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Geoff Simmons says regardless of who forms the government after this weekend, there is no plan to make housing affordable

Geoff Simmons says regardless of who forms the government after this weekend, there is no plan to make housing affordable

By Geoff Simmons*

Over the past weekend our Prime Minister set out a very rosy vision of 2030.

On Monday night I watched the Stuff Finance Debate and today I feel quite the opposite.

Regardless of whether red or blue takes the Treasury benches (and let’s be honest it almost certainly will be red) there is no plan to make housing affordable. Despite Labour’s rhetoric about sustained moderation in house prices I see no evidence that will happen. Right now, house prices and rents look certain to continue their relentless march ever upward.

Lets go through the causes of the housing crisis one by one to catalogue the lack of vision.

The Tax System

Andrew Coleman summarises it well in this article:

NZ has one of the most distortionary tax environments for housing of any country in the OECD.

We have some of the lowest taxes on property, and some of the highest taxes on other investments. No wonder we invest in property more than any other country in the Western World.

Treasury talked about the problem way back in 1989. But no government, red or blue, has been able to fix it. And neither will the next one, based on current polling. Even if the Greens managed to get their wealth tax through negotiations, that wouldn’t fix the distortion towards property.

The tax system will keep telling Kiwis to invest in property, and we will.

Monetary Policy

This was without a doubt the biggest let down of the Finance Spokesperson debate. Despite being pressed by Thomas Coughlan who set out all the downsides, neither Robertson nor Goldsmith would question the current path.

And in case you have been asleep for the past decade, the current path is to keep interest rates at record lows for the foreseeable future. The primary tool to achieve this is Quantitative Easing, which we have seen unfold overseas over the past decade. In short it helps asset owners, and could lift house prices by 20-30% over current levels. The Reserve Bank refuses to contemplate letting house prices fall, and nor should they given their mandate.

Our tax and welfare system is set up to expressly redistribute income from rich to poor. With the exception of property investments, it does a pretty good job on this front. Yet our monetary policy is implicitly aiming to keep inequality the same (or even increase it). It’s madness, but neither Finance Spokesperson will contemplate deviating from the international playbook lest they be punished by financial markets.

RMA Reform

This is where there is some cause for optimism. There seems to be a cross party consensus that we need to reform the RMA to allow more development which is a big step forward.

The devil will be in the detail of any reform. Hopefully we will see an emphasis on building up by putting medium density housing around our public and active transport networks. The approach we have taken in the past – sprawling over the Canterbury Plains and Bombay Hills – not only chews up precious agricultural land, but also increases transport costs and carbon emissions. Labour seem to recognise this issue more than National, who stick to the line that we need to build up AND out. The fact is that under the current incentives, it is much easier to sprawl than it is to build up, so we end up sprawling.

If we do manage to find the political consensus required to build up, we have to do it well. Any reform of the RMA will still need some form of community engagement as well as checks and balances to stop developers building ugly crap. The support for more density is shaky at best and we cannot afford a repeat of the disaster that was Auckland’s apartment buildings in the 1990s.

Local Authority Funding

One of the barriers to doing density well is local authority funding. Building up is cheaper long term, but requires more up-front investment in infrastructure, especially if you want to do it well.

Local Authorities have 40% of the infrastructure in this country, and 7% of the revenue to look after it. Development rarely pays for itself, so not only do ratepayers have to risk denser development lowering their property prices, they are also forced to pay higher rates for upgraded infrastructure. This is a toxic mix – we must give Local Authorities an incentive to welcome growth in their area.

TOP’s suggestion is to give them back the GST on development. This would give Local Authorities the funding to invest infrastructure, and the incentive to encourage denser development in their area.

Housing Supply

Even with RMA reform I’m not confident we will see a flood of supply to suppress house prices. Private developers simply won’t develop properties at a pace that will bring down land prices. The tax system gives landbankers no incentive to develop either.

Meanwhile, Kiwibuild is a dead duck. Affordable housing is impossible without affordable land. The only thing that could save Kiwibuild would be Kainga Ora’s ability to compulsorily purchase land.  This power is built into Labour’s Urban Development Act but would be hugely controversial for the government to wield.

The main focus from Labour and the Greens is on building more social housing, but this is ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff. As we have seen this term, I doubt they will be able to build it fast enough to keep up with the growth in the waiting list. The community housing sector needs to be empowered to take a much greater role with providing affordable at cost rentals.

Other Considerations

The cost of building supplies has at least earned the attention of Labour, which is a promising sign. There will apparently be an investigation if they are returned to power. Like most areas of competition policy I’m not sure what there is to investigate. We have the weakest competition laws in the world so my standing assumption is that the big companies are ripping us off.

Finally, immigration has slid off the table thanks to Covid, but it was certainly one of the drivers of the growth in the cost of housing over the past decade. This isn’t the fault of immigrants, we simply haven’t been building houses and infrastructure quickly enough to cope. Both red and blue look set to return to the strategy of using immigration to pump up the economy as soon as they can.

All in all, I see no reason to suggest there will be “sustained moderation” in the housing market. Until younger generations are willing to vote in sufficient numbers to take control of Parliament, they will remain at the bottom of the great Kiwi Ponzi scheme.


*Geoff Simmons is leader of The Opportunities Party.

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87 Comments

44
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If I where a young person in my 20s or 30s I'd look at moving abroad now. New Zealand is a severely unaffordable as a place to live and there is no chance that'll change any time soon.

11
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2030 is too far away for any politicial party to fathom in New Zealand.

27
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2021 is too far away for any political party to fathom in New Zealand (and yes I am being serious).

Go West, young man.

19
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Both my kids are heading to OZ, one just got a apprenticeship as soon as it is completed he is off. Daughter will follow no doubt. Can't blame them. No way they be able save what they need to buy house here, they young so give it a go somewhere else.

13
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I lived in Sydney for 7 years and was able to save three times as much in the same job. There are reasons why one million Kiwis chose to live elsewhere and I thoroughly recommend all young people to take better opportunities overseas.

Ha ha, incorrect.. us & more completely above that age range? even with 6 digits income each as a couple with kid/s, more than 30%base if decided to buy, thought it's not worth it to stay here, we've spent years of perfecting the skills that thought might be needed in NZ (you can say, that we're hermit in our focus work.. so be it), came out - bang! housing market distortion upon distortion. Kiwis? if you're only recently lured to this dream place to reduce Colposcopy list, to attend Patients Chemotherapy, teachers, police, engineers.. seriously move West!. Even recently the Uni Otago VC (in her 625k here) too decided to join the band, VCing again in WA (Q1 2021) - NZ/Aotearoa?... naa but thank you.

according to my calcs an average house in Akl will be $2M by 2030 (7% cagr) lul..

43
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Thanks for being the party that actually get it Geoff.

12
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Yes. Quite a bit of that tickled my common sense triggers.

Glass half full, Geoff. You may well be able to Rent or Buy a 'The End is Nigh' sign, and wearing that may Ease the Pain of seeing Gubmints stumble from fustercluck to fustercluck over the next decade.

For a wide-angle lens view, I'd recommend George Friedman's 'The Storm before the Calm', which is finally an optimistic outlook, if a little US-centric.

On housing, tax, monetary policy, etc damaging its (former) base and widening wealth divide it seems Labour is now a right of centre party (though many members probably genuinely still believe otherwise) and National is slightly more right, with Greens the only remaining left party. Yet it would likely do better on both its constituent parts if it split its socialist and green parts, now that there's no-one on the left, and b/c many Lab and Nat voters would likely vote for a real Green party, which could poll at 15% & consistently be in parliament.

Chilling piece re: your comment about competition law not addressed by Nats or Labour, by Geoff Bertram. "Why the Commerce Act 1986 is Unfit for Purpose". Policy Quarterly, Aug 2020. http://www.geoffbertram.com/fileadmin/publications/Why%20the%20Commerce%...

15
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A succinct analysis of the demise of what was once considered an egalitarian NZ society.

It seems politicians have been complicit and captured by corporations in the process.

The simulacrum that we call Capitalism is rigged, and the mechanisms are so cleverly obscured that the vast majority of participants willingly allow themselves to be exploited, disempowered or marginalized because they have no experience or even reference point to the authentic original version, as it no longer exists.
Everything they know and experience--the economic models, symbols, signifiers, narratives, adverts, etc., and their own conceptions of value and agency, have all been so thoroughly debauched that they have no idea that the authentic original has been lost.
The problem is our system only survives by cannibalizing its weakest parts, and once they've been consumed, the system can no longer sustain itself and it expires.

(CH Smith)

So I'm food. Your saying I'm food.

"and the incentive to encourage denser development in their area." so Auckland water woes are going to be fixed how?

More People ... duh!

12
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Until you fix (limit) population, zand fix (limit to sustainable levels) their consumption, all other bets are off the table.

Note the order of headings - and spot the economist. No idea. The problem was discussed this morning Geoff- VUW and the Biophysical Limits to Growth. Rather than opining, how about reading the papers they digested and THEN having something to say. Sorry, but while you avoid energy, resources, depletion and entropy (mentioned this morning) you remain some degree of irrelevant. Not that you're alone in that......

Fixed it for you.
Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born'
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/421284/fertility-rate-jaw-dropping-glob...

Fertility rates are dropping and below sustainment level, around children 2 per women, there are two things here that mean the population is increasing, 1 Africa is an exception, so New Zealand's population is increasing because we are importing people. 2. It takes time for it to kick in the population was less 80 years ago, around 2.2 billion so people assuming people are dying around 80 they are being more than replaced the much larger group, young women having children at a slower rate. However after a lag the population will decrease, assuming birth rates don't increase again. Why do you think we have a problem with no being able pay for super, its because we are not replacing our old people with young ones. If everyone started having 10 kids that problem would go away replaced with a much bigger one.

23
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Agree 100%. Why are we chasing population growth for the sake of growth? Judging by the way property is going we're well on the way to sacrificing the Kiwi lifestyle of a house and section. We're also well on the way to sacrificing our sustainability. For what? Just because people are fleeing from trashed overpopulated cities to New Zealand doesn't mean we should be striving to build our own trashed and overpopulated cities. Quality of life is much more important. So much short term thinking going on.

12
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Great comment. Most people know this but few are willing to say it.

As time goes on, even less will know it though. I can remember the real beach town feeling that Whitianga for example used to be. I have no interest in spending any vacation time and dollars there now. My daughter would have no idea what I'm talking about other than 'the olden days' as she would say.

19
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Empty house tax a must. Land tax to target debt speculation a must.

Tops property tax does exactly this by excluding rentals generating a minimum return and targeting empty property and land.

26
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This collective housing madness needs to end.
Vote Top

https://www.top.org.nz/

Yes , please do - the coveted Electoral Darwin Award shell be your well deserved prize.

If you’re completely satisfied with the status quo I have nothing to offer you unfortunately.

I am not .. but you - or TOP have nothing to offer - outside stealing my savings to buy a few votes .. and killing a few cats.

.

"There seems to be a cross party consensus that we need to reform the RMA to allow more development which is a big step forward."

sounds awesome
we need MORE suburbs, people, consumption and waste... and less planet

David Bowie comes to mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0MOFyCwULw

Madness. Yet Simmons isn't stupid; far from it. So you have to ask why his thinking ended up in this corner?

OK it took me until 3 mins into the song to catch your metaphor - Putting out the fire with gasoline.
In future could you please provide a spoiler at the bottom for people like me.
Thanks.

Chuckle.

Cryptic crosswords are fun too

:)

This was a refreshing perspective to read. However, I don't fully agree with the idea that the status quo is set in stone. Whether people want to believe it or not, we're about to enter a 'great insolvency' period unlike anything you've seen before. The banks are shoveling out credit like it's sand, but this is not going to last. In the case of NZ, you should expect a tsunami of SME bankruptcies in the not too distant future. This will ravage the housing market.

Evidence to support this proposal please. Genuine request.

If you agree that NZ and Oz are linked and affect each other then browse through the data that DFA gathers:
https://digitalfinanceanalytics.com/blog/

Employment, renter, investor, home owner stress is brewing.

What will be the unintended consequences of TOPS imputed housing tax... ( I think it is set at 3% of equity, as imputed income ). ... (With -ve rates looming , 3% seems awfully high as a "risk free rate of return )

If we look at the farming sector, in order to avoid income tax they leveraged up and bought more land.

Thinking while I type.....
Mortgage rates of 2.5% puts one into a better tax position... ie remortgaging the family home at 2.5% and using that money to buy a rental puts one, immediately , into a better tax position.
What will that do to house prices..?? To debt levels..??

The fact that there are no repair and maintenance deductions for the family home, but there are for rental properties ( as well as interest deductions), makes the incentive to leverage up the debt free family home...compelling.

I think a imputed (imaginary) rental income tax on the family home to be a dumb idea and also dishonest ( the assertion that it will solve the housing crisis ), and is no more than taking from Arthur to give to Martha

In one generation it would probably wipe out the possibility of the working/middleclass to own a mortgage free family home...

just my view.

I'm not suggesting you're wrong, but when interest rates rise (as they will), esp. in countries like NZ where mortgage rates are only fixed short term, going up 'only' say 2-4% from 2% has a profoundly different impact than when rates were higher. FHB who could borrow $500k at 12% but at 2% now borrows 900k is pumping the bubble that might explode around them if suddenly have to pay double or triple the fortnightly payments. The trouble with policy (N and L alike) wilfully inflating bubbles for votes rather than facing the issue hasn't changed in the history of bubbles.

The other point that doesn’t get much commentary is that central bankers are calling for higher inflation. Higher inflation = High prices for everything. I hope households with high debt level understand the impact of this on their monthly budgets.

Indeed. Seeking it too. But will inflation force banks to increase rates even if OCR stays low? More unintended consequences. There's also doubt if the policies will cause deflation rather than inflation. With rates already low, going lower doesn't have the same consumption effect. Ditto the wealth effect may not occur if people save more, spend less, perfectly sensible. Pushing the same policy in a low rate environment doesn't have the impact intended. And doing it repeatedly, hoping for a different outcome, is odder still. So, wealth inequality extended, tick, massive debt for future generations, tick, next, inflation? or deflation then stagflation? Seems we'll find out, as policy hole digging shows no sign of pausing for reflection.

so long as wage inflation equals or exceeds general inflation, then its a win for homeowners.. 5% per year pay rise, while mortgage debt is static or declining..

14
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When I read that more overseas NZers than ever have voted this year I started wondering/hoping if they might be more likely to be see-the-big-picture kinda people and that that may be good for TOP this weekend. I also thought the last few weeks of housing frenzy might tip a few voters their way in disgust at the state of things.

12
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Voting is damn hard if you actually have some worldly experience, a conscience, and friends from different walks of life. Sometimes it seems your vote could land anywhere.
I predict overseas kiwis will have their vote dominated by the relatively good performance of Jacinda in leading us to a good Covid response.

I actually find it really hard to even express eloquently, but goddamnit we really need the injection of one outspoken politician into parliament to express the insanity behind the housing frenzy. Enough excuses.

If housing was solved, it would also help substantially solve lack of income costs, education costs, health costs, food costs, retirement costs etc. because it would leave so much more disposable income in people's hands to pay for these costs.

It's the Vampire Squid that is sucking the life out of, well peoples' lives.

The only politician/party with a policy and that might be in a position and have the guts to keep expressing it is David Seymour. His delivery is getting better and has made a good fist of the Euthanasia referendum (irrespective of whether you are fore or agin).

David doesn't want to solve the housing crisis, he wants to repeal the FBB.

11
up

Act would not solve the housing crisis - they will make it much much worse. They will open the floodgates on immigration. One of their policies is free movement of people between NZ and the UK. Absolutely insane. You will not just get tremendous white flight from the UK but thousands of Indians, Africans and middle Eastern people will flood here.

I don't like their immigration policy, but immigration is not the fuel that fires the housing unaffordability issue.

The fuel for housing unaffordability is our restrictive zoning policies, irrespective of how much immigration we have (just look at what has happened with housing unaffordability now when our net immigration is very low).

What immigration is, is an accelerant once the housing fire is lit. If the housing unaffordability fuel is not lit by having less restrictive zoning, then any form of accelerant has very little effect.

zoning reflects physical limits (and therefore the need to adjudicate - even without the paper ones, we're into the last doubling-time.

Contiguous zoning gets wetlands drained and developed just because they are next to the last infrastructure connection, when if more housing was needed it would have been better to 'leapfrog' the wetlands to less valuable land or to allow the prior developed land to be reconfigured.

This is a different argument as to why the growth was there in the first place.

The development of land and housing in NZ is full of non-value-added costs (waste to you and I but revenue to those that take it). Irrespective of numbers, how we build and develop both land and housing is wasteful of resources.

I understand what you are saying here Dale - with responsive planning we can build enough houses to house everyone so we are not overbidding for the few available.

We also need to have an open population conversation. Do we want more people? What is the effect on infrastructure (housing, roads, schools, hospitals etc) that more people will bring and is that a price we are willing to pay? What is the impact on local workers if we don't train them and just import skills from overseas? What are the future resource implications? Will NZ end up with more people than it can feed? What are the environmental impacts? Do we want swimmable rivers? Do we want to lose native bush for more housing?

I will vote for any party that openly discusses this.

The answers to all your good questions are inherently solved by building warm, dry, healthy, and affordable homes, as to achieve this both in mindset and methodology means you have to care for the environment.

At the moment we have a 'save the world' mentality when the Govt/s. can't even get one warm, dry, healthy, and affordable house built.

Agree - every house we have or need should be warm, dry, healthy, and affordable and we should start on that now.

The other question is what is the total number of people (and therefore total number of houses) do we want in the future, all things considered.

Agree with your second point. Overseas voters also haven't seen the failures of this Labour coalition that were very clear in January.

The problem with outspoken politicians is that they invariably fail, and often not on the topic they're outspoken about (glorious exception is John Key begin outspoken on a single issue and failing miserably).

16
up

I wish the political debate would express more clearly (or more often) the link between ridiculous house prices and growing poverty. I'm not imagining that link, am I? Yet labour will continue to claim for the next 3 years that they are waging a war on poverty. They will continue to inject little fixes like supplements to keep voters alive, but never dare to take a radical step to redirect the housing obsession.

20
up

Having lived through the GFC in America and watched first hand the suffering a property bubble does (both at a macro and individual level), I'm firmly convinced NZ (and Aus) have some mental retardation when it comes to our obsession with real estate.

It's a cultural retardation.

It's because we are a commonwealth country (think similar problems in Aussie and Canada) and our housing market is based on the UK Town and Country Planning Act. In the US, California managed their own Democratic Party version of it, cue their unaffordability.

Fair comment .. unfortunately culture does not change easily or quickly .

It's a real thing:
- children in poverty before housing costs - 14.9%
- children in poverty after housing costs - 20.8%

https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/child-poverty-statistics-...

New Zealand has very high food, energy, telecommunication and housing costs compared to many overseas countries.
If I was young , educated/trained and ambitious
I would be off overseas as soon as it is safe. I have
heard farmers wives are voting Labour for the
first time ever. But they have property. Young people
who are voting should vote for politicians with
progressive property policies. If such a creature exists.

Get out of here with your facts and logic Geoff, you're assaulting the kiwi way of life for mom and pop investors that have earned their money by investing sweat equity and eating boiled cabbage for decades.

And then there is the other article on Interest right this minute that "FHB are taking a record share of the housing market" so go figure. Basically not much has changed, people with decent jobs or those that are prepared to compromise and make a few sacrifices are still buying houses. Not everyone will own their own house, its just the way it is. I have friends that did not buy a house, it was either an attitude or a mental barrier that held them back rather than a question of money. They were simply not prepared to compromise and now they are really pissed off in the 50's with no chance of buying.

Yip, you might be mentioned about us.. there Carlos, I've bought long ago when in early 20's then move around between countries, married, raise young ones, all along study/training perfecting our skills.. they said is the rare needed skills, but alas when time thought to be correct is going mad gang buster, with steroid - we're heading west with assurances on the cards, even six figures here? doesn't cut it to be in the such RE obsessed society. So take care ol' chap - remember, Wealth nothing compare to Health - we'll leave NZ to pondering as to why their highly specialised healthcare screening is getting longer? - yet, faster across the ditch? - we're one of them decided to put our energy there.. Not here, sorry NZ. We have enough of your RE obsessed madness, same like our economy, just tell every patients here.. No you don't have any cancer so just stop worrying or wasting your time on the test. Ignore it, it's just either death & remission after all ;-)

The MSM are doing all they can to give TOP no profile.

Thank you Int.Co

Imagine having no profile.

You'd be a one liner.

True even in 3D, one suspects......

Finally a policy I could vote for :)

12
up

The NZ economy is largely based on Kiwis selling houses to each other. NZers show very little interest in or enthusiasm for much else unless it involves a piss-up. So, house-based economy forever, and any weakening of the selling prices means a significant weakening of an economy under which there is no safety net. You think tourism and agriculture will prop it up? Lol.

Add to this terrifying prospect is the fact almost everyone within NZ politics and the judiciary have substantial property-based financial portfolios and it becomes obvious why no one is doing anything to treat NZ for its sordid house fetish.

The housing crisis really is boring now. There are things that could be done to meaningfully address it, but aren't.
I have given up on it. Basket case.

Yes know the feeling, but they need to be held accountable.

It's all happened by design or ignorance. Neither is excusable.

I think it's clear that neither of the major parties give a flying f#$" about housing, and I don't think any amount of protestation or lobbying will change that.
Sad but true.
Better just to accept it and move on, IMHO.

There needs to be rioting.

Unfortunately TOP and it's policies operate under a system that banks are intermediaries between borrowers and lenders. If you don't fix the debt money credit creation system operated by commercial banks then they are not changing anything..

11
up

The incomes / house price mismatch is a national disaster in so may ways. Poverty in the classic sense, and young people growing old while still having vast amounts of the weekly income sucked out by the mortgage.
Renters fare no better.
But tax is not the answer here, or for other manipulations.
Geoff mentions the demand side briefly and immigration, but offers no real solution with that.
But if we managed housing demand by a population policy, there would be great benefits. Empty houses mean cheaper houses.
A hard case immigration policy with a population objective of a lower population would do that. (as well as a different labour market and higher incomes.
Cheaper houses mean tenants can buy. Young people can form their families without decades of penury. And it would solve the looming retirement income cliff that faces people stuck in lifelong renting.
Yes some would get hurt, but we still need to do it - because it's only going to track worse. The problem has been caused by negligent governments for some decades now, but thats not a reason to avoid the fix.

It's all pretty poor really.

The Warehouse is just laying off up to a 1,000 people (plus all the others in other businesses to date) and yet house prices have skyrocketed.

Developers with stock had breathed a sigh of relief that they have managed to offload stock at inflated prices in a market that they don't even understand as professionals. There is no sense to it, but hey, take the money and run.

National when in power did nothing and labour did the wrong thing.

Only Act and TOP have half-decent housing policies but won't be in power 'enough' to make a difference.

The key to truly affordable houses is to remove restriction both up and out so prices will fall on land so it will become cheaper in ALL markets, so if you want to buy closer in you can,

But this is the result. https://www.oneroof.co.nz/news/38529 ie making huge compromises to make it affordable, like buying up shared driveways, close to motorways, leaky home prone houses etc. Yet if you read it as spin these, then people's choices show their preference, that is what they really want, so developers should build more of that type of poor housing.

'The market is %$&@&# in any rational sense. Best to let it crash and burn and start again.'

Now there is a political slogan.

12
up

As someone who considers the main election issue to be housing, there really isn't an option this election. I would vote TOP but as a believer in targeted welfare rather than blanket (UBI) I'd only vote for you as a throwaway knowing you're not getting in rather than not voting at all. And I would rather see supply and a long pause on immigration take care of the problem than new wealth / property taxes. But hey at least you're considering the problem and proposing solutions...

Labour have been utterly useless - campaiging on easing demand by cutting immigration, and increasing supply via KiwiBuild, they achieved neither and did absolutely nothing but stamp a KiwiBuild logo on existing developments. Listening to your health advisors through COVID and not stuffing it up isn't enough to sway me sorry. National had a pathetic track record beforehand, sitting on years of record growth, allowing mass immigration and foreign buyers. They have made no indication of changing - much the opposite in fact - they want to roll back the 5 year property sale restrictions and allow foreign buyers. ACT seem just like National, the Greens just like Labour, except their wacky wealth tax which i'm also not a fan of. NZ First talk big and achieve nothing - despite agreeing with Labour on many things, both achieved nothing of note in regards to housing.

12
up

OK I've finally decided who to vote for: TOP
It's turned out I've voted for a different party in every election but one in which I've been here to vote, and this will be party #6.
Best of luck, Geoff - kick up a storm.

He will - on Facebook ; but not in Parliament .
I personally HOPE he gets 4.9% taking the Greens down with him. However I EXPECT he will get about 1.5% and the other loony lot will just squeeze in.

I think Act will do better than that

:)

The current Greens aren't there, true. But then, they chose being voted-for by a porky-peddled populace, rather than fact-projecting oblivion. You have to go back to the original Values Party circa 1975, to find a future-appropriate Manifesto.

Sorry, misclicked report :(

Hi Geoff, Ask FHB for them even 2020s does not look better the way RBNZ has created a FOMO frienze in FHB by now openly comming to bat rising housing price.

Yep I will be telling my sons to head to oz. NZ has cesspool politics where the property investors are in power and are intent on subjugating the young and the poor. A young tradie working his but off every day and earning seventy k pays more tax than a property investor earning 7 million...

Can you remember the colour of the sky earlier this year?

That was Australia. And they're largely coal-fired.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5bNhQrKay0

I'm pleased not to be there. And I have a strong affection for the place and its people.

Australia has oodles of land and sunshine. Some great opportunities to be had building out renewable energy infrastructure over the next decade.

We admire too like your passion about this finite resources etc. But in the ends? it comes boiled into each of us living factors, for us as specialised Healthcare professionals OZ gave more opportunities for us, NZ have other priorities in this regards... sadly.