More media on Labour’s shambolic housing policy launch

August 29th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Patrick Gower at 3 News reports:

What is wrong with David Cunliffe and the Party?

Labour is going backwards when it should be going forward. That means something is seriously wrong with its campaign. …

And here’s one of the reasons why – Labour’s campaign is listless, meandering and shambolic.

The media with him say it’s a bit of a shamble and have been reporting on it. …

I took a look at Cunliffe’s campaign myself in Hobsonville yesterday.

Hobsonville quickly turned into campaign trail bizarro-world.

Cunliffe was out there to counter-attack on housing after Key trotted to the very same streets earlier in the week.

Cunliffe and housing spokesperson Phil Twyford re-announced the party’s Kiwbuild policy, saying Labour could build a $485,000 two-bedroom terraced house for $360,000 because of economies of scale.

But they didn’t have a house as an example, they were just standing on the street.

Twyford was saying there were heaps of examples of the $485,000 homes in Hobsonsville, but he didn’t know where they were and never got back to me with an address.

I can tell Twyford where one is – it’s just around the corner, a $450,000 two bedroom – I know because Key took us there on Monday.

Then they rolled out two first home buyers, Harrison and Jordy, who bagged National’s Homestart policy.

But under questioning they weren’t first home buyers at all, they weren’t even looking.

In fact they wouldn’t even buy a house under Labour’s policy.

Then it turned out that they were members of the EPMU, and they stopped answering questions when asked if they voted in Labour’s leadership campaign last election.

And despite the policy being around since David Shearer was leader, Labour still couldn’t come up with simple lines like when the first house will be built.

Labour seem to think photo ops are all they need to do, and that the media won’t ask for details. It’s good that the media are asking for details of a policy which will see the Government borrow $3 billion a year or so. Also good that they are asking for affiliations of people trotted out by Labour.

Felix Marwick at NewstalkZB is on the same tune:

It’s fair to say Labour’s re-launch of its KiwiBuild policy in Hobsonville on Wednesday didn’t run exactly smoothly.  Labour was looking to promote a specific part of its policy; two bedroom housing it claimed could be built 120 thousand dollars cheaper than under current government programmes.  They couldn’t show us a house. Nor could they initially say exactly how many of the houses would be built under the KiwiBuild approach. Finally the tame talent, which they’d brought along as an example of who would benefit from the policy, weren’t actually looking to buy a property just at the moment and wouldn’t even be able to immediately do so under Labour’s proposed initiative.

Again this will see taxpayers being exposed to $3 billion a year of borrowing for a policy which appears to be only slightly more advanced than an idea on a napkin.

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28 Responses to “More media on Labour’s shambolic housing policy launch”

  1. mjw (392 comments) says:

    We need a boost of social housing. It has been a great success in places like Singapore. It will help to reduce house prices by increasing supply, and will help to keep New Zealand a fair society.

    EDIT: And I am amazed at the PM, on the one hand saying house prices are up massively, but on the other hand saying there is no increase in inequality. Can’t he add up? The asset inequality between house owners and renters is massively higher than it has ever been.

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  2. Yoza (1,815 comments) says:

    Again this will see taxpayers being exposed to $3 billion a year of borrowing for a policy which appears to be only slightly more advanced than an idea on a napkin.

    If the government can retrieve that $3 billion from the sale of the houses it shouldn’t matter, borrowing foreign money to pay for domestic tax cuts is far more dangerous.

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  3. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    Labour housing policy sounds about as stupid as borrowing for tax cuts.

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  4. EAD (1,001 comments) says:

    haha – Kiwibuild.

    Do our politicians think we are so stupid that to make something sound good all they need to do is put the word “Kiwi” in front of it and the proles will come crawling to them like brain-dead zombies?

    Perhaps the Nats should call their transfer of money from taxpayers to first homebuyers via “Kiwi” saver (there’s that word again) “kiwi equity”.

    I don’t think even the Soviets/Chinese tried to fool their populations by putting the word “Bear/Panda” in front of it but then again, they didn’t have “democracy”.

    Here’s an idea, how about we change our national symbols to a Kangaroo and a banana? Then we could give prison sentences to wannabe Maori Kings in “Kangaroo Courts” or run up $87 billion debts in our “Banana Republic”

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  5. westykev (3 comments) says:

    “Labour seem to think photo ops are all they need to do, and that the media won’t ask for details”

    It’s worked for them so far.

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  6. tvb (4,364 comments) says:

    They have got away with this sort of thing in the past so they keep doing it. Time and time again they present average NZers supporting their policies but they turn out to be Labour Party activists. The housing policy is just hot air.

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  7. Yoza (1,815 comments) says:

    EAD (817 comments) says:
    August 29th, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Do our politicians think we are so stupid that to make something sound good all they need to do is put the word “Kiwi” in front of it and the proles will come crawling to them like brain-dead zombies?

    Says he, commenting on ‘Kiwi’blog.

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  8. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “only slightly more advanced than an idea on a napkin.”

    On the back of a beer coaster in the BackBencher?

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  9. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    EAD – “Do our politicians think we are so stupid that to make something sound good all they need to do is put the word “Kiwi” in front of it”

    Labour do.

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  10. EAD (1,001 comments) says:

    Are you sure it’s just Labour Onetrack?

    off the top of my head:

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/782-Kiwisport-initiative-good-for-young-people.html

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/nz-story-assist-kiwi-firms-overseas-markets

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  11. mjw (392 comments) says:

    Are least Labour aren’t pretending to be All Blacks.

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  12. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    We need a boost of social housing. It has been a great success in places like Singapore. It will help to reduce house prices by increasing supply, and will help to keep New Zealand a fair society.

    We absolutely do not need HDB style housing in NZ, mjw. Have you ever been in a HDB block? Furthermore, NZer’s aren’t disciplined or have enough consequences upon them if they were to trash a place, as would happen and so often does happen with State housing here.

    The only way to fix the NZ housing market is to free up land supply, gut the RMA and get the wallahs at council out of all the inane “processing” and CV setting they do.

    The NZ housing market is out of control by international comparisons this is caused by excessive red and green tape and land supply restrictions. This has two effects;

    1. It shuts many out of the market due to the stupid prices
    2. It encourages speculators, because of the gains, some coming from overseas – further driving up prices

    This is a problem that is of our and our politicians own making. For people in the market, they love seeing their values rise, never realising that these increasing values are actually making many of them (and our country) poorer, and of course, the government of the day loves the feelgood factor that the home-owners get with their increasing values.

    Having rates set based on ever-increasing Capital Values is economic lunacy 101. Only someone (council) with the most to gain would come up with this pyramid scheme.

    The big problem we have is if all of the subsidies, land supply restrictions, red and green tape were removed, the housing market would fall, leaving a helluva lot of homeowners in quite a pickle. Obviously then the banks would be in a pickle too – leaving our politicians in a politically unpalatable pickle. No government is going to let this mess unravel on their watch, so they keep coming up with all these hair-brained schemes that mostly just add petrol to the fire, i.e. the stupid policy released by National on the weekend.

    Then we have the media, who are totally dependent on advertising revenue from the housing market, obviously, in a falling market sales volumes fall and hence so does their advertising revenue. Therefore, they do everything in their power to pimp the market higher.

    There is only one party pushing for a market based solution to the housing problem; ACT. Anybody hoping to get on the housing ladder should be considering a party vote for ACT. All other policies being offered are simply a bribe or transfer of wealth.

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  13. hj (6,918 comments) says:

    Labours policy makes no sense because migration is only a side thought rather than the elephant in the room
    …….
    Migration matters for house prices
    By Susan Guthrie on May 19, 2014 in Economics
    http://garethsworld.com/blog/economics/migration-matters-house-prices/

    Government policies blamed for house prices
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622459/Government-policies-blamed-for-house-prices

    Auckland house prices are set to move upwards nicely

    In BNZ Chief Economist Tony Alexander’s weekly overview, Auckland house prices are set to move upwards nicely. Here are his 19 reasons why:
     

    3. The government is explicitly aiming to grow Auckland’s population as a means of achieving “agglomeration” benefits for economic growth which accrue from high interaction amongst economic players.

    17. The government has announced its efforts to improve housing affordability (lower prices) and they are minor and unlikely to have a noticeable impact if any for many years.

    http://www.davidwhitburn.com/blogs/auckland-house-prices-to-rise-over-10-in-2013/

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  14. hj (6,918 comments) says:

    From The Landlord Says (prior last election):

    Meanwhile the National Party released its immigration policy. You may wonder what this means for the property market. It is clear from research that immigration is one of the key drivers of house price growth.
    The logic is simple. If you import more people into the country, then you need more houses. Supply and demand means that prices are then pushed up, this is particularly so in Auckland.
    While the latest immigration numbers show the number of people coming into New Zealand is starting to rise, the Nat’s policy looks like it wants to increase immigration levels even further. (Although it is unclear what sort of number they are targeting.)
    This policy is, arguably, a plus for people who want house prices to rise. (But may be not so good for first home owners wanting to buy.)
    My guess has always been that property investors lean heavily towards the right rather than the left. (This was made clear in an email newsletter I saw from one developer this week.)

    Note the new meme “land supply” (Demographia and all that – Gut the RMA – but not in Epsom).

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  15. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ tvb (4,241 comments) says:
    August 29th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Are you sure that is not because anyone that agrees with a Labour policy is defined as a Labour Party Activist by the National Party Activist In Denial Group?

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  16. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    Why does all this growth have to come to Auckland?

    Where is the NATIONAL population, migration and employment growth strategy?

    Who is benefiting from all this Auckland growth apart from property developers, speculators and overseas investors?

    Penny Bright

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  17. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    One more thing; Anybody that thinks $450k for a two bedroom terraced house in Hobsonville is “cheap”, is totally fucking delusional. Even 360k for that is not cheap.

    If you don’t believe me, spend some time googling property prices in the outlying suburbs of Houston, Denver, Salt Lake etc. You can buy very nice and very big in safe, leafy, community type suburbs of those cities for USD250k. Denver and SLC being quite attractive places to live.

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  18. freedom101 (496 comments) says:

    Normally there’s a bit of hyberbole with concerns that ‘the other side’ might win the election. This year it’s different. I keep meeting people who are frightened or even terrified. A Labour-Greens-X-Y-Z coalition could actually stuff the country. There are countries out there, like Argentina, which have even greater natural resources than we have, but they are basket cases due to poor government. There is no God-given right for NZ to be successful. We too could become a failed state, given the wrong governance. This Labour-Greens policy agenda would shake our economic fabric to it roots.

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  19. hj (6,918 comments) says:

    Immigration set to be Labour/Greens sticking point

    Immigration looks set to be a sticking point between Labour and the Greens.

    The Greens aren’t satisfied with Labour’s proposal to control immigration and introduce what it calls moderate and sensible measures to help address pressures on housing prices

    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says foreigners coming to New Zealand can contribute to rising house prices.

    But she says her Party disagrees with Labour’s position.

    “We need to plan for Kiwis coming home and for the fact many Kiwis are wanting to stay in New Zealand given the nature of the global economy. But we don’t blame immigrants for the housing crisis, they are not to blame for it.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/812220222-immigration-set-to-be-labour-greens-sticking-point

    Anti-immigration feeling has no place in the Green party Immigration and Population policies released today, Green MP Keith Locke says.

    “Our policy is the opposite of Winston Peters’,” the Party’s Immigration Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/greens-counter-peters-welcoming-immigration-policy

    A suggestion by the Labour candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti that New Zealand should ‘stop immigrant workers coming here’ has been slammed by the Green Party.

    Responding to comments Meka Whaitiri made in an iwi radio interview on Friday, Green Party candidate Marama Davidson said such attitudes were out of date and out of place in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.
    https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/xenophobia-has-no-place-ikaroa-r-whiti

    Anti immigration Feeling has No Place on Radio NZ
    http://www.radionz.co.nz

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  20. hj (6,918 comments) says:

    publicwatchdog (2,270 comments) says:
    August 29th, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Why does all this growth have to come to Auckland?

    Where is the NATIONAL population, migration and employment growth strategy?
    ……..
    So you have fallen for the idea that there is growth potential in the provinces? In the provinces you can point every activity to a particular resource yet the Greens would have us believe we can grow the population unrelated to resources; doing exceptional (Sir Paul Callaghan) things all over the place.
    Designline started in Ashburton, went to Rolleston…

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  21. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    Labour seem to think photo ops are all they need to do, and that the media won’t ask for details.

    Well that’s the way it’s always been. Unionised journalists too scared to rattle the cage of the parliamentary arm of the union power base.

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  22. G152 (303 comments) says:

    Show me the chippies

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  23. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    Comparing Denver to Auckland? You’re taking the piss surely?

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  24. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Well Said burt

    Labour seem to think photo ops are all they need to do, and that the media won’t ask for details.

    Well that’s the way it’s always been. Unionised journalists too scared to rattle the cage of the parliamentary arm of the union power base.

    The MSM are too scared to challenge their paymasters…..

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  25. Fost (102 comments) says:

    The worse thing about this is that you don’t need the ‘econimies of scale’ to build “a two-bedroom terraced house for $360,000″ – just went to the A1 Homes website (very ‘standard’ homes I know and I am sure their prices are typical of that style/type of house) but here is a 80m2 2 bedroom, 1 bath, no garage – all up built (using their NSG – No Surprise Gaurantee – I checked this is the priced for Auckland) for $159K. Add approx $200K for a section (sure it’s on the edge of Auckland, but it’s yours) and you have your own home for just $350K ! As a kit home (get a builder labour only) the kit is only $65K. Don’t belive me: http://a1homes.co.nz/plans/auckland/EH80

    For a more roomy 152m2, 3 bedroom, master w/ensuite and double garage – all up build (same NSG) for $217K. Just add a section section cost of about $200K and you have a house for just over $400K. It is this one: http://a1homes.co.nz/plans/auckland/EH152

    We don’t need the government (i.e. a Labour government) risking taspayer’s money to do this – just get the Council out of the way of freeing up land and let people do it themselves. But no, everyone that the MSM talks to want a McMansion first house at 200m2 – 250m2 and in a central location, no wonder they need $700K+. Start small, then move up, other wise enjoy living at home or renting most of your life.

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  26. polemic (460 comments) says:

    It is hilarious looking from the side of the lake as the ………

    “The ever Illustrious HMNZS Co-Boat” !! last seen going round and round in circles while they debate the pros and cons of immigration :roll:

    Pass the sick bag we’re getting sea sick :mrgreen:

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  27. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    I am sick of politicians and other talking heads treating housing as if it is such a complex problem.

    It isn’t.

    Just get the fuck out of the way and let people build houses.

    See any problem with that? Fine, then say what that fucking problem is!

    Instead they blame everything else they can think of and pretend as if the objections to freeing up land don’t exist.

    Their problem with freeing up land is that it would lead to a reduction in the growth in the value of existing housing stock. Politicians don’t WANT house prices to stop rising.

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  28. Richard (844 comments) says:

    “Again this will see taxpayers being exposed to $3 billion a year of borrowing for a policy which appears to be only slightly more advanced than an idea on a napkin”

    How dare you DPF! Would someone go and get David Cunliffe to shout at DPF until he goes away? That’s Labours main tactic these days. Shout at people until they stop talking.

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