Then keep them out of my house.


    It should not be the landlords problem if you are flatting with irresponsible idiots.”

    What Matthew Pilott said, and also that just because there are people living in a house without a written tenancy agreement doesn’t mean there is no tenancy agreement – it can be implied. You start getting into pretty awkward law, though.

  67. Lew 67

    But Red,

    Flat with some responsible people and not children then you dick.

    Surely you aren’t suggesting that someone should take responsibility for the failings of others, and by their good sense shelter their flatmates for their misfortune? Surely we should be free to flat with whom we like, and not have their failings visited upon us?

    Say it ain’t so!


  68. Matthew Pilott 68

    Say it ain’t so!

    I know. As said, seems Landlord Property Rights supersede those of the Individual.

    Turns out it’s not about Rights, It’s all about the Benjamins

  69. jimbo 69

    This isn’t about “tenant rights”, it’s about allocation of risk.

    If I own a house and I burn it down (or my lodger, neighbour or anyone else burns it down), then I’ll have to stump up the money and fix the house. The way I re-allocate my risk is to take out insurance. I can recover my losses by suing the person responsible for causing my damage.

    If I rent a house, why should my position be any “better” than if I owned the house myself. Why should I get extra protection regarding damage to the house that would not be available to me if I owned it, rather than rented it?

    If a renter is worried about damage to the house they live in, they should (a) modify their behaviour to decrease the chance of damage, and (b) take out insurance. The renter, not the landlord, is the person who occupies the property and who can check to make sure the oven is off, keep Headhunters gang members out, lock doors properly, etc.

    Putting in caps on tenants’ liability at the comically low level of 1 month’s rent would totally encourage reckless (and willfully damaging) behaviour. If you damage your own property (whether an accident, intentional or stupidity), then the fact of the matter is you’ve lost money and you’ll be worse off than you were before the event. NO law can ever change this!

    It is a fundamental truth that allocation of risk affects price. Any law that simply switches more risk from tenant to landlord will, without one shadow of a doubt, result is two things (1) higher rents than would have been the case without the law, and (2) more restrictive terms in leases (e.g. limiting the number of people who can be in the property at any one time).

  70. Pat 70

    There needs to be some clarification about the insurance aspect.

    Obviously landlords have a home and (limited) content insurance on their properties. But these policies do not cover malicious damage by a tenant. For that you need a separate Landlords Protection Policy.

    In my experience financing Mum and Dad property investors, the vast majority do not have Landlords Protection Insurance (rightly or wrongly).

    So it is not as simple as assuming insurance will always cover the damage.

  71. Alex 71

    “f I own a house and I burn it down”

    That’s right, if YOU burn it down. Not if someone else does it and you have no control over it – which is what the argument has been about the whole time. Under Labour’s bill tenants would still be liable if they caused damage “recklessly or intentionally” (for reference:

    “A month’s rent would have been the maximum penalty for any damage if the Tenancy Tribunal or a court decided the tenant did not cause it intentionally or recklessly. This was proposed after a tenant was held responsible for the actions of a flatmate in causing a Dunedin house fire.”

  72. Pascal's bookie 72

    The Labour party legislation wouldn’t have protected tenants from paying for ‘malicious damage’.
    From the Herald:

    (Labour’s) …proposal was to cap financial liability for property damage to four weeks’ rent, a move of great concern to landlords.

    A month’s rent would have been the maximum penalty for any damage if the Tenancy Tribunal or a court decided the tenant did not cause it intentionally or recklessly.

    (emphasis mine)

    It was solely about protecting tenants from paying for damage that was none of their doing. The aim, I assume, would be to make insurance wallahs go after culprits rather than convenient others…

    Edit: Alex, snap.

  73. Steve 73

    Am glad that the government is looking at the provisions relating to tenants liability as Labour’s went too far. My only problem is with the all liable even where it is clear you had nothing to do with it. If liability can be established against someone – in the Dunedin case the frier, the others shouldn’t have to fork out, however where no clear liability exists then all liable is fair.

    If people want to take the risk of not having personal liability while renting, that’s fine, but if the sh*t hits the fan, they made the choice..

  74. jimbo 74


    You’re missing the point. If I own and occupy a house, and the house gets damaged “on my watch”, I have a problem to deal with (even if the damage was not my “fault”).

    In a lease, the house gets handed over to someone else lock, stock and barrell. The tenant gets posession of the house and the landlord has very limited rights of supervision.

    The tenant WANTS to take on the benefits of living in a house. One of the responsibilities of living in that house is protecting it against damage (not just “don’t brun it down yourself”).

    So again I say, if the house gets damaged “on the tenant’s watch”, why is it unreasonable for them to bear the costs? If the tenants believe that someone else is responsible, the tenants can “go after” that person.

    In life, accidents happen, things get broken, damage occurs. At some point, you have to answer the question “Who pays for this accident?”. Normally, society answers that question with “The person who was best-placed to stop the accident occurring”. For a rental property, the occupiers are clearly best-placed to stop accidents occurring, are they not?

    If you cap the tenant’s liability (i.e. if you force the landlord to take on additional liability exposure and risk), the you will simply increase the costs of renting (all other things being equal).

    Certainly support Labour’s approach if you like, just don’t get angry when you find rents increasing and lease terms becoming more onerous. As I said before, rent rises and harsher lease terms would be inevitable.

  75. jimbo 75


    “Intentionally” or “recklessly” are very high standards, way higher than negligence.

    If a tenant is negligent in the way they look after a property, their liability should not be arbitrarily capped with the costs foisted onto the landlord.

  76. PK 76

    Having been both a tenant and a landlord I’ve had one “bad’ landlord and 2 “bad’ tenants – not statistical more to make the point I’ve seen both sides.

    ALL my other landlords and tenants were pretty good. The evil landlord was a lawyer interestingly enough. The law protected me quite well against the bad landlord as I bothered to check and the Tenancy boys were very helpful. Mind you, he still was a pain and I was glad to move away.

    As a landlord I had no real recourse against the bad tenants and also had significant extra liabilities even with insurance. The insurance company wouldn’t even insure certain types of tenancy or of ANY visitors (invited or not) to the property’s behaviour.

    I also had the case where the person’s name on the agreement got done over by fellow tenants and they were then liable for a bunch of damage. I didn’t get any recompense as the head tenant hadn’t any money. I had no recourse other than to sue the head tenant and they had to then sue the other tenants. This was not going to happen and I also felt it would be an act of malice to bankrupt the tenant despite their actions as they had brought in fellow tenants who were obviously unsuitable and I had warned the tenant of my concerns at the time. The agreement was phrased in such a way that the tenant could sub-let.

    The other bad case was a bit similar in that I ended up out of pocket. I spoke to the Tenancy people who informed me that I would be unlikely to get more than the bond, which I had to work very hard to get and that nowhere covered the costs. The second case was deliberate. The Tenancy people were very helpful here as well. They do a good job in my experience.

    I am no longer a landlord. It made me money, so no complaints there, except having done the sums I reckon there are less painful and risky way ways to invest.

    As part of being a landlord I talked to a lot of other landlords and all have various horror stories but the horror stories tended to happen a lot more and were worse at the cheap and nasty end of the market. These were often poor quality housing, not well maintained etc with tenants who would fit the same description.

    In terms of liability if you rent a car then you are then responsible for the car under law. I don’t see a difference here. I suggest there should be regulations around compulsory insurance to cover tenants’ liabilities.

  77. jimbo 77

    Alex – GREAT selective quoting of me as well. Seriously, why bother if you’re gonna cut something totally change the meaning…?

    As I said, if I own and occupy a house, I have a problem no matter who burns it down and irrespective of whether it’s my fault or someone else’s.

    If I lease my house to you and you occupy it, I want you to take on board ALL those risks because you are the person best-place to deal with them (not just some of them and not capped at 1 month’s rent).

    If you don’t want to take on all those risks, fine. I will have to raise my price (the rent) to compensate me for keeping certain risks and I’ll go spend the extra rent on more insurance.

    NO government policy can magically change the relationship between risk and price…

    Let’s face it, you basically want landlords to pay because they are “richer”.

  78. mike 78

    Great stuff Nats – this is the sort of thing I voted for.
    Why should the tax payer fork out to represent tenants and the landlords go into his own pocket.
    Landlords are ordinary working kiwi’s just trying to get ahead

  79. Pascal's bookie 79

    Jimbo, Landlords are not doing tenants favours, loaning them a house in return for a bit of dosh. It is a business, and the tenant is the customer. The landlord gets rent which often enables them to buy a property, gaining full rights of ownership, with someone else’s money. In return they wear some risks. Which they can insure against.

  80. Draco T Bastard 80


    How can landlords and tenants be equal before the law?

    They can’t simply because the tenants can’t afford lawyers.

  81. Akldnut 81

    If I ever become a tenant again (quite feasible) I hope I won’t be held accountable when hoodlums break in (extremely feasible) ransack the house and put holes in the walls. (quite feasible)

  82. jimbo 82

    PB – I agree with you that “landlords aren’t doing favours”. What landlords do is take risks to try and make money. Bearing that in mind, landlords won’t simply roll over and accept increased risk as a favour to tenants out there. If a capping policy were put in place, rents would DEFINITELY rise for ALL tenants and rental terms would probably get more severe.

    It’s a well-meaning idea to “cap” tenants’ liability, it just won’t get the desired result. I don”t like the policy because it hasn’t been properly thought through.

    To deal with the “liable but not my fault” issue, a far better government response would be to work with insurance companies to make sure there is a product out there for tenants that would protect them against third parties doing damage to the property they occupy. Then if you educate tenants about that product, and the risks they face if they chose not to insure, you’ll have tenants who can decide whether to (1) take extra care of the house they’re in; or (2) buy the insurance. CHOICE will remain with the tenant. Careful tenants will continue to profit by effectively self-insuring (i.e. keeping the risk). Irresponsible tenants will at least have been reminded about the potential consequences of their behaviour.

    The policy I describe above would “work”. It would incentivize tenants to keep undesirables out of the house.

    As I said above, risk doesn’t bother landlords as long it gets priced properly. Give the landlord more risk, expect the price to go up.

  83. vto 83

    rave, that is the most coherent ever. It almost makes complete sense.

  84. pk 84

    Akldnut – but if you rent a car (quite feasible) and someone steals it (quite feasible) and sets fire to it (quite feasible) you would be held responsible\accountable. It’s in your care.

    If you rent a DVD …… etc

  85. Pascal's bookie 85

    The price certainly reflects risk jimbo. But nowhere like as hard and fast as you are sugesting. Rent is mostly determined by the market. This cost plus menatlity you are arguing may be fine for some point of argument, but in the real world the rent will be set by what tenants are prepared to pay. If that’s not enough to satisfy an individual landlords risk toleration, they’ll sell to landlords that can meet the market price. If what you are saying is true, landlords having problems letting a property at a set price, would never drop that price to help. And yet they do, all the time.

  86. Alex 86


    The bill would NOT have shifted all risk onto the landlord. It would simply have moved liability to the person who caused the damage, rather than onto all tenants no matter who was responsible.

    Most tenants (or even landlords) are not aware that they are liable for damage caused carelessly by one of their flatmates. I can’t put it as well as the judge in the Dunedin case, so here’s what he said:

    “Where tenants are not insured, they often have too few resources to be worth suing and are not sued for that pragmatic reason. Where not all joint tenants are insured, a claim may be brought against all to recover from the tenants who are insured. Whatever the situation, the entry of judgment against tenants is usually unjust because insurance premiums are factored into landlords’ costs when fixing rents and they are effectively paid by the tenants (emphasis mine). I note also that insurers accept the risk of leased residential properties knowing that tenants are unlikely to have liability insurance or other means to pay claims and that the recovery of substantial contribution to the insured loss from tenants must be relatively uncommon (emphasis mine). Putting aside these variables, I am of the opinion that, in general, the pursuit of substantial claims against tenants with respect to damage caused carelessly is oppressive in effect and I respectfully urge that the law be reformed.”

    – Harrison v Shields, 25/9/02, District Court Dunedin, Judge MacAskill, NP435/00

    The reality is tenants do not have the means to pay any substantial amount to a landlord or insurance company. They already effectively pay for the landlord’s insurance. MacAskill goes onto say a simple solution would be a change to the Residential Tenancies Act to require landlords to insure the interests of the tenants, unless the damage had been caused intentionally or carelessly. He notes that premiums would go up, but that the cost could simply be passed onto the tenants (which is what already happens).

    Given that landlords take on insurance it’s obvious they are assuming risk of damage outside the control of the tenants (i.e. not caused carelessly or intentionally). If the landlord him/herself lived in the property their insurance would cover them for damage they did not cause carelessly or intentionally. What you are arguing for, effectively, is that insurance companies have the right to sue tenants for damage they did not cause even though this would not happen were it the owner living in the house, and even though they understand the risk they are taking on when they insure a leased property (i.e. that it is unlikely they will be able to recover any money from the tenants). It’s an unfair loophole in the law.

    I hope my html stuff worked out properly and that this doesn’t look stupid.

  87. Alex 87

    “(i.e. not caused carelessly or intentionally)”

    This should be “recklessly” rather than carelessly, which is what Labour’s bill said.

  88. jimbo 88

    Alex / PB,

    Certainly don’t 100% disagree with what you’re saying. Yes landlors “meet the market” and individual landlords will always lower price to fill one empty flat. That’s looking at it at the microeconomic level.

    Stepping back though, if you pass this “capping liability” provision, you have just reduced the returns on the entire “landlording” industry. Which rents are most likely to increase? Not wealthy suburbs where the risk of tenants’ guests punching a hole in the wall in low, but “marginal” suburbs with poorer tenants and gangs sniffing around.

    Why? Two reasons – (1) you’ve transferred to the landlord (rather than the tenant) the responsibility (and cost) of effecting recovery from the “person who was responsible for the damage” (and let’s be honest, in most cases that person is a licensee of the tenant – i.e. the tenant INVITED that person into the relevant property). (2) you’ve taken some of “risk” of looking after the property away from tenants, meaning that there will likely be more damage to properties than there was before.

    Landlords have to deal with these increased risks/costs now. Yes, some will simply take out more insurance (cost increase). Others will do more inspections or change the terms of their leases (time commitment). But for the same number of landlords to stay involved in the industry, the income component (i.e. gross rent) needs to rise across the board, or else some landlords will simply quit and put their money in other investments.

    My main objections to the policy are that it “does not work” as described above. I also don’t like it because the cap was comically low, which makes me suspect it was a policitally motivated stunt. A 1 month cap is just removed from reality and would drive all the wrong behaviours. In a furnished flat that might cover the cost of the oven, perhaps…?!

    What happens if you pass this policy? Again, people “on the margins” suffer. Wealthy landlords simply shrug, take out a bit more insurance, ask their property managers to raise the rent by $10 a week, tell their property managers to do more detailed background checks. Maybe they take a bit more time to fill vacant properties because they’d rather have a tenant who is a teacher/lawyer rather than mechanic (or whatever).

    Meanwhile, tenant who is well behaved but without prestigious job title, struggling to afford the rent anyway, living in poorer part of town, gets hit with increased rent and/or passed over for the vacant property because landlords are minimizing their exposure by only looking for certain types of tenants.

    Who wins the most? the plonkers who invite lunatics into their landlord’s house…!

    In summary – too many unintended consequences from a policy designed to *help* the wrong people….

  89. jimbo 89

    Alex – also, I simply disagree with the way the Judge has cast around the word “unjust”.

    If I invite someone into my rented property and they damage or destroy it, perhaps I should not be exposed to 100% of the liability. Perhaps my exposure should be capped at 50% of the damage he causes (or whatever). It should probably depend on the circumstances – inviting a priest into the house might be different from inviting 10 headhunters in for a party…

    But if the typical yeild on a house is around 6% and the policy suggests a cap of 1 month’s rent FOR ALL CASES (i.e 0.5% of the property value), that is a ridiculous allocation. If I knowingly invite in the headhunters, why should my responsibility be assessed at 1/2 a percent of the house value?

    That will DEFINITELY drive the wrong sort of behaviour.

    Finally, the policy wasn’t just about 3rd party damage (as per the Dunedin case), it was about any damage that was not caused by my recklessness or wilfull default. That’s also crazy and will drive the wrong behaviours.

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    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    3 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    12 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    12 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    14 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    7 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    7 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    1 week ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    1 week ago

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