Here’s one policy costed for Labour

May 22nd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

’s energy spokesman David Shearer said last week’s Budget confirmed the Government had “virtually abandoned” its scheme and as a result, a fifth of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) staff would be cut.

While $30 million a year would still be allocated to home insulation, “this means a meagre 15,000 homes will be insulated”, Mr Shearer said.

“Currently 600,000 houses remain uninsulated across New Zealand. Around 300,000 of these homes are lived in by people on low incomes.”

Labour has vowed to insulate every rental property in NZ. Now as all us home owners will rent our homes to ourselves in order to qualify, then that is up to 600,000 homes they are promising to insulate, by their own figures.

And also by their own figures, the cost is $2,000 a home. So 600,000 times $2,000 means that Labour is pledging to spend $1.2 billion on home insulation.

There goes the surplus, and that’s just on one of their many policies!

UPDATE: I think my readers are playing a joke on me, but they claim Labour’s actual policy is to make it illegal to rent an uninsulated house. Now I don’t think Labour are that crazy that they would advocate a law that would lead to up to 600,000 rental houses being removed from the market, so I think its a joke. I mean how can you campaign on home affordability and have a policy that will increase the cost of renting a house, and remove hundreds of thousands from the market?

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68 Responses to “Here’s one policy costed for Labour”

  1. MPH (18 comments) says:

    You’re confused. Labour’s policy is to create new minimum standards in the Residential Tenancies Act. So, it will be the landlords that haven’t yet insulated their properties that will pay, not the Government.

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  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Where does it say the time period that Labour is proposing to spend the money over?

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  3. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    MPH – the tenants will effectively pay.

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  4. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The difference is going to be one of scale. Is the government saying that better targeting mean only 15,000 of 600,000 homes actually need to be insulated? Is Labour saying all 600,000 should be insulated?

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  5. wreck1080 (3,924 comments) says:

    Let alone the inflationary aspects.

    This takes up a considerable amount of work from very small group of people.

    No doubt general insulation industry prices will increase.

    eg, I had some work that needed doing and arranged to get a quote from some people that had done similar work for me previously.

    But, they weren’t interested the second time around because they were so busy doing government subsidised work.It was way more lucrative than the un-subsidised market rates .

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  6. Manolo (13,840 comments) says:

    Captain Mumblefuck Shearer or any other Labour stooge can promise pie-in-the-sky and any other stupid scheme in the knowledge that the media will never challenge or ask for the proper costings.

    The left-wing MSM goes along, because they would love to see the socialists (and communist Greens) regain political power. Just ask the hack John Campbell.

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  7. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    MPH

    So, it will be the landlords that haven’t yet insulated their properties that will pay, not the Government.

    Right, so landlords pay the housing allowance for beneficiaries when their rent goes up ? Or is Labour going full Muldoon styles and putting some kind of rent freeze in to stop private property owners passing the costs onto their tenants ?

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  8. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    All this extra revenue can be collected by making people pay a few cents more tax to fix health and education.

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  9. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    “Labour has vowed to insulate every rental property in NZ”
    Yep, it’s well an truly election year. The hysterical ranting and outright bullshit from both left and right is mounting.

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  10. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Why don’t you read the actual policy Farrar, rather than writing dribble like this, it’s here:

    https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/Conference_Factsheet_Healthy_Homes_Guarantee_S.pdf

    It makes it pretty clear that the landlord pays the cost of the insulation.

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  11. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “It makes it pretty clear that the landlord pays the cost of the insulation.”

    OMG, Labour are promising NOTHING to insulate houses, while National are promising $30 Million per annum.

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  12. chris (647 comments) says:

    DPF is busy spinning when he says “Labour has vowed to insulate every rental property in NZ” when he knows Labour won’t be getting the Government to pay for it, they’ll expect the landlords to do it with a minimum code of compliance for rental properties.

    What Labour naively seem to forget is that landlords would pass on costs like this to the tenants, so it’ll really be the tenants who pay for the insulation. Bet they don’t bother mentioning that. So many of the policies that Labour and the Greens come up with will end up hurting people on lower incomes.

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  13. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (891 comments) says:

    No worries about the 1.2 Billion uncle Farrar. All I need to do is run my printers double shift to print the required money…..

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  14. SW (240 comments) says:

    Not the first time DPF has made up a Labour policy that doesn’t exist and won’t be the last. No doubt based on a one off tweet by Andrew Little?

    I consider DPF’s continual focus on the opposition as a tacit admission that this government has no real vision of what they want to achieve next term, other than staying in power. If they do have a vision it would appear one they don’t yet want to share with the public.

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  15. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    YesWeDid, why don’t you read the actual policy, stop writing dribble, and take an economics class. Any cost incurred by the landlord gets passed on in the form of rent. That is what rent is – total costs + (perhaps) profit margin.

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  16. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    Surely you’re kidding that Labour is going to make it illegal to rent an uninsulated house. They propose to remove 600,000 homes from the rental market? Not even Labour is that mad are they?

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  17. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Their initial stance is that it should be done within five years.

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  18. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    It makes it pretty clear that the landlord pays the cost of the insulation.

    So will Labour regulate rents too so that Landlords wont pass the cost on to tenants?

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  19. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Socialists propose to disappear the budget surplus in year one of the new coalition from hell government.

    What could possibly go wrong???

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  20. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    “This requirement will apply to all new tenancies from the time that the minimum standard
    is set. Since the average duration of a tenancy is less than 15 months, most rental property
    agreements will end up containing a Healthy Homes Guarantee by the natural process of
    tenant turnover. By the end of five years, all remaining properties where the tenancy agreement pre-dates
    the standard will be required to meet the minimum standards”

    Yep. This policy is completely bonkers. It will be uneconomic for many rentals to be upgraded, especially that quickly, so these will go on the market. The rental market will contract. Rents will rise. There will be rental shortages, particularly at the low end.

    Most tenancies are one year fixed, so most properties will need to be done in well under five years.

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  21. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Most rentals will be quickly and cheaply insulated. Landlords who have already invested will enjoy a comparative advantage, which they already do, being better landlords.

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  22. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    “Not even Labour is that mad are they?”

    Don’t say it.

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  23. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Cheaply? How so? Depends on the house and the standard.

    My rental is a modern apartment, so well insulated and double glazed, but if I rented out my house (which I happily live in), there would likely be issues. Some parts of it are not insulated as those areas were uneconomic to get to, and the windows are all single glazed, given it’s a 1920’s house.

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  24. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    “And also by their own figures, the cost is $2,000 a home”

    This is the Labour Party who have proved they can’t be trusted to turn a calculator on, much less use it.

    How about the get their Treasury secondment person to crunch the numbers for them, so we can have some confidence that these numbers means something for planet earth, and not just in lefty neverland. Oh. Wait.

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  25. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Most rentals will be quickly and cheaply insulated.

    Source?

    If it is easy and cheap, why hasn’t it been done already?

    Landlords who have already invested will enjoy a comparative advantage, which they already do, being better landlords.

    That is idiotic.

    You are arguing a benefit of the policy is that the landlords who spent money to insulate their properties will be better off because they wont have to pay to have it done again?

    Or are you arguing that forcing other people to pay for something they didnt want improves the lives of the people who did pay for it?

    Or is it that the premium the good land lord could charge for their insulated property is now nullified, ummm… making them better off in the process?

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  26. prosper (168 comments) says:

    Labour made a big mistake getting rid of that treasury fellow. He probably kept telling them how stupid they were and to use a calculator before they open their mouth.

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  27. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    2K wouldn’t insulate a house unless that house was a caravan. Full insulation that would make a difference in temperature i.e. good quality material, complete roof wall and floor, would be many times that price, depending on age and size of the house.

    If this is an example of Labour’s inhouse economic skills, they’d be in very real danger of bankrupting a lemonade stand.

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  28. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    I don’t see any mention of the new bloated Ministry and army of inspectors that would then be required to:

    Identify all rentals in New Zealand
    Visit those rentals to check what sort of insulation was required
    Organise certification for installers
    Revisit the rentals to confirm the installation is correct
    Issue the non-compliance certificate requiring the landlord to put more insulation in
    Revisit the rentals for a second/third time
    Issue an annual compliance certificate
    Billing

    So, condition normal in Labour land. A monstronous government entity, stuffed with public servants, chewing vast amounts of tax money for little gain to solve a problem that only exists in their tiny minds.

    And after all that, what happens. The landlord puts the rent up to recover the lost money and/or they get pissed off dealing with the jobsworths, sell the house, and their tenants are out on the street.

    And what will Cunliffe’s comment be ” Oh, er, we didn’t think that would happen”

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  29. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    prosper – “He probably kept telling them how stupid they were and to use a calculator before they open their mouth.”

    But he was the only one who knew how to use the calculator anyway.

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  30. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This elucidates the fiscal incompetence of these losers. As has been stated previously, there is not one of them who has operated a successful commercial venture, Parker tried and fell on his face in good times; the remainder have leeched pathetic existences out of ratepayers, taxpayers, and unionists. It is evident when they have left Parliament and gone into the wide world, they immediately slither under the doormat of a regional council (GWRC is top heavy with them), get a cushy job in a union, or go greasing back to the PSA for a job in some bureaucratic government department. They are fiscally perilous scum of the highest order.

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  31. ross411 (842 comments) says:

    Labour releases a statement which isn’t well thought out, people point out how badly it is thought out, the people who don’t want to see how badly it is thought out troll a little, and so on. I’m getting deja-vu.

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  32. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    Jesus H Christ… Labour are bat shit mad.

    What are they smoking ?

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  33. prosper (168 comments) says:

    Igm. Is it correct that none of them have operated a business? That’s scary. Do you think any of them do the house hold finances. That would surely give them some idea of fiscal management or do you think they get their partners to do the house hold budget? Mind you Roger Douglas struggled with running a pig farm. Then again he just did what Treasury told him to do sand Lange o.ked it.

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  34. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    I just slaughter a ram and roll up in it’s fleece when winter pop’s along.

    Keeps me warm, feeds me over winter and improves my love-life too! :)

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  35. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    prosper: Take a look at the state of their party domestic account, tells a story of fiscally challenged losers, once again. Roger Douglas’ so-called pig farm disaster was nothing to do with him, he had no personal responsibility over the operation . . . don’t listen to left-wing spin, it gets one into trouble.

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  36. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    Posted this late last night, & if Labour think it’ll only cost $2000 per home after all the hoops & red tape installers will have to (and should) go through to become accredited they really are in la la land.

    Wasn’t this tried in 2007?
    Didn’t it fail to work then?
    Didn’t they just try this across the ditch?
    Didn’t it just fail over there?
    Haven’t these schemes cost the lives of 7 installers?
    Isn’t there a Royal Commission happening in Oz right now?
    Wont any new scheme most likely cost billions?
    Will this scheme not fail miserably as well?
    Do Monkey’s write Labour policy?
    Would Daniel Bryan not make a more credible leader of the opposition?

    YES! YES! YES!

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  37. thedavincimode (6,803 comments) says:

    The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from this is that even the UN don’t want the fish man.

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  38. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    I did the maths on my 1920s place and worked out probably $30k to rip out all the wall lining to put batts in, reline, paint and replace the windows. Was much cheaper to spend an extra $500 per winter on gas for my central heating. For any labour policy makers that’s a 60 year payback which isn’t good.

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  39. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘YesWeDid, why don’t you read the actual policy, stop writing dribble, and take an economics class. Any cost incurred by the landlord gets passed on in the form of rent. That is what rent is – total costs + (perhaps) profit margin.’

    Rent is a ‘market’ with landlords charging what they can but let’s assume that you are correct that landlords will use a cost plus mentality to increase rents to cover the cost of insulation.

    Assuming a $5K cost to insulate a house and assuming this money is borrowed at 8% then that adds $400 a year to the cost of the house, it the landlord passes this cost on to the tenant that is an extra $8 a week or (based on a rental of $500/week) an increase of 1.5% . The sky is hardly falling in is it?

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  40. srylands (410 comments) says:

    “For any labour policy makers that’s a 60 year payback which isn’t good.”

    It doesn’t matter. You are wasting energy. Priceless.

    I had some sympathy with Bob Jones a few years back when he made fun of hugely expensive technology in “green” buildings to harvest rain water and conserve energy, without energy cost-benefit analysis. He pointed out that New Zealand was generally not short of water and having every commercial building act as a water harvester is not cost effective. (I think he used stronger language.)

    I think home insulation is terrific, and it is usually cost effective. But I don’t see the market failure. If tennants were demanding warm cozy houses the market would supply them (at a premium over damp non cozy houses).

    The only argument you can run in favour of government intervention is that dumb parents stick their kids in damp houses and pass the health care costs onto the state. But where does it end? These same parents also are more likely to neglect their kids in other ways.

    The reason we have (too many) shit boxes as houses is partly a result of income levels and partly cultural. So it will change when we get richer and the culture changes. I don’t know how to change the culture, but I know how to make NZ richer. And one of those ways is NOT more government regulation of housing.

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  41. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    I amazing to see the lefties in here defending the policy because landlords will pay – landlords, not going to cost the tax payers… Right… So how will the government stop landlords from simply putting rents up ? Regulation ? Housing allowances in benefits … Will they go up as well ? Or will Labour hang their voters out to dry when their rents go up and benefit payments get stretched even further.

    Oh, I know how to stop this policy costing the government in welfare costs, build 100,000 state homes !

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  42. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    Landlords who have already invested will enjoy a comparative advantage

    milky doesn’t know what comparative advantage means.

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  43. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    So, it will be the landlords that haven’t yet insulated their properties that will pay, not the Government.

    What a complete dick.

    Let’s extend the legislation so that each rental property also has to come with a pool and a double garage.

    You know, since it’s the landlords who are paying for it…

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  44. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    The snow gets pretty bad up in Kaitaia. Can’t allow uninsulated homes there. People might die of the cold. Better that they sleep in a (nicely legal) tent.

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  45. simpleton1 (230 comments) says:

    It sort of what Peter 5:26 pm says through from a “code of good practice” to “end of five years, all remaining properties where the tenancy agreement pre-dates the standard will be required to meet the minimum standards

    A copy of what I posted in an earlier comment regarding the % of failure of wof of rental stocks.

    The road we are going down, with all the costs put on by a government bureaucracy. A hidden world wide bureaucracy :- An official Green Building Council (GBC) is national non-profit, non-government organization that is part of a global network recognized by the World Green Building Council . GBCs are “transparent, consensus-based, not-for-profit coalition-based organizations

    Possibly the wof idea for rentals may have been a step too far, so slice more thinly and accurately and focus on insulation which gives warm fluffy feelings, and so government slowly build up the infrastructure of expanding empire bureaucracy.

    Failure of WOF and then a fine issued to the land lord as fines are issued to car drivers. All fines if not paid, like rates will accrue like not paying rate payments with penalties and so will be prioritized against the property.

    Next step to be pink sticker-ed until repaired. Interesting as who would be responsible to move the tenants out? until the house is “drive-able”

    Of course what they will do is safe guard the tenant and so direct the rent to a “tenancy trust fund”, and then deduct the cost of putting it right plus the their costs from that.
    It will work just as tenants bonds are entrusted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), along with the Bond lodgement form, within 23 working days of receiving bond.

    You are joking if you think you will be able to increase rent accordingly.
    The only way rents go up is by demand and supply, so less supply then rent will go up as does with increased demand.
    A “green” formula of “sustainability” will be eventually imposed.
    Unless you can find tricky ways or loop holes as I know that can be done to move the tenant on and then reset the rent.

    It is just a hidden way to stop investment into rental properties, and to increase employment and up the level of wages beyond MacDonalds for authorized inspectors, accredited assessors, and their secretaries and managers, cars etc etc. and bloated “skilled” bureaucracy., as one track mentioned

    The joker in the pack is government imposed regulations with possibilities of funneling money to other “sustainable” “green” accounts.

    Just a minor step and eventually to a full implementation of the NZ Green Building Council, part of a global network of sustainable “ngo” non profit organisation of bureaucracy with world wide meetings.

    Will be interesting if it lowers the value of a housing if landlords sell up, as their will be others to buy in and then rent out with a lower capital input, and still with a good return.

    Some houses as mentioned by Peter and southern raider will not be worth doing up so will be scrapped or become storerooms etc. so will that increase demand from tenants, driving up rental prices.

    So many unintended consequences to flow on with costs.

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  46. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Nice try at making the Green Building Council sound like some kind of worldwide conspiracy.

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  47. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    Insulation is a desirable improvement that will raise the capital value of a residential dwelling. So it’s disingenuous to pretend that it’s a net cost to the landlord.

    The lifespan on properly installed insulation is 30-40 years. So it’s a worthwhile investment.

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  48. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    2K per house, shit i apparently overpaid.

    i just insulated 2 houses, a 70sqm and 80sqm and the average cost was $4K each, for foam injected wall insulation. if i needed floor and ceiling done as well, add another $1500 or so.

    and this is all before a massive demand created by government force.

    i am lucky enough to have the funds, but its an opportunity cost where i cannot use the money for anything else, like building a deck on one of the properties, or simply reducing my mortgages or hell, going on holiday, its my damn money.

    it would be nice if the left understood opportunity cost and the fact that someone has to actually pay for this.

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  49. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    gump, its a forced cost on me now, where the pay off is over many years (at best), and i cannot claim the costs in the current year, and i can no longer depreciate the upgrades.

    so it is a net cost, in NPV terms. sure there may be some future value, but thats no consolation to the 5K i have to spend now.

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  50. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It’s a simple standards issue, similar to WOFs for cars. If there were no vehicle WOFs, but they were being proposed now, we would see exactly the same arguments against their introduction.

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  51. Nostradamus (3,350 comments) says:

    I note DPF’s “update” at the top of this thread:

    UPDATE: I think my readers are playing a joke on me, but they claim Labour’s actual policy is to make it illegal to rent an uninsulated house. Now I don’t think Labour are that crazy that they would advocate a law that would lead to up to 600,000 rental houses being removed from the market, so I think its a joke. I mean how can you campaign on home affordability and have a policy that will increase the cost of renting a house, and remove hundreds of thousands from the market?

    Labour’s policy relevantly states:

    The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 will be amended to require all rental properties meet the minimum standard of insulation and efficient heating. The Tenancy Tribunal will have jurisdiction to enforce this standard.

    This amendment will give landlords, tenants and the Tribunal much clearer and more precise information about what is reasonable to expect, both prior to a property being let and in the event of a dispute.

    Tenancy agreements will be required to include a declaration from the landlord that the property complies with minimum standard of insulation and efficient heating. This will be described as a Healthy Homes Guarantee.

    This requirement will apply to all new tenancies from the time that the minimum standard is set. Since the average duration of a tenancy is less than 15 months, most rental property agreements will end up containing a Healthy Homes Guarantee by the natural process of tenant turnover.

    By the end of five years, all remaining properties where the tenancy agreement pre-dates the standard will be required to meet the minimum standards.

    The policy doesn’t expressly propose that it would be an offence for a landlord to rent out a property that fails to comply with minimum standards of insulation and efficient heating. But given the proposed requirement for a landlord declaration, which is backed up by the Tenancy Tribunal enforcement powers, it’s hard to see how the policy wouldn’t have that practical effect.

    The only unresolved question in my mind (which isn’t addressed in Labour’s policy) is whether the Tenancy Tribunal’s powers would be limited to the cost of complying with those minimum standards, or whether its powers would also extend to imposing financial penalties.

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  52. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    You mean you are worried that the tribunal would not only require a landlord to insulate his or her property but would also impose a fine?

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  53. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Why do the left hate the poor?

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  54. Nostradamus (3,350 comments) says:

    Mikenmild:

    You mean you are worried that the tribunal would not only require a landlord to insulate his or her property but would also impose a fine?

    Well, yes, I really think Labour’s policy should address the issue one way or the other.

    Start with section 45(1)(c) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 [landlord's responsibilities]:

    (1) The landlord shall—

    (c) comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises; and

    Then go to section 45(1A) [failure to comply with certain landlord's responsibilities constitutes an unlawful act]:

    (1A) Failure by the landlord to comply with any of paragraphs (a) to (ca) of subsection (1) is declared to be an unlawful act.

    Then go to section 109(1) [unlawful acts]:

    A landlord or a tenant, or the chief executive acting on behalf of a landlord or a tenant, or the chief executive acting as the person responsible for the general administration of this Act, may apply to the Tribunal for an order requiring any other person to pay to the applicant an amount in the nature of exemplary damages on the ground that that other person has committed an unlawful act.

    Then, finally, go to Schedule 1A [amounts for unlawful acts]. The specified amount for a breach of section 45(1A) is $3,000.

    That, presumably, would be in addition to the cost of bringing the rental property up to minimum insulation and efficient heating specifications.

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  55. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’d be interested in knowing how often the tribunal awards exemplary damages.

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  56. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    How interested? Enough that you’d get off your arse and research it? Or only so much as posting on Kiwiblog that you’re interested?

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  57. chris (647 comments) says:

    From DPF’s update:

    I mean how can you campaign on home affordability and have a policy that will increase the cost of renting a house, and remove hundreds of thousands from the market?

    That’s because Labour do not think their policies through to their logical conclusion, and do not understand the law of unintended consequences. As I commented earlier, so many of Labour’s policies will hurt the poor: the intention to help is there, but they don’t think the policy all the way through.

    It’s just like with power, petrol and food prices: on the one hand they bang on about it being so expensive and have policies that they believe will bring the prices down (but they probably won’t), and on the other hand they intend to raise taxes and levies on power and petrol which will have the net result of increasing the costs of just about everything.

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  58. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Sometimes I just want to say “Oh for fucks sake you feckless fucker stop suckling off the taxpayer teat and get a job in the real world.”
    But can I say that?

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  59. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    The proposition that insulating a property somehow makes it more attractive to renters is nonsense based on the rentals I used to own. It was never an element that affected rental returns.

    I did stick in home ventilation but that was as much about the fact that the majority of renters don’t get the concept of ventilation with gas heaters that produce large amounts of moisture to avoid mould which is a huge issue in Auckland. It’s not their property. I could not get them to crack a window occasionally no matter how polite I was and it was cheaper to put in home ventilation than continuously re-paint.

    Most of the rentals I looked at (middle market on the North Shore) seemed to be no better or worse than houses I looked at to purchase in terms of insulation or heating. Maybe there is an issue at the very bottom of the market but those renters would have the same problem for any property they attempted to buy.

    Really is a bit of Marxism disguised as a sob story.

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  60. Nostradamus (3,350 comments) says:

    RightNow:

    Sometimes I just want to say “Oh for fucks sake you feckless fucker stop suckling off the taxpayer teat and get a job in the real world.”

    You remind me of parliamentary question time under Helen Clark and, in particular, her stock response to questions regarding her confidence in ministers:

    In current circumstances it might have gone something like this:

    NOSTRADAMUS (Taxpayers’ Alliance) to the Minister for State Services: Does he have confidence in his public servant, Mikenmild; if so, why?

    Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN (Minister for State Services): Yes, because he is a hardworking and conscientious public servant.

    NOSTRADAMUS (Taxpayers’ Alliance) to the Minister for State Services: How can the Minister continue to have confidence in that public servant when he has posted no fewer than 9,449 comments on Kiwiblog – many of them during working hours – which have included such inane comments as “Nice try at making the Green Building Council sound like some kind of worldwide conspiracy.”?

    Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN (Minister for State Services): Er, well, my understanding is that Mikenmild is a hardworking and conscientious public servant.

    NOSTRADAMUS (Taxpayers’ Alliance) to the Minister for State Services: How can the Minister continue to have confidence in that public servant when, as recently as 6 May 2014, he said in response to an invitation to “join the Yeah/Nah NZ Question Time dial live during questions”, which was posted on Kiwiblog, and I quote: “I like it Ryan. As it happens I am in a position to watch Question Time today. so I will give it a go.”?

    Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN (Minister for State Services): Er, well, I’ll take the question under advisement and make some enquiries…

    Sorry, Mikenmild, I’m only taking the piss :)

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  61. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    As has been pointed out previously the costs of complying (direct costs of insulation and ongoing costs of complying) will be passed on to tenants.

    Don’t assume Labour doesn’t understand this. They can then regulate to drive down rentals (help the poor, bad capitalist landlords…) which will drive landlords out or allow rentals to rise, driving tenants out. Either way, they get to respond to this “market failure” with an enlarged state housing program, effectively nationalising housing supply.

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  62. tas (625 comments) says:

    Of course Labour will insist that landlords pay, but it’s obvious that the cost will be passed on to renters to the extent that is possible.

    What I find ridiculous is that they are insisting that old houses be insulated. That is neither easy nor cheap. You either need to open up the walls (which is a major renovation) or do a half-assed job trying to squeeze insulating materials in through crawlspaces or going for the liquid foam solution (which doesn’t allow proper ventilation and will lead to rot).

    It makes sense to require new houses to be insulated, but we have lots of old housing stock that we are just going to have to live with until it finally gets replaced. I grew up in a 1960s house without insulation.

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  63. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    Insulation is a desirable improvement that will raise the capital value of a residential dwelling. So it’s disingenuous to pretend that it’s a net cost to the landlord.

    That’s not the argument.

    The point is that Labour will in effect legislate to increase rents at the lower end of the market.

    You’ll have Labour forcing rent increases on the lowest-paid at the same time as the Greens force heating costs higher and higher.

    Still, I suppose the poorest can always share the increased costs by packing more people into the same dwelling. That is the Labour/Green intention here, right?

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  64. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    wat dabney

    Still, I suppose the poorest can always share the increased costs by packing more people into the same dwelling. That is the Labour/Green intention here, right?

    I doubt they have thought it through that far – The intention is to get voted into power. Once in they know their policies will stuff the economy in a maximum of 2 terms so the details of the wreckage are … who cares … we won you lost eat that !

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  65. Paulus (2,633 comments) says:

    In simple logic a Landlord, whoever, will put up the Rent to compensate for upgrading.
    QED.

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  66. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Paulus

    Then the Caring Understanding Nurturing Types in Labour get to put benefits up which buys them more votes – but nothing really changes so it’s perfect socialist policy. It looks good but achieves fuck all other than entrenching their voter base dependency on them.

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  67. MH (762 comments) says:

    Labour intends to burn down houses not insulated? Once again upping the anti. My loft is full of Labour policies and promises. It warms the cuckolds of my heart.

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  68. SPC (5,644 comments) says:

    Er, rent is not cost plus, it is market supply and demand driven. Epic Econ 101 fail to say otherwise.

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