Key says via phone call from London that decision to stop taking dividend from Housing NZ as 'a bit semantic'; says commentators increasingly accept Govt's 'comprehensive' housing plan'; says Labour plan not new or startling

Key says via phone call from London that decision to stop taking dividend from Housing NZ as 'a bit semantic'; says commentators increasingly accept Govt's 'comprehensive' housing plan'; says Labour plan not new or startling

By Bernard Hickey

Prime Minister John Key has downplayed the Government's hurried decision yesteday to stop requiring Housing NZ Corp (HNZC) to pay dividends, saying the dividend issue was 'a bit semantic' and 'technical'.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told a member of the public via Twitter yesterday that HNZC had just told the Government it would not be paying a dividend, which contrasted with Budget documents in May forecasting it would pay NZ$92 million of dividends over the next two years. Joyce's comments, which were confirmed by Housing NZ Minister Bill English's office late on Monday, followed Labour's announcement on Saturday that it would not require HNZC to pay dividends as part of its plan to build a net new 1,000 extra state houses per year.

Key was asked about the housing policy change in a phone interview with TV3's Mark Sainsbury from London, where he is meeting David Cameron ahead of visits to Paris, Rome and Jakarta over the next week. He described the debate over the dividend as "a bit semantic."

"What we've been looking at ultimately is how much money we put into Housing New Zealand. For some time, actually, I've been aware that we've been putting a lot more than the dividend back into Housing New Zealand, so even if they pay a dividend or don't pay a dividend, that's not really the issue. The issue is how much money does Housing New Zealand have to invest in the areas they need to invest in, which is new housing and ultimately the restoration work of the properties in Housing New Zealand," Key said.

"To us that's what really matters, rather than the sort of the technical way the dividend works," he said.

Asked about further housing measures being introduced once he returned to New Zealand on July 20, Key said there were a number of measures around social housing that the Government could implement.

"Just generally speaking on the wider issue of housing, we've been making the point for some time now, which I think is increasingly accepted by commentators, which is that we have a very comprehensive plan and there's nothing I saw from Labour on the weekend that was terribly new or startling," he said.

Not semantic on May 19

As recently as May 19, Bill English and Paula Bennett said in their Budget release on Housing NZ in defense of its dividend payment plans that: "“The dividend is not the issue, and is the normal way successive governments have used to place a discipline on Housing New Zealand to use its $19 billion of assets well in delivering suitable housing where it is most needed.”

By last night this had changed, according to English's spokesman. He said via email the dividend figures in the May 19 Budget were almost a year old.

"Housing New Zealand has recently been working on its forward financial plan, which has been updated to reflect an increased focus on increasing the stock of social housing," the spokesman said.

"This revised financial plan proposes significant new capital for building houses. As is usual for public entities requiring new capital the investment will be funded by retained earnings and fresh equity injections," he said.

"After Budget forecasts were finalised we were advised by HNZC that it is now forecasting a tiny surplus in financial year 2016/17 and is proposing that no dividend be paid. Due to the ramping up of HNZC's social housing programme, it will require more capital and we do not expect to receive a dividend in financial year 2017/2018 either."

He did not detail the scale of the equity injections required or why the ministers had defended the continuation of dividends in Budget documents.

There was no detail on the scale of this ramping up of Housing NZ's programme, how much extra capital it would need or how it would be funded, given it would suggest a necessary increase in the Government's borrowing programme.

Opposition see policy making on the run

Labour Finance Spokesman Grant Robertson described Joyce's tweet as policy-making on the hoof and one of National's biggest ever U-turns over using Housing NZ as a 'cash cow.'

"After years of insisting the dividend was necessary to ensure the Corporation was financially disciplined, Bill English suddenly decides -- two days after Labour announced it would forego the dividend – it’s not needed," Robertson said.

“This is panicked and desperate policy on the hoof from a Government that has failed miserably to solve the housing crisis," he said.

"If National really wants to solve the housing crisis, it should adopt the rest of Labour’s plans or better still, hand the reins over to the party providing the ideas."

Green Co-Leader James Shaw, who along with Metria Turei had pressed the Government on the dividend issue as recently as the end of May, said more back-downs were needed to solve the housing crisis.

"The idea National has so-called comprehensive housing plan is a joke, when there’s obviously no coordination between Ministers’ offices about that plan," Shaw said.

“First Paula Bennett announced $5,000 cash grants for people to move out of Auckland without Bill English knowing, then we had imaginary Ministry of Social Development homelessness ‘flying squads’, and now it looks like Steven Joyce has rewritten HNZ’s dividend policy on the fly," he said.

“National is clearly in panic mode trying to respond to the housing crisis. They’ve basically torn up their latest Budget."

English says no formal decision yet

Housing NZ Minister Bill English later told RNZ there had not been a formal decision yet on whether or not Housing NZ would pay a dividend, "but it's pretty unlikely."

"The plans that we've been looking at show that as they ramp up their build, which will get quite big -- up to 4,000 houses over the next few years -- then they will need to get finance," he said, adding that HNZC was looking at investment of over NZ$1 billion.

English said there had been discussion for over 12 months on Housing NZ ramping up its investment.

"If we're going to have over NZ$1 billion of investment, the NZ$50 million dividend is neither here nor there, but it will be a contribution to that NZ$1 billion," he said, adding he was not concerned by Joyce's tweet revealing the policy shift.

English said there was "absolutely" not correlation between the Government's stance on the dividend and Labour's policy announcement.

"The process of adapting to this fast-rising market has meant that every time Housing NZ has gone back to review its longer term plans for building houses, the cost of procuring houses has gone up, the demand has been stronger, so the capital requirements keep growing and that has meant we're well past the stage where they can finance it off their own balance, and that's completely normal practice among our public entities," he said.

'Government in disarray'

Robertson said the Government was in disarray on housing.

"This is the latest in a series of panicked responses, including mythical flying squads, $5000 ‘get-out-of-town’ grants that, yet again, the Finance Minister was out of the loop on, and finding $1b for infrastructure loans that wasn’t in the Budget," Robertson said.

“The reality is that National has taken over $664m out of Housing NZ in dividends since it’s been in government, at a time that waiting lists have gone up and nearly 3000 state houses have been sold. If National had wanted to fix up state housing they should have foregone a dividend years ago," he said.

(Updated with latest comments from English, Robertson)

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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15
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Pride Leads to Destruction, and arrogance to downfall.

Hope he learns from British PM, how to step down gracefully and make way for new fresh ideas for the welfare of the country.

i watched that this morning and thought gees whats he doing over there. turns out he is helping HC try to win the UN job.
you tickle my back and i will tickle yours

What a surprise - John Key downplaying any issues with their handling of the housing crisis!

Desperation; just tinkering at the edges again. Little's policy while a move in the right direction will not achieve the results they want because they are not targeting the right areas. Taxes on investors speculators, limits to foreign ownership AND cap the rental that can be charged for a house at $200 per week. Save the taxpayer billions, drop the price of homes for FTHBs, make housing more affordable for everyone, deal to poverty in a big way. These prats, and I include all the parties in Government are too in love with the "free market" economy without any understanding of what is really happening!

Just to clear up one point on Labour's policy, I read Andrew Little's speech - they do plan to ban foreign buyers from buying existing housing stock. This is a big move, and a move in the right direction. Hasn't been highlighted by the media so many will have missed it

National will copy labour on anything but cannot even think about baning overseas non residents from buying exesting property as will violate the basic reason that they are in nz parliment.

Talk, debate on anything but not to say a word about non resident buyer.

Agree. This is a good point of differentiation Labour have. But I think don't Labour want to shout it from the rooftops as will create a race-baiting, xenophobic fight from the nats, and possibly alienate the many migrants who now make up half of Auckland

Exactly everyone knows what the real problem is and the cause but the moment you say will be termed as racist or whatever to suit so called intellectual at the cost of people of new Zealand.

How Long can national play that card is to be seen as that is the reality check with any estate agency office or wait for the data that will be released in 2 months unless is corrupt by the people in power.

Yes I agree with you both rp and reena. This is one reason why I look to the Canadians who have got over the whole having the wool pulled over their eyes on their housing situation for fear of being branded a racist.

Non-resident Investors purchasing hold on large cities from lets face it China is a huge reality. I really wish we had someone like David Eby as an MP here who can sensibly and prudently show what is happening to us here in Auckland.

Recent news article from National Post: In a six-month period, 70% of detached homes sold in Vancouver’s west side went to Mainland China buyers
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/in-a-six-month-period-70-of-det...

excellent link thanks CJ099. Shocking!!

I have followed this site's discussion for quite a while and read with interest about immigration and non-resident buyers etc.

Few questions for you guys:
1) You guys continually cite the number of Chinese in auction rooms or on site purchases. How do you know that these are non-resident buyers (as opposed to immigrants/resident Chinese)? Hard statistics please (and yes I do know of the survey results which are inconclusive either way).
2) If you do not know, then why single out the Chinese? If these Chinese were white skinned, would the same criticism be leveled? It is easy to blame a particular group and you are perfectly entitled to but be prepared to be labelled as xenophobic/racist unless your position is defensible.
3) To what extent do these purchases reflect the entire Auckland market? Are the high prices at the top quartile (and correspondingly the high debt / income ratio) relevant to the first home buyers? If yes, would it not create the trickle down effect and therefore the solution be increasing the supply of the type of houses that first home buyers should be buying? If these high prices are not relevant, then why should you care that non-resident buyers purchase these homes?
4) People who continually lament about these foreign buyers borrowing money overseas to purchase houses: have you done that before? Which specific banks do you approach overseas that lend you money to buy properties in foreign countries (i.e. New Zealand)? As far as I know, due to enforcement/taking mortgages issues, very few banks do that for retail customers. These are high net worth individuals who are raising such money and if that's the case, should you not be happy that these people are investing in your country (i.e. the fundamentals of the country are strong enough)?
5) People who cite Singapore as an example: are you ready to embrace intensified apartment living in public apartments? Otherwise, private housing stock (i.e. apartments (and at 99 year leases) or townhouses) will be considered expensive compared to Auckland's prices right now. Also, would you like to preserve your private property rights? FYI, the Singapore government compulsorily acquired a lot of land at cheap prices back in the 1960s to construct all these public housing.

i know from people in the chinese community a lot of money has been flowing in from non resident buyers in China here to squirrel money here in NZ, have read enough of the stats from here and overseas to know it is a massive force inflating our property market.

And I don't want non resident. people investing in our residential or farm proprrties, as it is squuezing out our young people, and creating a host of other problems like homelessness and poverty. I'd welcome offshore investment in productive activities that create jobs and growth like building new factories or other businesses.

I am definitely not racist or xenophobic and I sympathise with you being offended. I am an economic rationalist and want whats best for our country and the future of our people.

i know from people in the chinese community a lot of money has been flowing in from non resident buyers in China here to squirrel money here in NZ, have read enough of the stats from here and overseas to know it is a massive force inflating our property market. --> What stats and where? Would you consider a consortium of Chinese builders coming in to develop property as "inflating your property market?" I would also add that these are Chinese resident buyers legally and these Chinese resident buyers have taken the risk of default by their friends back home in China if they have taken on mortgages. Also, how is this money different from say another Kiwi investor? Is the problem then the investors (white, Chinese, Indians, whatever) as a class?

And I don't want non resident. people investing in our residential or farm proprrties, as it is squuezing out our young people, and creating a host of other problems like homelessness and poverty. I'd welcome offshore investment in productive activities that create jobs and growth like building new factories or other businesses. --> so why single out the Chinese? That's the question (to others and not you if you didn't single them out). There are loads of UK people investing here, Americans etc. I rarely or almost never hear or read about them being singled out.

I am definitely not racist or xenophobic and I sympathise with you being offended. --> I am not offended. I understand nationalistic sentiments. But there's a difference between being nationalistic and racist and I am not even offended by racism; just be bold enough to admit it.

I am an economic rationalist and want whats best for our country and the future of our people. --> how do you define "our people"? Maoris and white only need apply? Any economist will tell you that foreign investment is generally beneficial. People who cite Singapore repeatedly as a model for New Zealand need to understand that Singapore is also a magnet for Chinese immigrants from China and has accepted alot of Chinese investment (including in property). If the solution is for taxes on non-resident investors (like Singapore), then go ahead and deal with it and if this cannot be done because of tax treaties, then this is a question about weighing the benefits obtained from these tax treaties and the cons (in this case not being able to levy tax on non-resident investors). People who complain that because they are unable to invest in China means that Chinese should also not be allowed to invest in property here, think about whether (1) you can afford to, (2) you want to and (3) citizens from other nationals can do so too (and if they can't, have they disallowed Chinese investment)?

tired immigrant - wow, big and quick response.

stats - you.know from people in your community what's happening. 39% of property purchases in NZ from foreign students or people on temporary visas.

Would love offshore builders to come in and build, re my comment productive investment.

My issue is that offshore money buying our houses and farms is very bad economically for many of the people in our country.

I welcome diverse people here - of any race - if the numbers are at manageable levels for our economy.

Resident buyers ok - but not squirrilling money for people for people in other countries. don't care white, chinese etc. residential and farm property should be for locals. i didn't single out chinese, you are.

I happen to dislike anecdotes and like solid facts. Please read my reply to another post below.

Agree with you that productive investments are welcome (as in any country). Then the question can be posed to the government as to why such investments are not coming? The question on what is a "productive investment" also arises. And where do you think most of this money is going to come from? Certainly not from the UK.

My issue is that offshore money buying our houses and farms is very bad economically for many of the people in our country. --> not sure why again if calibrated.

Resident buyers ok - but not squirrilling money for people for people in other countries. don't care white, chinese etc. residential and farm property should be for locals. i didn't single out chinese, you are. --> my comment about the Chinese was more for the wider commentator community around here. The singling out of the Chinese in raising housing prices has been pretty obvious (see for e.g. comments about the Chinese presence in auctions etc). And I am perfectly fine. My aim was to point out that this needs to be backed by statistics; otherwise, just admit you are xenophobic/racist (and I am still fine with that). And I am still unsure as to why "farm property" should be for the locals. Is farming not just another industry? Why so parochial? As for "residential property", I have already argued why it does not make sense to only restrict locals and cited numerous examples across the globe as to why this was not, cannot be and should not be done.

Not all foreign investment is beneficial do YOU have studies to back up that claim, there have been plenty of studies that have found only targeted foreign investment is beneficial I.e be industries created or existing industries modernised and expanded and of those they need to be export focus to bring income into the country.
Selling existing land buildings and industries and having the returns flow out due to interest payments or the many tax structures is not good for the economy.
As for importing people so we can create and industry around growth there are also many many studies that show that is false economy and unless tightly targeted does more harm than good.
And no I don't care if people are Chinese or come from Mars all I care about is the health and well bringing of NZ and making sure that it is left a better place for the generations of kiwis born after me

exactly

Not all foreign investment is beneficial do YOU have studies to back up that claim, there have been plenty of studies that have found only targeted foreign investment is beneficial I.e be industries created or existing industries modernised and expanded and of those they need to be export focus to bring income into the country. --> not sure I have said anything about ALL foreign investment being beneficial. I am pointing out that it is generally beneficial although I, like you, have left it vague as to the identities of the beneficiaries. There will always be losers and winners in life, just like any investment.

Selling existing land buildings and industries and having the returns flow out due to interest payments or the many tax structures is not good for the economy. --> interest payments? Do you mean interest paid to the banks that are owned by Australia? Is this then not a problem of the ownership of New Zealand banks (and hence NZ should think about building "national champions")?

As for importing people so we can create and industry around growth there are also many many studies that show that is false economy and unless tightly targeted does more harm than good. --> I think the studies are pretty inconclusive either way. What I can definitely prove to you is that importing people does boost the overall GDP (not necessarily GDP per capita). This may or may not create feedback loops.

And no I don't care if people are Chinese or come from Mars all I care about is the health and well bringing of NZ and making sure that it is left a better place for the generations of kiwis born after me --> great. I hope you call out the singling of the Chinese that is pretty prevalent on this website then and focus on....investors (white, Chinese, Indian, mars or otherwise).

@ tired_immigrant: You might want to get down from your soap box. We're already well aware that Non-resitent Investors account for around 40% of the Auckland property market and were not going to be brow beaten in to not commenting on that just because you say so!

And I vividly remember how the Auckland property market ground to a halt due to the new IRD regulation for Non-resident Investors. This happened for around four months from October last year and then the market started to decline by -8% until the they issues the new IRD numbers and they resumed buying again.

So don't tell me that it's not Non-resitent Investors buying up our Auckland housing market.

It is also well know that the majority of these overseas funds that go in to our Auckland property market are from China, it's just where the money is largely coming from and that's a very simple economic fact!

Plus it's not just here in NZ it's happening in other major cities too, particularly Vancouver which is well over due for a property crash given that it's residents can no longer afford to live there!

Here's a nice recent article from the Huffington Post on the subject: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/03/24/chinese-buyers-vancouver-real-es...

And, No it is not any advantage to have the extremely wealthy to be allowed to buy as much of NZ as they like and not even invest in living here! This leads to having our property prices massively inflated that our citizens are turned into tenants in their own land! And that's just WRONG on so many levels!

@ tired_immigrant: You might want to get down from your soap box. We're already well aware that Non-resitent Investors account for around 40% of the Auckland property market and were not going to be brow beaten in to not commenting on that just because you say so!

And I vividly remember how the Auckland property market ground to a halt due to the new IRD regulation for Non-resident Investors. This happened for around four months from October last year and then the market started to decline by -8% until the they issues the new IRD numbers and they resumed buying again.

So don't tell me that it's not Non-resitent Investors buying up our Auckland housing market. --> not a case of "stop saying that I do not want to hear such stuff"? Where are you getting this 40% (or 39%) from? We need concrete hard numbers (and I am not saying that it's not true) and frankly I am in favour of collecting and releasing such data. Maybe you should lay the blame on the government for failing in what looks like a pretty simple task.

It is also well know that the majority of these overseas funds that go in to our Auckland property market are from China, it's just where the money is largely coming from and that's a very simple economic fact! --> again, numbers? I am very well aware of Vancouver's real estate "problem". But do you know that happens in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and London too? People with money like to buy in desirable places. Do you hear about such "problems" in Damascus? Where would you like to live in?

And, No it is not any advantage to have the extremely wealthy to be allowed to buy as much of NZ as they like and not even invest in living here! --> I think this is not a black and white issue (i.e. either they can buy as much as they like or none at all). It is a matter of calibration (and that's why you have the OIA) and policy tinkering. And they have just bought the property; what do you mean they have not invested in living here? Do you mean like spend money at Countdown or eat at local restaurants? Can you seriously argue the money spent in purchasing that particular property is somehow less than the money "invested" by say a family of 5 in Countdown? I would argue that just the agent fees from the sellers alone would be more than sufficient to have a trickle down effect than a family that "stays and invests here" (whatever that means).

This leads to having our property prices massively inflated that our citizens are turned into tenants in their own land! And that's just WRONG on so many levels! --> Here is a question for you: is a lease of 99 years considered as a tenancy? Most property in Singapore are on 99-year leases and these people are considered as home owners under the data. Would that be acceptable or work for New Zealand?

@ tired_immigrant: I presume you meant to aim your response at me? Otherwise it's a bit confusing when you put @ and then your own User name.

Though you also seem very confused in your logic and arguments. And you demand 'evidence' which I have provided through news article links, which you appear to have not bothered to have read. And yet, you provide no evidence to back your own arguments.

Very poor of you indeed!

I've have looked at rather garbled comments though I've already answered most of them, so I suggest you go back and read my earlier comments regarding Non-resident Investors and the news article links that I provided.

I will however go over what I can decipher from your ramblings, But I'm not going to waste much of my time on you.

1) The Government has started to collect data using the IRD register to track the property market this has been going on since Oct 2015 and the data found from that generally pointed to Non-resident Investors having 39% + purchasing power within Auckland.
So yes there are statistics on this data which has been released to the general public.

2) Non-resident Investors money largely coming from China. I've already provided the links on this go back and read them.

3) Ok here you responding to my point that 'It is not any advantage to have the extremely wealthy to be allowed to buy as much of NZ as they like and not even invest in living here'.

Your response is rather garbled; but you seem to be indicating that having a Non-resident Investor purchasing a house here in NZ provides more revenue than a Kiwi family of five purchasing a home? And then you start making odd comments about Countdown etc, that makes no sense what so ever.

You seem to fail to recognise just how much local residents are being priced out of their own homes particularly for Auckland due to massively over inflated house prices.

4) As for your last question; Is a lease of 99 years considered as a tenancy? No that's home ownership, but of a lesser quality as an investment than 'Freehold' where you fully own the property and land.

And No, I don't think the Singapore Leasehold property model is a good system for NZ to follow.
That would seriously effect New Zealanders quality of life.

I suggest you more clearly define you arguments and present them more in a professional manner and stop harassing people on this site.

I presume you meant to aim your response at me? Otherwise it's a bit confusing when you put @ and then your own User name. --> I simply copied and pasted the entire paragraph. I am sure in your infinite wisdom that you realise I am responding to you.

Let me try to clarify. And I didn't realise putting forward arguments is considered as "harassment"? Hope you are not too hurt by opposing views or your sense of nationalism clouding your views. Otherwise, please let me know who I have harassed and the offending lines.

1) The Government has started to collect data using the IRD register to track the property market this has been going on since Oct 2015 and the data found from that generally pointed to Non-resident Investors having 39% + purchasing power within Auckland.
So yes there are statistics on this data which has been released to the general public. --> I am perfectly aware of this and the debate around this. Let me try: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/small-number-house-buyers-have-foreign-tax-...

If you have a look at this line "The data also shows 50% of house sales involved buyers who have only New Zealand tax residency; 37% involved buyers who did not need to provide tax information – the majority of these were New Zealand citizens or residents who were buying their main home; and 10% involved buyers who did not need to provide information because their sale and purchase agreement was signed before the new law came into force.", you (or most of the commentators relying on this number) basically rely on conjectures and anecdotes that 37% are "students" and therefore these are foreigners siphoning money through these students. Please prove that this is the case. Note that I am not denying that this is absolutely not the case.

2) Non-resident Investors money largely coming from China. I've already provided the links on this go back and read them. --> see above. You have not.

3) Ok here you responding to my point that 'It is not any advantage to have the extremely wealthy to be allowed to buy as much of NZ as they like and not even invest in living here'.

Your response is rather garbled; but you seem to be indicating that having a Non-resident Investor purchasing a house here in NZ provides more revenue than a Kiwi family of five purchasing a home? And then you start making odd comments about Countdown etc, that makes no sense what so ever.

You seem to fail to recognise just how much local residents are being priced out of their own homes particularly for Auckland due to massively over inflated house prices. ---> I am taking aim at your last part "not even invest in living here". And yes that is my point. What do you mean by "not even invest in living here"? If you mean monetary investment, my point is that investors buying expensive houses "invest" way more than a normal family "investing in NZ" in a year (hence my example of Countdown as an EXAMPLE of expenditure). Basically, I am trying to construct your argument (because you failed to) and then dismantle it. Unless you do not mean monetary investment? I absolutely said nothing about whether local residents are being priced out of their own homes (which does not make sense by the way because if they never owned any, how can they be priced out of their OWN homes?); I recognised that there may be a problem if locals cannot afford to buy (and this is a stretch because this assumes, in the face of globalisation, that locals MUST be allowed to buy a house, live and die in the place they are born in) and pointed out to increasing supply of the lower quartile houses as the solution in one of my comments. Try not to put words in my mouth.

4) As for your last question; Is a lease of 99 years considered as a tenancy? No that's home ownership, but of a lesser quality as an investment than 'Freehold' where you fully own the property and land.

And No, I don't think the Singapore Leasehold property model is a good system for NZ to follow.
That would seriously effect New Zealanders quality of life. --> great. I agree with you (and I understand the intricacies about home ownership) about Singapore's leasehold property model and this is more for the benefit of other commentators who continually raise Singapore as an example.

I suggest you more clearly define you arguments and present them more in a professional manner and stop harassing people on this site. --> not sure how "professional" you would like me to present. Do you want a consultation paper with footnotes? I hope your attitude does not represent the majority of commentators on this site. Otherwise, that would be a pity.

@ tired_immigrant: I'm not wasting any more time on you as I find your sloppy way of presenting arguments and your reasoning just nonsensical. I can't be bother reading your rambling incoherent comments any more.

And by the way I'm actually an immigrant myself (And also an NZ Citizen) so can assure that I certainly do not have any sense of nationalism clouding my views.

I do however strongly agree that New Zealand should protect it Citizens rights to own affordable good quality homes. And should not let property prices run so out of control as they have been doing, to the extent of locking our young generations.

People on this site should be free to explore their point of view on how to fix such issues without being harassed by you!

@ tired_immigrant: I'm not wasting any more time on you as I find your sloppy way of presenting arguments and your reasoning just nonsensical. I can't be bother reading your rambling incoherent comments any more.

And by the way I'm actually an immigrant myself (And also an NZ Citizen) so can assure that I certainly do not have any sense of nationalism clouding my views.

I do however strongly agree that New Zealand should protect it Citizens rights to own affordable good quality homes. And should not let property prices run so out of control as they have been doing, to the extent of locking our young generations.

People on this site should be free to explore their point of view on how to fix such issues without being harassed by you! --> sure, thanks for nothing (since you responded to nothing). Your comments are wonderfully coherent, comprehensive and insightful.

11
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"the dividend issue was 'a bit semantic' and 'technical'."
Sounds a lot like BE's rhetoric the other day.
How the hell is a benign profit (in the scheme of things) semantic and technical? Am I the only one who finds this as ironic for people who hate the nanny state concept?

One more denial for PM. Now are immune to their lies and denials.

How long have they had this comprehensive plan? 8 years? It doesn't seem to be working...

It seems to be working exactly as they intend. JK has said he sees rising house prices as a success.

The calming and distracting noises they make and the media generally repeat also seem to still be (just) working as planned.

11
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"Look at the end of the day we do U-Turns on pretty much anything you can name, I just don't think Kiwis really care about this stuff, it's just politicians being politicians"

It's called MMP.You got a good idea why can't we use it after all it's democracy.

Not surprised behaving like a truenational leader.

Not surprised behaving like a truenational leader.

10
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National's response to housing crisis - just copy one of Labour's policies, with Housing NZ no dividend. This is pathetic leadership. NZ deserves better!

Still will not copy labour to take action on demand to curb speculation as that will effect their rich and overseas friends.

Anything and everything for them and who cares about common kiwi.

Still will not copy labour to take action on demand to curb speculation as that will effect their rich and overseas friends.

Anything and everything for them and who cares about common kiwi.

10
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Now come on everyone, we all know it was a huge coincidence that the government cut the HNZ divided just after Labour announced their housing policy on Sunday. It was planned all along and we should all believe it to be true. :)

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say. No. More.

JK "...we've been making the point for some time now, which I think is increasingly accepted by commentators, which is that we have a very comprehensive plan..."

Which commentators and where?

No good having a plan unless it's aligned with your objectives.

If you listened to the chamber debates last week, he consistently said - Comprehensive Plan - He is very good at comprehensive BS. Not so good at actually doing anything.
I heard he went to London to help pack ?

Went to London to learns from British PM, how to step down gracefully and make way for new fresh ideas for the welfare of the country.

Comprehensive Plan - must be the same plan he announced in 2007 - the one that has not yet happened - or is it the latest version update - still waiting to get rolling

Has "The Plan" ever been published for all to see?

Alternatively may be to try and persuade British PM, not to resign and make him understand that self before the country.

Really getting tired of all these write ups on housing, on a minute to minute developments.
Why not give it a rest ? The powers be are really not going to be moved by these debates and discussions.
On the one hand, house sales and house price appreciation is being touted as good and media is reporting on all auction results and on the other hand the same media is talking about the ills of house value inflation.
Really crazy and confusing...

Disagree. I think the intense and concerted media haranguing of the govt is paying off

Yes for sure. Definitely whipped up by media "house flips in 2 months for $250k profit" or whatever.
Unfortunately the labour plan is no better than the nats because the intent is the same.
Maintain current pricing as the new bottom line and allow to lift...and that encourages affordable housing?
Even Don brash sees it as nonsense

A government that would rather be seen as deceitful and liars, as opposed to to just owning up to the obvious truth, and it's all good because they have managed to bully some civil servants into lying for them... again.
Clearly they had been expecting a dividend from housing NZ, what an absolute joke, and announced on twitter it just gets better and better, you have to wonder how stupid they think the people of this country are.

It's evident is that there is very little hard data on where all the money is coming from for the housing market, and who is behind it.

Here's an article from Vancouver , showing the impact of foreign buyers.

Not sure why NZ should be immune to this wave of cash. With the Chinese economy teetering on debt at 3 times its GDP it would make sense to bolt some wealth offshore.

Teardowns and Shadow-Flipping: Living Inside the Insane Vancouver Housing Bubble:

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/07/05/teardowns-shadow-flipping-living-inside...

The only solution to the housing crisis is to crash the party before the house burns down....

At least if you crash the party you still have a house left at the end of it. Let it burn, all you'll have are ashes and a bunch of broken dreams/bank accounts....