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Voters want foreign buyer ban – but LAB doesn’t benefit

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 pm, July 26th, 2015 - 118 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, john key, polls - Tags:

The latest 3News/Reid Research poll is out. Considering the margin of error (+/- 3.1%), there is no change whatsoever in the standings of any of the main parties:

National – 47 percent, up 0.6 percent (on last poll in May)
Labour – 31.1 percent, up 0.7 percent
Greens – 11.4 percent, up 0.3 percent
NZ First – 8.4 percent, up 0.3 percent

A large majority (61%) of those polled want foreign buyers banned from the NZ property market. Even a majority of National supporters want a ban (54% to 43%).

Gower’s write up of the poll results is typically one eyed and superficial, as he says “Labour was looking for an Orewa moment, where racial division turns into political popularity, but it hasn’t come, although public opinion is on its side.”

So despite wall to wall media coverage of Labour’s ‘wealthy Chinese buyers’ strategy over days, and voters (even National ones) mostly siding with a foreign ownership ban, Labour’s Chinese focussed tactics have failed to gain it additional polling support. I’d previously predicted that Labour would see nothing more than a short term populist bump of 0% to 3% from their finger pointing at Chinese buyers.

Key’s popularity drops to 38% however. This is a very significant result. Air is definitely leaking from National’s best tyre still on the road.

I’ll be watching the next couple of polls carefully to see what the full effects of Labour’s slant on foreign investors in the Auckland property market are.

118 comments on “Voters want foreign buyer ban – but LAB doesn’t benefit ”

  1. sabine 1

    and thanks to Labour the issue was raised, and TV 3 raised the question to National Voters.

    And yada yada yada….the rest is history.

    maybe just maybe Labour did raise the issue becasue people could and can not find houses to buy (and please don’t go Labour did it too in 2005 cause at the moment you get a 1 bedroom apartment for 300.000 instead of a small house with a strip of green), and just really thought it was important that people knew.

    And yes i know racism, whatevs.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Labour’s race focussed tactics aren’t going to have the positive effects you might think or hope for, is all I am saying.

      • sabine 1.1.1

        they have already succeeded, the question to the National Voter would not have come without Labour raising the issue.

        BTW. Colonial Viper, the other day someone listed the Data from Imigration NZ, of the 350 odd investers + migrants are two hundered from china and one from germany.
        Please send a letter to Imigration and ask them to stop counting, It is clearly racist to point out that 200 of the 350 are chinese. also consider that actually only 300 should be allowed per annum on the investors + migration scheme. Someone is clearly racist.

        And now I ma done with you and your screams of racism for good.

        • Colonial Viper

          still wont do a thing to make Auckland housing affordable unless you are on at least $150K.

          • sabine

            breaking my own rules, but then i can.

            This is NOT an Auckland issue, this is a NZ WIDE Problem.

            Auckland is only the dead canary in the coalmine.

            • Colonial Viper

              This isn’t a NZ wide problem. This is a Beehive problem. And the last Labour government loved the wealth effect of fast rising house prices just like this government does.

              • Atiawa

                more people seemed to be enjoying their lives during the Clark years. There was less unemployment and under-employment, fewer people were looking for work and there was more household involvement in the economy. In 2005 the countries largest private sector union (EPMU) campaigned for & and won a 5% pay increase for thousands of their members, leading the way for other workers to win the argument for the same.
                Apparently we have predicted economic growth of 2.5% which has come down from 3%. Yet todays workers aren’t sharing that growth in their pay packets. There are greater numbers of unemployed and many have stopped looking, knowing that jobs they did 9 – 10 years ago aren’t there
                Sure, those less fortunate – the sick, non working families and the unemployed still did it tough under Helen and continue to do so, but imo the 90% had greater optimism for their lives and futures than they have now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  During the Clark years the top 50% of people were benefiting. Now it’s only the top 20%.

              • Jenny Kirk

                CV – you keep saying that – but the Auckland house prices did NOT rise as fast under Helen Clark’s govt as has been happening in the last five years or so. House prices in Auck during that Labour govt remained remarkably stable.

                • Colonial Viper

                  House prices in Auck during that Labour govt remained remarkably stable.

                  Prices climbed by 100%.

                  Auckland median house prices 1999: $250,000
                  Auckland median house prices early 2008: $500,000

                  (REINZ data)


                  • Jenny Kirk

                    Interesting stats, CV. They do not, however, show exactly where the high house prices were – because we were living in an Auckland suburb at that time and depending on the suburb – yes, some house pricing was going up but other areas were not. Our area, and nearby areas, were not highly priced.

                    However, current house prices in even the previously poorest areas of Auckland are now OTT and out of reach of ordinary people – whereas during the Labour govt years the more ordinary people could still buy at reasonable prices in less costly Auckland suburbs : areas reasonably close to the CBD and other shopping/facility/schooling precincts.

                    The fact that ordinary people on low – middle incomes can no longer afford to buy a reasonable house (or apartment) in the older suburbs of Auckland is of concern, along with the extreme growth outwards to the rural surrounds of Auckland where transportation and sewerage infrastructure is not easily available.

                    Aucklanders and their families have been priced out of their own town – and this has happened under the Key govt – not under the previous Labour govt.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      By 2005/2006 reports were coming out classifying Auckland housing as “seriously unaffordable” (the worst category of affordability). At that point Auckland was also rated the 15th equal most unaffordable city for buying a house in.

                      Yes at that stage people could still find a bit of refuge in some cheap suburbs, but the crisis was already well under way.

                      Thing is, few at the time in power took these concerns seriously, and the comfortable property portfolio owning middle classes did quite well out of the whole period.

              • Stuart Munro

                The problem extends beyond the Beehive now. Even if militant Daesh infiltrators put the entire population of the Beehive to the sword (or the more culturally appropriate chainsaw) house prices would not magically revert to pre-irresponsible polly levels. They inflated the bubble, now we may have to build our way out of it.

              • McGrath

                Problems are merely opportunities that have not arisn yet, though it’s an opportunity for National.

                National can win out of this if they play the cards right. They’re collecting foreign purchasing data as of October. National will do something if the data shows too many foreign buyers as its a popular policy. National are quick to adopt popular policies from Labour if it suits. Equally, National can pour the race scorn upon Labour if the data turns out to be false.

                The bottom line is that Labour should not have pulled the race card. If it was the “foreign buyers” card, I would have expected Labour to be polling in the high 30’s and climbing.

            • ankerawshark

              Sabine @

      • leftie 1.1.2


        Labour wasn’t being race focused.

        • Colonial Viper

          Twyford’s first interview definitely was. Labour set the framing and the framing was on ethnicity.

          • leftie


            Disagree, and it is you that is framing it as racist and that suits National just fine, doesn’t it?

            I think your anger is seriously misplaced, and I do not understand why you are not angry at the National government.

            • Adele

              Kiaora, Leftie

              I am also framing it as racist. But because white people and those that think they are white say its not racist – than obviously its not racist.

              Now this is where you can pull out the Ancestor of ethnic extraction to infer – “I can’t possibly be racist cause granny was Swahili.”

              • Anno1701

                I cant possibly be racist because…..

                im just not …..

                you on the other hand Adele , im not so sure ?

              • leftie


                Why would I pull anything out? You are entitled to your view, which in my humble opinion, I think is wrong.

            • Bill

              Labour took an economic problem and presented it as being to do with the actions of one ethnic minority.

              It was only at the end of Twyford’s interview and after he had banged on incessantly about Chinese, that any mention of the broader issue of overseas money came in. And there was no mention at all of wealthy NZers building portfolios pushing fellow NZers out of the house buying market.

              If numbers of Chinese buyers had been highlighted within a context that focused strongly on all overseas buyers as well as portfolio building NZers, instead of Chinese buyers being offered up as the overseas buyers and hence the nub of the problem, then people might not be calling Labour on their dog-whistle because like, there would have been no dog-whistle .

              Going on the Chinese angle as they did, was about as worthy as going on a men or women angle based on first names… in other words, unacceptable bollocks.

              • leftie


                You are banging on incessantly framing it racist, when it’s not. It is the usual Labour beat up. Don’t know if you have noticed but a lot of people agree with Labour.

                Why aren’t you angry at the key National government?

                • Bill

                  Being fucked off no end at some racist framing has got sweet fuck all to do with your imaginary ‘Labour beat-up’.

                  Being angry at idiots like you who have hit dumb-fuck denial mode from day one, also has nothing to do with your imaginary ‘Labour beat-up’.

                  Being angry at the level of racism that pervades the NZ left, also has nothing to do with your imaginary ‘Labour beat-up’.

                  And all the above does not preclude being angry at the government.

                  But since we’re in question asking mode, why aren’t you angry at your level of stupidity that exhibits as an apparent inability to recognise ‘fish slap in the face’ obvious racism/xenophobia? Hmm? Got an answer?

                  • McFlock

                    I have.

                    It’s the ‘fish slap in the face’ obvious racism/xenophobia that’s imaginary.

                    • Bill

                      Okay. So lets try and have a wee look at this.

                      By way of an off the cuff parallel – so yes, it’s far from perfect, but you could work with me on this – , lets imagine that a UK party was getting all hot and bothered about welfare claimants. Let’s imagine they were going with something negative with the intention of getting a conversation started.

                      Now, what if for some reason there was one available data base, that unless they were careful and thoughtful on how they used it, it meant they ran the risk of being seen to be holding up Scottish people as an example of what they were on about? And what if they essentially just released the data and didn’t make repeated and somewhat forceful reference to English or Welsh or Irish or permanent UK residents?

                      I could imagine whole swathes of British society claiming – as many in NZ have over this off-shore thing – that the data was the data was the data and that there was nothing discriminatory in its presentation or release. And I could imagine that north of the border, all hell would break loose.

                      And that’s where the whole framing comes into it.

                      And it doesn’t matter a toss if millions of people are saying ‘nothing to see here’. It’s not a numbers game. People who say they are feeling the effects are the only ones who should be heeded, and action should be taken in light of their experience.

                      The pattern of the discussion to date (and I think Weka said this before) is reminiscent of discussions on gender where (mostly) male commenters dismiss the voiced concerns of (mostly) female commenters. It ain’t good enough.

                    • McFlock

                      what if they essentially just released the data and didn’t make repeated and somewhat forceful reference to English or Welsh or Irish or permanent UK residents?

                      Well, in that case the hostile media would simply have harried the UK party with claims of closet racism, discussed the methodology at length in order to ‘force an admission’ that it was purely about ethnicity, and even less attention would be drawn on the actual issue.

                      In the Twyford interview ethnicity came up when talking about the methodology, and the source of capital in today’s economy. And he barely used the word “Chinese” in the second half when the interview went to the wider issue of what the data showed, so I think calling it “fish-slap” obvious is over-egging it. Was he particularly “forceful”? Not for a NZ TV interview when the interviewer was trying to drive the topic directly into those waters.

                      People who say they are feeling the effects are the only ones who should be heeded, and action should be taken in light of their experience.

                      Yes, that is something to be concerned about. A lot. And it does place an obligation on people to keep the discussion focused as much as possible to the matter of importance. But it doesn’t mean that the topic should be neglected if that is the only data available.

                      If you’re going to use that data, you can either come out and deliver the results honestly and try to get to the main issue as quickly as possible, or you can spend longer looking evasive and still blowing more of a dog whistle than if you confronted it face to face.

                    • Bill

                      Well, apart from the likelihood that no UK media would harass anyone for saying shitty things about Scots or Scotland…they’d be far more likely to pick it up and run with it as backing for their own bias 😉

                      I read the transcript of the Twyford interview, and as I commented previously, he only made mention of the more general references of overseas money towards the end when he was asked (paraphrasing) if Labour wanted specific anti-Chinese legislation in place.

                      I’m guessing we both agree that the matter of foreign money should have been raised. I’m guessing we only differ on thinking the data (its release) could have been handled (framed) better.

                      And we both agree the discussion should be happening….and, I’d add, getting deeper and broader in scope.

                      But there’s the fly in the ointment. Some on the left are going blue in the face maintaining there was no xenophobic dogwhistle while others are maintaining that whether by design or otherwise, that there was and regardless of intent that it isn’t acceptable.

                      That’s a huge issue that can’t just be swept under some carpet.

                      Hmm. Both discussions need to take place.

                    • McFlock

                      I agree with what you said we’re agreeing on. 🙂

                      Some on the left are going blue in the face maintaining there was no xenophobic dogwhistle while others are maintaining that whether by design or otherwise, that there was and regardless of intent that it isn’t acceptable.

                      I dunno. I always figured that for a dogwhistle to work, someone had to blow it intentionally.

                      I think Labour knew that the tories would try to make it as much about ethnicity as possible (anything except foreign investment). But I don’t think they went in intentionally blowing that whistle, and I think they probably thought they could get the focus onto foreign investment better/quicker than they actually did.

                      Twyford might have better handled the interview (I suspect he didn’t expect to get bogged down for half the interview by methodology questions), but how much of that is captain hindsight, I’m not sure.

                    • Bill

                      I dunno. I always figured that for a dogwhistle to work, someone had to blow it intentionally.

                      Hmm. An idiot or some-one of not much empathy or insight into a matter may well have been told that to say ‘x’ in such and such a way would, in its effect, be dog-whistling.

                      Being a bit fucking dumb or arrogant, the idiot goes ahead anyway, while insisting they will remain oblivious and in denial to any unwanted reaction elicited by their actions.

                      Kinda, sorta ‘unintentional’ then.

                      On the ‘getting the focus onto general foreign investment quicker’, I’m not convinced that they weren’t viewing Chinese money as the foreign investment. The Labour Party’s President’s letter to Quin essentially dismisses the importance of any other foreign source of money. And again, there’s been not a word on NZers or residents driving other NZers or residents out of the housing market as they crank up prices in a drive to build their portfolios.

                      Even going by your take though, are you saying that the end justifies the means? So it would be okay if Chinese people of whatever domicility were temporarily put in the firing line as long as that started a conversation on housing affordability? That seems to be what you are saying. And….nah.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t think Twyford or Little are idiots.

                      Nor do I think they were blowing whistles.

                      See, the thing is that of course they were viewing Chinese money as the demonstrable source of foreign investment because that’s the indication of the data.

                      You can dance around it all you want, but at the end of the day the two main alternatives are that domestic Chinese investors purchase properties at twice (minimum) to six times the rate of other NZers, or a large chunk of the Auckland property market is coming from foreign Chinese investors. That’s pretty solidly demonstrated.

                      This isn’t an “ends justify the means” thing. It’s a “how can we best report this demonstrated fact while minimising reflex comments from both sides” thing. Because up until now, this is literally the best data that anyone has even dreamed of coming up with using available information sources, and what sort of “means” would it be to ignore clear indications that foreign investment is a much larger problem than 1 or 2%.

                  • leftie


                    That is how I see it, it is another Labour beat up. You should be more fucked off with the National government, and I disagree with your framing of the issue, which I do think is wrong, and feel that you will ban me for saying so.

                    [uh-huh. I don’t ban people for disagreeing. In line with the clear warnings on other comments that you’ve acknowledged reading, come back Thursday, not Wednesday. Hmm, actually, I did as for an answer – so Wednesday] – Bill

                    • leftie

                      You used lame excuses to ban instead. BTW you still didn’t answer my question. Have I got an answer for your lengthy abusive rant because I disagreed with the way you are framing the issue?
                      Answer, No, who puts you on notice with time out when you cross the line?

    • Jenny Kirk 1.2

      + 100% Sabine. It was important that the issue be raised. and Labour did it well.

  2. TaniaK 2

    Spins it as negative and actually it is a positive as they spinned it as a racial issue which did not affect Labour but still gaining gradually woo hoo. With still another two years to go it should be at a solid winning percentage.

    • Sable 2.1

      Only problem is Labour’s refusal to reset to the pre Lange/Douglas days and stop alienating voters, especially those from working class heritage like myself.

      • leftie 2.1.2


        Time you moved on, it’s 2015. Can’t change the past, focus should be on the present.

        • Colonial Viper

          except that’s not how people work. Plenty of Kiwis still haven’t forgiven Labour for the Lange Douglas years, and plenty in the Labour hierarchy still think that the Lange Douglas years had to be done.

          • leftie


            Yet people seem to forgive and forget National’s countless wrong doings don’t they?

            You seem to wear your anger like a comfy coat. How many decades are you going to cling to the past before you can let it go? Does it help the present? I doubt it is as many Kiwis as you would like, and I do not think that’s how all people work either. People do move on. You cannot change the past, and to remain stuck in it is neither helpful nor does it change a thing.

            • Mark

              You are in dreamland if you think that. Labour lost a huge chunk of their committed activists and party members in the 80s and they will never get us back.I know hundreds of members and activists from that time and if Labour was on fire they wouldn’t piss on them to put them out. I hate Labour with a vengenence and always will. People who couldn’t handle the massive changes thrown at them by the arsewipes we had worked our butts off to get elected ended up dead. When you have buried a few of your closest friends, you don’t forgive and you don’t forget. Fuck Labour

              • leftie


                Are you a troll? You can’t live in the past, things change. What about National who have done far worse than Labour?

                • Mark

                  You cannot seriously be that big a fuckwit or that out of touch. As bad as the Nats are they are only beginners when compared to Labour 84/90.
                  A lot of those arseholes involved then still have their noses in the trough.
                  Thousands of people had their lives turned upside down and thrown into turmoil by the party that was meant to represent them. Once the box was open, the Nats joined in with purpose but we expect nothing less from those arseholes. Nothing has changed about Labour in 2015 from Labour in 1984. There are just as many right wing arseholes in the Labour party now as there was then.

                  • leftie


                    Lol and you have the audacity to call me an out of touch fuckwit. Thanks for proving you are indeed a troll.

                    • Mark

                      You wouldn’t have a fucking clue which end was up. Labour are a pack of self serving fuckwits like you. Call yourself leftie, what a fucking embarrassment. Just another centre right wanker who hasn’t got a clue where the political axis sits. Nationals policies in the 1980 were to the left of the Labour Party in 2015 and you call yourself leftie. You wouldn’t know what a real left winger was if you fell over one.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Are you a troll? You can’t live in the past, things change. What about National who have done far worse than Labour?

                  Labour scores 4/10 and National scores 2/10. I guess from that you could say that Labour are 100% better than National.

          • sabine

            Plenty of Kiwis don’t know the Lange years at all.

            Ponder this.

            • Colonial Viper

              Plenty of Kiwis don’t know the Lange years at all.

              The most regular and highest turn out voters i.e. people 50 plus, certainly do.

              • Sabine

                ask any migrant if they know lange, ask anyone under 50 if they know lange, and maybe those under 50 are tired of hearing of lange while those over fifty ignore the problem of those under fifty.

                so go continue crying over spilled beans. Lange is no one to me. shipley i know, clark i know and now i know key….lange…is he the guy that got NZ to go nuclear free?

                get on with life

                • Colonial Viper

                  Cuts both ways Sabine. Most people under 50 also have no idea of MJ Savage or the importance of the First Labor Govt or the secure high employment days of the 50s and 60s.

                  get on with life

                  Labour got 27% in 2011 and 25% in 2014. The bottom hasn’t been reached yet.

                • Mark

                  Fuck Labour and everything it stands for. I will never vote for the Labour Party again in my lifetime. I will vote to keep them out. The problem for the Labour Party is there is tens of thousands of us who will never support those shitheads again.

                  • leftie


                    Why would you vote Labour anyway? you’re a Nat.

                    [I’ve just noticed that you’re merely antagonising people by stupidly claiming they are either nats or trolls: making little or no contribution to discussion or debate beyond that, bar wasting comment space with +100/+1000 or whatever comments. Up your game or take time off. Your choice.] – Bill

                    • leftie


                      I know you and I do not see eye to eye, but I thought I had contributed in the discussion in some small way.

                      The antagonizing comments have not been one way.

                      I didn’t know it was wrong to show support for comments I agreed with. I see other people doing that too.

                      [ -heh – I couldn’t give a monkey’s flying fuck about disagreements! I looked at the totality of your comments on this thread. They contributed next to nothing and are peppered with ad hominem nonsense. As I’ve said in editing the comment you made immediately prior to this – and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt on whether you’ve read it yet – come back on Wednesday] – Bill

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  Yeah, good point. Reminds me of the bleaters who are still going on about the Springbok tour as if anyone still gives a toss.

              • And most of them voted Labour back in the day. What was the question again?

              • leftie


                So it suits to ignore the rest? Eventually the 50s pluses will be replaced.

          • sabine

            there seem to be an awful left supporters out there that actually want labour to loose.

            the years of the eighties and nineties are remembered only by some. All those born during and after won’t remember. Heck look at the US, they don’t even remember that it was Bush the Younger and Cheney the dick tha started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            Labour is what Labour is now.
            It is about time for the Left to understand that we will never go back in time. Never.

            We have to make do with what we got today.

            other options include the Greens which may or may not work with the blues, or the NZ First which may or may not work with any party in Power.

            feel better now?

            • Jenny Kirk

              Spot on, Sabine.

              “we have to make do with what we’ve got today” totally agree, and we need to work with that. Andrew Little is doing a good job in quietly and steadily bringing the Labour Party slowly up the polls.

              If only people like Lara (2.1) who seem to remember so clearly all the bad things Labour did in the late 1980s could actually go and read Labour’s current policies – easily available via the web – they might get a different view.

              But that would be too hard – it’s much easier to criticise from the sidelines (or maybe from the “troll” lines !)

              • Colonial Viper

                But that would be too hard – it’s much easier to criticise from the sidelines (or maybe from the “troll” lines !)

                There are lots of us who are doing far more than staying on the “sidelines”, Jenny.

              • greywarshark

                @Jenny Kirk
                Your response taken further could develop into a campaign against those who wish to speak truth in favour of managing perceptions with the object of concentrating on getting into power. But if there is nothing solidly left behind the perceptions, then we just get another National Lite.

                And what is needed is not limp-wristed politicians guiding NZ round the edges of the hard problems,. Now what is needed is the muscled arms of Soviet posters holding farming implements representing the importance of food production and local workers with jobs using their energy for the good of the country.

            • Colonial Viper

              Labour is what Labour is now.
              It is about time for the Left to understand that we will never go back in time. Never.

              We have to make do with what we got today.

              Nope, its time to force Labour to address the politics which is important to our futures. They will continue to languish in the 20’s until they do so.

              • Sabine

                Yes dear.

              • ropata

                Labour has visibly moved further left from the Clark years, I hope they embrace the spirit of the First Labour Government and totally repudiate the legacy of Rogernomics and Clark/Cullen’s third way Blairism. These neoliberal delusions fucked up the party for a whole generation. They failed to protect the people who elected them and ended up servicing the rich.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Labour has inched left. Maybe that is all we can get from that. It certainly isn’t all we should demand from them.

                  Full employment.
                  Penalty rates for over time.
                  Truly free school education for Kiwi kids.
                  Free dental care as part of the health system.
                  A decent UBI: unconditional and universal.
                  Commitment to Super at 65.
                  Moving NZ transport off fossil fuels.
                  Houses priced at 3x the median wage.
                  Banking profits reduced to max 5% of private sector profits.

            • leftie


              +100 That’s how I see it too, and there seems to be a number of people who like to crow how left they are, but their comments show the complete opposite.

          • Lara

            I agree, and it’s a big problem that Labour can’t see it.

            But it’s more than that.

            People remember that Labour betrayed it’s voters in 1984 with the implementation of a far right Milton Friedman style “free market” ideology. We remember it was Labour that began asset sales, welfare cuts, tax cuts for the rich and user pays in tertiary education. We remember because we lived it.

            And Labour voters KNOW that this ideology is still there. Because the people who implemented it are mostly still there. In it’s caucus.

            So it’s not just holding a grudge, it’s a very real concern that Labour does not have policy that really truly will support the poor, disadvantaged and working class people.

            • Anne

              People remember that Labour betrayed it’s voters in 1984 with the implementation of a far right Milton Friedman style “free market” ideology.

              That is such bullshit Lara it’s tantamount to lies. For starters, half the population were either not born or were still too young to have any sense of the political changes made.

              Secondly it wasn’t a Labour government in practical terms. It was a Douglas/Prebble and co. government who snatched the reins of power from the rest of the caucus and proceeded to operate under the auspices of Labour. They’re all long gone now except one or two (then) newish MPs who have long since moved on from Rogernomics.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yet Labour has never renounced or reversed the changes made under Rogernomics.

              • Mark

                With all due respect Anne that is utter bullshit. The Labour party Mps bar a handful went along with it 100%. For anyone involved in LECs in the early 80s involving the Labour Party, there are still an awlful lot of those arseholes in the system.The Nats would never have had the balls to try 5% of what Labour did between 84/90. But once Labour had opened the door, the Nats said thank you very much and carried on what Labour had started. I expect the Nats to be arseholes to workers in general, its part of their DNA. I never thought the Labour Party of the 1980s would make the Nats look like choir boys but they did.
                So don’t expect anyone burnt badly by Labour in the 1980s to turn the other cheek and support them now.
                I would vote National before I ever vote Labour again.

                • leftie


                  Well done, spoken like a true National Party troll. You are being a drama queen. In comparison National governments have done far worse than the Lange government, that for all intents and purposes was hijacked.
                  Suggest you get a life.

                  [Last chance. See edit and warning under previous comment.] – Bill

                • Anne

                  You are reinventing history Mark. I was associated at that time with a couple of relatively senior Labour Cabinet Ministers and they told me what had gone on during those years. There was a hijack of that Labour Cabinet by the Douglas cabal. Decisions were made beyond the Cabinet table and policy quietly implemented without the knowledge or approval of a significant section of the Cabinet. Any protest was drowned out by the protagonists and because of the confidential nature of Cabinet meetings the rest of the ministers couldn’t reveal what was going on. They were powerless and in the end the cabal had David Lange over a barrel so he resigned. And no, I am not going to divulge their identities because I don’t have the authority to do so.

                  Your claim that an awful lot of those arseholes are still in the sytem is crap. Most of them left the Labour Party in the late 1980s/early 1990s and joined the ACT Party.

                  • Mark

                    Your the one that is reinventing history here. I sat at meetings with people who are shadow cabinet ministers today in the mid eighties and they defended to the end the direction the party was going in. There was the great ” TINA” rolled out at meeting after meeting. Of course those Labour Party cabinet ministers you speak about were such honourable people they stood up and spoke out. Funny I must have missed them doing so. People were thrown on the scrapheap by the tens of thousands and Anderton was the only one who stood up and spoke out. Where were your cabinet ministers Anne when the people that voted them in needed them most. No where to be fucking seen.

                  • And yet they were able to whip a majority in order to pass the legislation …

                    It was pretty clear to me at the time that Lange’s cup of tea was a public recognition that the majority of the Labour caucus supported Douglas et al. and the “reforms”.

              • leftie



            • greywarshark

              Lara I think that Labour is making an effort to turn around, turn away from the Rogernomics but its protocols and thinking have been embedded and changing is hard.

              You might be interested in Chris Trotters latest piece on his blog about what is happening in Britain with an apparent turn to the left of the present Left which could be regarded as right of centre. His blog is called Bowalley Road.

    • D'Esterre 2.2

      @ TaniaK: “…they spinned it as a racial issue which did not affect Labour but still gaining gradually…”

      Yes, I think you’re onto something there; the public hasn’t taken the “it’s racism!” bait thrown by the MSM and the government, yet that same survey shows a majority of people – including Nat voters – supports Labour’s call for a ban on foreign buyers in the NZ property market.

      • leftie 2.2.1



      • Jenny Kirk 2.2.2

        Yep, D’Esterre. So Labour’s message about Auckland housing DID get out to people and wasn’t smothered by all the MSM hogwash.

        • leftie

          @Jenny Kirk

          Exactly, and it is not as if the media and National supporters haven’t tried their hardest either, and try as they might, they cannot tell the public that what people are seeing with their own eyes, is not true.

  3. Sable 3

    Key thinks he’s unpopular now, just wait and see what happens when he signs the TPPA. National will be washing dishes in Parliament kitchens for the next 1000 years and his government will be to blame.

  4. Nick Morris 4

    John Key IS National at present. They stand or fall together. That is why this poll is significant.
    For Labour to profit, Andrew Little needs to listen to Helen and Michael and Barack. It isn’t just about trucking out policy. In fact it isn’t really about that at all.
    Confidence, conviction, connection and charm. These are so much more valuable. I don’t know if Andrew Little is strong in these areas, but if he wants to ein he’d better be a quick study.
    If he understands the broad-brush philisophical concept he had better dust it off. To date he has shown himself too ready to allow an interviewer to restrict him to simply answering a question. He must connect every opportunity to the great narrative of the vital importance of the State to New Zealand, and how the current Govrrnment is losing time with low bars, low ambition and no real conviction that they can or should do a.ything to shape the future or even the present.
    The nuts and bolts of policy and procedure will just piss off the faithful and alienate those who will be disadvantaged. Who is setting this underwhelming strategy?
    Time to redraw the roadmap, wouldn’t you say?
    It isn’t too late but it isn’t too early either!

  5. Nick Morris 5

    (repeat comment deleted – CV)

  6. Nick Morris 6

    (repeat comment deleted – CV)

  7. North 7

    What is appealing about this is that the only true ‘asset’ National has is Key, who increasingly presents as ‘The Ponce Key’.

    “The Ponce Key ?” you ask, troubled perhaps by such open disrespect. A ‘ponce’ – one who imposes on others indignity and depletion, in favour of spectacular, untouchable, gloating gain for self and ilk.

    That’s about right ain’t it, re the putative ‘Man’ ? I mean there aren’t nearly the numbers anymore who’re buzzed by the folksy construct of “the guy you’d love to have a beer with…..”. A further meaning of ‘ponce’ comes into play as a reason perhaps. Key’s for The Rich, domestic and foreign. That’s the developing and ever more resonant story. The gross pretension attaching to him and family as the purported ‘New Camelot’ adds to that smelliness.

    Watch the Nixonian/Thatcheresque/Muldoonist ‘siege mentality’ set in when the vanity is stroked less vigorously/frequently. Watch for the cheap vindictiveness of the thwarted head boy his due denied. That is our putative ‘Man’.

  8. D'Esterre 8

    ““Labour was looking for an Orewa moment, where racial division turns into political popularity, but it hasn’t come, although public opinion is on its side.”

    Well, Gower would say that, wouldn’t he. It appears to have escaped his notice that public opinion looks to be at odds with his assumptions about Labour’s motivation for publicising this information. The public sees this as an issue, and it takes no more kindly than I do to being called racist for it, by self-styled little arbiters of political issues such as Gower. Really, don’t watch 3 News. They’re just looking to hoist up their sagging ratings following John Campbell’s departure, hence the rantings of Mr dead-rat-under-my-nose.

    @ Colonial Viper: Surely you don’t agree with him? In virtue of what would you impute motives such as that to Labour, when Twyford’s been doggedly pursuing the housing issue in Auckland for a long time now? He’s pointed up some information which looks as if it supports what buyers are reporting over and over from going to auctions in Auckland. Are you saying that, were you in Little’s shoes, that what Gower says Labour’s done is what you’d do?

    • leftie 8.1



    • Bill 8.2

      It’s not their motivation for publicising the info that’s the problem. It’s the framing of their presentation that’s highly fucking problematic.

      • D'Esterre 8.2.1

        @ Bill: “It’s the framing of their presentation that’s highly fucking problematic.”

        How’s that, then? I’ve read an account of what information Twyford got and how they went about analysing it. Are you suggesting that they shouldn’t have stated that Chinese names predominated, and disproportionately? Had they done that, and then afterwards the material they got was made public, do you really think that somebody wouldn’t have done the sums and figured out the proportions? And then gone public with it, you can bet on that…

        Free speech: publish and be damned, say I! It is neither racist nor unlawful to do what they did. Have it all out in the open.

        • Colonial Viper

          Labour deliberately threw out a racist dog whistle to try and get Waitakere Man (and Woman) onboard. It failed. It was a badly thought out tactic and it has done Labour long term damage.

          The issue could have been launched with a far broader appeal to economic sovereignty and underlining the dangers of foreign financial flows to a small economy like NZ. It wasn’t.

          Labour also missed the opportunity to come out with gutsy new policy on affordable housing or forcing foreign owners to divest the NZ land they have acquired.

          Overall, a C minus.

          • D'Esterre

            @ Colonial Viper: “Labour deliberately threw out a racist dog whistle…”

            Labour did no such thing, and no amount of assertion to the contrary on your part will make it so. Going public with information like that isn’t racist: it doesn’t come anywhere near meeting the test of racism. Surely you don’t take your cue on such matters from those self-styled arbiters of political correctness, Mr dead-rat-under-my-nose and little Miss O’Brien from TV3? What they know about racism can very obviously be written on the back of a postage stamp.

            “… to try and get Waitakere Man (and Woman) onboard.”

            It would seem that Mr and Mrs Waitakere haven’t taken the “it’s racism!” bait flung by the MSM, but – judging by the above poll – they do agree with Labour that there’s a problem with what’s happening in the Auckland property market. And that would scarcely be surprising.

  9. ianmac 9

    The bounce from Orewa took a long time to evolve.
    If there is a bounce for Housing it will take a while.
    (Paddy is on another planet – Pluto I think.)

  10. D'Esterre 10

    @ ianmac: “The bounce from Orewa took a long time to evolve.”

    Hmm, my recollection is that it was quite swift. But my memory may be faulty in that regard: at my stage of life, my brain is full, after all.

    “(Paddy is on another planet – Pluto I think.)” Yes, that might explain quite a lot.

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    <i. "So despite wall to wall media coverage of Labour’s ‘wealthy Chinese buyers’ strategy over days,

    Your framing is so wrong! Labour did NOT talk about what you call, “‘wealthy Chinese buyers”. What Twyford was about was the non resident Chinese siphoning their money from China into Auckland for buying houses and thus increasing housing costs for local kiwis, including the local resident Chinese. Stop framing the facts in a shitty way.

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    Is anybody surprised? It is not because of or despite of the Phil Twyford real estate buyers names list, it is for other reasons that Labour stubbornly hangs around the 30 percent mark. I think I mentioned some reasons before, so cannot be bothered to repeat them.

    But one reason is certainly the mainstream media again, and those who watched Patrick Gower try to challenge Andrew Little with “cooking the stats”, he/she can conclude what is part of the problem. The MSM hacks do in their majority simply seem to dislike Labour and Little. It seems almost as if they act as desperate “bullies” at times, as they are themselves incompetent and too dumb a “journalist”, to get the Prime Minister exposed. That is if they actually want to.

    Few if any have managed to make Key tremble and shake and worry, that tells too many media hacks are useless school yard bullies, the worst being such as Gower.

    And while they cannot get Key down, they choose to pick on the other side, the opposition leader, to criticise and kick him. So as I expected, TV 3 showed the “cooked the stats” video scene from last week right in the middle of presenting the disappointing poll results for Labour and Little. It is all geared again, to get the new Labour leader down, and taken out. “Angry Andy” is the label of the leader, it seems.

    And this gets shown on prime time news, and the public, most of whom have little political insight and knowledge, they take this at face value, saying to themselves, hey, these guys are “useless”.

    What will not have helped either is the slinging match between those on “the left” or between “liberals” or “progressives”, some defending what Labour did try to show with the real estate buyers names lists (sounding “Chinese” or “Asian”), and those calling it “racist” or “xenophobic”. NO better way to present the “left” or “progressives” as divided.

    So Key won again, although his popularity is fading, more to do with the government having been in power too long, and the economy slowing down, but he can relax, as there is no significant threat to his leadership and government.

    Labour and Greens must jointly present a better, convincing, political alternative, well coordinated, as a government in waiting, or we may as well forget 2017 and work on a new left party to be formed from what is left on the “left” side of the political spectrum.

    • Save NZ 12.1


      Also I find Labours stance on everything pretty confusing.

      Please, just post on your website your policy – that way people can actually read it for themselves and not rely on media to try to describe it. Maybe have some actual details might help.

      There is no mention of how Labour are going to restrict foreign investors in NZ on their website. But there is a mention of a capital gains tax which I thought Labour had got rid of?

      Confused? me, and everyone else. No wonder Labour does not go up in the polls. Nothing they do seems to be clear or consistent.

      (Off their website)

      We will

      Build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years through KiwiBuild.
      Crack down on speculators through a capital gains tax (excluding the family home), and restrict offshore speculators buying New Zealand houses.
      Reform monetary policy to keep interest rates lower.
      Implement a Healthy Homes Guarantee, that’ll require that every rental property is warm and dry.
      Introduce a National Policy Statement on Affordable Housing.
      Grow the stock of both state and social housing.
      Tackle the crisis in Canterbury head on. We’ll build 10,000 affordable KiwiBuild homes in Canterbury over four years providing the first 3,000 as affordable rentals, build 400 additional temporary homes, revitalise the city centre as well as suburban and town centres, and increase the accommodation supplement for Christchurch by up to $50 per week.

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1

        Thanks for pointing this out, that Labour appear to still have the policies listed, that they pushed during the last general election. They say they conducted their review and are working out new policy, overhauling some former ones. This takes time within Labour, and this is not to their advantage.

        It does most certainly not help any party, to continue listing some policies online, on their website, that they claim they no longer want to keep, or that they want to change or improve. It is certainly confusing any interested person, reading what you quoted, and then hear Andrew Little and others comment to media, that the CGT would be gotten rid of. And an updated set of policies, or at least some clear enough goals and directions should already be on their website now, instead of ambiguous, unclear slogans and appeals.

        There is something not being done within Labour, perhaps due to lack of resources, due to the process taking too long, due to incompetence too, I fear.

        So perhaps some of the insiders read this, take note and damned well do something about it a.s.a.p..

        • Save NZ

          I just don’t think that Labour can keep saying they don’t have resources to run a website. It’s cheap and easy. It is the lack of clarity and attention to detail that is scaring away voters. Look at Christchurch they should have voted Labour but they didn’t because no one wants some sort of rookie unknown ineffective effort in government that hate each other. If you can’t organise a website – can you govern and should you be deciding international agreements?

          This is not Andrew Little’s fault although it is his job to try to transform them, but all the lazy Labour MP’s who would prefer to point the finger at others than actually get busy, get behind their elected leader, do a worth while job for their constituents and actually give a damn, do something about it that works and stop complaining and looking at polls.

          We don’t trust the Nats but personally I don’t trust Labour either. Much as I would like to.

          Now is the time to iron all this out. The sooner the better! Labour has let it’s supporters down.

          Now Labours voters are between a rock and a hard place. Support Labour and get some sort of confused mish mash and unknown National Lite policy or not support Labour and then split the vote and the Nats get in, AGAIN.

          Or support the Greens and hope Labour starts picking off the Nats votes (unlikely with such confusion about their policy) or that NZ First who at least do seem to have a problem with the current governments stance on TPPA, foreign investment and way of operating) don’t go with the Nats.

          Pretty easy to see why 1 million could not find anyone to vote for.

          Can’t we just get some sort of compromise with no added taxes in the short term, foreign investment but not ownership of assets, high level of sovereignty, real ideas about transforming our economy, focus on education (personally I would like tertiary education to be free), and also transforming the health sector internally (but NOT privatising it), reducing crime etc, reforming immigration to actually focus on real investment that creates wealth and jobs for locals not reducing wages in this country. no mass spying or giving up our rights as a country so we can be part of some sort of war mongers club because we are too afraid to say no, Ie a party taking a gentle approach but a u turn in direction of neo liberalism and a strong stance on human rights.

      • The Chairman 12.1.2

        Indeed, Save NZ.

        Labour’s position is confusing.

        I just read this: Labour is calling for ownership of existing housing to be limited only to citizens and residents.

        “Under Labour, if you have the right to live here you have the right to buy here, but not otherwise,” leader Andrew Little said on Monday.

        “Residency applies whether you’re a recent arrival or born here. Investment in new housing adds to supply and will be allowed.”


        I thought Labour’s position was Australian investors were exempt? Has that now changed?

        Moreover, allowing offshore investors to buy new homes will still drive up the price of land. Is Labour not concerned about the price of land and the impact that has on housing?

    • Stuart Munro 12.2

      I’m not sure Garner is not worse – he may be Gower’s role model.

  13. upnorth 13

    register is fine and a sensible idea…the most telling fact is Little is not a preferred opposition leader – that mantle is now truly Winstons.

  14. SPC 14

    The Key strategy.

    1. Say that should information gathered by the foreign tax ID show there was a problem the government might act to restrict offshore buy up.

    That is deliberately prevaricate on the issue waiting for TPP (which would ban blocks on foreign ownership) to prevent this option and end debate on it.

    2. Forced to admit that TPP would block action to prevent foreign buy up, he changes strategy to suggest a possible stamp duty on foreign buyers of residential property. He notes Oz does this (untrue their stamp duty applies for everyone).

    But the free trade deal with China already states that their investors must have the same tax rules as local investors. Thus we either have a stamp duty on all foreign buyers but the Chinese, or we apply it on local investors as well. Neither is plausible so again the prevarication until we have lost sovereignty on the issue and can then do nothing it being beyond our control.

  15. Ben 15

    “Key’s popularity drops to 38% however. This is a very significant result. Air is definitely leaking from National’s best tyre still on the road.”

    And how would you describe Little dropping to 3rd place as preferred PM? Significant also? Maybe a blowout in Labour’s best tyre (re-treaded union hack) on the road?

    • ianmac 15.1

      Ben. Could you help me find which Leader while in Opposition scored higher than 15-20%?

      • alwyn 15.1.1

        You are joking aren’t you?
        There is a post on this site today giving the Colmar/Brunton numbers for preferred PM.
        Brash was above 15% for most of the time that he was Leader of the Opposition.
        Key was between 30% and 40% for the whole time he was in the job and for most of it he was ahead of the then PM.
        Now what was your question again?

    • And how would you describe Little dropping to 3rd place as preferred PM?

      As irrelevant, given that it’s party support that determines who gets to be PM. The point about Key’s popularity is that National bases its sales pitch entirely on him due to his personal popularity – the same doesn’t, and isn’t likely ever to, apply to Little.

  16. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    Colonial Viper

    If the Barfoot & Thompson listing shows that there were no or very few Chinese names buying Auckland real estate, then your over the top rant of racism would make a tiny bit of sense.

    You have a deep hatred of data and Labour.


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