Bernard Hickey wonders what policies a Generation Rent Party would use to combat the inter-generational wealth transferring policies of Generation Winston

Bernard Hickey wonders what policies a Generation Rent Party would use to combat the inter-generational wealth transferring policies of Generation Winston

By Bernard Hickey

Just imagine what a political party designed to represent New Zealand's young renters would do if it got into power in Auckland or Wellington.

Let's call it the Generation Rent Party.

For now, it's a moot point. Voting rates in Auckland Council's 2013 elections were painfully low for the all ages at between 31% to 37%, depending on the ward involved.

The 'younger' wards of Manukau, Manurewa and Waitakere were at the lower end of that range. Council election turnout for those aged 18-39 was likely to be less than 20%, given voting rates for the young in local body elections tend to be between a third to two thirds the rates of those aged over 60.

Less than half all eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 30 vote in General Elections in New Zealand.

For whatever reason, young voters don't seem to know or care or are able to vote to protect their interests.

That contrasts with Generation Winston which was even more motivated and able to protect their interests by voting for New Zealand First last year.

That's either a fatalistic view based on a cynicism about the Facebook Generation being too busy 'liking' each other to vote, or it's a huge opportunity for some entrepreneurial politicians to shift the balance of power by capturing that vote.

Winning the young and disenfranchised vote certainly won Barack Obama his second term, but last year's election showed no one has managed it in New Zealand. Yet.

Lets, for imagination sake, imagine if they did.

What policies would they pursue?

Firstly, they would act to try to make housing affordable again for first home buyers who want to start a family before they turn 40 without having to beg their parents and grandparents for money (for those lucky enough to even have wealthy relatives). Or at least make them affordable enough so that rents consumed less than 30% of their disposable income.

House prices in Auckland are rising again at double digit rates and rent inflation is accelerating into the higher single digits. The median house price in Manukau was 25% higher in January than a year ago.

Record high net migration, heavy buying by rental property investors pumped up with interest-only mortgages and unfettered buying by non-residents has combined with chronic under-supply to pump up house prices again.

That is flowing through into rent inflation and has the Government worried enough to point out that its NZ$2 billion a year of spending on accommodation supplements and income related rents actually subsidises more than half of all rental properties.

If in power in Auckland, the Generation Rent Party would remove the shackles on development of higher density housing in the fringe 'heritage' suburbs around the CBD, which would free up supply in areas close enough to the centre to use cheaper and less time-consuming public transport (remembering of course that Generation Rent are much less likely to own cars).

This idea of removing restrictions on apartment heights, view shafts, parking requirements, balcony sizes and sizes of backyards is not as outlandish as the NIMBY Boomer opponents would make out.

An NZIER study conducted for Auckland Council this found these restrictions cost households NZ$933 a year by pushing up house prices across Auckland, and increasing commuting times and transport infrastructure costs.

Generation Rent would also impose a land or capital tax on the generation who gained more than NZ$400 billion in wealth over the last 20 years because house prices more than doubled in Auckland in particular because of the land supply restrictions that boosted their own wealth at the expense of generations to follow.

It might also use the Crown or Council balance sheets to fund mass home building programmes.

Secondly, Generation Rent would move to rectify the inter-generational wealth transfer around tertiary education. The generation who received tertiary educations for free in the 1970s and 1980s then ensured they didn't have to pay so much as taxpayers by forcing students from the 1990s onwards to pay fees and take on big student debts.

A first step would be reduce or remove those fees, as has been done in places such as Germany and Scotland.

Thirdly, Generation Rent would move to reduce the future cost to them as taxpayers of the escalating cost of universal New Zealand Superannuation and health care for an ageing population. It is currently expected to rise to 6.7% by 2060 from 4.1%.

One of the younger new MPs, David Seymour, is at least trying to raise the issue again.

The unfairness is galling for overwhelmingly younger beneficiaries who see their benefits rise in line with Consumer Price Inflation (0.5% this year) while NZ Superannuation payments rise in line with average wages (2.5% this year).

This would be rectified by delaying the retirement age and breaking the pension's link with average wages.

The Gold Card would be the Gone card too.

Those are the sorts of things Generation Rent would do in power, if they either knew about the intergenerational wealth transfer happening under their noses or cared enough to vote.

For now, it's a moot point because Generation Rent is Generation Doesn't Vote, while their older and creakier neighbours least know how to shuffle into a voting booth.


A version of this article was also published in the Herald on Sunday. It is here with permission.

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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Good one, Bernard
All they need is a Winston or Bob Jones.
They do not even need to gain power, just put the fear of god into the rest of us.
They would get votes from some unlikely quarters like some of us who have benefited from the last 40 years who believe we do not deserve the so-called riches but have used our gains to help out our own kids when we should not have had to.

More Gen Rent are getting house deposit and student loan repayment help from parents than baby boomers did. So maybe it all evens out. 
Fee free Uni is a good idea.  One problem with this is the need for stricter entry criteria, as in Germany it can very difficult gain entry into the degree/uni of our choice.  Unlikely to happen in NZ, as our Govt underfunds our Unis and Ploys by 10% or so forcing dependency on international students.   Many of NZs unis, Polys Wanaanga and PTEs are facing financial major problems which will force mergers throughout the sector, which is probably govt deliberate policy. Vice Chancellors can't/don't speak out on funding issues under this Govt.  
Auckland Queen st Now has every university, polytechnic from every city (Otago, Wellington etc) running 'international only' mini campuses, desperately trying to get money from international students to make up their financial deficits.  This also meets the govts increased immigration policy by proving work permits after grad, then permanent residency.  Policies based purely on financial goals and not thought through on wider educational or social issues. 
The percentage of NZers with student debt, and by how much would be interesting research. - not just young people affected ,  many 40 50somethings have retrained and now have 40k student loan debt. Adding debt entrapment onto every young citizen must surely be bad policy? 
Non means tested universal Super is a non complicated method of ensuring no poverty amongst elderly, and prevents disincentives to save for retirement.  Why save in KS and invest if it will remove/reduce the general Super?  The criteria for years living/working in NZ could be tightened so we don't become an old age village for recent immigrants.  

"More Gen Rent are getting house deposit and student loan repayment help from parents than baby boomers did. So maybe it all evens out..."
Well, sort of - guess who is ahead - a LOOOOONG way ahead?
The mortgage lenders, who now have the parents on the hook as well as the young first home buyers, for a sum of money relative to actual incomes and GDP, of several times as great as otherwise in the long term. 
You see, the boomers who tell us they 'ad it tough in their day too, because they had high interest rates for their small mortgages, are leaving out a vital fact. Their outgoings relative to their income may have been similar in year one, to a current first home buyer with a huge mortgage and a low interest rate. But back in the day of high interest rates, you had high inflation and correspondingly high nominal income growth. By 10 years later the mortgage could be knocked off. The current generation will either have to pay 3 times as much in real terms over the ten years (probably impossible), to achieve the same result, or pay for 30 years instead of 10.
It is so crooked that this fact gets left out constantly. 

Plenty of room in my view to reduce consumption and increase investment.  Don't encourage whinging Bernard.
Encourage those who buckle down to the task. Buy the house. Hammer the mortgage. Slay the student loan. Max the kiwisaver. Live long and prosper.

Living long and having a high paying career (prosper) will be an absolute necessity for all of that, if you want to eat along the way.
You should go and spend some time with people who only have a few dollars left for discretionaries (you know, food, clothes) after paying the rent and the power and they are not all beneficiaries by a long way.

"investing" into over-priced housing isnt productive.
All the debt you mention means that this generation wull never have the wealth of its parants/grandparents even before peak oil, demographcs or the debt mountians.

so cut back on everything (except taxes, because government needs to pay big wages) so there's a chance you might have some sort of payoff in the afterlife...sorry retirement.   I don't follow your false religion.  Whether it's cheese or goalposts, the older crowd have been playing things in their favour and against the younger generations my whole life.  You think that's going to magically change if I give them my money so it can take haircuts and they can pay their ponzi returns with it.  Hal'e'lu'yah (yeah right)

What we need to keep repeating in response to the boomers who tell us they 'ad it tough in their day too, because they had high interest rates for their small mortgages: their outgoings relative to their income may have been similar in year one, to a current first home buyer with a huge mortgage and a low interest rate. But back in the day of high interest rates, you had high inflation and correspondingly high nominal income growth. By 10 years later the mortgage could be knocked off. The current generation will either have to pay 3 times as much in real terms over the ten years (probably impossible), to achieve the same result, or pay for 30 years instead of 10.
It is so crooked that this fact gets left out constantly. 

You are correct of course, unless... something happens to re-ignite inflation. Perhaps a strongly left wing government that is not fiscally prudent gets elected. At some point there will be a downturn and a change of government will follow. All it takes to set up a nice bit of inflation is for the government to run a big fat juicy deficit for a few years, this will steal money from the elderly and give to those in high paid jobs in Auckland just as Bernard recommends.
Government spending has two sides;
1. It can spend money poorly or well.
2. It can spend more or less than it taxes back, ie, run a surplus or deficit. If it runs a deficit that is big enough for long enough you will get inflation.
Personally, I don't see that as a solution to anything.
We had a 10 year period of interest rates too low (repressive - just like Herr Bernard likes) coupled with a fiscally tight wad "socialist" government that extended the power of the central planners to mess things up big time. Following the ten years of stagnation and decline masked by borrowing $100,000,000,000 under Labour; we have had 6 years of partial paralysis under National masked by borrowing another $100,000,000,000 or so. The figures are approximate but accurate to the order of magnitude I believe. Until someone actually guts the regulations around housing the sorry saga will continue and we will continue fighting amongst ourselves.
I've been finding Warren Mosler and Michael Pettis excellent about how economics really work, by the way.

Oh lets see perhaps,
a) we should consider that the Reublican party being right wing is inarguably responsible for much of the US Govn's debt.
b) What left wing Govn in NZ in the last 20?+ years has been non-prodent?  bear in mind that Donny tax cuts Brash tried to buy the 2005 election and JKey succeeded in doing so.
c) where right wing govns or govns that have followed right wing orthadoxy have gone for austerity they have shrunk the country's economy, eg UK, Greece.
So two examples of right wing Govn and one of right wing dogma doing huge damage to an economy.
Are you really saying the left can be more incompetant? doubt it somehow.
c) inflation cannot occur when in a zero bound trap, but then that is Keysian economics.
What we really risk is deflation, take a look at the tradebles sector in NZ, around the -1% level for many, many months?
Labour didnt borrow btw, it paid down debt.  Private individuals exercising their free right to  gamble  uh I mean invest how they saw fit, did.
In terms of what National borrowed, see c) for how badly that turned out elsewhere if they had not.

Er, steven, I was merely suggesting a fiscally imprudent Labour government might get in next. National have been just as fiscally rash in the past (I think Muldoon was National wasn't he?). As you point out, right wing governments can get away with murder more easily than left wing ones (yes I do mean Republicans). My point was, inflation is very easy to create, some people know how and others do not. 
Your point about Labour paying off debt is a good one. We all thought they were very clever at the time, but it turned out to be an illusion. From memory the government paid off $30,000,000,000 or so and householders borrowed $100,000,000,000 to enable them to do so. Something of an own goal I would say. Hey, they are polticians, so what do you expect?
National are equally incompetent but in different ways (think 6 years in office and no reform of housing regulationsand another $100,000,000,000 in housing debt).

Right now the numbers add up in WP's favour.
Hence why such apathy.
Sad we have no real leaders.
Oh and BTW the Green's are trying for the youth vote, but dont seem to be getting far.

If they are smart and install Vernon Tava as the male co-leader they may go some way to addressing that.

why? never even heard of him.

Then I suggest you find out about him, he is one smart cookie.

""I dedicate most of my time to the local board but I also work as a lawyer at the Auckland Community Law Centre, formerly the Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office, representing and assisting clients on low incomes," he says on the board's website."
Yes very green, not.
Dont confuse smart with leader, or visionary.

Wait and see, seeing as you haven't heard of him and presumable from him then you are probably aren't really in a position to comment. I like him for his clarity of view, he is very easily able to put a message across and that would come in handy once in parliament.

I've never heard of him either even though he is an elected rep for my neighbourhood.

Most of us had never heard of John Key till he showed up here in the National Party, either

Many of us still wish we hadn't.

For sure.

Interesting how people live to regret past decisions - the next task is to exercise wisdom and self-reflection, and so avoid repeating them ....

Yet a lof of ppl voted for JK, and will probably do the same in 2017.
The Q is why.

 I have no idea who's my National list MP either, or if I even have one.
He's a bit of a Greenie and you are not? so I suppose its not hard to understand if you are not looking.

He also wants to go into Govn with National.
kind of um, no thanks.
but Im not closing my mind to him, just so far its downhill.  the west caot xchap looks the bets candidate so far.
Also he isnt in Parliment, which suggests someone has to de-list.
actually I may chnage my mind,
"Please read it to see why this is not about Blue-Greens or Red-Greens but Green-Greens:"
"The election has been a complex one with many factors at play but the lack of growth in the Green vote is most likely because of the party’s positioning of itself as a party of the Left and one of the Far Left at that."
he has possibilities.

It is actually time to throw off the shackles of "left" and "right" most especially because so many people don't seem to understand what it means. The political spectrum is so much more than a one dimensional linear thing of left and right and once you understand that you can also understand how what actually is left and right can work together, it's the authoritarian/libertarian aspects of the whole thing that have more difficulty coalescing

Is unaffordable housing caused by NIMBYism, oppressive planning controls and land banking just an intergenerational transfer or is it also a missed opportunity for productive growth in our economy?
If it is the latter then in the long term it is just as damaging to the elderly as future generations will not have the productive capacity to support them in their dotage.

add to unaffordable is excessive regulatory demand, and high worker overheads.

I can get a room worth of timber and gib for under $1000 (trade).  But throw in all the overheads and inspections and planning/consent costs, fuel energy, inflated tool costs, ACC and PAYE costs to labourer and business, the labour goes from cheap 10/hr to 50/hr to make the same Net Profit & wage buying power.  it's all those overheads which blow out the costs.

Let's drop the offensive Generation Winston nonsense.
I am sure if proper analysis was unearthed by the author conditions similar to those being experienced in England and Europe could be attributed to the outcomes currently observed in New Zealand and more so in Auckland.
The decline of the middle class since the 1980s has been noted across the UK and Europe, as the number of well-paid, middle-skill jobs in manufacturing and clerical occupations has gone down and the relative earnings for workers around the median of the wage distribution has dropped.
He said: “While there are staggering levels of wealth in London, many are also on the breadline. Too often the headlines are about the capital being the playground for the super-rich, which masks the increasing poverty that many face. In 12 of the 33 boroughs in London, the poverty rate doubled from 1980 to 2010. The net result of the growth in poverty and wealth is a big reduction in households in the middle. This is worrying for those who want a capital city that accommodates all diversities. Often we think about this in relation to ethnicity, but income is hugely important, especially if we want a city that functions and is fair.
“A significant factor is the cost of housing and our attitudes to property ownership in this country. To reverse these trends, we must build more genuinely affordable homes and make it more difficult for the wealthiest to buy up houses solely as an investment opportunity – a safe and affordable home is a basic human need that must be met.” Read more

Of course the Guardianistas who write that stuff, are no help whatsoever on the main issue: housing supply. All they can talk about is wealth redistribution and social housing and upzoning.
Upzoning increases site rents and makes the rentier class even happier. It never results in greater affordability of housing. 
Social housing in a distorted market like the UK's, merely results in those who don't get social housing being even worse off than those who do. Thatcher was right: this sort of thing "runs out of other people's money". Of course the Guardianistas would have said the solution was to increase the provision of social housing, when 33% of the population was already in it and the country was too broke to pay for anything more. Presumably 99% of the population in social housing and the top 1% paying for it, is sustainable in the Guardianistas utopia.
No criticism of urban planning is tolerated by the Guardianistas. It cannot possibly be the cause of any problems like social injustice in housing, in their alternative universe.

its not just housing supply in London - with things like shift renting (you share a cot for 8-12 hours then its some one elses turn).  its simple volume of people.
Similar with Hong Kong,  not everyone can be rich, so the lowest end of the curve always struggle.  By having huge population sure, the top 50% do well, but by head count their are more poor thsn there were people before.  How is that social progress ?

Bernard asks :-
If young people were running things, would they create more high-density housing?
Look at the image in his identical article published in the NZ Herald today
The subtext of the image coupled with Bernards article is higher density brings affordability
Well, it is coming, the higher density that is, not too sure about the affordability bit
You be the judge
Here it is - announced in the Herald last week - look at the picture atop this one
Remember Gareth Morgan's article with something like this sitting on top of One-Tree-Hill?
NZ's biggest apartment development plan unveiled
Albany 800-unit "Rose Garden Apartments" project
Albany Rose Garden Apartment project is the country's biggest scheme of its kind
Chinese developers plan to build the huge scheme, on bare land at 25 Don Mckinnon Dr.
Prices for one bedroom apartments will start from $399,000
Head Office - Albany Rose Garden Development Ltd
That will make a dent in Auckland's 10,000 housing deficit

It is a filthy lie that upzoning creates density that is more affordable than otherwise. There is no example of this anywhere in the world. The highest density cities are all unaffordable - like Hong Kong, median multiple 16. The affordable cities are all NOT high density.
High density is always the result of a de facto racket, that succeeds in gouging MORE out of households for their living costs, the MORE you can squeeze them in and force them into a gladiatorial bidding war against each other for decent amounts of space. 
The big rentiers KNOW all this, that is why they support compact city activism and probably fund politicians (and exert undue influence over policy) over this issue. The mainstream media lets this potential corruption go on in full view without a bark.

Personally I think NZ super is a good thing, no one gives you a grantee that you will live to be 65 so its not such a good idea that the individual should have to fully fund there cost of living in retirement when they may not need it.

What did annoy me was reading an article in the Sunday star times about the “Auckland rate revolt” with a pensioner complaining that his $3600 rates bill on his $1.2M house was too much. Well who does he think should pay rates????

This idea that the generational divide is not as bad as it seems because parents try to help there children out for the house deposit or to pay for education, this is the idea of fools and is just wrong. Who wants to live in a country where the success of the next generation is dependent of the financial strength of there parents, to be educated and have a roof over there head. We already decided too much inequality is bad.

In my personal opinion, it would be goofd to look at making the first few years "pay your own way" perhaps 10-20; then state assitance after that.  you then have a fixed target and the state is only up for real outliers.

ARB, I think your insight is excellent. Of course the racket that is going on, will result in greater and greater chronic inequality. There will be families where the parents never got a house of their own and of course won't be able to help their kids either. 
Even those who can help their kids, are merely helping to line the pockets of the financiers and property rentiers. No-one in the real economy is anything other than further behind compared to the historic norm of maximum opportunity for all.

for a few its neither a priority or a concern.  government or someone else has always looked after them so they dont comprehend a need.

Simple. Rent campaign that goes viral. "From xxx date we are all paying our landlords a reduced rent of xx amount". No need to wait for the farce of electioneering to do anything...just get technology working.  Go go it you good young things...

We need young people to have ingenuity, drive and ambition it worked for every other generation.....some of your articles are turning into elder abuse.
Bernard did you not endorse the RBNZ LVR policies??????   And in endorsing such action you made sure that FHB would have a far more difficult job getting into the housing market didn't you? Some of us tried to warn you of the folly of LVR's but as a journalist with an extreme Socialist bent you chose to completely ignore us!!!
NIMBY's can only exist due to do-gooder socialist policies so get rid of the regulations and the NIMBY's will go too.

It is the condition of housing supply that determines how many people will be priced out of home ownership. 
All that LVR's and the availability of credit do, is affect the deposit size, length of time saving, and the size of mortgage taken on, by those who do succeed in buying a home eventually.
House prices will move to take up any slack at all. 
South Korea has had LVR's of around 50% for decades - imagine the riot if Graeme Wheeler suggested that!  Yet house price median multiples have still gone boom-bust within a range of up to 14 and down to 7. Young couples with parents assistance might put down 50% of the house value when they are 35, and typically still have up to 7 times their annual income left to pay off.
A Bank of International Settlements recent paper was very confirming to me.
“Can non-interest rate policies stabilise housing markets? Evidence from a panel of 57 economies”
– conclusion:
“…..None of the policies designed to affect either the supply of or the demand for credit has a discernible impact on house prices. This has implications for the degree to which credit-constrained households are the marginal purchasers of housing, or for THE IMPORTANCE OF HOUSING SUPPLY, which is not explicitly considered in this Study……”

There already has been a political party, "Affordable NZ" - whose main policy is straight from the Hugh Pavletich advocacy book.
Stephen Berry got nil sympathetic media coverage and still came 3rd in the Auckland Mayoralty contest after Brown and Palino, 2 places ahead of John Minto who got reams of sympathetic coverage. 
I sincerely hope Berry and his companions can build in this - it was a social media accomplishment, which is exactly how you get young people out voting. 
It speaks volumes about the vested interests and who is beholden to them, that this can be so completely under the msm radar. The only stuff that can be talked about by approved commentators in the context of a potential generation rent party, is capital gains taxes, restrictions on immigration, upzoning and subsidies. None of this actually restores affordability, as the powerful rentiers know well. But suggest new suburbs on greenfields, which always has been the only way to affordability market-wide, and the establishment and their useful idiots will come out swinging against you. QED.
The beliefs in what central planning can achieve, is just a re-run in a different context, of the experiment that ruined Eastern Europe for decades. The Poms have had plan-led housing supply for decades, and they NEVER GET IT, that "potential maximum supply on a nice plan under upzoning and tinkering with boundaries" is NOT AT ALL the same thing as ACTUAL STUFF THAT WILL GET BUILT!!!!!
In fact the planning quota system guarantees that a significant part of the carefully-calculated "supply" WILL NOT HAPPEN. Meanwhile the city of Houston builds more houses than the whole of Pommy-land and somehow this is close to the right quantity for actual growth that is happening, and no planners did any projections or ran their slide rules over any sector maps. If you believe in top-down central planning over free markets you are a b----y idiot, possibly a useful idiot into the bargain. 

British productivity is a national disgrace      
By Jeremy Warner
This brings us to the longer-term causes of Britain’s productivity deficit. The problem cannot any longer be pinned on obstructive unions and incompetent managers, as in the Seventies. Today, the causes are much more likely to be oppressive planning controls, which have hugely increased development land costs relative to overseas jurisdictions; persistently low levels of business investment; and undue dependence among British businesses on domestic demand.

Too many British companies are lazily content to rely on the captive market of UK household consumption to feed their growth, rather than seeking a place in fiercely competitive international markets. And too many British entrepreneurs seem to regard the purpose of business as simply that of stripping their companies down to the last light bulb, dressing them up for sale, and then retiring to the country with the labradors. This is not the dominant business culture found in either the US or Germany.
No post-war British government has attempted properly to get to grips with these deficiencies. Obviously there is lots of soul searching, but rarely is any "solution" suggested that doesn't involve spending another lorry load of public money - on infrastructure, education, training, and so on. All too often, public policy focuses only on treating the symptoms, by for instance topping up low pay through tax credits, an approach only likely to make the problem even worse. Why become more productive when labour costs are subsidised by the taxpayer? Britain’s post-crisis collapse in productivity growth provides the loudest possible of wake-up calls, but still nobody seems to be listening.
European countries where homeowners have profited most from their property?

Fantastic graph showing how Germany has no housing inflation in the last 18 years while the UK has had several hundred percent, various other European countries are arranged between, with Sweden being worse once lower interest charges are accounted for. Also of note is how 'profitable' property investing is doesn't seem to be in proportion to local interest charges. Therefore credit is not the cause of housing inflation -or at least it requires another factor such as a culture of home ownership or elastic supply of new housing.

Democracy is a sham, and "Rent Party" is a pipe dream.  Not going to happen.  Is anyone actually surprised that people are feeling disinfranchised.  Have fun in fantasy land.  
Of course we could vote in a "Rent Party" and then be totally surprised when the slogan changes to "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

finally get to agree with you 

FYI here's a contribution by a reader via email:
I am at the tail end of the baby boom and have watched in dismay as the feather bedding which was in place for the 60's generation has been dismantled for the following generations as times and the economy have changed. My older brothers and sisters received more state support than I did and I received vastly more than my children have or are likely to have. We can all understand that the economy is not as strong as it was in the 60's and 70's but the 60's generation who were all high minded and liberal in their youths are now turning out to be as self serving as the generation they rebelled against - what's more I bet they have no idea of their own hypocrisy.


But you're right, if the young don't vote, they have little or no leverage.

As one of these also, I agree.
cant see it and dont want to.

Bernard - This is neither journalism nor in good taste.
As you say yourself at the very beginning
"Just imagine what a political party designed to represent New Zealand's young renters would do if it got into power in Auckland or Wellington"
(Comment edited. Please debate the issues, don't insult the author or other commenters. Ed).

You are being offensive and out of order.

How so Steven?
Bernard has a pre-disposition to only publish material that supports his case
In this case - "feather-bedding" - where does that come from?
Remember Steven - you weren't here - so you can't comment
Feather-bedding is both an interesting and deliberately antagonistic statement
Remember, at that time, income tax rates were 66% in the $1 plus Social Secutiry Tax of 7.5%
I suspect whatever feather-bedding the writer refers to is unlikely to be have been any more than the quantum of todays rent-assistance, Welfare for Families plus any other welfare payments - but then Bernard likes to go with sweeping genalisations without ever providing evidence

Here's an effort to dig back into the memory banks
In the 1960's the main feather-bedding was "Child Allowance", payable only to the mother, plus (if you chose to) you could capitalise the child allowance on the first child (to buy your first home) so long as the home was in joint names as a family home, if you sold the house you had to pay it back, then there were state advances loans, at favourable rates, to buy a first home, both of those were means tested. then there was free tertiary education.  
Oh yes, then came the DPB for single mothers
Anyone think of any more?

This is hysterical nonsense aimed at promoting intergenerational hatred and advancing the right wing agenda to asset test pensions.
Firstly there is no evidence to support the claim that NZ$400 billion" went to baby boomers.
Secondly even if it did the actual figures demonstrate it is not the windfall that Bernard is claiming justifies his ongoing vilification of the baby boomers.
400 Billion in figures is 4000,000,000
Let's put some figures in.
Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964.
That means they are currently between 51 years old and 69 years old.
I'll use the Statistics NZ figures for 2013 with the age groups 50 years old to 69 years old.
That should be reasonably close for this discussion.
In the Auckland region boomers make up 21% of the population.
That is  313,310 of a total population of 1,493,200
If we devide $4000,000,000 by 313,310 we get $12,767 per boomer.
Hardly the huge wind fall Bernard is claiming has gone to the boomers.

Ransome: Unfortunately $4000,000,000 is only $4 billion

if we use the 400 billion figure the answer is just silly. It means that every boomer in the Auckland region has gained on average $63,835 dollars per year for 20 years making each boomer worth on average, $1,276 million. 4 billion is worth considering but 40 billion never mind 400 billion is in the realms of fantasy.

looks like reality to me.

more like 1.2 MILLION each. that will buy you a nice house, or a calculator.

Dont know where you lost the $76,000, maybe in the same place Bernard found the $400 Billion





two young median incomes 1550$ with a kid, per week
rent 550
childcare 333
groceries 250
fuel 100
utilities 50
phones + internet 50
lunches 50 (5x5$x2)
one offs 150 (clothing, mechanic, insurances, depreciations...)
add a swimming pool or gym once a week, and you have nothing left.
that's what young people have to deal with.

One child in child care $333 per week.  Perhaps other alternatives to the current care could be considered. 
At this pre school the max payable is $220 per week.

I'm talking about Auckland. find me a cheaper childcare in newmarket for 1 year olds with availability and I take him there. bear in  mind if you work 8-17 childcare needs to be close to work to be able to pick up kid on time.

$333 for a full week is quite good.

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