Phil Goff

Finance Minister cautions Auckland first home buyers: Don’t

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It’s remarkable to have a Finance Minister give such an overt warning to the market.

Bill English is cautioning first-home buyers about committing themselves in the current Auckland market, saying if they are patient, prices might fall soon.

He also indicated that if the Auckland Council does not accept a Unitary Plan that allows supply to meet demand, the Government could force it to do so by law.

The Finance Minister said there were risks in taking out a mortgage right now that stretched a two-income household. Read more »

The youth grow up to become the people they despised

By Gavin

I have been following all the uproar from the disappointed remainers in England who have been protesting, throwing tantrums and showing general discontent at a successful democratic process. What struck me as most absurd was the vocalised belief that the older people have stolen their future, and their needs have been overridden, despite the fact that a democratic process was followed. If they had won they would be jubilant and praising democracy for giving people a say etc – yawn.

But here is the rub that the moaning-youth are blissfully unaware of. The youthful activists and protesters who despise older people will one day be them. They will, in fact, become the very people they despise.

Let’s take a local example: Phill Goff. He started out as a long-haired anti-Vietnam War protester spitting at soldiers returning from Vietnam and riding his Norton motorcycle. Supporting all the right causes: Labour party member, socialist and anti-capitalist, socialist union organiser for the Insurance Workers’ Union and political studies lecturer at Victoria University.
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Hide mocks National for just one more little tax

The Government now wants to charge us to drive during peak times. Our fault, apparently.

We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says building more roads won’t solve the problem. That’s because we would just fill them up.

It’s hard, though – they are such a good way to get about.

The new rationing policy is called Variable Network Pricing (VNP). Its purpose is to price some of us off the road. Those who use the roads must pay for each kilometre driven.

Those priced off will have to stay at home, drive off-peak or use some other form of transport.

The VNP will need to be high to make it work. Read more »

Someone seems to have a name recognition problem

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You know you are in trouble when no one, not even the media, knows who you are…and call you someone else, confusing you with a bloke.

The wheels are coming off Vic Crone’s campaign too.

Former fixer Joe Davis has been given the arse-card due to extremely poor deliverables and a lack of communication. Policy analysts who were working with the Crone camp before Christmas have quietly disappeared fearing reputational damage. Money has dried up or not arrived, with the initial $50,000 in donations disappearing for no apparent gain. Sean Topham, the former Young Nats president, has decamped to the US to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That leaving Josh Beddell, who is a nice guy but is so wet that he is never going to set anything on fire – let alone the world.  Read more »

Brewer on Auckland Council’s trust rating

Cameron Brewer has issued a press release regarding Auckland Council’s plummeting trust rating.

Auckland Council’s release today of its Citizen Insights Monitor showing just 15% of Aucklanders surveyed are satisfied with the council’s performance while only 17% trust the council is disappointing but not unexpected,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.

“Firstly, hats off to the Chief Executive and his leadership team for doing this work and the subsequent authoring of the inaugural Auckland Council Performance Plan 2017 – 2019. The really negative numbers among these baseline survey results are not a reflection on staff. Nonetheless they have now tasked themselves with ensuring reputation repair!

“Sadly, it’s the lack of trust, political effectiveness and accountability and attitude towards ratepayers’ money that is dragging down Auckland Council’s reputation. While the categories of regional leadership & growth, social responsibility and communications, and fairness and ethics get a pass mark, accountability and effectiveness fail.”

Among the worse sub-categories within the failed category are ‘trustworthy’, ‘makes wise spending decisions’, ‘acts with integrity and honesty’, ‘good value for ratepayers’ money’, and ‘spends without waste or cost over-runs’.   Read more »

$100m here, a $100m there…meh says Brownlee

Big Gerry Brownlee seems quite flippant about a serious budget blowout of more than $100m.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has defended a $100 million blowout in the cost to upgrade the navy’s two frigates.

The Defence Force is in the process of upgrading the combat management systems, radars and sensors, and replacing the self-defence missile systems, on both the HMNZS Te Kaha and the HMNZS Te Mana.

It was originally budgeted to cost between $354m and $374m, but Labour MP Phil Goff says it’s now expected to cost close to $473m.

Mr Goff also said the upgrade work won’t now be completed until March 2019 – 13 months later than planned.

He sought an explanation from Mr Brownlee when he fronted up to Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee on Thursday.   Read more »

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Phil Goff to inherit largest leaky homes problem yet

When Phil Goff was a cabinet minister his government did stuff-all about leaky homes. I’ll bet a dollar to a knob of goat poo that Clark’s ministry just decided to kick the can down the road knowing they’d never be around to have to deal with it.

Now Phil Goff is likely to win the Auckland Mayoralty he has a landmine, set by his own troops, to step on.

The owners of an Auckland apartment complex have filed a $60 million leaky homes claim against the firms involved in its construction, and the Auckland Council, after serious building defects were discovered.

It is the largest leaky homes claim ever in New Zealand.

Construction on St Lukes Garden Apartments in Mount Albert began in 2003 and finished in 2011, with most owners seeing the modern apartment complex as a low-risk, stable investment.

However, many of the 279 units spread across eight buildings, show serious signs of building defects and damage, fire safety oversights and leaking external walls.

Home Owners and Buyers Association chief executive Roger Levie said the building’s shortcomings were many and varied.   Read more »

Will Michael Wood take his campaign to ban penis lollies to parliament?

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The Labour party have “selected” a veteran of coming second, Michael Wood, as their candidate to replace Phil Goff in Mt Roskill.

The Labour Party has selected its first election candidate, picking Michael Wood to take over from longstanding MP Phil Goff as its new Mt Roskill candidate.

The selection was held early because of a possible by-election if Mr Goff wins the Auckland Mayoralty in October.

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Size of Auckland Ratepayer Alliance shows depth of feelings against Auckland Council

Us New Zealanders aren’t easily moved off the couch.  It has to get to a point where we are really, really pissed off.   Here’s a sign that has happened.

The Ratepayers’ Alliance is now the most popular political group in Auckland, with more than 16,000 Aucklanders having signed up, as of today. The Alliance, which launched last year, has seen a membership surge since its recent leaflet campaign to 72,000 housholds in the North Shore and Albany Wards. The campaign exposed the additional waste charges for residents, and those Councillors responsible for voting in Len Brown’s 9.9% rates increases.

The group’s spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:

“With membership passing the 16,000, the Ratepayers’ Alliance is now larger than the nationwide membership of the Labour Party and the National Party’s membership base here in Auckland. We have been overwhelmed with people who want yard signs, to deliver pamphlets and generally spread the word.” Read more »

Goff follows Palino on Ports move

Phil Goff has finally put a policy stake in the ground, and it just echoes exactly what John Palino said on the 16th of May about the Ports of Auckland.

Auckland mayoral candidate Phil Goff is pushing for the Ports of Auckland to be shifted, telling The Nation programme that by the time the port reaches capacity, it’ll be too late to make a change.

While Manukau, Muriwai and the Firth of Thames have all been floated as possible future sites for the port, in the interim Mr Goff’s backing Whangarei’s Northport.

Valuable land in the CBD is being wasted on used cars and containers coming into the country, Mr Goff argues, and in only three to 12 years room is going to run out.

“What you can do as an interim is that you can move the used cars off the wharves in Auckland and you could put them in Northport.”

And it’ll cost less than the estimated $5 billion to shift the port.

“The chief executive of Northport has told me that he can deliver the cars to the consumer in Auckland for the same price as they get it from those cars sitting on really expensive real estate,” Mr Goff tells The Nation.

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