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The problem with free market capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, January 9th, 2016 - 248 comments
Categories: capital gains, capitalism, debt / deficit, Economy, families, housing, john key, national, poverty - Tags:

housing is a right

This morning’s Herald contains a story about an individual who has purchased eleven houses over the past five years and can now afford to play World of Warcraft all day.

From the Herald:

Gary Lin says he started buying houses only so he could play World of Warcraft on his computer all day every day.

Now he’s a multimillionaire who owns 11 rental properties in the soaring Auckland market.

The 32-year-old – originally from Guangzhou in China but a New Zealand resident since he was 13 – started buying property in June 2010 with a $200,000 wedding gift from his father. He and his wife Cindy bought one place for as little as $173,000.

Now his portfolio is valued at $6.5 million, which earns about $275,000 in gross rent each year.

And he is more than happy to increase rentals depending on market conditions.

It is hard to work out the purpose of the article apart perhaps from serving as click bait.  But the story does highlight an increasingly disturbing problem and highlights the weaknesses of the current economic system.

Firstly it neatly skewers one of the myths of the system, that anyone can make it through hard work, where even the son of a refugee can become the Prime Minister.  While in days gone by New Zealand’s society was egalitarian, to make it now you need to have a wealthy father in law willing to gift you a sum of money most people can only dream of.  And it is interesting that the Prime Minister’s biggest cheerleaders are those who had privileged rather than modest starts to life and want to preserve that privilege.

Secondly you have to wonder what contribution the individual concerned is making.  Renting out existing houses to desperate tenants and playing World of Warcraft every day contributes nothing whatsoever to the society, apart from eleven families having to work harder just to pay the rent.  Private enterprise has been responsible for many fantastic technological and innovative developments.  Investing in existing houses provides no such benefit.

Thirdly the real estate inflation caused by this sort of activity drives up personal debt and increases our exposure to Australian banks.  We are borrowing more and more money to buy the same houses off each other.

And finally but most importantly this activity ensures that the rich become richer and the rest become poorer.  If you accept the market is always right and this is an inevitable occurrence then you are probably fine with this.  Of course the contrary argument is that everyone is free to engage in this behaviour but not all of us will own eleven tenanted Auckland residential properties.  Just like a ponzi scheme it is a system where most people will inevitably fail and pay for the success of the few.

The recent changes made by the Government appear to have have had a beneficial effect (yes you read that right) and Auckland’s runaway house inflation appears to be stalling.  But more is needed.

For instance Germany regulates house prices and officials have the power to reduce the price payable for an apartment even if the parties have reached agreement.  The German economy has not suffered, in fact it seems clear that there are benefits in this approach.  Forbes Magazine describes the benefits:

How does all this contribute to Germany’s economic growth? Locke, a prominent critic of America’s latter-day enthusiasm for doctrinaire free-market solutions and a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, notes that a key outcome is that Germany’s managed housing market helps smooth the availability of labor. And by virtually eliminating  bubbles, the German system minimizes the sort of misallocation of resources that is more or less unavoidable in the Anglo-American boom-bust cycle. That cycle is exacerbated by tax incentives which encourage citizens to view home ownership as an investment, resulting in much hoarding and underutilization of space.

In the  German system moreover,  house-builders  rarely accumulate the huge large land banks that are such a dangerous distraction for U.S. house-builders like Pulte Homes, D. R. Horton, Lennar, and Toll Brothers. German house-builders just focus on building good-quality homes cheaply, secure in the knowledge that additional land will become available at reasonable cost when needed.

So imagine having as a policy setting the maintenance of housing affordability to help the stability of the labour force and to avoid housing bubbles.  If only …

248 comments on “The problem with free market capitalism”

  1. Key supporter 1

    Sounds like this guy had the capital to start off with good on him more people need to do this instead of coming over here and scrounging

    • mickysavage 1.1

      The capital was gifted and he is not contributing. Has “scrounging” changed its meaning? Does it only apply to poor people?

      • Mike Vinsen 1.1.1


        [lprent: Troll. ]

        • mpledger

          He didn’t provide them. Some else provided them. It would have been better for society if he had stayed out of the market and the house sold at a lower price to someone who wanted to live in them.

          • mickysavage


          • Mike Vinsen

            He bought them – probably off an owner occupier & has made them available for rental. The owner occupier he bought from has probably upgraded to a “better” house. By staying out of the market wouldn’t have reduced prices. In every country in the world where prices of houses & rents have been regulated, it is harder for the less well off to buy or rent.
            You need a lesson in economics & how a free market works. This whole argument is driven by jealousy not rational thinking. According to Mickey Savage etc it would be better for the economy if he had spent his $200,000 windfall on toys etc rather than providing quality rental housing which successive governments have proved incapable of doing.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You must be right, because homelessness has doubled. No, wait, perhaps you need a lesson in how the market works on Earth.

              • mikesh

                There is a market for rental accommodation; not every wishes to own their place of abode. In this sense he is probably providing a service, though it must be admitted that the market for rentals is augmented by those who would prefer to own but are simply unable to afford today’s overblown house prices.

            • Doogs

              No . . . it would be an awful lot better if he had BUILT some houses!

        • Deb Kean

          He provides nothing without being handsomely paid. He is a parasite not a benefactor

    • Sacha 1.2

      Good on him for being born into a family wealthy enough to give him a $200k wedding gift. Such hard work, that.

    • You’re right!

      If everyone had rich parents then everyone would have the opportunity to retire early.

      You realise you’ve just presented for the argument that inequality reduces opportunity’s available to the poorest within society?

    • Petertoo 1.4

      Isn’t a rack-renting property speculator who no doubt receives taxpayer subsidised rent payments and aspires to play games all day instead of productively working for a living the epitome of a scrounger?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      And Key Supporter proves just how he loves and supports the true bludgers of society.

    • Lanthanide 1.6

      Pity he didn’t put that capital into productive enterprise, which can have much much higher rewards. But also significantly higher risk.

      Perhaps instead of the government subsidising rents, they should subsidise start up companies.

      • Craig H 1.6.1

        I’m all for that, or other similar concepts.

      • Scott M 1.6.2

        The policy problem is that you will always need landlords who can offer rental accommodation to those wanting to rent (students, those living in a place temporarily etc.) but how to determine who is a “serious” landlord and who is just recklessly speculating.

        • Molly

          That need is ameliorated by having sufficient state owned housing. By doing that and charging affordable rents, the “market” for private rentals is less and will be harder for short term speculative and exploitative landlords to operate and profit.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And when we do that we’ll get the bludgers complaining that the government is crowding out private investment. The same argument that was used in the 1980s to dismantle and privatise government services such as Telecom and, amazingly enough, to lower welfare payments.

            We have to get rid of private investment.

            • Scott M

              “We have to get rid of private investment”

              Whoa. Care to qualify that statement, or are you an advocate of communism?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Private investment/ownership results in rentier behaviour which is, IMO, really what the post is about. It’s detrimental to our society causing all sorts of ills such as inequality and poverty.

                Now, we actually do want to encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation but we can do that without private ownership.

                I have an idea of cooperative businesses. The business is self-owned and has no shareholders. Anybody working there gets paid their negotiated pay and has a say in running the business. Nobody outside of the business has a say in its running nor gets any direct benefit from it. To start this business a group of people put together a business plan and gets 0% interest loan from the government.

                IMO, this system would encourage and support entrepreneurship while getting rid of the parasitical aspect of capitalism.

                Housing is slightly different in that, IMO, everyone has a right to decent housing and thus land and housing is state owned/administered for a modest rental. I also think that natural monopolies should be state owned/administered.

                • David

                  What you have proposed is capitalism.

                  “Housing is slightly different in that, IMO, everyone has a right to decent housing and thus land and housing is state owned/administered for a modest rental. I also think that natural monopolies should be state owned/administered.”

                  Well that’s nice, where has state housing ever delivered decent housing to all? Does this mean nice houses in Ponsonby will be available to all at a modest rent, or will they get reserved for party members only?

                  Perhaps housing could be allocated by lottery instead?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What you have proposed is capitalism.

                    No it’s not. Capitalism hinges upon private ownership of businesses/resources and the usury that comes with it. No private ownership in my model and the only people who get rewarded are the people who work.

                    Well that’s nice, where has state housing ever delivered decent housing to all?

                    It provided decent housing in NZ for decades – until the Labour Party started dismantling the state apparatus. Not to all maybe but it could have been extended.

                    Does this mean nice houses in Ponsonby will be available to all at a modest rent


                    • David


                      But if everyone wants one, how do you chose who gets one? There are far more people who want one than there are available properties.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      First come, first serve – life time lease. If there isn’t one available then you don’t get one.

                • Flatulence

                  A couple of points:
                  Firstly, who shares in the profits/ losses of the business.
                  Second point would be, how negotiable is the salary. Thinking of the Bill Gates type of people here. Would they be encouraged to adopt this business model? Or would the only ones that would, would be the high risk ventures.
                  Third point is who gets to vet the business proposal? Are governments the best people to decide what is a good business plan or not?
                  Fourth point would be, would this model be used by people to “developlop an idea” and get the government to fund it, but the run the real live model privately?
                  Lots of fish hooks with no good bites.

                  • Sacha

                    “would this model be used by people to “develop an idea” and get the government to fund it, but the run the real live model privately?”

                    Yes. Managing IP would be needed to prevent it. Good luck.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Firstly, who shares in the profits/ losses of the business.

                    That would be the workers at the business.

                    Third point is who gets to vet the business proposal?

                    I suppose the people at the bank.

                    Are governments the best people to decide what is a good business plan or not?

                    Are private banks that benefit from loaning out the money at interest the best people? I.e, is the present business model the best model?

                    Fourth point would be, would this model be used by people to “developlop an idea” and get the government to fund it, but the run the real live model privately?

                    I hadn’t actually thought about that. I usually hold that the government should just fund R&D and get rid of the BS that the private sector does (Apple, despite using technologies developed by the US government pays almost no taxes – anywhere).

                    • Flatulence

                      Considering the number of business that collapse in the first couple of years, would the lower paid workers be happy to have that much skin in the game? Or would they be willing to mortgage their homes to keep the business running. Or, as in some cases with private companies, be jointly and severally liable for periodic payments if the business goes under.
                      Another thought, what about current fraud / H&S laws where directors can also be held personally liable for fines of the company if the company is unable to pay.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      would the lower paid workers be happy to have that much skin in the game?

                      What lower paid workers?

                      Or would they be willing to mortgage their homes to keep the business running.

                      They don’t own homes to mortgage.

                      Or, as in some cases with private companies, be jointly and severally liable for periodic payments if the business goes under.

                      If the business goes under then all debts that the business had would be annulled automatically.

                      Another thought, what about current fraud / H&S laws where directors can also be held personally liable for fines of the company if the company is unable to pay.

                      Fraud and corruption would still be a criminal matter.

                    • Flatulence []

                      I assume then that the office secretary is rewarded at near the same rate as the person with the idea. Why would that person want to work in that situation when they could reap much greater returns elsewhere. Which also means that as a director, would they not want greater returns if they are going to be held criminally liable if something goes wrong? Especially if it not actually them personally who offended. Risk vs return.
                      If losses are annulled, and it is the government has been the primary funder, then aren’t we creating the same problematic environment as the too big to fail banks? Profits are privatised, whilst losses are public.
                      Or, for lenders that are private, why would they lend? Banks ALWAYS get their pound of flesh. And then some. It is why they lend to dodgy developers. The banks are first in line, and get great rates of return. Which also means that they don’t lend to start ups unless there are assets to hold securities over, which are the private homes of the business owners.
                      The fundamental rule of business is “cash is king”. And any new business burns it. All businesses burn cash. It’s that great challenge of spending money to make money.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I assume then that the office secretary is rewarded at near the same rate as the person with the idea.

                      That would be a collective decision of the workers.

                      Why would that person want to work in that situation when they could reap much greater returns elsewhere.

                      If they can get better elsewhere then they’re welcome to leave. But my experience is that the people in the workforce don’t get rewarded for their ideas anyway – the shareholders and upper management do.

                      That said, I suspect that the workers discussing the idea openly are more likely to recognise and reward the person with the idea.

                      Which also means that as a director, would they not want greater returns if they are going to be held criminally liable if something goes wrong? Especially if it not actually them personally who offended.

                      They’re only going to be found criminally liable if they did something criminal. No business should be rewarding criminal behaviour.

                      Banks ALWAYS get their pound of flesh. And then some.

                      You didn’t read my link did you?

                      I’m working to get rid of private banks as well so as to get rid of their ponzi scheme.

                      Or, for lenders that are private, why would they lend?

                      I’m working for a system that gets rid of private lending so as to get rid of the bludging.

                    • Flatulence []

                      I believe a director can be prosecuted for health and safety breaches that the company failed in, so not something done in a personal capacity.

                      There was nothing to read in the link.

                      For smaller companies an original idea for the business comes from someone, the foundation idea. If a person comes up with a company changing idea and isn’t compensated for it, then they aren’t in the right company, and soon leave anyway. Or if they believe in the company and idea, they can invest in the company as well.

                      Lending is all about risk. The higher the risk, the higher the rate. One furniture chain I know made more out of the interest on HP, than the actual product sold. That was their business model. A low priced item, with a high interest rate.

                      Anyway, I can see we could debate this forever. I’d personally be wary of a government being a primary source for business lending. Too high risk, and too much of a chance of privatising profit, and nationalising losses.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I believe a director can be prosecuted for health and safety breaches that the company failed in, so not something done in a personal capacity.

                      So, they would have committed a crime then through negligence.

                      There was nothing to read in the link.

                      Real Monetary Reform

                      Try reading the entire thread.

                      I’d personally be wary of a government being a primary source for business lending. Too high risk, and too much of a chance of privatising profit, and nationalising losses.

                      The nationalising of losses and privatising of rewards happens already. In fact, it’s pretty much how our entire system is designed. It’s achieved via excess income, low taxes on that excess income, and other loopholes.

                      It has to be looked at whether we change the system or not but we most definitely won’t be able to fix it without changing the system.

        • Incognito

          “Reckless” and “speculating” are not necessarily linked especially not in the Auckland housing market where a very good return and profit are almost a given [yes, pun alert]. Thus I’d say that “reckless speculation in the Auckland housing market” is an oxymoron.

          • Scott M

            Well its like a game of musical chairs. While the musics playing Im sure pfoit is a given.

            When the music stops, prices devalue and these highly geared individuals go tits up do you not think theyll go crying to the govt for bail out – just like the GFC? Thats why its reckless investment imo.

            Draco – yeah quite supportive of the co-operative model. Probably why the investors couldnt keep their grubby mitts off Fonterra.

          • Stuart Munro

            Recklessness can also refer to a want of consideration of harm. The speculation in Auckland is driving up rents and impoverishing those without property. It is financially prudent (for the moment) but socially and in the long term economically reckless.

    • Henry Filth 1.7

      “. . .more people need to do this. . . ”

      What, get two hundred grand as a wedding present?

      I guess you’re right.

  2. NZJester 2

    The capitalist system’s biggest flaw has always been ‘Greed’ and those willing to manipulate the system so that the market works in their favor at the expense of everyone else.
    While there is unemployment and no unions to stand up for the workers the bosses can afford to not give workers the real market share of the profits in wages and keep them artificiality low.
    John Key comes from a background of manipulating the market for his benefit. Some say he actually had his hands all over the setting up of the system that caused Ireland to get into a financial crisis.

    • ropata 2.1

      The markets run on Greed and Fear and Animal Spirits

      In their book “Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism,” Nobel Prize–winning economists Robert Shiller and George Akerlof insist that financial markets and economies are driven mainly by psychology and that this psychological drive should not be assumed to be in any way rational, at least not in the narrow sense economists use the word. Tuckett and his team’s findings are in line with Shiller and Akerlof’s arguments and have caught the interest of economists at the Bank of England, who want to prevent economic catastrophes like the one that accompanied the financial crisis of 2008, which led to a government bailout of many British banks and a massive recession.

      Beyond this, however, the researchers’ findings raise enormous ideological questions about how our economies and societies should be structured. Since the late 1970s, politicians have argued that markets are best left unregulated and governments should take a more hands-off approach to economic policymaking. The justification given for this is that markets are inherently stable and produce efficient outcomes and thus we get the best possible financial results when we allow markets to self-regulate. But these assertions are based on the assumption that all participants in the market — especially those in the financial and investment markets — behave in a perfectly rational, nonemotional way. Tuckett’s findings shatter this particular myth.

  3. Bill 3

    Take the cash-cow element out of the land-lord caper. Take a GV and work a formula around that for a mandated maximum permissible rent. Pitch that formula so that it results in a rent that falls short of covering average term mortgage repayments. Re-draught tenancy rights. Bring in squatting rights and compulsory purchases on properties left vacant for speculation.

    Do those things, and I don’t then give a toss how many properties someone owns to rent out.

    • DH 3.1

      There’s a simpler method Bill. Use the system, and their greed, against them.

      Here’s what I’m certain would work and what the likes of Labour could introduce without alienating the majority of home owners. It would only upset property investors and there ain’t many of those voting left anyway……

      CGT only needs to be introduced for investors, there’s no need for a CGT on owner-occupied houses. Property investing is a business and it should be taxed like a business at the same tax rate as any other business

      The vital ingredient is to collect the CGT when the gains occur, not when the property is sold. That is done by making rent increases the trigger for a CGT assessment. Council valuations for rates can be the platform for assessing the actual gain. Final accounting can be done when the property is sold.

      The first reason to do that is because rent increases are tied to capital gains, can’t have one without the other. We also have a system already in place for monitoring rents via bonds & the tenancy tribunal so the trigger can be automated.

      Second reason is that the investors will need to borrow against their increased equity (the capital gain) to pay the CGT. That will prevent them using that equity to buy more properties.

      Third reason is it will slow down rent increases substantially. The greedy investors won’t want to pay the CGT so they’ll hold their rents to avoid triggering the CGT assessment. That will give renters breathing space to save enough to buy their own home if they wish to do so.

      It can be further fine tuned but essentially it’s about playing smarter and using the system to one’s advantage.

      • David 3.1.1

        “The vital ingredient is to collect the CGT when the gains occur, not when the property is sold. That is done by making rent increases the trigger for a CGT assessment. Council valuations for rates can be the platform for assessing the actual gain. Final accounting can be done when the property is sold.”

        How can you have a capital gains tax that is triggered by changes in income?

        If you really want a capital gains tax that is paid before realisation then just apply the FIF rules to property.

        • DH

          FIF rules is one idea but that puts the cart before the horse David. It really comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. A party on the left for example should be asking the question; what can we do to stop rents continually rising?

          To answer that question try putting yourself in the shoes of a property investor. What would stop me putting the rents up?

          A FIF based CGT would act as a trigger for rent increases. A Rent based CGT wouldn’t trigger anything except a CGT. In short it gives investors the choice of whether they pay a CGT or not and since a good 95% of investors won’t want to pay tax they’ll all think very hard before they raise rents.

          If rent increases are reduced then housing inflation will also reduce.

  4. greywarshark 4

    google meaning for scrounging –

    seek to obtain (something, typically food or money) at the expense,or through the generosity, of others or by stealth.
    “he had managed to scrounge a free meal”

    He seems to be a scrounger himself, a non-productive member of society, having been given his seed finance rather than earning it himself, made investment in established resources, living off the returns and playing computer games all day.

    You call yourself a Key supporter which seems reasonable as this is the sort of wealth that he and fellow Nasties support. Not a healthy, working economy, just people gaining advantage and gaming the financial system till it falls over.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      We should look from Gary Lin to Joseph Needham, a man who was extremely intelligent, questioning, thinking, working and living life to the full and involved with people not sitting in front of a computer screen living out his virtual life. He would have made $200,000 work a hundredfold for him, his team of academics and advances in knowledge that would benefit humankind, as well as himself.

      This is about Joseph Needham, well known as a great studier and writer about China. This excerpt from The New Atlantis:

      While mastering Chinese, Needham remained a professor of biochemistry. In 1942, he published a major work, Biochemistry and Morphogenesis, that was a standard text in its field for twenty years. The man’s energy was simply astonishing. Reports Winchester:

      He completed this book while he was still campaigning in England and lecturing in America for recognition of the plight of the Chinese, and at the same time was busy teaching his students, writing his half-crown monograph…on the history of a particular branch of English socialism, regularly giving morris dance performances, swimming naked, attending meetings of the Cambridge Communist Party, offering sermons from the pulpit at Thaxted Church, and living through the manifold complications of his peculiarly organized love life.

      This is one of those biographies that leave the reader feeling exhausted and ineffectual.

      A further example of his energetic, unconventional and bold way of coping with life, people and the unknown:

      The opportunity to experience China firsthand came in early 1943, courtesy of the British government. A body called the Sino-British Science Co-operation Office had been attached to the British Embassy in Chungking, China’s wartime capital. Needham was to go out there and see what could be done to help Chinese scientists.

      Off Needham went, taking his limitless energies with him. During the next three years he traveled all over China, although Simon Winchester’s claim of 30,000 miles should be taken with a grain of salt. His travels were organized in eleven separate expeditions, the primary purpose of each being to seek out Chinese scientists and hand-deliver any books or equipment they needed. Under the dire conditions of the war with Japan, China’s experts were to be found in the oddest places: a team of biochemists deep in caves beneath Yunnan, physicists holed up in an ancient pagoda, statisticians at work in a Confucian temple.

      Needham’s travels in China generated a vast apocrypha, the stories — I have no idea how many of them were true — still eagerly being retailed around the School of Oriental and African Studies in London when I attended there in the early 1980s. I wish Simon Winchester had found space to include a few. A sample from the ones I heard, reproduced from memory: Needham and his party were traveling on horseback with guides through a remote, forested region. Suddenly they came up against another horseback party on the trail — led by a notorious local bandit, their terrified guides whispered. Needham dismounted, stepped in front of his party, up to the bandit leader’s horse, and with his customary vigor executed an English folk dance. The bandit leader watched with interest. When Needham had finished, the bandit dismounted, stepped forward, and performed one of his own people’s dances. The ice thus broken, everyone laughed and shook hands, and the two parties proceeded on their respective ways.

      Needham returned from China in 1946 with a huge trove of knowledge. In his own notebooks he had recorded hundreds of observations of Chinese craft and technology. He had also purchased trunks full of books dealing with the history of science in China, the foundation for Cambridge University’s splendid East Asian science library.

      • Flatulence 4.1.1

        Only just read the wiki log on him, but it is interesting that the commentary on the Needham question, gave the result of private enterprise being the reason for the wests massive scientific advancement.
        In taking the good with the bad, free enterprise can make the advancements required by society, if there is profit to be had.
        People are simply motivated by profit (financial well being). That is the norm.

        • greywarshark

          Try reflecting on your attitudes to humans. David Whyte has written a book
          called How corrupt is Britain and in my comment below there is a link to a video piece discussing the idea that we all have dollars for eyeballs.

          Open mike 10/01/2016

          This idea that people are only motivated by profit is merely transference on your part, and wish fulfilment. People are much easier to dismiss when there is an inherent bias against our common values and occasional greatness.
          Speak for yourself.

        • Draco T Bastard

          People are simply motivated by profit (financial well being). That is the norm.


  5. savenz 5

    “It is hard to work out the purpose of the article apart perhaps from serving as click bait. But the story does highlight an increasingly disturbing problem and highlights the weaknesses of the current economic system.”

    In my view these articles are to draw attention AWAY from big business controlling the financial markets and TPPA deals and making a private landlord (and immigrant) a scapegoat. While people are venting at the unfairness of the Chinese Landlord, they are not getting active on the overarching issues against neoliberalism.

    Look a Panda.
    Look a Chinese Landlord.

    Then business as usual, with BIG business, surveillance, national debt and IDU a far right wing think tank for neoliberalism on steroids.

    • savenz 5.1

      And that is why Corbyn and Sanders are considered such a threat. They are challenging the established structures of neoliberalism and will seek to curb them if they get power. They don’t get bogged down with ‘smaller issues’ like immigration but are wholly focused on social justice and economic reform and articulate it in a clear way.

      • savenz 5.1.1

        And before someone thinks that Labour under Cunliffe was advocating the same as Corbyn and Sanders last election from Labour, think again.

        Labour focused on economic reform of the local middle class, they wanted to introduce a capital gains tax, but not on companies and trusts. There were so many loop holes only the honest would get caught. It did not address immigration, in fact helped it, the locals were taxed when they sold, those with overseas cash and wanting to immigrate here on the property investment criteria were welcomed in.

        Labour wanted to increase pension age for locals, but not have any curbs for the people who never paid any taxes in this country and on social welfare.

        Labour never addressed big business or corporations who pay little or no tax. They did not address the problems with our farms and properties being sold and actually support free trade agreements that do this.

        Labour did not focus on social justice or corruption. Dotcom and the revelations from Hager about dirty politics were ‘a distraction’ and was not pursued on any depth. Even though Goff was caught being manipulated by the SIS they never demanded reform of the organisation and a look at corruption.

        Labour were more interested in fighting against Hone Harawira than the Nats. Hone a guy who they might not like, but at least cares about social justice for the poor.

        Labour fought amongst itself more interested in infighting and personal gain than the country.

        1 million people did not vote. Labour’s focus on economic austerity of the middle and lower class while championing global neoliberalism Lite, big business and global foreign investment did not resonate with voters.

        I wonder why?

        Labour are still in denial about what happened.

        • Draco T Bastard


        • ropata

          immigration under “property investment” criteria is a complete sham.
          doesn’t help the local housing crisis one iota.. makes it worse if anything

          the only property developers we should allow in are tradesmen not f*cking speculators

          • savenz

            +1 Ropata

            In fact I think they should halt immigration until the 60,000 new jobs and houses are met to match the yearly immigrants.

            Perhaps invest in training our own unemployed and youth to do tradesman jobs. Two birds with one stone, giving someone unemployed a job AND having enough tradespeople to meet demand.

            There used to be apprentices for this work and in other areas the old electricity sector trained workers and in telecoms. Now there is no training and reduced wages.

            • GregJ

              It should be noted that many of those apprenticeships/cadetships etc. were made available through various state agencies and entities. Privatization of those entities and the outsourcing of services required by government to private concerns reduced the availability of them fairly dramatically as the private sector had no real interest in picking up the slack created when the government based apprenticeships went. I’d assume it just went onto the bottom line of the private concerns now sucking on the teat of the taxpayer.

  6. dv 6

    WOW sounds great BUT
    Need to drill down in figures to check it out

    He has been in the market for 5 years.
    Even with a start up of 200k, he must have a significant mortgage

    Income – $275000

    Rates est 50,000
    Insurance 30,000
    Maintenance 30,000

    Total $110,000
    Surplus 165,000

    Say 50% mortgage @5%

    cost $162,000

    Leaves 3k!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      I doubt if he’ll be paying out $30k in maintenance. It’d probably be more like one to two thousand.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        He should probably be paying about $20k per annum, in terms of painting and general maintenance like replacing a roof etc. It’ll be lumpy expenditure, and for a lot of maintenance the key cost is labour, so if you’re skilled and can do things yourself it makes a big difference.

        I’ve just come from fixing a leak in the toilet at my rental. My uncle who is skilled helped me out. It’ll cost me a 6-pack of beer, rather than $90-120 for a plumber to come do the same thing.

        • dv

          Even so the surplus then would be only about 25- 30k
          No a lot of room for vacancies, mort inc , drop in value- upset the bank.

        • Draco T Bastard

          He should probably be paying about $20k per annum, in terms of painting and general maintenance like replacing a roof etc.

          Probably but that doesn’t mean that he’s paying that much. A house can go a long time without maintenance.

          My uncle who is skilled helped me out. It’ll cost me a 6-pack of beer, rather than $90-120 for a plumber to come do the same thing.

          And that is just another example of the free-market not working. The people who have to charge don’t get the job or if they do then the amount that they can charge is lowered below sustainability and so society ends up with less skilled people.

        • Richard Christie

          Bigger ticket maintenance such as painting and roofing ?

          Unlikely, anything like that looms and the property will be flicked on pronto.

          These guys are not providing a service. They might replace tap washers, broken windows and lost keys, but that is about it.

          • Lanthanide

            If you sell a house that needs a new roof or *needs* painting, without having done that maintenance first, it will sell for less on the market than otherwise.

            You end up paying, one way or the other.

            • Ch-ch Chiquita

              But with an overheated market, while you were not maintaining the house its value still went up so even if you will get a bit less than you could have, you’ve still made a nice profit.

              • Richard Christie

                And let’s face it, that is a big “if”.

                To spend 20k+ on a proper paint job for a 3 bdrm house is considered an over-investment to all but owner occupiers.

            • mpledger

              When I was buying if I put any conditions on a sale agreement such as wanting to get a building inspection to discover all these flaws in a building than I missed out because other buyers were putting in unconditional offers because they were desperate to buy. The market is currently run so that such information that might effect the price of the house is effectively hidden from the buyers.

      • dv 6.1.2

        I wondered if it was a bit high but he said he didn’t want to be a slum lord and i gave him the benefit of the doubt.

        But a 3k fig would still only give a surplus of 30k.
        Still not a lot of room for tenant vacancy, mortgage rate increase. etc

        • Lara

          And still leaves one helluva lot of debt.

          And if another global financial crisis happens he’s going to find himself in a lot of trouble. He may have negative equity when the property market bubble in NZ bursts. And if that drags rents down with it then his income may not be enough to cover his debt and he may be forced into mortgagee sales.

          And that’s the problem with debt. It’s leveraging on your own equity to invest in a market.

          If anyone in NZ did that to invest in a financial market, say our share market, we’d all recognise the risk and know the behaviour to be stupid.

          Because NZers remember what happened to those invested in our share market after the 1987 crash. It hit us hard.

          But plenty of NZers are now investing in our property market. With debt. And no one seems to recognise that the risk is exactly the same.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      If he never leaves his computer, the living costs might be low. Takeaway noodles, toilet paper, a bit of soap and water, rent, limited furniture. Providing maintenance on a need basis say $10,000, that would leave $20,000 p.a. which he could pay himself as an agent of his company or drawings? Could he avoid tax somehow?

      He could end up with the rich, fulfilling life that Howard Hughes enjoyed. /sarc
      (Howard Hughes, USA business tycoon, inherited wealth, ended up sitting on a toilet for long periods, little human contact, eating chicken soup in hotel rooms with windows darkened by black plastic.) The ultimate end of the self-centred wealthy individual scorning others and parasiting the world.

    • DH 6.3

      Where did you get your numbers from dv? They look too high. His average house value is $590k and rates should be around $2k per house in most areas that an investor like him would buy in. Insurance I’d expect to be no more than $15k in total either.

      • dv 6.3.1


        My mortgage rate was 50%, which probably is too low, and that is the key.

        At 70% mort is will cost ca 275k, which means withe expenses he has a negative cash flow.

    • linda 6.4

      they can borrow money offshore at near zero interest rates all that QE money average NZ citizen does not have access to. its not a level playing field

  7. vto 7

    The elephant in the room of our economy is quite clearly here but entirely whooshes over everybody’s heads…… debt

    Without more gifts from his family this guy must have purchased all other houses with debt.

    What is going to happen when the world of debt finally collapses? This guy and countless others like him will have their day of reckoning when all his days of computer games will race back to karma-rise him and he will be left with the absolute nothing that he has contributed.


    and negatively contributing

    farce completely

    he is not wealthy, he is a zero

    • Chooky 7.1

      Debt to New Zealand/Australian banks or Chinese banks or other money lenders?…a crucial difference as to the terms and interest rates and ability to buy houses…it is not a level playing field


      really this jonkety Nact government is selling New Zealanders out of their birthrights

      • sabine 7.1.1

        No it is the Owner Class of New Zealanders that are selling their children out of ‘their’ birth right and a decent future.

        Dear Leader got voted in by a segment of the population for their benefit. These are the same people that will sell to the highest bidder their properties or other goods, knowing full well that their children can’t actually afford to buy the house of them for the same price. They know, and they still don’t care.

        It is the owning class of NZ that is selling the country, John Key is just the paid underling that does their dirty work, and that includes the odious Mrs. Bennefit and Mr. 20.9% Vice PM Bill English.

        Sadly, one days these children will wake up, and look at their Parents and ask :Father why have you forsaken me? And Dad will answer, Son, I need the money to keep up my lifestyle.

        • Pat

          I suspect that many if not most of them DON”T make the link between what they are supporting and their children/grandchildrens future….they believe they will always be in a position to “buy” them out of that situation….mistakingly in the majority of cases.

    • Lara 7.2


      And I find it very interesting that the article made no mention of his level of debt.

      None at all.

      Because it’s an extremely important point.

      Our household debt is extraordinarily high. It is again close to 160% of household income.

  8. Tautuhi 9

    This article explains the Auckland Housing Ponzi Scheme with more and more Asian buyers entering the market there is only one direction for Auckland Housing Prices to go, especially with a limited supply of stock and expensive building supplies and labour building costs.

  9. millsy 10

    He sound like he would be a cunt of a landlord. Really.

    Altough he could have gotten more bang for his buck had he bought houses in the provinces, they are really cheap (though creeping up).

    No way would I be doffing my hat to him.

    • tc 10.1

      Know someone in akl renting off a similar landlord, they persisted with wanting to come around over the festive period without 24hours notice, Xmas , Boxing Day etc.

      Finally came around, removed structural items so recent rains flooded a storage area as they never get anything done professionally to any of their properties.

      Tenant now has an insecure and leaking dwelling, ruined items from water damage and a landlord who still doesn’t see any issue…..they just raised the rent 10% as a merry Xmas present.

      That’s reality of the akl market…..speculators who see the property as an investment they just sit on and not a dwelling they must maintain basic standards over. Nats have enabled this not addressed it.

      • ropata 10.1.1

        That is awful, I hope he goes to the Tenancy Tribunal and gets recompensed. Sounds like this landlord needs a gee up as well.

        A place I rented in Christchurch had some very dodgy wiring and one day the attached toolshed caught on fire. Landlord tried to blame us but he always kept that room locked and nobody could use it. Then a few months later a power bill arrives for $1000. Apparently his house next door was being billed as an “attached dwelling” and we had the privilege of paying for his power. Landlord told us to stop complaining or he’d put the rent up. Eventually he turfed us out, can’t remember the reason… about 6 months later the same house was for rent again.

        I hope that dodgy crook got wiped out in the quakes.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    The Classical Economists (Smith, Ricardo, Hume, etc) all expounded upon the dangers rentiers pose to society. This guy, and many others like him, is a rentier. The ancient word is usurer. He lives, not on his own contribution to society but the contribution of others.

    Of course, this is actually the heart of capitalism. The capitalists seek to live on the work of others while contributing nothing themselves. The more people they live off of the richer they become.

    Wealth is proof of theft.

    • Scott M 11.1

      The Nats and other neoliberals tend to forget the teachings of Adam Smith is that you can only get a “perfect market” through proper regulation which ensures competition, access to market information, control of monopolies and reduction of barriers to entry. The “free market” is a con avoiding all of those prinicples and allowing more and more concentration of wealth in the few.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1


        Yep, it’s the regulations that truly define the market and allow it to work.

    • ropata 11.2

      +1 nailed it
      parasitic rentier behaviour = naked capitalism

      there’s nothing “free market” about it. it’s all about
      – exploiting fellow citizens without access to huge wads of capital
      – using political influence and insider connections to get sweet deals
      – running a long term PR campaign to hide your shitty scam


  11. Visubversa 12

    Yes, he got the first lot of $$$ from his family. But where did they get it from? I worry that a lot of the money now sloshing around Auckland’s housing market comes from ripping off the Chinese people by official corruption, running sweatshops and/or despoiling the environment. It gets laundered through corruption in Indonesia – burning Orangutan habitat to grow Palm Oil or dynamiting reefs for seafood. It comes here and builds 6br/7bathroom monstrosities that will fall apart in 20 years, or enables some looser kid to sit on his backside for 15 hours a day playing video games.

  12. DH 13

    I couldn’t believe what I was reading & thought to make some comments until I belatedly figured that was the Herald’s intention. Click bait indeed.

    The solution to the housing problem is so obvious, why didn’t any of us think of it? Just give everyone without a house a free $200k… so easy.

  13. Scott M 14

    If he really owns $6.5 million in property why does he still work a 9 – 5 at Auckland Transport?

  14. Herodotus 15

    From the article Gary Lin is quoted in “I’ll be putting the rents up $10 to $20 a week because all my expenses are rising.”
    Really I thought that mortgage rates had reduced lately, and by inference his largest cost would be in servicing debt, so he along with many other landlords who are geared should be reducing rents.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Dammit, for these two I thought I was on OM. Can someone be nice and move them?

  15. Observer (Tokoroa) 18

    To: DH@!5

    “The solution to the housing problem is so obvious, why didn’t any of us think of it? Just give everyone without a house a free $200k… so easy.”

    But the chinaman got a wedding too. So don’t be mean DH. Give $200K to everyone without a house PLUS a happy wedding.

    This will bring the giftees $6.5 million in 5 yrs. More than a million a year.

    That’s if The Herald got their sums right.

  16. maui 19

    I wonder if youre Maori/Pasifika what your chances are of owning a second property. 10x or 20x less likely than Pakeha?

  17. ropata 20

    Don’t worry, National’s plan to solve the housing crisis is to sell 5000 state houses to foreign corporations. They wouldn’t jack up rents would they?

  18. ropata 21

    this post exemplifies the malaise affecting western “civilization”:

    Other symptoms common to empires in decline include massive disparities between rich and poor, an undisciplined and over-extended military, and a severe financial and economic crisis linked to a debasement of the currency. Great empire wealth dazzles, but beneath the surface the unbridled desire for money, power and material possessions means that principles of duty and public service are corrupted by leaders and citizens who scramble for the meagre spoils of an economic system which prioritizes the wrong things — and all at a time when human industry and ingenuity have been needlessly repressed

    from: Empires: The Rise and Fall

  19. Tautuhi 22

    Question do these Chinese Landlords qualify for residency by buying into Auckland’s Residential Property Market, if they do our immigration policies are a farce and a joke?

    • Naturesong 22.1

      Yes, buying up residential properties is counted as investing in NZ for immigration purposes.

      • savenz 22.1.1

        @Naturesong +1

        It is outrageous that people are actually buying up our country and then getting residency at the same time, when their is a shortage of houses for local people!

        I wonder why house prices are rising?????

        Our government and some of the opposition parties are ‘comfortable’ with this policy.

        • ropata

          Gary Lin appears to be a legit skilled immigrant with residency and a day job. The Herald has made the article as provocative as possible. Yes this guy has been given some ridiculous advantages, but he’s acting rationally given our policy settings (reward the rich and punish the poor).

      • Craig H 22.1.2

        New residential development counts as investment for immigration purposes, but buying currently-existing houses does not.

        • Naturesong

          I have now checked the immigration site, and you are correct.

          Thank you. I was not aware I hadn’t checked this fact previously. Immigration: Acceptable Investment

          It’s clear that either the law has changed and I was not aware of it, or all the conversation bandied about a couple of years ago making that assertion was factually wrong.

          Of course it does beg the question; What if your investment was in a new business*?

          * that happens to purchase and let residential housing stock?

          • Craig H

            Although the Immigration Act 1987 was replaced by the current Immigration Act 2009, this type of aspect is not legislative, it is policy. Immigration policy is reflected by the Immigration Instructions authorised by the Minister in line with the Act, and can be viewed in the Operations Manual on the INZ website – the archived version from the 1987 Act is also available on the INZ website.

            New residential property development became a permissible form of investment on 25/7/2011 – prior to that, it was not an acceptable investment in any form, either directly or indirectly. This may be the change you referred to.

            Not sure if, given the wording of the instructions, it is acceptable to invest in a company which owns and rents out existing residential property, but given the minimum funds are $1.5 million to even start to qualify, and personal use of investment assets is not permitted, I don’t why know one would bother – there’s better money in commercial property (better yields and tenants, and capital gain is just as strong).

    • ropata 22.2

      Yes, but these kind of “investors” are supposed to help develop the economy by building NEW houses, not grabbing the existing stock

  20. Redelusion 23

    What a cheek, been Chinese, successful and living in NZ, disgraceful !

    • b waghorn 23.1

      What a cheek someone as intelligent as yourself putting that mindless dribble of a comment up.

    • ropata 23.2

      Yes his WoW skills must be a real asset to the NZ community.
      What a brilliant example of RW idiocy you are

      • greywarshark 23.2.1

        Why don’t you ignore him then. His comments would become little potholes in the busy highway of comments. It would annoy him greatly and gradually he would become more openly niggly really begging for a response. But you like to be amused don’t you ropata.

  21. Ad 24

    Since Labour ruled out a Capital Gains Tax, and with no policy work to regulate rents, we’ll see more of these stories no matter whether Labour or National are in power.

    The best we can hope for in an alternative government beyond November 2017 is the state developing thousands of cheaper houses for owner-occupiers to get more people out of renting. It’s not going to change the tide of home ownership, but it may slow it.

    Property, tourism and agriculture keep this country afloat. Coincidentally, none are well regulated. Under no alternative government will it be politically worth further regulating property ownership.

    • Lanthanide 24.1

      Bring in a UBI and phase out rent subsidies.

      • b waghorn 24.1.1

        “phase out rent subsidies”
        Absolutely, but how would it be done without putting people out in the street?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Build more state housing.

          • Ad

            Under an alternative government, building more state houses is about as good as you are going to get.

            Its still more likely we will get this current government for one more term.

        • mpledger

          Surely the market would ensure that rents came down to match people’s ability to pay. Landlords (mostly) don’t want their rentals empty.

          And their should be some kind of cost for having a house empty for more than 3 months.

          • Ad

            “Surely the market would ensure that rents came down to match people’s ability to pay”


          • Draco T Bastard

            Whatever gives you that idea? It hasn’t happened yet.

          • greywarshark

            Isn’t there some economic term about elastic and inelastic? The ability to pay would make a difference if there wasn’t so much demand. At present they have to scrape up the dosh, or sublet couches. The demand could be cut by some means, ie new immigrants had to build if coming in on the money criteria, and if coming in on jobs then they would have to go outside Auckland,
            say Hamilton at least.

            And owning more than two houses would put you in a particular category where property had to be self-supporting and not make losses that could be offset by the owner’s income for tax purposes. The uneconomic level would be reached soon and buying and then prices slow down.

        • TheBlackKitten

          Due in affordability, investors would have no choice but to lower their rents. Ither that or sell the house that would hopefully be brought by a home owner. Government subaidies in combination of lack of supply are the issue.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “Investors”, it has been widely reported, don’t need tenants for houses that make >$1k per week on their own.

      • Sacha 24.1.2

        and remove wage subsidies via WFF as well.

        • Ad

          You’re really saying get rid of Working For Families?

          • Sacha

            Replace with UBI and higher minimum wage.

          • sabine

            Frankly yes.
            We got rid of so many benefits, why not get rid of that one too?
            Those of us that don’t have children are to expected to pay for families to have children that otherwise they can’t afford? Or to have children and not go to work, lest they loose that benefit? And yes, all of that exists.

            I rather have a child benefit that is paid universal to each kid. I’d rather feed all the kids a good healthy breekie and lunch at school regardless of the income of the parents. I’d rather use the money saved to have free dental care for all children until they reach 18. Etc etc. In my eyes that is a better use than to feed it to people that have children they could / would without that WFF not have.

            • greywarshark

              Ooh-er Sabine. I think that has been said before, many times, and as long as there have been purse-lipped people who can’t stand others from behaving like the human animals we are. Having children, disgraceful.

              In the old days, you couldn’t get married until the young man was earning. That was effective for keeping people apart, or they might hold a war and thousands of young men who would have married and had children were decimated. Their potential wives remained single for all or most of their lives.

              One had hoped that this sort of attitude was defunct, we had outgrown it and replaced it with encouragement to have small families, and some discouragement for the few that see themselves as baby machines on the state. A small minority who are feckless, and would probably accept a free hysterectomy and a short holiday with the children while she (or he) recuperated. I think that some guys need tying off too but not with such distaste and disapproval. (People who need people, They’re the luckiest people in the world. Barbara Streisand))

            • Craig H

              We already have free dental care for children < 18, but I agree with your broad points. Removing WFF is not inconsistent with the UBI, however as the child benefit could also be a UBI for the child.

              I also generally agree with largely replacing accommodation supplements with substantially better provision of state housing – one of these pushes rents up, while one of them pushes them down, so it's not hard to see good reasons for doing it.

  22. David 25

    “In the German system moreover, house-builders rarely accumulate the huge large land banks that are such a dangerous distraction for U.S. house-builders like Pulte Homes, D. R. Horton, Lennar, and Toll Brothers. German house-builders just focus on building good-quality homes cheaply, secure in the knowledge that additional land will become available at reasonable cost when needed.”

    This is, of course, a great argument against the planning system as it exists in NZ. I wonder why you published it here?

    • maui 25.1

      Our planning system especially for new residential areas is basically a no planning one. Any issues around the effect on the environment, landscape values and sustainability are usually sidelined. Common sense stuff like, will public transport be provided? Will the development supply any of their own energy needs (i.e. solar)? Does the development have any community space or business/commercial focal points? From what I can see most of this ignored and it will have repercussions for people living in those areas down the line.

      Council’s will give the big rubber stamp to most crudely designed developments as the new rates money is too tempting for them to turn down. This framework nicely complements our housing bubble.

      • David 25.1.1

        Sorry, but you clearly have no idea how expensive & time consuming it is to get planning permission. Adding requirements like public transport and, lol, solar power, just makes housing even more expensive.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Adding requirements like public transport and, lol, solar power, just makes housing even more expensive.

          Actually, it makes it cheaper in the same way that building upwards makes housing cheaper than building outwards. Ongoing costs are reduced but, IMO, National and business people don’t like that idea as it means ongoing profits decrease.

          • David

            Building upwards is much more expensive than building outwards. Apartment buildings are 3-4x as expensive to build compared to single level dwellings.

            • Naturesong

              You sure?

              So if it costs $250k to build a house on a quarter acre section (sans cost of section obviously), then it must cost 21 million to build a 28 unit apartment block on the same spot*?

              What building materials are you using, stone and platinum?

              * (250k X 28units) X 3 (David’s multi level building multiplier)

              • David

                Yes I’m sure. Apartment buildings are far more expensive per sqm, they require a lot more engineering and materials than a house as well as fire protection, lifts etc. It costs around $2500/sqm for a standard house build and an apartment is running at between $6000 and $8000/sqm.

                The only reason apartments are not far more expensive than houses is that they are, on average, far smaller.

              • David

                Just to add, he is an example of an apartment in a 29 unit block. Do you think the price reflects your maths?


                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, isn’t it truly amazing how much people will pay for places that they don’t want to live?

                  Of course, just because some people are paying that much doesn’t mean that it costs that much. And if they’re public owned apartments that are rented out as a percentage of household income…

                  It will cost less and be better than our present sprawl.

                  • David

                    “Yes, isn’t it truly amazing how much people will pay for places that they don’t want to live?”

                    Mostly, people who buy top end apartments don’t live there. They are just expensive hotel rooms. Apartments in Auckland are primarily purchased by overseas investors.

                    “Of course, just because some people are paying that much doesn’t mean that it costs that much. And if they’re public owned apartments that are rented out as a percentage of household income…”

                    I’ve lived in Soviet apartments. No thanks.

                • Not my maths – it was you who asserted that apartments were 3 to 4 times as expensive to build as a detached house.

                  I was simply pointing out the ridiculousness of your assertion.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Bollocks. Sure, the buildings cost more as you go upwards but the services cost more as you go outwards.

              Quantifying the Cost of Sprawl

              Sprawl is expensive. It costs more money to pave a road and connect a sewer line to five families each living a block apart on wooded lots than to build public infrastructure for those same five families living in a condo. It costs more money (and takes more time and gas) to serve those families with garbage trucks, fire engines, and ambulances. And in return – as we’ve previously written – those five sprawling single-family homes likely yield less in tax revenue per acre than the apartment building that could house our fictitious residents downtown.

              The reason why rates are going up so fast is because of sprawl and you RWNJs always complain about that as well but it’s you who are forcing those rates up every time you demand more sprawl.

              A few more links:

              • David

                The cost of intensification is far more than the cost of sprawl. Upgrading existing infrastructure is much more complex and expensive than building new. Upgrading a sewer or water main in the inner city, for example, takes far longer and involves a lot more effort than green field.

                • Grant

                  Just asking, but shouldn’t you also be doing an actuarial exercise which takes into account things like increased transport infrastructure, car usage/ fuel costs/ pollution, environmental damage, long term loss of land with environmental or agricultural value, loss of productive human time in commuting etc etc.?

                  • David

                    “Just asking, but shouldn’t you also be doing an actuarial exercise which takes into account things like increased transport infrastructure, car usage/ fuel costs/ pollution, environmental damage, long term loss of land with environmental or agricultural value, loss of productive human time in commuting etc etc.?”

                    People make this calculation whenever they look at a place to live.

                    • Grant

                      No, they don’t. They only look at the personal and short term costs to themselves. Not to the wider community or the environment and often not even to themselves long term or in travelling down time which is simply something that is forced on them by a system that makes living more centrally impossible.

                    • David

                      “No, they don’t. They only look at the personal and short term costs to themselves. Not to the wider community or the environment and often not even to themselves long term or in travelling down time which is simply something that is forced on them by a system that makes living more centrally impossible.”

                      Nonsense. People are very aware of travelling time and costs, to workplace, schools and recreation. You also seem under the illusion that living more centrally is something everyone wants or benefits from, in Auckland this is simply not true. Lifestyle is also a huge factor, the vast majority of NZ’ers prefer houses to apartments and apartments suitable for families are simply affordable to most, even compared to Auckland house prices.

                    • Grant

                      You’re starting to sound a little incoherent.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      People are very aware of travelling time and costs, to workplace, schools and recreation.

                      [citation needed]

                      Lifestyle is also a huge factor, the vast majority of NZ’ers prefer houses to apartments…

                      Maybe so but is that actually true? Or, to be more precise, if they lived in an apartment for a time would they then be willing to move out into the burbs?

                      People are creatures of habit and after living in self-contained houses their entire life they simply don’t have a reference point to know if they would prefer apartment living or not. I suspect that many who say that they prefer stand-alone housing would quickly find that they would actually prefer apartment living – if given the choice.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The cost of intensification is far more than the cost of sprawl.

                  [citation needed]

                  Your beliefs aren’t good enough or, to put it another way, you’re talking out your arse.

                  • David

                    I don’t need a citation, I run these construction projects. My experience is first hand, it’s not a ‘belief’.

                    • ropata

                      The problem is that your balance sheet doesn’t include costs to the wider society and environment, or the cost of ongoing maintenance, or the pressure on the housing market caused by inefficient structures.

                      These are just externalities to be ignored, right?

                    • David

                      “The problem is that your balance sheet doesn’t include costs to the wider society and environment, or the cost of ongoing maintenance, or the pressure on the housing market caused by inefficient structures.”

                      Quantify them for both scenarios.

                    • Grant

                      Shouldn’t the major players be doing the quantifying? Actuarial exercises of that nature are totally beyond the average citizen. It’s up to Developers, Councils and Govt. to decide what the true long term costs are and who should pay for them using what mechanism.

                    • Grant

                      As a project manager of large scale construction projects you cannot be unaware of the ongoing discussion about including externalities in the cost of doing business.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I don’t need a citation I run these construction projects.

                      Yes you do. All your experience tells you is the limited range of what you deal with. It doesn’t include anything else. And even then you’re probably getting it wrong.

                      Which means that you’re spouting shit and so we need to see the research that includes all of the costs.

                      I’ve supplied links, you’ve supplied ignorance.

                    • ropata

                      Here ya go (Canada data, same links as DTB mentioned above):

                      Annual infrastructure costs:
                      – suburban sprawl: $3462 per household
                      – urban high density: $1416 per household

                      There are a whole lot of hidden costs associated with endless sprawl, not least is the impact of more cars and more accidents.

                      (US estimates put the cost of sprawl at $1 trillion annually)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Upgrading existing infrastructure is much more complex and expensive than building new. Upgrading a sewer or water main in the inner city, for example, takes far longer and involves a lot more effort than green field.

                  When the city sprawls you still have to upgrade the existing infrastructure to take the increased load. If you don’t then you get all sorts of problems. This totally negates this particular argument of yours.

                  • David

                    “Annual infrastructure costs:
                    – suburban sprawl: $3462 per household
                    – urban high density: $1416 per household

                    There are a whole lot of hidden costs associated with endless sprawl, not least is the impact of more cars and more accidents.”

                    Which is fine if your not dealing with existing infrastructure. The cost of intensification of existing cities is huge and far outweighs additional costs of less dense greenfield development.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I suspect that you’ll find that the studies that prove you wrong in your beliefs have taken that into account.

                    • ropata

                      David is referring to the upfront investment required to build out new developments rather than the ongoing annual costs. I would have thought a big reason that denser housing is more expensive is due to location. Also if you’re talking apartments no doubt the build cost is higher. But if you are just talking townhouses / terraced housing then these homes should end up cheaper per sq.m.

                      Quote: Auckland property – the squeeze is on

                      If the plan enables more high density development to go ahead, developers say the cost per unit will fall and they will be able to build more affordable housing – smaller apartments and terraced houses. Urban Economics director Adam Thompson, whose feasibility model was used in the study, believes allowance for increased densities in the mixed housing zones could be a game changer, potentially allowing homes which would sell for around $400,000 in some areas.

                    • David

                      “But if you are just talking townhouses / terraced housing then these homes should end up cheaper per sq.m.”

                      2 story terraced housing is about the most economic form of build.

                    • David

                      “I suspect that you’ll find that the studies that prove you wrong in your beliefs have taken that into account.”

                      They haven’t, really.

        • maui

          It’s also bloody expensive (and not just in monetary terms) for residents to be tied to their cars and to go without a bus service for the next 30 years because someone never thought about it for 5 minutes at the start. Or because solar wasn’t mandatory when their house was built, which would have added only a small fraction to an already expensive build price that they have to go on haemorrhaging money to a private power company for decades. It seems the people paying the real planning costs are the ones living in the shonkily planned burbs.

          • David

            Solar can be added and given it’s falling in price at about 20% pa it makes a lot of sense to wait for it to get cheaper. Cars will be far less of an issue when self-driving vehicles become the norm over the next 10-15 years. The convergence of solar power and self-driving cars is inevitable and doesn’t require any intervention.

            You are trying to solve problems that will solve themselves.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Solar can be added and given it’s falling in price at about 20% pa it makes a lot of sense to wait for it to get cheaper.

              No it doesn’t and, in fact, doing so is really bloody stupid and short sighted.

              1. Solar panels will be cheaper next year so wait until next year
              2. Next year comes, got to 1

              You put yourself into a perpetual loop waiting for the price to drop resulting in never installing solar panels. And while you’re waiting more and more damage is done to the environment.

              Second best idea is for the government to force the issue requiring new homes to have solar panels installed when built. This would increase demand and allow increases in economies of scale allowing prices to drop even faster. Installation of solar panels reduces damage done to the environment.

              Best option is for the government to build the full run process of making solar panels here and installing them on all houses. Prioritise state housing and new builds. This drops the prices down and reduces environmental damage the most and fastest as fossil fuelled generation gets taken off line.

              Cars will be far less of an issue when self-driving vehicles become the norm over the next 10-15 years.

              Cars are uneconomic and even with full renewable generation we simply can’t afford them and so they’ll be going the way of the dodo except for government and business use. There’s a reason why only 16% of commuters in Manhattan use cars.

              • David

                “You put yourself into a perpetual loop waiting for the price to drop resulting in never installing solar panels. And while you’re waiting more and more damage is done to the environment.”

                No you don’t. You reach the point they are economic and everyone will be installing them without any enforcement.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s just it – they’re already economic. Have been for some time due to the simple fact that they don’t use scarce resources during their operation and they can be recycled at the end of their life time.

                  What you’re really calling for is that economics be ignored so that things can stay the same and we can’t afford to do that.

                • Anno1701

                  “As the price of grid connected solar power systems has decreased dramatically over the last few years, investing in a system now produces a high return on investment (ROI) making it FAR MORE ATTRACTIVE than putting your money in bank term deposits or similar investments.
                  The size of the solar system that you install will determine your ROI, which will generally range between 7% and 12%.”


              • David

                “Cars are uneconomic and even with full renewable generation we simply can’t afford them and so they’ll be going the way of the dodo except for government and business use. There’s a reason why only 16% of commuters in Manhattan use cars.”

                Self-driving cars & trucks will be final nail in the coffin of rail.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Self-driving cars & trucks will be final nail in the coffin of rail.

                  Nope. Put it this way. Which is cheaper:

                  Processing tens of millions of tonnes of resources to move a couple of million people or processing processing a few hundred thousand tonnes to move the same people?

                  And then there’s the fact that cars are only used ~5% of the time. Then there’s the wasted land that goes to storing the cars for the ~95% of the time that they’re not used. Not to forget the pollution as all that rubber gets washed into the seas and surrounding land poisoning it.

                  Real economics will be the end of cars and see trains and ships flourishing.

                  • David

                    You won’t need to own a self-driving car. You just call them when you need them for both long and short journeys door to door. They can pick up multiple passengers as well with minimal fuss. If you do own one, you can rent it out when not needed and the utilization skyrockets.

                    The economics of cars go up markedly and trains die the final death except on very specific high volume, high speed routes.

                    • ropata

                      a lot of road freight companies and couriers will probably go the same way. but rail is absolutely the winner for shifting volumes of city commuters.

                    • mickysavage

                      They will do nothing for congestion and they will require a huge amount of energy to create in numbers. Why not try to suppress the demand rather than always trying to feed the demand?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They can pick up multiple passengers as well with minimal fuss.

                      As soon as that happens the bus is faster, less inconvenience and still uses less resources thus is still more economical.

                      You do understand that economizing is about using less resources to achieve the same end don’t you?

            • maui

              As far as I can see the middle class is shrinking not growing, wage increases are not meeting the rise in everyday consumer costs, and I would say this is the case in most western world countries. Who will actually be able to afford these self-driving cars when they become available? One of the reasons for the cheap commodity prices at the moment is collapsing worldwide demand/growth. There’s the other problem of resources costing more to extract as time goes by (Ugo Bardi is an expert in this), so I expect any new production cars in the future to cost consumers more as well, money they don’t have. This goes for electric cars too. Even if self-driving cars get off the ground, I can’t quite see how they solve any traffic efficiency problems or reduced transport costs.

              Regarding solar, we should have at least made solar hot water systems compulsory years ago on new houses, the technology is pretty basic and much cheaper than making your house completely off-grid with solar panels. I think a home’s water heating requirements makes up about 40% of your power bill, a no brainer.

              • David

                “This goes for electric cars too. Even if self-driving cars get off the ground, I can’t quite see how they solve any traffic efficiency problems or reduced transport costs.”

                Your not looking very hard then. Self driving cars are a convergence technology.

        • mickysavage

          “Lol, solar power”

          So renewables are a joke? Most estimates that I have seen recently suggest that solar is cost effective, especially when you take into account there is no need for transmission and the decommissioning costs are minimal.

          • David

            If solar was economic it would not require subsidy and everyone would be installing it right now. It isn’t just yet, but likely in the next 5 years for some regions in NZ. At that point most people will be installing it and you don’t need to legislate.

            • mickysavage

              So the market will always win? What about the inability for a solar panel owner to sell power back into the grid at a proper price. And if the benefits are there why should we wait for the market to eventually persuade people to change. If it is good for the climate why not accelerate change now. After all government does huge amounts to help businesses, for instance providing free roads, why not channel change in a direction that is good for all of us?

            • lprent

              If solar was economic it would not require subsidy…

              What subsidy? There isn’t a subsidy for solar installations here, and hasn’t been for decades (and the last was for solar heating rather than power). Are you another aussie or IQ raising emigrant thinking that NZ is the same as New South Wales?

              The economics of solar power in NZ are very good on an operational basis – ie recovering the installation costs and providing cheap power.

              The only real issue with the economics of solar power here at present is the upfront capital cost and the costs of financing it.

              What that means is that it particularly suits people who have upfront money and don’t need to borrow to install, and who reap the benefits of massively reduced outgoings on power. In other words the optimal installers are people who are on or about to go on to superannuation.

              They (on average) have several decades of life ahead of them with vastly reduced incomes. Dropping the average monthly power bill down to half or even a quarter makes a hell of a difference to their cash budgets, and they hit the break even point in about 7 years. And that is even after ignoring the paltry income for feeding power into the grid.

              They also tend to double glaze, insulate, and put in ramps for much the same reason. It makes sense for them to maintain their active life at home for as long as possible and as cheaply as possible. Because the medical bills from poorly heated and fall prone buildings are way too much. For them the cash return is immensely higher than any investments.

            • Draco T Bastard

              If solar was economic it would not require subsidy…

              Do you apply the same logic to fossil fuels?


              Because fossil fuels get far more subsidies around the world than renewables. I suspect that if those subsidies were dropped fossil fuels would stop being ‘economical’ overnight.

    • greywarshark 25.2

      What do you mean with this query? ” I wonder why you published it here?”
      It doesn’t fit the context.

  23. savenz 26

    The other issue is that the banks are falling over themselves for Asian investors. They are giving them preferential rates below what they give Kiwis.

    A friend was complaining about it, his friend a Korean pensioner got a rate of 4.3%, who has never had a job here, is full of debt and the houses are not even in their name. In contrast to how they treated him with his bank who he had been with for years, wouldn’t give him a decent rate, and they advised him to float until they lowered the interest rates (a ruse to get people to pay more and have to wait) and he found out he was paying a business rate of 5.99% on floating – that was ANZ. He was furious and has worked all his life and still works and has an A+ rating.

    ASB are doing the same thing, they will not give top rates for existing customers and then encourage ‘floating’ at a higher rate until they can be bothered to give the same ‘special’ rates they are falling over to give their Asian customers through Asian brokers.

    Clearly the banks in particular OZ banks are betting that Kiwis will not be owning much property in NZ and the Asians are the ones to win. They love screwing the Kiwis, especially their existing long term “Kiwi” customers.

    • Ch-ch Chiquita 26.1

      I think the days of long term loyal customer are gone. There is little to no advantage and by switching banks you can get better offers. It’s become just like the phone companies. People shoud not be afraid of shopping around for a better mortgage rate and change bank if needed, though I would guess that when presented with the possibility of losing a mortgage paying customer, the bank will match a better rate. Even with a slighly lower rate, a mortgage is still a cash cow.

      • mpledger 26.1.1

        Banks, and such like, run algorithms to see which customers are likely to leave and then offer them special deals before they do. The truth is that it’s better to be a bastard of a customer so that they’ll fall over backwards to keep you rather than be loyal and have them ignore you.

        • savenz

          My point is, within the algorithms I suspect there is a bias towards favouring Asian customers with better rates than Kiwi customers.

          In this situation the Korean was a terrible risk (old, no income, not great security, did not speak English so could not negotiate the rate or be a bugger of a customer etc) but still managed to somehow secure a top rate.

          • savenz

            She does not even pay any taxes or declare the rents!

            • savenz

              Personally I would like to see a human rights/race relations audit on bank rates given to their customers.

              I bet they would find Asian customers get the lowest rates and Maori the highest.

              Very hard to negotiate for example if you are a farmer and in drought. At the very time you might need a decent rate from the bank they would be as mean and unaccomodating as possible.

              It is not really a ‘free market’ when you can borrow money at 1% in Asia and then buy up NZ properties and then get residency for doing so at the same time. win win.

              • Craig H

                Buying existing houses isn’t a pathway to residence, although new residential development is.

    • Gristle 26.2

      New customers are often given better rates than existing companies. This is not an Asian thing.

      I have found this with banks telcos, electricity retailers and many other corporate abnomations. They milk their existing customers for revenue and don’t give the cheapest rates to their best/longest/least troublesome/most loyal customers. Instead, if you are somebody who swaps every 6 months, bargains with them, complains, badgers them then you will get all the lowest rates and signup incentives.

      I think part of this is that most of these business (term used loosely) create incentives for staff signing up new customers and not keeping old customers. So that’s what the sales and marketing people do: focus on signing new customers. But the cost of acquisition is high and sometimes detrimental to the business.

      Anyway, my approach nowadays is to ring up call centres/personal consultant and tell them I am swapping unless they can better what there competitor is offering to switch. The key is not to use what prices they publish, but choose some arbitrary lower figure. I was asked by one bank to make my own proposal on what the rates should be for mortgage and credit card and insurance.

  24. sabine 27

    so his banks own five properties and he gets to pretend he is the landlord until the day he defaults on his mortgage payments?
    Well I heard the WoW is a good game. 🙂

  25. greywarshark 28

    WoW – World of Wearable Arts?

  26. Hi Vis. 29

    The article in the NZ Herald reads like I am already in support of this creature. Typical of the Herald, but I will not buy into it

  27. TheBlackKitten 30

    So yet again, we have someone who has a rich mummy and daddy that can afford to splurge out 200k as a wedding gift. 200k that at the time, brought him a house freehold. How many families in NZ can afford to gift their children a house? There’s your example of ‘having extra advantage’ right there and the comments coming from some that if you work hard then you can have the same are automatically thrown out due to this huge advantage of this kid being given by his rich mummy and daddy.
    What he has done is no different to what a lot of investors have and are still doing. Due to having a family home, he has used it as leverage to purchase other homes to rent out. What this does is gives him and others like him more bidding power than the first home buyer who is saddled with high student debt so that they can get a half paying decent job and who don’t have the benefit of mummy and daddy buying a house for for them. Due to lack of supply, people like this Asian kid are buying all the homes and leaving no other option for others who don’t have these advantages, to rent of them. It’s a very grim future for Kiwis.
    This Asian kid has done nothing special, he has not worked hard, he has not given anything beneficial to our economy, has not created jobs(and please do not tell me that he employes tradespeople to maintain his rentals as this work would still be happening if the home had been brought by a kiwi family rather than some rich kid investor).
    But what we need to look at is how to stop this. The first thing is what is making housing so attractive to investors? Lack of supply vs demand will always see that rental demand will be high and will enable them to charge high rent and do little or no maintenance. Due to lack of supply, renters will have no choice but to suck it up. Increase supply will stop this. The other issue is rental subsidies from government. Due to government sudidies propping up appalling wages and the lack of supply, we have people paying rent rates that far exceed their incomes. If you abolished this and increased house supply then I would have the great pleasure of seeing this privledged Asian kid no longer in a position to put average kiwis out of home ownership.
    But unless we address the issues, then we can expect so see these types of situations occurring on a more regular basis. I will be honest, I was actually quite depressed after reading that story in the herald today. So what’s it to be, pretty green parks with rich kid investors owning our limited housing stock along with employers paying wages that are exceedingly below housing costs or do we deal with the issues of supply vs demand and government housing subsidies to sort it out.
    I fear that people are ither too entrenched in their ideology or gutless to do what is really needed to fix this issue.

  28. Tautuhi 31

    So an Asian immigrant is granted residency for purchasing NZ housing stocks as a legitimate business activity which is beneficial to the growth of the NZ Economy?

  29. Observer (Tokoroa) 32

    + 100 The BlackKitten

    • Scott M 32.1

      Why isnt it as simple as banning foreigners from purchasing housing?

      • ropata 32.1.1

        Part of our shonky trade deals because Roger Douglas already threw out our other bargaining chips (tariffs)

      • linda 32.1.2

        subsidization of rents as well that is basically welfare for landlords it does nothing to help the tenants long term the rental supplement should be put into building homes not propping up landlords balance sheets

  30. Tautuhi 33

    So we in NZ are racists if we criticize Chinese coming to NZ under our immigration laws and set up a business buying NZ housing rental stocks as a legitimate business, but they are not racist by not letting us buy their housing stocks in China. The media and John Key have a fuzzy form of logic here in NZ.

    I do not see how allowing truckloads of Chinese into NZ with suitcases full of cash, to buy up existing NZ housing stock is a legitimate business activity, ie investment. This property speculation with our limited housing stocks should not be a valid criteria for granting residency status to Chinese immigrants. If they were establishing new viable export businesses which were benefiting NZ, I might agree, however what I hear is Chinese companies are pirating existing exporters businesses in certain industries here in NZ.

    • Naturesong 33.1

      If you frame the problem as “chinese investors” or “asian speculators” or whatever, then yes it is bigoted.

      Why? Becuase the issue isn’t asian people. It’s giving unfettered access to every investor in the world to our housing market.

      How can young families on low wages compete?
      Simple, they can’t. They get to pay rent instead.
      Good thing though, is they can get a rent subsidy to pay their overseas landlord.
      Your tax dollars at work.

      The issue is a policy setting, not a person with a different sounding name to yours.

      • ropata 33.1.1

        Actually Chinese capital is pouring into property markets all around the Pacific rim and beyond.

        Not a race issue, simply a feature of Capitalism

        • Naturesong

          Yes, but by targetting an obvious “other” (different language, skin colour, culture) people can fall into the trap of confusing the symptom (lots of chinese people buying property here) with the cause (policy settings that allow all international speculators and investors to generate huge tax free capital gain in our housing market).

          • ropata

            When Government fails in its duty to curb rentier behaviour it is understandable that people get upset. It’s undeniable that Chinese cash is screwing with global markets, and it’s not racist to identify it as such.

            • Pat

              the point as it has been made often already though is it is not just Chinese nationals cash and nor is it a recent phenomenon…the same has occured in central Otago these past decades and the main culprits are not Chinese in origin….raising the issue is correct, the framing however is flawed

    • Craig H 33.2

      Buying existing housing (rental stocks) is not a pathway to residence, although new residential development is.

  31. linda 34

    if the rental supplement was cut that would pull the rug from underneath these parasites i still be leave we need an effective capital gains tax a property crash is best way quickly to get housing cost back in line with income

  32. Tautuhi 35

    So successive Governments have established a framework which has caused the Auckland Property Price Bubble? Cheap overseas money and finance, limited housing stocks, limited land supply, and Government rent subsidies, hence an artificial market.

    Surely the answer is build more State Houses, this generates employment and provides housing for the lower socio economic sectors of society.

    It worked in the 1930’s under Michael Joseph Savage, why would it not work now?

    Or am I simplifying things too much, hence I am just stupid?

    • tc 35.1

      Makes sense but that doesn’t keep rents high as it supplies stock so the Nats took the logical step of flogging off more state houses even to the extent of lying about no more asset sales at the last election.

      It’s deliberate wilful locking out of kiwis who don’t have privilege or wealth behind them from owning their own homes for speculators. They after all are a target demographic they want to keep voting blue

    • greywarshark 35.2

      Not stupid!! Here are a few good sayings to match the situation.
      Bertrand Russell

      The crippling wisdom and reflection of the world in one brilliant Bertrand Russell quote:
      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

      Read more at http://www.prosebeforehos.com/quote-of-the-day/12/28/bertrand-russell-quote-fools-fanatics-wise-men/#VbsqR47tMbEcHcJ7.99

      “A wise man understands, an intelligent man knows, but a fool pretends to know.”
      ― Debasish Mridha
      “A good man can be destroyed by the association with men of evil character. A wise man can learn from them”
      ― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom
      and, this is a really good one. “Comparing yourself to others dwarfs your imagination”
      ― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom


      As the number of comfortably off grows, who have become rentiers trying to ensure their retirement income remains comfortably high, and who have been encouraged to despise the welfare system that grew their parents so they could better themselves, the market for cold-blooded rentiers grows, and so does their support for the sere, blue, frost-bitten party.

  33. Tautuhi 36

    Neo liberal economics and social engineering is how I would describe it?

  34. Tautuhi 37

    The housing bubble in Auckland can only be pricked by increasing supply, curbing foreign speculation or increasing interest rates (however that only increases banks profits), so the first two items are the key, a simple solution, maybe someone should explain this to John Key and the National Party?

  35. mikesh 38

    With housing two things should happen:

    1. Homeowners should be taxed on the rental value of their properties. The free accommodation they receive is the return on their investment in property and, like any return on investment, should be subject to income tax. It should be noted that mortgage repayments don’t cover this as these are simply repayments of monies borrowed in the past, together with the interest thereon.

    2. Interest should be made non deductible for tax purposes. Deductibility of interest is an anomaly in the income tax act as it does not contribute to to the generation of taxable income. Removal of interest deductibility would not affect homeowners but would affect landlords who have borrowed, particularly the highly leveraged.

    Neither of these measures would be politically saleable without cross party agreement.

    • greywarshark 38.1

      Homeowners living in that home being taxed on the rental value of their property.
      B.gger that idea.!

      • mikesh 38.1.1

        “B.gger that idea.!”

        The idea is perfectly rational, but it would probably go against the entrenched vested interests of homeowners. That is why I said it would probably need cross party agreement to get it through parliament. However it would result in an expansion of the tax base and it is possible therefore that it may be offset by reductions in tax rates.

        The people to benefit of course would be renters, who would receive any tax reductions that might eventuate, while not being subject to this “homeowner’s” tax.

  36. Craig H 39

    Since it came up a lot above – purchasing existing rental properties is not a pathway to residence. New residential development, however, is a pathway to residence.

  37. Colonial Viper 40

    Just a note that the form of capitalism we have now, is not “free market” – it is actually more like bankster led corporate crony capitalism. As evidenced by the TPPA, as evidence by central banks manipulating interest rates towards 0% while printing massive amounts of new money, as evidenced by outright manipulation of financial and commodity markets.

    The Left needs to update its intellectual frameworks to correctly analyse the situation we are facing in the 21st century.

  38. Peter Lewis 41

    What the Herald reporter knew – but failed to mention – is that Gary Lin does actually hold down a full-time job as well as working on his property-related activities.

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    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    6 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    6 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    7 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    1 week ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    7 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Statement on evacuation of New Zealanders from Wuhan
    “I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Specific details of the evacuation plan, including the medical protocols that will be applied to returning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
    Our Government’s programme to upgrade infrastructure and modernise the economy will help more communities to be part of the solution to climate change through a clean-powered public service. Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today announced the first group of projects from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s clean powered public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
    Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says today’s capital investment announcements show the Coalition Government is the Government of Infrastructure. $7 billion in projects have been announced today as part of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will see capital spending at its highest rate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Boost for child, maternity and mental health
    $300 million dollar capital investment in health, divided among four focus areas: Child and maternal health - $83 million Mental health and addiction - $96 million Regional and rural service projects – $26 million Upgrading and fixing aging hospital facilities - $75 million Contingency of $20 million The New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future
    $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in out six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. $1.1 billion for rail. $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland. The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the funding of four major rail projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme is yet another step in the right direction for New Zealand’s long-term rail infrastructure. “This Government has a bold vision for rail. We said we would address the appalling ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
    Roads, rail, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in New Zealand – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
    A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.  “The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • PM announces election date as September 19
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