Hayden Glass on the need to be nicer, hitting the polls, planning Auckland, owning your own, KiwiSaver, the future of journalism, sharp hunger pains and more

Hayden Glass on the need to be nicer, hitting the polls, planning Auckland, owning your own, KiwiSaver, the future of journalism, sharp hunger pains and more

Hayden Glass is a consulting economist for the Sapere Research Group. He's also the chief operating officer of Figure.NZ and co-author of 'Going Places: Migration, Economics and the Future of New Zealand'.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz.

And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

1. Polite

Why aren't we nicer to each other? Time magazine recently said we are losing public space on the Internet to a culture of online venom and hate. A far cry from 2006 when you were the person of the year, as the creator of content on the World Wide Web. Was it all too much to hope for? Maybe we just use our new found online freedom to try to find those who think like us. Add homophily to your vocabulary. Seems like the gap between the crowd and the mob is small.

2. Politic

One of the benefits for the rest of us of the enthusiasm of the United States for nearly never-ending election campaigns is an abundance of polls. FiveThirtyEight.com reckons Hillary Clinton is, if not a shoe-in, has at least got a pretty firm toehold on the Presidential version coming up in November, although both candidates are highly unpopular by historic standards. Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight, is also an interesting character (and much more popular than either candidate). He made his name correctly predicting the quality of baseball players and then moved on to election outcomes, correctly predicting 49 out of 50 state races in the 2008 Presidential Election and then following up with a perfect score in 2012. His book, The Signal and the Noise is well worth your attention if you want to make decisions with data.

3. Sports

Which brings us to the question of which sport is the best, which of course depends on how you measure. Usain Bolt's 200m medal dash reportedly generated the most tweets per minute, although presumably most of those were before or after the fact, since the run itself took less than 20 seconds. You might be more impressed by the 10,000 metre runners who run 200m in a leisurely 32 seconds, but do 50 of them in a row at that pace (Mo Farah won in Rio in 27 minutes and 5 seconds). But surely amongst the most physically demanding is Biathlon (mercifully only at the Winter Olympics). To the rescue comes Quora, with a reasoned analysis of why Americans are so bad at it.

4. Planning

Auckland recently crossed a historic finish line of its own, with the city adopting a new plan after three years or so of public debate (although it is still subject to appeals at least until 16 September). The Council-drafted original went to an Independent Hearings Panel that reviewed it all, with some clever institutional design to discourage backsliding, and the Councillors themselves got on board to push it over the line.

Note to Aucklanders: you can find your house and see what might be possible in your neighbourhood under the Hearings Panel view of the plan on these excellent maps by Chris Macdowell on The Spinoff.

5. Management

The Productivity Commission reckons that permanent Hearings Panels might be a good idea. In a draft review of how we do urban planning as a country it also says that Councils try to control too many things, that environmental values are not clearly-enough defined in planning rules, and that the cards are generally stacked against development (bad news if you want to do to buy or build a house, for example).

6. Perspective

The answer you get on housing, as for anything, depends on the question you ask. For example, most Auckland households own their own homes, but because home-owning households tend to be smaller, most Aucklanders do not live in a house they own. Confusing much?

7. Openness

The Open Source Open Society (OS//OS to the cool kids) conference was held in Wellington the week before last, exploring the virtues and limits of openness in government, business and education. Ironically, the Internet's very openness makes it relatively easy for companies to carve out their piece of it. This is one view of how Facebook sees the world evolving (hint: it involves us all using Facebook a lot). Here is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, talking about the future of openness with The Economist.

8. Interest

Albert Einstein reportedly described compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world. If you feel the same then you might like the Herald's new data visualisation of KiwiSaver funds performance and fees charged over time. New Zealand KiwiSaver providers seem to be about expensive as those in Australia, with Bernard Hickey noting on Twitter that total fees are about one percent of the assets under management a year, a far cry from the (presumably more competitive) US sector. Not everyone is enamoured of compound interest: the main news headlines have been about the half of one per cent of total investments (150 million on 33 billion) that are in companies making bombs and tobacco products.

9. Journalism

Speaking of the future, and Facebook I guess, Russell Brown has been talking about the future of journalism recently (also mentions OS//OS: must be cool). Two hours of free online video? Methinks I see the challenge.

10. Dieting

A man underwent surgery to have 40 pocket knives removed from his stomach after complaining of abdominal pains. He had apparently eaten them over the previous couple of months, overcome by an irresistible hunger for cutlery. His body was presumably confused as to what to do with them. If only he had learned the lesson from the man who ate a plane (amongst many other things): cut it up into really tiny pieces first. Now, where is my knife?

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


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I like the polls' graph best. National nose diving, all else moving up!
#JKexit, F....Yeah!!

Hacking Democracy (HBO, 2006)

#5 - If the worsening state of our environment is anything to go by, our environmental legislation favours develppment too much, not too little....

# 9
Journalism in the mainstream media is dead.
Just watch TV news
"Here is the news, Richie McCaw blah, blah blah, the Olympic games blah blah blah and now for the sports news.
Where does the sports news start and end?

Thank goodness for the Internet where i get all my news.

In fact there is no such thing as journalism, it is all opinion, even on the Internet.
Not only that, everyone refers their articles to everyone else so no one is to blame for telling lies.
(Note how your articles refer to others publications - none of it is your own.) Exactly what the media does (copy stories and add some).

It was sickening the other morning to watch the 2 hosts of Breakfast trying to get a film critic to say that this movie about Richie was destined for greatness; when the critic had given it 2 stars.
The other sickening event was watching so called journalists being filmed on the Breakfast show looking for news that would be earth shattering from the Panama Papers
Its actually worse in the sports section where you have journalists too scared to be a critic of the All Blacks,Silver Ferns etc because they know there will be no more interviews for them.

The Unitary Plan is a joke. In Greenhithe , we have at our home , over 6,000 m2 of land ( that's just under 2 acres) and the plan says we can NOT subdivide in any way at all .

As the crow flies , about 700 metres away there is a high rise apartment block under construction at the offramp of Albany Highway and SH18 .

Go figure .

Surprised you haven't been in for a SHA. Just ring Nick Smith - he'll sort it for you.

There is a section that is covenanted ( less than 1/3 rd ) and I have bumped my head already ,so I am not going to bother , and might as well land bank the acreage until I retire or until the land shortage in Auckland is at an absolute crisis .

Its not costing me anything to land bank it , I live there , there is no mortgage on it and the rates are okay (ish) .

If the Town Planning dept are going to be so short sighted , its no skin off my nose

Sorted, go for it

yes meanwhile on Waiheke, the RUB has been recommended to be lifted. I thought ATEED showcased the island as the jewel in the crown, etc?
And now they want to intensify development? Makes no sense at all.

The Auckland Plan is to restrict as much as feasible the use of land around Auckland City, whilst eliminating restrictions around all towns in the Auckland region except Auckland City. Anti urban planning at its finest.

They do not want intensification. They do not want growth. They do want high land costs. And will generate sprawl.

FiveThirtyEight.com reckons Hillary Clinton is, if not a shoe-in, has at least got a pretty firm toehold on the Presidential version coming up in November

Nassim Taleb suggests that Nate Silver should get a day job outside of the prediction markets(as he does not understand probability theory)

Mark Kac neat feat with the telegraph equation and his stochastic model (from where the heat equation also arises) is similar.



538 also said Donald has a 2% of winning the nomination.

#Hillary for Prison 2016

#4 - Massive sprawl in the exurbs, becomes even more massive sprawl in the exurbs. If you like sprawl, then we are truly finished.

Why are we finished? Urban areas make up less than 2% of NZ, 80% of urban in the North Island. Plenty of room for a few more houses
"Natural forest covers about 30 per cent of New Zealand’s land area.

Collectively, low producing and high producing grasslands (likely to be predominantly used for agricultural grazing) cover half of New Zealand’s land area.

Between 1990 and 2008, land-use change occurred on around three per cent of New Zealand’s land area.

Most land-use change was due to the conversion of grassland into forest.

New Zealand has the second largest proportion of grassland and the sixth largest proportion of forest out of 30 OECD countries."

You forgot to mention how much of our land is suitable for horticulture, the sum of which is sweet FA, much of it in the Auckland area. Most of our agricultural land is not suitable for growing food plants and a lot of what might have been has been contaminated.

Complete rubbish. Horticultural land is constrained by capital and labour not available land. Look at vineyard conversion from drystock land in Central Otago etc in past 30 years for example. I don't agree with plonking house on elite soils like Pukekoe or Oamaru but to suggest there is a shortage of land in NZ for houses is laughable townie nonsense. Get out more.

Note below how hort has been established on cropping and grasslands.

"The area of land used for cropping and horticulture has increased by 4,500 hectares since 1990 (table 2 and figure 2). Most of the increase has been from the establishment of horticulture (eg, orchards and vineyards) on cropping and grassland. This coincides with the contribution of horticulture production to New Zealand’s economy nearly doubling during this time."

@ Profile. You need to know it's boney gravel and the like that grows those grapes in Central Otago. And does it well. But it don't grow much else.

Credit to the people who converted rabbit country to a thriving export and tourist industry. Especially the ones like Brady who were told it couldn't be done. If only we had more Bradys and fewer uninformed Mathusian hand wringers.

#2 If you like your information whole, fresh and without chemical additives, here is Donald Trumps entire "Immigration Speech".

Donald Trump Full Immigration Speech in Phoenix, AZ 8/31/16

Have you ever wondered why our paid media is so hysterically anti-Trump? Why EVERY commentator is against him? It is because, God Forbid, he is speaking common sense! Trump is going to win big in the States. TPP is going down the toilet where it belongs.

Many of Trumps comments about open door immigration are applicable to our own little "Land of The Homeless"

Mr Trump is derided by many, but represents the foundations, the principles that the USA was built on.

Have you watched the speech ?
Yes it is based on law & order but genuinely the best real speech I have heard .
Us before them , wish I could vote for that !!

I always see my Chinese colleague on WeChat and today they were very proud that PM John Key has joined WeChat to be in touch with his fellow people.

Anything to please the master and show his loyalty. Need say more...............

I don't think he will need WE CHat. I heard he has his first 10 speed dials starting with +86.....
Bronagh was well down the list. Our PM knows which side of his rice patties gets buttered.

Got to keep China happy or else they will ban our milk. See Australia.


Chong Kee knows his only way back into power next year will be through the Chinese vote. Simple as that.

And that

#1 (and #2) - fear the internet trolls - or fear the regressive politically correct idiots in mainstream media?

Take an hour and listen to this post-publication interview with the author, Joel Stein, of that Time cover article, and witness the far-left social-justice mess be gently and carefully unraveled by one of the very so-called trolls:

We are the Alt Right.

We made it to the front cover of Time magazine. A while ago I wrote in a comment that I expected the Troll to be Time's man person of the year.

Time Cover

>he thinks Time magazine is relevant in 2016

Over thirty years ago they were fairly conservative but like all other so called conservative things they seemed to totally lose their way. If Time wanted to get relevant they would need to go Alt-Right however the Alt-Right needs to be careful it doesn't get hijacked like the Punk movement did back in the late 70s. That Milo guy linked to above seems pretty dubious.

Milo is based.

Listening to him now and he's cutting that Joel Stein to pieces. Conservatives and decent folk have been trolled for years by TV and Hollywood and Leftists, now the shoe is on the other foot they're howling like little babies, calling for the shutting down of the Internet.

The establishment has no idea how to attack him, they just cannot.

Neither can the cuckservatives.

Zac, FHB, need to know, should I buy in Avondale now?

It's hard to know right now. My gut feeling is that there is no rush so don't make a hasty decision. If you see a house that really suits you and you can afford it then buy it however those houses generally have a few people interested in them. Buy a detached house or B&T unit that an investor would be interested in, ie: easy to rent out. Avondale is sort of becoming part of Central Akld, especially with the inter-change coming online.

Hmmm. But that's what I said the last 11 times we had a "down turn"

Where else should i be targeting? bare in mind i will be living in this house and renting out the other rooms. Thanks based Zac

I would tend to favour West Auckland over South Auckland but I'm a Westie from way back so am a bit biased. Te Atatu South and Peninsula being the closest suburbs to the upgraded motorway are good bets.

@ Ubdecided_voter: No wait for the foreign investor tax after we vote National out! Then you can make a realistic investment.

Not waiting until 2020 man...

"Vancouver home sales down 26 percent after foreign ownership tax"

"Home sales in the Vancouver region's heated housing market fell 26 percent in August on a year-to-year basis after the province introduced a tax on foreign home ownership, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) said on Friday.

In a statement, the board said August sales totaled 2,489, down from 3,362 in the same month last year. That decrease followed a 19 percent year-to-year decline for sales in July.

British Columbia introduced a 15 percent tax on foreign real estate buyers in Vancouver in late July, a measure geared at increasing housing affordability..........."

I will post this link which BigDaddy posted in another thread, it gives you a better Vancouver picture .... Note that prices have been heading down since March but the 15% just triggered an avalanche .. do not judge very quickly ,,, Understand what is happening over there ( besides the 15%) and wait for the results, they could be heading for a disaster ...

How much more proof do we need about how much influence foreign investors have over a global market?

About another 14 months worth

JK will need about 14 months more proof before he will do anything hastily or just do anything period.
That is based on the latest date possible for the next election of 18 Nov 2017 but methinks he might be calling an early election before it goes completely tits up and he is revealed to all the faithful as the naked emperor.