Raw feedback for John Key

Caution:  unedited feedback:



The moderators rightly didn’t let that one through, but it is part of an increase in anti-National sentiment among historically supportive voters.  And if they are so frustrated that they have outbursts like this, we’re not going to see it.

I had the moderators check if this was a troll, but they assure me this is a long term commenter, genuine and this is clearly reflecting a change over the years.

There are going to be two dangers lurking for National’s fourth term.  Voter apathy, and protest votes going to ACT and NZ First.

He clearly isn’t a home owner, but then not all National voters are.

Big strategy issues ahead

  • oldmanNZ

    How is John key responsible for the housing bubble? Because too many expat, who earnd big dollars overseas, came back and buy houses?
    Or they think asian immigration are responsible?

    If he voted national 25 years ago… And haven’t got a house yet, then something missing. I brought my house 24 years ago at $133k…i was earning $400 a week.

    • Bob D

      So that means your ratio of house price to earnings was 6.4. Currently in Auckland, the ratio is 13.3. This is based on the average house price ($1m) divided by the average Auckland salary ($75k).

      So your house would have cost you $277k had the ratio been what it is today, more than double what you paid for it. Could you have afforded that?

      National is responsible for the housing bubble, because they signed the 1992 Rio Accord that started the rot (the UN’s Agenda 21, Smart Growth, urban limits, Up not Out, the new Unitary plan, yada yada). Labour nursed it through the middle years, and John Key has done nothing to stop it, apart from tinkering around the edges.

      Immigration is not the issue, had the free market been allowed to function there would have been a normal supply and demand situation at play over the past twenty odd years, as there had been for many decades prior.

      By artificially preventing urban growth they stuffed the whole thing up, and here we are.

      • Raibert

        Yep, and the politicians want to hang on to power so they don’t want to upset any of their supporters. So they effectively do nothing, hoping when it hits the fan it’s not on their watch and then they can blame the other lot. Collectively our politicians are showing complete disregard for the average citizen and no stewardship for the future.

  • Aucky

    St_Hubbins is clearly upset but to what extent is the National Government responsible for the housing bubble? What policies could they have introduced to control pricing that have not been tried overseas and failed abysmally?

    The writer is clearly in his forties (I say ‘his’ because a woman is unlikely to be so generous with the profanities) so why is he not a house owner with his foot firmly on the ownership ladder?

    • kayaker

      Exactly. There’s something else going on in this person’s life. It’s certainly not the language of a National current or ex-supporter, no matter how aggrieved. People who resort to profanities are just plain lazy in the language department.

    • Observer

      The annual non-citizen immigration target of 50,000 is something that Michael Woodhouse could tweak next week. That rate is the highest per-capita in the world and is a major driver of housing demand. Michael Reddell notes:

      “From 1991 to 2013, non-New Zealand citizen immigration accounted for around 71 per cent of the change in the number of households (or dwellings required). For the last two intercensal periods the contributions of non-New Zealand citizen net immigration were as follows:

      2001 to 2006 70 per cent

      2006 to 2013 106 per cent”


  • cows4me

    National have painted themselves into a corner with immigration. They’ve gone to far to turn the tap off as the country now relies on much of the wealth immigrants bring in. It’s become a giant ponzi scheme where fresh wealth holds up house prices in Goofystan and a fall in the market would be totally devastating. Many of what National does these days smacks of lazy governance, from indecision ( Easter trading ) , to letting lose productivity kill H&S crap, to property rights destroying ( plain packaging cigs ). While taking as one policy none of these things and others make a lot of difference but taken as a whole it’s death by a thousand cuts. They’ve bloody lucky the opposition are clowns.

    • Brian Dingwall

      And they are lucky the opposition want all the same things the Nats have done but more so…..we are utterly bereft of any political will to get politicians and their cleverness the hell out of markets….

      When supply is artificially constrained the answer is to free it up, not to constrain demand. Tempting as the latter may sound.

      When good, credit-worthy, people want to come to a successful country, bringing skills and ideas, the least we can do is to gear up to build a few more houses for them.

      • cows4me

        NZ seems to be now a country where everyone needs their pound of flesh before anything can happen. Just look at the price of building, putting aside land values, how much actual cash goes into the pockets of the unproductive ? For local councils, RMA bribes, to the price of building materials, we pay very high prices. What’s really happening is our deep love of socialism while trying to pay Paul we rob Peter and thus Peter has to rob who he can. Like a dog chasing it’s tail, it will become a lost cause.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Everybody has a dream. Sadly too many seem to think or dream that changes to address the housing situation are like instant pudding. Make in a minute.
    Shooting the messenger only reduces the numbers by one. Then others chicken pick about what the cause is. Immigration is a soft target where rash claims can be levelled with hard solid facts.
    The dominant factor that most ignore is in fact the primary cause. Time. It has taken more than four years of that precious commodity for ACC to come up with a plan of half way workable ways to crank the consent rate up. But will it really speed up the number of consents? Penny Bright might also be Mayor if you think that.
    Then there is the “ifs”. There are more of those than the minutes it takes to get a consent with dry ink.
    St Hubbins has let it all out and we can only hope it has helped him feel better though if too many follow his reaction things will definitely get worse for all concerned. In this digital age snapshots are easy to accumulate but harder to cull to get the big picture. Others can get the 360 degree view with a smaller aperture and a longer exposure time where we take lesson from Photography 101. Not the size of the field but the depth.

    • Observer

      ***Immigration is a soft target where rash claims can be levelled with hard solid facts.***

      I think the point is that the 50,000 per year target could easily be temporarily reduced to enable supply to catch up? This is the major driver of demand so it’s borderline negligent to ignore it if house prices are a genuine concern.

      “From 1991 to 2013, non-New Zealand citizen immigration accounted for around 71 per cent of the change in the number of households (or dwellings required). For the last two intercensal periods the contributions of non-New Zealand citizen net immigration were as follows:

      2001 to 2006 70 per cent

      2006 to 2013 106 per cent”

  • Seriously?

    I think there is a rising (and I’d say incorrect) view that National should be doing more about the housing issue, even if the problem is not of their making.

    Most of those people seem to expect some form of magic wand, and even then they don’t usually accept the drop in the value of homes that the wand would wave in.

    I don’t see an easy way out of this for National. But nor do I see Labour and the Greens doing anything about it that will have a substantive effect, let alone an effect that people find palatable.

    National have got to stick to the line that they are doing all of the appropriate things, and if anyone has a better idea then they are open to considering it. Then shoot down the ideas that get put forward (and if someone does comes up with a good one adopt it). In that way try to turn the argument onto those that say you’re not doing enough without really saying what should be done.

    • Observer

      If demand for housing is significantly driven by immigration, and the annual non-citizen target of 50,000 is government policy, then how can Government claim no responsibility?

      • Seriously?

        I suspect a high proportion of those people are people we cannot turn down (returning NZers and their new families who may not be NZers), or people we actually need (with skills like builders to build these houses we are short of) or want (like students to study here or people that bring wealth here).

        Sure the government could be more restrictive. But that comes at a cost as well.

        In any event, I’d expect that most of these people are not buying homes at the lower end of the market. Isn’t that the market sector we ought to be worried about? In terms of social policy I don’t see why the average house price is that much of a concern. Once on the ladder people are just selling one stupidly overpriced house to my another, and in the end greater supply and market forces are the remedy to fix that.

        This immigration stuff is shaping up to be a nice bone to chuck to Winston if need be. I’d want to keep my powder dry on that without ruling it in or out.

        • Observer

          Yeah, well that’s a broader debate about the economic benefits of the current levels which is hard to resolve. Ex-reserve bank economist Michael Reddell’s blog ‘Croaking Cassandra’ outlines several arguments that the current levels are actually detrimental. The thing is that the 50,000 figure itself is arbitrary so if you also have net population growth as more people are returning home, then it is one thing that govt could perhaps review.

      • oldmanNZ

        Are all these immigrants buying, houses in Auckland, ?
        Some could rent, buy apartments.
        Or live out of Auckland.

        And the greens wants more refugees. Where would they live?

        First they complaining everyone leaving nz, now complaing too many coming back.

        National pledge to stop the exodus,
        I guess people want labour /greens to start the exodus again.

        Thank god i sold up before that happens.

        • Graham Pilgrim

          “First they are complaining everyone leaving NZ…..”

          This headline from The Telegraph Ex-pat paper in the UK, September 2010.

          • Jayar

            Can we recall when emotive statements like ÿou’ll never see your grandchildren””were regularly wheeled out to depict a picture of NZ as a country on the downward slope – only beneficiaries and elderly.. Now we are seen as a very attractive country to relocate to.

      • The other Neil

        I actually wrote this three months ago:

        “For years we went on about the brain drain and NZers going to Australia etc. The net loss of NZers departing permanently since 2006 is 255,000 (net permanent arrivals less departures per year). The net gain of citizens of other countries over the same period is 475,000, of which half have arrived in the last five years. From 2006 to 2013 the net total gain was 61,000, but over 2014 to 2016 to date the net total gain has been 159,000. The big change has been net NZ loss falling to a few thousand, but also non-NZ net gain jumping to 60,000 to 70,000 from 30,000 to 40,000.

        I cant help but agree that the permanent arrivals of non-NZ should be cutback a little.”

        So I agree, the Government is part of the problem and should be adjusting the permanent arrivals as the flow of existing NZ citizens varies. The fundamental problems seems to me that they have continued to allow new arrivals at the same level as net NZ departures has dropped.

    • Graham Pilgrim

      A Labour/Greens coalition wouldn’t have to do anything about it. The so called problem would be solved in very short order by the mass exodus from the country. I for one will be at the head of the queue!

      • Seriously?

        There is that – crisis solved. Still, I kinda like that this is a good pace to live, and a by-product of that is more wanting to do so.

        • Graham Pilgrim

          And every other “good place to live” in the world is having to deal with the same issue.

          • Seriously?

            Yep. The reality is that there are not that many places that are comparatively safe, doing okay economically, have stable and relatively corruption free governance, education system is okay, universities are okay, health system is okay, don’t have too many social issues, and don’t have nutters like ISIS trying to pop you off.

            Life here is pretty damn good, even if we might like some changes we think would make it better.

          • Raibert

            I wonder how truely corruption free we are when $430m buys no prosecution and Lawyers, accountants and Real Estate agents are exempt from anti money laundering legislation against the advice of the Police.

      • kayaker

        We already have our Plan B place, but hoping like crazy we won’t have to use it.

    • Second time around

      In Auckland the shortage of land is a major factor. In the provinces the removal of depreciation for buildings (easing cash flow, as it has to be paid back) and the threat of capital gains taxes could have been a disincentive to building rental properties- post GFC, share market returns have probably beaten housing except in Auckland and are a lot less hassle.

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      Agree with your thrust. Unfortunately the electorate are not as considered and considerate as that. The last election might have been a case of ‘poor alternatives’ but I think the frustration is too high to overcome and even a small swing to minor parties will mean a change of government. National needs to demonstrate they deserve to govern by dealing with frustrations on immigration, at least. This is easily within their power and ignoring it will be a serious blow to their credibility. It is not a question of whether immigration is net positive, it is a question of trust. Can we trust them to listen?

  • Michelle

    Looking in the real estate windows in our town and there are a few of them
    The number of places sold is staggering for this town and the new people who have escaped Auckland and some coming home from overseas and buying a very nice house for $350 +K and spending their money in our town is helping out our town and no doubt other provincial towns

    Auckland might have a MSM created problem but we are not complaining

    • Skydog

      I was about to post the same thing. As a Blenheim home owner, I’m very pleased to see house prices rising. For too long the property prices were flat. Now with the ripple effect I’m seeing some capital gain.

      I’m sure there are many people outside of the major cities who are happy with the ‘housing bubble’ some say caused by National.

      • Tom

        Nelson is taking off too. So many homes being built in the area. mainly in Richmond and Wakefield.

      • Michelle

        Kaipara house sales did not register a few years back as there were not enough sold but now it is going gang busters
        l heard a local talking to a newby in town who said they had escaped Auckland, sold up and had bought a very nice house and had money in the bank and was spending it in our town
        All good for the regions

  • twittertit

    Funny thing is, National is a victim of their own success. They’ve ensured the country is an attractive one to come live in and so, we get a ton of immigrants.

    So, would a Labour/Greens government coming into power solve this issue? Possibly – just by existing they may drive out thousands of people, thereby solving the housing crisis through their inadequacy.

  • XCIA

    At the end of the day if the foul mouthed people want to vote in some abortion of tripartite lunacy, then that’s fine. I will divest myself of all my NZ assets if there is even a sniff of that happening.

    • Jafarma

      The day that happens will be the day I retire. I have no intention of paying those idiots one $ of tax

  • cod

    Personally i don’t want the govt controlling the property market, in any event it has only risen to expectations anyway, doubling in value every 8 years 10 months.

    • OneTrack

      I do want the government to get Auckland City Council to stop dragging their feet on building consents. Or, better still, get ACC out of the way completely.

  • contractor

    Million dollar or million in local currency in much of the developed world cities is the norm for basic houses so this is not uniquely a NZ problem.
    The common denominator? Ultra low interest rates following GFC stagnation.
    Nothing to do with National!
    Edit spell check

    • Superman

      When interest rates are so low that people are almost being paid to borrow money you’d be a fool not to borrow and invest in property.

  • Graeme

    The many complaints from Labour and Co about the few houses being built. They should take a look around the Ormiston road area at Flat Bush Manukau city. There is that much building going on with houses and apartments that it blows your mind. Then there is the land development too with many new subdivisions in the process of roading and building sites almost ready for housing .

    • rangitoto

      Also plenty of residential construction going on around Silverdale and Orewa. When you look around the Auckland CBD there are more cranes than I have ever seen on the Auckland skyline. What I call the “crane index”. It’s going gangbusters on both commercial and residential construction.

      • Usaywot

        I reckon they’re building far too many. We’ll probably end up like Ireland with vast vacant developments.

      • Santa Fe fan

        The problem is there is anything upto a three year lag between marketing an apartment and actually completing the development and settling the sales. You cannot build fast enough for the current demand and by the time you finish who knows what will happen.

  • Jude

    There is an article claiming that an Auckland home sold 3x in one day and netted an $80k profit.
    I thought the IRD taxed the $80k as clearly there is property speculation going on.
    I am thinking that overseas investment in the property market should be capped somehow.
    Not sure how easily that can be done, but IRD must be able to determine how many overseas investors are land banking ?

    • I would not believe a house to be sold three times in a day unless that was organised and coordinated. Hell, it’s hard enough to get a the lawyers to release the payment to the vendor any time before 5pm on the same day!

      • Jude

        It is all a bit dodgy. I think the original owner is taking the agent to court. Somehow, they made the settlement date the same for each sale, rather than what the headline suggested!

        • Sailor Sam

          The agent in question has been mentioned on this blog a number of times.

      • Santa Fe fan

        I believe it was sold three times over a period of weeks, but all the sales were settled and registered on the same day, so theoretically the statement is correct. Regarding the $80-k increase, that was obviously the market at work.

  • Graham Pilgrim

    We don’t have a housing crisis in New Zealand. We have a “crisis” of competent and successful management. This Government has created a climate where people actually want to, and choose to live here. Those of us who do live here ought to be over the moon to be part of it.

  • k newton

    Seems like a fair enough comment from St_Hubbins.

  • kloyd0306

    Why anyone would trust a Labour/Greens coalition to “solve” our problems is beyond me. As Churchill once said: “Capitalism may not be perfect but it beats the hell out of any other system that has been tried and found to fail.”

    One thing is for sure, socialism (one small step from communism) has been tried and if you think Venezuela is great, go and live there.

    New Zealand is a bloody paradise and is in pretty good hands. Don’t stuff it up by letting Angry Andy and his bunch of buffoons control the treasury benches.

    • contractor

      Well put, and if people have concerns now they’d sure find Labour a much worse alternative, after the spend up.

  • Usaywot

    When it is stated that the average house price in Auckland is $1mil that is what it means – the average. People seem to think that average means every house. We all know there are houses selling for multiple millions, it doesn’t take too many of those to pull the average right up. This means there are still plenty of houses under $1mil. The MSM can be mischievous and spin the figures all they like but not every house in Auckland is now costing at least $1mil

  • Ruahine

    My house is not in crisis. I have checked.

    • Aylene Price

      Mine isn’t either, but if it was I would make sure it received the appropriate assistance – can’t let them suffer can we.

  • Sailor Sam

    You are having your cake, but you don’t want your kids to eat it?
    Give your houses to your kids, stopbeing selfish and holier than thou.

    • no bullswool

      The only house we own is our primary residence that we purchased in 1997 after moving to Auck from provinces for work. Certainly not holier than thou and can’t wait for last one to finish uni, hopefully move out of Auck, then we can escape the madness too! Don’t worry the bank of mum and dad has supported their uni costs, their first car costs,moving costs and will be called upon for first home deposit help also.The provinces are calling! Most of our cake is in conservative investments so any house capital gain is purely circumstance.

  • contractor

    Exactly, the issues are widespread, but the ultra low interest rates are the gallons of petrol on the fire.
    Also, it seems those low interest rates from quantitative easing (aka money printing) and population growth are the only cures, hopefully, for stagnation globally following the GFC and over capacity.