Auckland

Well John, if it won’t work, why bother making a new rule?

John Key reckons Woodhouse’s stupid immigration changes won’t make a blind bit of difference.

You have to ask then why he is even bothering with it?

The Government has announced a new policy to encourage more migrants to the regions, as Auckland faces a record immigration boom.

John Key told the National Party’s annual conference that the plan is to stimulate provincial New Zealand, but stopped short of saying it will ease Auckland’s housing crisis.

There is currently a points system for skilled migrants where 100 points are needed to apply for residency.

If a migrant chooses a job outside of Auckland, they are granted 10 points under the current system; but this is going to be increased to 30 points.

At the moment, migrants need to stay in the regions for at least three months, but now they will be required to stay for at least a year.

Mr Key told the conference migrants will now look at what’s on offer in New Zealand.   Read more »

So we get Maori in to bless something so the Taniwha won’t get us, but if an Indian does something, they get deported

Stupid people abound, especially those who fall for scams like witch doctors who claim they can fix almost anything.

Indian witch doctors are arriving in New Zealand on tourist or temporary work visas and duping vulnerable Kiwis into forking out thousands of dollars.

One Auckland man has lost almost $12,000, and after being alerted by 3 News, Immigration New Zealand says it’s investigating.

Indian Community Leader Pratima Nand is on a crusade against what she calls “witch doctors”. She’s gone undercover with 3 News and says they’re using New Zealand as a test market.

“They are destroying families, they are sucking people in. A friend of mine has been sucked up to $1400 with no results. Somebody has to take action,” she says.

Witchcraft practitioners in south Auckland are not hard to find. In one newspaper alone there were three ads, all offering 100 percent lifelong protection from black magic, money problems and marriage problems.

Most witch doctors are here on tourist or temporary work visas and they advertise hourly on a local Indian TV channel, Apna.

3 News found one healer in south Auckland in a tiny room behind a legitimate clothing store in Otahuhu.    Read more »

Is Woodhouse going to bring in internal border controls

Michael Woodhouse thinks he has the solution for encouraging migrants to live anywhere except in Auckland.

New immigrants will be given extra incentives to take up jobs in the regions, Prime Minister John Key has announced.

Mr Key says almost half of the 10,000 skilled migrants and their families who get residence each year move to Auckland.

“We want to balance that out a bit, by attracting more people into other parts of the country to help grow local economies,” he told the National Party’s annual conference in Auckland today.

Migrants with offers for jobs in the regions will get extra points that will count towards the 100 they require to apply for residence.

However, they will need to commit to a region for at least 12 months – up from the current requirement of three months.   Read more »

Another thieving councillor who needs a rinsing

Cameron Brewer is keen on stealing the assets of another organisation in order to fund the shortfall in Auckland Council’s over inflated spending commitments.

Cameron Brewer says he is pleased the “sacred cow” Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) is included in the review. Although AECT is not a council asset, under its 80-year deed it will be wound up in 2073. Its biggest asset is a 75.4% ownership of Vector, worth $2.1 billion.

“We owe it to ratepayers to explore the trust, its deed, legislation and the value or potential of its assets, instead of stinging them every year while council debt continues to skyrocket. The shares are owned by Aucklanders, who also pay rates and it remains the biggest and most glaring nest-egg in the region.

“I am sure the Aucklanders receiving a $300 dividend cheque every year won’t mind forgoing it if it means lower rates and the money is ploughed into infrastructure that benefit the region.

Read more »

Is it time to privatise the Building Consent process?

The major problem with housing, especially in Auckland is council inability to process in a timely fashion consents.

Perhaps it is time we considered privatising the process, after all the leaky home crisis is reason enough with councils consenting faulty designs…and then walking away from responsibility.

The Government is looking at ways to boost the private sector’s role in issuing building and resource consents.

At the same time it is eyeing ways to limit councils’ liability and ensure consumers are protected if builders fold to avoid paying for dodgy buildings.

Speaking to delegates at National’s annual conference in Auckland on Saturday, Housing Minister Nick Smith said a house typically costs about $500,00 to build, but councils would only receive about $10,000 in fees – equivalent to about 2 per cent of the revenue from the house.    Read more »

Well done Len. A couple of kids, and your train set comes to a grinding halt. Again.

Vandalism, graffiti, intimidation, street kids and inter school fighting – just the sort of thing to make people want to take public transport.

It’s already heavily subsidised, but just wait for Transit Police to be introduced next.

A number of train services in Auckland were disrupted this evening after a fight broke out at the Orakei Train Station.

Auckland Transport put out a notice to passengers via social media: “Please expect delays and cancellations on the Eastern Line due to an incident at Orakei.”

Members of the public have reported via Twitter seeing a fight amongst students breaking out on the Orakei platform.  Read more »

Auckland Council finally runs broke, now looking for coins down the back of the sofa

Auckland Council is finally broke.

It’s cash strapped and now it’s looking at selling down the family jewels to find some more money.

This is the sort of thing a compulsive addicted spender would do. Pretty soon it will be selling furniture and then the bailiffs will turn up.

The Super City has earned $391 million from shares in Auckland Airport and Ports of Auckland, which could be sold by the cash-strapped council.

The council’s finance committee yesterday voted 16-3 for a review of alternative financing sources, including the possible sale of a $1.4 billion stake in Auckland Airport and the $1.1 billion ports company.

Councillors are taking a wait-and-see approach to a push by senior officers to consider asset sales.

The Herald has reported investors would eagerly snap up any shares with one investment banker, Mark Lister, saying the council’s airport stake could be sold in a matter of hours.

Figures supplied to the Herald by the council’s investment arm show that dividends from the two assets have totalled $391.6 million in five years.

The airport company has accounted for $231.9 million, including a special dividend of $101.5 million last year.   Read more »

Will the Wharfies Fund Phil Goff’s Mayoral Campaign?

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Phil Goff, nice and cosy with the Maritime Union

The Maritime Union of New Zealand, MUNZ has been in dispute with the Ports of Auckland because the Ports of Auckland want them to do more than 26 hours actual work a week, and not get paid way more than teachers, policemen and firemen based on three weeks training.

These ratbags start on $92,000 and some make as much as $127,000 but they are still annoyed at the Ports for not paying them more and working them less.

By coincidence everyone knows Phil Goff is dead set useless at fundraising, and can’t run for mayor without a big war chest.   Read more »

Len Brown escalates the war against cars

Len Brown is desperate for more loot to spend, and so he is sending out his storm-troopers to rape our pockets even more.

Auckland Transport is hiking up its day rates at three inner-city parking buildings.

The daily rate at the Downtown, Civic and Victoria Street buildings will jump from 17 to $24. The hourly rate is unchanged.

But Jo Holmes from the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance says there’s no reason for the hike.

“We’re being forced to have massively increased parking charges,” she says. “It’s just this value for money over and over again that we’re not getting from our rates.”

The buildings account for more than 3700 of the CBD’s carparks.

Read more »

Same problems as here but…

A newspaper has an article about the problems facing potential house buyers in Australia:

Singles on an average income have no hope of quickly saving a deposit to buy their first home, particularly in Sydney.

Getting a deposit together quickly is probably unrealistic even for couples where both partners earn the average wage, unless their parents can help out with the deposit or act as a guarantor on the home loan, said Canstar finance editor Justine Davies.

“The percentage of salary that would need to be set aside to get into the housing market quickly is very unrealistic for most people.

“You might be able to do the hard yards for a couple of years and get a five to 10 per cent deposit but to try and to do that to achieve a 20 per cent deposit I think for most people is going to be unrealistic,” she said.

A Sydney couple on average wages would have to set aside 41 per cent of their net income to get a 5 per cent deposit together in a year, research from Canstar shows.   Read more »