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We are all socialists now

Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, March 26th, 2020 - 131 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, health, jacinda ardern, Media, socialism, tenants' rights, uncategorized - Tags:

Apologies I have not posted much lately.

My small business has demanded my attention.  The four week stay at home order and the lead up has had a profound effect.  Existing work has to be finished.  Cruicial work has to continue.

The Courts, normally thriving vibrant hives of activity are now eerily quiet.  Cashflow and reserves have had to be carefully assessed to make sure there is enough to pay wages and the essential bills.

I am sure most small business owners are going through the same process.

And there will be carnage.  Some will not have the resources to get through what is a pretty severe dislocation.

Travel and tourism will be particularly affected. Air New Zealand is now a basket case. It seems inevitable that the Government’s fiscal lifeline is going to be converted into equity and it will be renationalised in part or in full. The airline will survive but for strategic not economic reasons.

The economic trend is clear and pretty worrying.  Many businesses will not survive this and others will have dramatically changed.

Which brings me to the topic of this post.

Imagine if a society used pure market forces to respond to Corvid-19.

Imagine that the Government did not offer up $5 billion for businesses to access to keep employees in work.  Imagine if the Government did not effectively double the amount a week later as the trends became clear.

It is not only in the area of business support that a pure market approach is doomed to fail.

How about for renters.

Quinovic has received justifiable ire by saying that rent had to be kept up to date  otherwise “unfortunately you may be jeopardising your tenancy”.

Imagine preparing for a lock down by terrorising your tenants.

Thankfully the relevant Ministers responded quickly and appropriately.

And the law has been urgently changed so that tenants cannot be evicted for not making a reasonable effort to pay rent for 60 days.

Medicine is the other area where a collective public system is running rings around the private system. The United States is showing that it is the basket case of medical systems. Charging $3,000 for a Covid-19 test is what you do if you do not want to find out what is happening.

It seems that turning your back on collectively funded medicine and choosing instead to have a system where the medical profession and the insurance companies made a killing is the worst thing you can do in a pandemic.

And the orange orangutang and other Republicans are asking whether the death of huge numbers of elderly citizens is worth it just to save the economy. And similar Darwinistic thinking must have driven Boris Johnson’s earlier herd immunity proposal.

From Daily Kos:

Donald Trump is suggesting that we should rescind efforts at coronavirus suppression in order to “save” the economy, while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas calls on patriotic grandparents to sacrifice themselves to drive up the Dow. Across the pond, the U.K. government already mulled over the idea of allowing that nation to become a viral incubator until it reached the level required for “herd immunity”—though at least their plan called for sequestering the vulnerable while the nation sweated things out, rather than tossing them all into the Save the Stock Market National Patriotism Volcano.

There’s another name for the daring plan now being promoted by the right: It’s called “doing nothing.” It’s called letting the disaster play out, or allowing the disease run to its course, or simply permitting the wildfire to burn unchecked. But the problem is that when it’s done, what they get would not be a nation going “back to normal.” It would be ashes.

Such thinking is going to mean that the right in the future is going to be treated with contempt. We are facing a 1930s intensity depression and a pandemic, all at the one time.

There are two ways out of this.  Either we crash and burn.  Or we help each other, minimise the effects, and learn to live our lives differently so that we are more resilient in the future.

The second option sounds a lot better.

But dare I say it, this sounds a bit like socialism to me.

131 comments on “We are all socialists now ”

  1. Sabine 1

    What about those that don't get help with their mortgages?

    We now have something for renters and something for commercial landlords however we still have nothing for those that are on commercial leases or those that have to pay their mortgages on the wage subsidies?

    Will there be anything forth coming, or are these New Zealanders expected to 'privately negotiate ' with the banks?

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Renters are being left to 'privately negotiate' with their landlords. What has been done for renters is the less than the bare minimum.

      By contrast businesses and homeowners have everyone bending over backward for them.

      Some tenants and their families could be facing several thousand or tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt at the end of this…with no job to pay for it.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        not this business Muttonbird. I too am expected to 'negotiate' with the Landlord for the lease (he will get the bail out and the lease 🙂 ) and i am to negotiate with the Bank for the lease that i will have to pay to the land lord.

        As i posted in the thread two days ago, the 'mortgage holiday' applies to businesses 'solvent businesses' with an annual turn over of 250.000 + – let me assure you there are a lot of family businesses that don't make that much.

        So we can not only lose our business but also our homes. And some of us small business owners do rent.

        Essentially so far anyone not a waged worker, not a beneficiary and not a very rich person has been ignored.

        I have applied for the wage subsidy, so far crickets.

        Some are in the boat, some row the boat, and some of us are hanging on to wooden planks waiting from someone to row by in a boat that still has place for us.

        But surely any day now someone will tell Grant Robertson about us under 250.000 dollar businesses. Any day.

        • Muttonbird

          I too have applied for the self-employed wage subsidy. It was a one-pager asking name, address, IRD number and that's about it!

          They say they’ll make contact when the payment is proceeding, supposedly within 5 working days.

          Reading between the very few lines it looks like anyone who applies (and has actually been in business proved by IRD records) will receive.

          There was this piece today that indicated some commercial tenancy agreements might have a clause that says if you can't access the premises you are not liable for rent payments.


          Might apply to you?

          • Sabine

            we are looking at everything.

            Essentially, i want to pay the guy. He is young, he threw himself into this 'real estate business' as a way to make a living – and know has the same issues we all have.

            I still think the best the government could have done is either call for a full Bill/Mortgage/Lease/Rent holiday – and bugger the banks not making money for three month – they got their cheap lending rates from the Fed which so far they are not passing on to their customers, or a free government loan (instead of shoveling money up the arse of some OZ banks) that mortgage holders and lease holders can apply for and then re-pay in the future.

            This cherry picking of businesses and people who get help or don't is bullshit, and there will be a lot of people that are gonna wake up next week and realise that two wage subsdies ain't even gonna cover regular mortgage payments for the house they are self isolating in.

    • JanM 1.2

      Less than an hour ago there was more information on the Covid 19 business site which talks about this. Sorry my technical skills are not up to a direct referal but it is not hard to find

    • RedLogix 1.3

      From what I can see at present the idea is this; the tenant is expected to communicate their changed circumstances to the landlord as early as possible, and offer a 'best effort' to contribute to the rent.

      Then the landlord looks at their situation and negotiates with their providers, banks, insurance companies, property managers etc to put their costs on hold.

      In the case of a mortgage it makes far more sense for the landlord to negotiate a 'mortgage holiday' that simply extends the term of the mortgage, than for a tenant to stack up a debt they will never likely pay.

      In effect the landlord is in a far better position to push the cost of the lockdown forward into the future, than the tenant is. And to me logically this is where the responsibility for managing this event should lie … with the landlord.

      • Sabine 1.3.1

        I truly believe that you are a 'nice' landlord, but frankly see the post above from MIckey with the Landlord threatening tenants? that is the reality in NZ. Not nice landlords, and that is simply due to government inactions over many many years – irrespective of being Labour or National – and now we have the landlords we have. And i don't blame capitalism, i blame government for not putting up sensible rules and regulations.

        Also try reaching and negotiating with an overseas landlord who only come into NZ once or twice a year. 🙂 Its a special kind of fun in the good days.

        But you could write a little letter to Labour to let them know that the 'onus' should be put on the landlord rather then the tenant. Because so far, the onus is on he tenant – who is not offered cheap government negotiated bank loans of up to 500.000 if they have a business with 250.000+ turn over a year.

        And if this gives you a sad, please understand that so far over these last weeks i have not said a single thing that was not the truth and has come true.

        • A

          Good idea. Most LLs are more likely to accept the benefits and leave it at that.

        • David Mac

          Sabine a few days ago you said that you have not taken any money out of your business since January. When I read that my mind jumped to the thought that you are operating a not for profit charity. Am I wrong to think that?

          • Sabine

            nope. I operate a small business that usually pays wages to my staff and me.

            But Rotorua has been hit very hard by the lack of tourists this year. And i mean lack – non of the usual crowd of Asians that come. It was as if the season never actually started.

            I do quite well with the local population – when they work and earn money – and i have tailored my business to the population size of the town, and it has worked well for a few years. I also have no real competition in the town, bar two shops that sell artisan chocolate from a company in Auckland and Wellington, while i am the sole direct producer in Rotorua.

            Easter however is my big 'make money' weekend, this year totally cancelled. 🙂 So in order to continue i have not paid myself in Jan and Feb, thinking that business will pick up in March/April due to Easter. We hada few trade shows planned in, good for us every year – now cancelled but not refunded. We did not get the orders from the Hotels this year either, but hey, no tourists. right? And this is the story for all of us businesses in Rotorua.

            I have been following this disease since China welded people into Apartment blocks and shut down. Initially i thought we – the world may ride it out with a few shortages of chinese produced goods here and there, but when it became clear that that was not gonna happen i was essentially just hoping for a Bill/Lease/Rent/Mortgage Holiday to all of us plebs to get us through this. Little did i know that we are all destined for the dole.

      • Sabine 1.4.1

        you don't understand,

        i want to pay my lease

        i want to pay my utilities

        i want to pay my suppliers

        and i want to keep my business.

        I want a government that works for me as it does for those rich arseholes like the real Estate company that dares threaten poeple in lock up with no income and on a 'wage subsidy' with eviction. After all, come election time these guys will have no shame in demanding donations and time and votes.

        That is all i want, and from where i stand, there are a lot of people that want the same.

        In a week or three people will run out of funds on credit cards, they will run out of savings and the wage subsidy will not be enough for anyone to keep up with the cost of living.

        And then we all file for bankruptcy and go on the dole. Yuppie. 30% + unemployment. How can that work?

        • Climaction

          Vote for a government that wouldn’t have sold the country out economically for the health and safety of those already at risk.

          it was a hard choice. Did they make the right one? Hard to say. I would have preferred over 60 and vulnerable isolation and let the rest get on with it

  2. Wensleydale 2

    Quinovic have been scum for years. This latest attempt to shit on their tenants isn't surprising. Remember their "Landlords, you'll love us! Your tenants will hate us!" and "Are you financing your tenant's social life?!" ads? Amoral bastards who should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

    • Sabine 2.1


      can they evict people after the lock down is over?

      So essentially, they have to keep people in their properties but once this lock down is done they can start eviction procedures for non payment?

      Because that is what i understand. If you get behind, once this is over we gonna kick yo out. Has Labour done something to prevent that, or just for the next 4 weeks?

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        I honestly can't see the rationale for that. If they were reliable tenants before this lockdown, then they will be afterward. No sane landlords gets rid of good tenants for no reason.

        • Muttonbird

          They will if the tenant can't pay the debt.

          • RedLogix

            As I explained above, the landlord is effectively running a business, and that business like all others affected by a loss of customers, can apply for a 'pause' on some of their costs during this lockdown.

            And it will be relatively uncommon for tenants not to be able to negotiate to pay at least some of their rent given the extra level of social support available.

            Stop catastrophising. If this affects you contact your property manager or landlord early and negotitate in good faith. There will be a reasonable path through for almost all cases, especially if the banks are playing ball with mortgage relief.

            • Muttonbird

              Stop catastrophising

              In a catastrophe? Ok, bud.

            • Sabine

              Stop catastrophising. If this affects you contact your property manager or landlord early and negotitate in good faith.

              and you should stop minimising that what is said by others.

              They might already have negotiated to no avail.

              they might have a landlord who simply says : tough, shit happens.

              Fact is people are genuinely in fear of being homeless in 4 weeks time, in what is current an ongoing HEALTH CATASTROPHY – because let me remind you, we are at home, not working, not making money, not paying bills, desperatly trying to stay alive and not killing others.

              • Muttonbird

                I didn't say what I wanted to say to that tone-deaf, smug so-and-so.

                • RedLogix

                  You make the mistake of confusing my normal politeness for smug.

                  Edit: Also see RedBaronCV at 5.0 below. Their explanation is probably better than mine.

        • Sabine

          you don't live in NZ? do you?

          people here loose rentals because the landlords wants to put up the rent by say 50 + bucks a week.

          • RedLogix

            you don't live in NZ? do you?

            I have most of my life and I still run a residential rental business in NZ for almost 20 yrs now, a fact I've been totally transparent about here for years. Over the past week you've repeatedly told us about how difficult this lockdown will be for your business, and I totally get that.

            But do you imagine you are the only one concerned about their situation?

            people here loose rentals because the landlords wants to put up the rent by say 50 + bucks a week.

            We have one tenant who we regard highly and they haven't faced a serious rental increase in almost 9 yrs now. They're now paying well below the market rent, at least $150pw less. We will have to consider making small, regular adjustments over the next few years to close the gap. Their rent is barely covering our fixed costs, much less the mortgage.

            We normally wait until a tenant leaves (and the average tenancy lasts about 18 months) before adjusting to the rent to reflect the new market rate.

            I was looking at the most recent 5 years of our summarised costs last night, since 2015 they've pretty much doubled in every category. Insurance has more than doubled. The most recent insurance invoice for one of our units is now 23% of the annual rent. Then rates that come in at 18%, property management at 10%. Add in all the sundries and our fixed costs on this unit is now over 55% of rental income. And this is before maintenance, mortgage and tax.

            In this same 5 year period our 'profit before tax' has actually gone down. We will be not a lot different to the large majority of landlords out there.

            • Wensleydale

              As a general rule, I'm fine with landlords cranking the rent to cover additional costs… genuine costs. They have bills to pay, kids to feed, a voracious bank nipping at their heels, and it's completely understandable. It's when they crank the rent because 'the market' reckons people should be able to handle it, and 'just because they can' that I take issue with it. The market might be able to bear it; it doesn't necessarily mean your tenants can. No employer is going to give me an extra $40 a week to cover a rent increase. I wish certain landlords would have a wee think about that occasionally.

              • Paddington

                Hi Wensleydale. Interestingly I apply market principles to my rental properties, and end up with the same approach you advocate. The market is simply a place where people 'meet' to exchange things. Now I could approach the market by claiming the highest possible price, irrespective of the situation. But the market shows me that that leads to higher tenant turnover, less tenant loyalty and committment, and ultimately less return on my investment. So the market affirms my own moral instincts; it is far better to work with long term tenants, even when things get tough for them.

        • A

          The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

          • Incognito

            Doesn’t mean it is a good predictor.

            • RedLogix

              Still better than examining chicken entrails …. cheeky

            • David Mac

              It's a predictor that gains weight as it multiplies and stretches across categories. Can a tenant departing a house with 1 foot lawn be expected to keep the next lawn trim?

              Rentals are in very short demand and the government keeps tapping up the ask with their help along.

              Why let to Iggy Pop when Florence Nightengale has applied, she's always at work.

      • Muttonbird 2.1.2

        This is a major concern and a cloud which hangs over the heads of all tenants affected by Covid-19.

        Meanwhile, homeowners have a 4 week holiday under sunny skies…

        • Sabine

          no they don't.
          Honestly no we don't.
          I have no idea how i pay my mortgage to my tiny unit in lovely rotorua.

          because i don't get bailed out by the goverment, and most mortgage holders aren't either.

          the article that you posted two days ago laid out the criteria.

          solvent businesses with turnover of 250.000 – 80 million can apply for a mortgage holiday. This would be the professional Rental Companies, Developpers, Bob Joneses etc. Not mom and pop mortgage holders, they have to try and keep their house with their wage subsidy as much as you have to try and keep your rent paid with that wage subsidy.&

          but i agree with you, unless Labour does something a bit more cutting there will be foreclosures galore, bankruptcies galore, and evicted tenats and then instead of building KeyVilles in the Domain, we gonna build ArdernVilles in the Domain. Cause homeless people will have to go somewhere.

          • RedLogix

            I have no idea how i pay my mortgage to my tiny unit in lovely rotorua.

            Contact your bank early and explain your changed circumstances. At least do that before telling us you "have no idea".

            The rules are changing rapidly. The critical thing is that the banks are well capitalised with govt backing and are open to negotiation according to your circumstances.


            • Sabine

              good grief you are a patronising git if ever there was one.

              Do you really think that people have not contacted, are not contacting their bank?

              Do you really think that people have not contacted or are not contacting their landlords?

              Do you really think people are gonna be happy to lose their properties because the bank ain't giving a shit, and the landlord either? Oh and the Government neither too, cause the ones that got the Mortgage Holiday aka government guaranteed loands (aka taxpayer guaranteed loans – cause we the Tax payer fund this goverment and any others ) is our professional real estate vultures/investors/speculators.

              Good grief, WE the people are the only ones that are currently negotiating taxes, rent, leases, electricity, water, rates, insurance and so on.

              Its gonna be bad next week when people on their Government Hand out of 350 – 580$ dollar will try to juggle bills, rent, and food.

              Good grief, i did not think you could get anymore tory, but you are outdoing yourself over and over again.

              • RedLogix

                First of all you say you have 'no idea' how you are going to pay your mortgage on your unit.

                I suggest, as the banks do themselves, that you go and talk to them.

                Then you get all huffy telling me that I cannot know if this is what you have already done. Well have you or have you not contacted your bank? I'm not a mind reader.

                And if so I'd be genuinely curious to know they have offered, if anything.

                Its gonna be bad next week when people on their Government Hand out of 350 – 580$ dollar will try to juggle bills, rent, and food.

                Indeed. So go and talk to your bastard landlord and negotiate a FastTrack arrangement to pay a reduced rent for the next few months until things return to something like normal.

          • pat

            are you a LLC or a sole trader?

  3. MartinC 3

    My landlord warned me about Quinovic a while back.

    btw my landlord is one of the good ones.

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.1

      My landlord & the estate agent property managers aren't too bad. When my tenancy was renewed at the end of last year, the landlord opted not to raise the rent. This was the first year in the 5 I have been here that they didn’t raise the rent. They left open the possibility of raising the rent during the year – that ain't gonna happen any time soon.

      • John Irving 3.1.1

        That's because he makes his money by no having to pay capital gains tax. No representation without taxation!

        [Fixed typo in e-mail address]

    • RedLogix 3.2

      We have two separate property managers; one is absolutely excellent, the other I only wish I could get rid off.

      Oddly enough I was a tenant with Quinovic for a period about 20 yrs ago, back then they were excellent. We were very reliable tenants and in return they really looked after us. Sorry to see them go so badly off the rails.

  4. Gosman 4

    Why do you need to politicise a crisis by trying to argue that the response to an massively unsual and life threatening event should be the approach in a BAU situation?

    • Exkiwiforces 4.1

      To see you NeoCon Lib Economic free marketeers whinge that a caring left wing government prop up the private sector when under a BS free market NeoCon Lib economic thinking that the state has no right to intervene in the private sector as its not the governments role and those private business should collapse without state involvement. As tax cuts, roads & individuals rights aka going jack on your community and the nationa will fix everything according to Britches.

      • In Vino 4.1.1

        Yep, dead right there Exkiwiforces – quite correct that under NeoCon Lib economic thinking, the state has no right to intervene in the private sector, as it is not the government's role… Therefore no state bailouts for Big Business because they are 'too big to fail'. They need to fail under their own theories, and be replaced by far better theories.

        (Privatise profits, and socialise losses – the same old rip-off from the Right.)

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Everything is political. Down to if you are going to throw your elderly to the wolves to keep the stock market going or if you are going to do your best that everyone is ok.

    • AB 4.3

      I'm not sure Mickey is trying to argue that. I think he is just pointing out that the best approach in what you call a "massively unusual and life threatening event" is actually the opposite of what we are told is the best approach for BAU.

      It's an interesting question actually. In fact, why isn't the best approach in a "massively unusual and life threatening event" to take the supposedly best approach in BAU and just turbo-charge it? i.e. for the government to exit entirely and leave markets to solve it in their own way – probably with a natural endpoint of literal/actual cannibalism?

      Anyway – there's real danger out there and these arguments are simply stupid.

    • millsy 4.4

      National used the impending insolvency of the BNZ to rip the guts out of the social safety net.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    I posted about this yesterday. The IRD and others have background and sector figures available . Rental and lease income/ expenses – whether it is for property or equipment loans and leases are usually repaying both capital and interest plus possibly some other expenses ( rates -insurance).

    If we could hit a pause button, stop capital repayment and use as a starting point transfering everything to interest only.

    So for example the landlord pays only interest on the mortgage then the tenants rent drops by a standard % so they are repaying only the interest equivalent . For business the lease and equipment hire purchase payments drop to only an interest % which they pay for a period before they can reopen.

    It would save welfare dollars let small business drop their expenses drastically while they are shut and keep them going till they reopen or not. As a policy we would need to use standard %'s , its far from perfect but the existing situation isn't either. The banks can't really re lend at the moment so its not like they can whine too much as they still have a margin

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Exactly. Well expressed.

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Thanks RL and for the comments further up. There are good landlords and employers in NZ and we don't want them swamped by the lowest common denominator.

        We also want to give the businesses we need to stay afloat, whether it's lawyers or cafe's the best chance we can and finance this need at cost, not cost & sodding great profits for the 1%.

        I really don't want to go out of lockdown and find all the eating places & lawyers closed ( except for big chains) because the lease and equipment rental payments killed them in 3 months when we could could have basically subsidised the interest payments and kept them viable.

        Frankly probably nor does anyone else – do we want to have huge strings of mortgagee sales where few have the capacity to buy or restart? A world full of chain eateries only……stuff of a nightmare movie.

    • Muttonbird 5.2

      That kind of official government structure would be great, bring it on.

      But as it is tenants are being thrown to the wolves (agents and landlords) and asked to negotiate in what is, was, and always will be a power-imbalanced relationship.

      Might also stop landlords and property investors crying about how tough life is…

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        The main reason why your landlord want's to know about your circumstances, is that the bank will be asking them for this information in order to evaluate any mortgage relief.

        And if you don't talk your landlord and simply stop pay all your rent, they will have to assume the worst. The trust relationship will break down and eventually you will be looking for another home.

        • Muttonbird

          Landlords don't want to know anything other than full rent, thanks.

          • RedLogix

            I/my tenants are having trouble paying rent, what are my options?

            Due to loss of employment income, some tenants may experience issues paying their rent.

            Tenants that can’t pay their rent should let their landlord know straight away. Be honest about the situation and see if you can agree on a payment plan. Landlords and tenants that reach an agreement can choose to have this formalised using the FastTrack resolution process.

            If you are likely to continue having trouble, think about other options:

            • financial support from the Government’s Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment scheme is available to eligible employers and workers
            • check whether your tenancy agreement allows you to have paying boarders/flatmates
            • get in touch with budgeting services, Work and Income, or other agencies to see what support is available.


            If you get the agreement registered using Fastrack, and you stick to it, you will be protected from eviction for non-payment of rent after the three month lockdown period.

            The landlord can take the agreement to the bank and apply for a mortgage holiday.

            • Incognito


            • RedBaronCv

     above . I'd say 2 of those bullet points are absolutely useless from tenancy services.

              Get in flatmates – we are in lock down

              Access budgeting services Winz etc – these places will either be shut or if they are Winz just doing the basics of handing funds out as fast as possible to keep people afloat

              .All this has a horribly patronising air about it. I wonder why the landlord doesn't have to supply their details to the tenant and if they look as though they can manage the mortgage then the tenant can apply to pay the interest only % of it. Then the landlord can pay interest and principal if they wish Reverse the onus?

              • Sabine

                yep, why don't the landlord contact their tenants? Oh yeah…..

                • RedLogix

                  We have already contacted all our tenants to advise them of the process and our willingness to work with them if necessary. Anything else we should do?

              • RedLogix

                Get in flatmates –

                Access budgeting services Winz etc

                And after the Level 4 lockdown is over, then these become options if necessary. It’s not going to last forever.

              • RedLogix

                Reverse the onus?

                Care to extend that principle? Customers turn up at a shop and demand to see the books before they decide what price they offer?

                Employers demand to see your household accounts before they decide what to pay you?

                • Muttonbird

                  That's exactly what landlords will ask if tenants request rent relief. They'll want to see the tenant's ability to pay, see their books.

                  • RedLogix

                    No. All that is needed is a copy of the WINZ letter confirming your change of circumstances and that you are now on the new emergency benefit. I don't want or need to see your full household accounts … really.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Patronising as ever.

                      You're on the wrong thread.

                      And on the wrong site.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well exactly on what basis do you want me to reduce your rent? Or do you just want a free house?

                    • Muttonbird

                      Doubling down I see. I don't want a free house but if landlords are offered holidays then so too should tenants be offered relief at this acute time.

                      What rent relief have you offered your tenants? From your many comments in the subject of your own portfolio I imagine they are all low-income/vulnerable.

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't want a free house but if landlords are offered holidays then so too should tenants be offered relief at this acute time.

                      How it works is that you tell me you cannot pay the full rent and produce a WINZ letter as evidence of this, then I take that to the bank as reason to offer me a mortgage holiday.

                      It doesn't work the other way around.

            • Muttonbird

              Here's some of your colleagues at work in New Zealand. Benevolent providers of housing, my arse.


              • RedLogix

                Landlords and tenants are pretty much the same, a few percent will always turn out to be bad apples. Did you expect any different?

                • Muttonbird

                  Quinovic is New Zealand’s largest specialist residential property management company.

                  We manage thousands of properties around New Zealand – from serviced apartments to large family homes.


                  Earlier today Quinovic sent out letters to tenants saying they would be served breach notices if they fell behind in rent and it could see a termination of the tenency.

                  This is, in their own words, the largest specialist property management company in NZ.

                  Your assertion there are just a few bad apples in the landlord community is completely wrong.

                  • RedLogix

                    There is no story here. Quinovic are letting their tenants know that they will still be required to issue a 14-day non-payment of rent as required by insurance companies. It's not an eviction notice.

                    What is being made clear is that not paying rent without contacting the manager or landlord and making an arrangement, is still going to result eventually an eviction.

                    • Sabine

                      good grief, did you bother to actually read t MS post about who we are all socialists now? Did you see the Tweet in his post? Did you see Andrew Littles response to it?

                      Do you realise that this is because this Scum of the earth

                      IS threatening their tenants with evictions shall they fall short of two weeks rent during the 4 weeks shutdown?

                      They are not offering a lower rate

                      They are not offering some extended payment terms,

                      THEY ARE OFFERING EVICTION!

                      good grief.

                    • RedLogix

                      IS threatening their tenants with evictions shall they fall short of two weeks rent during the 4 weeks shutdown?

                      Most insurance policies (ours included) now require that we issue a notice for non-payment of rent after 14 days. It is not the same as an eviction.

                      They also have a long standing 'no arrears' policy, which I think is a pretty common policy across the industry. And TBH it's a good policy, while we were managing our tenants directly, whenever we let a tenant get behind it never ended well. So 14 day arrears notices are still relevant, if nothing else they are a necessary notification that the tenant needs to act and communicate why that they cannot pay the usual rent.

                      Neither me nor my agent have any rational interest in losing reliable tenants, therefore we have every reason to come to a negotiated agreement with them and the bank. But I still expect tenants to pay the agreed rent.

                      The mistake Quinovic seem to have made is to have not grasped the full significance of the new 'no evictions for six months' policy and implied that they could evict when they could not. Clearly they've gotten this aspect wrong. I'd expect them to correct it pronto.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      I am not kind enough to think that Quinovic "made a mistake " like the Warehouse " made a mistake" in thinking they could stay open –

                      They are pushing for as much as they can get and don't care who they distress or endanger in the process – they think the rules don't apply to them.

                      If someone further down made a mistake like that then they would be out on their ear or alternatively if they think those are the rules then they are clearly not up to the job and therefore do not need the large salary.

                • RedBaronCV

                  RL as to reversing the process – could it not be that landlords go to the bank and see if they are eligible for say interest only – then they/agent communicate with tenants ( all the relevant attachments links etc included) ask if they have had an income drop (maybe Winz letter ) or email from employer, and an indication of the rental drop ( bank principal repayment amount) and this is then passed backwards to the bank.

                  Alternatively the banks could advise the principal repayment drop and this could simply be passed on by law to tenants for a few weeks nothing else needed. If properties are owned outright – debt free – then a backstop % drop cuts in. Okay there are circumstances where there might need to be further negotiation but it might help slow the Quinovics of the world down.

                  • RedLogix

                    I think I follow that. Everyone here has options; tenants and or their employers can access a reasonable benefit, landlords can access mortgage holidays, the banks capitalisation has been underwritten by the govt.

                    It should all work out fine if everyone communicates. The crucial point that's lost in all the outrage is that Quinovic's primary point is that this crisis is not an excuse to simply stop paying all rent, not inform anyone, and expect there will be no consequences.

                    Keep in mind that as a landlord the mortgage is not the only or even largest cost I have. Insurance, rates and management fees are all fixed costs that I cannot stop paying without consequences.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      I certainly get the point that that if say the CEO of big company happens to be renting then they can't just stop paying.

                      But I really really get Sabine's point :

                      The govt has negotiated with the banks on behalf of mortgage holders a deal which will be basically slam dunk – if the banks don't do it then a bit of complaining and they will be – and they have a government guarantee.

                      But there are no rules about pass through.

                      The users of property who pay leases and rents have no backstop government rules for them.

                      Small businesses and tenants, have the joy of trying – if they even know where the information is and can understand it – of negotiating with a huge range of owners and supplying heaps of personal information (and there is plenty of prior information that some landlords are incredibly intrusive) to try to get some relief from their burdens while they are struggling with low or suddenly diminished income plus other bills or maybe loans. And you can bet that a good number will try not to pass all of the benefit through.

                      And if Quinovics attitude (Z+++) is any indication then this will not be easy.

                      And shouldn't the process for relief for landlord mortgages start at the user of the property? No point in subsidising the landlord of the CEO.

            • RedBaronCV

              Just as a complete aside why does the tribunal not suggest that landlords get in flatmate to help with their expenses rather than harass their tenants.

    • Sabine 5.3

      I have been asking this question now for weeks.

      But i guess we can only have socialism for the very rich, well for the 'solvent' ones. The rest can die in a ditch. Silently of course, so as to not upset the kinder, gentler, polite society.

  6. DS 6

    Never mind socialism, we might actually end up reverting to Muldoonism (at least in economics), depending on how things pan out:


    No migration and a return to interventionist pre-1984 measures? Winston probably can't believe his eyes.

  7. RedLogix 7

    A superb data visualisation from ABC

  8. aj 8

    Every time I see a new visualisation, and I'm aware of the power of exponential growth, the staggering numbers are still amazing

  9. greywarshark 9

    Seth Meyer Mar.25/20 See about 14. 30 mins where he talks about Denmark I think giving people 90% of salaries while the don't work or some such outrageous commie idea. /sarc!

    Trump Wants to Reopen America as Coronavirus Pandemic Accelerates: A Closer Look

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      If I understood it correctly I liked what Denmark did. Firms could basically put employees in the "fridge". They cannot be sacked – don't know for how long this period lasts – and so long as they are not working then the govt funds an amount of the costs. Firms can then get them out when they need them again.

      I'd add a few extra conditions re the salaries of the the unsubsidised workers to drag them down into line.

  10. pop pop poppitty pop goes the housing bubble

    too bad

    • Sabine 10.1

      and these will be the same people that can apply for the mortgage holiday. Go figure.

      • mike 10.1.1

        i think alot landlords are insolvent they bought these houses at stupid prices to start with and thats the cause of high rents

        • pat

          and the banks will not save insolvent businesses….the largesse will be directed at those with the capacity to recover

          financial triage

          • Sabine

            2008 redux + steroids + meth

            bail out the banks

            bail out the real estate vultures

            bail out big business

            let everyone else fail

            pretend to be kinder and gentler and do as little as you can get away with.

            i however am very happy to know that "People" like Gareth Morgan, Bob Jones, Barfoot n Thompson, et al all are being bailed out as the deserving 'people' they are via wage subsidies, mortgage holidays, while the tax payer gets a hand ful of nothing and is will be forced to pay for the bail outs of these illustrious people who are actively and very successfully avoiding to paying taxes. Also ain't it nice that the government can negotiate on behalf of these poor dears with the bank, while you and me and everyone else is left to bargain on their own behalf.

            What ever happened to the Union Spirit of the Labour Party? Oh, we too poor?

            Socialism for all, Yeah, Right Tui.

            Also, no we are not all in the same boat, a great many of us are left to try to hold on to some driftwood until the cold gets us.

            That's not triage, that is shoveling public wealth up the arses of the obscenly rich. Its stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

            • pat

              or alternatively it could be viewed as (attempting to) save the system as it is the only one we currently have

              The bail outs are (and will) occurring much further down the chain than just those named but will not be total just as they will not be at the top…..there are going to be casualties big and small

              It IS triage in the short term….the theft is in the future

              • Sabine

                you can't save the system when you have nigh on 30% + unemployemnt.

                The government has a choice, it can bail out the very rich and let everyone else die on 350 – 580 $ for twelve weeks and then force them to go on the benefits or do the reverse.

                But we propped this system up in 2008 and now barely 12 years later we gonna do it again?

                And no strings attached. Nothing. Like, if you apply for a mortgage holiday (because you are a business with 250.000 + and no more then 80 million turnover) then you can not threaten your tenants with eviction, heck you will have to reduce the rent for the next 6 month by 50%. Or something, but instead these loans that the banks will hand to the richest in this country will be government guaranteed up to 80%.

                so not only is this government doing fuck all for you or for me long term (most of us will be insolvent and bankrupt in the third week of the shut down simply because we can not service our cost of living) but we are going to pay the bad loans of these businesses if they falter later. and they will falter because not one of them will use the loans to service their debts, but rather to buy up what little wealth the citizens of this country still have.

                and why do i believe this? Because we did the same thing in 2008.

                and the first thing the new government in 2008 did was raise GST on all of us, and pass a really big ‘stimulus trickle down’ tax cuts for the very rich.

                • pat

                  triage by its very nature is short term…..what occurs after the emergency is where the debate will be.

                  and yes you are correct that after the 2008 crisis the opportunity was not taken which makes it more likely it will be this time IMO….that is not to say the adopted solution will be perfect but I suspect it will be very different than what occurred then

                  • Sabine

                    this disease will be with us for at least 18 month.

                    the best we can hope is to isolate it with sporadic lock downs, constant testing and hopefully an antiviral and a vaccine at some stage.

                    So no this is not short lived. and you still have no given any reason why the people that were bailed out in 2008 (and forclosed on everyone who did not get a bail out) will do better now that they get the rest of the public purse in 2019.

                    Oh, because is Jacinda rather then Sir John? History, read it, and understand that it is repeating itself because we are still doing the same thing again and again and again, for the same reason. Because we don't want to learn from the past.

                    • pat

                      How long this lasts is unknown as is what will occur post crisis with regard to resource distribution but what history has shown is that we adapt…it may not be immediately apparent but virus aside much of what people are concerned about has happened before…the radical transformation of the NZ economy in the eighties (and into the 90s) produced many of the same uncertainties and while I wouldnt recommend it as a fun time, we managed…..those older people I have talked to about the Great Depression say much the same….'we managed'.

                    • Sabine

                      actually no it is not unknown. the 18 month time frame for a vaccine has been given by a few people know,

                      It’s for these reasons that taking a vaccine candidate all the way to regulatory approval typically takes a decade or more, and why President Trump sowed confusion when, at a meeting at the White House on 2 March, he pressed for a vaccine to be ready by the US elections in November – an impossible deadline.

                      Like most vaccinologists, I don’t think this vaccine will be ready before 18 months,”

                      says Annelies Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. That’s already extremely fast, and it assumes there will be no hitches.

                      so unless you actually have a vaccine that will work you will have sporadic flare ups.

                      Yes, they managed, did you look at some of the pictures on how they managed? Selling the children? Prostitution? Penny Dancers? Homeless in Hoovervilles? yeah, do you want to manage that way? And please keep in mind that they did not have to live with a re-occuring lung disease that can kill a fairly healthy person within 10 days and less, and they did also not have a need for social distancing so could actully live 10 to a room with everyone sleeping in one bed

                    • pat

                      "Yes, they managed, did you look at some of the pictures on how they managed? Selling the children? Prostitution? Penny Dancers? Homeless in Hoovervilles? yeah, do you want to manage that way?"

                      None of the people I have spoken to managed that way….although I do believe my great grandmother was a prostitute pre Depression

                    • Sabine

                      @ Pat

                      you might like to have a look here to see how NZ managed.


                    • pat

                      I will add it to the eyewitness accounts already related to me

                      “These desperate times set the scene for change”

                      and the 1935 Labour Gov and the creation of NZs welfare system…..and my mothers favourite uncle died on one of those work relief schemes

              • RedBaronCV

                It may be the only one we have at the moment but that doesn't mean it can't be modified to be fairer.

                With some small exceptions I can't see any swinging wage cuts at the top .

                Where are they??

                Salaries in the millions are the norm in a lot of these large companies. For many of them the top part of the payroll & directors fees dwarf tax paid, dividends paid if they are a public company, salaries to the rest of the staff and the job security is excellent.

                Labour need to grow a spine and insist that any large entity getting the payroll bailouts dumps hard on the top salaries ( could use a GINI measurement). Smaller entities and owner operators should also face constraints around shareholder remuneration whether it is by salary or dividends – for many this is not of course an issue as they simply earn something reasonable.

    • Muttonbird 10.2

      Ugg. That made me ill.

      Councils and governments all over the world still refuse to collect this data.

  11. Ad 11

    We won't be 'foxhole socialists' for long if our rates continue to track faster and higher than Australia's.

    We're heading for 500 cases without a blink and the rate is now close to vertical.

    Hong Kong has a population of 7.4 million and is plateauing at about 400 cases.

    Singapore 5.9 million and 630 cases

    Australia 25 millions a 2,300 cases so far.

    You can call it socialism you can call it stone

    You can call your next of kin

    'Cause your ass is gone

    It's a dark twist of fate but all this governments' public debted largess is about the same proportionally to the US public debted largess.

    Jacinda, this had better work.

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      What more would you do?

      We in NZ of course have a very high proportion of returnees per capita and many of them came in very late.

      You didn’t mention that in your little statistical analysis.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        So did Britain, Hong Kong and many others.

        I like Prime Minister Ardern as a communicator, but this is her biggest defence+finance+policy challenge she's faced, and at her invitation we must hold this government to their results …

        … not their excuses.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      Dr Tedros assured us for the whole of Feb there was no need for travel controls. In the meantime Russia closed it's borders with China on Jan 28th and Singapore on Feb 1st.

      Basically we were encouraged to waste almost 2 months of precious time. On this I'm furious … an ICC case seems appropriate to me.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        It's definitely wayyy way too early to get cocky about systemic change or socialism or Overton windows or whatever.

        By the financial measures the U.S. Senate has taken today , they look a bunch more socialist than we do.

        This government could easily get eaten in 8 weeks if this goes as pear-shaped as its tracking.

        • RedLogix

          Time delay. That's the thing I wrote about about three weeks back, and it's what buggers everyone conceptually on this. It will take at another 7 – 14 days before today's control action starts to show any impact on the numbers at all.

          This kind of pure time delay is relatively rare in nature, so we don't intuitively understand how difficult it is to control accurately. Very easy to under or over react.

          • Ad

            Yes our Prime Minister has been repeating the same point for some time now as well. I'm struggling to get my head around it myself.

            • RedLogix

              Great Australian article on Ardern. You may like it 🙂

              The time delay thing is quite fascinating. I've probably tuned several thousand process loops in my career; most normal loops where the natural risetime dominates I can tune in a few minutes, maybe an hour if they're particularly slow or there is an integrator like a big tank involved in the process.

              But where pure delay time dominates it can take days to get it right. (Pure delay is also frequently called 'dead time' … but that some how seems the wrong term to use in this instance devil)

    • Sabine 11.3

      Australia just closed the border between Queensland and New South Wales. First time ever since 1918.

      And how much is Oz testing?

      this might be interesting to read…..


      For weeks, virologists here have been asked a persistent question: Why, compared to other countries, are so few of the Germans who are diagnosed with the coronavirus dying?

      In Italy, 9.5 percent of the people who have tested positive for the virus have succumbed to covid-19, according to data compiled at Johns Hopkins University. In France, the rate is 4.3 percent. But in Germany, it’s 0.4 percent.

      The biggest reason for the difference, infectious disease experts say, is Germany’s work in the early days of its outbreak to track, test and contain infection clusters. That means Germany has a truer picture of the size of its outbreak than places that test only the obviously symptomatic, most seriously ill or highest-risk patients.

  12. Adam Ash 12

    While the responses have 'socialist' undertones, they are also pragmatic from a 'capitalist' perspective. We should recall that, during the last Great Depression, those towns in NZ which instituted some useful support for their destitute citizens did not have any riots, while those towns which opted to let the unemployed go hungry had riots and all sorts of civil strife.
    The amount of support provided is always a delicate balance between what financial and social support the state (we the people) can afford, versus the potential downside of wide-spread civil misery and unrest.
    Naturally these responses are seeing some redistribution of wealth, but since there are very few winners in this mess, it is more likely that the necessary finds will be found by borrowing against the future, rather than by doing a Robin Hood and trying to take from the few remaining 'rich folk' to give to the grateful growing hordes of a hungry proletariat

    • Sabine 12.1

      we can never ever tax the rich. Now that would give all the suits in parliament a sad, as with their salaries in New Zealand they would be and should be considered 'rich' and after all they do want to be employable after their stint in politics.

      So no, all the bail outs need to come from the public purse, all the bank loans need to be government guaranteed (not even Kiwi Saver is government guaranteed!) and no taxes shall be raised other then maybe GST ……..

      Cause the rich are deserving and the poor are just lazy and need to negotiate with all their suppliers and financial advisers. 🙂

  13. Adam Ash 13

    A wee bit touchy there Sabine?

    'Members of parliament usually earn between $160,000 and $180,000 a year. Ministers can earn between $250,000 and $300,000. The Prime Minister's salary is set at $470,000'

    Frankly I doubt that you or I would do their jobs for all the tea in China. Rich; they ain't. Deserving of every penny; they are.

    • Sabine 13.1

      That in NZ is rich.

      you know which job i don't want to do right now?

      Nurse, on shit wage with a student loan.

      Junior doctor, with a shit wage on a student loan.

      did these guys at get at least their student loans cancelled by this government?

      And yeah, i am fucking pissed.

      This labour government is doing what i expect of National.

      Jesus they can't even legislate 'NO EFFN EVICTIONS during a pandemic, but they can guarantee loans to real estate vultures.

      The friggin Kiwi Saver is not government guaranteed, but should the rich default on their loans because they again over leveraged then you and I tax payer will have to pay up? That is National Party policy, but then maybe Labour is just National, but kinder and gentler when they screw us over. You know add a condom and some lube.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        and this job,

        janitor and cleaner at a hospital any hospital in NZ. On minimum wage with flimsy protection because we don't have equipment for all because our underfunded health system never gets the money it needs in the best of all circumstances.

        so my sympathy is not with the PM, she will be a very wealthy women who will never ever need anything in her life. and the same counts for her posse of empty suits.

    • RedBaronCV 13.2

      And doesn't the head of the defence force and the head cop get more than the prime minister along with a large bunch of CEO's of councils ?

      Didn't Fonterra have 117 people or some thing on over a $1m salary? You do realise that Airnz has a solid bunch of people who are over $1m some of whom have taken a token cut but the rest of the bunch who are firing staff lining up for handouts and cancelling dividends left right & centre in stock exchange notices aren't affecting themselves 1 iota.

      Did you see that the Rugby Union was trying to work out what sort of wage subsidy they could get?

      Whether or not we could do those jobs they are "rich" compared to $30k a year and worrying about whether you will be able to pay the rent. And there are plenty of worse jobs with minimal income and higher risk that they would not be seen doing.

      As to earning every penny of it ? Do they only "earn" it in a crisis so every other year us suckers have been overpaying them ?

      Frankly the only person I have some respect for in this situation is that Ashley bloke – at least he is clear about what he is doing. The cop they had on after him today was a pile of waffle and the only lasting impression I got was that as we are all now under "house arrest" it was fine for him to talk to all of us as if we are harbouring major criminal intentions.Most of us are serious adults and know why we are staying at home. Apparently some 93% of thee country think it is a good idea so there is no need to patronise us.

      Be nice to see Graant pulling his finger out

  14. The Biggest Fish 14

    Come on Mickey, Im all for critising the downsides of capitalism and the right. But how about less petty pointscoring and more positive commentary around the great job our government is doing. It is great to see that we can actually get agreement between all our politicians on a number of issues during this tough time. Case in point the emergency bills passed last night.

    • Ad 14.1

      There are two ways out of this. Either we crash and burn. Or we help each other, minimise the effects, and learn to live our lives differently so that we are more resilient in the future.

      The second option sounds a lot better.

      But dare I say it, this sounds a bit like socialism to me."

      The person who wrote that didn't choose the nom de plume Mickey Savage for nothing. If you want I can start quoting you passages out of The Sugarbag Years because this crash is faster and deeper than either 1987 or 1979.

      Mickey is hardly calling for the rise of the Spartacists, or the overthrow of the Battleship Potempkin, or the cutting down of the Waitangi flagpole.

      If you wanted to politicise the situation, you'd point out that the state could have been much stronger in this crisis with more cash and resource if the previous National government hadn't deprived us all by:

      – Selling off 49% of our electricity generators

      – Running our hospitals and medical staff into the ground

      – Lowering taxes

      – Selling off whole suburbs of public housing, and

      – Weakened NZSuperfund

      Imagine how much better we could have responded now, if those pathetic pricks in National had actually done something useful.

      Also National failed to form new financial institutions that are helping us all now. Unlike the previous Labour government, which formed Kiwibank, NZSuper, and Kiwisaver.

      There is going to be no shortage of blame that ought to go around. In the meaintime, we can count our lucky stars that this Labour-led government has plenty of responses, and hasn't even got to its May budget yet – where there will be a lot more.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Are the banks and the tenancy tribunals telling landlords to get a flatmate so they can pay the mortgage.

  16. bill 16

    Socialist you say?

    Hell, even a moderate social democrat is getting taken out at the knees and silenced by corporate media and the corporatists who control the US political party that claims to be notionally left.

    Throwing trillions of dollars at the banks has bi-partisan support, while the crumbs going elsewhere are political afterthoughts to be argued over. Nuff said?

    Meanwhile, here in NZ, money is not being given directly to workers, but rather, is being passed through employers, who we all know, would never try to play silly buggers, and will ensure each and every worker who was on their payroll receives their full due in a seamless fashion.

    And those of us in NZ who had to shop week by week before this pandemic still have to shop for necessities week by week. To date, unemployed people have received not a brass farthing in addition to pre-pandemic weekly payments. It's beyond me that no-one even saw fit to double up on benefits and make a payment in advance so people like me could make at least some effort to lay in some provisions.

    I guess many middle class people, having laid in provisions, are now in the happy position of not needing to go anywhere near a supermarket.

  17. Craig H 17

    This has exposed a lot of issues with the current economic system – no slack due to Just In Time and Lean, a lot of interdependence between economies which causes things to come to a grinding halt when a particular country stops being able to manufacture anything, and the apparent failure of monetarism and supply side economics to keep things moving. There are also obvious issues with a reliance on international tourism.

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    The Present Government has ample Powers.

    As such, it should inform the Wealthy Businesses that it will Confiscate their entire Stock and caBoodle including all its Finances and share holdings- if the Business fails to maintain the finances of small businesses. and their Staff.

    The owners and directors of the Business will be sent to prison for very lengthy terms.

    The Money handed out by Grant Robertson should always go directly to the worker and beneficiary, and then afterwards, to the owner of the primary Business.

    For the last 30 years, the NewZealand workforce has been steadily ripped off by Corporate and Manipulative Theft. To such a point that only very wealthy people can own a house or afford Rent.

    If small businesses underpay staff, they will also find a place in Prison. Their Business Confiscated. Farmers should carefully note that the habit of Farm Staff Underpaying is Violence.

    • Incognito 18.1

      The last two paragraphs are hyperbole. You seem to be on a mission of Prison & Punishment. Please stop this.

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