I could hear the political strategists within Labour smashing their heads against walls when Metiria bewilderingly announced gradual slashing of housing prices.
The cold grim reality is that House prices are going to pop and come crashing down, but no political party in their right mind would want to be seen as the instigator of that crash.
The word is ‘stabilise’, a clever little trick word that calms those first home buying working class NZers who have only just managed to get on the property ladder and now face 3 storey complexes built next door to them in Auckland.
If the Greens feel they need to be more honest, then talk about affordable housing that is only allowed to go to first time home buyers, you don’t need to scare the living Christ out of the 60% who do have property.
It’s a blunder and a real question mark over the capacity of the new strategy team in the back room of the Greens. I don’t want to sound like a Trolls Troll, but appeasing Twitteratti and envious blue-greens with some housing truth bombs ain’t the way to win an election. Not because they aren’t right, but because Labour and the Greens must look unified and scaring the hell out of speculators guarantees a massive war chest in donations to National. Announcing major housing policy on the hoof doesn’t help build trust.
The MoU was rushed through before the Green conference this year because the Blue-Green and Identitarian factions within the Greens wanted a neutral policy stance going into the 2017 election. This would have seen the Greens sitting on the cross benches and voting policy to policy. The Left faction of the Greens tipped Labour off to this desire and they hastily announced the MoU to quash this internal coup. So moments like these don’t help Labour feel that momentum has been stopped.
The next big test of theLabour-Green MoU will be Mt Roskill. If the Greens are mad enough to run a candidate and risk splitting the vote for a National win, then Labour go into election year with a symbolic loss and all pretence of co-operation out the window.
You can only risk antagonising the property speculators if your policy is so radical it can bring in the missing million, but policy to attract the missing million would have to be far more radical than what the Greens are suggesting. So while they get the panic of the speculators, they get none of the missing million.
And they annoy Labour.
This is a lose, lose, lose scenario.