English dangles tax cuts in front of party faithful while trying to work through Barclay Affair deflection play-book; Winston Peters targets regional economic development

English dangles tax cuts in front of party faithful while trying to work through Barclay Affair deflection play-book; Winston Peters targets regional economic development

By Alex Tarrant

As expected, National’s election year gee-up/Barclay Affair deflection strategy had talk of tax cuts front and centre.

Bill English’s keynote speech to the party’s annual conference over the weekend was void of any real policy announcements, but the National leader did outline to the faithful a “vision to take New Zealand into the 2020s”.

All the buzzwords you’d expect were in there: Embracing trade and growth, recognising innovation, better public services, boosting infrastructure, protecting the environment, ICT sector potential, building homes faster. But the only comments to gain any real traction were around tax.

“Another priority will be further raising take-home incomes and reducing taxes,” English said.

“National wants to do more to put more money in people’s pockets and reduce the pressure on those families most in need. We believe that taxpayers make better use of their own money than politicians.

“A strong economy on its own lifts incomes. But of course the Government can also help. The Budget’s Family Incomes Package was an excellent step forward. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do it again? Well, we can,” he said.

“If we are able to keep lifting growth and carefully manage the public finances, we will be able to further reduce taxes and lift incomes.”

National’s speech writers were careful to include the bit relating to reducing the pressure on the families most in need. Interest.co.nz’s Saturday precursor to English’s speech included a quote from campaign chair (Finance Minister) Steven Joyce about his worries around marginal tax rates faced by lower income people when they took on extra work.

But importantly, that doesn’t mean those on higher incomes will be left out. There will be political positioning in this space as the election nears. Labour is busy beavering away on its own Alternative Budget. Going by its attacks on Budget 2017, those on lower incomes, and certainly not those on higher incomes, will be the beneficiaries of any income relief from a Labour-led government.

Despite dangling tax cuts sometime in the future in front of everyone, English was still dogged by the Barclay Affair. The Nation and Q&A ran pre-recorded interviews with him Saturday and Sunday mornings touching on nothing else.

A media conference Sunday revealed Todd Barclay had offered to play English the recordings. It now seems clear recordings were made – Barclay has admitted it – so we now wait to see whether police will reopen an investigation into whether the act could have been illegal (ie was Barclay a party to the conversations or not?).

A reopening of the investigation might shift the focus back to Barclay and the ‘local’ dispute among National’s Clutha-Southland members. It will also mean English can deflect questions on the issue.

Deflection attempts began to show through further over the weekend and into Monday morning as National sought to move the conversation away from brand-English. The story by Monday morning had moved partly on to what National Party board members knew and who made decisions regarding the complaint and settlement.

Some comments from English on Radio NZ Monday morning indicate the direction he and Joyce would like the situation to head.

Exhibit one: “There’s a whole lot of detail about this I simply don’t know. It’s all been covered by a 10-month police investigation. I didn’t set out to investigate the issues because that was being covered by the police.”

Exhibit two: “I knew one thing about it, which was the conversation I had with Todd Barclay. I passed on the contents of that conversation to the relevant people – there’s any number of others involved in all this, and a 10-month police investigation, which had the opportunity to ask all the questions of anyone, they could have come back and asked me more questions.”

Exhibit three (when asked how much from the leader’s budget was paid as part of the settlement): “I don’t know. I was not Prime Minister at the time, I had no official role, I was not a party to the dispute. The settlement of that dispute is confidential, no one’s breached that confidentiality and they would face…significant issues if they did.”

My two take-outs from that: “there’s any number of others involved in all this,” and “I was not Prime Minister at the time, I had no official role, I was not a party to the dispute.”

The key question now is, if needed, how much flak can be deflected onto John Key and National Party staff with English coming across as having disagreed with any decisions that were made when he found out about them.

The Opposition will have chances Tuesday and Wednesday in Parliament's Question Time to ask English directly about the situation. They’ll be keen to keep the spotlight on his decision-making process more than anything else.

Winston carries on

Meanwhile, Winston Peters also spent the weekend speaking to party faithful. At New Zealand First’s campaign launch for the regions in Palmerston North, Peters sought to position NZF as having “the policies to turn this country around.” He attacked English’s speech as “bereft of ideas and excuses.”

“All he could promise after nine years of National was increased incomes and lower taxes by 2020. Surrounded by all manner of deficits, Canute like he promises surpluses and tax cuts," he said.

Peters outlined a policy platform focussed on regional development, canvassing existing and new policies, including:

  • A wage subsidy for small business that take on job seekers and provide work experience.
  • Real incentives for small businesses to help disengaged youth become work ready and support mature age job seekers back into work.
  • Immediate Tax deductions for every new business asset costing under $20,000
  • Immediate Tax deduction for professional expenses when starting a business, and by
  • Streamlining business registration for those planning to start a business
  • New Zealand First will get rid of the student loan for Kiwi students staying and working here in NZ after they finish their studies.
  • The only requirement is that they work for the same number of years as they have studied.
  • For graduates with skills required in the regions, like teachers, nurses, doctors, police and other much needed regional skills, we plan to use a bonding system.
  • We will also introduce a universal student allowance.
  • In this campaign New Zealand First will detail how we are going to return the full GST from Tourists back to the regions in which they spent the money. The data, easily accessible which measures this spend already. You make the money here and you’re going to get your fair share back.
  • NZ First will give rail a real role in regional NZ by properly investing in the rail system.
  • Under our policy the rules would be strict - there would need to be clear, unequivocal and quantifiable benefits to New Zealand before foreign ownership was allowed.
  • New Zealand First is calling for the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management to be reviewed.
  • New Zealand First would ensure that only the sustainable taking and use of water for commercial purposes is permitted by developing a national water use strategy.
  • NZ First has a Royalties for the Regions Policy. Under this policy, 25% of royalties collected by the government from enterprises such as mining, petroleum and water stay in the region of origin.
  • New Zealand First will recruit 1800 extra front line police in the next three years. Just like we recruited 1000 front line police the last time we had the power to.

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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Three of the buzz words stated have been totally ignored by the national government for nine years.. public services, infrastructure and environment..

Just fooling the public

I disagree , they have laid fibre to the door , built tunnels new roads , new schools , extended hospitals , dualised the SH1 road to Hamilton , rebuilt a whole chunk of Chchc ................ hardly ignoring infrastructure if you ask me

the real problem is that we see this infrastructure as Assets ... when in fact they are a commitment to an ongoing drain on (future) dwlndling resources. We cant even afford to maintain the infrastructure already in place, so why would you add more?

Sealed roads, fibre, hi tech buildings ... all a waste of time as we approach energy problems. The equivalent of investing in high upkeep castles & moats..

But who needs vision, when the boomers want to go out with a bang.

What if we did not add fibre to the door , or dualise SH1 to Hamilton ?

We would be a) left behind in the information age and b) our economy would be disadvantaged by massive traffic backups which are a major problem already

there is no such thing as the information age. Can you survive on information? Can an economy be information only? It is simply more efficient resource distribution. Can information actually get the pizza to your door? Or does it need a van..

There is only ever the energy age... this is always the limiting & underlying factor .. so if we are not planning for a low energy future, we arent planning. And the big problem is that energy underwrites debt (and all those pesky promises we made about the futures ability to pay...

(information relies on energy too ..

ham n eggs,

When someone asks why we need more infrastructure,it's hard to know where to begin,as the question is so irrational. Whether you like it or not,Auckland is growing rapidly and it needs more (very) basic infrastructure like up to date sewerage disposal and treatment plants. That would stop raw sewage being discharged into the harbour everytime there more than 5mls of rain. It needs a rail link to the airport(electric,not diesel) There is also the small matter of decent accommodation for say,the less well off in society and there are a few other things I could mention.
You go endlessly about the approaching energy problem,but never provide any actual evidence to support it,whereas i have given you figures on the world's known shale oil and gas reserves,just for a start.

I agree.
I get tired of the same old energy rhetoric that he/she spurts out, too.
Especially when you present logical economic perspective and it is attempted to be rebutted with nonsense stemming from the likes of 'gailtheactuary' or, in this case, 'katescomment'.

Given the amount of research that goes into energy systems and markets, I fail to see how we have gotten it so wrong in H&E's eyes.

there is nothing logical about economics. Its not called the dismal science for nothing.

I wont bother trying to discuss your apparent energy figures - you simply arent joining the dots. Its DEBT DEMAND that is tanking - all those reserves will never be pulled out of the ground without more DEBT.

But it is strange don't you think that as soon as a question is raised on why we are planning infrastructure for endless growth you get labelled irrational? Surely endless growth is irrational? So one simple question - how do you plan to maintain this new infrastructure? Is it by importing more ratepayers .... because it sounds suspiciously like you are in a Ponzi scheme.


As finance minister for 9 years English screws police, health, education and infrastructure into the ground and now, magnanimously, promises to give it back as tax cuts

Only problem with that is the abandonment of the peasants and welfare dependents who either pay little or no tax - explain to me how they can get a tax cut

By working more. The current tax package on offer from national benefits even those who work less than 20 hrs per week on the minimum wage...


National's tax package benefits me more than the families that need the money. It's not targeted at the low income earners. I'm sure those working 20 hours at minimum wage will buy shares in a postage stamp with their extra 50 cents per week.


You couldn't be more right dictator. I too get the full benefit of the tax cut and I would honestly prefer they just used it properly for something useful like infrastructure, instead of bribing everyone for votes.

In that case why bother with making the cuts in the lowest tax brackets? Just change all the brackets and maybe provide an option to opt out of the increased tax thresholds?

I have no idea what your point was in that comment. So I'm just going to assume you agree with us.

They are just shifting the tax brackets. They should have just concentrated on the lowest bracket and left it at that. The rest of the bracket changes are bribes.

Taking less of my hard-earned money away from me in tax is not a bribe , its an admittance that Micheal Cullen was taking much more than he needed from me in the first place ..............

The lack of imagination and the appearance of being totally out-of-touch with Joe Bloggs has left me speechless (almost)

Bribing people for votes is what Labour did in 2007 with Working For Families and before that with Interest Free Student Loans .

Something National called "communism by stealth" but did not only NOT repeal, but increased coming up to an election as a bribe. Along with the other handout, accommodation supplement. Both subsidies that effective reduce wages and increase rents in the market.

Both bribes approaching an election.

If you work 20 hrs a week you should be making circa 16,000 which should translate into a minimum of $140 per year in your pocket due to the tax changes.If you are making that little you likely would also benefit from the increased accomodation supplement.

Q) So why didn't they leave the tax rate and increase the accommodation supplement accordingly then spend the rest on something useful for us all e.g. infrastructure??

A) Bribes for votes

Infrastructure would be a bribe I guess. Why do you get to decide that I need to pay for more infrastructure? I have enough infrastructure as is, privatize new infrastructure, that way those who want it can pay for it.

Since when does taking less of your money count as a bribe?

Since the history of politics going back to early Greece.

Since when does taking less of your money count as a bribe?

Since the history of politics going back to early Greece.

@dictator , how is Labour going to change this situation ?

Labour is proposing more taxes on everyone to pay for projects that will simply take money from all families

In thier policy document the The Greens show us they are economically clueless , are proposing lower interest rates for everyone ......... LOL when interest rates are already the lowest in my lifetime , ignoring that cheap money has caused house prices to explode and now propose putting $100 million into Kiwibank for us to borrow cheaply , WHERE IS THIS WINDFALL GOING TO COME FROM EXACTLY ..................... THEIR ARCH ENEMY AMERICA ? .......... GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

There are only 2 ways a Government can raise money by increased taxation or borrowing and running a deficit on the only way to find $100 million for Kiwibank is through more taxes or borrowing offshore which will cost them big

@Boatman why are you changing the topic?

I agree with your assessment that every single political party is useless. However we can only vote for what's on the ballot paper. It's not like university where you can vote no confidence or elect a cat as President (in both cases they were better choices than what was on offer).

I don't particularly like Labour as they are the same as National and vice versa. However to clean out the worthless old farts in National we need to change Government and Labour will take a critical number of seats.

All that aside you should consider that business was better under Labour. National's anti-business policies and deliberate favouring of multi-national companies and billionaires does not help local businesses.

With respect to tax you need to take the Government perspective: tax is income. Why would anyone want to reduce their income when they are spending more than they earn. National has already cut spending to essential services but stupidly cut taxes as well. If you spend more than you earn you will eventually go bankrupt when you can't service the debts. The Governments debt to tax revenue has reached 91% which is a dangerous level for any Government. Cutting tax more isn't going to help that ratio.

We can agree to disagree , but I hold the view that Labour has an unenviable track record of increasing taxation , and right now that would be disastrous for the entire country .

Each and every single policy item of Labour and the Greens will require more money , and with all the will in the world more money can only come from 2 sources ............. increased borrowing ( running a deficit and paying interest) or increased taxation .

Both these are undesirable right now , we want to balance the book and we don't want more money being taken away from under-paid workers in taxation.

Forgetting all the political stuff for a moment, the financial environment we're heading into globally is going to have a credit tightening. That credit tightening is more likely to choke our economy than anything that we do. We need exports to maintain our economy. We will likely switch into a position where Government spending is needed to prop things up. Something that National isn't good at.

Why are you not upset about National reducing taxes if you're so desperate to balance the books? What is the 'correct' level of taxation?

So lets just tax the wealthy with gusto. It is the only way forward as middle and low income earners slip further and further into the abyss

Thats right tax the people who are the providers of Capital , weaken the wage payer , discourage thrift by taxing savers , go ahead and spend more than you earn , and do for people what they should be doing for themselves .........

No there's a recipe for a successful country

Reward people for hard work by dropping income taxes and taxing instead some of the free money that's been given in property essentially via intergenerational transfer. Likewise drop taxes on Kiwisaver to encourage saving for retirement.

You can rebalance without significantly increasing the overall load.


I am not a labour supporter,but what evidence do you have to support the statement; "Labour is proposing more taxes on EVERYONE"?
Could a government not also raise money through a growing economy? There is much about this government that I dislike,but has it not both reduced tax rates and paid off debt? Were we to find the magic key to unlock higher productivity per head,then we would be considerably wealthier as a country,without raising tax or borrowing.

Huh ? How on earth does a Government raise money from a growing economy ? Per Capita Productivity increases are very difficult to achieve and it takes decades to achieve , not a 3 year term

Government has only 3 sources of income for recurrent expenditure and pet projects :-

1) Taxation

2) Borrowing

3) Selling assets ( and we have none on any value left )

we still have land corp, why does the government need to own diary farms
or TVNZ, since it doesn't show the rugby was does it need to be government owned.
we still have non essential assets that can be sold to pay down debt

@two other guys ........ you are wrong , plain and simple , the annual budget has increased or maintianed allocations for Policing , Healthcare , education and infrastructure every year for the past nine years

Another straw-man? The comment did not state that the budget was cut. Unless you're as 'economically clueless' as you claim the Greens are, you'll realise that the budget has to rise with inflation + population growth to maintain the status quo. If it fails to do this, that is equivalent to a cut. National have failed to keep spending up with inflation + population growth.

Here is the relevant data

Now do it per capita.


Dear Winston please add East Christchurch to your regional hit list. You see, no one thinks they need normal streets or decent services, not even the current mayor, who once was the MP. Plenty of votes there Winston, if you can be bothered that is.


What the hell were they thinking putting that Barclay in as MP?
The man was previously a tobacco company lobbyist; a paid professional liar in other words. His first instinct is to lie, he will even do it for free.
Prescient comments from the Dom: http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/9996252/Editorial-...


And here was me thinking all this time, that the ability to lie was a prerequisite, especially as our liar in chief at the time was one Mr Pinokeyo.

Were you wondering who National looks after?


Have doubts that this time people will trust them and be tempted by the bribe.

Can they fool all the people all the time - have to wait and watch.

Seriously have seen 9 years of national and now is time for change.

Taxes Farmer, stuff that Billsh$$t, Barclay is not going away while he is still hiding, pig troughing on the slack benches.

The current election system does not produce competent political parties for the strategic and long term benefit of all New Zealand citizen and residents.


Correct and power corrupts and 9 years of power and the result is for all to see. Arrogance and corruption at best display by national.

Time for change or be ready .........

Sounds like a case of sour grapes on your part.
The country is going along just fine.

295,000 children in poverty. Yeah New Zealand is all rainbows and unicorns.

Children have parents.
If the parents can't provide for their own children?
Well WTF?

That's the sort of country we live in where we abandon whole families.

A lot can change in between getting pregnant and your child leaving home. Not to mention, contraception isn't free and abortions aren't straight forward to obtain. What's your alternative which doesn't involve punishing the children?

Children do have families and its not up to the nanny state to do absolutely everything for them.

Having children brings responsibilities , and many of those responsibilities are not the Governments

I guess when one looks at welfare kids like Paula Bennett and John Key, maybe you have a point.

Surely adults have responsibilities to plan for their retirement too, though - yet we hand out an unneeded social welfare to millionaires aged 65+, paid for by taxes of hard-working everyday Kiwis.

The point though is that Labour won't be any better, only equally bad in different ways. They'll also focus on the short term, ideological, one-eyed view - just like National. Just like pretty much every other government for the last 100 years in New Zealand.

Our political system simply fails to encourage solid long term bipartisan thinking. It's all adversarial, immediate term, "us vs them" nonsense that's gotten NZ to the point it's now in.

MMP was supposed to fix this somewhat but has largely failed because our political parties aren't interested in fixing it, and the general public has been brought up so long on tribal lines that most of them wouldn't understand it anyway. Most voters in NZ vote the way they do because their parents did or their unions do or their friends do. They vote Labour because "National wants to sell off our country!" or they vote National because "Labour are all communists!".

It's a sad indictment of society and our politicians and it really doesn't look like anything is going to change.


well said, if the issue or policy is good for the country whom ever raises it the opponents will automatically go against it.
but how many times when a law is passed and the opposite side regains power do they repeal the law,
not many if any.

there is a difference between standing up against bad policy and standing up against all policy

but how many times when a law is passed and the opposite side regains power do they repeal the law,
not many if any.

Well, JK did bring back knighthoods. And he did repeal the Act that vested the foreshore and seabed in the Crown.

This is something I discussed with a party whip many years ago. I posed the question to repealing a particular law. What he explained is that the processes in place make it extremely difficult to remove a law completely and replace it with an earlier version. It's easier to amend. Unfortunately stupid decisions dating back many years have led to protections being put in place to protect politicians from themselves.

I'm pretty sure that Labour would not have stood by for 8 years watching an entire generation of Kiwis get "asset stripped" by foreign real estate purchasers.

I'm also fairly confident that more tax cuts will simply exacerbate an already huge wealth divide.

It's all adversarial, immediate term, "us vs them" nonsense that's gotten NZ to the point it's now in.

Nope. What's got us to the point we're at now was the lullaby PM who's only regret was his failed flag referendum;


We were duped - he was knighted - and now we're stuffed.


Tax cuts wont help my commute time across town, or to work, or to my local beach...... or my steadily eroding quality of life in Auckland that weirdly my latest house valuation didn't fix either? (gridlock, noise, suburban streets congested and lined with cars due to multiple families living in house's...)

Wow - Who'd have thought that because house prices going up fixes everything, right??

....but you know the average punter who cant think past the end of their nose will lap this BS up.

I'm richer on paper than i was a few years ago and poorer in EVERY SINGLE OTHER WAY so its a mirage.

One Ex-national voter....


Agreed mvg.
My in laws are these average punters you refer to. They don't visit as much as they used to after some unpleasant discussions around the dinner table with my children. They are full of National but when asked to list what they achieved in 9 years they could only come up with the increase in house prices.

My kids are now going to vote for the first time and are


Your in-laws are claiming house price increases as a National party "success"

Not sure National had much to do with it other than turn a blind eye to Asian money-laundering

Maybe your children should vote National.......so as National can get a majority and that way they can then pass important legislation that will follow through to increase the housing supply. It is all very fine bagging National and saying the crisis is Nationals fault when NO opposition parties would support RMA changes...

Which is futility whilst continuing to flood us with 70K new immigrants a year?

PS/ They've had 9 years to get this happening.......

I think you are forgetting that they have not been able to get a majority vote to pass legislation that will make a difference......make sure they get a majority so as they are not having to pander to other parties needs and allow them to get on with it........what we have in NZ is a whole heap of left leaning Councils and others pushing policies in opposition to what the government wants and the government doesn't have the numbers to make changes.

It is easy to point the finger at immigrants but you know, what if your kids were having to leave the country to get work then I'm thinking that you would also be unhappy and expecting the government to do something about that...the fact is all those immigrants coming here because we have the work for them.......if we don't get that work done we will be kicking the housing affordability issue even further down the road.

With respect that is absolute nonsense..

They've had 9 years of majority to pass whatever they wanted (that's how they formed "THE GOVERNMENT THINGY" after the election eh.....)

Yes all those "skilled immigrants" working in $2 shops and hospo....aspirational stuff for NZ.

Why do immigrants (and the many returning kiwis) come? Because they see opportunity! Those opportunities are there for you too you know. You say what has the government done. Well thats the whole point, we dont want nanny state big govt taxing the strivers to death. We want govt that makes opportunities and rewards the achievers. Good government does not get in your way with legislation, rules and regulations. They know that private enterprise does most stuff way more efficiently and let them get on with it. As national have done they reward good teachers, provide the tools like better roading and internet speeds etc. They develop trade relations and they reduce barriers to employment by such things as 90 day trials. And if the locals wont do the work they don't hinder progress by stamping out immigration. Are they concerned about welfare? Yes - and they have long sighted investment based policy to address the fundamental causes rather then the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Thanks for the party political broadcast..... ;) Not sure of the relevance to the points raised.

is that you (saint) Nick?

So who else are you going to vote for? None of them are going to free up the legislative nonsense that is holding the country to ransom........people want houses then let the RMA reform happen......the balls in the voters court!

yet the party you continually think is the only way to solve it HAS in a time of massive infrastructure and housing stress allowed 70,000 new souls a year to move in.... how does ignoring an entire side of a demand / supply equation makes any logical sense?

Ermmmmm - it doesn't.

Simply they have no other idea of how to grow productivity on a PER CAPITA basis.

I voted them 3 x hoping they'd fulfill the promise I thought they had -but now its obvious the emperor has no clothes.

So what's your solution,? Close down the borders, ban Kiwis from coming home, raise taxes and pay more people to work in the public services?? Often times I hear that all this immigration is increasing demand then I hear that all these immigrants are driving down wages........I am pretty sure they cannot do both these things at the same time.

Immigration is increasing demand for public goods and driving down private sector wages - of course high immigration can do both those things at the same time. And you can even do a little case study of your own - get into motorway traffic at peak hour - pull off and fill up your petrol tank.

Good to see you jump right into "absolutism" like there isn't a sweet spot with all these factors..

And you are wrong....both those are exactly what is happening...rampant house inflation and almost zero wage growth. More people means more demand for shelter = prices up. More people willing to work longer hours for less = zero wage growth.

This policy will turn us into a low wage economy - already our productivity v other OECD countries is appalling.
We cannot get wealthier as a country by borrowing cheap money and ratcheting up house prices as we sell them to each other with the illusion of wealth!

I'm pro highly -targeted skills gap based immigration but the free for all of the moment is insane given the load on infrastructure which is already a decade behind.

Also the last immigration figures proved the "returning kiwis" thing is an absolute falsehood that many never bother to check and have bought hook line and sinker - over 3/4 off all coming in the country are new immigrants NOT returning kiwis.


You should ask them to make sure they don't spend all their housing money but rather leave it to your children, because it's now a choice between them spending it to fund their retirement and excluding their descendants from home ownership, or them helping out directly.

"I'm richer on paper than i was a few years ago and poorer in EVERY SINGLE OTHER WAY so its a mirage."

One could argue it is how you spend that paper that counts.


Strange argument since the implication of in the term "on paper" is exactly that you can't spend it, that the benefit is all in theory only and in practice you are no better off.

I agree with noncents.
If you have leveraged that paper wealth, you could be in a much better real position.
If you have done nothing with it, your real wealth is unchanged.

Although I think mvgsmf is claiming he is poorer in different ways than actual wealth. Quality of life, more stress, less enjoyment and so on.

I agree with what he was saying. I think most people would feel the same.

But there's those that endure the situation, and those that fix it. Using your paper wealth wisely can lead to a reduction in the stresses in life.

I think you are absolutely right Noncents and it is an error I often make. I have mostly regretted not spending enough on things rather than spending too much. It's crazy to live as a poor person when you are actually quite well off on paper or otherwise.

ZS there's also a time to realise "paper" gains, invest some and utilise a portion.

It is a common mistake for me as well.

After all what is the point of having wealth if not to improve your life and that of your family.


Again, I'm a bit unusual...I'm actually upset seeing the city of my birth become ghettoized and it sickens me to my stomach.

I have kids - I want to see them enjoy what I had with a similar quality of life...no amount of "leveraging" my SHELTER will fix that.

Oh and what about those who cant "leverage" - do we just discount them from the equation? All those peskys nurses, teachers etc.....

In my humble opinion these are exactly the "un-kiwi" attitudes that have got us to this place - sell your soul for a few shekels with nary a thought to the outcomes.......

You are not alone - I share your grief

I have just managed to leverage one of my paper wealth by successfully selling a semi do-up in Manurewa this month. I got more than double what I paid in the early 2000's and am now trying to figure out how I can invest most of the profit again. See, it can be done ;-)


And explain to me again how that will solve the problems of traffic, overcrowding, ghettos noise etc as were raised.

That's right - It doesn't change a thing - either my increase in wealth or yours. - that's the point!.

Me getting individually wealthier does not save Auckland from becoming an absolute sh!thole that its turning into.

I have enough money - I want to see this city be a place my kids and their kids would love to live.

@mvgsmf have you not walked the Waterview Tunnels in the last 2 weekends? It is about to open in early July which will cut the current traffic into half. Also the CRL Project is in hot pursuit in the CBD to deliver more frequent and fast train services around Auckland. The Light Rail Project from the CBD to the airport (via Dominion Rd) has also been approved, not to mention the East-West Link and many more infrastructure projects. We're in good hands just stay positive.

Great - a piece of infrastructure that was meant to be completed 20 years ago to complete the western ring has been done - good news...if a little late.

So tell me - at current immigration rates what is it's effective benefit lifespan - maybe 5 years tops???

At current rates of immigration that will = 350,000 people (i.e. a city the size of wellington being jammed into an already crowded Auckland?)

Its this insanity of the inflow that makes nearly all slow and laborious infrastructure spend POINTLESS.

Infrastructure takes years to build but if we actually addressed the demand side of the equation the benefits would be far greater as it can be turned off almost immediately to give us all a breather....

Better late than never. Thanks to National it is now happening. #VoteNational

haha - that's all you got huh?

Zero cogent argument rebuttal...just more spruiking - go sell a house somewhere Ross...

Who is Ross? Ross Brader?

DGZ claims Waterview Tunnel will cut traffic in half

Hahahahahaha - make diary note to revisit that claim in a couple of months

He/she is also happy with doubling their money on a Manurewa property bought in the early 2000s.
What's the annual return on that? like 5%?

Obviously not as smart as they think they are.

Unfortunately society is plagued by people who buy into the rhetoric.
They blindly follow the ones who righteously advocate their own prowess.
They are the only reason that the Herbalifes, Destiny Churches, and Bernie Madoffs of this world can exist.

Imagine if every single person decided to leverage their paper wealth in order to turn it into "real" wealth. There would be one of two results, you would have to open the immigration doors even wider to provide for all the extra renters now needed or you would collapse the rental market with oversupply.
One thing is for sure, everybody trying to do would soon expose it for the ponzi it truly is.

Paper wealth is real wealth. Anyway things would balance themselves out. Property price inflation in Auckland is caused by immigrants and locals believing Auckland is the best place to live in New Zealand. Once people believe other places in NZ or the world are better then a balance wil have been achieved. Rental prices always remain within reasonable limits anyway.

Why do you think I used " ".
There will never be any balance as long as we have what is going on today with housing, especially housing, it is being used for something it should never be used for.

Obviously you used quotation marks because you don't believe paper wealth is real wealth. You could have used capitals instead, paper wealth is REAL wealth. That would have the opposite effect.

America's Cup coming home - another reason for more paper wealth i.e. REAL wealth ;-)

Tell me again why we cant give everyone a million paper dollars to solve our poverty.?? Because it would increase everyones paper wealth => real wealth by your logic.

Or is that paper wealth doesn't actually produce any resources.

There's nothing to stop us from getting the RBNZ to print electronic money to help poor people. It would provide a boost to the economy. It's just neoliberal true believers will start crying and complain about inflation when they just think they're missing out.

Are you the Green Party Financial spokesperson, by any chance?

Given that it's helicopter money (quantitative easing) you should be mistaking me for a central banker from the EU, Japan, China or the US.

Sounds like you have found a money tree.
But what does it actually produce?

The money tree produces the same thing as any central bank more money with no link to growth or productivity.

What we are talking about is bank balances, share portfolios, property valuations etc. We can give people paper money to solve poverty issues and we actually do that. However that money represents the labour of productive people.

No - the paper money represents a claim on resources ... Resources which you might have noticed arent magically increasing.
The labour of "productive" people is a nonsense concept dreamt up by economists

America's Cup win will transform Auckland: property boss

I have an idea: pay tax on it.

Don't be a leech on NZ society.

On paper simply means the wealth has not been realised.

No... it really doesn't


"on paper

if something seems good or true on paper, it seems to be good or true when you read or think about it but it might not be good or true in a real situation She looked good on paper but was one of the weakest interviewees we saw today. On paper it could work, but I won't be convinced until I see it for myself."

You could say she only got the interview because she looked good on paper. She then failed to realise that paper wealth she had.


Yeah maybe...

I wont be spending it on a new car (paid cash) OR business class trips (I pay cash for holidays too)..

In fact I don't like to view my shelter as an ATM at all....

I view the last few years of gains on my house as froth...an increase in value based on nothing more than FOMO, cheap money and herd mentality. Now values are so out of line with any fundamental there's no way I'll be leveraging anything off this "gain" to speculate - plain and simple

But then again Im strange - I'm one of those weirdos in AKL who doesn't walk around the BBQ big shotting and strutting his chest out about how he's a "property investor" or developer".....

I more meant changing shelter, release a big portion of cash, and use that to get more benefit.

I was always against the whole debt thing until I realised I am trading made up stuff for real experiences.

Changing shelter...good grief......well then I don't have the house I had right?

So I'm NO WEALTHIER unless I downsize or move to a different city (well I need the size and don't want move town...).

So in fact I'm NOT wealthier as I've had to change the variables to get the cash eh ?

The value of my current house in intrinsic terms is EXACTLY what it was 15 years ago - a 3 bedroom house in XYZ street of ABC suburb in Auckland.

Mind boggling people cant see this....

You'll be silly to move out of Auckland now with the America's Cup wealth one win away from coming home. Stay where you are buddy.

Good god
"Immediate Tax deductions for every new business asset costing under $20,000"
I can see it now, every single asset in NZ revalued into very pleasant $19,999.99 chunks.

The keywords are "new" and "business asset."

The key word is "Loophole"

"English dangles tax cuts as Peters targets regional NZ '

The headline itself proves that National stand expose and should go against them.

If NZF write off my Student Loan i'd vote for them tomorrow. That is an enormous carrot to dangle...... to bad it would probably never get implemented.

From the NZF Website here: http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/education

"Immediately introduce a dollar-for-dollar debt write-off scheme so that graduates in identified areas of workforce demand may trade a year’s worth of debt for each year of paid full-time work in New Zealand in that area."

"Review the Student Loan Scheme with a goal of reducing its burden on former students, in particular those on low incomes within the first years of leaving study."

Depends on how much sway they hold after the fact and to what degree their core supporters like them for this reason. At the launch which I watched online, Winston made specific reference to all the young attendees in the room - and seemed to be emphasize a keenness on capturing the youth vote.

You bludger! I've paid for my education with no interest free loan - now I 'm paying your interest and you have the cheek to expect me to pay for the loan principle too. No way, we already have more than should be doing degrees and not enough in trades etc.

You bludger! I paid for the other 2/3rds of the cost of your tertiary education!!!!!

Get a life.

Well that wasnt much - I didn't waste my time on a degree as it wasn't required for my career. I guess I've paid it back by the 1 million I have paid in income tax since and the PAYE from the many productive employees I have employed. What have you done to make yourself worthwhile with what we invested in your education?

Not interested in a pi$$ing contest. That was the whole point of my original comment. You obviously still don't get it. Why am I not surprised.

Tax cuts are somewhat irrelevant, if excessive house price rise and escalating building costs have risen at a far greater amount. All tax cuts will do is mean that wages don't need to increase as much, to keep up with inflation, as you get to keep more of your money. But I don't think some people are taxed enough, especially earners in the $150k + group

NZ First has a Royalties for the Regions Policy. Under this policy, 25% of royalties collected by the government from enterprises such as mining, petroleum and water stay in the region of origin.

This implies they intend to put a royalty/price on freshwater takings. As that isn't the case presently, I'd like detail. Every other party (aside from TOP) are avoiding this matter like the plague due to perceived/potential Treaty of Waitangi complications. Anyone that decides to tackle it up front would have my support. We can't just carry on with the first-come-first-serve allocation regime and the subsequent grandfathering and permit transfering - as we're over-allocated in so many catchments already.

As much we need a chnage of Government and some people are not happy with National , its a case of either Hobsons choice or a dilemma for voters .

In reality its a bit like Theresa May or Jeremy Corbin, both are equally detestable .

Or Trump and Clinton , you dont know which is worse

A dysfunctional multi party coalition will never be able to get consensus on key issues , so there will be policy drift .

Every little thing will become a trade-off or a bun-fight between competing interests , and lets not forget how Winston or Maori b=can be really obstinate when they dont get their way

Increased taxation by Labour will drain more money from the productive sector to go on welfare pet projects and $100 million on a train for Chrsitchurch and light rail for Auckland which will further bankrupt the city

The Greens will go out of their way to try and bankrupt us even faster than Labour by bringing in more refugees when we cant even house the people here living in cars , and they will seek to ban every example of a modern functioning state and have us use horse carts and traps to get to work .

Winston will insist on being appointed Prime Minister and this is going to put a huge spanner in the works

Maori will want the foreshore and seabed back along with anything else up for grabs

It will all add up to a major cock-up .

Nice try at scaremongering.

No not scaremongering at all , its real ........ just read the policy documents of the various parties , some of these ideas are so far off the wall its just not true .

The parties intending to form the coalition have so diverse and opposing views that I dont ever see consensus .

Winston wants to ban immigration , Labour wants it to remain as is , and the Greens want more refugees .

Maori are known to be annoyed about being reduced to the fringes of society by ever increasing immigrants , just look at how Hone Harawira has lashed out at the Chinese community over the weekend.

Winston is delighted at how his constituents are getting big money for their homes , everyone else wants property prices to come down .

Labour and Greens want Super AT 67 OR 70 and Winston and Maori will never agree to this .

Winston will not agree to tax hikes which will come from his voters who are older and have savings and rent and dividend income , and they will have to pay more tax

Boatman - you talk in platitudes not facts.

NZ First do not want to ban immigration;


NZ First have any number of policies that would have the effect of lowering house prices - perhaps most importantly the restriction of residential property sales to NZ residents and citizens only;


NZ First are promoting tax hikes at the top end of income and profit - and removal of GST on food and rates.

The idea, Boatman is study stuff up rather than make stuff up if you want to increase your credibility.

Reading your comment makes me wonder; how many people have actually read the Treaty of Waitangi?

I have read the Treaty , and have academic literature on it ................ and I hold the view that Maori are entitled to land restitution and compensation , but all else belongs to everyone who lives here

Well, there you go - you support the New Zealand First position!

And noting they are the only party contesting the election that I know of with that position!!!!


"A dysfunctional multi party coalition will never be able to get consensus on key issues , so there will be policy drift ."

You realise that we have a multi-party coalition in power at the moment, right? National do not have a majority on their own. The Maori party are a part of this and haven't taken the foreshore and seabed back, as you fear.

As for your assertions that Labour and the Greens would ruin the economy, this is based on nothing more than personal prejudice. Please present some evidence if you think you have some.

@mfd Just read the GREEN POLICY statement on their website and for each item ask yourself :

How on earth they are going to pay for it ?


How is this going to impact me personally and financially ?

Some of these Green policies will be "must haves" in a coalition of the weak , and its problematic like finding houses for double the refugee quota when we have no housing for Kiwis living in cars , or finding $100 million for Kiwibank so we can have cheaper money

Did you make it to this policy?


The Greens are arguing for an independent body precisely to cost these (and other parties) policies. An effort you can get behind, surely?

How about this one, with target debt levels and a policy to run an operating surplus?


Here's another good one, not only can we bring in tax revenue with a new legitimate industry, but we can save money wasted on criminalizing and punishing people for actions which don't hurt others.


Thank you MFD ........... and the question remains how on earth will we pay for these things ?

All policies are already costed by the experts in Treasury , at huge time and expense .

Current budgeting is extremely responsible , we have a budget surplus AND a growing economy , one of the fastest in the OECD

Some things are just downright dumb like Cannabis growing which will not help us much , this is NOT a sustainable new industry no matter how you frame it .

Current budgeting is extremely responsible , we have a budget surplus AND a growing economy , one of the fastest in the OECD

I always find this confusing. We have a budget surplus but take on more debt - surely that is the definition of insanity. Rates may be low, but why pay interest when you don't have too?

You really need to get a better understanding of balance sheets vs P&L's.

A budget surplus is equivalent to the P&L of a trading entity. Government may consume cash by investing in new assets which may / will require more debt. Nothing insane about that - perfectly normal for any growing entity.

There is NO connection whatsoever between debt and surpluses - they are measures of two different ways.

If you had no asset sales, no purchases, no depreciation, no assets replacements - then a budget surplus would translate to reduced debt - but that's not how the real world works.

Assets need replacement - New investments are required - these need cash with consequent changes in debt levels net of any surplus.

That is a great answer, and explains the technicalities. But at the end of the day, there is money in and money out.

We don't have a surplus if we are spending more than we are earning.

You're right, the economy is growing, large as a result of the population growing rather than productivity improving. The Treasury costs Government policies, not opposition policies - the Green's want to broaden this so that opposition parties cannot make un-costed claims. As you're complaining about exactly this, I thought you might approve.

You're quite right, cannabis is not a sustainable new industry, it's a sustainable industry with a long history, and we have a great climate for it. It already exists, but sadly the profits are currently flowing to organised crime rather than being useful to society.

I get the impression that Boatman fears that if he/she clicks on a link, his/her prejudices might be dispelled.

Kate , dont jump to conclusions , I have read all the policy documents of all the parties , and I am as yet undecided as to who gets my vote .

I am really worried about a tax-and-spend coalition coming to power that will detrimentally affect my economic independence and wellbeing as I get ready to leave the workforce in the next few years .

Forgive me for jumping to conclusions, but if you're posting on here you're very likely to be just fine whatever happens. I don't think this is a forum populated by people struggling to put food on the table. However, these people do exist in this country and some of us will vote against our own narrow financial interests to strive for a better society. I can't tell you how to vote, but it's always worth considering society as a whole rather than yourself as an individual, as the what is around you dramatically impacts on your own well-being.


So it is primarily your own well-being, yourself as an individual, you are concerned about then?

Hard to say. Do people help others for its own sake or because it makes them feel good? Does it matter if the end result is good for both parties? With politics there's also the threat of something happening to you in the future that requires a safety net. I'm happy to pitch in some tax money to help others back onto their feet with the agreement that the net will catch me if I fall. You could call that a selfish motivation, but I find it less selfish than refusing to help the unfortunate.

Just sign up and see what's going on...

I know whats going on. More immigration.

Boatman: quote: "I am really worried about my economic independence and wellbeing as I get ready to leave the workforce in the next few years"

C'mon - your 10 acre spread in Greenhithe puts you in the blueblood class - now worth $10 million or more - you can retire on that - easy

I understand where Boatman is coming from. We are living in a crazy world, getting crazier. We need to build our fortresses and circle our wagons. We cannot rely on nation states or tribes to protect us anymore. We are effectively on our own.

$10m worth of equity is more than enough to retire comfortably for a couple. The dollar will stretch even more if Boatman chooses to move to the region to retire!

@ Boatman,

Serious question here with no prejudice intended - have you ever voted for anyone apart from National?

You seem to not like National on many issues but then you shoot down any other parties ideas no matter what?

Is it just an ingrained thing? I see this all the time from my peers as well.

I belong to no party - I have voted different parties since my first vote (1984) and in that time they've all had policies that vary so much that I do not know how someone picks a political party colour and sticks to it for life with the rationale that "no one else could do better"

I NEVER voted for Helen Clark's Govt (something about her rubbed me up the wrong way) but in reality her Govts did a pretty fair job - the multiple headed monster never eventuated - certainly no worse than the Key Govts (which I did vote for)

The honest answer is yes , and I have still not decided who to vote for yet , even though my views are way to the right in the Tory camp .

I have become disillusioned with National's inability to make sensible decisions about immigration, property speculators and foreigners buying secondhand properties ( thats NOT foreign investment ) using cheap offshore funds and inflating our market beyond control .

Labour policy settings seem to be no different to National
Greens are a bunch of jokers
Winston cant be trusted
ACT are opportunists
I am not Maori , but do sympathize with them

There is really no one who represents my views

Thanks Boatman - appreciate your candor.

Winstone cant be trusted maybe, but he can be trusted on immigration.

Newsflash - National cannot be trusted to do the right thing by the people

Look a little closer
Here's one big difference - and cut out your propaganda

National subsidises irrigation which is a taxpayer funded capital value improvement handout to farmers
Labour will charge for it

"Labour confirms it will charge farmers for irrigation water"

Good list Boatman. We can argue on the detail, but overall it's going to be hard to vote for anybody. I believe I have a responsibility to vote and vote responsibly (no McGillicudy). But it's going to be very hard to vote for any of these turkeys. The pen will shake.

No - can't have an independent body analysing policy - that's far too progressive. Ad-hoc knee jerk policy or no policy at all is much more to my liking The status-quo is something I can relate too.

The Wizened One has claimed that

New Zealand First will detail how we are going to return the full GST from Tourists back to the regions in which they spent the money. The data, easily accessible which measures this spend already.

Somehow, I don't think that the 'data' is at all 'accessible'. I pose the following points for common taters to cogimitate:

  • How to identify 'tourist' spend at (say) a convenience store, garage or pub, as opposed to the locals
  • How to identify tourist-spend-likely businesses (their Tourist-sounding Name??)
  • How to capture cashies, non-registered-for-GST, AirBnB and other enterprises outside the tax net presently
  • How to capture Interweb, agency, and other principal/agent chains (think, Wotif...) - which would need a region/destination in order to figure out that 25%, but which might be sold as (say) a 10-day package...

I think, from my own reading of this catchy little policy, that what The WO is actually proposing is some combination of

  • a layered-tax system (like the US, where city/state/federal tax layers are common) which presupposes software and staff able to handle the layers, tax-on-tax calculation and other cuteness or
  • a differential GST, which fairly much foobars the nice clean system we currently have and opens the door to all manner of politically-driven variations.
  • A service-destination style tax (like the state-driven sales tax common in the US) in order to capture the actual area or region in which the spend occurs.

In short, I suspect that the mechanics of this apparently simple suggestion are going to take a long time to deliver, will cause massive compliance costs, and will open the gate to all manner of add-ons (each a special-pleading, in essence) and hence increase tax uncertainty. The result would be to throw away the relatively simple tax regime we currently enjoy, for a few Baubles.....

The devil's in the details, especially around tax.......

Yeah, that detail will indeed be interesting. Another point being that he suggested that this additional money (to be distributed to local authorities) could be used to clean up rivers. Long bow, I thought.

There are rules about river pollution , and when enforced we will not need to clean them up , they will be and remain clean .

True that planning rules, if enforced, with respect to agricultural pollutants will resolve those problems quickly and easily (many jurisdictions are yet to write the rules and go through the necessary plan changes and implementation, but it will happen). And then more money is needed for enforcement.

But the solution is not quite so straightforward for our urban pollutants (stormwater and wastewater discharges to freshwater). That requires money for infrastructure upgrades and money for more enforcement. The upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant is a whole lot less 'noteworthy' for a local body set of politicians than a new stadium or a new library or a new council office or the redevelopment of a waterfront parade.

Taking less of your earnings in tax is NOT A BRIBE , its called being honest , its the Government admitting it does not need to confiscate the money you have slogged away and worked for for at least 10 hours a day often 6 days a week ( in my case 8 hours a day plus 2 hours travel time )

Utter nonsense

A promise to take less - provided you vote them back in - is an outright BRIBE

It will not influence voters who will see it for what it is , just like Working For Families and Interest Free student loans both of which were introduced prior to elections .

People saw WFF for what it was and voted John Key in , by a sounding majority

Incorrect. WFF and interest free student loans were Labour's main policies during the 2005 elections. Nobody saw them as the bribes they were and Labour were elected.

National weren't voted in until 2008.

Like it not but this election will be a vote for change.

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