The Dim-Post

July 9, 2016

The sheer awful dumbness of what they have wrought

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 1:43 pm

So there’s this piece on the SpinOff about homelessness in Hamilton despite the availability of an empty Housing New Zealand estate called Jebson Block, which has been slated for demolition:

In May, a letter was sent out to the few remaining residents to say three buildings in the area would be demolished: “The buildings are old and no longer fit for purpose,” it said, “and it would be uneconomic to repurpose and reconfigure them to bring them into line with the current standards.” It said the houses would be removed and the plots of land turned to grass “until decisions are made on the possible future use of the land”.

There’s a huge amount to digest in the piece and I recommend you read the whole thing, but I wanted to note this:

Why are they not placed in social housing? “What people are saying is that their housing need is now,” she says. Even then, private housing is difficult to come by. One general manager of a private rental company who asked not to be named in order to speak freely, said “the unfortunate thing is that the greater the need that the tenant has, the less likely they are to get private accommodation. Unless you’ve got a real social conscience, if you had to choose between eight people living in a car and a family with jobs going for the same house, you are more likely to put the people with a job into it. That’s the harsh reality.”

The government believes that the private sector can do a better job of social housing than the state can, so they’ve decided to deliberately run down the state’s supply of social housing and let the market take over. But they’ve done so in the middle of a property bubble in which there’s a growing scarcity of housing.

They’ve decided not to try and deflate the bubble. Politically and personally they probably can’t. The capital value of New Zealand property is rapidly approaching the trillion dollar mark, which is obviously insane and unsustainable, but it’s wealth accumulated by National’s core constituents, and their donor class and party members and the National caucus themselves, many of whom are members of the wealthiest families in the country, with most of that wealth tied up in farmland and property, which will have increased in value by hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars during the government’s tenure.

You can have a bubble in which the scarcity of housing causes hyperinflation and makes you and your fellow property investors rich, or rather richer, and you can have a policy of privitising the social housing stock and having the market house the displaced families but you can’t have both, which is why we have families living in cars while social housing estates stand empty. What a disaster.

 

47 Comments »

  1. The number of state houses is currently higher than the peak number of the last Labour government. There are currently about 64000 state houses. Selling some of them – especially those in newly upmarket areas – in a housing bubble would seem like a superb idea. When the bubble inevitably bursts, you should be able to use that money to purchase cheap but good quality homes.

    As for your example: there is no housing shortage in Hamilton (market or state) so I’m puzzled as to why someone is living in a car there. The housing estate you mention has been totalled by previous residents and is not economical to refurbish. This is a regrettably common problem with state housing.

    Comment by macdoctor01 — July 9, 2016 @ 3:07 pm

  2. Labour announces it will turn Housing NZ back into a proper state Ministry, which will be instructed to build 1000 extra state houses each year and will not pay govt a ‘dividend’: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/308309/labour-would-return-to-ministry-of-housing-little

    Comment by Sacha — July 9, 2016 @ 3:34 pm

  3. …a property bubble in which there’s a growing scarcity of housing.

    One moment.

    Everywhere on the planet when you have a property bubble, there is an explosion of new homes built. Except not in Auckland, so big thanks to the politician who made that possible – John Key for setting up the supercity, his only true legacy.

    You can have a bubble in which the scarcity of housing causes hyperinflation and makes you and your fellow property investors rich,

    To do this, you need to slow the construction of new housing, which is very hard to do in a housing boom. Essentially it can only be done by making the cost of construction rise faster than the price of property. Which we have done in Auckland with land costs, so big thanks to the politician who made that possible – Len Brown for constricting the land supply of Auckland City*.

    * and extending an over supply of sprawl to the exurban towns in Auckland Region.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 9, 2016 @ 4:20 pm

  4. They’ve decided not to try and deflate the bubble. Politically and personally they probably can’t. The capital value of New Zealand property is rapidly approaching the trillion dollar mark, which is obviously insane and unsustainable, but it’s wealth accumulated by National’s core constituents…

    Actually they don’t run Auckland Council. The Auckland left does run the council and has spent the last 6 years enriching National’s core support base whilst making sure the most vulnerable are paying rent rises. It’s cynical, but effective politics.

    Greatly assisted by the tendency of the left to irrationally blame the government for all the problems, National will quite happily continue with the current state of affairs. The right is currently running three candidates for the Auckland mayoralty, so obviously the left will win.

    This whole shitfest will persist.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 9, 2016 @ 4:57 pm

  5. Danyl, key further points are that the inward migration rate has been knowingly kept high at the same time as we have a dysfunctional planning system in all major cities that protects the interests of existing home owners (who vote in local body elections). Those existing home owners range from raging “liberals” such as Hooton etc in Epsom and the urban greenies who insist on heritage and are anti development. The weakest always pay the highest price as housing becomes scarcer .

    Comment by Upton — July 9, 2016 @ 5:23 pm

  6. @Upton the local voters who have been opposing building up rather than out in Auckland have been old white folk from the wealthy coastal suburbs, not ‘greenies’. Focus your ire better.

    Comment by Sacha — July 9, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

  7. @sacha I beg to differ. Take a look at Dave Armstrong’s DomPost columns from time to time and anything that Iona Pannett on Wellington City Council says.

    Comment by Upton — July 9, 2016 @ 6:39 pm

  8. @sacha also Brian Rudman and Orsman in the Herald.

    Comment by Upton — July 9, 2016 @ 6:46 pm

  9. What a disaster.

    Disaster’s kind of a relevant term, in the sense that what’s a disaster for some might not be a disaster for others. We have a rich supply of examples in our own short history, for example the wars and resulting land confiscations in Waikato and Taranaki – no object observer could have described those as anything other than colossally stupid, cruel and intentionally-inflicted disasters resulting in large-scale death and human misery, but for the government of the day and its supporters, they were anything but disasters. On the contrary, for them it was a wealth-festival of impressive proportions. Start looking at the current housing crisis as being a comparable (if less deliberately-engineered) situation and the reasons the government isn’t doing anything to prevent it become obvious.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 9, 2016 @ 6:51 pm

  10. @upton Orsman ought to be unemployable, he has been that incompetent for ages. Not clear how your honourable Welli folks’ reckons bear on this. I rate both of them, btw.

    Comment by Sacha — July 9, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

  11. “They’ve decided not to try and deflate the bubble. Politically and personally they probably can’t. The capital value of New Zealand property is rapidly approaching the trillion dollar mark, which is obviously insane and unsustainable, but it’s wealth accumulated by National’s core constituents, and their donor class and party members and the National caucus themselves, many of whom are members of the wealthiest families in the country, with most of that wealth tied up in farmland and property, which will have increased in value by hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars during the government’s tenure.”

    I’ve compressed it into 2 words: Generation Rentier.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 9, 2016 @ 8:23 pm

  12. Politically and personally they probably can’t.

    Not so sure about the norighturnian suggestion that the govt’s MPs are too personally invested in housing to deflate the Auckland bubble (it’s not a nation wide one). Not too many of the Cabinet are going to be highly leveraged AKL property owners and, of course, Key and Joyce are rich enough to ngaf about their house prices. The problem’s the political cost of deflating anyone’s property value and the political impracticalities of increasing land supply and reducing barriers to building. Then there’s Councils like the one we have in Wellington trying to encourage a compact city while being absolutely blind to how their actions are driving suburban growth in Kapiti and Upper Hutt. Admittedly Celia & Iona’s policies do give the cows and sheep of the Ohariu Valley a short commute to the freezing works in the Ngaruanga gorge.

    Comment by Richard — July 9, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

  13. If National is manipulating the property market to their own advantage then expect the bubble to be burst soon.

    Any canny manipulater of the market will know that you get out before the crash and get back in afterwards.

    Comment by NeilM — July 9, 2016 @ 9:50 pm

  14. “but it’s wealth accumulated by National’s core constituents”

    Also, the Electoral Act systematically discriminates against homeless people by requiring a postal address in order to register for the electoral roll, even when they’re legally eligible to vote. There’s an(other) incentive to keep people homeless if they’re likely to vote against a government, as National might suspect would occur if people were able to stop worrying about where the next meal was coming from. That said, plenty of other aspects of homelessness are probably at least as likely to reduce the likeliness that a person will vote.

    I’m not totally convinced there’s malice occurring here. I’d easily believe the intent is to do nothing effective because the government has underlying goals to do as little as possible about anything until it really really has to, and this is just another thing.

    Comment by izogi — July 9, 2016 @ 10:08 pm

  15. I was struck this week reading Tony Alexander’s weekly overview (a brief economic commentary by a bank economist). He discussed the housing market and noted that it “wasn’t a crisis for everyone” and that it was only a crisis for people who didnt own houses and poor people living in cars. I dont know if his views are in line with many other people but it betrayed a complete lack of collective concern about other people in our society. It was the equivalent of saying that a an epidemic that wipes out 10% of the population isnt a crisis to most people, only the 10% who die. Weird.

    Comment by Matthew W — July 9, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

  16. if you’re wealthy you’ve more ability to invest in commercial property rather than residential.

    Most people I know who have residential investments aren’t National voters, they’re people who followed Cullen’s advice of investing for your retirement.

    Comment by NeilM — July 9, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

  17. “Most people I know who have residential investments aren’t National voters”

    It’d be nice to have an objective measure of that with a larger sample size than people you know, but unfortunately people’s votes are anonymous and impossible to prove.

    Comment by izogi — July 9, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

  18. Richard: Then blast-excavate the Wellington Town Belt, then?

    Upton: Bernard Orsman is actually quite conservative on Auckland issues, ie, just like one of the “old white folk from the wealthy coastal suburbs”. He’s been persistently anti-density, and quite happy to write about “cost overruns” on public transit projects but strangely silent when the same happens to roading projects.

    I’ve always thought the loudest NIMBYs aren’t eco-Luddites, but people you’d expect to be in favour of a free market such as Dick Quax and Cameron Brewer who channel von Mises or Ayn Rand and frequently whine about “Big Government”. Dig a bit deeper, and they’re actually quite happy to have the very same Big Government keeping Auckland some kind of overgrown country town and preventing any potential creative disruption of the fools’ gold rush. When that happens, it’s no longer a free market system, but a rentier system. I’d say Generation Rentier is far more scared of bankruptcy than death – in this case a very loud and very sudden popping of the Auckland bubble – because bankruptcy would single-handedly bring them down to the level of the commoners they stamp on.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 9, 2016 @ 10:24 pm

  19. And draw your own conclusion as to whether Arthur Grimes and Don Brash are raging Trotskyists for calling for house prices to drop 40%-50%.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 9, 2016 @ 10:26 pm

  20. Matthew W: Tony Alexander’s dismissiveness is not much different from saying “let them eat cake”. Also, being a bank economist, he’d have much to lose if the housing bubble popped. Overseas, this kind of dismissiveness is fuelling populism a la Trump & Sanders in America, Brexit in UK, and various other movements like the Front National, Podemos, and SYRIZA.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 9, 2016 @ 10:30 pm

  21. @izogi:

    Also, the Electoral Act systematically discriminates against homeless people by requiring a postal address in order to register for the electoral roll, even when they’re legally eligible to vote.

    Is this right? The Act requires a person to state “the place of residence in respect of which registration is claimed, specified in a manner that enables it to be clearly identified … “. That doesn’t have to be a house – it may be a garage, car or piece of pavement.

    Section 72(3) deals with this: “A person resides at the place where that person chooses to make his or her home by reason of family or personal relations, or for other domestic or personal reasons.”

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 10, 2016 @ 9:59 am

  22. @macdoctor01

    The number of state houses is currently higher than the peak number of the last Labour government. There are currently about 64000 state houses.

    Have you a cite for this claim? Because, according to the Auditor General(1), in 2008 “there [were] approximately 68,000 State houses in New Zealand.” And 68,000 is a bigger number than 64,000.

    (1) https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/49DBSCH_SCR4369_1/78388590da260d01aafdb3b84999f3d7f87cec57

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 10, 2016 @ 10:10 am

  23. If Auckland Council frees up land and we sit back and wait for the market to respond, will the crisis be solved? Well no:
    http://www.jllapsites.com/nzproperty/housing-crisis-missing-point/

    Also re macdoctor’s claim, the number of state houses per capita is the lowest it has been since 1949 according to Shamubeel Eaqub.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/304722/is-nz-facing-a-crisis-of-conscience

    Comment by MeToo — July 10, 2016 @ 11:52 am

  24. If Auckland Council frees up land and we sit back and wait for the market to respond, will the crisis be solved? Well [yes]:
    http://www.jllapsites.com/nzproperty/housing-crisis-missing-point/

    What? He says a cartel of land bankers exist that are slowing land release, but then concludes that we must never be tempted to break their cartel by opening up new land.

    So his solution is what? We should know there is a bunch of land bankers controlling all of the land permitted to be developed and we must bow to their magnificence in making lots of money and people living in cars. And no solution is possible, its capitalism’s fault, wah? Sounds great.

    If we open up new land these land bankers lose shitloads of money overnight, if we don’t open up new land they make shitloads. I know which one you’d prefer.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 10, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

  25. I’ve compressed it into 2 words: Generation Rentier.

    Too many syllables, reduces further to: Len Brown.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 10, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

  26. If Auckland Council frees up land and we sit back and wait for the market to respond, will the crisis be solved? Well [yes]:
    http://www.jllapsites.com/nzproperty/housing-crisis-missing-point/

    Aside from greater supply pretty much always making it harder to influence the market, our friends at JLL miss the point that govt intervention can also disincentivise land banking by imposing penalties on unused land. You could hike on the land rates if not developed or, like resource and building consents, cancel zoning and rezone other land residential and probably have to have some sort stamp duty on sales of undeveloped land refundable when a dwelling is built to stop transfers between landbankers and their shell companies.

    Comment by Richard — July 10, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

  27. Um UC I think he is saying *just* leaving it to developers won’t result in any sort of price crash anytime soon because it’s not in their interests to crash their own cash cow. Witness the much-heralded Hobsonville development, where land it being released in stages. Why? Well partly a resource issue (not enough bulldozers to be working on the whole thing at once) but also staging keeps prices high. Every new development is the same.

    It needs the kind of interventions Richard mentions @26.

    Not sure how everything is Len Brown’s fault, he has precisely one vote on a council of 21 and the problems are not just caused by council restrictions on new developments, and they didn’t start in 2010 when the new Council was formed. A host of factors are at play, all coming together.

    Comment by MeToo — July 10, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

  28. Not too many of the Cabinet are going to be highly leveraged AKL property owners

    To introduce some facts…

    Can’t be bothered checking how much property was held in Auckland, but the average number of properties per sitting National MP is 3; 4.1, if you exclude the single property people. Labour was 2.1 (3.1) , Greens 1.7 (2.4), NZ First 1.8 (2.4).

    72.9% of National MPs had multiple properties, vs 53.1% Labour, 50% Greens, 58% NZ First.
    23.9% of National properties were rentals, vs 9% (Labour), 0% (Greens) and 4.8% (NZF)

    So on average, National MPs had a) more MPs had multiple properties on average and b) more of them when they had multiple properties and c) they were more likely to be investments and rentals (including a lot sitting empty in Auckland that weren’t counted as rentals, as I recall), rather than family homes/second homes based around Wellington for work purposes.

    [I did the numbers for something else last year, based on Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests 2014
    the https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/features-pre-2016/document/00NZPHomeNews201405061/register-of-pecuniary-and-other-specified-interests-2014 – I assume it’s changed since then, but there wasn’t an updated report at the time; the 2015 stuff was just from the 2014 report]

    Comment by flynnthecat1 — July 10, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

  29. It will become a crisis when the homeless voters change the political system to their advantage.

    Comment by Neil — July 10, 2016 @ 4:39 pm

  30. Hi @flynnthecat1.

    “To introduce some facts…

    Have you any idea about medians and standard deviations for those groups? More to the point, is the average (mean?) being dragged around by one or two MPs who hold a massive portfolio? Or is it fairly representative of the actual distribution?

    Hi @Andrew Geddis:

    “Is this right? The Act requires a person to state “the place of residence in respect of which registration is claimed, specified in a manner that enables it to be clearly identified … “. That doesn’t have to be a house – it may be a garage, car or piece of pavement.”

    I responded this morning but it either wasn’t received or is stuck in a mod queue. (I’ll try again without the hyperlink.)

    You’re more qualified to interpret and I’ll happily be corrected on this, but I was more thinking of 83(2)(d) which requires that a postal address be supplied if it differs from the residential address. The last time I interacted with the Electoral Commission (has it changed?) it was mailing people at their supplied address and requiring confirmation before they were added to the roll, or an address updated.

    I doubt NZ Post is capable of delivering to transient cars on the side of a different road each night, which to me says that it’s going to be much harder for many homeless people to register on the electoral roll than someone who actually has a reliable address…. and that’s before you start getting into post-registration complications like postal ballots of local elections and referendums.

    That said, there are probably plenty of other common aspects of homelessness which have at least as much of an effect on homeless people’s ability and inclination to register and vote. But this one, by assuming that eligible electors all have an easy and reliable postal address, is a discrimination that’s directly written into the law, as I read it.

    Comment by izogi — July 10, 2016 @ 5:21 pm

  31. Jeez, Daniel, you really brought the weirdness out there. Well done, I guess. Polishing your CV to become a leader writer on the Sun or the Daily Mail? There was a rather more sober account by Eric Crampton in the Spinoff last week of the reasons for the high price of housing. There was no spittle involved.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 10, 2016 @ 5:22 pm

  32. Eric Crampton is just another very serious person apologist for neoliberalism. As such, he is clearly an idiot. His sundry attempts to favour us with his facile reasoning need trouble us no more.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 10, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

  33. The thing that gets me about the comments section of the Dimpost is how rght wing it is now. Instead of just saying the obvious “FUCK!!! We’ve got another neoliberal, Bill English imposed ideological experiment that has turnned into another unmitigated, immoral and unjust disaster what can we do to fix it?” There is simply a leisurely discussion by middle class cynics devoted largely to obfuscation. Where is the sense of urgency? For God’s sake, PEOPLE ARE HOMELESS!! What is wrong with |New Zealand? are they putting G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate in the water supply now or something?

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 10, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

  34. There was a rather more sober account by Eric Crampton…

    Yeah right, the guy who talks up child labour, otherwise 3rd world kiddies will have to scrabble in garbage dumps or sell their tender bodies to holidaying economists. Charming chap.

    Comment by Joe W — July 10, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

  35. Hey Joe, the most eloquent and persuasive advocate of child labour is Paul Krugman.Is that the first time Jimi Hendrix has been quoted in the Dim Post comments section?

    By the way, Sanctuary, and to momentarily distract you from your eloquent advocacy for the homeless, there have been lots of great contributions to modern music from Spanish speakers but not so many from Spain itself. Why?

    Comment by Tinakori — July 10, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

  36. The thing that gets me about the comments section of the Dimpost is how rght wing it is now. …. Where is the sense of urgency?

    This, thankfully, isn’t the Daily Blog and the Standard if you’re after more wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    We’re getting close to the point where Danyl turns off the comments.

    Comment by Richard — July 10, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

  37. We’re getting close to the point where Danyl turns off the comments.

    That would be an act of mercy killing, though I guess they can be turned on for literary posts.

    Comment by Joe W — July 10, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

  38. Not sure how everything is Len Brown’s fault, he has precisely one vote on a council of 21 and the problems are not just caused by council restrictions on new developments, and they didn’t start in 2010 when the new Council was formed.

    Len Brown is a politician from the right wing of the Labour Party and has secured power very effectively. But there are associated costs.

    During the previous housing boom apartments were being built in an almost 1:1 ratio with single dwelling houses for an per capita building rate 30% faster, then along comes Len Brown’s super city. During this boom apartments are being built at a pathetic 1:3 ratio creating a structural housing shortage and more homeless. At the same time as Auckland slows construction rates to a crawl, apartments are being built faster than ever before in places as diverse as Tauranga, Melbourne, Vancouver, Houston and Brisbane. The problems are unique to Auckland

    The council restricts the land supply to about 50% of requirements at Auckland City and increases land supply to exurban towns by about 500% beyond requirements. As a result the cost of urban development goes through the roof killing apartments, but we get lots of sprawl and rentiers make a killing.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 10, 2016 @ 8:43 pm

  39. “…there have been lots of great contributions to modern music from Spanish speakers but not so many from Spain itself. Why..?”

    I guess what you are really asking is about the english speaking world, right?

    Have not really thought about it. Spain has a very deep musical culture, the number of kids learning musical instruments is amazing, and music is taken seriously as a school subject. I guess that is because the Spanish love a fiesta, and no fiesta is complete without a parade including several brass bands, so there is an outlet for all those musicians to perform. In Andalucia, the peña flamenco culture is is robust health, even amongst the young, so it is useful of half the club can play something and the other half can dance the Tacón Flamenco (tacón is the flamenco style of my town, it is especially about heals, which is what tacón means). In fact, here is the annual shin dig from 2014

    You can see everyone doing this on a Friday or Saturday night in a peña if you want to! So there is a traditional, still live music culture that is specifically Spanish and culturally conservative that is still very strong in Andalucia at least,

    I guess for pop music Spain has plenty of bands, but they have to sing in English to get heard by an Anglo audience. The Hinds, for example, are typical Spainish indie band that has achieved some crossover by singing in English. The latin Americans like Shakira can parse their Spanish language world popularity into wider Anglo appeal via the strong influence of latin american music in the southern USA. A classic example is the Cuban outfit Gente De Zona, a Cuban reggaeton outfit who gained crossover success via collaboration with Enrique Iglesias, and then this year with a massive hit called “Traidora” with Marc Anthony, an American from Puerto Rico who is a huge salsa star.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 10, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

  40. @Izogi,

    You’re more qualified to interpret and I’ll happily be corrected on this, but I was more thinking of 83(2)(d) which requires that a postal address be supplied if it differs from the residential address.

    True – that is there. But I’m wondering whether the paragraph means if you have a mailing address that is different to your residence, then you must supply this, not that you must have some address to mail to? In other words, telling the Electoral Commission that you are residing in your car on the side of Smith St and don’t have an address to mail to still seems to meet the technical wording of the Act.

    Having said all that, I’m sure that however we might be able to parse the legislative language, getting onto (and staying on) the electoral roll would be far, far harder for homeless folk (as well as those who are highly transient between different addresses, such as couch surfers) than those who aren’t.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 10, 2016 @ 9:01 pm

  41. To misappropriate a movie quote form a movie I forget… They haven’t got away with the fraud until you pay the chips out. Not too late for a Labour govt to come in an put a comprehensive capital gains tax on all housing.

    As things stand National’s policy is to only let housing rise at 4-5 times wages, which will bring about affordability precisely never.

    Comment by Michael — July 10, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

  42. The thing that gets me about the comments section of the Dimpost is how rght wing it is now. Instead of just saying the obvious “FUCK!!! We’ve got another neoliberal, Bill English imposed ideological experiment that has turnned into another unmitigated, immoral and unjust disaster what can we do to fix it?”

    To quote Labour and Green Party policy, scrap the RUB. The RUB is a program to finance 1/3rd faster sprawl than ever before, whilst pricing urban development out of the picture. It is environmentally destructive, causes ongoing rent rises and creates massive profits for land bankers.

    This extreme right wing RUB policy is imposed by the Auckland Council and not the government. Your shtick about neoliberalism and Bill English and blaming the government – cynical.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 10, 2016 @ 9:11 pm

  43. “…Your shtick about neoliberalism and Bill English and blaming the government – cynical. …”

    This is what John Armstrong has to say on it…

    “…Like some kind of mad scientist, Bill English is still conducting his experiment of trying to create a market whereby privately-owned or run housing organisations would compete against one another to be providers of what is now termed as “social housing”.

    Such an ideology-driven reform has required the run down of the existing state provider, Housing New Zealand,. This is in order to ensure the corporation’s current dominance in the provision of housing for beneficiaries does not translate into market-distorting monopoly.

    English’s Treasury-backed scheme has taken the best part of six years to reach even the pilot stage. That time-lag in itself suggests the notion of creating a social housing market for those at the very bottom of the economic heap is fundamentally flawed and impossible implement unless you subsidise private providers to enter the market by handing them Housing New Zealand stock at knockdown prices.

    Such twisted logic is compounding homelessness because the demolition of Housing New Zealand is already under way without the market alternative being in place. Little wonder people are falling through the cracks…”

    https://armstrongonpolitics.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/home-is-where-the-heart-is/

    This housing catastrophe is entirely driven by a 1980s leftover and his mad, mad new right economic dogma right out of the Rogernomics playbook.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 10, 2016 @ 9:59 pm

  44. This housing catastrophe is entirely driven by a 1980s leftover and his mad, mad new right economic dogma right out of the Rogernomics playbook.

    We’re not building enough houses, private nor public. We have a council which institutes high taxation and uses the proceeds to subsidise private operators in protected positions of great profit. The primary political motivation for all this is to make the middle classes happy and content.

    Poor people are shafted and rent inflation is high.

    Our Auckland Council is possessed by the ghost of Sir Rob Muldoon, totally old school right-wing and not even the slightest bit neo-liberal. We need a David Lange to smack some sense into it.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 11, 2016 @ 9:11 am

  45. “This housing catastrophe is entirely driven by a 1980s leftover and his mad, mad new right economic dogma right out of the Rogernomics playbook.”

    A 1980s leftover known as the 1987 sharemarket crash. Today’s Generation Rentier are the same people who drunk too much Muller-Thurgau and invested in too many junk bonds like those of Chase and Equiticorp.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 11, 2016 @ 11:06 am

  46. unaha: The Auckland Super-City in its current form was engineered by Rodney Hide, under the belief that his buddy John Banks would coast into it. And you’d be surprised at the amount of influence held by the likes of Dick Quax, Cameron Brewer, George Wood, Denise Krum and others who want to museum-ify a whitebread 1950s Auckland.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 11, 2016 @ 11:12 am

  47. “We’re getting close to the point where Danyl turns off the comments.”

    IMHO most DimPost comment threads have run their course after about 24 to 36 hours, after which they become a train of predictable and direct person-to-person arguments which aren’t too interesting outside the small number of people directly involved.

    I missed the comments when Danyl temporarily switched them off a while back, but not by much.

    Comment by izogi — July 11, 2016 @ 11:40 am


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