Phil Twyford

Pimping the Poor: Twyford style


When media and politicians pimp the poor they usually do two things.

They pick a poor example to suit their cause, but they get the headlines so they consider that a win. They also expose the alleged poor person and all their past.

That is what Phil Twyford has done in pimping the story of the Laurents of Hamilton.

They have moved house nine times in 10 years.

On one occasion, a landlord returned from overseas and moved back into the rental home. On the other occasions they’ve been forced to move because the Hamilton rentals they were living in were sold.

That’s nine times they’ve called the removal trucks, nine times they’ve packed up their lives into boxes and nine times they’ve hunted for a place to stay – in just 10 years.

Aucklanders have been buying into the Hamilton property market, making it difficult for Hamilton families such as Debbe Laurent, 47, Mark Laurent, 43, and their four children, to make the leap from renting to owning.

They’ve been trying to save for a home but Auckland’s raging property market, lending restrictions, property investors, rising house prices and a cut to the official cash rate (OCR) were factors working against them.

“This is our ninth place in 10 years because every single house has been sold out from under us,” said Mark Laurent.

“With the exception of one,” said Debbe Laurent.

They were in one house for less than six months before it was snapped up and have only been in their current dwelling since March.

“The house we were in before was put on the market at Christmas time, it was sold at the beginning of February and we were given six-weeks to move and there was nothing in the price range we could even consider to afford,” said Mark Laurent.

The Laurents’ four children need plenty of space at home. They also needed a place close to their children’s school to reduce the disruption.

So far so good, we have a good wah wah wah story for the media to push.

Phil Twyford and Sue Moroney from Labour did their part in pushing the story out there.  Read more »

Comment of the Day

Yes, Phil Twyford is getting a lot of publicity at the moment but he has still to convince anyone he is not a dickhead.

One commenter notes:

Remember that Twyford was not a few weeks ago railing against high interest rates. Not only high interest rates, but how it is the Governments fault that interest rates were so high. The fact that interest rates were double and triple what they are now under the last Labour Government escaped him. His Party then came out and bagged the Government for rates falling as this would overheat the housing market that Phil has been bleating about. The irony is hilarious, and the man is a twerp. Just to recap:   Read more »

The Low Rat Cunning of Phil Twyford

The Herald has run a very interesting article on Phil Twyford, saying he is doing a good job of pummelling Nick Smith.

This may be true but wait until Smith says “Well what would you do Phil?” as everyone knows Phil is a bit short in the brain department and doesn’t have a sensible, cogent strategy for dealing with housing affordability that will actually work in the real world.

And Twyford is not known for being a team player.

Twyford’s ambition has not always endeared him to his colleagues. During Labour’s frequent leadership changes since 2008, some within the party observed Twyford had a tendency to sniff the wind and ingratiate himself accordingly.

Twyford was among those understood to be trying to persuade David Shearer to step down although Maryan Street took most of the fall publicly for that. In the ensuing leadership contest Twyford helped run Grant Robertson’s campaign.   Read more »

Yep, Nick Smith really should give Daryl Kerrigan a call

Someone really does need to tell Nick Smith he’s dreamin’.

Housing Minister Nick Smith has just had a hui with Auckland’s 13 iwi who claim first right of refusal on up to 500 hectares of public land earmarked for housing.

“I emphasized to them that the Government is absolutely committed – both in spirit and in word – to ensure that their Treaty obligations are respected,” Mr Smith says.

Iwi took exception to treatment by the Crown over plans to develop huge tracts of land.

They say they would normally be given first rights but a clause allows the Government to sell public land for social purposes.

Mr Smith is reassigning education and transport land to state housing land.

Read more »

Phil Twyford must feel a bit of a goose today

Should really be a double face-palm

Should really be a double face-palm

Phil Twyford was last week moaning about interest rates and blaming the government for supposedly high interest rates.

He of course ignored history that clearly shows high interest rates are a problem that Labour governments foist on Kiwi voters.

Well today the Reserve Bank lowered the official cash rate and the banks have all moved to drop their mortgage rates too.

Banks have slashed mortgage rates this morning in reaction to the Reserve Bank cutting the Official Cash Rate to 3.25 per cent.

ANZ, ASB, Kiwibank, and Co-operative Bank all immediately dropped their floating mortgage rates.

Other major lenders are expected to follow suit.  Read more »

Twyford ignores Labour’s own history with interest rates

Phil Twyford is trying to blame interest rates for the so-called housing crisis.

The average Kiwi household is $250 a year worse off because the Auckland housing boom has kept interest rates high, Labour has claimed.

With the Reserve Bank due to revise its 3.5 per cent official cash rate (OCR) on Thursday, Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford has issued figures showing an across the board 0.5 cut would provide an immediate $725 million boost.

He says the analysis – which he admits is an assumption, given all interest rates would not immediately respond in a uniform way – reinforces his criticism of National’s “abject failure” to control soaring prices or build enough affordable housing.

“This is money that is currently going to offshore lenders. The whole country – households, consumers and businesses – are paying the price of the Government’s failure to fix the Auckland housing crisis,” Twyford said.

Which kind of ignores Labour’s recent history on interest rates.

David Farrar takes a break from arts reviews to point out the hypocrisy of Twyford’s statements.

Let’s have a look at the history of the OCR:


Yeah that 3.5% is just killing businesses and households. Labour never had it below 4.5% and even had it above 8% until they crashed the economy into recession (before the GFC struck).

Read more »

Why does Labour jump on every passing bus?

Labour seems to have a strategy of jumping on every passing bus in the forlorn hope that it might arrive at the destination they desperately seek – the treasury benches.

It seems that if someone is angry or bitter with the government then Labour cuddles up to them. It hasn’t worked for them so far and in fact, makes them look as angry and as bitter as the whingers and complainers they use to put hits on John Key.

The Government is ready to defend in court its decision not to offer iwi Crown land before it is sold to developers.

A legal skirmish has broken out after Ngāti Whātua thought it would be given first right of refusal to Crown land up for grabs in Auckland. The Government announced as part of the Budget that 500 hectares of public land would be sold.

The issue has drawn the ire of Government support partner the Maori Party, which said Ngāti Whātua had sought legal advice after learning the Government had no intention of dealing with them over the sale of Government-owned land in Auckland.

But Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith have staunchly insisted the law was on their side.

“What the Government’s trying to do is expand the amount of land that is available for housing.

“It’s quite legitimate for us to do that,” Key said.  Read more »

Is Labour serious about housing or just politicking?

Labour has been moaning for ages about affordable housing and imploring the government to DO something.

And so the government does do something…they say they will allow houses to be built on vacant government land, something labour actually asked for…I remember Annette King moaning about it last week in parliament.

Except Labour’s Phil Twyford has found something to moan about with that proposal too.

The Government’s plan to open up public land to help with the Auckland housing crisis is under attack, with revelations the land includes a power substation site.

Labour says only a quarter of the land earmarked for development can actually be built on – a claim the Government has rubbished.

The substation could be the site of the latest Government-backed housing development in Auckland. But the Government says there’s spare land behind all the wires, and it wouldn’t make a bad home.

“The substation is only in one corner, and there are three hectares of vacant land,” says Housing Minister Nick Smith. “Why would we not consider housing development on the remainder of the vacant land?”

On Budget day, the Government announced building on public land would get underway, saying it “owns approximately 500 hectares of land in Auckland with the potential for residential development”.

Read more »

Phil Twyford and Labour working with Auckland Council to stiff National’s affordable housing policy

Phil Twyford was busy on Red Radio this morning with a pseudo soft talking rhetoric about how hard it is for Auckland Council to build infrastructure and calling for the Government to pay up for the pipes and roads and public transport to service it.

There have been rumours about the traps that Labour is running thick with Auckland Council, especially Penny Hulse, to stiff the housing accord and to get the initiative to fail.

And one doesn’t need to wear a tin-foil hat to theorise a conspiracy to work complicitly together. Labour don’t want National to be successful and poo poo anything National comes up with (including things they might have done themselves). And the Auckland Council is desperate to thwart the greenfield expansion of the CBD because it undermines their goals to build a compact city.

Plus they are all pinko mates. So of course they will work together.  Read more »

Was Robbo white-anting Little too?

Was Grant Robertson white-anting Andrew Little too?

Rob Hosking at NBR seems to think so.

[P]erhaps the most revealing aspect is to do with Mr Little’s colleagues – what has and what has not happened.

First, what has not: there has been no rush by Labour MPs to defend their leader. Mr Little is very much on his own on this, in Parliament and elsewhere.

Usually, in such matters, with a leader in trouble, colleagues run interference, at question time in Parliament and in the media.

This time: nothing.

Second, what did happen: there was the odd, apparent stuff up, by Mr Little’s leadership rival Grant Robertson, at Parliamentary questions yesterday.

With government ministers desperately keen for the chance to enhance Mr Little’s discomfiture by raising the issue of the unpaid bill, Mr Robertson’s questions to Finance Minister Bill English provided them with just that opportunity.

Asking whether the decision not to cut ACC levies was at to be the result of competently managing and growing the economy, rather than “ripping off workers and businesses,” Mr English gleefully pointed out that “it is not the right day for the Labour Party to be talking about ripping off the workers. I mean, at least the workers pay some levy, whereas Andrew Little did not pay any of the bill.”

Now, Mr Robertson is a wily and experienced performer at question time. As a politician, Parliamentary ducks and drakes is by far what he is best at: in fact, his major fault is he often appears to think it is the whole point of politics to score some sort of debating point on the floor of Parliament. Read more »