Auckland's housing market is not going to be getting any help from Australia's flat-lining labour market any time soon as net migration levels to NZ look set to stay high

Auckland's housing market is not going to be getting any help from Australia's flat-lining labour market any time soon as net migration levels to NZ look set to stay high

By Alex Tarrant

One of the best ways to reduce pressure on Auckland housing is by fixing the Australian labour market, a cabinet minister remarked to me recently. But the latest developments on this front aren’t too rosy.

While obviously not something the New Zealand government has any control over, the state of the jobs market across the ditch has a significant effect on the NZ economy, including on net migration and the labour force, consumer spending and inflation, and housing pressures.

In its latest commentary on the economy earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said it expects housing demand in New Zealand to be supported through 2017 by high net migration here and low mortgage interest rates.

If economic conditions overseas do not improve as anticipated, particularly in Australia, then net migration inflows into New Zealand could continue at around current rates, the RBNZ said in its February Monetary Policy Statement.

That is, at about 70,000 per year.

Relatively favourable labour market conditions in New Zealand have seen arrivals continue to increase, while departures have remained low.

Net outflows to Australia are currently around zero, compared to historically averaging around 15,000 per year, the RBNZ noted. Its own research suggests that migration associated with weakness in the Australian labour market results in higher unemployment and less inflationary pressure here than if migrants are being drawn by other reasons, like the strength of the New Zealand economy.

Translation: more people are coming and fewer are leaving because the Australian labour market isn’t doing too well, not because we’re doing great. Annual growth in Australia was weaker than expected at the end of last year and looks set to remain below potential through 2017.

With this in mind, developments in Australia over the past week don’t look too hot for those hoping net migration to NZ will fall away any time soon. They will have been closely watched by policy makers at the RBNZ and Treasury.

Australian wage growth remained stuck at a record low at the end of last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday. Wages rose 1.9% in the year to December. Private wage growth hit a record low of 1.8%. CPI inflation is 1.5%.

Capital Economics’ chief Australia and New Zealand economist Paul Dales remarked that with CPI inflation forecast to rise to 2%, real wages in Australia may soon be falling. That will restrain GDP growth.

Meanwhile, Australian employment growth has been dominated by part-time jobs. There are now more people working part-time, and fewer people working full-time, in Australia than a year ago.

Not exactly the kind of stuff people would leave New Zealand for, or opt for instead of coming here.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said this week that, while the Australian labour market was heading in the right direction, it was not doing so as fast as the central bank would like. Australia’s 5.7% unemployment rate is not expected to change any time soon, he said. And wage increases are likely to remain below average for some time yet.

“Our liaison with businesses does not suggest that a pick-up in wage growth is imminent, but nor does it suggest that a further slowing is in prospect,” Lowe warned.

The message to New Zealand policy makers? The Australian labour market isn’t going to help like it has in the past. If you want pressure to come off Auckland housing, then it’s all down to you.

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.



Blame. Blame.

Yesterday PM English was blaming environment for the Auckland Crisis. Blame everyone but themselves and he is our PM.

Policy of Denial, Lie, Manipulation and if nothing works blame everyone but them self .


Next thing you know, when the debate about our water gets a bit more heated, he'll be blaming water for being wet.

English PM is getting petty

Last week he wagged his finger at Adrian Orr of the NZ Super Fund

Last night it was all the fault of the greenies, tree huggers, moralisers, finger waggers

The Australian labour market may take longer to recover than most people think owing to deep-rooted socioeconomic problems. The labour underemployment which some economist estimate to be upwards of 15%, is a problem rampant across the mining towns and cities of the country.
This alarming figure coupled with a burgeoning real estate bubble makes the country ripe for a macroeconomic recession which the government has artificially backstopped through deliberate fiscal spending.
Meanwhile, countries on either side of the Tasman can enjoy their unsustainable, debt-fuelled, migration-induced economic growth with anemic productivity growth.


More than the labour coming to NZ from Australia, it is the rich Chinese who are coming to speculate and park their money (money laundering) what is causing havoc (though other factors are also responsible but this speculators multiply the problem at much faster pace). This reason is not only in Auckland but also in Vancover and Sydney but at least in Vancover and Sydney - government admitted the cause and have taken action to try and control.

Can we say the same about current National Government.

Everyone knows the reason here too but vested interest prevents government and many so called experts and people who are exploiting the situation to accept but heart to heart they too know the reason though may hide behind the faulty manipulated non resident data.

Good thing for NZ - election not too far away and though no political party is up to the standard but everyone should realize on one thing and that is that current Arrogant National has to go to bring change in NZ or be prepared for next referandom (after national flag) and this time will be on name to reflect the true identity of NZ that is happening - to change from New Zealand to ........... being their colony.


National & some NZers don't want to hear the truth about foreign-based speculation & money parking.
Given that many NZ companies, agents & NZ Govt depts are overseas chasing/encouraging this incoming money - why would they admit the truth?


I know "rich Chinese" is an epithet, but lets keep the racial profiling out of the argument unless you are actually talking about wealthy Chinese. And if you are, you need to supply some evidence or basis in fact for what you are saying.

In the year to December 2015, 46.7% of our permanent immigrants (excluding NZ citizens) came from four countries - Australia, China, India, and the UK. In the year to December 2016, that had fallen to 41.6%. In that time the numbers from Australia and the UK had risen. What drove the fall was the numbers from China+India fell -13%.

The real story about our immigration is that permanent NZ citizen returnees are surging recently, just as the numbers from China+India are falling away. There were +6,378 more NZ citizens returning in the July-December period that there were in the January-June period. And at that level, that is more than the migration here of citizens from Australia or the UK in all of 2016.

Immigrants of a different race and language are easier to spot than immigrants from Australia and the UK - and certainly returning NZers - and if you don't stick to the stats, that makes them a cheap political target (even when the numbers are falling away). There is a name for doing that, and there are laws about it.
60% of the debatable 4% (pure direct foreign buyers) were in fact Chinese.
However, as discussed before in many forums, the LINZ data is deficient due to many international students ( 100k + ), Permanent Residents ( who don't necessarily stay in NZ), work visa holders etc etc etc who do buy property either themselves or as proxies & don't classify formally as foreign buyers.
The Govt agencies are pouring tens of millions into encouraging these groups to NZ in their many forms and investment vehicles.
So for the Govt to then turn a blind eye to their own facilitation, & blame a red herring is .....well, unsurprising I guess.

Questions regarding the recent LINZ data, 19 percent of all transfers involved land without homes , which on the surface appears to be high. Why does New Caledonia feature prominently . Third , given that sales and transfers are two totally different concepts, why is it not possible for LINZ to provide accompanying data strictly limited to reported sales, for the same period .For instance in Auckland for the comparable period, transfers were 50 percent higher than actual sales , and it is the initial sale that surely gives an early indication of the purchaser. Finally why is there a 7000 disconnect between ' New Zealand' buyers and sellers.

Horse's mouth even, as the data comes with a rider explaining that it is no way definitive. But like the govt has expected us not to notice doubling the amount of pooh in rivers to take them from wade-able to swim-able, they hope people won't notice that bit in the report. Good grief, we have people in control who think if they put their hands over their own eyes, we can't see them.


There is definitely an argument to be made in the case of Chinese money finding its way into NZ (and around the world). It has little to do with their actual race and much to do with a political system that does not allow private ownership of land in their own country. I do think we are foolish not to view it specifically in some sort of quest to prove we are not xenophobic as they seek other places in the world in which to buy land. It IS a factor.


We understand and are not against anyone but this is what happens when government is arrogant and Instead of trying to fix the problem denies it.

Everyone need data to support but when the government in power is determine to prove otherwise, one has to fall back on observation and experience and for that you just have to go to any auction room specially in Auckland or ask any real estate professional off the record and will vouch for the fact.

More the denial more will be the anguish and if not than also government should come out with facts but now with so much denial and manipulation trust deficit is at lowest and hopefully election not far away

Correct.. Most politicans play with the fear of the people being termed as racist to achieve their vested interest. We too are immigrant and not against it but anything in extreme is bad.

Actually, these days it is the other way around. The 'extremes' are by populist politicians (led by Trump, but also Farage, le Pen, Wilders, Putin, et al - all social reactionaries) building fear in people based on race, and sadly it seems to work so long as those buying the message stay with anecdotes and avoid the observable data. Agree 'extremes' are bad, but disagree on what those 'extremes' are.

It really is a shame that things have not been addressed to the point where we arrive at Trump, Farage and that person in France whose name escapes me right now. I am sensing very dangerous times. Thing is just about all of the things people are railing against would actually be fine in far smaller numbers.
The planet is overpopulated, we are seeing things building to a correction, sadly, it looks like it might be violent, it didn't have to be.

In politics perception is important.

Who and what is right only time will tell.

Politicians policy and attitude give rise to perception and if people feel otherwise, should not blame people but the blame lies with politicians.

If people vote for national does it mean is right decession and if not does it mean not. This too is an attitude problem

Once a view becomes 'populist' can it be deemed' extreme' any longer? Surely by definition if a line of thought previously labelled extreme migrates to the mainstream, it is by definition no longer extreme?

Adherents of established political thought paradigms, insist Le Pen et al are 'reactionaries' against social progress who create regressive political belief systems through 'building fear in people'.

That view, sometimes based on a desire to maintain the status quo, dismissively categorises people as easily manipulated victims of simplistic bigoted slogans and rejects the uncomfortable reality that bellicose demagogues like Trump are often simply tapping into established political beliefs already held by their adherents.

Media commentators paint a picture of some vast alt right conspiracy that has suddenly warped peoples minds with its poison but fail to perceive that decades of media supported creation of 'approved' positions on what contemporary social and political thought should look like, have gradually cultivated in people a resentment at being told what to think about issues and that has now exploded into political activism.

A great leap backward for the western world, in my view, but the inevitable outcome of political and media dislocation from its key constituency - the hearts and minds of the people it purports to serve. The great dumbing down of media (present company excluded) now comes back to haunt us.

"Decades of media supported creation of 'approved' positions on what contemporary social and political thought should look like, have gradually cultivated in people a resentment at being told what to think about issues and that has now exploded into political activism".
That is what is really upsetting media corporations such as CNN as they had an agreement with status quo positions on, e.g. the benefits of globalisation, the liberal left-ish social positions, etc. Now they have been exposed in this role. People expected them instead to be pursuing their original role of reporting all angles.
The universities, media, global corporations, middle governments, all sing from the same hymn sheet, are really a kind of social control umbrella, and are very upset at recent political developments.

For what it is worth, here is what I see. First up, the human race's natural trajectory is forward, to progress, it is not to crawl back into conservatism, if it was, we would still be living in caves. Since the dawn of time older people have feared what the younger generations bring with them, where they take us. The rise of conservatism coincides with an ageing population around the world, therefore the world view has become conservative. It will not last, for obvious reasons.
We will carry on toward a more global world, I believe it is what the upcoming generation wants and we will drop out of the picture, as it were and have no further say in the matter. I can only hope that in moving to a more global world, corporations get kicked to the kerb and I would also hope that religion plays no part in it. I don't think I will live to see that outcome though.
What bothers me greatly, is there now seems to be a likelihood environmental concerns will be pushed aside in one last ditch attempt to generate "growth" as we see beginning to happen in the States. I can only hope it does not last long.
As for the push back against people behaving decently toward each other, call it PC whatever you want, but whenever I see any reference to that, all I see is people who just want a free rein to go back to being a'holes to others and white men wanting to regain their privileged position before it vanishes altogether.

Interesting that I see things in the opposite realm to your comment. Looking deeper, it is not about race but about the Global economy that has resulted in poor income and outcomes for everyone who is not in the top 5%. What you are missing in my opinion is the message that has been clear from Brexit and now Trump - people want an end to elitist deals being done that are not in the best interest of their country and people. Fairness is the first thing that should be top of the agenda in a democratic society. Sadly it is at the bottom. Ask middle NZ how they are feeling let alone those below with two people working on minimal wages trying to make ends meet. I am not even a Labour or Greenie but I despise what National have or should I say haven't done in the past 8 years.

DidI - this is how many kiwi feels. Not a fan of labour or any other party but knows one thing and that is National has to go and hopefully will go.

Sure the barriers are going up around the world but calling it extreme is not valid it's becoming mainstream. Economic nationalism just seems economically sensible to many more people than it used to. And where is the 'observable data' that leads people to call it racist.

The election of Trump is a celebration for democracy and a poke in the eye for Americas corrupt media.
Hillary and Obama destroyed Libya in 2011 not as reported by media to rescue the people, but to stop Gudafi creating a new African currency with which to trade oil. America's war isn't against terrorism, it is to try and save their currency as the system of world trade.
America has voted for a president that says he is going to change their foreign policy and bring their troops home. Our media are complicit with American media for reporting what the CIA want reported. Our Media aren't educating the NZ people of what is happening to NZ. This next election will be very interesting as I believe we will have a few surprises, that go against what our media are promoting.

This is an important and often overlooked point. Well said.


My take on abnz1's comment was that he/she was talking about investors, not particularly immigrants.
Do you have stats on the nationalities of foreign property investors?
Would be good to see.
And actually, the nationality question is important - and not at all racist - because if, as I suspect, Chinese foreign property investors are high and growing, then it becomes simple maths in terms of the problems we face around foreign property investment ie. a country with over 1 billion people with a huge and growing middle class.
This does not imply any form of racism. All it says is that potentially a very small country like NZ, with very little capacity to ramp up housing supply, much more than ever should be considering restrictions on foreign property investment. NOT because of the race of the investors, but by the simple maths of it all (ie. it happens to be China that is the huge country with a huge amount of money looking to be parked overseas).

Of course, we all know how obscure the foreign property investor data is, which doesn't help.


Agreed. Migrants and ethnic Chinese Kiwis are a completely different kettle of fish.

Just as you see some of the activists in Vancouver campaigning for urgent measures to address parking of money from mainland China are Vancouver born-and-bred ethnic Chinese. Chinese Kiwi kids will be as much affected by the capital flowing out of mainland China as will Kiwi kids of any other ethnicity.

Well said D.C.


It's very naughty to make judgements but clearly I am a racist DC because I quite like chinese people. What I also am is a economic nationalist. I think citizens of New Zealand have rights and in New Zealand these rights are above those non citizens. I am very happy with the wider doors we have with Australia, because they are very like us. (more racism yes).
Non citizens should not be allowed to own property in New Zealand. And all enterprises should have to have New Zealander ownership, at least to some extent. Actually thats very common in many countries, clearly does not work for globalisation theory, but works well for the locals in practice.
Thus entry is open door for returning citizens, and in my view should be very restrictive for everybody else.

Flat-lining labour market in Aussie or not, we still have people selling up and going overseas for work. Dan Carter who sold his house for $4.5m in DGZ is a classic example. Did nothing in less than 2 years time, flipped the house and earned a whopping $1.5m. DGZ house prices are going bananas!! Note - I think I reported this over a month ago LOL.

presumably he will be paying tax on that gain?

It's not all about gain, even RE agents have to go through 'hardship' - read this article. LOL!

I thought property speculation and investment was solely about the gain. It sure as hell isn't for humanitarian reasons.

This situation amply demonstrates why a significant CGT is desperately required.
Why wouldn't you speculate this much if you can make that much money, untaxed!!!

Only because central banks have made it look 'risk free'. As interest rates keep falling it will be all risk with no reward for the banks and depositors.

Unless a CGT was retrospective, ITS TOO LATE now!!! There won't be any from now on....

Not only untaxed, but usually with a generous tax rebate in the meantime. Landlords are probably NZ's biggest government beneficiaries, particularly when you add on the accommodation supplement.

National is very well that group always votes, & vote National, so are never going to cross them. Especially when the National MPs are almost all landlords themselves. And we call the likes of Putin corrupt!

The person selling a house doesn't create the capital gains. The market does that. House prices are responsive to the amount of demand in the market. Our house demand is out of wack with what NZ'ers can afford because our houses are forsale on the world market and we also have high population growth caused by immigration and returning kiwis. Interest rates have been low for years now so their influence has faded and become the norm.

Yeah, the downside of globalisation: Places such as Auckland are deemed a nice place to live by the rich from around the world, so they'll buy it and young Kiwis will be forced out.

Lets hope the suckers who paid silly money don't find it worth significantly less in a couple of years time. That would be awful.



We have a government that cannot fix his own country problem and one expects them to think about global.

To solve any problem, first step is to admit.. As abnz1 correctly mentioned that good thing for NZ is that election approaching soon and hopefully better sense will prevail as giving 4th term to National will be disaster for NZ-generation to come.


The guvmint can't stop NZers returning home but can control the rest.
Too many "chefs" and not enough "industry"

Well IF the new measures against migrant exploitation are adequately policed and work then we might see far fewer "chefs" and far fewer ethnic takeaway joints that anyone could look at and wonder how the dickens they make any money, until you factor in they are making a heap of money on the side via it. Might see fewer restaurant owners becoming landlords as well. If it is all policed properly.

I know of a couple of restaurants where they employ people to do menial tasks but give them the word "manager" in their title because those migrants studied a business diploma at a PTE - so a requirement for a visa is to be employed as a manager.

One's a dishwasher.

Would love to see comparable hourly earnings data for New Zealand. The productivity commission didn't have good findings in 2013 on New Zealand's productivity in comparison to Australia in the long term

But its largely irrelevant to the claim here, it seems to me that immigration need be controlled to a sustainable level, rather than using it to push up the GDP figures.

I would love to know the cabinet minister because that statement shows he has admitted demand and high immigration is a problem that this government refuses to address

One factor in all this was that ancient parents of young immigrants to NZ used to come to NZ because NZ was a soft touch compared to Oz. They would all eventually move to Oz.
Nowdays Oz has introduced some rather strict superannuation rules so it isn't looking so good for those ancient parents any more. So I think the ancient/ailing parents now stay put in NZ drawing NZ super and taking advantage of the free healthcare here.

It's sickening how those ancient fossils take advantage of our Super schemes yet contribute nothing to this country.

Entry prices

Oz now charges ancient parents $62500 each to get in the door

Oprah and co in Queenstown had total of nearly 20 Million followers looking at their tweets Great For NZ.

Not if they all turn up here at once


Given we are seriously struggling to accomodate one of the highest immigration rates in the developed world (orthopaedic surgery waiting times this mornings example of infrastructural stress) and have one of the most easily assimilated migrant groups (returning Kiwis) coming here in high numbers, it defies belief that we'd allow so many people from other countries who will not be anywhere near as easy to settle, to continue pouring in?

Imagine waiting for orthopaedic surgery. Experts should ask national how this is sign of prosperity and if national response is yes - we have to tell them in election that not interested in this type of prosperity.

If only our government could somehow adjust the rate of inflows to sustainably match the rate of outflows.

If only they cared enough about the upcoming generations of young Kiwis to do so.

The most honest thing they've ever said about housing is "We don't want prices to come down."

The data is all interpretive, we are sourcing bits and pieces from all over the show.

I mean, how is it we have multiple government agencies devoted to statistics, housing, and immigration. Yet we cannot collate what has to be the simplest question going - who is buying the houses?

It really is so simple.

QUESTION: Are you a NZ Citizen?

If no:
QUESTION: What citizenship do you hold?
ANSWER: Australia/India/UK/Canada/China/etc.....
(Note, if you are a LLC, Trust, or any other organisation, please state the citizenship of all directors.

and (for extra detail)
QUESTION: What visa class are you in NZ on?
ANSWER: Permanent Resident, Student, etc....

If we get the data, then we have the truth, if we have the truth, then there is no more guessing, insinuating, or assuming going on.

It is simply facts.

The next question is, why are the Government afraid of the facts?

On arrival into NZ, all entrants passing through customs are required to provide an arrivals card, one question happens to be "what address will you be staying at".

Twenty percent (20%) of all arrivals leave the question blank and customs let them in

That's the quality of the data our government accepts

Lots of people assuming that the government, have tried and failed. In reality they don't have the will to solve the problem, because their unfounded and misguided beliefs cause them to see it as a good thing.

Well exactly. And they obviously believe the questionable benefits of low quality GDP and employment growth outweigh the massive costs on housing and infrastructure

Why afraid because too much to hide as data and facts have been twisted and manipulated by people in power - National government and supported by overall silent media.

Pointless article because, as the writer himself states; 'While obviously not something the New Zealand government has any control over...". So let's concentrate on things WE can do

I think that the anti-Kiwi legislation enacted by the John Howard Liberal government , aroundabouts year 2002 ; and signed off by our Prime minister Helen Clark ... has a lot to answer for in the ongoing stream of Oz-kiwis returning home ....

... even the Hollywood blockbuster actor Russell " wanna fight , mate ! " Crowe was refused Australian citiizenship because he was over 45 .... 45 is the new " old & ancient " in Australia !

... other Kiwis , good honest hardworkers , are paying their taxes in Australia , yet still being denied healthcare and free education afforded to citizens .... some have had on the job accidents , and are denied workers' compensation or ongoing physical rehabilitation ....

... and some , naughty boys and gals , are being held on offshore detention centres because they have committed a prison offence in Australia ... and are due for deportation back to their " home-land " , despite being essentially products of the Australian social system , as they were taken across the Tasman by their parents when they were just babes or infants ...

Australia is only the " lucky country " if you are very very white , and arrived somewhere between 1825 and year 2001 ...

Fake News ?????

The Australian Department of Immigration told Fairfax it has no record of either Crowe's applications or its alleged rejections.

"According to Departmental records, Mr Crowe has not submitted an application for a permanent visa or for Australian citizenship," the department said in a written response to questions. "Should Mr Crowe apply for and be granted a permanent visa, there are a variety of options that he may use to meet the eligibility requirements, including the residence requirements."

how much was that in response to our easy immigration settings and people using NZ as a stepping stone into aussie.
I personally have known plenty over the years that have done that and also have family that have been disadvantaged when the rules changed

... oh yes indeedily .... immigrants were using NZ as an easy stepping stone into Australia ... had our government manned up , and denied immigrants Kiwi citizenship until 10 years permanent residency in our fair land .... or some similar legislation , the Aussies would not have had good reason to build a wall against us ...

Trumped , by our own laxity and stoopidity ...

Always comes back to NZ's lax immigration

Still haven't got it right, In fact it's worse now, and yet
There is Key and English grizzling to Australia about their rules

GBH, next time you do a list of songs, add in the fact you cannot get a Government job in Australia if you are not a citizen

... yes ; I applied for a job as a grain ( wheat ) inspector on the Eyre Peninsula , and was rejected because I was classified as an " alien " ...

You have to laugh at how far the Aussies take some things !

Nothing like "discovering" the horse bolted a few years ago !

Given that the Aussie labour market has been weak following the fall in commodity prices between 2009 and 2015 , surely the Government in general and the RBNZ and the NZIS in particular would have been aware of the statistical decline in people seeking work over the ditch ?

Even common sense would have told us this

Now suddenly in 2017 they wake up to this so called 'new reality " .

Who is actually running this circus ?

No one accountable is running this circus. Our media aren't the eye's and ears of the people. Perhaps the same people running America are also running us. Our media puppeting American media certainly suggests they are controlled.
We used to protest Vietnam war, apartheid, French nuclear testing etc etc. Now our media just feed us cheap propaganda and we are complicit with the US foreign policy and war machine that is destroying country after country. Shame on us, shame on our media.

I'm kinda hoping that Trump (and Brexit) has woken us all (msm incldued) from our slumber.

“Trump is the best thing to happen to the Times’ subscription strategy,” Dean Baquet said in an interview with CNN’s "Reliable Sources." “Every time he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly.”

Baquet said Trump has revitalized reporters who may have been pessimistic about the future of the industry.

Vid interview here..

Actually the media didn't protest the above issues, usually those types of thing are about people with a very strong will. Media comes along for the ride.. Our politicians also deny things that are simple facts, same as in the US. It doesn't effect their popularity. I somewhat agree with you, but I blame the average citizen with limited critical thinking skills.

"Reason obeys itself: ignorance submits to what is dictated to it." - Thomas Paine

Ultimately many people who voted for Trump will wake up to his real agenda;

He was supposed to be leading a revolt against America’s elites. In practice Donald Trump is laying out a banquet for their delectation. The Trump White House is drawing up plans for across-the-board deregulation, tax cuts and a new generation of defence contracts. The only question is at what speed.

In contrast, Mr Trump’s middle-class economic plans, such as they were, are already receding. The chances of a big infrastructure bill are rapidly dimming. In marketing they call this bait and switch. The effect of Mr Trump’s economic agenda will be to deepen the conditions that gave rise to his candidacy.

The biggest winners will be on Wall Street, in the fossil fuel energy sector and defence.

I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion that the people who voted for Trump will 'wake up' , they will likely jump on the next bandwagon, whatever that happens to be. wake up.... I think not.

"wake up" in the context that the lethargy and the garbage that MSM have dished up and we have gladly consumed, will be replaced with a return to covering issues that matter.

I admire your optimism

I'm not convinced either that Trump voters will soon abandon him. They voted for him because they woke up that the conventional system was severely screwing them. The elites have not given up of course and much of the ruckus currently around Trump can be seen as the beltway bite back.
I don't think the beltway biteback is fooling many of the Trump voters at all.

Yes, KH the system had badly let many of them down. But they've voted for a crooked conman. That will become apparent to some. Things could get very ugly.

If kiwis are returning from Aussie, or we are no longer exporting our younger works (or a bit of both), why cant the firehose of immigration be turned off?

Don't worry, thanks to the idiots at Auckland Council our office rents are soon to be much, much higher than Australia. If there is any global increase of interest rates the NZ labour market is going to be looking very poorly as our high structural costs will bite.

Planet English: even more surreal than Planet Key:

English said the demand for emergency grants were not a sign that there was a housing crisis. "I wouldn't call it a crisis. We have strong demand, we have an uplift in prices - these are good problems to have actually."

This is absurd. Good problems! maybe if you want to create social unrest sure.

Hasn't even got the energy to come with a new way to describe the housing mess

English is still reeling from grogginess he copped from the right-cross, followed by a left-hook, and dropped by an uppercut in that celebrity boxing-match

Homelessness now a good thing. More news at six.

Little Billy,

What we have is an increase in (land) costs, a lot faster than demand pricing. Our country has slow building rates, because our biggest city decided to make land buying more profitable than building houses.

We have created a very strong demand for land, when everyone else in the world is building homes. It is a silly problem to have.

I can buy 600 acres for less than the price of an Auckland section where I live today 2 hrs flight from NYC USA
Somethings definitely askew with NZ land prices

NZ Citizens returning ?
Not me or the many I know
Why would you when the place is overun
You cannot even drive there without speed cameras every few kms