No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Twyford Land

Phil Twyford, BA

Phil Twyford’s profile page on the Labour Party website contains this:

After studying politics at Auckland University, Phil worked as a journalist and union organiser before becoming the founding Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

I presume, although I cannot find confirmation anywhere, that he graduated from Auckland University with a BA.

So going forward, I will address him as Phil Twyford, BA.

The BA stands for Bullshit Artist.

Written by Nick K

May 12, 2018 at 3:16 am

Posted in New Zealand

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Some housing and property matters

In this post, I highlighted the discriminatory aspect of the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill.  I said:

I’ve made a personal submission, which I’ll link to once online.  A part of it referred to the discriminatory nature of the Bill.

Section 21(1)(g) of the Human Rights Act 1993 makes it unlawful for anyone to discriminate on the basis of nationality or citizenship.  Section 3 confirms the Act binds the Crown.  If an individual property owner told his or her selling agent not to bring a buyer from any other nationality than New Zealand, that person would fall foul of the Act.  If someone included such a term in a sale and purchase agreement, that term would likely be discriminatory.

Yet the Government is forcing this discrimination on property owners under this Bill.  Through this legislation, owners are compelled to discriminate.  They have no choice.  Lawyers are complicit in it, as they have to enforce the legislation through their property practices.

The IMF has backed me up.

IMF officials, in New Zealand this week, called the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill “discriminatory” and hinted that banning foreign investment in housing was an over-reaction to a problem that might not even exist.

I rest my case.

I also note that our beloved Prime Minister, she who opposes the monarchical privilege that is bestowed on the Queen and her family but turns up at Buckingham Palace with her boyfriend for a cup of tea and a scone, has just sold the home she speculated on less than two years ago and made a whopping $340K profit.  Let me play back to her the words from her own party’s policy on housing:

Speculators flicking houses for quick capital gain are out-bidding families looking to buy a home for themselves and forcing up house prices at a dangerous rate. The current government’s policies have been half-baked and half-hearted (Labour’s website).

But of course if you’re an anti-monarchist Marxist who travels around the world business class wearing designer clothing having tea and scones with the privileged royal family, I guess some capitalist free-market tendencies have to rub off on you.

Written by Nick K

April 22, 2018 at 4:47 am

Posted in New Zealand

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Twyford’s housing announcement is total bullshit

I can’t take credit for the headline, nor the content of this post.  Matthew Hooton has done my work for me (on Facebook).

Hooton has spent just one hour crunching the numbers on Twyford’s announcement, and has discovered that, on a number of scenarios, the development just cannot work.  If it does, the density will be greater than Manila, Mumbai and New York.

The numbers Twyford talked of don’t take account of roads, parks and other amenities.

He put this on Facebook.  A former Labour MP made a comment.  It was, “moan, moan, moan. FFS.  We have a crisis.”

When comparing it to Hobsonville (which is very compact and dense), Hooton discovers this:

For Hobsonville, there will be 11,000 people on 167 hectares which is 65.9 people per hectare. 

Assuming only 3000 houses with only an average of 2 people per house, Twyford is assuming 6000 people on 29 hectares which is 206.9 people per hectare, or more than 3 times the population density. 

Of course, he says he wants up to 4000 houses and “young kiwi families” may be an average of 2.5 people per house, which would make it 344.8 people per hectare. So he is bullshitting whichever way you look at it, especially if he is saying only 3-4 story structures (not sure what’s allowed under Unitary Plan).

This country has made an utter mess of housing and land development.  The major culprit is the Resource Management Act, but there is no desire to burn it and start again.  Instead, politicians create homebuyer subsidies, bureaucracies and puff their chest out and produce a lot of bluster just to get votes.  It’s shameful.  And I don’t limit this to Labour – Nick Smith was equally as bad.

Written by Nick K

March 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

Posted in New Zealand

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The unworkable Overseas Investment Amendment Bill

The Government’s byzantine and draconian anti-foreigner bill is working its way through submissions in select committee.  Here are a snippet of the problems it has created so far (courtesy of Act’s “Free Press” email newsletter):

Treasury predictions
Treasury predicts the Overseas Investment office will go from processing 150 applications per year to 4700.  That’s great for unemployment!

Electricity Companies
Roughly every 1,000 homes require a substation. There are a surprising number of these on residential land.  Electricity companies want to be exempt from it.

Telcos face basically the same problem as electricity companies. They need to have a cell tower in every suburb at least, and then there are data centres and future technology roll outs such as 5G. They want an industry exemption.

The Mega-Rich
Queenstown Mayor Jim Holt and local man Sir Eion Edgar pointed out just how much wealthy foreigners have contributed to conservation in the Otago region. In at least one case investing $100m and putting the land in trust for everybody to enjoy. They would like an exemption for properties over, say, $5m.

Retirement Villages
They want an exemption for operators of registered retirement villages.

Build-to-Rent Companies
They want to be given a Standing Consent for their type of business.

Mining Companies
Mining Companies are often required to buy houses near their sites who might be affected by noise and other pollution, in order to gain resource consent. They may find themselves unable to purchase in time to get consent. They want to be exempt.

Apartment Developers
Banks generally won’t lend to apartment developments, who often depend on pre-sales to a wide market of buyers, including foreign ones. Shrinking the retail market to domestic buyers only will stop many developments.  You guessed it, they’d like an exception for overseas buyers who buy off the plan.

Bunnings Warehouse
This Australian company is suggesting ASX listed companies with more than 500 employees should be exempt.

Labour is caught between a rock and two hard places.  The Rock is the CPTPP, which forbids this kind of nonsense. The first hard place is Labour and New Zealand First’s xenophobic campaigns against foreign investment. The second hard place is the impossibility of designing a law that will cut off some foreign investment based on a problem that doesn’t exist without accidentally cutting off the New Zealand economy. 

The crude cynic in me actually hope this goes through unaltered.  I suspect the delayed deadline will be further delayed as Labour attempts to extricate itself from this mess.

Written by Nick K

March 5, 2018 at 7:44 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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Foreign buyer ban to reduce housing stock

From Granny:

A proposed law change would ban multi-billion dollar retirement giants Ryman Healthcare and Metlifecare from buying any further New Zealand land without state consent, sparking an outcry from the NZX-listed businesses.

The heads of companies with significant foreign ownership sent strongly-worded submissions to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, pleading not to be stopped from buying further land here to expand without Overseas Investment Office approval each time.

But on this week’s controversial 60 Minutes interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, she reiterated ban plans, saying the Government would stop foreigners by simply saying no.

 A ridiculously dogmatic and dangerous policy response.

The retirement village sector meets a growing demand.  We need more villages, as we have an aging population.  Making it more difficult to purchase residential land to build villages will lead to a shortage of housing supply for the elderly and infirm, and push up prices, further locking out of the market middle income earners who want that retirement option.

But it also will lead to one further, and vital, outcome: Each time an elderly person or couple move into a retirerment village unit, they sell their existing family home.  This increases the availability of houses to be bought by mum and dad and first home buyers. 

In short, it increases the supply of housing.

It seems Labour, Ardern and Twitford are determined to achieve the opposite.  Everything they have done so far on housing will produce the complete opposite result to their desired one.  The sad thing is they can’t see it.

Written by Nick K

February 27, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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Twyford’s flagship policy is a shambles

Those of us with reasonable short-term memories will recall Phil Twyford’s bullshit and bluster during the election campaign over his Kiwibuild policy.  He regularly and unashamedly announced that Labour would build 100,000 homes within ten years, through its Kiwibuild policy. 

I looked at Labour’s plans in October last year.  Central amongst it was Kiwibuild.

Its website proudly proclaims:

KiwiBuild will deliver 100,000 affordable houses over ten years for first home buyers. Half of these will be built in Auckland. That is a ten-fold increase in the number of affordable houses being built in Auckland each year, from 500 to 5,000.

The stand-alone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-$600,000 with apartments and terraced houses under $500,000. Outside of Auckland prices are likely to range from $300,000-$500,000. These will be high-quality homes built to modern standards. Scale and modern offsite manufacturing techniques will enable these homes to be built at low cost.

Well, in between its role as pumping up Jacinda Ardern as some sort of TV celebrity or reality TV star, and reporting on Richie McCaw’s wedding, the media has finally done its job.

The Government’s flagship policy to deliver low-cost homes to first time buyers could be a fail on the affordability front, according to its own ministry officials.

Documents released to Newshub Nation under the Official Information Act reveal KiwiBuild apartments and houses to be priced up to $600,000 in Auckland could still be well out of reach of their target market.

It identifies price as one of the top risk factors for Labour’s so-called affordable housing strategy.

“Indicative modelling suggests there may be insufficient first home buyers willing and able to purchase a 100,000 KiwiBuild houses at the price points that are outlined in your manifesto.”

The Ministry documents estimate that a first home buyer household would need to be earning $114,000 a year in order to purchase a $500,000 KiwiBuild house. That’s compared, it says, to a median household income of $90,000.

Mr Twyford estimated a buy-in household income of almost half that.

“You are probably going to have a household income I would guess $60,000 plus to buy a Kiwibuild property straight up,” he told Newshub Nation.

Asked how many rental households in Auckland would meet the $144,000 income threshold, the Minister said: “I’d have to get advice on that… I just don’t know.”

But advice that went to the Housing Minister in November contained that information.

I thought Nick Smith was a disaster.  His successor is worse.  He lied to get votes.  He continued to lie when challenged on it.  And now he has lied about the advice he received.

The opposition need to go hard on this.  I’d seek a resignation.  But I have high standards.  Much higher than this dropkick, Twyford.

Written by Nick K

February 25, 2018 at 8:41 am

Posted in New Zealand

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Overseas Investment Amendment Bill

Here I sit ready to embark on a detailed analysis of the discriminatory Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, and outline how terrible the legislation is.  Of course, it’s a strange inclusion into the government’s programme, because it is not part of the coalition agreement.

But as I trawled through the Parliament website, I noticed this:

This bill proposes to focus on residential land, but also makes more general changes to the Overseas Investment Act 2005, including enhancing the information-gathering and enforcement powers of the Overseas Investment Office. The Bill would limit overseas persons who are not resident in New Zealand from buy existing houses or other pieces of residential land.

This bill originally had a report back date of 20 February 2018. This has now been extended to 31 May 2018. The committee have resolved to reopen submissions on the bill, with a new closing date of 16 February 2018.

That’s interesting for a couple of reasons.  First, the reason given for the government pushing this through under extreme urgency, and put it out for submissions over the Christmas period (a common tactic to avoid too much interest) is to implement it before the CPTPPA is finalised.  Maybe that’s not much of a worry anymore.  Second, numerous parties, including the Law Society, have criticised not only the onerous and draconian provisions of the Bill, but also the abridged timeframe under which it is being rushed through. 

So my criticism of it will have to wait.    

In the meantime, there is media coverage of some criticism here, here and here.

I’ve made a personal submission, which I’ll link to once online.  A part of it referred to the discriminatory nature of the Bill.

Section 21(1)(g) of the Human Rights Act 1993 makes it unlawful for anyone to discriminate on the basis of nationality or citizenship.  Section 3 confirms the Act binds the Crown.  If an individual property owner told his or her selling agent not to bring a buyer from any other nationality than New Zealand, that person would fall foul of the Act.  If someone included such a term in a sale and purchase agreement, that term would likely be discriminatory. 

Yet the Government is forcing this discrimination on property owners under this Bill.  Through this legislation, owners are compelled to discriminate.  They have no choice.  Lawyers are complicit in it, as they have to enforce the legislation through their property practices.

Where is Golriz Ghahraman when you need her? 

Written by Nick K

February 1, 2018 at 8:36 am

Posted in New Zealand

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Housing & land supply policies under coalition

The third part of my introduction to the new government’s housing & land policies is this piece on the specifics in the coalition agreement and the confidence & supply agreement with the Greens.  Parts one and two are here and here respectively.

The text of the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First is here.

The specifics on housing/land development is just this.  Yes, just one, and this is it:

  • Establish a Housing Commission.

The text of the Labour/Green confidence and supply agreement is here:  

The specifics on housing/land development are these:

  • Aim to end poverty in New Zealand and ensure that every New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home, whether they rent or own.
  • Budget provision will be made to substantially increase the number of homes insulated.
  • Deliver innovative home ownership models within the State and broader community
    housing programme.

I’m very surprised that there is nothing in the coalition agreement concerning the prohibition on foreign buyers, particularly because it’s a New Zealand First policy.  And frankly, considering how much fuss both Labour and New Zealand First made of this issue over the last few years, it’s an insult to our collective intelligence that the only thing they actually promise to do is to implement another bureaucracy.

My next post is a lengthy diatribe on Phil Twyford’s discriminatory foreign-buyer ban, which seems to be the first thing the government wants to do, despite it not rating a mention in the coalition agreement.

Written by Nick K

November 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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Labour’s housing policy

As I promised here, I start with the critique and follow-up focus on Labour’s housing plans by stating what their policies were at the election.  It’s too difficult to go through all protestations and chest-thumping exhortations by the newly-crowned minister during the campaign, so their policy is the natural starting point.

Their policy is outlined in full here.

I don’t intend to give any analysis in this post on the rights or wrongs of it, my sole objective for now is just to list it.

  • Ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes. 
  • Tax property speculators who flick houses within five years – extend the bright-line test from two years.
  • Remove the ability of “speculators” (their words) to use tax losses on their rental properties to offset their tax on other income. 

  • Build 100,000 affordable homes across the country
  • Create an Affordable Housing Authority to fast-track development in our cities
  • Growing the building workforce
  • Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out 

  • Focus Housing New Zealand on helping people, not making a profit
  • Take serious action to end homelessness
    Labour will take serious action to end homelessness in line with the recommendations of the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry.
  • Require all rental homes to be warm, dry, and healthy.
  • Invest in warm, dry homes.
  • Make life better for renters.

  • Better homes for Maori.

My next post will be to see what the coalition agreements promised, except for the secret document which hasn’t been released.

Written by Nick K

October 30, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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Focusing on Twyford Land

Now that the government has changed, I have decided to do a little more blogging over the next three years.

The Executive is huge, and with that will come more spin doctors and noise.

It’s too much for any critiquer to handle.  There will be stuff-ups, and I expect the country to hurt.  Winston Peters already alluded to that in his “acceptance” speech.  He knows how bad the government’s policies will be for the poor and helpless, and he has forewarned us.

For me, Jacinda has done me a huge favour by making tertiary education free for the first year as my daughter is heading off there in 2019.  That will save our family about $5,000.00 for that first year – better than any tax cut could have.  But of course, that’s paid for by taxi drivers in Gore and hairdressers from Wanganui – thanks!

It is impossible for any of us to capture all the dire shit that will be propelled upon us, and so I will focus almost entirely on housing, and particularly Phil Twyford’s policies and promulgations.  Property, real estate, tax et al are areas I know a fair bit about, and so it makes sense for me to do that, rather than try to be a jack of all trades here.  It will probably involve Official Information Act requests and the like.  As much as I can, I will apply the blowtorch to his ill-founded proclamations.

It also makes sense because as sure as night follows day, the media won’t do that job.  Particularly not with Paddy Gower, who seems to be behaving more and more, each day, like a love-struck teenager fawning over Jacinda Ardern.

So that’s my plan.  Hopefully, it will leave a policy area that can be looked back upon over the years, much like Lindsay Mitchell does with welfare.  I have created a new tag for the posts – Twyford Land.

On the topic of Lindsay Mitchell, keep an eye on this – it’s a valuable line in the sand.

Written by Nick K

October 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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