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Twyford Responds

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, July 13th, 2015 - 325 comments
Categories: Economy, labour, overseas investment, phil twyford - Tags: , ,

Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has responded on Radio NZ and in this morning’s NZ Herald to accusations of racism in the release of data that shows massive foreign speculation in the Auckland housing market. He’s supported by NZ First leader Winston Peters who notes that his party were also labelled as xenophobic and racist when it raised the problem of overseas buyers:

“We’ve been saying for a long time that the housing problem in Auckland is one of supply, and when it comes to supply what’s exacerbating it (is) massive demand inflated from abroad and offshore buying. That’s the fact and trying to deny it is just drivel.”

While many are genuine in their unease about the identification of the ethnicity of the primary group of foreign speculators, it’s deeply ironic that Twyford is being trolled by righties who were only too happy about National’s Orewa dog whistle and the blatant racism of the Kiwi, not Iwi billboards. But the right have been well and truly gazumped by Labour this weekend, so their panicked response is understandable.

Also in today’s Herald, the editorial makes reasonable points about the need to find out exactly what is really going on, saying “… the response must be carefully calibrated. It would be easy to follow Australia’s lead and require overseas investors to build new houses. This makes some sense in increasing supply rather than adding to demand.”

This is echoed by BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander who reckons that NZ “should as soon as possible adopt Australia’s rules restricting foreign buying of anything other than new housing unless resident for 12 months.” 

Labour’s approach is clear and appropriate:

  • An immediate ban on foreign speculators buying residential property. If you want to own a house in NZ you should move here or build a new one.
  • An immediate investment in a  government-led affordable housing programme (the Kiwibuild program)
  • Move away from the negative proposal to flog off parts of our state housing stock. Instead, build more state houses.

Here’s Phil Twyford’s opinion piece in the Herald:

The Weekend Herald’s report ‘We’ve got Chinese buyers’ certainly sparked debate.

As Labour’s housing spokesperson I’ve had a swag of messages in response to my comments that the leaked real estate sales data showing buyers of Chinese descent purchased almost 40 per cent of houses in a three-month period strongly suggests offshore Chinese investors have a big presence, given the local Chinese community is only 9 per cent of Auckland’s population.

Aucklanders from all walks of life have offered their views. Many have welcomed what they see as a long overdue debate. Others, notably in the Twittersphere, have been quick to accuse me of racism because I have talked about a particular ethnic group.

But here’s the thing. We do need to have a mature public debate about Chinese foreign investment in New Zealand real estate. Especially when the Government has refused to set up a register of foreign ownership and make it public.

Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and other nations have enacted restrictions on foreign buyers in recent years.

When the sales data also pointed to a big presence of offshore Chinese investors, Labour decided it was time to talk about this. However uncomfortable it may be, the sales data reinforces what so many Aucklanders have thought is going on.

It is simply not good enough to try to shut down an important public debate with allegations of racism.

The other criticism we’ve copped is that analysing the surnames of house purchasers doesn’t tell us whether they are local or foreign, and that you cannot logically infer from the numbers anything about the presence of offshore speculators.

We stand by the surname analysis. It draws on data from the Census and the electoral roll and predicts with about 95 per cent accuracy ethnic origin based on surname.

Surnames of course don’t tell us anything about citizenship or residency. But no one has yet suggested a plausible alternative to how come the 9 per cent of the population who are Chinese New Zealanders could be responsible for 40 per cent of the house purchases. Did the other 91 per cent of the population stay out of the market? Given all the other information at hand, we continue to think it strongly suggests overseas speculators are a big presence.

Labour’s policy is to ban all foreign buyers. We don’t see any benefit to Kiwis of allowing speculators on the other side of the world to trade our houses for capital gain.

We would not be arguing over the leaked real estate sales data if the Government had agreed to set up a register of foreign ownership and make it public.

The recent announcement that foreign buyers will have to register with IRD will generate the information but the Government still won’t agree to a register open to public scrutiny.

The Government doesn’t believe the sales data. I say it is time to put up or shut up.


325 comments on “Twyford Responds ”

    • JanM 1.1

      Yes, but she’s a twit and has deliberately placed the focus on ‘Chinese New Zealanders’ who are no more a part of the discussion than any other New Zealand resident – she was a political appointment, was she not, now earning her money by having cheap shots at Labour

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Devoy wasnt talking back in 2013 !

        “The Race Relations Commissioner is refusing to publicly respond to Winston Peters’ latest anti-Chinese tirade.
        The New Zealand First leader is warning that more Chinese immigrants means more corruption, more people trafficking, more student cheating rings, and over-priced housing in Auckland.

        Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/politics/devoy-wont-comment-on-chinese-remarks-2013052707#ixzz3fjAkNdtx

        he was talking in a racist way about new immigrants, but Devoy ‘wouldnt comment’
        Wonder why shes found her voice now !

        • Colonial Viper

          Devoy was the wrong pick for the role but she has been getting better at her job.

          • JanM

            Well, there was nowhere to go but up, really, was there 🙂

            • dukeofurl

              Back then it Nationals ministers doing the talking so she was to keep quiet.

              Now its National bigwigs who are keeping quiet for political strategy reasons and they need their proxies to take the attack to labour

            • Brillo

              Agreed, JanM.
              “Half-baked” and “disappointing” could be applied to her performance, as well.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Her job at defending National?

        • Paul

          She was a political appointee.

      • My_Asian_Wife 1.1.2

        To be fair it was Twyford who placed the focus on the Chinese and by doing so has drawn in Devoy as a result

        • keyman

          what don’t you understand china is printing money vast amounts money qualitative easing that they loan out at zirp (zero) to say its race is utter crap locals whose incomes come from the new Zealand economy work in new Zealand pay taxes here cant get there own homes paying rents that in a lot cases taking 80 percent of there income,where is the brighter future john key has promised to our generation that doesn’t have access to a printing press .
          as reported 22-30 thousand vacant homes bought by none domes not even rented they take capital gains and leave .wheres the level playing field this can only lead to resentment and trouble we want intergenerational justice and a fair go its not a lot to ask for !

        • Thom Pietersen

          Raaa raaa, rabble… not to mind the science, oh I’m so fucking offended! At least you can be in NZ. Not Han? – Fuck you then.

          Massive generalisation I know – that’s actually part of my point.

    • Ross 1.2

      Susan Devoy…she was a great squash player.

  1. Chooky 2

    +100 Grreat Post …and go Labour Party Phil Twyford and NZF Winston Peters !

    New Zealand for New Zealanders…and not wealthy overseas speculators

    • ankerawshark 2.1

      1000 + Chooky and great response from Phil Twyford…………………do Phil

    • cogito 2.2

      “New Zealand for New Zealanders…and not wealthy overseas speculators”

      Yes, but to be effective one needs to stop not only the overseas speculators, but also their nz puppet mouthpieces…. of whom there are plenty in the current government.

    • keyman 2.3

      to fuckin right we should protest up queen street on this one

  2. James 3

    A Few Quotes from the race relations commissioner:

    “Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says the use of “half-baked” housing data to suggest overseas Chinese nationals are increasingly buying property in Auckland is “disappointing”.

    “Dumbing down complex economic woes and blaming them on an ethnic community whose members are already feeling under pressure is neither new nor unique but it’s always disappointing.

    “Economists have voiced real concerns with the legitimacy of the half-baked data that’s been released this weekend – if we are going to address Auckland’s inflationary housing market then expert data, evidence and analysis is crucial.

    “When the global oil crisis hit New Zealand in the seventies, Pacific people – whether they were citizens or not – were wrongly blamed by many for the economic woes we faced.”

    Well done twyford. Anyone thinking that that reflects well on Labour.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Yeah, as TRP points out:

      But the right have been well and truly gazumped by Labour this weekend, so their panicked response is understandable.

      Basically, Devoy is defending National’s lack of action.

      • North 3.1.1

        Well she got her job from Tony Ryall over the back fence in Rotorua. What do you expect ?

    • ankerawshark 3.2

      Yes I am thinking this reflects very well on Labour.

      I wouldn’t give a half penny for Susan’s Devoy’s opinion on this. She talks about the Chinese community not overseas investors. Not the sharpest tool in the shed in my opinion.

      • Chooky 3.2.1

        +100…”Not the sharpest tool in the shed”….but she does have a mean forearm …and was a big hitter …and looks forthright ….so impressive to some nact politicians…no one else much

    • keyman 3.3

      your john key and bullshit bill said we had a rock star economy is that a lie?????

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    Labour’s policy is to ban all foreign buyers.

    I prefer banning all offshore ownership and thus making it so that offshore owners are forced to sell. This will correct the market.

    • I thought you thought no one should be an owner

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I do but I also realise that it’s going to take more than one step to get there.

        • marty mars

          slip sliding away…

          • dukeofurl

            So he wants foreign buyers forced to sell but local buyers can buyup, until they too are forced to sell.
            Thats will work well!

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ah, right, so you’re trolling – gotcha.

            • dukeofurl

              “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”
              Richard P. Feynman

            • TheContrarian

              Standard Draco – “you have identified a flaw in my narrative therefore you are trolling”

              • Draco T Bastard

                He didn’t identify anything – he just trolled. Exactly the same way that you do.

                Now fuck off troll.

                • Chooky

                  who is the troll again?…confused

                  • Nessalt

                    draco is tr011ing himself. you can tell by the keyboard aggression and liberal use of the tr011 insult toward anyone who currently engages with him right now

                • TheContrarian

                  Well actually he did. You don’t believe in ownership at all so he pointed out your whole “let’s ban foreign owners” could actually be better stated as “So he wants foreign buyers forced to sell but local buyers can buyup, until they too are forced to sell.”

                  That’s actually a logical procession of what you are proposing.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well troll, I didn’t respond to dukeofurl now did I? Didn’t call him a troll either although he did identify himself as one down thread.

                    And it’s not the only logical progression.

                    • dukeofurl

                      “Ah, right, so you’re trolling”

                      ” Didn’t call him a troll either ”

                      I see …. there must be TWO of you…..

                    • He called me a tr0ll – sad fail attempt at diversion but I didn’t mind.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Please explain what makes me a troll. I often contend your funny ideas with questions directly related to what you have stated.

                      That isn’t trolling Draco. It seems you call people trolls to delegitimise people who have questions about some of your stranger opinions. It’s a pattern you frequently engage in

                    • Chooky

                      still confused …whose the troll (s) ?

                • That is soooo untrue I tr0ll much better than contrarian – your insult has struck home sir

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100 DTB @4

    • James 4.3

      Interesting to see how they can ban all foreign buyers with the free trade agreements they passed?

      • Excellent question, James! Probably best to legislate for it before we sign the TPPA, as Australia and others have already done.

      • dukeofurl 4.3.2

        We have existing restrictions on overseas buyers, its called the OIA. Look it up.

        They arent really ‘Free trade agreements’ thats just a marketing name , like Buy one get one half price!

        There are all sorts of outs, and anyway China has restrictions on foreign buyers

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.3

        Actually, it’s really easy – they just have to ensure that all other nations are treated the same way.

        You’ll also note that I didn’t say foreign but offshore. As far as I’m concerned even NZ citizens living offshore shouldn’t be owning houses in NZ.

        Yeah, I don’t think we’ll have problems with FTAs. Of course, if we do, then we should drop out of the FTAs as they’re obviously detrimental to NZ’s well-being.

        • dukeofurl

          But you think people shouldnt own houses at all- they should be like the footpaths
          Now Im trolling .

          • Hanswurst

            You seem to have a significant difficulty in distinguishing between ideology and policy.

  4. Paul 5

    This article by John Minto is wroth a read.
    ‘National playing the reverse race card on housing.’

    ‘National has such a long and shameful history of racism that when a National minister accuses someone of playing the race card then we know the government is deeply embarrassed about whatever issue is being discussed’


    • Chooky 5.1

      yeah sure has put the wind up the Nacts and Nact sympathisers…some who pretend to be NZ Labour Party but one would wonder really as to where their real intentions and loyalties are….not to poor indigenous NZers anyway

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand, a tough capital gains tax to drive local speculators and investors out of the housing market and a massive state house building programme to meet the housing quality and affordability crisis where it’s having its most devastating impact – on low income New Zealand tenants and families.

      Labour has left itself open to criticism of racism because it has no credible record of restricting foreign investment during its nine years in government when foreign investment – mainly from Australia – was rampant. These were the years when a busload of Australian women came to New Zealand on a house-buying spree and when Asian newspapers began advertising property investment in New Zealand with the advantage of choosing New Zealand being the absence of a capital gains tax.

      Similarly in earlier decades Labour supported an Australian buyout of our big banks and massive amounts of lucrative commercial property.
      – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/07/13/national-playing-the-reverse-race-card-on-housing/#sthash.4ntPbED2.dpuf

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        This is connected to average kiwi homes how ?

        In fact commercial farm property is covered by OIA- you should check out the lists of businesses and what they are buying some time.

        “An overseas investment in sensitive land, being the Applicant’s acquisition of rights or interests in 100% of the shares of Toll Holdings Limited which owns or controls a leasehold interest in approximately 8.8806 hectares of land at 223 Kioreroa Road, Whangarei.”

        • Colonial Viper

          dukeofurl – I think Minto made it pretty clear in his article why these points are relevant to the current discussion.

          As for the OIA – what % of foreign land purchase applications do they actually stop. Any?

      • ropata 5.2.2

        So true and part of the reason I voted Key in 2008. Of course that has turned out worse but as a nation we really are suckers for punishment.

    • “Labour has left itself open to criticism of racism because it has no credible record of restricting foreign investment during its nine years in government when foreign investment – mainly from Australia – was rampant.”

      That is the shocker really – labour knew that these charges could be directed at them and they didn’t care, still don’t – wow what some people will do for power…

      • dukeofurl 5.3.1

        Australia has usually been a two way street for buying property.

        Does China have a two way street for property speculators ?

        • Chooky


          • marty mars

            and we want to be like china hmmmm

            • Chooky

              no we don’t want to be like China…hmmmm…cough…we dont want to be swamped

              ….because they have a massive overpopulation problem of 1.4 billion

              …with a surplus of 55 million males over females

              …they also have huge environmental problems

            • North

              Marty M – to the extent that other nations protect their people from external ravages of whatever nature……yeah we do want to be like those other nations. We should be like those other nations. Otherwise it gets down to “Come and have me……”.

      • whateva next? 5.3.2

        show us the data then …smarty mars

        • marty mars

          the data hasn’t been collected, maybe next time all the Leos should be targeted – that’s one 12thish of the population – bet they all have nice hair like the ones I know so should be easy to spot.

      • whateva next? 5.3.3

        oh, so the data hasn’t been collected you say? the gravy train just keeps running for National and their mates then? and the “vast majority of NZers” are supposed to wave as the train steams by? gawd, smarty mars, you really don’t get it do you?

        • marty mars

          sorry got mixed up – did you want the data that John Minto talks about in his post – if so put the question on TDB. I thought you were talking about the data that twyford used ie who buys what and where they come from/live etc – which has not been collected yet.

          • whateva next?

            no, the data proving National is selling NZ to the highest bidder before they swan off into the sunset to Hawaii

  5. Old Mickey 6

    I reckon that Tony Alexander is on the money re following the Aussie rules, and Labour’s approach is mostly good, except for:

    “An immediate investment in a government-led affordable housing programme (the Kiwibuild program)” – isnt that what housing NZ are doing already in some parts ? And, why would you want more govt in building ? They built the shit quality state houses we have now. Need more detail to see if this policy can actually work

    “Move away from the negative proposal to flog off parts of our state housing stock. Instead, build more state houses.” Gettign rid of poorly built ones, and replacing them with better modern homes does make better sense. But unless controls on buying houses comes in, and a restriction on immigration is put on, any improvement is 3-5 years away.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100…why sell off existing state houses into foreign ownership ?!…these state houses must be upgraded and the stock added to …if they are in areas unsuitable …they must be offered to existing NZ tenents first

    • Sabine 6.2

      they build the shit quality state houses in the thirties, fourties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties……not sure they have build anything in the last seven years.

      But yes, having old housing stock that is not maintained and renovated, is going to be shit housing. Having old housing stock that is making money, and paying this money in dividends to the government while not using any of that money to maintain and upgrade housing is what makes shit housing. But it is national policy. And it is also National Policy to sell that shit housing to overseas investors, in this case Ozzies, so maybe it is not that shitty.

      There really is a fear among some that if more housing would be build, that the sacred cashcow housing would maybe not be so profitable anymore.
      Landowners and Property Owners do well when there is a shortage of housing, it is good for their bank accounts. Everyone else can just go live in a ditch, or move elsewhere right?

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        actually the NZ builder and architecture consensus is that those early state houses were very well made and solidly built and roomy…hardly “shit quality”!

        …”solid” yes…modern architecture “no”….but definitely the state built houses under the Labour governments had honest “quality joinery and wood”…and flooring

        …far better than the private built quick money and put up “leaky buildings” with inferior quality wood and design…and the tiny apartments

        …lets just say NZ state houses have not been well maintained by recent governments and this nact government in particular and now jonkey nactional wants to flog them off to overseas private investor/speculators when many NZers are crying out for housing….disgraceful! ( and jonkey was brought up in one!)

        • keyman

          there still standing newer home grow mushrooms bankrupt there owners
          another national party legacy issue i have an idea sell them the leaky homes

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      I reckon that Tony Alexander is on the money re following the Aussie rules, and Labour’s approach is mostly good, except for:

      When you listen to a bank economist, you must ask *why* they are recommending what they are recommending. They are not neutral observers, they are providers of opinions which benefit their employers:

      Wealthy foreign chinese buyers bring their own cash to the property table. They do not need mortgages from NZ banks; if they need money for the transaction they can get far cheaper cash from a Chinese bank.

      In other words, halting cash rich foreign investors coming into the Auckland property market is great for local banks who want to originate mortgages.

      Also, look at the following graph of Australian house prices. Do you see any of these Australian rules being effective at halting the rise of house prices. No of course you do not.


    • RedLogix 6.4

      When Labour started building State houses in the 1930’s they introduced new techniques and standards that were WAY ahead of the appalling rubbish the market was building back in those days.

      Ever wonder why so few buildings remain in this country prior to WW2? It’s because much of it was never fit for human habitation and has been either bulldozed or it fell down.

      What of course you are seeing now – is forty years of neoliberal bullshit which has consistently devalued and diminished the value of State housing – and allowed the stock to run down. This current govt having virtually stopped all maintenance.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.5

      They built the shit quality state houses we have now.

      Generally speaking, the state houses were built by the private sector for government. Mostly Fletchers in fact.

      That said, the ones that are failing now are ones that were built decades ago and probably need to be torn down and new houses built simply because they’re worn out.

      • Chooky 6.5.1

        “the ones that are failing now are ones that were built decades ago”…not in my experience or the experience of many others

  6. Switts 7

    I support what Labour is proposing, but it would be good to get an idea of how big the problem actually is. Twyford’s “analysis” of one firm’s sales figures over 3 months is doesn’t prove a thing.

    • lprent 7.1

      Unfortunately there isn’t any better data available at present. This data is probably a pretty good indicator about where some of the flood of property investment money has been coming from.

      What I am sure about is that Labour and Phil Twyford are now forcing the issue about getting better data on overseas purchases of residential and commercial property being done outside the purview of the Overseas Investment Office. That is something that has been lacking in our available datasets for a long time.

      It still doesn’t help with the shortages of the types of property that are required for Auckland’s changing demographics. But it will probably help with being able to analyse the level of property bubble and the factors driving it in Auckland.

      • Switts 7.1.1

        I agree. It is ridiculous that we don’t have actual data on this.

        • Colonial Viper

          Labour already proposed banning foreign ownership of houses, last year. How is forcing the government to collect data over the next few years going to change a thing.

          • Switts

            I’m not saying they should hold off on making the changes that Labour has proposed. As I said, I support them. My problem is, Auckland house prices aren’t being driven by foreign buyers alone. If we don’t know how much foreign buyers are contributing to the problem, then we don’t now how effective Labour’s proposed changes will be. Better evidence results in better policy.

            • lprent


              This isn’t exactly a new issue. It was the reason that the OIO was set up way back (in the 80s?) to monitor the purchases of property by overseas buyers. However that has been hamstrung as part of the policy debate by the lack of coverage by the OIO in the legislation, the use of local proxies for purchasing that conceals the finance sources, and the lack of data of the cases and judgements that they do cover.

              I have no particular problem with having overseas investments, we do need it. I do have issues with the lack of substantive data on what has been purchased. At present we have no real idea about the levels of overseas investment, where it is coming from, or the sources of the finance.

              We’ve had the Chinese government recently wanting more information on that themselves as they chase the proceeds of corrupt practices both here and in other countries. We’ve had other government and judiciaries looking for the same kinds of information over decades.

              And for the government to be able to handle our economic distortions that arise from it, we need that information for policy makers. That is the real issue, and hopefully one that gets addressed from this debate.

              • Colonial Viper

                Meanwhile, the first home buyer is lying bleeding out on the foot path while the house price drives off into the distance at speed, and we plan more tests to run, do more research and gather more data.

                To me this is nothing more than a transparent delaying tactic designed to avoid making tough decisions which are going to piss off a lot of influential well connected Kiwis incuding property investors. A CGT and a land tax being just the start of it. Then there is pissing off the banking industry – severely limiting (or eliminating) loans to property investors. And then the unthinkable for a capitalist free market political party – actively pushing population growth away from Auckland into the regions where nice $300K houses are commonplace. Building lots of cheap houses. Then there are steps which are no doubt going to contravene our FTAs and the TPPA – no foreign based individual or company to be able to own NZ land: 49 year leases being all they are able to access.

                Sometimes I think back to McMillan, Davidson and Nordmeyer. Did these guys refer back to research papers and academic evidence to tell them that healthcare should be free? That schooling should be free? That everyone should get the pension (including Chinese people)?

                An affordable Auckland house for an ordinary working couple pulling in $80,000 per year has to be sub $320K (that’s a 4x multiple: most experts think that a 3x multiple defines the limits of “affordability”).

                No one is talking about achieving anything near “affordable” housing in Auckland. (Unless it is for households on $150K plus of income, of course).

          • keyman

            national has avoided collecting data like twyford said remember they wont collect proper data on child poverty either or anything that highlights there massive failures a bullshit government for a stupid country

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      4000 buyers names doesnt prove ‘a thing’

      Opinion polls are based on less than 1000 people !

      China has a officially approved list of 100 surnames people can use- its memorised ? in schools. And the vast majority use the top 20. ( Reports say they are ‘running out of surnames’)

      And unlike here , related family members dont allways use the same surname.


      If there was ONE country where you could use a list of surnames it would China.

      • Switts 7.2.1

        Right, but that says nothing about whether they are NZ citizens/residents or foreign citizens, which is the the issue here. Unless you’re opposed to people of Chinese ancestry buying homes in NZ.

        • Draco T Bastard


          Generally speaking 9% of the population will be doing 9% of the buying. When people who meet that demographic start to buy 39% then it’s safe to assume that the extra 30% is coming from outside the population living here especially once you consider the pricing as well.

          • Switts


            That’s crappy statistical analysis. You’re assuming that this single firm is representative of the entire city. NZ citizens/residents of Chinese descent may be over represented in this sample. We don’t know, so you can’t draw such strong conclusions.

            • lprent

              It was reported that the sample was about 45% of the sales in Auckland in that period. That is pretty good sample size.

              But we need more data and preferably systematically collected by the government. In the absence of that, then any data that is available is preferable to not having any at all.

            • Draco T Bastard


              Sure, it’s limited data but we need to work with what we’ve got rather than just whinging that we don’t know anything and thus can’t do anything.

              • at what point do you say you don’t have enough data for analysis that gives answers that are accurate and not weighted in speculation based on accepted dubious methodology?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Taking a principled perspective on this topic means that more data has never been required, and even Labour doesn’t believe it needs more data.

                  We know this because last year Labour knew enough to formulate policy saying no house sales or farm sales over 5 ha to foreign investors.

                  Ownership of NZ land should be reserved for NZers.

            • dukeofurl

              4 times over represented.
              Thats what makes a rubbery analysis a bit more acceptable.

              It was cross checked against ‘Indian surnames’ , also a group of recent migrants, they were represented in ‘the 4500’ by a number similar to the numbers in general population.

              4X is a good way of saying there must be an Z factor which pushes up chinese names among buyers.

          • SHG

            Generally speaking 9% of the population will be doing 9% of the buying

            That’s bollocks and you don’t have to be a genius to see that. 23% of the population is under 15 years of age, I don’t see quarter of the buying being done by schoolkids.

            Or, specifically addressing the ethnicity angle, as Keith Ng points out that perhaps Chinese people in Auckland

            * Are new migrants without a house
            * Have more money
            * Move more frequently
            * More likely to be of household-forming age
            * More likely to get help from their parents
            * More likely to invest in real estate

            • dukeofurl

              Thats the case when they looked at ‘Indian surnames’

              When you are talking ‘populations’ thats not bollocks.

              The polling people use less than 1000 people to represent all the people who can vote . Is that bollocks?

            • Draco T Bastard

              That’s bollocks and you don’t have to be a genius to see that.

              No, that’s not bollocks. As a general rule of thumb you can assume that house buyers will match the demographics.

              23% of the population is under 15 years of age, I don’t see quarter of the buying being done by schoolkids.

              Now, that happens to be a strawman because, you know, children can’t actually enter legal agreements at all and thus can’t actually buy a house.

              Or, specifically addressing the ethnicity angle, as Keith Ng points out that perhaps Chinese people in Auckland

              And as has been pointed out, Keith Ng was badly wrong on this. Rob Salmond did a comparison of a similar demographic and found that the Chinese buying was badly skewed. I was highly surprised that Keith Ng got it so badly wrong and figure that he’s reached for the racist claim and then got results that matched his preconceived notions.

              • SHG

                As a general rule of thumb you can assume that house buyers will match the demographics

                I thought the 1% had all the wealth?

            • North

              So help me out SHG. Does the 9% population figure include children ?

              I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking. If it does, doesn’t that concentrate the point being made ? If you’re talking 39% or whatever the purchasing percentage is.

          • Bill

            Property, like most other things will be (roughly) a 20/80 breakdown. (Observed across many disciplines to be a workable rule of thumb)

            20% of the property owning population having 80% of property.
            20% of ‘standard’ commenters making 80% of comments.

            And so on.

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.2

        It would work even better with Koreans; the names Lee, Kim, Cha, and Park account for better than 70% of their population.

      • keyman 7.2.3

        you don’t live in Auckland or you would know its true

    • mickysavage 7.3

      Here is one take on the size of the problem.

      China has $21 trillion dollars in deposit accounts.

      It would cost in the vicinity of $0.5 trillion to buy every home in the Auckland area.

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Then Labour is welcome to frame the problem in terms of restricting hot money flows adversely affecting the NZ dollar, and adversely affecting our property asset prices.

        Honestly, though let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The mainland Chinese who buy into the Auckland market are the third tier players who can’t afford to buy into Sydney, London and New York.

  7. shorts 8

    The framing of this issue by labour is appalling… this is most certainly race baiting

    Yes we have a problem with foreign investment in our country (not limited to housing) and it needs addressing… as often is the case Labour has some solid policy platforms and as is equally often the case they completely mismanaged selling them, further alienating many labour voters and new zealanders

    way to go team!

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Rubbish. You need a lesson in critical analysis of written and spoken information before you comment on anything. I accuse you of blog baiting. I think that is called trolling but you may be in a different category. Ignorant rabble rousing perhaps.

      • Chooky 8.1.1

        +100 greywarsharki

      • Rudi Can't Fail 8.1.2

        And all Mexican’s are criminal according to the newest member of the labour party.
        Different message but same m/o. Labour appealing to the redneck. Good move.

        [Changed a word. Be more careful in your language choices, please. TRP]

        • greywarshark

          Rudi Can’t Fail
          Sounds like a challenge, your name. And red-neck? – rud is red in some language I think. You seem to be fishing for a compliment, particularly a rude one. Your words cannot be taken as anything like joined-up thought and I don’t think you are too sensitive about other people and their feelings. Not smart, or a good move yourself.

    • keyman 8.2

      deal with it issue please what is your answer to locals being shut out?

  8. fisiani 9

    Wedge politics as played by Twyford only works when National respond. That’s what really riles the rednecks. National will not fall for that simplistic political trap. All Twyford has achieved is ensure the loss of the Labour Asian vote which will probably Party Vote National.Could Labour polling soon start with a 1? Will the Greens outpoll Labour not just in Wellington Central but in New Zealand?

    • Sabine 9.1

      so you are gonna ask the National Government to provide data on who buys what in NZ ? Just to help unmuddle the discussion and get to the crux of the matter?

      • Brillo 9.1.1

        +1 Sabine

        The Barfoot data may be imperfect but hell’s teeth, they are all we have on offer. And that is the government’s fault.

        • SHG

          The Barfoot data may be imperfect but hell’s teeth, they are all we have on offer

          It wasn’t on offer. The data was STOLEN. I wonder if Labour just became an accomplice in a crime?

          • Brillo

            It was offered by someone in Barfoot’s to Labour. It was offered by Labour to us, the New Zealand public. Therefore it is the data we have on offer. Perfectly accurate English.

            Now do you see the need for official data on house sales – a government registry of owners, for example? You may not like this data, but it’s what we have and it’s indicative.

        • keyman

          +100 Sabine
          thats why Phil had to us this date because the key mob don’t want to know

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Oh look who’s parroting Hootten’s spin this morning. All Key has to do is say nothing. Great – keep hammering this Phil. The Nats have just gagged themselves.

      Hooten’s last argument was especially pathetic – blaming it all on a ‘supply’ problem. Oh yes he argued – New Zealand should be building enough houses fast enough to sell to ALL the speculators from China.

      • Lanthanide 9.2.1

        Hooton wants China’s ghost cities in NZ, too.

      • Sacha 9.2.2

        “New Zealand should be building enough houses fast enough to sell to ALL the speculators from China.”

        Thank you. Way worth repeating to ideological supply-side dunces.

      • keyman 9.2.3

        there already 22 thousand vacant homes we need homes for our people in line with local income not chinas printing press

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      The rednecks all vote National as they’re too stupid to know any better than the simplistic BS that National says to get them to vote for them.

      And, yes fisiani, you’re a perfect example of the stupid right-winger.

      • fisiani 9.3.1

        Labour has dug a hole and Twyford, Little and a few acolytes here are still digging.

        • Paul

          Look at the online polls.
          Most people do not think it is racist to question dom-dom ownership of housing.
          The few who think it’s ok seem to be members of the ACT P try, like yourself.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s not the question of non-dom ownership (which should be banned) – it’s the inept way Twyford and Labour decided to raise this issue. Labour have wondered straight into a minefield with the Leaders office strapped on the front, IMO a bad move and it could have been done very differently and more effectively.

    • Plan B 9.4

      Maybe the Chinese that are here do not want to compete for housing with ‘hot’ money from China either?

      • Colonial Viper 9.4.1

        Precisely. But Labour didn’t have anyone onboard who understood local Chinese culture or the local Chinese community so instead of applying the wedge where it needed to be, they screwed it.

        • RedLogix

          I’d run ok with this explanation.

          • Sacha

            Labour could have offered media a young NZ Chinese couple wanting to buy their first home and being frustrated by foreign phone bidders stealing their dream. It’s not rocket surgery.

  9. linda 10

    The government said foreign speculation was only 1.5 percent they have lied again this government are traitors and should be forced out of office they sold us out and must be made to pay bastards have to resign

  10. Charles 11

    Two days. He only had to wait two days and all of this could’ve been avoided. We’re asked to believe no one in Labour knows how to phrase a speech or opinion, but they do, and when they do it well they do it well. We’re asked to believe neither Twyford or Little have any experience in public speaking or politics or knowledge of racism in NZ. People dumber than me should not be in politics, and the ones that are who are smarter than me and play this game are simply manipulators. This was a deliberate attempt at playing the race card to either 1) shout above the noise to be heard, which was unecessary, or, 2) they’re incompetent (unlikely), or, 3) to shit in their own nest because they were [insert collective insanity of your choice] and they like the smell.

    But we’re stuck with them. Why do they do it? There was no need!

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      ‘There was no need’

      Speculation is rampant in Auckland- there is a need, have you been asleep?

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        yeah and this time Labour has been too gutless to broaden the discussion to include the local speculators who own dozens of Auckland houses, preferring the easy populist hit of focussing on Chinese speculators.

        And lets remember when the Auckland housing bubble took off – 2001/2002. Wasn’t seen as a problem by Labour then, was it.

        • dukeofurl

          I thought you were still fighting over 1984 ?
          Moved on to 2002 now.

          Thats progress I suppose, fighting lost battles only 10 years old.
          I could wring Lianne Dalziel’s neck over the finance company debacle she presided over that cost ordinary kiwis billions but it doesnt get the money back

          You can take up fantasy football you know !

          • Colonial Viper

            lol dukeofurl

            Labour has unknowingly walked itself into a minefield

            But you keep whistling your happy tunes as you wonder along kicking the sods in the paddock

            Labour has no Chinese in caucus or in its senior team of advisors

            And it shows.

            • dukeofurl

              ACT is the party most targeted towards Chinese- I remember street billboards around here a few elections back which were in mandarin. And this wasnt a particularly ‘Chinese suburb’ of Auckland

              Now they cant afford billboards anywhere.There vote is down below 1%

              As a political strategy it was a dead end.

              I wonder why you are involved in politics at all, you have the small picture to a T, but no idea of the big picture and spend your talents running up dead ends

              And this comment from Keith Ng in 2006
              “Act MP Kenneth Wang also speaks English as his second language, though his Act-speak is fluent: “From day one I landed in this country, I was attracted to Rogernomics”; “We hate crime. We’re frustrated by police chasing traffic …”


              • Colonial Viper


                did you just tell me that Labour decided that the Chinese vote is a political dead end and if it had to be sacrificed, no big deal?

                LOL Labour is going to have a fun 2017, I’m picking in the 22%-26% range.

                • Chooky

                  CV…I am sure that Act would agree with you!…and jonkey nact!

                  …but they do seem to be a bit worried…and like you playing the racist card for all they are worth

        • Sabine

          good fucking grief, no they did not.

          Labour itself knows that the data is not perfect. They make it quite clear that it is only a small sample of what goes on in Auckland. But, it allows to raise a discussion that National has dodged now for the longest time. Namely who buys what in NZ, and how many of these buyers are effectively not NZ Residents/Citizens, but foreign based speculators.

          Could the Purity Brigade instead of just screaming Racist Racist, care to tell us how else or what else you would have done, if the only data that you can get is by last effn name.

          Pretend that Dupont is not french so as to not offend any french people? Or that Marx is not German so as to not offend any germans? Or that Liu is not a chinese name so as to not offend chinese?

          Really, we are now shutting down debate because maybe but maybe we might offend someone.

          And if anyone cares to know why i am so angry about this shit, I up until two month ago housed 8 people in a three bedroom because it beats living in a ditch. (5 of them are now housing in 3 bedroom unit, and another three are also sharing a 3 bdrm unit – both cold, crappy, and rubbish) There’s your problem. But lets be Purity driven. AFter all the holy ghost likes a good virgin.

          • Colonial Viper

            You should be angry about the shit housing situation in Auckland.

            You should also be angry about Labour targetting Chinese because that ain’t gonna do a single thing to bring Auckland housing back to an affordable $400K level – although it will likely slow the rate of million dollar property price sales in the city.

          • JanM

            I sympathise with your anger – I’m getting more and more upset with people who should know better who have allowed their focus to veer off from the very important discussion of housing to the faux racist accusations. Get a grip, you lot – THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE 🙁

            • ankerawshark

              Jan and Sabine 1000+

            • Colonial Viper

              JanM it is absolutely not about race it is about sovereignty over our own land; so it is a shame that Labour started the framing in the weekend centred on Chinese buyers and continues that framing even to today.

              • weka

                + a zillion. It’s false framing. But looking at Labour’s policy that trp covered the other day I’m not surprised. Labour still supports foreign ownership of rural land for instance. I don’t think sovereignty is a priority for Labour tbh.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And that is why I am bloody cynical about Twyford, Labour and Little over this issue.

                  People want affordable houses for ordinary working Kiwis in Auckland? Well, that equates to houses under $400K. Probably under $300K, in fact. (DTB thinks it is housing under $200K).

                  And although I think cutting foreign buyers out of the market should definitely be done, it is going to do zero to achieve “affordable housing” so defined.

                  • It’s not meant to, CV. That’s actually a different argument altogether.

                    What it does is take some of the heat out of the market, putting a brake on the astonishing rise in average prices in Ak. So, actually, nothing to do with affordable housing, per se, except in the sense that it stops currently existing houses being even less affordable. Even if the bubble bursts, houses selling for a million today are not going to be magically affordable.

                    Affordable housing needs to be built. Same thing Labour did in the thirties.

                    • weka

                      I guess I’m just cynical about it. Yes, put a brake on the out of control situation in Auckland, and build affordable housing, but it looks to me like that’s just about protecting housing as an investment. Housing should be about providing structures where people can make homes and build families and communities. We need to be doing far more than banning the Chinese and making some new homes available to the aspiring class.

                    • ropata

                      exactly weka but is there ANY party with the guts to remove the incentives for “investment” and re-orient the housing stock to its actual purpose, i.e. A PLACE TO LIVE ?

                      CGT of 90%
                      reduce private ownership
                      increase public housing
                      FAR higher standards required from landlords
                      squatter’s rights to unoccupied property

                    • To be fair, part of the motivation for bringing in Kiwisaver was to try and shift Kiwis away from thinking that getting a rental property was better than saving for their future, so Labour has at least made an effort. Not enough, as it turns out, but at least they recognised there was a problem. There was also a substantial report into housing in 2008, which concluded that there was a significant issue, but the change of Government killed that stone dead.

                • Not so, weka. Labour’s position at the last election (which I don’t think has changed) was to ban land sales to non dom foreigners. So, it closely follows the housing policy. However, my post was specifically about the housing policy and I didn’t touch on the various party’s land policies.

                  • weka

                    Can you explain this then?

                    Labour will:

                    clamp down on the sale of rural land to foreign buyers by limiting the discretion of the Minister to approve sales,

                    restrict the purchase of residential property by non-residents, so that they will only be granted permission to purchase a residential property if they intend to live here permanently or that purchase adds to our existing housing stock, e.g. building a new house,

                    not allow infrastructure with monopoly characteristics to be sold to overseas interest.

                    China Crisis

                    I took that first one to mean that Labour will still allow the OIC to run things but with less discretion by the Minister ie they’ll limit but not outright ban overseas ownership of NZ rural land.

                    The second one I took to apply to residential zoned properties ie not rural ones.

                    Am happy to be corrected.

                    • Just checked, Labour was talking about ban on farmland pre-election: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/251869/labour-clarifies-new-land-sales-policy

                      So, yeah, a small difference, but the policy you’ve copied shows Labour don’t support such sales, and they intend to actively clamp down on them. That position might be hardening up now, anyway!

                    • weka

                      Thanks. There’s still some major problems there. In the South Island at least, rural land prices have jumped because of immigration eg English immigration on the back of the exchange rate vastly out competes what NZers can afford. So a ban on overseas ownership is good, but we also need to look at immigration policy.

                      The comparison of Cameron and Lange in the article is interesting too. I commented more below on that, but basically Lange has done a huge service to NZ in the land restoration and trust he’s creating. His land ownership should be one of the rare exemptions. Labour have its priorities wrong.

                      If Mutt Lange were banned from owning those stations, who would own them? What would happen to that land? I don’t see those questions being answered.

                      If James Cameron had wanted to bring his millions here to convert the Wairarapa to industrial dairying, by Labour’s policy that would be ok because Camerson was living here. But really it’s not.

                      Parker: “We sold a lot of land. I was the Minister of Land at the end of that period – we thought we got it wrong. We were applying the law as it currently is but we think the law needs to be changed because we don’t see there’s economic upside.”

                      Says it all really. The core value is that land is about its economic value. Sovereignty doesn’t come into it.

          • SHG

            Bryce Edwards: “Labour’s leadership no longer has a core set of beliefs, and its recent dog whistle politics shows that the party is desperate to gain support through any means.”


        • JanM

          Yes, but that’s another discussion – this one is about whether overseas buyers should be allowed into our housing market

          • Colonial Viper

            They absolutely should not and Labour already has policy around that.

            It’s the racist way Labour has raised, narrowed and fucked this discussion now that I am unhappy with.

            • SHG

              But are you surprised? Labour is shit at communicating. Even when it has something that might be sensible to say, it fucks that up.

              • dukeofurl

                Much much better for the leader to texting Slater and using his personal staff to shower him with stories that go directly in his hate blog.

                Have you forgotten so soon. National Northland. Bridges- Disaster

            • North

              As you keep on saying and saying and saying and saying (viz. accusing), while many, many, many thoroughly decent, patently non-racist people do not see it that way……at all. Indeed feel wickedly assaulted by the charge.

              Meanwhile, as Red Logix somewhere said to Stephanie Rodgers……”you’re calling us racist bastards but I don’t hear much from you about the problem……”, or words to that effect.

              Could I truly respectfully suggest CV that given a disclosure you made a day or so ago of a dynamic you’re part of, there is a question about carte blanche in the application of the words “racist” and “racism”.

              I said “respectfully” and I genuinely mean it. However I have no respect whatever for your unlikely rightie bedfellows who opportunistically, disingenuously, falsely, cry the same lament.

              Those for whom subliminal racism is a comfortable pose and those whom when they’re not glossing over it actively rationalise institutional racism in New Zealand. I have the same feelings about the studied “Oh So Pure” snobs of the Left.

          • weka

            “Yes, but that’s another discussion – this one is about whether overseas buyers should be allowed into our housing market”

            No, it’s really not. It’s about whether the Chinese should be allowed to affect Auckland property as investment. If this were about foreign ownership, they’d also be talking about issues like the English and US buyers who’ve affected land prices in the South Island.

            The thing that fucks me off about all of this (apart from the racism) is that it’s still all about money and investor class priorities.

        • maui

          yeah and this time Labour has been too gutless to broaden the discussion to include the local speculators who own dozens of Auckland houses,

          In fairness to Labour they’ve been talking about a CGT for atleast two elections now? and last election their message was hijacked by the Nats that Labour didn’t know how the CGT would apply. Now they bring up another aspect of the Auckland property problem – foreign ownership, and they’re being jumped all over again.

          • weka

            They’re being jumped on by the left for how they’ve done it. It’s doubly the pity that the right also object but for different reasons.

        • SHG

          Hey remember when China-born Raymond “five Auckland houses” Huo was a Labour MP? I wonder why Labour didn’t make a big deal then…

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      This pretty much sums it up.

      Labour chose a racially charged tack, I am guessing because their interpretation of the internal polling showed that there would be support for it. They could have focussed on the issue of foreign hot money flows and the principle of keeping NZ land for NZers, but they didn’t because they wanted the cheap media hit. Or maybe they have no idea.

      • Clean_power 11.3.1


      • RedLogix 11.3.2

        Or maybe racism actually has nothing much to do with it.

        The core problem here is globalised capital overruling the interests of sovereign peoples. And a complete lack of any global democratic governance to address these issues.

        For instance – right now China is also building artificial reefs in the South China Sea in order to consolidate their colonial claims over that territory. Much to the detriment of other nearby smaller and militarily weaker nations.

        Is it therefore ‘racially charged’ for say Vietnam, to object to this occupation?

        • Chooky

          +100 RedLogix

        • maui

          People would be just as pissed off if super-rich American’s like the Shania Twain’s and James Cameron’s were linked to pricing kiwis out of the Auckland market. There would also be the people defending them saying you can’t just focus on the celebrities or Americans for Auckland’s housing problems. These people have bought in Wairarapa and Wanaka instead which doesn’t affect 1/3 of the countries population like it does in Auckland. Their purchases instead effect the people looking to build a holiday home or buy their own farm.

          • RedLogix

            Or consider if wealthy, white New Zealanders were able to purchase real-estate in say – Tonga. Because they liked the cheap holiday homes/rentals and it was a nice place to retire to. And in doing so had priced the locals out of their homes, turned most into tenants and forced many into grotty hovels languishing in swamps and the poorest locations.

            Hands up who’d be telling us what a pack of racist white bastards we are.

            (Of course the Tongans are way too smart to allow this to happen.)

            • Chooky

              +100 RedLogix

            • weka

              I really think you and some other people here don’t understand the racism argument being made.

              There’s nothing wrong with addressing rich overseas people owning NZ assets and NZers getting screwed in the process. It’s about how Labour did that at this time.

              Also, your comparison completely ignores the fact that NZers of Chinese descent already experience racism here in ways that white NZers buying up Tonga wouldn’t. If we want to frame Chinese people are colonisers, we have quite a bit of work to do first (not least learning how to not think of the Chinese as all the same).

              • RedLogix

                If we want to frame Chinese people are colonisers

                Where do you think the power lies here?

                not least learning how to not think of the Chinese as all the same

                errmm.. where did THAT come from?

                • weka

                  “Where do you think the power lies here?”

                  Many places, but not least with the NZ govt.

                  “errmm.. where did THAT come from?”

                  If we want to see the Chinese people as colonisers.

                  The Tongan example eradicates one of the power issues here.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well yes I get that. But in this case our govt seems peculiarly bent on NOT exercising it’s power.

                    In the Tongan case of course the govt has always prevented land or property sales to anyone BUT Tongans.

                    I’m certain no individual sees themselves as ‘coloniser’. For the most part they are merely trying to make the best of the opportunities available to them. As I said above, most white people who arrived here in NZ back in the 1800’s were just trying to find a better life too. But their collective impact on Maori was real and damaging all the same.

                    But surely you’re not arguing that colonisation is something only white people can do? Or that Maori should have just ‘got over it’ and stop using that word. I really don’t think so.

                    I only use the example because it’s proximate and we understand it – because the issue here is unconstrained global capital overruling the interests of sovereign peoples – and in this case us local people are suddenly finding we are being turned into tenants in our own land.

                    Of course no parallel is exact and all analogies fall over at some point – but that does not entirely invalidate them as a debating tool either.

                    • weka

                      Ir you are going to make the argument about Chinese people colonising NZ I think there are issues specific to that that don’t exist for talking about say US cultural imperialism. That’s what appears to be missing from this discussion.

                      Do I think that there is a problem with rich people from overseas buying land here? Of course. Do I think rich people from China are a particular problem? Yes, alongside some specific others. Do I think that targeting Chinese people as the problem is a useful way to approach this? No. Because of the racism is promotes for NZers and Chinese immigrants, and because it obscures the real problems here which are about governance of NZ and the power of the investor classes.

                      “As I said above, most white people who arrived here in NZ back in the 1800’s were just trying to find a better life too.”

                      That completely renders invisible the very real cultural, political and military forces that were anything but benign and just wanting to better themselves. Until that stuff is a given in any conversation like this we can’t really address the core problems.

                    • RedLogix

                      That completely renders invisible the very real cultural, political and military forces that were anything but benign and just wanting to better themselves.

                      And I give you:


                      Or are you suggesting it is beyond the capacity of the CCCP to project its military power this far south?

                      The first member of my mothers family arrived here in 1832. I can assure you she did not come here with the intention of being a ‘racist coloniser’. (From what we do know of her it was probably because she had a huge appetite for adventure and had balls the size of pumpkins.)

                      But you are correct that by the time three or four decades had passed, these white people all brought with them an economic, political and eventually military agenda which was far from benign for Maori. A pattern which has been repeated any number of times all through the history of empire.

                      I would suggest the onus really lies with you to demonstrate that modern China, a rising totalitarian state, with a massive economic and military power – can indeed be ruled out as a colonising power.

          • Chooky

            +100 maui…and my friend who is a large mix of Jewish and Chinese ( lol he says he doesnt know which is the most unpopular !) as well as Danish, English, Scots ….who has voted Labour all his life as has generations of his family living in NZ…has absolutely no problems with restricting foreign buy ups of NZ housing and land

            …I guess that is because he regards himself as a New Zealander with loyalties to New Zealanders and New Zealand…first …before other countries and nationalities

          • weka

            “People would be just as pissed off if super-rich American’s like the Shania Twain’s and James Cameron’s were linked to pricing kiwis out of the Auckland market. There would also be the people defending them saying you can’t just focus on the celebrities or Americans for Auckland’s housing problems. These people have bought in Wairarapa and Wanaka instead which doesn’t affect 1/3 of the countries population like it does in Auckland. Their purchases instead effect the people looking to build a holiday home or buy their own farm.”

            This is a gordian knot of issues. People were pissed off when Shania Twain bought Motutapu Station. Mostly this was because she restricted access which had been traditional for many people. The solution to that was she built a track on the land that people could use (a shit solution IMO and against the soveriegnty issues being raised here).

            There was also the usual grumbling about bloody Americans and their money. But the big difference is that Americans in NZ aren’t a minority with 200 years of racism practiced against them including by the state. I really think people are missing this part of the picture here.

            I don’t know what’s happened in the Wairarapa, but affordable housing is a major issue in Wanaka and Queenstown for the many low income people that support the local economies via minimum wage. Queenstown is one of the places where they’re trying to establish special housing areas so they can get low cost housing built (much to the annoyance of the toffs who are worried about who is going to move in). It’s not just about holiday homes and lifestyle blocks.

            To further complicate things, from what I understand both James Cameron and Shania Twain’s ex (who now owns the station) have done major sustainability changes to the land they have bought that wouldn’t have happened under traditional NZ farmer ownership. Hard lessons there for NZ which is letting the rest of the country be turned into a dairy factory. On the other hand, if overseas ownership were controlled, and prices had been kept low, I think a lot of NZers would now be stepping up and changing the face of NZ farming to something much more sustainable. The only way that was ever going to happen was via government control beyond what National or Labour would do. That’s why I’m cynical about this whole debate. It looks to me like it’s about reinforcing the NZ property ownership class and protecting that. Which will not serve the country, low income people, young people, or the environment.

            • RedLogix

              Very thoughtful comment. I’d agree totally there are many complex issues involved.

        • weka

          A couple of problems with that argument. One is that Labour doesn’t really have a leg to stand on re sovereignty and it’s proving that yet again in how it’s handling this (if this were a sovereignty issue of Labour they’re be talking about all overseas investment issues).

          The other is that we already know that racism exists in NZ against the Chinese and that we have a long history of that. In that sense it doesn’t matter if CV is right or wrong about the motivations of Labour because Labour have just reinforced and promoted racism against Chinese people here (included citizens who are of Chinese ethnicity).

        • Colonial Viper

          1) Or maybe racism actually has nothing much to do with it.

          2) The core problem here is globalised capital overruling the interests of sovereign peoples. And a complete lack of any global democratic governance to address these issues.

          Let’s assume your point 1)

          Why didn’t Labour then just use your point 2)

          Instead they talked about Chinese buyers being the big problem.

          • RedLogix

            Because in practical terms it was impossible to speak to the evidence without naming names. Sort of like Winston Churchhill declaring war on some ‘nameless imperial hegemony’ which has just invaded Poland. Yeah it works, but that isn’t what happened is it?

            And yes China is not the whole problem, but in the face of John Key’s insouciance on the issue, the evidence from the first months of this year is a game-changer.

            • marty mars

              because they wanted to rile people up against a recognisable foe – the dirty other deliberately holding, nay pushing, the good kiwi folk down, practically taking the food from hard working kiwi folk while seeming to smirk behind their hands in an enigmatic way – oh and they did it for votes

            • weka

              Any reason why Labour couldn’t talk about sovereignty, power, democracy and name NZ law as the problem? (and if they need to use examples, say US, British, Japanese, Chinese etc).

              I mean, I can think of reasons why Labour wouldn’t do that, but they don’t reflect well on Labour.

              • RedLogix

                And how to do this without presenting the survey evidence?

                Even if Twyford had scrupulously avoided saying the word ‘Chinese’ out loud – the moment he tabled the information – guess what that says?

                The point is that NZ has always been a country with people and money flowing in and out. Nothing new. But usually it has been something we could absorb.

                But this particular surge from China is different. The first few decades of colonisation are usually within the ability of the host culture to cope with – but then a tipping point is reached. Maori experienced this in the 1830’s through to the 1860’s.

                After the 1870’s it was all over. And the white colonisers were very smug about how hard working and deserving they were. Just like this man thinks:

                “There are so many other Kiwis who can afford to buy their houses. Why don’t those people work harder to earn more, save more and then they can buy? To me, it’s very fair. Excuse my language but only losers think it’s not fair. My money didn’t fall on me from the sky. I am not ashamed of being richer than those people who don’t work hard and blame others for their own failures. This is what I value.”


                Look familiar?

                • weka

                  “And how to do this without presenting the survey evidence?”

                  Find the appropriate evidence that doesn’t rely on race profiling.

                  “But this particular surge from China is different.”

                  You are still missing the point. I’ve already said I think there are issues. I’m disagreeing with the framing and the approach being used to solve those issues, because they promote existing racism within NZ and they fail to address the real base issues of sovereignty (land and wealth).

      • Old Mickey 11.3.3

        well said. Probably the same thinking ahead of Brash’s Orewa speech, or any speech by Winston First over the last 10 years.

      • greywarshark 11.3.4

        They could have focussed on the issue of foreign hot money flows and the principle of keeping NZ land for NZers,
        Already been done. Over and over.
        Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) have been discussing this for years.
        (For some good studies that date back some years but surprise, are still current –

        The current flood of money and immigrants, and particularly Chinese, has to be managed by the government, for the benefit of them and resident NZs. And that includes many Chinese who feel uncomfortable and upset at being the target of attention for doing something perfectly legal, and which is a rational personal or business investment.

        We know that this government is trying not to do anything that doesn’t further its own agenda of self-advancement. It doesn’t want to alter the delicate economy and turn down good money (for it). Getting a service-oriented government that stuck to its knitting for the people would spoil the carnival.

    • Sabine 11.4

      you know what, it worked.

      they are now discussing in the NZ Herald, what many have been saying now for a while.
      Namely, that there appears to be a large number of non NZ resident/citizens Chinese that buy up property in NZ but are not living here.

      The couple of barely speaking chinese that came to my coffee shop after a house viewing, with their B$T chinese real estate person, that tried to teach me Coffee, Milk, Tea, Sugar in chinese ….where they racists doing that? OR just helpful so I may still have a job in the future?

      The cafe down the road that sold to Chinese business men for a lot of money, who subsequently fired a lot of their non Chinese staff (Pakeha/Maori/Pacific slander were to friendly with the customer, talk to much with their customer etc) to replace with Chinese staff (a lot of them on a student visa)…. are they racist?

      This whole debate would never have been, had National done the job it is supposed to do. Namely provide transparency in the housing sales of this country, and maybe put citizens first.

      • Colonial Viper 11.4.1

        This whole debate would never have been, had National done the job it is supposed to do. Namely provide transparency in the housing sales of this country, and maybe put citizens first.

        Do you really think the suburb Howick got it’s nickname Chowick only after National took the Treasury benches?

        Did Labour somehow miss the doubling of house prices from 2001 to 2007, or somehow feel that at the time there was no need to “provide transparency in the housing sales of this country”?

        Or maybe Cullen found it convenient to have middle class property owning Aucklanders feel wealthier each month that went by.

        Let’s be clear – I think foreign ownership of NZ land should be banned. But the way Labour and Twyford has raised this issue is sheer arse.

        • Sabine

          I always knew Howick as just Howick.

          And why do you blame Labour for everything? Or did you miss the Shipley years?

          Remember Dame Jenny Shipley, cutting of benefits, selling of the state houses and oh…yea…lets change the Flag Jenny Shipley?

          House Prices went up then too….however now they are not doubling over a period of 6 years, they are doubling literally within a few weeks.

          But I guess thats ok.

          And you know what, I am still grateful for Labour and Twyford for having raised it, because according to the Purity Brigade we would still not dare ask the question, lest they get upset that it was not done to their liking.

          • Huang Y.G.

            I speak for myself. I am unhappy and troubled by the TV3 interview. Gratefulness & appreciation are presently distant from what I can feel or think for Labour.

            What concerns me is what Labour will say next to put the discussion of important issues back on track?

            • JanM

              I am a fifth generation Pakeha but I have Chinese family members and I don’t like to think that this discussion is hurting them. However, I think the people causing the hurt are mostly the people opposed to Labour who are scoring cheap political points at their expense. Labour is not talking about people like you and my family who live here and are a valuable asset to our multi-ethnic society. They are talking about wealthy overseas buyers who are distorting the market and making it more difficult for residents to find homes – and that includes any and all of us who live here!
              It is sad that you are feeling hurt by this discussion and I hope you can see past all the side issues that people are making a fuss about and see what Phil Twyford is really trying to say 🙂

            • greywarshark

              @Huang Y.G.
              It is unfortunate that we have a housing ‘bubble’ in Auckland that overseas experts say has resulted in very high prices and, for N.Z. citizens the most unaffordable housing in the world. These high prices seem to be connected with a rush of investment from Mainland China and perhaps Hong Kong, Australia, and other countries’ investors looking for relatively secure investments.

              All NZ residents are affected by this high investment distorting our prices and our housing market and it puts our country’s financial stability at risk.
              For those Chinese people who have come here to stay and make a life here it is doubly unfortunate to be caught up in the concern over this. It is all due to our bad government practices of doing as little as possible to ensure stability of house prices and to prevent huge housing inflation. I heard this morning that China tightly limits foreign investment, but we are very lax about this.
              I offer my apologies for our government’s lack of quality and effectiveness in this matter which has resulted in your concern.

          • Colonial Viper

            Issue could still have been raised in a hundred different ways as could have the way the information from that name list was used, Labour has walked itself into a mine field on this one and it doesn’t even know it.

          • ankerawshark

            Go Sabine……………………100% back all you say.

        • infused

          I am enjoying this new CV.

          • ropata

            yes CV is pretty touchy about race but that is not what this fucken debate is about and this PC stupidity is why the Left are in the wilderness *slow clap*

        • Puckish Rogue

          To all the lefties defending Labours ham-fisted handling of this just read the last paragraph, it can’t be made any clearer

          “Let’s be clear – I think foreign ownership of NZ land should be banned. But the way Labour and Twyford has raised this issue is sheer arse”

        • Ch_ch chiquita

          Maybe the current Labour leadership looked and understood that in the past Labour have fucked up, and the current govt is fucking it up more, so something needs to be done; they also realize that trying to raise the issue at question time is simply a waste of time as the only answer they will get is some form of schoolyard bully boy tactic which will have nothing to do with the question (or simply insist it is all Labour’s fault) and the speaker will say the question was answered even though the answer did not add any information to the public, and this question time game will continue in the hope that the media will pick it up (which they wouldn’t), and they said, fuck we need to rock the boat. And they did.

          • Anne


          • ropata

            +1 labour had the guts to stand up and say something.
            no apology needed for speaking up on behalf of the ordinary kiwis who are being left behind

            we are insecure and close to homelessness by a runaway property bubble encouraged by a reckless and greedy national party

        • keyman

          where is the proper government information nowhere from the John key hollow man government, our incomes don’t cover the cost of living let alone buying a house new Zealand has turned into a nightmare of day to day living while the greedy screw us over

      • Charles 11.4.2

        Yes there is that, but to say that justifies it, or was the only way, or is more valuable that the damage done ignores the extensive damage it does.

        You, me, CV, or Marty Mars especially, could lay out why it was racist, step by step, and we could prove it theoretically. It’s not like no one knows. It’s been done before. Labour know, they point it out when the Nats do it. But we couldn’t prove that Twyford himself, personally, in his little whirling brain, was actually a racist becasue we’d have to factor in the fact he’s a politician, a cyncial one it seems, and that would further undermine our water-tight theory since what a politician does and what they believe are often two different things.

        But in measuring his context, we also have to consider wider context – what his words can do. Twyford et al may not be racist personally, but they hold power, establishment power, people listen to what they say, gain validity of opinion from what they say is acceptable – misapply it and extrapolate it. The damage Twyford has done in a wider context, regardless of why, is tremendous.

        Average Joe and Jolene, who won’t, can’t and don’t think so far to unravel the methods and strategy of politicians, or know the rules and indentifiers of ideology, will now be thinking, “Yeah, damn Chinese… who the hell they think they are…” and like a poster in O.M. just pointed out, will they know, by looking at them when they turn up to a house auction, whether they are foreign buyers or here since their grandparents arrived? Will they make the distinction? Nope. And what will they do about that? Do you know what it is like to be in place where you are pretty sure, if it wasn’t policed, that people would assault you in any way possible, discriminate agains tyou in any way possible, beat you down, all because of what they think you are – without knowing anything about you? Do you know the effect that has on the victim and the ripple effect of how it changes their interactions with the World around them? Insidious, is the word.

        And will those unskilled, and lazy thinkers, and bigots, extrapolate their opinions about race/appearance = fault/cause to Maori? Pacific Islanders? Russians? Indians? Anyone who looks diffferent or makes them feel uncomfortable; anyone with more money than them; leaving behind the issue you say it has helped – housing. The flawed method has been validated by desperate media attempts from Labour, validated by the establishment.

        Twyford made the environment of social/interacial relations in NZ worse, he’s gambled bumping all tentative attempts (perhaps years worth) at building bridges between people, backwards. For what? Two days wait? One or two votes in 2017?

        Not justifiable. Resignation as punishment? He should. I would fire him if I was in charge. It’s all very well to say, “Bah, that’s all intangible effects…” but it isn’t. People are living it right now.

        But we need him, and that idiot Andrew Little, god damn it! It is so frustrating! Being taken advantage of because Labour know we are stuffed without them. If people were smarter they’d just vote Green or further left and be done with it. Why let ourselves to be held hostage like this? If I see him around, I’ll think of something special to ask him.

        and to answer your Chinese salt pepper milk question:

        No. That wasn’t racist. Could’ve been anything from condescension to stupidity or a form of freindliness Europeans don’t recognise, or they could have been generally feeling uncomfortable away from home. If you don’t like it, just tell them. You’re still a person aren’t you? Steer the conversation elsewhere, nicely, gently, rudely, who cares. You have the power, you have the safe fall-back position, you own the café. Don’t sell it if you don’t want to.

  11. Puckish Rogue 12

    We’re not racist but *nudge nudge, wink wink* you all *know* who we’re talking about

    Don’t worry about it Labours message is clear to everyone

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Yeah, most people understand they’re talking about foreign investors in Auckland’s housing market.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1

        And by foreign we mean chinese of course

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, at this moment in time, it appears the major foreign investors happen to be Chinese.

          According to the best evidence we have available, which suggests they may be buying as much as 30% of the houses in Auckland for their own purposes, vs the 1.2% claimed by John Key.

          Time to crack down on foreign investors, eh?

          • Puckish Rogue

            But start with those chinese first eh because *they* don’t look like the rest of us

            • Lanthanide

              Not sure why you’re projecting your racist views onto others. No one else has said that.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Thats the thing about his comments though, he knows he can deny anything like that but the message is clear…

                • Lanthanide

                  Yeah, most people understand they’re talking about foreign investors in Auckland’s housing market.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        And how do you tell the difference between the good kind of Chinese person and the bad kind of Chinese person at an auction or an open home? Maybe Labour’s approach simply stigmatises everyone who looks a bit Chinese eh.

        • Lanthanide

          And if Germans were buying up lots of our houses, then I’m sure there would be lots of Germans at the auctions and open homes, too.

          They do go hand in hand you know.

        • RedLogix

          Look I’m sure there were plenty of British, Irish and Scots who made the journey to this country in the 1800’s mainly out of a desire to find a better life – better than the class-ridden, impoverished hell-holes they were stuck in. Most had no more hope than to survive the terrible journey and find a place under the sun they could call home for them and their children.

          Yet their collective impact on Maori society remains the cause of problems and angst to this day. And after 20 years of relatively uncontrolled colonisation, Maori were eventually pushed into a series of Land Wars in reaction to their loss of land and sovereignty.

          Racist much? And by who?

  12. saarbo 13

    The data obviously still exists. The sensible thing to do is drill down into the data and determine foreign investors versus local residents. Surely that can’t be hard to do. Mike Williams suggested on RNZ to match names against enrollment data. I could even do that.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      That would only give a very rough idea about residence status; probably still worth doing as a ‘follow-up’ but absolutely reporting it alongside the initial release would have made things confusing.

      For any name that happens to be from a foreign investor, where a person on the electoral roll also has that name, it would be a false negative.

      There’d be false positives for anyone who was not on the electoral roll (not everyone is enrolled, and particularly new immigrants are unlikely to be).

    • Sacha 13.2

      “The sensible thing to do is drill down into the data and determine foreign investors versus local residents. Surely that can’t be hard to do. ”

      It’s impossible to do – NZ does not gather than information. Which any smart political communications advisor would factor in to how this reasearch was presented.

  13. rhinocrates 14

    That was quick:

    “Try our Kiwi-O-Meter!”


    Obviously a Nat-run site.

    “Johnson” got “You‘re definitely Kiwi. You should go and buy a house when you like, Labour are going to stop people with Chinese sounding last names from buying houses so it will make houses cheap.”

    “Lee” got 88.8% “You‘re really Kiwi – good on you, grab a dozen beers and lay down some Number 8 wire at the edge of your property if you‘re having an open home – only proper Kiwis know how to get past Number 8 wire.”

    “Yang” got 49.3% “Our dataset from a real estate agency suggests you might, in fact, be Chinese as your last name is a bit Chinese sounding to us. Sorry.”

    That’s how it’s played now. Someone had some sick fun writing this.

    Labour, get a real media consultant, fast.

    • I put in racist tory. Turns out National reckon there’s a 96.5% chance I’m a kiwi. Says a lot about how they think.

      • rhinocrates 14.1.1

        I got different results with repeated use of the same name later, leading me to guess that it’s just operating at random and not linked to any database. It’s a political/media stunt. As a former academic, I think that someone in political media studies would be interested in it as an example of how the internet is affecting political campaigning and communications (not the dreary Claire Robinson, I hope).

        Technically, it’s smart and admirable for its speed as part of a set of tactic to derail debate and put Labour on the defensive. It shows how quickly Nat and Crosby Textor are able to come up with tactics and respond.

        Assuming that Twyford was not deliberately using a racist dog whistle, Labour still needs to learn to understand the dynamic new media environment where disinformation is used expertly and dramatically.

        Vladislav Surkov, a chief advisor to Vladimir Putin is kind of the real-life Hubertus Bigend (see William Gibson’s recent novels) who’s a master of using situationist techniques for marketing.

        You’ll see more of this sort of thing, far beyond crude astroturfing.


        • Sacha

          “Assuming that Twyford was not deliberately using a racist dog whistle”

          You’re way too generous.

  14. Brillo 15

    Would we be having this discussion, sorry – shouting match – if the Barfoot data had shown a preponderance of Dalmatian surnames? Or Russian surnames?

    The data themselves threw up the offshore connection. Any racist slant in the data was self-selecting.

    Local Chinese should be well aware that THEIR KIDS TOO will be shut out of the housing market by overseas money being allowed to flood in to New Zealand property ownership, from whatever source. In that sense Labour are sticking up for them as well as all other New Zealanders, whether Chinese, Scandinavian or Martian.

    • lprent 15.1

      You can dig back in the newspaper at Papers Past for the 19th and first half of the 20th century and find the same kinds of discussions about overseas investment happening then as well.

      It isn’t exactly a new issue.

    • Sacha 15.2

      I recall major overseas investors being from the US and UK only a couple of years ago. Harder to separate out their surnames, however.

      Huge capital inflows from China are affecting this and other nations. But there are smarter ways of presenting that so race does not become a distraction.

  15. greywarshark 16

    Interesting media reports on foreign housing buyers. Something real to exercise feverish minds, especially those which are enjoying wealth accretion from selling housing at inflated prices!

    Radio NZ Business this morning with Oz Jim Parker.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201762112 2+ mins
    Oz housing is being affected by Chinese investor flight.
    They are credited by Credit Suisse as having invested $8 billion housing, building in last year. This is up 60% from year past. So keen that they are buying apartments off plans.

    And in Oz even with a drop in their Reserve Bank lending rate Oz people have stopped buying. Their economy is sure stuffed-up. Trouble is that flows onto to affecting us further in our stuffed-up economy.
    (Other problems in Oz – Education Oz has 90,000 Chinese tertiary students, that is 1 in 5 international students. It is one of their most lucrative service exports.)

    Further in Australia – http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydneys-foreign-sell-off-and-no-one-knows-how-much-property-they-are-buying/story-fnpn118l-1227438314616

    Which bears on Tony Alexander’s comment here.
    Tony Alexander BNZ economist says he has been trying for some time to get the NZ government to adopt Australian checks.

    But has the Australia government been doing its responsible job? Why should Abbott bother, the Oz public voted for him knowing what sort of chap he was! Unfortunately the feckless and the greedy are in the forefront of society these days,
    and little things like honest dealing and obeying laws and their spirit by government are side issues.

  16. Tanz 17

    What’s racist about wanting to protect housing for future generations of Kiwi-born children? That’s what my forebears worked for. There is nothing racist about it. After all, we can’t buy property in China, and never have been able to. But it’s too late, Auckland house prices are already super inflated and Chinese own them by the bucket load. Generation Rent won’t have a chance. Why doesn’t Key care???? What arn’t we being told…

    • ropata 17.1

      we are the disposable generation. “we would love to see wages drop” says Key.
      FJK and cronies are part of the 0.01% plundering our future.
      hard work and saving is being swamped by insane speculation and trillions of QE debt based on lies.
      when a whole generation has no hope, it does not end well for the elites.

      • keyman 17.1.1

        because key is a greedy wanker (and a pervert who likes ponytails )

        i said to a younger relative that the conditions that exist today will not last all bubbles burst . we need a correction we need one badly

    • Weepus beard 17.2

      After all, we can’t buy property in China, and never have been able to.

      Ask Colonial Viper. He’s got all the answers, apparently.

      • ropata 17.2.1

        Yes we are all enlightened by the Dunedin dude opining about Auckland property and how it’s more important not to annoy Chinese people, than figuring out why ordinary kiwis cannot afford to live here.

  17. M Scott 18

    Disproportionate buying by overseas buyers, clearly speculators – that is the problem. Since the government refuse to collect data on where buyers of Auckland houses are based, the methodology used by Twyford et al is the only one possible. I suspect that the agency was based in Twyford’s constituency; hence the number of Indian names on the list. If the information was compiled by a real estate agency in Epsom, the North Shore or Howick, it might have been different. NZ Chinese speak good English, they speak like most other kiwis, so don’t need cell phones on which to converse in Mandarin or Cantonese during house auctions.
    While having lunch with some 2 or 3 generation NZ Chinese a few years ago, it was interesting to hear their concerns about Auckland house buying by new immigrants and overseas buyers. Apparently an Epsom real estate agent (over 20 years ago now) too a man who had just arrived form China to view houses in Epsom. They looked at about 30 houses over a couple of days. The prospective buyer didn’t say much and the agent was feeling somewhat discouraged. On returning to the agent’s office the man said he wanted to buy them all.
    I have no evidence for this, but it is my distinct impression that all Chinese Epsom voters vote Act. I don’t think Labour will be alienating too many as they don’t vote for Labour or the Greens anyway.

    • Sacha 18.1

      If the agency has 45% of the Auckland market, it is not based in any one suburb.

      “While having lunch with some 2 or 3 generation NZ Chinese a few years ago, it was interesting to hear their concerns about Auckland house buying by new immigrants and overseas buyers.”

      And if Labour were smarter than a slug, they could have used that angle.

  18. BM 19

    I thought Barfoots mainly did higher end stuff?

  19. Paul 20

    ‘Mainland Chinese money snapped up at least 80 per cent of residential sales in parts of Auckland in March but were nearer 90 per cent in May, a whistle blower from the industry says.’

    This is a crisis, people.
    We need to change the law.
    And it is not racist to say so.
    Allowing non-doms of any ethnicity to buy housing means residents in the country cannot afford to buy and struggle to rent. I repeat ‘of any ethnicity’ just in case some of the commenters here and the habitual trolls try to say this is racist.

    Do we want to be serfs in our own land?


  20. North 21

    (1) Shades of Dirty Politics – “Oooh the rotten thieves have stolen our information, not to say the information’s wrong……”

    (2) More Shades of Dirty Politics – “Actually it’s probably worse than the ‘stolen’ information suggests……”

    So the righties while reserving some air time for racism charges have another string to their bow which we’ll see them twanging furiously – illegal acts perpetrated in order to expose a situation which absolutely needs to be exposed.

    More and more I thank Phil Twyford and Rob Salmond. And the whistleblower(s) !

    • JanM 21.1

      I have reason to know that Mr Thompson is no better than he ought to be, so to speak

  21. North 22

    Lost cause righties…….it’s out there now and public interest is keen. It’s a focus that’s been missing for far too long – ‘NZ sovereignty over NZ.’

    Rotten cheek you’ve all got. You’ve been brazenly using beneficiaries et al as political footballs for years. Besides the ‘racist’ tag is not new, as Winston says. It’s what the righties say when they’re not saying anything. Weird seeing people whom from their towers of wealth and privilege practice racism every day, now weeping.

    As Paul says above at 20.1.1 – “It is not racist to question who owns the houses in this country. And you know it.”

  22. greywarshark 23

    Rob Salmonds piece in Public Address –
    First, Chinese Aucklanders tend to be young, and tend to have low incomes. While the ethnically Chinese population makes up 9% of Aucklanders, it makes up only 5% of Aucklanders on high incomes.

    Second, the leaked data show that the ethnically Chinese house buyers tended to purchase flash houses. While ethnically Chinese buyers made up 39.5% of all sales, they made up over 49% of all sales worth over $1 million. That is another striking discrepancy.

    So a disproportionate number of buyers of expensive houses would tend to mean older buyers with money using NZ as an investment haven.

    And while they were buying the expensive $1M houses, it would not mean they were not snapping up the better houses that a middle class family might have aspirations for.
    And it could explain why builders aren’t going in for ordinary homes at a lower price.
    Go for the money, it’s more profitable, and that is the target for them.

    • cogito 23.1


      Years ago I used to do a bit of business in Jersey, Channel Islands. Jersey used to have (and may still have) an interesting system re property.

      The property market was divided into two categories – one reserved for local Island residents, and a second open market which was open to outside buyers from the rest of the UK and elsewhere.

      Properties on the open market were luxurious and highly priced, in line with international trends/demand, whereas properties reserved for local buyers were much more modest and priced in line with local salaries and incomes.

      This meant that local Island residents were assured of affordable accommodation, and did not feel threatened by outside buyers.

      Not a bad system!

  23. fisiani 24

    Now the Greens are castigating Labour. At least the Greens will not play the race card.

    • Weepus beard 24.1

      They are happy at 10% of the party vote and in perma-opposition.

      What do you expect.

  24. James 26

    Oops – If its our data its been given illegally.

    Someone at the very least as broken privacy giving this information out and perhaps broken other laws:

    So whats labours view on using illegally obtained information?

    • McFlock 26.1

      Someone at the very least as broken privacy giving this information out and perhaps broken other laws

      … if someone at B&T shared information that they were not authorised to share, or if B&T information was hacked or otherwise stolen.

      Seem to be sizable “ifs” at this stage.

      So (“at the very least”) you are accusing Labour of being complicit in or using the fruits of a number of serious possible offences (privacy violation, theft as a servant, unauthorised accessing of a computer system) when you have no evidence of such.

      • James 26.1.1

        Well, for one they admit it was “leaked” – which normally means that it was not an authorised release. This all names in it were subject to a privacy breach that Labour have used.

        Pretty simple really. Labour – no moral high ground on this one. Which is yet another reason the general feeling on social media / radio etc is that yet again, labour stuffed this up.

        • McFlock

          …or it’s an authorised release that cannot be attributed for various reasons, such as commercial sensitivity.

          As Yes Prime Minister put it, it’s an irregular verb: “I give confidential press briefings, you leak, he has been charged under section 2A of the official secrets act”.

          But feel free to keep leaping to conclusions as a distraction from the problem that we don’t measure overseas ownership in a boiling market.

    • Kevin 26.2

      They’re perfectly OK with it. Check out Dirty Politics for a good example.

    • BM 26.3

      How would it pan out if the leaker was a labour party member and the party was working directly with whoever it was to get this data.?

      I’m assuming there could be some legal issues?

      • McFlock 26.3.1

        How would it pan out if emails from a staffer in the prime minister’s office showed that the staffer had paid the leaker to provide stolen data to an unknowing Labour party? I assume there would be legal issues?

        How would it pan out if the leaker had leaked because B&T had refused to do anything to stop the PM pulling the ponytail of the leaker?

        How would it pan out if confidential data had not been leaked at all, but rather there had been some market research done by whatever agency and with a summary report willingly shared with Twyford’s office? Fuck, no problems at all, there.

      • Sacha 26.3.2

        Depends on balancing the harms to the snooped against the benefits to the public. Easier than you’d think.

  25. Kevin 27

    Anyone who can’t tell that this is a move by Labour to outflank Winston needs to go back to politics school.

    But let’s just assume that the data is actually representative and 40% of house sales in Auckland are to Chinese.

    How many are speculators?

    We don’t know.

    How many are buying here so that they have someone where to go when China turns to custard?

    We don’t know.

    How many are buying to live in the house or at least rent out?

    We don’t know.

    And to those of you pushing the New Zealand for New Zealanders cart here’s a thought. Overall immigrants add to the country they immigrate to. If you ban immigrants from owning land then not only are you going to discourage people from coming here but you’re going to create an underclass that cannot own land.

    Good one. And I thought you were all for equality.

    • North 27.1

      Kevin how unseeing can you be ? We already have an underclass who can’t own land. And it’s growing exponentially. It’s comes with “A Brighter Future”.

      • Kevin 27.1.1

        So we just create another underclass who legally can’t own land?

        • Colonial Viper

          They can own land once they become NZers. Before then, if they need land here in NZ, they can lease it, like anyone else.

        • North

          What, you weeping about an underclass Kevin ? That’s a fucking riot ! Your societal/economic equation and that of the rest of you KeyFuckers is predicated on having an underclass. To exploit. “Serve them right for their bad choices !”

          Now…….to all the bastards (righties and snob lefties) seething with self-induced outrage, spraying accusations of racism, have you ever had occasion to observe –

          (1) the level of racism entertained (albeit quietly expressed but expressed nevertheless) by usually well off Asian immigrants, towards Maori and Polynesian ?

          (2) the identification of that racism, the ‘knowing it is there’, by its victims, viz. Maori and Polynesian, and the shame/anger it induces.

          As to (1) I have observed it. It’s deepseated and ugly. It is truly racist – “I am superior”. I know this from years of engagement in a business context with the very perpetrators I describe.

          As to (2) I have observed it. On the faces and in the demeanour and the reactions of the many victims I describe, who are and have been for decades routine actors in my private and beyond life.

          So you righties, you KeyFuckers, you born again Nelson Mandelas……you connivers in the ‘Have/HaveNot Society’, let’s get ALL the racism on the table for discussion. As for you snobs of the Left. You’re the greatest disappointment of all really. You can fuck off and take your over-clutched pearls with you ! Never minding to wonder why ordinary people who have to live the lives you couldn’t contemplate……think you’re a bunch of mumbo-jumbo eggs.

  26. UpandComer 28

    What amazes me is how overnight Labour have given up any identity they thought they had formerly about supporting a multiculturalist society – having invested for years in identity and ethnic politics, they’ve relinquished it, completely, in a day. All Labour had to do was wait until some of the official numbers became available from October under OIA, then raise arguments from a fiscal perspective. Instead, they zeroed in on one of the oldest racial lines in the book ‘the yellow peril’. As a result, Labour is now running an England Defence League, or England National Front line on immigration and foreign buyers per se, that they didn’t have to run, because they wanted to have their own Orewa, having criticised that since Brash gave it. It’s unbelievable. Now Labour has to get up and talk about being caring inclusive Social Democrats, whilst running a Nigel Farage line on immigration. Now the Greens are going to capitalise, Winston will steal the thunder because he does race baiting better, and Labour are left marooned on nativist sentiment and rhetoric, having spent 20 years trying to argue they are the party of minority NZ – who now even more then before will shift to National. As Colonial Viper keeps saying and told shush, there may very well be fiscal issues to address here, but Labour have cloaked it in the yellow peril, and as a result they’ve basically relinquished any merit in the argument.

    • Huang Y.G. 28.1

      Indeed. Thanks. Just when faith was being eroded in a crowd of so-called left wing progressive people who have come across as unprincipled apologists in their rush to defend the party of their choice. It is now becoming obvious that the Saturday TV3 interview & framing was no accident but was deliberately coordinated and there is an inner core of caucus who have strategised that. Twyford, Little & key caucus people that would include the deputy and finance spokesman, as well as David Parker who went out to bat against the Race Relations Commissioner. Conveniently, the ethnic affairs spokesperson & Auckland mayor aspirant was away. Looks like there is a shift from the Labour that H1 and H2 developed with the Asian community with the willingness to use the Chinese as collateral damage. If the Party gets a bump in the polls, well, the means would have justified the political ends?

      • Paul 28.1.1

        You sound very much like to new troll.
        Here’s a simple question for you.
        Do you think the government should be keeping a register of all sales of houses, including a record of sales to overseas owners?

        • Huang Y.G.

          Before you pointed the accusing finger, did you even bother to lift your finger to type in a search for me to see if I actually go back to 2011 or even 2010? Did you even think or did you just dash into making assumptions & launching into generalisations along the lines of Rob Salmond’s methodology for his so-called research?

          [Paul did not launch into generalisations, he asked a specific question. You have been mildly trollish (‘so called research’ for example), but I’m still happy to assume that you are a real person using a genuine name. It would good if you could answer Paul’s question and just debate the issue at hand. Cheers. TRP]

      • Anne 28.1.2

        Are you a NZ resident Huang Y.G?

        Assuming you are… then why are you biting the hand of those who are on your side eh? Phil Twyford, Andrew Little, David Parker and the rest of the Caucus want you – YES YOU – to have equal rights with all other NZ residents and be able to purchase a home of your choice (have 2 or 3 if you want them) and not be driven out of the market by FOREIGN INVESTORS. Intelligent and informed residents of Chinese origin will be as concerned at the behaviour of some of their former countrymen and women as the rest of us.

        And we have a government that aids and abets these ‘investors’ against the best interests of ALL our citizenry. How’s that for an example of treachery or maybe you approve of it.

  27. North 29

    Punishment for the person(s) who helped expose what those for whom JamesKevinFizzyBM are poxy (sic), have steadfastly concealed all along. Ooooh…..let me see…….a weekend on Home D with JamesKevinFizzyBM. No. Too cruel and inhumane. Holiday in Hawaii with the Keys ? Mmm……that’s not such a hairy idea !http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11480158

  28. UpandComer 30

    I mean this is what is going to be counter-argued even just by the Greens, let alone the Tories – the laws are already in place in Australia, and haven’t worked – per actual data. The only way they will work is if you run a kind of East German Surveillance state model to enforce them. Where you have rooms full of bureaucrats whose sole job is to look behind the trusts and investment vehicles and citizen blood relationships to track down the Asian faces, or indeed the foreign faces that lie sinisterly behind. Who take tips about suspicious activity, Asians coming and going in the night, ‘swarming’ over auctions, making suspicious calls back home. Then when you have enough information, you move in, and ‘get them’ and send your government agents to force the foreign person out of their property and out of the country. Then you try and say that if you take this line, that it won’t effect our foreign student numbers from China and India, and that it won’t effect tourism, in the context of arguing elsewhere that you have to diversify the NZ economy.

    Labour can’t now argue that NZ should increase foreign aid, take on additional refugees, argue against China’s protectionist policies… and can’t argue that it has a soul. Is this what Labour now wants for New Zealand?

    • BM 30.1

      Labour already knows this.

    • Kevin 30.2

      It can’t work, at least not without a huge bureaucracy. And without a huge bureaucracy all it will do is make money for lawyers and people willing to act as proxies while achieving none of it’s goal.

    • Colonial Viper 30.3

      I mean this is what is going to be counter-argued even just by the Greens, let alone the Tories – the laws are already in place in Australia, and haven’t worked – per actual data.

      And this is why I am highly cynical of Labour’s ploy, here. Get a big media hit; does zero to make housing affordable for ordinary working Kiwis earning $25/hr.

      • te reo putake 30.3.1

        It’s not meant to, CV. That’s actually a different argument altogether.

        What it does is take some of the heat out of the market, putting a brake on the astonishing rise in average prices in Ak. So, actually, nothing to do with affordable housing, per se, except in the sense that it stops currently existing houses being even less affordable. Even if the bubble bursts, houses selling for a million today are not going to be magically affordable.

        Affordable housing needs to be built. Same thing Labour did in the thirties.

        (Sorry for duplicating a reply, but it’s the same strawman argument, so I thought I’d save some typing time)

  29. Anne 31

    Those of us who live in Auckland and have seen the situation for ourselves have not been lying or having hallucinations after all. Well, that is the inference from some – but by no means all – of the commenters who are convinced this was a racist dog-whistle from Phil Twyford:


    • Chooky 31.1

      +100….thanks for that Anne …shows the problem is real alright!

      (despite the trolling and diversions and false accusations of racism against Twyford and the Labour Party )

  30. infused 32

    Mmm banned again

    Lol no. Just not lpents thread. Figures.

    [If I can borrow from Vincent Vega, you should probably be banned on general principle, you nimrod. But I think it’s just a case of the Dirty Politics post being closely moderated given the high incidence of fuckwittery there. TRP]

  31. Matthew Hooton 33

    Winston Peters says: “when it comes to supply what’s exacerbating it (is) massive demand.” Then he accuses others of “drivel”!

    • vto 33.1

      What is drivel is all the people claiming it is a problem of supply only… ffs don’t you lot learn about supply and demand

      • Weepus beard 33.1.1

        Haha. Yeah, I’m no expert but I I know it’s good to have demand high when you produce a product because then you increase production to meet it.

        That said, I’m not happy that Auckland residential property is being classed by Hooten and the rest of the Thatcherites as a “product” just like any other which can be sold directly to foreigners, like it is now.

  32. Neil 34

    I totally disagree that Phil Twyford’s comments are racist, at least labour are trying to open up debate on the housing crisis in Auckland, not like Key & national party who will only deny it & use every opportunity to try & sweep it under the carpet.

  33. My_Asian_Wife 35

    What a bunch of frothing at the mouth idiots you lot are. Twyford has stepped right in it and the rest of you backing up his racist claims should be bloody ashamed of yourselfs and hang your heads in shame. It’s no wonder Labour is in so much trouble with a dwindling voter base..yes that’s right piss off another ethnic group to score political points. Reading your comments disappoints me as a New Zealander along with cheap shots at Susan Davoy. I dispare, I really do.

    [A bit rich complaining about supposed racism given the handle you’ve chosen for yourself. TRP]

    • Weepus beard 35.1


      Yeah TRP, there’s this handle and the one, Huang Y.G – also suspicious because of the English they choose to use.

      Both right wing suicide posters, imo. Ban them, I say.

      • My_Asian_Wife 35.1.1

        Ban me because I say something you don’t like? I’m a European NZ’er and have been a Labour voter. Am I not allowed the time to speak out against targeted racism for political point scoring? It’s wrong and Twyford should apologise for his gross generalisation.

      • te reo putake 35.1.2

        I had a good think about both before releasing their comments. But give ’em enough rope and all that. You want to see some of the stuff that doesn’t make the cut; the spam filter is chock-full of the weird and wonderful.

        My Asian Wife thinks he’s he’s running some cutting edge satire, I guess. Probably hoping for a ban, but as we don’t ban on opinion, he’ll have to try a lot harder. Mind you, I love the smell of burning martyr in the evening. It’s tricky …

        • My_Asian_Wife

          Thanks for that and thanks for the very adult way you treat a new commenter. I’ll not be back. That’s you loss not mine.

        • keyman

          fuck off the issue is wankers pushing hard working new Zealanders out of home ownership don’t be so bloody sensitive boohoo this an important issue the disenfranchisement of a generation in favour of rampant speculation by none residents
          and if labours methods upset you to fuckin bad Susan devoy can fuck off to!

      • Huang Y.G. 35.1.3

        What part of the English usage that was chosen caused difficulties for you that raised suspicion?

    • Mike the Savage One 35.2

      Wow, the sensitivity of some is astonishing, I must say.

      It seems to be based on such thinking or “logic” that when there is a significant correlation between two factors in relation to groups of people, then the whole group that may indulge in some behaviour, is automatically considered or “labeled” as a consequence of some persons’ behaviour.

      Consider perhaps, that much offending in a criminal manner involves people who have drunk alcohol. And also consider that a significant number of prison inmates have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse. So in some people’s eyes this seems to mean, people who drink alcohol are criminal offenders and belong in prison.

      Going by the same “logic” of some, when it comes to judging on Phil Twyford’s presentation of some sales data for real estate, they feel that Phil has thrown ALL ethnic Chinese into the drawer for “investor” and “speculator”, or at least potential ones. But he did not really do that, he only pointed out the apparent likelihood that the over-representation of one group of people as buyers of residential real estate could indicate, that many are NOT local residents, particularly given the fact that few local New Zealanders have the money to buy homes costing 800 k or more in Auckland.

      Phil’s comments from Monday, printed above, do tell me that he did not intend to “label” all Chinese or Asians as being responsible for Auckland’s house prices. It seems some people do not want to get it, no matter what he says.

      Susan Devoy seems to make her comments based on some observed public and media sentiment, I note. As mentioned further above, she was not being as critical when Winston Peters said something that some people felt was “racist” (a couple of years back). Then she was criticised for inaction. Now she seems to give critical comments when it appears some in public expect it.

      I am not that impressed by Susan Devoy, as she does not seem to be having that strong a mind of her own. Maybe I am wrong, but it looks that way to me.

      • Colonial Viper 35.2.1

        Labour has fucked itself on this and although your rationalising and intellectualisation of what has happened is fine, Chinese know straight away when someone has used them as a media pawn in their own short sighted political game.

      • Anne 35.2.2

        Susan Devoy was essentially a political appointment by that former doyen of political appointments and dirty politics, Judith Collins.

  34. Jim Nald 36

    I thought I would allow a bit more water to flow under the bridge before saying something. But the bridge doesn’t appear to be in good shape and won’t be repaired for a while yet.

    Quite disappointing given the approach that has been taken and the framing that was initiated.

    Some of my thoughts, busy as I am with my own work and not able to put them down, have partly been given words in this article:


    I don’t know the author’s political affiliation but the points that have been made stand on their own.

    • Jim Nald 36.1

      Argh. Included an edit but that didn’t turn up. Prolly too close to the end of the countdown.

      Anyway, I googled and found out more about the author. Regardless of where he is coming from, the points made should be reflected upon by Labour and the progressive left. As a Zen saying goes – everything is teaching us. The various perspectives out there should be considered if we are in pursuit of the truth and the (morally) right.

    • “I don’t know the author’s political affiliation”

      Smug libertarian. Hehir’s an arse.

      • John Shears 36.2.1

        Go TRP aren’t you the sharp one. Have just read the Hehir article and it is just so biased towards the Gummint.

  35. Clemgeopin 37

    Only a person who is biased or is lacking in intellectual fortitude or has neither read Phil Twyford’s full statement nor heard his clear explanation will conclude that this is a ‘racist’ rather than a serious factual issue.

    Is it a debatable issue? Yes. Racist? No.

    Listen to Twyford being interviewed on radio live:

  36. Crystal 38

    A big thanks to Phil and Winstone for bringing up the subject of foreign ownership, they are going to try to make this a race issue now, which I am sure is
    not NZ First’s or Labour’s intention, there needs to be a bill passed, similar to Australia’s to ban all foreign ownership except for (residents that
    have been here for more than ten years and of course citizens of New Zealand), and Labour could also survey farmers and check with Federated farmers as our
    farms are also being sold to foreign ownership, and in Auckland our bio-diversity and Eco-systems are fast disappearing in another words we are fast losing sovereignty of our country.
    This is a matter that needs to be looked into urgently, Come on New Zealander’s wake up!

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