The weeks leading up to the Budget are usually a time for the Government to tease out new funding it plans to unveil but this year it's going to be different, says Jason Walls

The weeks leading up to the Budget are usually a time for the Government to tease out new funding it plans to unveil but this year it's going to be different, says Jason Walls

By Jason Walls

The Beehive has been quiet for the last couple of weeks.

The Prime Minister was in Europe and MPs were back in their electorate offices, or travelling the globe, enjoying the recess period.

Even the press gallery was relatively relaxed, with reporters enjoying the less demanding schedule. You could call it a bit of a break, but those who know better would call it the calm before the storm.

In just two and a half weeks, the Government will present its first Budget.

Usually, the weeks leading up to the big day are a time when Ministers drop hints about which lollies they will be distributing for the Budget day scramble.

Cast your minds back just a year ago to National’s will they/won’t they tax cut package.

But this year it’s different.

In early April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moved to significantly dampen expectations.

She told reporters the previous Government had neglected infrastructure funding to such a degree that the May 17 Budget would be focusing on addressing these issues.

Ardern coined it “the rebuilding Budget.”

“It means we have had to reprioritise some of our own priorities, things that we went into the Budget looking at because of the nature of the underinvestment we’re seeing.”

She didn’t have too much detail at the time, relying instead on using the issues of mould and neglect at Middlemore hospital as providing a “snapshot” of just some of the issues the Government is being forced to fix.

‘Relentlessly positive’ attitudes to be tested

She said during the lead up to the Budget, the Government will be “creating a picture and sharing more publicly what we have found sitting in front of us from the moment we took office and we opened up the books.”

In other words, Ardern and her senior Ministers will be drip-feeding information about how bad the books are for the next two weeks and calling out the previous Government along the way.

The move put the Prime Minister, known for being “relentlessly positive,” into a position where her Government will be driving a campaign that will be anything but.

And the scale looks to be huge – “in almost every portfolio I can think of off the top of my head, I can think of examples where there has been a lack of investment,” Ardern said.

The first Minister off the bloc was Transport Minister Phil Twyford, who – when unveiling a $28 billion funding package with the Auckland Council – slammed National for leaving a $9.7 billion “fiscal hole” in Auckland’s infrastructure.

You read that right; he borrowed the infamous “fiscal hole” phrase which landed former Finance Minister Steven Joyce in hot water before last year’s election.

As was the case after Ardern’s “rebuilding Budget” press conference, National hit back at Twyford, accusing the Government of bending the truth for political gain.

If the pipeline of issues is as extensive as the Prime Minister says – to steal the phrase from Ardern, this is just a “snapshot” of what to expect in the news cycle in the lead up to Budget day.

It will be ugly, messy, divisive but, most importantly, a headline-grabbing “he said, she said” battle between our two biggest parties.

So strap yourself in because the next few weeks will be anything but quiet.

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.



I might order some earplugs so I don't have to listen to the drone of autistic screeching.

CoL CoL CoL Taxinda Taxinda CoL CoL Taxinda CoL

Nice, that’s SMITE in Morse code. Next you’ll be playing records backwards.

I for one will be glad to forego Taxinda comments on the day if there are no new taxes/levies/excises/duties/compulsory donations/compulsory tithes etc.

If they hold to a budget that requires no more money from taxpayers then I’ll praise them on a financial management front. It appears that they will e.g. It seems that Sepuloni couldn’t get the funds to allow full benefit payments where children only had one named parent. Watching her masticating on a dead rat on TV3 bodes well for fiscal discipline.

Exactly, she looked like a child who didn't get a Xmas present and was moaning about her toys.... but , just like any other minister in this CoL, you wouldnt understand anything they said ( no answers) ... just kept repeating herself and hiding behind committee works !

Like spoilt rabid screeching kids, they repeatedly bite the hand that feeds them. Thanks to Labour the rabid receive generous financial relief through Kiwisaver tax credits and free tertiary education for their kids. The previous Government halved the tax credit in 2011 and introduced a super contribution tax in 2012 and removed the $1000 kiwistart in 2015!

Such fond memories.....


Forgive me for not being excited about being given back less than 10% of the annual PAYE I pay (begrudgingly) to the COL to redistribute as bribes to its acolytes. Maybe my tune will change when I get my redundancy cheque, semi retire and no longer form part of the productive economy paying the way.

Ex Expat, you said more than you intended. You sit waiting for a cheque and fatefully think your contribution is precious? Thats twisted.......

Yes, I’m waiting for the direct credit to my account. I looked at Singapore options, but housing and schooling costs make it unworkable as do the issues with tax residency. It’s better to live in my mortgage free 1071 home, take advantage of the free state schooling and not worry about having to pay NZ tax on top of Singapore tax. I have my pot of gold (as the Chinese say) and it’s time to let someone else take the weight of responsibility for filling the trough.

I'll run away from home, and then you'll be sorry!

He's probably sitting in the rain in the bushes somewhere waiting for Jacinda to get worried and come looking for him.

Ex Expat's world, "Jacinda WILL mourn the loss of my respect" - Jacinda's world, "Clarke, a soft red theme for the baby's room?"

Sitting in a comfortable north facing sunny room (23.3C and 68% humidity) watching Q&A, actually. Thanks for the concern. I can see some bushes as it’s a leafy suburb. We keep them well trimmed to ensure the Reds can’t hide in them.

“Reds” makes them sound like communists!

It's only one of many things...

To be communists they would need to be housing people for free, paying those who don’t work and insisting on equality (of productivity, income, etc) of outcomes.

All in the unpublished pages of the Coalition agreement.

And who created those conditions?

And redistributing money from workers to property investors, subsidising company wage bills, taking money from young folk and giving it to older folk who don't work, taking money from workers to state-fund farm irrigations, subsidising trucking companies' use of roads to make them profitable. Campaigning on increasing these subsidies to property investors and company wage bills etc.

National, those jolly Communists! Harrumph.

These usual silly comments on here show all the depth of a skillet.

Just the usual palava from those who have their snouts deep in the state trough when it's their own turn but squeal like they're stuck when it comes to their turn to contribute.

Maybe Newly minted communists like the TrumpRussia collusion family & sycophants
Cannot wait until they discover who the blocked number was for .... Donald Trump calling Junior
Are you still behaving badly Ex Patty.molesting kiwis on blog sites ? Pathetic
Go move to SingersPoor if you are as hot as you think you are

Or you could just stop doing that.

Oops. Reply to BL at top. Missed!

Missed in more than one way. :)

Lots more govt spending will be great for the economy, inflation and house prices ;)

Inflation will be stomped on with interest rates at per central bank mandate. Wouldn't want to be holding houses in that scenario.

Meh, Everything will get turned on it's head again once larger market and global political forces are re-balance. You may have noticed Mr Trumps recent rant on Fox and Friends where he looks to have unwittingly taken a step closer to his impeachment.

Seth Meyers has a hilarious take on his meltdown: Trump Goes on Fox & Friends and Freaks Out About Michael Cohen: A Closer Look

President Donald Trump TV Rant Opens Him Up To Being Deposed | The Last Word | MSNBC

Remember we do have Mr Trump to thank for causing global market turmoil and the down turn even in our housing market. Whether that is good or bad depends on how you look at things). ;)

... the buzz is that the Don is front runner for the Nobel Peace prize this year ... having successfully brought the two Koreas back to the negotiation table ... its more than Barak Obama achieved !

Nahh it's what China has achieved, you forget who is actually pulling the strings. And have you also forgotten how Don bragged who had the bigger button, how does that constitute a peace prize??

Hmm, look I see that Obama seemed like a nice chap and that The Donald is a first class prat, but, Trump basically threatened China to see what might happen. Shades of Reagan (who also seemed a first class prat at the time). If the Korean thing is real it really is a big deal.

Probably all bluff on N Korean's part but at least they're more rational than Trump who is clearly off the rails.

TV Rant Damages President Donald Trump & Michael Cohen In Court | The Last Word | MSNBC

Amanpour got an answer she wasn't expecting.
(CNN) South Korea's foreign minister has said she believes President Donald Trump is largely responsible for bringing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table.
Speaking ahead of Friday's historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, Kang Kyung-wha told CNN that the US President had played a significant role in bringing the two sides together.
"Clearly, credit goes to President Trump," Kang told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in Seoul. "He's been determined to come to grips with this from day one."

Remember RetiredPoppy that ExPatty can choose anywhere in the world to live
but prefers NZ because it gives him/her maximum possiblities to moan

... England would be an option ... as "moaning " seems to be a national sport there ...

We could do an online crowd-funding ... and get the ExPat over there for a fact finding tour of the lowland moaning counties ... the miserable moor lands ... and the haughty harrumphing highlands ...

I have a soft spot for the English as they provided refuge for some of my ancestors a few hundred years ago. However, they blotted their copy book with the Irish Potato famine so that’s a no go and Scotland is a no go as well based on the clearings. Maybe Wales in Summer.

The budget is going to be amazing!
Fortunately I won’t be in the country to watch it live as it is going to be a rambling about how poor the previous Govt. did!
The reality is that this lot have no idea as to how to run anything let alone a country, and that is why they will backtrack on everything they have promised!
What has happened to what they promised, Better schooling, better health care etc,etc.
Would be a joke if it wasn’t so seriously affecting NZ, and soon we will have the Messiah Winston in charge!

For once you sound cheerful

The 'calm before the storm' sums it up for me. Having some little inside knowledge of Gubmint budget-build processes, I have said for some months now that there are frowns, pursed lips, and long weekends going into this Budget round. At this point, all the Departmental submissions have been bludgeoned into the mix, the various pronouncements of new and green pollies (green in the sense of raw and unedumicated sense, not so much in the watermelon sense, although some tincture of that too) subjected to the stern review of Treasury costing, and the resulting parent Budget objects labelled 'Tax Required', Fees Required' and 'Other Credits Required' will have settled numerically.

I rather suspect that the conjunction of silence from the Finance Minister, the PM, the Deputy PM, and the plethora of minor pollies of all Coalition stripes, results from their first sight of those aforementioned numbers.

And the always-earnest Productivity Commish won't have helped the collective blood pressure by gleefully announcing that massive changes in land use are needed (Ag products currently being our majority export earner) and equally massive new taxes needed (affecting most all of our internal economy). Of course, that's open to submissions.

Or just plain Submission: after all, the Gubmint mantra is 'We Know Best'....

Should be interesting, especially as most of the new team haven't had to manage anything a great deal more complicated than their lunch money up to now. I guess that's the idea of electing them. Oh. hang on, we didn't actually elect them as such, we elected Winston to choose which party he liked best. Such is life.

Who will get the lollies? That is the question.

I suspect the lollies will be Acid Drops.

Gummy Bears would be nice ! .... yummy gummy .... ahhhhhhh....

What do you want your legacy to be , Jacinda ? ... no one lasts forever , so picture yourself post your political career , and ask yourself what would make you proud ...

... the Jolly Kid rode a wave of popularity for 8 years ... but did sweet bugger all to help progress this country and its economy ... he'll be remembered for playing it safe , for golfing with Obama , for the idiotic flag reform .... but , behind him is a country in dire need of infrastructure improvement , the debacle that is the Christchurch rebuild , Orc Land's traffic congestion , sports stadiums , water quality ...

Take some risks , Jacinda : borrow up big time , and make an impact ...its a far better thing to be remembered for having had a go .... even if it doesn't all work out exactly tickety-boo .... than to play it safe , to be a clone of the boring Sir Jolly Kid & the Gnats..." balance the books ... don't rock the boat .... smile & wave ... blah de boring blah ..."

... where's the vision ... where's the pizzazz .... what is your dream !

Auckland, a city of 5 million people by 2030?

Hopefully not

Any fool can build a bridge with an unlimited budget. You need an engineer to build it economically. Likewise, in government you need a competent lot.


Any fool can create a rockstar economy on record low interest rates and record high immigration numbers.

Independent, seriously, how on earth anyone can still think that this lot has done anything at all,that has helped the country and its people Defies logic!
What have they done that has made a difference to anyone at this stage?
Yeah what???

If at some point your brain develops to a point where it can see beyond the self, you'll perhaps find the answers to those questions.....

The only people who believe in endless growth are economists and mad men.

Given boomers like their lot so much and generally speaking have no desire to resolve these issues because it would mean they have to sacrifice something (heaven forbid..), the game of attrition will perhaps be the best course of action for the millenials. Luckily the majority of boomers will be dead in 20 years and what many don't appear to have realised is that they can't take their rental income with them into the after-life, but they will likely receive the resentment of the generations below them.

Boomers currently range from 54 years old to approx. 72 years old. You might want to check your assumptions with NZ stats on life expectancy. The leading edge will have popped their clogs in 20 years time, but the lagging edge will be still pi$$ing in your pocket until 2050 at which point their offspring will be handed the keys to those single house properties.

God - I don't think our society can deal with them for that depressing....

Expat - have you ever considered that your children don't want your wealth (at some point in the future), instead they want a way of life (now). High rents and/or high mortgages create a lot of stress - all so that some can own 'rental properties' and exploit them for their own financial gain - or as you put it, pissing in younger generations pockets until 2050....hence why I think come 2050 when millenials/gen x are burnt out and depressed, Mum and Dad will give them money and they'll say great -thanks Mum and Dad....awesome...way to make our lives hell while you're living so that you give me money when you're dead....that is so dumb

I don’t have any property other than my home. My children happily take everything given to them right now so I’m sure they will take their share of the home value as their inheritance when the time comes. In the meantime their older cousins are coping fine both renting and owning. I don’t think it occupies a minute of their thoughts.

So whose pocket's exactly are you pissing into until 2050?

WOW, what anger IO

Voting demographics will turn against the greedy boomers long before then. If they aren't yet pissing on your graves they will most definately be pissing in your pocket.

Looking forward the tax working group recommending a death tax to address the imbalances.

Independent Observer, ok so I am blind, but please answer the question!
What have they done that has helped NZ and it’s people that they have carried out?????

Have you ever asked your rent slaves that question?

The sad thing is he probably doesn’t even have a rental property just dreams of owning them.

Of course I haven’t asked them that question!

Independent Observer, I asked you the question and you still haven’t answered it because you know they have done nothing!

I'm attempting to lead the horse to water. Go ask your rent slaves....will be good for your personal development.

My rent slaves had a live in nanny and much better cars than me. Another rent slave was provided a lawn mower but paid for people to mow the lawn anyway.

Zachary ;-), you make this troll poo up as you go along. I'll assume you laughed as you typed. At 0542 am, you thought of this?

Just offering another aspect of this argument. Many commenters present extreme cases of hardship and suggest that this is the norm. NZ's happiness ranking would indicate that all is well in our fair land. Most renters are perfectly happy and their main concern is not being able to find a place to rent if they lose the one they currently have. IO's and others comments about rent saves and evil landlords shouldn't be tolerated, it's all just hyperbole.

Yes, I am sure there are many currently renting who are well capable of buying but are for the moment quite happy to have landlords subsidise their occupation of houses they could not otherwise afford, and save the difference between the rent and the mortgage payments they would otherwise make

Zachary, its a bit like arguing there are just as many affordably priced houses around as there always was. Rentals reflect a similar pattern in my view. There is a limit to what the bulk of tenants can pay, what Landlords can charge. Speculator/Landlords lust for yield always pressing the boundaries on asking as much as possible. There will always be pockets of those whose rent is low, income is high. I wouldn't be keen to estimate this group as being significant in numbers.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true, sounds like some smart tenants are taking advantage of ZS and his 3% gross yield

Before we bought, we were double income no kids "dinks" living in one bedroom flats. We saved hard for six years and paid cash for our first and only home. It was certainly a sacrifice of personal space but it was efficient living. It remained efficient living because we never had to pay mortgage interest. Since then we have saved a considerable sum and can slow down to enjoy the scenery.

If tenants are approaching house buying from a similar angle, I congratulate them on using their Landlord as a stepping stone along with a strict savings regime. It's quite difficult sticking to it (initially) The pair pressure from idiot hares constantly spruiking their debt packed success stories can make it a bittersweet experience.

Do you mean in the six months since they were elected or do you mean in the 9 years between 1999 and 2008 when they were last in governnent?

Because if you are talking the later I would say paying down record amounts of debt, creating the Cullen Fund, KiwiSaver, Kiwibank, regulating broadband providers, working for families, even some tax cuts, and investing in health and education were pretty damn big achievements.

John Keys big policies were asset sales and a flag referendum. Those initiatives were to take us to the brighter future he promised we were on the cusp of. Now he is gone that brighter future is just an infrastructure deficit. You could add an increase to GST (which I support) but that one was a broken promise.

One thing I will judge both Key and Ardern for is their promise not to touch NZ Super.

I’d suggest

TM2, don't waste your time arguing with bitter people, you will never get a decent argument from them.

They are stuck in the mud and know nothing but blaming everyone else for their misfortune and misery ... Logic and pragmatism is missing in most of these debates, all you get bouncing back is insult, stupid assumptions, and envious venum.

The answers are clear to all and sundry, Zilch.

Wait until the 75 odd committees finish their jobs and consultations ( being paid tons of Taxpayers money) to report with their engenius wisdom and solutions for the CoLs noobs to follow. LOL, its a circus.

Say hi to Mike Hosking next time you run into him at the bot store....

.....all you get bouncing back is insult, stupid assumptions, and envious venum.

You described your own post. You presented nor arguments or facts. Just ad hominem attacks.

The things you see in others are what you identify with in the self....(hence Echo Bird attempts to make an argument but can only talk about things he/she can identify with/knows about internally)

Key will not be judged well in 20 years after the boomers die off.

Are you saying he's judged well now?

I believe even a large number of his supporters know he sold them a lemon but were happy to be tricked because they got power even if it was power to do not much.

I'm pretty sure there a lot of kiwis who are National supporters because they are Natoinal supporters - yet they have no idea what their own personal values or ethical positions are....

It’s telling that the comments on here don’t include any discussions of alternative policies just broad attacks at the level of brand and personality.

Kiwibuild, Regional Fund, Rental reforms, Health funding, DHB reforms, heaps mate...

They also got a better version of TPP across the line when National said it was impossible.

Yes, that looked highly competent. Even a certain hard boiled Queen St lawyer Nat I happen to know was impressed.

The other funny thing is that John Key spent most of the time and most of the money stealing Labour Party policies. This kept National in power but it had to be frustrating for the base.

Increasingly no. But he did bail on his own party! What more could one say.

The Nats did a remarkable job of navigating NZ through the GFC.

However excessive immigration and foreign student "study for permanent residency" rort unfortunately undid all the good economic management and they were rightly held to account at the election.

To be fair next weeks in Parliament will be great debating. All the moral high ground is Labours. hard to argue against the correction of problems.

It's Arderns 1984 opening of the books moment, more like!

Tim Depositor,
Kiwibuild has not built a single home off their own back in 6 months.
Unitec is a load of BS, and the so-called 18 Homes in the paper yesterday were also in the pipeline.
Kiwibuild will be a flop as they will not be affordable or large enough for the lower class and they will never be able to borrow money due to bad credit and serviceability.
Rental reform is penalising landlords who provide a social service and is going to backfire majorly on renters.
What health funding they are closing more things than growing.
You need to take your blinkers off Tim, they are shocking for this country.
Tell us all what successful business these people have ever had????

So your complaint is that they haven’t built any houses in 6 months? How many did Nick Smith build? How many special housing areas have no houses built? How many underbuilt?

Hardly, they have built HARDLY any in fact zilch, none, zero.
National didn’t have this Kiwibuild BS that The COL have stated 10,000 per year.
They are incompetent and that can be expected as they do not have any business experience or skills.
They are totally against people who make a life for themselves and think that everyone should be equal.
We,come to the real world where this has never been the case.
You can believe what you want but you will see more and more of their total nillness going forward as they have not got a clue.
They will continue to blame the previous. Government but if things were that bad before they burted out their BS then they should’ve done their homework.
They are gone at the next election without any shadow of any doubt!!!!!!

The Boy who will National partner up with in 2020 to get over the line? They have completely stuffed up their election strategy. It is National who are inept not Labour.

Gordon, they will not need anyone to pair up with.
Unfortunately things will be that stuffed up you couldn’t possibly vote them back in.

Center vote is on the rise. Labour have work to do, but not as much as National in something positive policy wise.

Do you post your daily spin (pun intended) to convince us or yourself?

Ex Pat, love your work too ;) What can I say, I was raised a good Catholic boy - option for the poor, and all that.

Oh joy, next you'll be posting that Cardinal de Richelieu done good and then I'll really lose the plot.

I enjoy a good debate but to respond in your style I would have to appear a more rabid fan of labour than i actually am.

So I’m just going to say. I vote for the party with the best policies. If national adopts policies that are important to me like building houses, introducing a land tax, making KiwiSaver compulsory and raising the contributions, and raising the age of NZ super, then I will vote for them. But these are not in their DNA so I will not.

I expect the Auckland transport infrastructure package will be re-announced for a fourth time then. One would almost think Labour where pandering to marginal urban constituencies.

Hasn't this administration just turned out to be such a disappointment ?

They have created a massive "Culture of Expectation" among those who blindly believed that manna would fall from heaven if they voted for Labour or the Greens

Bumbling from one crisis to the next, and now suddenly realizing they cannot force the middle class to stump up with any more money ( they simply don't have the money to do so ) for all their election promises, without pushing the middle class down a level into poverty .

Lets not forget that the so called "wealthy " and many of the Rich Lister's are able to pay way less tax than those of us earning a salary or wage , by using tax efficient structures and all manner of legal loopholes that mitigate their tax bill .

I am not wealthy , but if personal Income Tax goes up , I will simply not take income from my practice in excess of what we need ( which is very little ) , and instead , just leave it there and make dividend distributions in a few years time when this nightmare is over .

The pressure on the COL is enormous , and they cannot fulfill their promises , the level of expectations are so high, its unbelievable , and the net effect will be that they end up pissing everyone off .

The budget could turn out to be explosive

Like a suicide bomber , they only get one chance at this .

Let the fun begin !

I’m pretty sure they aren’t trying to take your money. There is no policy to raise income tax.

That's funny. The Coalition have not met a tax or levy they don't like. With so little commercial experience in their ranks, they have no clue how government interference can influence people to reduce business investment. I doubt they have heard of the Laffer curve, and they will be surprised when their fiscal engineering after Cullen's working group fails to reap the tax windfall they were needing to pay for their big promises.

This is patently untrue.

Labour's pre election fiscal forecasts were based on $4,000,000,000 plus of extra tax income each year i.e. in year-three we would be paying $12,000,000,000 more of tax than in 2017 or $2,667 for every person in NZ. If that doesn't eventuate through growth, then expect new taxes or new borrowing, or a mix of both. I can't see them cutting spending promises.

Forecast tax income (millions)
2017/18 $78,172
2018/19 $82,858
2019/20 $87,293
2020/21 $91,404

Forecast spending:
2017/18 $105,428
2018/19 $110,597
2019/20 $113,657
2020/21 $118,046

edit: I got it wrong, it should have read $13,232,000,000 of extra tax in year-three which by the way is 16.9% higher than in 2017/18.

He said ‘Labour never met a tax or levy they didn’t like’ (or something similar). They’ve ruled out a lot taxes and levies.

Also you figures are misleading. You’ve quoted a sub component of revenue not the total which makes it seem like labour will collect less revenue than it spends whereas the numbers show they will collect more. It’s called a surplus.

Also that extra tax you so gleefully mention is from economic growth not necessarily new taxes. Every government benefits from that it’s how they fund new spending. It’s better to look at tax revenue to GDP to see how the percentage they are taking is increasing or decreasing.

But regardless, there is a factual difference between introducing a new tax and the tax take increasing through economic growth.

Lets not forget that the so called "wealthy " and many of the Rich Lister's are able to pay way less tax than those of us earning a salary or wage , by using tax efficient structures and all manner of legal loopholes that mitigate their tax bill .

Is this an intentionally ironic comment? Most of your comments have been about how much money you've made from property investment...but now you're bemoaning being a worker paying income tax while others can structure their affairs to avoid tax?

That's exactly what pretending capital gains were unintentionally achieved is.

@Rick Strauss .............. I have never ever owned a residential property investment in New Zealand in my entire life , other than my home which is not an investment , and has seen what only can be described as spectacular, ridiculous and unsustainable increases in value since 2010.

Nor have I ever commented on the topic of (my ) residential property investment , simply because (a) I dont own any and (b) I honestly believe houses are an awful investment .

I have an investment in a small office building with some other investors , and have previuosly sub -divided a property into 2 ( and will not do it again )

You must be thinking of someone else with your comment

I don't understand why Labour are being allowed to get away with acting all SHOCKED! and AMAZED!! to suddenly find they can't afford all the lovely things they said they were going to do before the election.

Steven Joyce told them that, very, very clearly, during the campaign, and they dismissed his analysis.

Joyce didn’t tell them about all the capital problems, Joyce was talking about the operational budget, the issues labour has are in the capital budget.

Don't worry - the first year's on me!! There must be plenty of money around if Jacinda can blow $360 million on freshers to get zero increase in enrollments.

"All the capital problems" - you mean like Middlemore hospital, where their capital budget is apparently underspent?

The Middlemore fiasco was a smokescreen that Hamas would have been proud of !

The DHB running the hospital should be fired ........... all of them .

My understanding is there are serious capital problems that weren’t fully disclosed at the election in health (multiple DHBs needing additional hospital capacity), education, defense, corrections, and transport.

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