Rudman on Cunliffe

May 29th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

writes in the Herald:

Labour leader has tried just about everything to put a dent in the Government’s poll ratings without success. He’s now dipping into Winston Peters’ murky bag of tricks and started pointing the finger at migrants as the cause of our woes.

He wants to cut back from projected migration levels of over 40,000 in “total flows” to the “zone of between 5000 and 15,000″.

He wants “enough new migrants to fill our skill gaps but not so many that it overwhelms our housing market or the ability of our schools and our hospitals to cope”. In the case of hospitals, he seems to be forgetting that without migrants as staff at all levels, they would gradually grind to a halt.

At least he’s stopping short of the New Zealand First proposal that migrants spend their first five years in purgatory in Wanganui or Ruatoria or some other remote outpost before being allowed into the big smoke of Auckland, where most migrants want to live.

Labour’s vote is so low, they’re now trying to steal votes off Winston. Hey, I’m in favour if it knocks Winston below 5%!

To his credit, Mr Key has resisted the mob, telling 3 News that “New Zealand is a country that has been built on migration. We’ve done very well out of it and I think we should be very cautious about taking knee-jerk steps”.

Praise for Key from Rudman – very rare.

Virginia Chong, the president of the New Zealand Chinese Association, calls Labour’s policy “scaremongering”, pointing out the obvious that the answer to rising house prices is to build more homes.

Yep, and for that you need more land available for housing as land is the biggest component of house prices.

Without migrants, our hospitals, about which Mr Cunliffe frets, would be so short of staff, there’d be patient queues stretching around the Auckland Domain. The All Blacks wouldn’t be world champions, and my favourite band, the Auckland Philharmonia, would be but a pale shadow of its present self. And goodness knows where we’d dine out.

And the level of migration is pretty much unchanged from when Cunliffe was Minister. In fact fewer residency visas are being granted. The big change is fewer Kiwis are leaving, more Kiwis are returning home and more Aussies are wanting to live and work here.

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30 Responses to “Rudman on Cunliffe”

  1. georgebolwing (978 comments) says:

    One of the drivers of housing prices in Auckland is that the supply of character homes in leafy inner suburbs is fixed by history, not the planning decisions of the current Council.

    A 2010’s house on the urban fringe is not the same as a 1930’s bungalow in Mt Eden and no amount of National Party bluster about removing the Rural/Urban Boundary will change that.

    Even if we stopped all non-New Zealand citizens coming to Auckland, internal migration and the general increasing prosperity and aspirations of the New Zealanders would probably see average prices of houses in Auckland increasing at a faster rate than the rest of the country.

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  2. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    Does any one know why it is not possible to have the LVR applicable to areas like Auckland?

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  3. ross001 (218 comments) says:

    Virginia Chong, the president of the New Zealand Chinese Association, calls Labour’s policy “scaremongering”, pointing out the obvious that the answer to rising house prices is to build more homes

    I suggest she read Labour’s policy because she will find reference to building homes! Alas, building homes isn’t the only answer to the housing crisis.

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  4. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Yep, and for that you need more land available for housing as land is the biggest component of house prices.

    Is there some process by which more land can be made available in Auckland city? Because just having it spread into an even bigger blot on the landscape is only going to make the existing infrastructure problems worse.

    To his credit, Mr Key has resisted the mob…

    What a crock of shit. You could as easily berate Key as a racist xenophobe pandering to the ‘mob’ by limiting immigration to 40,000. If you, Key and Rudman have the courage of your convictions you’d be promoting open borders.

    Without migrants, our hospitals, about which Mr Cunliffe frets, would be so short of staff, there’d be patient queues stretching around the Auckland Domain. The All Blacks wouldn’t be world champions, and my favourite band, the Auckland Philharmonia, would be but a pale shadow of its present self. And goodness knows where we’d dine out.

    Gosh, isn’t it a good thing no-one has suggested banning migration outright, then.

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  5. ross001 (218 comments) says:

    The All Blacks wouldn’t be world champions

    That’s highly debatable. On the plus side, the Warriors would be better than they are. :)

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  6. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    …the ability of schools and hospitals to cope??
    Funny how supermarkets, gas stations and shoe shops have no problem coping with migrant inflows, but then again, they’re responsive to market forces.

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  7. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Chuck
    THE RBNZ says it would be too difficult to enact that , but they dont say why.
    People who transfer equity in houses can do that already under LVR so i cant see what the specific reason is myself

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  8. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    A we paying for Len Browns wife to go to Singapore?????????
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11263971

    Is that why hes putting up parking costs to us all???
    They can get fucked if shes going on my fucken money.
    Am i paying for her to fucken fly business class too

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  9. Than (488 comments) says:

    You could as easily berate Key as a racist xenophobe pandering to the ‘mob’ by limiting immigration to 40,000. If you, Key and Rudman have the courage of your convictions you’d be promoting open borders.

    Yes, Key is a raging xenophobe for proposing we don’t change the status quo without good reason. Reductio ad absurdum much?

    Cunliffe is the one making the knee-jerk demand that we “do something” on the basis of a few headlines and vague polls. Although naturally he stops short of actually saying what specific policy steps he would take, because that might upset migrants. An indecisive yeah, nah yet again.

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  10. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Highly debatable indeed. How many 2011 All Blacks were immigrants? Or are we counting previous generations, in which case all of them were.

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  11. ross001 (218 comments) says:

    Although naturally he stops short of actually saying what specific policy steps he would take, because that might upset migrants.

    Actually he has said numerous times what steps Labour will take…it will introduce a capital gains tax, build more homes, allow the sale of houses, flats and apartments to residents only, and make changes to the LVR lending restrictions.

    But if you can find Labour has a policy of slashing immigration, please point out where I can find it.

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  12. Than (488 comments) says:

    Silly me, I must have misinterpretted both Cunliffe and Twyford;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10090990/Work-visas-and-family-reunions-in-Labour-sights

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  13. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    The hysterical reaction of Rudman and others to the suggestion of reducing the level of immigration suggests an inability to address things in a rational manner.

    1. Housing prices are seen as an issue.

    2. Since the 1960’s a net immigration flow equal to one percent of the population is associated with an approximately 10 percent increase in house prices.

    3. Therefore reducing the number (not a total moratorium so the hospitals will grind to a halt and there will be a skills shortage) of people entering the country is a logical policy mechanism to stabilise housing prices.

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  14. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    ***He wants to cut back from projected migration levels of over 40,000 in “total flows” to the “zone of between 5000 and 15,000″.***

    This would bring it back to what it was in the 1970’s & 1980’s? It’s hardly extreme.

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  15. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Yes, Key is a raging xenophobe for proposing we don’t change the status quo without good reason. Reductio ad absurdum much?

    What reductio ad absurdum? Reasons have been presented for changing the status quo. Key has in response presented cries of xenophobia and some apple pie stuff about how we need migrants, for all the word as though someone had suggested banning them. DPF, Key, Rudman or one of these other idiots needs to present some argument to explain why restricting immigration to 15,000 is shameful, racist xenophobia while restricting immigration to 40,000 is embracing multiculturalism and welcoming diversity. Good luck finding one, because there isn’t one.

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  16. edhunter (552 comments) says:

    Cunnliffe.. Rudman.. Ship.. Rat.. Sinking.. Leaving

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  17. G152 (385 comments) says:

    Lets get rid of crimdotcon to face trial in the US.
    That’s going to free up a few houses for a start.
    Then send the little Aussie back without his flag and thats another house freed up.
    Small steps but its a start

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  18. Than (488 comments) says:

    What reductio ad absurdum?

    The one where you went from “there is no urgent need to reduce immigration” to “completely open borders”. That reducio ad absurdum.

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  19. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    It is good to the commentators at the Herald are overwhelmingly calling Rudman out on his hysterical, manipulative and dishonest piece :) It’s sad though to see the level of debate reduced to plainly stupid strawmen arguments like “hospitals will grind to a halt” as if anyone is proposing zero immigration.

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  20. tom hunter (5,081 comments) says:

    Key has in response presented cries of xenophobia and some apple pie stuff about how we need migrants, for all the word as though someone had suggested banning them.

    Chuckle

    As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the 20th century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now.

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  21. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    @ Tom Hunter,

    Sadly the issue gets hijacked by emotional rhetoric all the time.

    It’s sad though to see nominally centre-right parties like National resorting to Trotysite tactics. Racist! Xenophobe!

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  22. tom hunter (5,081 comments) says:

    Sadly the issue gets hijacked by emotional rhetoric all the time.

    I know, but that shouldn’t stop us having a conversation about the sort of New Zealand we want to see in the future – as long as its within the frames of reference established by the left-wing.

    For example I see that rational responses such as freeing up more land for housing, getting stuck into the oligopolies of building materials, simplifying city planning and consent processes – all of it aimed at dramatically reducing the cost of housing so that more can be built – has been waved away as simply adding to an even bigger blot on the landscape. No, instead the debate must exist only as 15,000 vs 40,000 immigrants per year.

    It’s sad though to see nominally centre-right parties like National resorting to Trotysite tactics. Racist! Xenophobe!

    And unfair. Only Leftists should be allowed to hurl those terms around: centre-rightists should just suck it up and accept it – because they are racists and xenophobes! They also should never, never throw such accusations back in the face of their accusers.

    Welcome to 2004.

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  23. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    ***Only Leftists should be allowed to hurl those terms around: centre-rightists should just suck it up and accept it ***

    I think that debate shouldn’t be debased by such shrill and meaningless insults.

    ***No, instead the debate must exist only as 15,000 vs 40,000 immigrants per year.***

    Except that is the complete opposite of what has been happening. All the things you mention are regularly brought up as policy options. The option of adjusting immigration levels is one that is rarely mentioned because it has been made taboo. That is crazy. It should be mentioned along with the other policy options and people who try to demonise those who mention it should be called out for their leftist anti-democratic tactics.

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  24. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    The one where you went from “there is no urgent need to reduce immigration” to “completely open borders”. That reducio ad absurdum.

    It’s an example highlighting the reductio ad absurdum of DPF, Key and Rudman going from “tightening immigration criteria might help address this problem” to “Cunliffe wants to ban immigrants.”

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  25. ross411 (870 comments) says:

    Bob R (1,303 comments) says:
    May 29th, 2014 at 3:34 pm
    ***He wants to cut back from projected migration levels of over 40,000 in “total flows” to the “zone of between 5000 and 15,000″.***

    This would bring it back to what it was in the 1970′s & 1980′s? It’s hardly extreme.

    Huh? With what substantiation do you claim this?

    Look, I can do it too: I think we should change the insulation on your house to 1970’s/1980’s standards. Trust me, it’s hardly extreme. Step one: Say something subjective. Step two: Hand wave it away as verified A-OK.

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  26. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    No, instead the debate must exist only as 15,000 vs 40,000 immigrants per year.

    It must? Actually, it’s a very small part of a larger suite of policies Labour’s proposed to address the issue. The only people treating it as the ‘only’ that small part are National’s propagandists and the occasional idiot like Rudman.

    …rational responses such as freeing up more land for housing…

    …has been waved away as simply adding to an even bigger blot on the landscape.

    For the excellent reason that making an even bigger blot on the landscape is what this ‘rational response’ amounts to. It proposes reducing the house price problem by replacing it with infrastructure problems. That’s not a rational response. The rational response to the problems caused by trying to have a millions of people all living in the space is to build a city, not an ever-expanding suburb.

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  27. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Milt

    My understanding is that that is exactly what the Auckland planners have been up to (although I don’t know whether and to what extent this has changed under the new Auckland plan). They have been allowing the creation of “hubs” throughout the region that promote the concept of “work, live, play” in and around those hubs. Those hubs exist to the north, west, east and south and I recall reading some time ago to the effect that a further southern hub (further south than Manukau) is a possibility.

    But the creation of those hubs has impinged upon the green areas, meaning that historic restrictions upon housing (subdivision) in that lifestyle block belt would presumably undermine the rationale in creating those hubs in the first place. People might work (or shop) in those hubs, but the living and playing would occur elsewhere.

    Of course none of this alters the behaviour of the committed commuter who loves nothing more than sitting in a car for 2 hours or more a day.

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  28. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    ***This would bring it back to what it was in the 1970′s & 1980′s? It’s hardly extreme.

    With what substantiation do you claim this?****

    @ ross411,

    Let’s look back even further. From 1949-1999 the average annual total net migration gain was 5,900.

    International Migration in New Zealand – Population Studies Centre No 37, 2000.

    *** think we should change the insulation on your house to 1970′s/1980′s standards***

    Have people improved since the 1970’s & 1980’s? :)

    The issue is whether immigration should be raised in relation to the house price matter. There is a robust relationship between net immigration flows and housing prices. So why not mention it? You are free to raise reasons why the current immigration levels are ideal. What I object to are claims that it is extreme or racist to raise this.

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  29. wiseowl (930 comments) says:

    It’s just not worth even trying to debate immigration .

    I don’t want to ruin New Zealand but everyone seems hell bent on doing just that.

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  30. tom hunter (5,081 comments) says:

    It proposes reducing the house price problem by replacing it with infrastructure problems. That’s not a rational response. The rational response to the problems caused by trying to have a millions of people all living in the space is to build a city, …

    Of course! You’ve solved the riddle, because cities don’t have infrastructure problems as they expand. Brilliant.

    ,,,, not an ever-expanding suburb.

    Ah yes. One of the great hates of the Western Left since WWII. Those blasted suburbs, filled with consumerist voters performing their Keynesian duties in cars, always trying to slip the leashes of masterful city planners. Curse them.

    It’s also another appeal to a long-standing prejudice, this one being the idea that NZ cities, especially Auckland, are sprawls. Actually they’re not, not even Auckland. Several years ago Demographia published its “World Urban Areas and Population Projections” that showed Auckland as having higher urban density than any of the major Australia cities. Even compared to the US, Auckland was much denser than classic cities like New York and Chicago. LA was more dense than any of them and denser than Auckland.

    So actually, no we don’t need a more densely packed Auckland.

    …. it’s a very small part of a larger suite of policies Labour’s proposed to address the issue.

    That depends on how you define “small”. By numbers of policies? By the number of lines of text of each? By emotional impact on the base prejudices of the public? I’m picking the last one since Cunnliffe chose to highlight this “very small part”, knowing va UMR that it’s quite the hot topic in Auckland at present – especially on talk-radio.

    If they were judged by their theoretical impact on housing cost – which is the actual issue here – they’d all be judged as useless. Capital Gains Taxes have not stopped even worse house price bubbles in the US and Western Europe, building more homes obviously adds to supply, but the emphasis seems to be on government built and owned homes, and there is not enough money for that. Then there’s the whole deal with not allowing foreigners to buy residential property and farm land in excess of five hectares is straight out of Winston’s fevered level of economic understanding.

    Which brings us back to the subject of this thread – the highly embarrassing and wickedly stupid xenophobia being pushed by Labour and surprisingly defended by unexpected shills like you.

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