Election 2017: English takes credit for allowing RBNZ's LVR regime, says foreign house buyers a 'peripheral issue'; Says he has the experience to deliver stable govt with Winston Peters if that's what voters decide

By Alex Tarrant

Prime Minister Bill English may have changed his stance on the Reserve Bank's loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions slightly Friday morning, pointing out in a NZ Herald video interview that he was the Finance Minister who allowed the regime to be put in place, and that they've been a major contributor to house price moderation along with other measures, including China's recent capital controls.

Meanwhile he's claiming that foreign house buyers are a "peripheral issue" in the housing debate. National is focussed on getting the settings right for greater house building efforts, he said. He argued National did move early enough to try and sort out New Zealand's housing affordability issues.

English also said he has the experience to deal with Winston Peters in coalition government, if that's the situation thrown up by voters on September 23. More on that below.

Meanwhile, Labour’s deputy leader Kelvin Davis seems a little less up on the play on Labour’s messaging about its Capital Gains Tax Tax Working Group stance. Asked on three’s AM show Friday morning about the party’s plans, he said his understanding was that Labour will campaign on it the next election (2020).

Well, that was the policy under Andrew Little. Jacinda Ardern has now reserved the right to introduce a CGT during the next term if that’s what the working group suggests (ex-family home, of course).

Davis’ confusion allowed National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett to jump in with an attack on Labour’s stance: "Here we are three years later [from Key vs Cunliffe on the same issue] and you still can't answer the details, of a what a Government under you looks like,” she said.

Three weeks to go

Phil Twyford probably wins tweet of the dayGood morning - welcome to Election 2017 coverage with interest.co.nz on September 1. Three weeks to go until we're all out on a lovely Saturday morning September 23 (I'm picking the weather already).

Last night's poll result was a bit of a shock - I hadn't expected Labour to jump National so early in the piece. But National now seems to be the party on the back foot. A bit of a recovery for the Greens, a shaky time for New Zealand First, and Colin James is now talking about the possibility of Labour being able to form government with the Greens and the Maori Party - something I've been keeping an eye on - although the Maori Party really does need to boost its party vote for this to happen still.

I'll update this page with Friday's debate reaction through the morning and any policy announcements (or announcements from Government Ministers during an election campaign).

So far, Labour's Grant Robertson and Phil Twyford have had a go a comments made Thursday night by Bill English on productivity and the housing crisis - see below. Twyford probably has already won tweet of the day with his effort (to the right).

Also, English turned up in Whangarei this morning on the National Party campaign bus at Whangarei Boys High School. He was met by National education spokesperson Nikki Kaye, who was there with her Education Minister hat on to announce a $50 million rebuild of the school (announcement below). Whangarei is the seat New Zealand First is targeting with Shane Jones this election. Winston Peters yesterday called for Ports of Auckland to be moved to Northport, also in the electorate. I'm sure the town is enjoying all the attention.

English on housing, Winston

First, English was quizzed by the NZ Herald's Tristram Clayton on housing and coalition potential Friday morning. Asked about National's plans to tackle housing affordability, English highlighted a series of measures government had taken to slow the market, and added that external factors were helping as well.

“I was the Minister of Finance who created the framework for our LVRs – it didn’t just happen," he said - potentially easing up on what has been interpreted as earlier criticism that the Reserve Bank should be thinking about the circumstances under which they'd remove the 'speed limits'.

English continued: “All those measures, including Chinese capital controls, and the bright line test, and the work with the councils over their consenting have added up to…”

Clayton jumped in. Did English regret not attacking this issue earlier on – he raised the prospect of a register of foreign buyers, saying existing data doesn’t capture foreigners buying housing through structures such as a New Zealand trust.

“What [the data has] shown is they’re a very small influence on the price," English replied. He said the data showed 3% of house purchases were made by foreigners, to which Clayton pointed out this was purchases who had foreign tax residency and didn’t capture those bought through a New Zealand trust or business.

“Frankly, it’s a peripheral issue,” English said. “The prices are flat to falling. The thing now is, how are we going to make sure the 200,000 houses that we need, get built. And through our work with the councils, through our work with the construction sector, that is now underway.”

Government is funding infrastructure in cities like Auckland and Hamilton, with more to come, he said. “That is now all rolling out. I’m satisfied we did attack it early and hard. This is a big hard problem – it’s happened all around the world. We’ve had more success than most countries in cracking it, and as we look out ahead we’re going to see people – they’re going to be able to envisage getting into the house that they want.”

English was also asked about the Peters Super Saga. He said he didn’t know who leaked the information - it wasn't from within the Beehive - and that he thought Peters didn't know either. Voters were more focused on the contest between National and Labour, English argued.

Onto coalition talks, and English tried to bring it back to his regular line now that the decision of who forms a government is up to voters themselves, “rather than necessarily rely on Mr Peters to do it for them.”

“I think you would find that the leaders of the parties understand their obligation to provide stable government for New Zealand if that’s possible. Now, we believe that we can do a better job in that than the other parties. If voters put us in the position that that’s what’s required for government for New Zealand, then Winston Peters [is] an experienced politician. I’ve known him…for 27 years," English said.

“He’s a master politician. He knows how politics works. I’ve had a bit of experience. So I’m not concerned about the capacity to deliver what the voters are after, if that’s what they want to do.”

Maori Party attacks Labour with billboards

The Maori Party was straight into it Friday morning, revealing their party vote campaign with a series of 29 different billboards around the country. Maori and Pacific champions are on some, including Tame Iti, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, Pio Tere and former co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.

Homelessness, high imprisonment rates, opposition to foreign land ownership, kaupapa Maori and being the strong, independent voice for Maori are the main subjects. Interestingly, some of the billboards are targeted at the Labour Party – “reminders of the Labour Party’s shocking track record on Māori rights.”

“Yes these three billboards are hard-hitting and we are hoping they will get people talking, thinking and realising that Māori rights are not safe in any government, unless our party is at the table with them,” president Tuku Morgan said.

The party’s press release included Tariana Turei evoking the foreshore and seabed march: “I felt really sad when I heard Helen Clark say about a month ago that if she could confiscate the foreshore and seabed again from Maori, she would take the same action again.

“So let’s not forget there are still people of influence in the Labour Party who thought nothing of doing this to our people, despite 45,000 people marching against it,” Turia said.

Debate reaction

Meanwhile, he's a taste of the poll and debate reaction from last night. We've got (TV) three's leaders' debate on Monday night (September 4).

Bryce Edwards said the 1 News Colmar Brunton poll would have panicked National, and that it looks like the party is losing its mojo. “I think everyone is shocked to just see that Natonal are the second most popular party for the first time in 12 years,” he said. Another couple of points lost would mean National is “dog tucker” in terms of forming a coalition – due to NZ First’s recent weakness, and the belief that Winston Peters won’t work with the Maori Party or ACT, he said.

Rachael Smalley thinks Ardern won the debate - not overwhelmingly though. She says Ardern grew in confidence and landed some good blows on English like on generational housing affordability. Political commentator Vernon Tava disagreed, saying he thought Ardern squandered 'the traditional challenger's advantage' with the result a draw. Tim Murphy said Ardern did not disappoint, but that she narrowly lost to English. Ardern will get better next time, and English possibly not, Murphy argued. Barry Soper reckons they were too nice to each other - particularly Ardern to English.

Economist Michael Reddell says it's a shame neither leader "seemed to offer anything very substantial on fixing our pressing economic challenges, or even show any real sign of understanding the issues." He focusses on the productivity debate - Bill English last night said JB Were didn't know what they were talking about; Reddell disagrees.

National Party pollster and Kiwiblog editor David Farrar thought it was a good debate: "Not sure the debate would have changed a lot of votes, but I think both leaders did well. They both got some good attacks over the line, but also showed some weaknesses – Jacinda in terms of policy detail and Bill in terms of having to defend the status quo." At Labour-leaning blog The Standard, they write that last night's poll shows we've entered a new political world.

National wrong on productivity

Labour's Grant Robertson hit back at comments by Bill English on productivity in Thursday night's debate. Read his comments below:

Bill English's claim that productivity has grown pretty well in New Zealand is wrong, and flies in the face of evidence from his own Government and the view of most commentators, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“New Zealand has seen no growth in labour productivity in the last four years. In fact we are going backwards, with Treasury seeing 0.03 per cent drop over the past four years. As Bernard Doyle from JB Were has said, ‘New Zealand is in a productivity recession’.

“This is backed up by the OECD, which has noted that our labour productivity is well below leading OECD countries, restraining living standards and well-being.

“Bill English is plain wrong. He cannot deny that our productivity growth has stalled and that relying on population growth for growth in the economy is simply not sustainable.

“It is improving productivity that will drive higher wages in New Zealand. In the last year wages have failed to keep up with inflation. We will not turn that trend around unless we can lift the value of our work.

“The international evidence shows that investing in workforce skills is critical to lifting productivity. That is why Labour is so focused on investing in education and training.

“Our three years free education and training policy will not only benefit school leavers but all those in the workforce who have not studied or trained before.

“We also need to lift our investment in research and development. Innovation is core to productivity growth and Labour's Research and Development Tax Credits will give businesses the certainty to invest in this critical area,” says Grant Robertson

Labour's Phil Twyford then took English on over comments made about housing in Thursday night's debate:

The Prime Minister’s declaration of victory over the housing crisis, made during last night’s TVNZ Leaders’ Debate, is more than a little premature, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“You have to give Bill English marks for optimism, but when he claimed that a recent moderation in price inflation nationally and slight falls in Auckland was because ‘speculation has been beaten by getting 10,000 houses a year built’ it was little more than wishful thinking, and actually just wrong.

“Serious commentators all believe the cooling in the market is just a pause, and largely a result of Reserve Bank lending restrictions, which the Bank says will only have temporary effect.

“The fundamental causes of high house prices remain unchanged: high immigration, low interest rates and a shortfall in Auckland of 40,000 houses that is getting bigger by the day.

“The latest numbers from CoreLogic show a net increase of only 6000 new homes in Auckland in the last year. Given the average occupancy rate of three people per household, a net increase of 6,000 dwellings will only house 18,000 people. Yet Auckland is growing by 45,000 to 50,000 people a year.

“This is what has given Auckland the million dollar house price average that has locked a generation out of home ownership. It is the same thing that has caused record overcrowding and homelessness.

“Bill English might wish the housing crisis was over but just saying it won’t make it so. He’s desperately out of touch.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will provide 100,000 affordable starter homes for first time buyers and state houses for families in need. Labour will invest in training more Kiwis in the building trades and encouraging firms to take on apprentices so that we have the workforce we need to get those houses built,” says Phil Twyford.

National is targeting Whangarei with a big spend on Whangarei Boys High - Bill English is there with Education Minister Nikki Kaye. This is one of those government announcements made in Ministerial capacity during an election campaign after Parliament has been dissolved. I thought the polls showed Shane Jones was quite far off National's candidate?

The Government is committing more than $50 million to the full redevelopment of Whangarei Boys’ High School, in one of the largest-ever single investments in a New Zealand school.

“The rebuild will see all existing teaching spaces either refurbished or replaced entirely, and the number of classrooms will be increased to accommodate a growing roll,” Education Minister Nikki Kaye says.

“This will equip the school with outstanding modern facilities, ensuring the students who come here will benefit not only from quality teaching but also a quality learning environment.

“The Ministry of Education has been working with Whangarei Boys’ High School for the last two years on this project, and Cabinet approved funding for the redevelopment last month.

“This is great news for the school and local communities, with Whangarei Boys’ High School catering for students from Whangarei and surrounding areas.”

Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe says the school has faced considerable challenges due to ageing buildings and weather-tightness issues, making this one of the most complex school redevelopments in New Zealand.

“The redevelopment will likely be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), alongside Scott Point Primary (Auckland), the co-location of Marlborough Boys’ and Marlborough Girls’ Colleges and Pukekohe Belmont Primary,” Mr Macindoe says.

“PPPs can provide significant cost savings and efficiency gains, and these projects could benefit from such a model, should we choose to proceed this way.

“In 2013, the Government committed to redeveloping 30 schools with the most complex infrastructure issues. Today’s announcement represents the 36th school to be redeveloped, with over $700 million invested so far.

“A total of 37 new schools have also been approved or built since 2013.”

The Whangarei Boys’ High redevelopment is expected to commence in 2019 and be complete by 2022.

Steven Joyce has just outlined National's infrastructure plans (this one's a party political announcement). National will set up a National Infrastructure Commission to lead more public-private partnerships, he says:

The National Party will turbocharge the Government’s $32.5 billion infrastructure investment by creating a new National Infrastructure Commission to lead more public-private partnership (PPP) projects and ensure Kiwis get faster access to new schools, hospitals and roading, National Party Infrastructure spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“National has a great track record of delivering transformative infrastructure investments, like the Roads of National Significance, the electrification of Auckland’s commuter rail network, Ultra-Fast Broadband, and the Waterview Tunnel,” Mr Joyce says. “We know how vital quality infrastructure is to the economy and people’s lives.

“PPPs are very effective at getting quality long-lasting infrastructure built more quickly and using private capital to stretch the country’s capital budget so we get more built,” Mr Joyce says. “The National Infrastructure Commission will be responsible for expanding the number of PPPs so we can grow our $32.5 billion investment and have more new hospitals, schools and transport projects sooner.

National will merge two units from the Treasury to form the core of the Commission, with an additional $2.5 million a year in funding to operate it.

“PPPs can provide new facilities at a lower whole of life cost than traditional development models,” Mr Joyce says. “The Commission’s job will be to make sure the innovation and savings PPPs bring are applied to all parts of government, regardless of whether the project is a major hospital development, a school or a new road.”

Initial projects to be considered as a PPP include:

  • The $50 million rebuild of Whangarei Boys High School as part of a larger school development package
  • Defence Estate Refresh: a $1.7 billion project to modernise and upgrade defence  bases throughout the country
  • The recently announced $1.4 billion re-development of Dunedin Hospital
  • East West Link: $1.9 billion project linking State Highway 20 and State Highway 1 in Auckland
  • Penlink: Construction of a new local road linking the middle of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula with State Highway 2 at Redvale
  • Waikeria Prison: A new 1,500 bed facility due to commence procurement this year

“The Commission will work alongside our new investment company Crown Infrastructure Partners which will jointly invest with councils and private companies in non-government owned infrastructure like local roads, water networks and the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme,” Mr Joyce says.

The Commission’s other major role will be to collate and promote New Zealand’s national and regional infrastructure pipelines to major local and international construction firms so they can further gear up to meet the country’s infrastructure demand.

“Construction companies need clear visibility of the full pipeline so they can invest in innovation and skills to gear up and meet the challenge,” Mr Joyce says. “As well as the $32.5 billion to be invested over the next four years, we need to plan further spending in the order of another $40 billion over the following four years. 

“The NIC will be a clearing place for that pipeline so the construction industry can have the confidence to keep investing and growing.

“We already have about $2 billion of PPP projects included within our $32.5 billion capital investment, including the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth roading developments, and a number of school building projects. The new Commission will be charged with ramping the number of projects up significantly so we can extend the $32.5 billion further.

“New Zealand is growing confidently and quickly. The National Infrastructure Commission will ensure we have the capacity to maintain that growth and deliver the quality infrastructure New Zealanders need.”

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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155 Comments

I just discovered that NZ's key policies are developed only two months before a government getting into the office.

Now Bill English will talk more about Winston Peter - how good he is and.......................

Yesterdays poll result changed the situation.

listening to cam slater on the radio last night he pointed the finger at PB for the hit on WP, and said BE knew
there is some bad blood there now so may be to late to butter him up

While Paula Bennett's track record with this sort of thing goes makes it easy to point the finger straight at her, I would still take Slater with a grain of salt, he has been on the receiving end of National party cold shoulder once he was outed and has a bone to pick with them. I just hope he and his sicko views do not find their way back to the radio airwaves and was pretty disappointed in Mitch Harris' decision to have him on.

Yes, she sure does have form and last time she did it, she was unapologetic and said she'd consider doing it again;

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/113323/bennett-'would-consider-another-privacy-breach'

The funny thing is, for the economically conservative voter, the current best vote is a tactical vote for the greens. It looks like the only chance of keeping Winston out of power would be for Labour and Greens to get enough votes to govern. A Labour greens coalition maybe a little left leaning for some, but it will be pretty much status quo. A government with Winston could involve forcing people to sell power shares at Winston's preferred price, forcibly buying the port of Auckland, and giving massive subsidies and tax advantages to Marsden point. Why would anyone invest in NZ if Winston can randomly decide to destroy their investment?

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Why would any country Jimbo, with good governance sell its electricity generation that was built and paid for by the taxpayer to foreign investors??

To get some money I guess!
If Winston really wanted to cut power prices and gain some control of the sector, why not spend 11 billion on some new generation? That would also get us in good shape for electric cars. Buying back existing overpriced assets seems a bit stupid...

There is probably some sort of restraint clause in the sale agreement. National will have fallen all over themselves to see there was one.

As a Winston Peters voter, I would suggest you brush up on your knowledge of NZ First policies so that you can educate yourself on the difference between, for example, moving the cars at Auckland port to Northport, with a natural deep water harbour, creating jobs and opportunities for this neglected regional area, upgrading the rail for freight so less trucks on the roads etc. An absolute win for Auckland as no further reclamation expansion into Auckland Harbour, while also freeing up 77 ha of prime waterfront land for public use and the development of a new cruise ship terminal. One of Winston's main motivations is to look after provincial New Zealand which contributes the most income to NZ but has been badly run down. It is to the advantage of all so not sure how you can continue critisising him unless you are only looking at your own self interest.One NZ for all regardless of race, culture or creed works for me and all the other NZ First voters.

Well buying back power stations seems a bit silly, but he will still get my vote just to hold labour to their word to cut down immigration

DiDi,

Ok. I am a stockmarket investor and have a decent holding in Marsden Maritime,from which I am doing well. Thus,I should welcome WP's proposal to move POT to Northport,but as far as i am concerned,it's just more empty grandstanding from him. He has no idea just how expensive it would be to upgrade the rail link and can you imagine all these car transporters on the current roading system.
There is also the small matter of not actually owning the company and Auckland council would fight him to the death. There is no way he could get that through parliament,far less the courts. His proposal on the energy companies is equally half-baked. Economically,it's little short of illiterate.

DiDi,

Ok. I am a stockmarket investor and have a decent holding in Marsden Maritime,from which I am doing well. Thus,I should welcome WP's proposal to move POT to Northport,but as far as i am concerned,it's just more empty grandstanding from him. He has no idea just how expensive it would be to upgrade the rail link and can you imagine all these car transporters on the current roading system.
There is also the small matter of not actually owning the company and Auckland council would fight him to the death. There is no way he could get that through parliament,far less the courts. His proposal on the energy companies is equally half-baked. Economically,it's little short of illiterate.

DiDi,

Ok. I am a stockmarket investor and have a decent holding in Marsden Maritime,from which I am doing well. Thus,I should welcome WP's proposal to move POT to Northport,but as far as i am concerned,it's just more empty grandstanding from him. He has no idea just how expensive it would be to upgrade the rail link and can you imagine all these car transporters on the current roading system.
There is also the small matter of not actually owning the company and Auckland council would fight him to the death. There is no way he could get that through parliament,far less the courts. His proposal on the energy companies is equally half-baked. Economically,it's little short of illiterate.

POT would love the proposal as they own 1/2 of northport.
I agree with you the rail would require megabucks to upgrade, you have 20 tunnels that will not fit a container that need to be enlarged or a whole new rail line routed ,
it may be a good port and good amount of land but you need to get the logistics in place to make it work

if labour cannot raise enough tax revenue to cover the free education model (Micheal more , where to invade next) from taxing property other then the family home, IE your lovely little holiday cottage will be next and if that doesnt work they will have to increase the upper tax rate with a new tax rate above 100,000 and or tax combined incomes. If there is no increase in productivity they cannot increase GST as that already is at a very high level which effects it core base support. You can bet that as the pressure builds there will be no option for labour but to increase taxes which will mean more jobs for accountants to track even your family cottage. A recent court case in 2011 on maximizing profits in family trusts resulted in one gun accountant in Gisborne showing the number of journal entires he would have to do to account for the family beach house in a family trust and his comment in the end was UNACCEPTABLE. what happens is that politicians have no idea the increase administration that is generated from those fantastic ideas!!!!!

Great, so what will happen if there was a cost blow up in building the "Affordable" kiwi-built houses they want to dish around? ..or cost blow up of the Airport rail system ?... more taxes!, once water taxes are in then , increase these by a cent or two ....once CGT is set in , then it's easy to adjust as needed..... The Big worry that should be on everyone's mind is Why are they Not being clear and upfront on these hanging it all around the Tax review group's neck !! are they looking for a scapegoat if they fail or are they really hiding what is a big spend !!?
NZers have the right to KNOW what they are going to be taxed for and How Much is it going to Cost them before the election !! that is a simple and clear demand - not rocket or political science !! unless Labour agrees to put any tax reform out in a referendum to get public's approval before they do it !!

Seems to me NZers are jumping on the Jacinda bandwagon regardless of your "demands".

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Yes, so correct Dodo.
God forbid we have the same problem as what happened under the National party where they campaign on lowering taxes and then somehow manage to raise GST, KiwiSaver taxes, and introduce a capital gains tax.

They are going to TAX you! You're actually going to have to start contributing to the future of NZ, rather than just taking. Hopefully it's going to be lots, because you owe a substantial amount!

Ode to Taxinda (sung to Katy Perry’s Alien)

You're from a whole other world
A different dimension
You open my eyes
And I'm ready to go, lead me to the polling station
Tax me, t-t-tax me
Infect me with your spin and fill me with your visage.
Tax me, t-t-tax me
Wanna be a victim, ready for recession

Victims eh...there does seem to be an awful amount of "poor me" mewing sounds coming from property investors at the mere remote possibility of paying tax on their previously untouched wealth gains. Sounds like a victim complex if ever there was one.

It's satirical, aimed at those seemingly under the 'Taxinda' spell. With no CGT on my family home or change to my personal income tax rates I'm completely unaffected, if I can believe what Labour say. In fact I'd be better off personally if Labour was elected. I have children who would pay no Uni fees and get more money to spend on accommodation. I might even get to do the helicopter course I've coveted for years, only if it's free though.

Yeah, I didn't mean you personally, in point of fact. I remember you have the one house and no intent to spend equity.

Correct. When you have paid off a mortgage you realise it's real money and I have no intention to incur consumer debt, risking the family home. I would however take on debt to help my children buy houses, if the need arose, or alternatively sell the house to pass the equity onto them. It all depends what situations I'm faced with, signals the government is giving me and legal arrangements that could be made.

Wonder which way the maths would work out to give you more in retirement - low house prices and no need to pass on much or help the kids much, or high house prices and a greater need to allocate more to the kids.

This is why I think expensive housing in a zero sum game - because older generations often want to support the younger generation. So older generations say, right more appreciation is great because it means I'll hae more equity to support the kids in their first home......oh but that equity generated disappears right away because the kids home is now more expensive to buy.....

Expensive houses just means more debt and who is the winner from this? The banks...Its a dumb predicament to be in...

True...at some point it all breaks down and it's better for far more of the population for a place to have affordable housing. Probably why so many NZ governments up till the end of the 20th century put effort into this in New Zealand.

Shame about the recent ideologues.

Have to wonder about the true health of our country's balance of trade if everyone is borrowing a tonne of money from overseas banks to help somebody else buy flatscreen TVs, cars and other consumer goods from overseas manufacturers.

If by changes in tax cause the country to go into a recession you have to wonder how fragile is the New Zealand economy.

All it takes is a drop in consumer confidence. If people are unsure what a government is going to tax or how a decision will affect them, then they delay investment and spending. A move to a Labour Government, rightly or not, will be perceived as anti business given their water tax etc. This economy could turn on a dime if those with the money turn off the taps (pun intended)

those with the money

We are beholden to offshore lenders who are unlikely to be concerned with a government that broadens the tax base - I'd have thought, quite the opposite.

We're already receding, its just disguised by 70000 new consumers being imported each year

Well why don't you hold the National Party to those same standards Eco Bird?

At least the Labour government has released fiscal plan detailing their policies and how they will be funded. Can the National Party say the same? Also some media commentators and National supporters like yourself are inferring that the Labour Party have a fiendish, secret plan to hike taxes after the election, whilst ignoring the fact that the current government itself held their own Tax Working Group back in 2010. I don't recall any announcements during the 2008 election campaign where they informed the public that they were going to hike GST in order to pay for the unfunded tax cuts that they bribed the public with at the worst possible time. When the country faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

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Interesting last year they denied foreign buyers were an issue and he's now saying Chinese capital controls have impacted the property market.

I suspect under a Labour govt though we'll see the Auckland housing prices increase further because the last thing they'll want is a housing crash in their first term. They'll artificially prop up prices through first home buyer grants and the like.

So anyone hoping for a reduction in house prices under Labour may be disappointed.

NZ's economic prosperity is underpinned by housing. No party will let it down.

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yes but like all skyscrapers built on sand eventually it will topple, its far better if it was to slowly sink
watch out all we need is another worldwide shock, who knows what it will be, but at the moment we have two madman playing chicken with nukes

I dont believe that no party Can or is allowed to let it down .. almost everyones political promises is based on that very prosperity ...

Governments have almost zero control over house price inflation/deflation. It is the people that choose to transact in bricks and mortar. The banks hold all the cards over easy credit and the people decide whether it is a good time to buy or not using their own sentiment and silly beliefs. The system breaks down when banks become fearful of lending, even when the people are willing to sign up to 30 years of debt slavery, but if the bank says NO, the Ponzi starts to collapse and chaos shortly follows.

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Haha yep I agree Delboy. Suddenly China has put some control over their capital leaving the country, and the Auckland housing market slows down. And Bill admits that that is a major influence? But on the same token, foreign capital has no significant effect on house prices? How can an interviewer let him away with that?

I also agree that the last thing we need is for any policies aimed at enabling more demand for housing artificially. The very last people that helps in the long term is first home buyers.

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The same case with immigration. One week Bill said that the economy is not dependent on immigration, and the next he says immigration cannot be slowed because the economy depends on it.

Where's the honesty?

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The honesty is in the naked emperor attempting to put some clothes back on.

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English will go to his grave telling us that Chinese have had minimal effect on price..

He will go to his political grave earlier because of this and other lies..

Perhaps he will have a Peter Dunne epiphany.......

Well lucky for Bill the 10 commandments dont mention lying so he's free to spin as much sh*t as he wants, and what a wonderful job he does of it....

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Karma is a B........

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Housing is the issue that goes right to the heart of this election campaign. The public have lost trust with National due to denial of this real problem. They are sick of the lies and spin. This lack of credibility and trust impacts on all of National's policies. A tipping point has been reached.

The voters can see in Jacinda a talented politician who passes the basic competency test and who stands for generational change, while Bill English stands for last generation thinking.

Bill on housing is still defending his thinking. There is no acknowledgement that what the country is doing on housing is not working. He is a old-school, conservative, status quo guy and that is not what NZ needs. Bill's housing story doesn't add up -it doesn't make sense. Frankly it is pathetic.

Bill English claimed in the leaders debate that NZ would build 200,000 houses in the next 6 years and conveyed a message that there is nothing to worry about, that the housing crisis has got better under National. Mike Hoskings rightly pulled him up on the fact NZ is not building enough to house NZ's population growth.

But Mike didn't state it in the most damaging way. Which is that the net increase in housing stock is even less than the consenting rate, which already is not enough to house population growth.

To quote CoreLogic;

“Our own analysis has shown that whilst there were roughly 10,000 dwelling consents in Auckland in 2016 (and 9,000 in 2015), the net increase in stock was only 6,000. A key contributor to this difference is the necessary reality of urban renewal which requires a property, or properties, to be demolished in order to build more multi-unit properties…”
http://www.interest.co.nz/property/89592/auckland%E2%80%99s-property-mar...

Given Auckland’s average housing occupancy rate of 3.0 people per household, a net increase of 6,000 residential dwellings will only house 18,000 people. Yet Auckland is growing by 45,000 to 50,000 people a year.

It is this fact that is driving homelessness and overcrowding in Auckland, with all its awful social and economic consequences, such as third world poor housing childhood illnesses that the NZ Herald reported on a couple of days ago.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11913334

National and Bill English do not have the answers. Bill English is not a policy genius. He is in denial. John Key threw him a hospital pass when he gave up the Prime Ministership and for a second time Bill will lead National into defeat.

NB: I also have some other charts and facts on Auckland's housing boom myth in the following article.

https://medium.com/land-buildings-identity-and-values/aucklands-housing-...

Brendon, what do you think of NZ First's housing policy?

http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/housing

They differ from Labour's Kiwibuild in that they suggest that government buys land already designated as an SHA (I assume using the PWA) and then on sell it at cost, letting potential homeowners build their own homes.

Is it too late given the over inflated value of land?

I would love to know the figures involved in the Hobsonville Point development project. Former defense land owned by the government for a very long time. Imagine if this had been planned differently right from the get go?

Kate why restrict Kiwibuilds to only SHA land? -I can't understand the rationale. This will not solve the land banking problem, that unnecessarily pushes up land prices.

And why not get the govt involved in building houses too? -that way economies of scale, prefabrication/factory built housing, using bulk buying to esnsure greater competition...... and can drive down build costs

Overall Labour's housing policy is more detailed, more comprehensive -it addresses the above, plus State Housing/HNZ reform, the need for safe rentals (healthy, warm, dry heated). Also infrastructure funding though municipal bonds/targeted rates.....

You can compare yourself. http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

1. "Policies" that state needs and problems are not solutions. Just about anyone can point at the man with his arm cut off and describe the problem. But it takes an experienced and highly skilled surgeon to successfully rectify the situation.

2. You can't create affordable housing if you don't have affordable land. Prefab or no prefab.

3. The current local government structure, which has turned affordable land into a mythical beast, dates from 1989.

Labour has had a policy on how to access affordable land up on its website for a year or so.

"Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out

Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds."

Recently both Steven Joyce and Bill English have discussed something similar around affordable land prices being this 'generations fix'.

So it seems accessing affordable land has been difficult to achieve but it is doable.

I checked out the link to the Labour local government policy that Kate posted. NZ First were the only ones with any substantial policy to reform the current local government structures that create the supply side land problems we have today.

Sound bites like, 'free up', 'stopping land-bankers' and 'affordable land' are like confetti on the wedding day. Cheap and cheerful but lacking in substance.

I agree creating a regulatory structure for cheaper land is doable, other nations do it - but not with the regulatory structure we have now as your tool of choice.

Ralph Labour's policy on freeing up land-use is to use a National Policy Statement amendment to the RMA to give the regulatory signal to local councils and environmental courts that unnecessary land-use restrictions will no longer be legally enforceable.

Labour have a further policy around infrastructure for new urban developments being able to be paid for by a targeted rate on the new urban area which repays a municipal bond.

Further Labour has a policy that gives local government the ability to receive directly up to 10c per litre in petrol tax. Thus under a future Labour central government the economic gains of population growth are shared with local government. So Labour is not planning on doing what National does and use high immigration numbers to cook the books positively for its Wellington politicians while pretending there is no resulting infrastructure and housing deficit occurring in high population growth areas like Auckland.

Labour's housing and transport policy package goes a long way to solving the deadlock between central and local government. This being Wellington politicians, like Bill English, firing potshots at local government -saying stuff like -you must remove the urban growth boundary - 20 planners in the bowels of Auckland town hall cannot take the country hostage. Then the Mayor of Auckland or wherever fires a pot shot back saying -we can't do that unless you fund x,y,z piece of infrastructure. This approach doesn't solve anything -9 years later and both sides are still firing potshots at each other and the deadlock continues.

Labour's policies on housing, transport and infrastructure are substantial policies. They are a broad package of policies and if public votes for them would constitute a serious reform to the status quo.

Meanwhile Steven Joyce channels his inner Muldoon and uses infrastructure expenditure as election bribes. None of his projects have business cases -for 9 years Roads of National Significance have deliberately bypassed cost/benefit analysis. They are more about the political not economic payoffs. No wonder productivity growth is in recession. Look at Joyce's infrastructure announcements yesterday -can anyone honestly say they are about providing the best economic benefit to the country? For example, is $50m for a Whangarei school the best allocation of infrastructure spending? Or is it an election bribe targeting NZ First's political resurgence up north?

It is the obvious answer, push out the city limit even if only by a km a year

Not saying it should be restricted to SHA land only, what attracts me more about their policy is use of the PWA and the intention to:

Sell residential sections under long term agreements for sale and purchase (up to 25 years) to first home buyers, on a cost recovery basis, so that first home buyers will have access to sections which are affordable, reducing the overall initial capital cost of a new home by about one-third.

Provide interest at 2% p.a. for at least 5 years, then rising to lowest market rates.

Purchasers would build their own homes using normal bank financing, with title to the section transferred to them and the amount owing for the section secured by a second ranking statutory land charge.

It's a bit reminiscent of the old post office home loan at wildly lower interest rates than the market in the 'old days' and the land is compulsory acquired under the PWA - just like we do for roading projects.

AND (perhaps most importantly), the large landowner/developers get cut right out of the equation - as section owners make their own arrangements for design and build, or relocate. No 'style' guides, no covenants - build only what you need and can afford.

I do agree, that Labour have a bit more detail but where Labour says;

Put all surplus urban Crown land under the control of the Affordable Housing Authority for use in its development projects

I just wonder how much surplus Crown land exists in Auckland? And additionally, this statement concerns me:

A typical Affordable Housing Authority project will be around 50% KiwiBuild houses and 50% private developments.

Sounds like private developers will be building/benefiting from the use of surplus Crown land for what (I assume) will be homes priced at greater than $600,000?

And the affordable homes in Auckland are to be within the $500-600,000 range - but (to me) that's not affordable for most FHBs. The median personal income for AKL in the 2013 census was $29,600;

http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/lgip.nsf/wpg_URL/Profiles-Councils-Auck...

So let's say we have two adults on the median income purchasing the home, that's $59,200 pa - meaning that affordable number by my reckoning is still approaching the median multiple of x10, isn't it?

I don't mean to be critical, because this is such an important issue, but I'm a bit in the Arthur Grimes camp - any government initiative needs to accept that house prices need to fall around 40% in AKL to be truly affordable. Hence, I think Labour has pitched its "affordable" price range too high - in other words, they have to slash the land cost somehow. Working "with" the large-scale developer community isn't going to do that - you have to work against them to drive land prices down.

That seems to be what NZ First are implying in terms of targeting privately held land and using the PWA to acquire it.

Kate I think we have to work with the private sector in bring down the cost of developing better quality new housing stock. What we need is build new houses that are best quality, for the most affordable prices, in places that people want to live. When I have looked at countries/cities where housing costs have not risen (some US, Japanese and European cities) in recent decades, it is not because the state builds all the houses or makes all the subdivisions, it is because they have created regulatory environment where government is responsive enough to provide infrastructure in advance of urban development and the resulting public and private spaces are allowed to be competitively allocated.

I explain this in a long form paper here https://medium.com/land-buildings-identity-and-values/successful-cities-... (sorry this issue is difficult to explain quickly and easily -It is a constant challenge for me to articulate this story concisely)

I don't buy into the argument that existing houses must fall by a certain amount -they may, they may not -probably over the long term if the housing market was competitive, prices would gravitate towards a median house to median income ratio of 3-4, that seems to be the norm in NZ historically and in well functioning cities overseas. But that will not be achieved by political decree and it is not clear what effect a better set of urban development regulations will have on the price of existing houses. I don't think any politician can say that such and such policies or set of policies, will mean that such and such household in a particular Auckland suburb, will fall by a particular value -say 40%. The housing market is too complicated. There are too many factors. But that is what homeowners are hearing with this talk of median house prices returning to 3-4.

There is 1.8m private dwellings in NZ. Last year we built 30,000 houses. We need to build at an even faster rate. In 10 years time we will have built at least 300,000 more houses. Maybe it will be 400,000 more houses if KiwiBuild gets underway.

Those 300,000 to 400,000 extra houses could be $1million+ McMansions priced above the current median price and would therefore drag the median house price up. Or many new homes could be in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, which in Auckland would bring the median price down, without changing any current house prices.

New houses will either be built out from the existing urban area. If NZ does this well with rapid transit and motorways so the new residents can access the whole city quickly, then these new areas will be popular and effective. This is what the first Labour government did in the Hutt Valley and Porirua -using commuter rail. Those state housing suburbs were affordable housing of its day -but did they cause a collapse of house prices in Wellington proper -in places like Brooklyn? I haven't found any record of that happening. What they provided was a cheaper, competitive alternative. After WW2 Auckland did the same but used motorways.

Alternatively new houses will be built up within the existing urban area. This will be where one standalone house on a suburban section is replaced by multiple dwellings in the form of duplexes, townhouses, row houses, apartments etc. So a $1 million+ large stand alone house could be replaced by say 6 smaller dwellings, priced at say $600,000. But those cheaper $600,000 new units do not devalue the current stock of million dollar houses.

Providing choice and competition in the new housing market should not be feared.

Kate I agree that using the Public Works Act is a good idea. Labour should definitely do that for KiwiBuild. Also Labour should not be ideological about this. They should be pragmatically use the powers of the State to get KiwiBuild up and running while implementing reforms for the private sector so they too can participate and provide competitive choices for the next generation.

These comments are truly frightening to someone brought up on the notion that we live in a society where one's property is for the most part inalienable.

So why is society making it ever harder for many to own their own homes.

Pakeha's land being inalienable. Not so much for Maori whose lands were generally the first to be compulsorily acquired under the Public Works Act for any public works projects.

Median household incomes in the different parts of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch is between $80,000 to $105,000. http://www.interest.co.nz/property/house-price-income-multiples

So if houses can be built for $400,000 to $500,000 in Auckland and a bit less elsewhere to create a new 'normal' for new house prices, that is not too far off historic norms for house to price ratios. If Auckland/NZ can build in a way that offers choices and competition -then that is a significant improvement which will benefit hundreds of thousands of kiwis.

Thanks Brendon - I appreciate the time you take to respond. Thing is, in your responses you talk about a $400-500,000 price range as affordable in Auckland - whereas the stated aim of the Labour Kiwibuild policy is $500-600,000. That $100,000 difference is critical to my mind. And even if they can get to the $400-500,000 range - that's roughly a median multiple of 6 where Auckland South median incomes are concerned.

Certainly the Labour package on housing might improve the situation for those on higher than the median household income but we don't really want state housing to become the required norm for those on median incomes in our largest city.

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Bill English also tried to claim responsibility for the recent slowdown in Auckland, saying it was a measure of Nationals success in curbing speculation. I almost choked on my coffee. Everyone knows it has more to do with a decision made by the Chinese Communist Party.

If there's a crash, I wonder if he'll remember he tried to claim credit? One suspects not.

It would be another sign of success wouldn't it? Look we've just wiped out all the equity of recent buyers, but its a sign of success of how well we've removed speculation from our property market...

If there was a crash and people loose their equity, it would not be Labours fault, it would be Nationals. It was Nationals 9 year failure to address the housing crisis that has put house prices into bubble territory and beyond

Posts like this are the reason for the expression, 'It doesn't matter how you play the game, it only matters how you allocate the blame.'

Sorry, but you're an idiot. House prices didn't just magically inflate the day after National were first elected. Would you like to tell me how the Labour government addressed housing prices between 1999 and 2008? They didn't, because it made people feel rich and they looked the other way while Labour simultaneously refused to adjust tax brackets for inflation. This housing crisis has been brewing for literally decades and pinning it on National is either petty politics or sheer stupidity.

Equally, it would be unreasonable to blame Labour if the country goes into recession next year as a result of a slow down in immigration and a crash in the housing market...if the car breaks down just after you've purchased it, is it your fault or the sellers?

I agree, it would be unreasonable, but they would be tarred with it nonetheless, just as National have hardly had a stellar run of luck with the GFC and multiple earthquakes, yet are tarred with the subsequent debt raised.

The property bubble didn't start inflating until 2004 at the very earliest when the world was awash in liquidity because of China and the Gulf States recycling their trade surpluses into US Treasuries, which held U.S. interest rates low. Nothing to do with the actions of the Federal Reserve or our own Reserve Bank. They're both tilting at windmills in the face of a hurricane.

"These relative current account positions broadly reflect the contrasting balances between saving and
investment in these countries. In the case of the deficit countries – such as the US, Australia and New
Zealand – investment has exceeded saving, with the excess savings of surplus countries financing the
shortfall. Excess savings relative to investment amongst the surplus countries has increased
substantially since the late 1990s, led by Asia, a range of developing countries and more recently the
oil exporters. This has given rise to a phenomenon that US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
has referred to as a “global savings glut”.1"
http://www.bis.org/review/r070315a.pdf

Auckland house prices were actually declining until that point. See figure 2 on page 4 of this Reserve Bank bulletin.
https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletin...

I was waiting for the day that National claimed that our polluted rivers were a sign of success of how well our dairy industry was going....

Its the equivalent of saying how expensive houses are the positive outcome of having a well performing economy...

The dairy boom started under Labour. It was responsible during the 4th Labour govt ( 26 July 1984 - 2 November 1990), for passing the legislation that enabled the dismantling of the NZ Dairy Board structure. That enabled the way for Fonterra to be formed.
Again it was Labour, this time the 5th Labour government (10Dec 1998 - 10 November 2008) that passed the legislation that enable the formation of Fonterra (2001) but more telling was that the legislation almost compelled Fonterra to accept supply from anyone that wanted to supply it. Hence you now see dairy in areas that otherwise may not have been accepted for supply. I was told recently by a long time Green Party MP that the late Rod Donald used to say that Fonterra was actually run by legislation. A wise man as he recognised that it would allow unconstrained conversions/growth.

It was under a Labour government - the 5th one, that the biggest increase in cow stocking rate happened - from 2.58 cows/ha at the beginning of their term to 2.8 by the end of it - an increase of 0.22cows/ha. Again under that government, the biggest number of hectares were converted - 983,579 a 30% increase.

Under the current National government cow stocking rate increased from 2.8cows/ha to 2.85 in the 2015/16 season (the latest data available) an increase of 0.05cows/ha. Comparing converted hectares under National 745,000 hectares was converted an increase of 17.5% - much smaller than under Labour.

Labour has to take some responsibility for the current water quality situation - the biggest intensification and conversion of land to dairy happened under their watch. They also passed the legislation that ensured that Fonterra could not refuse to accept supply which allowed conversions to run rampant. They also had little understanding of lag effects on water quality which is what we see is showing up in water quality in many parts of the country today.

It is under National that regional councils have been setting nutrient limits for our waterways. Jacinda Adern's comment around riparian planting shows how ignorant Labour really is about what is really happening out in water catchments around the country and the science behind planting v long grass as part of riparian management - note it is all about riparian management not planting - and yes there is a difference.

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) has a lot to answer for in relation to the growth/intensification of dairy. Jacinda Adern said it will take a generation to improve water quality (approx 25years) National have set 2040 as the date for it to be done by.

If only Bill had the nous to point out these double standards.

Now the only option to National is Fear Psychology.

If you put L in front of GFC what do you get... local government financial crisis ... Most people in new zealand and prehaps all those commenting here might not realize that treasury and the reserve bank run the country not the government.. the next crisis is local government spending for increased infrastructure including housing. The new solution from the reserve bank is to create a new investment infrastructure holding body that will removed local government debt allowing local councils to increase balance sheet capacity for holding the debt to cater for all those infrastructure requirements including housing. I doubt Jacinda? is that her name, i dont follow local news, even knows about the new solution from treasure and the reserve bank. It will be like a new recruit going to war for the first time. National will put that blonde forward as there new look PM.

The only solution to the problem will be to restrict inflows of capital and people to take the heat out of the market becuase releasing new land is only part of the problem.. Its the cost of developing the infrastructure when the local government balance sheets are going to be fill to over flowing ....with new debt... from a new creative accounting model to remove the existing debt from the balances sheets.

New young face, a new future for a new generation ... yes you could see it coming... a PM who is a good accountant and finance minister was never going to win votes from a young women of a new generation...and a finance minister is not responsible for all portfolios in cabinet.. if the books balance he did a good accounting job ...

But the real problem is as alway debt management and no amount of make up is going to cover the cracks of the new problem emerging called the LGFC

thank you for sharing these Very good points ...

but Labour supporters on this thread are busy counting their chooks and show us how miserable the country is without them .... while their deputy leader is being muzzled everytime he opens his trap on almost all subjects ...

I think Joyce's announcements today goes along with what you started in your comment ... PPPs might be the way out for the council too.

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There are no Labour supporters here
People here are either Pro-National or Anti-National

Its really a case of someone playing themselves out of the team, we're not sure if the reserves will do any better but they sure cant do much worse

PPP's only meet todays needs - because of cost - and ROI - they will never provide for the needs of next decade or 20 years hence, or 50 years. Only Government can afford to over-provide-develop

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...he would still have my vote if he had not denied the housing crisis, not funded intensive diarying, not turned DOC into a new tourism body, not allowed foreign investors to buy up NZ inc, not denied the impact of Chinese money laundering, not resisted a foreign trust law change, not ignored climate change, and not governed for 9 years without overhauling the disaster that is our welfare sytem.

A strategy based increasing population, increased milk powder and more debt.

We deserve more than a 'good' finance minister.

The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment

Im not denying anything you have said... but a finance minister is not responsible for all portfolios.... and most of what you have talked about is spread over the cabinet... a good finance minister runs treasury and the budget... not run the direction of the country... the whole cabinet has to be blamed for policy..

But he is now the leader.

He called young people druggies, he says we need rampant low wage immigration (fruit pickers, truck drivers, restaurant workers), that there is no housing crises, overseas money has no influence, the list goes on.

His party that he has had no control of has ruined our country and as he says it will take a generation to fix. Imagine how long it will take to fix if hes allowed another 3 years.

Jacinda may be hopeless but at least shes not English or National.

Yes, to deal with local govt, NZ effectively needs a Pinochet. They can effectively hold the country to ransom and there is nothing that a ruling govt can do about it. This power and control is part of a Western disease as noted by John Raulston Saul.

The rational elites, obsessed by structure, have become increasingly authoritarian in a modern, administrative way. The citizens feel insulted and isolated. They look for someone to throw stones on their behalf. Any old stone will do. The cruder the better to crush the self-assurance of the obscure men and their obscure methods. The New Right, with its parody of democratic values, has been a crude but devastating stone with which to punish the modern elites. The New Left, which will eventually succeed it, could easily turn out to be equally crude.

A couple of points of interest / background info re this:

National have actually recently rolled out their $1 billion infrastructure to help councils circumvent their standard debt limits for this purpose: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94601815/governments-1-billion...

Agree per your notes that this creative accounting to increase yet more debt won't necessarily have a great end, and it's concerning to see the party of "sound fiscal management" using such accounting workarounds. Good accountant and finance manager...where good = creative.

This fund has received plenty of news coverage so you'd be safe to assume everyone knows about it.

These things notwithstanding, one reason development is so expensive is because some of these infrastructure costs have been outsourced to developers, which I understand (happy to be corrected) has not always been the case in the past (when councils would push infrastructure to new areas for housing to follow).

You reach some odd conclusions - i.e. that the problem is not the party creating this issue (who remains in your words a "good accountant and finance minister"), but is rather a "young woman" who has not been part of this circumventing of local govt. debt limits. In addition, National is not proposing any way to reduce inflows to the housing market, but is the party that will not.

actually thats not my conclusion, its the what you have concluded, anyway its not the government that rolled this out ... its an extension of work done by the reserve bank to allow councils to have access to debt markets without effecting there international credit ratings... either way the TWO young ladies who will run the country in the future... prehaps a YOUNG MAN also although who they will be is yet unknown .... who ever looks best on face book... wont even know what he reserve bank does... wait until they have to create something even more difficult to understand and implement... the universial income....my conclusion is that our new leaders will be a young people of a freshed faced generation from both parties..

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National have been telling us there is no housing crisis. Now they're saying there is no crisis in schools, talk to most schools & they aren't coping. National treat us like idiots. You cannot make a problem go away simply by denying/ignoring. Vote for change ...

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Hospitals too. They are at the receiving end of the mental health crisis. These people should be in treatment, instead multtiudes are rocking up to A&E with phantom illnesses...many getitng days of bed care, brain scans and so on. Massive cost and waste to our public helath system. Files a mile thick as they keep coming back and back and back...and the Drs are too scarred to send them away.

This drives several of my family memebr mad...thay are fed upbeing used as the mental health system back stop.

But there is no mental health crisis. Just like housing eh?

Cripes Jacinda, do you really want to inherit this shambles being left to you??

im afraid the the problems faced by new zealand will be solved by either party... as i have said professional business people will work with either party, clearly you are not a national voter. Sadly the labour party nor any party is yet ready to solve the big problems coming down the track... you are going to be very disappointed im afraid by all parties..

Im already disappointed with National time to be disappointed with Labour

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Both parties need to find new tax streams.
Labour favors Capital Gains Tax and National wants road tolling.
We have grown our population by 390,000 people in 5 yrs. if all these people were put in the same place that would be NZ's 3rd largest city. A city with no houses or infrastructure. This is why NZers are facing increased tax pressure. We have to pay for the infrastructure these people need. This is also why we have a housing shortage.
Both parties are talking about building houses. That's us the tax payer folks!
All these extra people have not raised our export productivity, in fact it has gone down.
Borrowing money to build infrastructure and houses is good for the economy until you have to start paying the money back, Then its recession time. Both main parties understand that the only way to keep this ponzie scheme going is to keep the population growth tap on.
Both our main parties are on an unsustainable path. Winston is the only politician willing to try and correct this foolishness.
We need to build productivity to build wealth. Building the population means more people needing to share the productivity.

Population growth is the number one election issue.
Supporting the USA war machine should also be a number one election issue.
Both major parties support sending more troops to Afghanistan or won't rule it out. We should have nothing to do with US military aggression.
We are on the wrong side of history folks.
The so called Axis of Evil were countries not wanting to use the US dollar for trade. Nothing to do with terrorism.
The UN should have the worlds nations having a trade embargo against the US if the UN stood for anything.
The US is the country with the track record of invasions, attacks and meddling with other nations political processes.

prehaps you would like to visit the eastern ukraine and get shelled by mr putins friends... yes the US has been involved in some very bad wars... but right now i suggest you take a world trip to the hot spots... try not to get to close to the front line in eastern ukraine.. they have 700 MTBs on the or near the line of demarcation.

If you can see your way thru the propaganda you will find the USA's fingerprints all over the place in the Ukraine conflict.

USA finger prints. Russian heavy boots with feet still in them..

I heard North Korea has a very low carbon footprint to recommend it. Very little electricity, running water or industry to pollute anything and a sustainable population (aka. dying off).

Is such a magical place that when earth hour comes around they don't have anything to switch off.

B52's reduced N Korea's cities to dust 60 yrs ago. They have rebuilt from the ashes while having the World have trade sanctions against them. They haven't attacked or invaded anyone. Almost everything we know about them is what the US media tells us. They are the victims of the USA, not the opposite.

The B52s have been around for ever but their 1st major war was Vietnam.

Will someone tell BE that the main reason for the housing market slowing is not their government but speculators and overseas buyers - what he and his party has been denying and only shouting about supply. Vested interest.

If not than why the article in NZ Herald below (Though we all know except national party)

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/08/drop-in-chinese-home-b...

Time for them to go.

Even in yesterday's debate was saying that house in NZ is more affordable than in 2008.......So far away from reality has to go.

Watching JA on the herald site talking to newstalk ZB ...I cannot believe that is is our future PM, and the lack of substance in her answers and the way she is dealing with questions is so shallow ... looks like a PR contest ...
update: had to say Teflon Jacinda really, that is more like it -- she really needs to mature a bit to become a PM ...

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I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you. This is completely not the response I was expecting from you.

Heh. Just kidding. Of course I'm kidding.

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Lack of substance and shallow answers.....wow Eco Bird - isn't that the 'spin' that JK and BE have been selling for the las 9 years? I guess if you've been drinking the National Kool Aid, their non-answers to issues like, housing, poverty, inequality, mental health have been very well thought out, insightlful and effective at resolving the problems....NOT!

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Exactly - 9 years of glossing over, memory loss, and general avoidance. Yet now everyone is ready to do the same thing again.

I give up - We Kiwi's are dumber than a stack of 2x4s and a spool of no 8 wire.

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National supporters will be disappointing after denying and believing that the talk about about change is just a talk but now deep inside even they must be fearing that their worst fear is about to come true.

So have to give all national supporters a time to adjust to new reality.

Polls are reflecting but even than polls or no polls this election is Vote for change.

Imagen how the national supporters will feel after 23 Sept as are as arrogant and as over confident like national

Actually most business professionals wont care which party is in power as long as the (New Zealand Treasury
www.treasury.govt.nz/)
department and reserve bank (Reserve Bank of New Zealand: New Zealand's central bank
https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/) function as usual. Im afraid you are going to be very disappointed as it the labour party that will find being in government is not as easy as they imagine....

We'll get about as much material change in destination as you get from changing the driver of a train half way through the journey.

About the only meaningful change is the price of food in the buffet car is about to go up.

Eco Bird - you should tell the Nats black ops team to focus on Winston and stop sending you shite to publish that simply won't fly.

Give up already.

It's shocking alright, innit?

Yes, but much of what you consume via the media is shallow, regardless of who the messenger is. That's why we have people such as Mike Hosking. They're adept at pushing emotional triggers. That is their talent in in a media-saturated society. It's always been a never-ending slide show of PR contests.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

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Ha, yet you never questioned the lack of substance and deflection by our previous glorious PM or the current one?

She spoke like someone's PA on NewstalkZB today!

I suspect you've got a problem with gender/occupational typecasting.

Perhaps you can clarify just what it is that "someone's PA" sounds like?

Here's the interview;

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/watch-labour-leader-jacinda-ardern-live...

Exactly my feeling DGZ when I was watching the interview ... the body language and the talking style needs to ripen a LOT to be promoted from PA to PM ... dare I say very casual and Pub like discussion and No substance to her arguments at all --- So, welcome 1970's Unions Bargain Agreement Contracts and CGT.... hello for training idiots for a year with no repercussions or measures of success ( just to see how it feels, lol) ... throw money for years towards cleaning rivers no one swims in like building cycle ways for no one to cycle on .... we are indeed living in an interesting Times ...

"Pub like discussion" - but wasn't that JK's appeal - i.e., that folks felt they could have a beer with the guy?

But jokes aside, I think you might be a bit ageist - does her youth worry you?

And PS - native fish swim in all our rivers - do they count in your worldview?

I like Beer, hmmm beer so pretty happy that Jacinda comes across like that. Didnt like Cunniliffe as thought he was a right ...... well I wont say. Thought John Key stacked up well untill he went storming into the changing rooms of the ABs trying to look cool, but instead looked like a DGZ wannabee.

All I know is I voted National and now I look at immigration when I come back from overseas and notice our ques at airport are getting longer, the roads are more congested and the property prices are out of control, and there is only one party to blame. Wouldnt be so bad if he recognised these issues and said he would fix it. But he doesnt even realise we have problems. Its all great because our GDP is up. Who cares about everything else.

But back to beer, beer is 11 to 15 bucks down at the viaduct. 15 dollars for a small beer. No matter how much tax I pay its not going to impact me as much as National has impacted me.

Mind you swapacrates are $35 which is not bad. Shame my old taste buds prefer Craft Beer now.

You remind me of a dear friend who was on Muldoon's Tamaki electorate committee going into 1984 election, full of it, full of hope, full of bravado - I think she did a depression and a mental breakdown afterwards

From Ecobird - the body language and the talking style needs to ripen a LOT to be promoted from PA to PM .

No all she needs is 21 days

As opposed to stripping away any semblance of employment protection for workers with the introduction of 90 day "trials" leaving the employee no opportunity to dispute their dismissal.

Employees and the taxpayers being lumped with the cost for the own training thanks to the tertiary education rort. Why would employers pay for training when it can be passed onto the worker and credulous taxpayer and they can hire the next muppet who has been fooled into shouldering unrepayable debt just because every other mug is doing it.

Tens of thousands of Asians and Indians doing worthless courses at private training providers and low end polytechnics just because they hope to be able to get a job that gives them a swift residency approval.

Substance causes conflict Eco, best to stick with smiling and sweet words of little substance.

There will be plenty of time for the emptiness of the 'change' to sink in later.

Never mind, he packed his bags and hoofed it before he was kicked out.

that's right, alsa some of us will pay through their nose chasing mirages in the sands - thanks heavens that is not me !! -- but all those enthusiasts who are blindly following the flame that will burn them !!

House sales always fall back prior to an election. We have also had a very bad winter, and the LVR stuff. So the crisis hasn't proven to be fixed, as all these factor were always going to lead to a temporary drop in the market.

It reminds me of Bush saying 'mission accomplished' after the US invaded Iraq, when that was far from over.

Yup, bad winter, LVR's, election........And perhaps at the peak of one of the biggest housing bubbles in history....

We still have record high immigration so the housing bubble isn't going anywhere.
After the election it will be full steam ahead.

Only if property values drop to affordable levels will immigrants be able to buy property, we can already see that.

I'd have thought that was fairly elementary myself

Im betting you are wrong!

Even if National managed to govern alone the housing market is heading for a crash and will drop by at least another 20% based on current conditions.

But can BE take credit for it, nope mainly the Chinese Govt and the global debt crisis.

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Its like a matryoshka doll  of lies. Foreign buyers have no influence. bullshit! they’re the dominant influence, and there’s no buying cohort that comes close. Price is set at the margin. If there are 3% foreign buyers in the auction room they’ll win the auction 100% of the time. That’s why the Auckland marked flash crashed in October 2015 when the IRD brought in rules that foreign buyers needed an IRD number to buy property in NZ. Its why the market has collapsed now. Foreign buyers are the reason 3/5 people under 40 don't own their own houses. Its almost impressive that National are claiming there’s no crisis. George Orwell would have been in awe.

"If there are 3% foreign buyers in the auction room they’ll win the auction 100% of the time." - run this one past me again ? - would they not become 100% of the buyers ? Numbers are just a bit hard for you .

It's "pat law" for bigots.

That post is like a matreshka doll of idiocy ..

It's closer to 3/5 not owning their own home under 40, 2/5 for 40-50 and 1/5 for over 50s.

Thanks for the correction Solidname, I fixed the mistake.

Actually most business professionals wont care which party is in power as long as the (New Zealand Treasury
www.treasury.govt.nz/)
department and reserve bank (Reserve Bank of New Zealand: New Zealand's central bank
https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/) function as usual. Im afraid you are going to be very disappointed as it the labour party that will find being in government is not as easy as they imagine....and the court system and FMA are all working as per usual...most of my working professional friends were shocked when i predicted the last recession six months before it the data emerged under the last labour government !!!!!! it was hilarious!!!! Dear old helen had no idea what the reserve bank really did and doctor cullen must have been perplexed when the data was released!!!!!

Sensible posts like this aren't going to get you many thumbs up's on these pages you know - ;).

- wait till they have to implement a universal income model.... that will really stump the young guns!!!!! They will imagine it has something to do with debt being sold to the market via BONDS... oh how they will be in shock when the find out how it really works....but the model to implement will be a whole new subject in economics.... and it is something that you dont want to tell those good working people how it really works... imagine the shock if the functions of reserve banks were really understood by the masses... the mechanism for the UBI will not be something the reserve bank will want made public right away and it will be implemented in several ways that will make it look like a tax credit... but please dont bother even discussing it in public because the computer models to implement it will be several decades away and require a reserve bank special budget.

My guess is they won't implement it.

well i dont think the government will have a choice.....its already been tested by three reserve banks and found that the fundamental model could be applied to a number of macro financial events.... The existing models implemented in the last decade were guess work but now that the models were found to work the research and implementation are done.... It really is a done deal...but its best not to let the good folks know what coming..moral hazard its called by reserve banks... if the population knew what was coming there would be problems...well thats it for me.. i think its best to leave the subject to history...on the trading desks we are all laughing..bit like john keys doesnt want you to know his trades..............

very interesting ...

My guess is, in the future, we will have no alternative other than to introduce it. It's time has not come, but it is on the way, incomes are already being eroded. It will be either a UBI or a whole strata of society with little or no income, that trend is already underway, so I might just live to see it being taken more seriously.
.

We need to redress the balance between rich and poor. This imbalance has come about very very quickly especially in the last five years, Look at what it's doing to our young Kiwis.

Very recent BBC article: Among 15-19 year olds New Zealand has by far the world's highest suicide rate
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/disability-41094590/among-15-19-year-olds-new...

Yes we have to do something about poverty. Yes it seems to be getting worse.

Yes having the worst suicide rate is something that we should do something about.

The two issues are only tenuously related.

I suspect parent breakup is a far more significant cause and maybe we should do far more to minimise it. A UBI for each parent if cohabiting with their children for example. No quick access to state housing for single parents - put them in less appealing shared hostels, etc.

Who is the IDIOT who passed this report to Al Jazeera ???
Does he/She think that they are doing the country a favour? ...Or is this another free lance Idiot called a "journalist" seeking to make few bucks out of a story without paying any attention to the ramifications of such a bad look on a world wide news outlet could cause to NZ's image ?...

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/problem-zealand-water-...

http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/asia/2017/08/zealand-waters-polluted-1708...

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/08/al-jazeera-launches-in...

We are not doing ourselves a great service by putting out our laundry for the pleasure of all and sundry on one of the Dirtiest News Agencies of the World !! ...the same agency who supported Bin Laden and ISIS ....!! anyone who is doing this whether for his Green gestures or Black stupidity does not realise the damage he is causing to the country's major source of income ... and needs to be taken to task !!

Eco bird your dislike of Aljazeera is surprising. We have our troops involved in the invasion of Iraq. We seem to think the Middle East is our business.
So why be surprised that they are interested in us.
As for wanting to keep our pollution a secret that is a bit hypocritical.. NZ needs to stop believing our own propaganda of clean and green , step up and own our problems.

Lots of hypocrisy in regards to water contamination - In Wanaka they don't want anyone blamed for sewage contamination that has been happening in Lake Wanaka for up to 7years. While these urban attitudes to urban contamination of our 'iconic' lakes which draw huge numbers of tourists continue, it is urban attitudes to urban pollution, which is what tourists clearly can see,feel and hear about that they take back home and talk about.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/96344748/council-engineer-confirms-c...

Eco Bird - who were the IDIOTs who let NZ's water to get into this state and how are we going to fix it..?

Aren't they the more fundamental (important) questions that need to be raised and addressed?

If we kill the goose, there won't be anymore golden eggs...but your comment above seems to only worry about the golden eggs and not the sick goose.

The 4th and 5th Labour governments allowed unfettered intensification of dairy and conversions. Refer my comment above at 15.13pm.

As to addressing it: if each catchment, urban and rural, stakeholders undertook to take responsibility for their catchment waterway(s) we could have water quality improvements happening in a robust way that will be more lasting. Top down directives such as 'we will engage in riparian planting and fencing' when 97% of dairy farm waterways are already are fenced and that totally disregards what a waterways actual issue is, is naive in the extreme. It is when communities take responsibility and all stakeholders in that catchment community work together to find and act on solutions that we will start to see headway with water quality. This is already starting to happen. Community based customised catchment solutions is the only way to achieve lasting change. But that means giving the power to catchment communities and seems to scare the bejesus out of Labour. Check out this video for an example of how communities are working together to find solutions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttiE6UZnhzk

And check this out for a reason that why our native fish are in decline - something that Fish and Game do not want to acknowledge. https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/trout-move-threatening

New Zealanders have never had it so good , and now a few malcontents are willing to throw it all away because Labour is lying and misleading them into believing that there is some kind of nirvana that Labour intends to bestow on them .

...'New Zealanders have never had it so good...' what utter tosh! A few people like you may have it "so good,'" but you are a small and very lucky percentage of New Zealanders! Labour are bringing positive change, your National party has for nine years systematically stuffed this country. I suspect you know it in your heart to be true... but will do whatever it takes to suppress it.

Your handle is an inspired choice. The Blue Meanies are a fictional army of fierce, if buffoonish, music-hating creatures in the surreal 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine. They allegorically represent all the bad people in the world.

Stepping up a notch are we boatman?