Labour admit their housing policies will be a huge natural disaster

I’m not sure describing your policies by using descriptors for massive natural disasters is a good idea.

Senior Labour MPs Phil Twyford, David Parker and Nanaia Mahuta were in Tauranga today to discuss the housing crisis.

After hearing comments and questions from the crowd of 70-80 people at the Wesley Centre, Mr Twyford responded by saying Labour was committed to embarking on a massive state-backed housing programme as part of its solution.

Mr Twyford said the market was not delivering enough affordable homes, and under Labour’s Kiwi Build scheme 100,000 homes would be built for first home buyers.

Labour would also crack down on non-resident foreigners buying existing housing stock and also review the Residential Tenancies Act to deliver more security of tenure for tenants, he said.

Mr Twyford said these were just some of the solutions Labour believes will help ease the housing shortage in Tauranga and elsewhere.

Labour was promising to deliver a ” tidal wave” of big housing reforms the country had not seen since [former Labour Prime Minister] Michael Joseph Savage time, he said.

Tidal waves are pretty destructive.

Is Twyford telling us that he seeks to destroy Aucklanders’ house values with this ‘tidal wave’?

All I can say is that such promises sound rather expensive. I’ll enjoy Labour telling us how they are going to pay for these policies…I wonder if it will be with a tsunami of debt?

It seems that they’re getting to a point where people who own homes are the enemy while, at the same time, lamenting that young people can’t get on the property ladder. Meanwhile, they are now hounding NZ landlords who are all scum and killing people in poor quality homes, while overseas ones are spending their money so we can afford to be our own slum landlords.

You can see how all this chasing of passing buses masquerading as policy is now collectively coming to a point where nothing makes any sense and doesn’t survive any analysis.


– NewstalkZB


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  • Sailor Sam

    If labour wants to change things to ensure better protection for tenants, I will be forced to evict my tenant of nearly 20 years from our rental house forthwith and sell the house.
    It is only bad tenants that need this “protection”, so this is just another version of crim hugging by a pathetic little party.

  • SAM51

    A “crowd” of 70 to 80? That’s a bit of an oxymoron isn’t it?

    • Michelle

      counting all the children tagging along because of school holidays and probably they offered food

  • Justme

    Currently Auckland Council building inspectors are failing 30% of the inspections they do.
    The building network simply cannot supply 100,000 new homes in the time frame Labour, or anyone would like. There is not enough labour to go around. If Labour tries to increase the production rate, the only thing that will go up are labour rates and prices.
    even the basic infrastructure wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    • InnerCityDweller

      With not enough labour around to build these houses, we may well have to start “importing labour” to overcome that shortage. Oh, wait, that’s called immigration, isn’t it? Right, where was I…

      • rua kenana

        Can I complete it?
        Some years ago when I was doing university economics the instructor gave a handout called “The belated story of a learning process” consisting essentially of two statements by the then minister of immigration, Labour’s Fraser Colman.

        The first: “We have more immigrants coming to build more houses to help resolve the housing shortage”. This was in the mid-70’s.

        The second (some months later) “The number of immigrants coming to NZ is such that our ability to build the needed houses can no longer keep up”

        Not long afterwards, Labour (the Kirk-Rowling govt) was totally massacred in the 1975 election. Some politicians just never really learn.

    • Greg M

      Listening to the frustration of the builders around here, I can’t help but wonder if the high rate of inspection failures is merely an attempt by the council clip board warriors to keep themselves in a job.

    • philbest

      The essential problem is that available capital for “housing” is being “impounded” in rising land costs, in the words of our own eminent economist Arthur Grimes. Of course building standards suffer, as well as build quantities.

  • George Carter

    It’s fair to say in an attempt to grab headlines Labour are coming up with ridiculous and unattainable policies/statements. That said (and i’m no fan of labour) at least they’re trying to come up with something, all be it badly. National has frustrated me on the housing issue. They have come up with small, tinkering solutions, that have either had limited impact or that have been cut off at the knee’s by councils ie the special housing zones. I want to see National’s teeth on this because at the moment they’re coasting!

    • Second time around

      It is one of two issues (the other, access to hospital care) where Labour could make inroads. They don’t need to come up with a solution and they are better off if they don’t try (otherwise people cost what they want to do or try to count the number of builders looking for work) but National has done a good job of creating the perception that a change in direction is needed.

  • pirate vs ninja

    The only ‘housing crisis’ in Tauranga is (yet again) a crisis of stupidity. For some reason, those on a lower wage or without the smarts or the bravery to start their own business, feel they have some innate right to live in one of the nicest places in the world. It’s ‘heartbreaking’ apparently, that those who’ve done nothing with their lives should not be afforded the same luxury as those that have worked their arses off and taken big risks. Housing in Tauranga is available for those that can afford it, for those that work for it. Those that can’t and won’t need to lower their expectations (and their sense of entitlement) and move to an affordable town.

    • philbest

      But Councils urban planning departments are all marked by the same groupthink. Tauranga should be one of the “affordable” alternatives to Auckland. It is bonkers that a nation’s only affordable alternatives are rural ghost towns; by world standards, “medium sized” cities that are affordable alternatives (with prices well below half Auckland and Tauranga) include Lyon (pop 2 million) as an alternative to Paris; not to mention several other cities in France that are well ahead of NZ cities for their first-world status; Munich (pop 2 million) as an alternative to Berlin (and in fact even Berlin is much cheaper than Auckland and Tauranga, as are all Germany’s cities); Ottawa and Calgary (pop 1 million) as an alternative to Toronto and Vancouver; and in the USA you have numerous cities of multi millions population, like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta etc as alternatives to New York and Los Angeles.

      NZ-ers are some of the most economically stupid people in the world for allowing an urban planning fad to wreck their socio-economic fabric and ultimately their macro-economy. Even Adam Smith was clear about the pointlessness of over-priced “housing”, and that was 250 years ago.

      • George Carty

        Actually Munich is more expensive than Berlin — I wonder if its proximity to the Alps increases its desirability?

        • philbest

          Are you sure that is currently the case? My belief about Germany is that although there have been shifts in price levels – and I thought Berlin had gone up in the last couple of years – the overall price levels are amazing “value for money” for a country like Germany. As you point out, it does not lack locations of natural beauty besides having a highly advanced economy.

          France’s cities outside Paris are another exemplar – amazing value for money, considering the national economy in which they are located. What I am responding to here is the tendency for many New Zealanders to regard Auckland (and Tauranga, and Christchurch, and so on) as expensive because of course it is so close to paradise you expect to have to pay for the privilege of living there.

          Actually urban land values do not have to be determined this way as long as free markets set the prices by way of “bid rents” – and what matters there is “the next most valuable use of the land that is out-bidded”. The simple reason that in so much of the west, for decades, housing was so affordable, and price-stable relative to incomes even as the size of average homes and lots increased, is that the “bid rent” value of urban land was “just enough above rural values to out-bid rural users”. Of course that is at the urban fringe, but the value of land from the fringe to the centre is then determined by the transport cost savings, time savings, and clustering economies (which channel is via local income levels anyway).

          As soon as you are unable to convert the superabundant supplies of rural land, to urban use, you need to revert to the economics of quota schemes, cornered supply, “monopolistic competition”, and racketeering.

          • George Carty

            While Munich is expensive by German standards, it is still cheap by British (or Australian or New Zealand) standards. I just thought it was interesting that Germany lacked even relatively expensive coastal cities. Of course Germany doesn’t really have any big coastal cities (even Hamburg lies on the Elbe estuary IIRC).

            I wonder if it’s no coincidence that the two countries with the best value housing (but without the ultra-low-density sprawl of red state America) are the main losers of World War II. I know that MacArthur did a thorough reform of rural land in Japan, dispossessing the old feudal landlords (which MacArthur no doubt believed would both punish the old elites who caused the war, and forestall the spread of communism). It wouldn’t surprise me if he did a similar job with urban land too, and that plus the fact that many Japanese cities had been almost totally destroyed in the war probably made it easier for the government to obtain lots of prime urban sites at reasonable cost.

            And in Germany the power of the Junkers would have been utterly destroyed by the Red Army (as most of their estates had been in the east), and the fact that rural Germans had been so strongly pro-Nazi may have led to landed interests being marginalized to the point of stigma in the new Federal Republic.

          • philbest

            That is an interesting consideration – I would say the ideological upheavals led to an era of more ideological caution and hence “good ideas” had a better chance of getting established – such as the systems of property and planning in Japan and Germany.

            Any Anglo nation with Anglo property norms that had Japan’s population and lack of space would have had catastrophic bubbles and busts every 15 years and would never have become a first world high tech manufacturing powerhouse. The way they run their “transit oriented” urban property, covering the costs of capital, avoiding monopoly land rent and “pricing in” trip attractors and ridership, is pure genius.

          • George Carty

            Not so much “ideological caution” as the fact that the entrenched vested interests which blocked reform in the Anglo world were crushed by military defeat in Germany and Japan.

          • philbest

            And yet those vested interests in the victorious western world somehow did not impose their scheme in the Marshall Plan for the vanquished nations. It would be fascinating to know what went on and why it turned out the way it did.

          • George Carty

            The Western Allies presumably didn’t want to extract lots of land rent from the populations of German and Italian cities because it would have been a propaganda coup for the communists.

  • Macca

    So once again the media are pushing Labours 100,000 new houses fantasy with no questions asked where either the money is coming from, where they will be built or where the tradesmen will be magiced up fromantic either.

    I think it was Shearer who when questioned on this same policy a few years ago came up with the brain wave that they would go to the rich suppliers and give them a grind on their prices to reduce the costs by 20%. Wow, I bet all the builders and developers wish they’d thought of that one. How have we managed to survive so long without that sort of outright genius?

    So far National have had to prop Kiwirail to the tune of 2 billion – that’s what Labour classifies as a ‘good investment’! Imagine the cost to the country if these Muppets ever got to power again with pie in the sky policies like the one above?

  • cows4me

    It’s like watching the local kindergarten’s play group , 100,000 houses, is that all. Why not shoot for the stars, half a million or even a million. If you are going all the way to Tauranga to sweet talk the locals you mos will bamboozle them with top notch bull.

  • Keyser Soze

    There is only one solution to the housing ‘crisis’… RMA reform and the removal of artificial land constraints from Council, specifically removing ACC from the equation. The next 3 terms of Govertment belongs to which ever party comes up with effective policy to reform of local councils to ensure their only remit is core services, infrastructure provision and maintenance, and responsible fiscal management i.e. rates pegged to inflation.

    There was some talk of commissioners to oversea the councils, anyone heard about that?

  • twittertit

    I think the real story here is that Nanaia Mahuta made an appearance.

  • philbest

    This is a classic tale of creeping socialism. Firstly utopian Lefty policies in urban planning create a crisis in housing affordability. The mainstream “Tory” party doesn’t have the intelligence / courage / integrity to do the reforms needed to roll back the problem. Then the mainstream Left party gets to adopt its favoured solution – “State Housing”. Porirua East 2.0 coming up.

  • CheesyEarWax

    Labour got their lowest result in their history in the last election with this Kiwibuild as one their main policies. Yet they are still pushing it without making any changes to it, they must think voters are really stupid or they are so lacking in talent. Probably both.

  • Rick H

    I very clearly remember “Helen and Cullen” towards the end of their tenure, stating openly many times that – “You are better off renting than owning your own homes”.
    That was repeated many times.

  • Rick H

    Labour’s Communist Housing project – –

  • Keanne Lawrence

    A) Show us the money? B) Show us where all this money would come from?
    This follicy has been floating around far too long and even with the lowest inflation rates persisting there is still an increasing cost of house building. However they pale to insignificance when compared to the hoops and increasing costs needed to get to the point of setting out the profiles.
    The saddest part of this play act from Labour is the poor sods who soak this up like a sponge devoid of the details that it will be them who not only have pay for it all but they will be squeezed dry in the process. Thus pushing their dream to be their best deal.

  • OneTrack

    Ok, so Labour are going to build 100,000 houses, which will then become existing housing stock. But non-residents will not be allowed to buy them. So where will the 200,000+ people come from that are going to buy these houses? That is a lot of people, even over an extended period of time. Are those 100,000 houses all going to be in Auckland, where the problem is, or are they going to build them in other centres where nobody wants them? Is Labour planning a big immigration and citizenship boost, in order to fill their houses?

    It’s another Labour policy – so many questions, so few answers. I guess the “expert panel” will answer the questions out once Labour get voted in – sort of like a policy Lucky Dip. Do you feel lucky? Punk?