Why Labour must do something about renting now white middle class millennials are in trouble & time to be honest about David Shearer’s Kiwibuild

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White middle class Wellington Hipster gets down with the kids from The SpinOff – this will horrifically soon be a NZ on Air funded TV show called ‘Wanker Vision’.

The thermodynamics of identity politics is that when middle class white Millennials don’t get what they think they were getting, all hell breaks loose politically.

Wellington’s rental aspirations demand action NOW because those suffering are middle class white Millennials. Sure plenty of brown poor working class people have been crucified in Auckland’s dysfunctional rental market for decades, but fuck them right?

To be fair to Wellington’s middle class white Millennials, the problem has recently been made utterly untenable by Labour’s fucking stupid decision to subsidise greedy Wellington Landlord’s with another $50 per week rent subsidy – also known as the $50 a week student payment.

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How no one in Labour foresaw their pathetic band-aid of $50 a week on the haemorrhaging living costs and student debt mountain wouldn’t just become a Landlord’s new excuse to lift rents boggles the mind.

But then again, plenty about the incompetence of Labour boggles the mind.

Take Kiwibuild for example.

Put aside the fact that there aren’t enough builders to build the houses.

Put aside the fact  75% of renters couldn’t buy one these houses in Auckland.

Put aside the fact that State Housing is where the investment should go.

Put aside all that and ask why is it that no political journalist has managed to connect the dots about Kiwibuild?

Shall we remind everyone how 100 000 Kiwibuild houses was arrived at again?

Remember?

David Shearer was desperate at Conference to crush David Cunliffe’s chances of building momentum for a Leadership challenge, and in the red hot mess of the freakout that was becoming, Shearer announced 100 000 new affordable houses.

No one costed that promise, it was made to fend Cunliffe off from making a Leadership challenge, but the policy has remained and now Phil Twyford is stuck trying to implement it.

Don’t get me wrong, I hand on heart believe we need 100 000 affordable homes that are actually affordable, I also believe we need 30 000 new state homes and we need to have renter rights and state homes for life with a means for beneficiaries to become home owners, but all of those things need an actual Ministry of Housing that believed in state intervention and real house building rather than the ‘working with greedy landlords’ model Labour are currently trying to juggle.

With white middle class Millennial’s getting pissed off they don’t have property portfolios of tiny houses alongside their avocado on toast breakfasts yet, Labour have to start taking Kiwibuild seriously rather than the fake window dressing to fend off a Cunliffe Leadership challenge it actually was.

The truth is that the bloody market has failed and that if we are to give people real hope to people, Labour has to go further than the luke warm neoliberal offerings they are making and go full State on this problem.

 

18 COMMENTS

  1. re

    “The truth is that the bloody market has failed and that if we are to give people real hope to people, Labour has to go further than the luke warm neoliberal offerings they are making and go full State on this problem.”

    …the truth is that the John Key /Bill English Nactional Party betrayed New Zealanders by allowing the foreign buy up of scarce NZ generational owned housing

    ….and refusing maintenance and up- grading and replacement of State owned houses

    (I just about puked when I heard Matthew Hooton describing Bill English as a philosopher king…wasnt Bill English the one who wanted private corporations to buy up NZ State housing which jonkey Nactional had run down? )

  2. I like that. Going “Full State” is infact the only solution to most issues if you have any interest in a fair and equitable society.

  3. Look at this time laps of China building a hotel in 6 days, and they say it’s rated to earthquakes magnitude 9. In 6 days!!!…, https://youtu.be/I6ViuDT0PM4

    The Chinese have different labour laws, as you can see from the clip they work 24hrs over night, you can’t do that in New Zealand with out incurring significant penalties, access to resources is also limited in NZ, not true for China.

    China is good at building things, they built a natural wonder of the world called the Great Wall of China. And they want to build stuff in New Zealand for free basically. And I think that’s a good thing. As long as New Zealand gets to own the infrastructure and receives the lions share of the economic benefits I don’t see a big problem in a deal that says China can use there own workers.

    • Trouble is the Chinese are not Father Christmas figures, giving away presents, my friend, they will expect something in return, NOTHING will be for ‘free’ that they build here!

      • They get their price two ways first people were screwed by the construction industry and government with leaky buildings in the 1990’s, which the home owners and the rate payers paid the price for.

        Now you are screwed if you rent because of the shock doctrine style ‘housing’ crisis which government is purposely manufacturing with immigration and now the solution from the construction industry and other’s is more overseas workers to build the houses they have already taken with their own workers!

        Then you are screwed over if you were lucky enough to already own a house so therefore you can be pumped for extraction of funds by poor council decisions on construction, pollution, water, transport and infrastructure.

        It was bad enough with our developers, now NZ taxpayers Will be bailing out the new overseas built construction when it all goes wrong with fake materials and illegal or Ponzi scheme workers.

        Looking forward to another speech on inequality. Wring hands, we will stop it with trickle down by subsidising private companies to build houses and hotels that the locals can’t afford on the wages.

        Even the illegal Malaysians are paid better that NZ average wage! That’s poverty!

    • You need to look at buildings made in China that ate only two or three years old. They look 20-30 years + old, and in NZ the weather would accelerate this demise.

    • As some one who finds great joy in growing NZ citizens into people just like me I can have confidence in making quick judgment calls about New Zealand. Xi Jiping is a reasonable man. The scale of which Chinese progress has advanced is unprecedented. New Zealand can not pull that force with the English language, it’s going to be difficult for mainstream New Zealand to accept that making 1.4 billion Chinese unhappy is a bad idea.

      • I’ve been trying work out what’s up with this “Sam” sock-puppet for a few years. It doesn’t fit the usual Crosby-Textor troll profile; 2-3 sentences regurgitating current National Party key messages, contributing nothing new to the debate, but at least using coherent English. Then I see these absurdly pro-China comments, and it reminds me of a number of other pro-China comments by “Sam” on TDB. Suddenly it dawns on me that Sam’s comments look like what might end up with if you translated TDB blogs and comments using the Chinese equivalent of Google Translate, wrote a reply in Chinese, then put it back through the machine translation into English.

        It’s been assumed by activists that the Chinese government employs an army of shills to flood Chinese social media with pro-government sentiment. Although recent evidence suggests the so-called “5-centers” are actually career bureaucrats, who receive instructions to distract the public with feel-good, pro-China rhetoric at strategic times:
        http://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/50c.pdf?m=1463587807

        You might think it would be interesting to look back through posts by “Sam” on TDB, and see if they fit such a pattern. You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

        • Hmm, stuff to think about.

          But having noted a number of comments by Sam, he seems to be all over the place, at least at times, and often I struggle to get all that much sense out of his comments.

          Whether genuine or not, I am only starting to wonder more.

    • In China they probably get the death penalty when construction kills people or bankrupts people with shoddy work.

      In NZ they just do a name change in companies house, and voila the ratepayers pick up the tab. Words out offload in NZ.

      I’m not so worried about Chinese craftsmanship, it’s the faulty materials that you have to watch for and the lowering of NZ wages and nepotism.

  4. There are only two scenarios to actually solve the housing affordability crisis.

    1. Let the market crash, i.e. stop immigration and stop speculation, like put a high CGT on reselling homes within five years of purchase, consider a land tax for land bankers.

    Residential real estate is massively overrated and overpriced now, as so many small and also larger landlords are in the game, having acquired rentals for earning them an income, in retirement, and before.

    They actually make a living based on shortage of supply of housing, forcing ever more to rent, and as housing is generally in short supply, rents keep increasing. That is like a leech sucking blood off a host body. So strengthening of tenants’ rights must go along with the above.

    Once prices come down, those holding properties may consider other forms of investment. Some will of course lose, but they have relied on paper wealth, and fell for the casino game, so they will lose, like the gambler that put his money on the wrong cards or numbers.

    A major CORRECTION is needed, that can come by disincentivising such ‘investments’ in scarce property as suggested, or alternatively building as many new homes as possible, driving prices down. The latter is not going to happen in the foreseeable future, though. But people need to learn to work again, to invest in work and building NEW homes, not speculate with limited supply that offers ever greater returns under present market conditions.

    2. Have massive state intervention, by launching a huge state house building program, not only in Auckland, also in other centres, and some regions needing new homes, and bring in regulation for landlords of all kinds, to adhere to strict rules and to offer tenancy conditions that are common in places in Europe, where tenants have more rights.

    The NZ Residential Tenancies Act is a joke, when it comes to right of tenants, the landlords have much greater rights, and can give notice any time, either standard 90 days, NO reason needed, or 41 days, if they want to sell or make use of the property themselves.

    Try putting this across to a tenant in Germany, they will give you the middle finger salute. No way can a landlord there operate like here.

    But landlords are already complaining about the introduction of compulsory insulation from next year, most residential landlords have not even bothered insulating yet.

    Only by throwing out the whole neoliberal coloured BS we have introduced over the last three decades, and by having the state resume powers and rights to build and regulate, will be solve this huge mess left behind by National.

    Increase supply through state intervention, that is largely state housing, and truly affordable first homes, and things become affordable again.

    But as it is reported by Newshub and RNZ and others, the shortages of labour, of land (under the present system), the monopoly or oligopoly on building supplies and many other challenges, and the lack of investment (besides of the state), we will not manage this challenge any time soon, so get cracking Labour, NZ First and Greens, regain control of New Zealand now, for the people that already live here, make the building trade the most attractive one in the country, train, hire and present the money, and then build the homes, and make sure they are good enough quality, thanks.

  5. One thing that seldom comes up in these debate is rent-to-own schemes. These allow people to put the money they spend on housing into buying their own asset, rather than paying the mortgage and maintenance costs for someone else’s. But they don’t require those people go into massive debt for their entire lives, for the benefit of (mostly foreign-owned) banks.

    The new government could look at two initiatives involving rent-to-own. One is to allow those renting public housing to rent-to-own, with an accompanying policy to build a new public house for every one sold to tenants. This would rapidly reduce housing insecurity, and allow whānau at the bottom of the economic pile to move out of asset-less poverty within one generation.

    The second would be to create some legal obligation for private landlords to allow long-term tenants to rent-to-own. This would have to be thought out quite carefully, as we wouldn’t want to create policy that makes owners avoid renting out housing, in order to avoid being forced to sell it. The policy would need to be combined with renters’ rights, so that landlords can’t simply evict tenants just before they reach the threshold where the policy kicks in. But it might be better than renters’ rights alone, as this is a policy that encourages people to become life-long tenants, building the property portfolio of life-long landlords, a political-economic state of affairs we usually refer to as ‘feudalism’.

  6. The truth is that “we” are sleepwalking straight into a civil war. Keep your eyes wide shut, barking at every passing car, and just let it happen, eh? 😉

  7. Anything from the Spinoff is ‘developer friendly’.

    Our employment laws are actually worse than tenancy laws. You can have an employment contract with no hours, if they go bankrupt you don’t get paid for your work, you can be fired within 90 days, you can be fired at any time and it will take years and a lot of money to fight it. You can be made redundant for any reason and all they have to do is follow a process. Tenancy law at least has real conditions in it and fixed terms and if the owner goes bankrupt it takes a while for you to be evicted. Most fights in tenancy court only take a few months to resolve.

    The reason there are no rentals is because the houses are full of people who bought them to live in, due to the amount of inward immigration we have or being rented as an air B&B for tourists or land converted to retirement villages while affordable houses are being bowled for McMasions and luxury apartments.

    Spinoff loved leading the drive to blame the landlords of which there is a massive shortage! They might be evil in the eyes of many which is heavily flamed by many powerful interests because they don’t want immigration stopped or developers asked any questions about why are there no trained workers and where are the affordable houses.

    If landlords were the issue taking up houses, there would be a surplus of properties to rent – not the opposite.

    Don’t forget Spinoff always advocated for the developer, more money to them, more undemocratic zoning changes, more SHA’s – now whats happened is it’s all been great for developers pockets and they have both driven up the price of land as well. Probably next week they will be advocating more overseas workers being bought in to ‘stem’ the shortage and build more luxury houses/luxury hotels for tourists. You just can’t get the staff with our lazy hopeless youth after all!

    There used to be rental surplus a decade a go when Labour was last in and we did not have lazy immigration and a day trader at the helm profiting at every turn.

    As for relying on millennia’s to kick up a fuss – sorry they could have voted Green or Mana and both parties wasted too much time pitching to them and lost votes they could have gained. Sadly the Boomers who went through Rogernomics and the Gen X seem to be a better bet.

    Many millennial’s seem brainwashed by Neoliberalism and turned off politics, quite frankly when you look at all the ‘issues’ as being the priority and bizarre solutions that don’t make sense or scapegoats other than what is clearly in statistics, I don’t blame them.

  8. Like all the cheap grade plumbing fittings sold out of garages in East Auckland which don’t meet International Plumbing Specifications. Another housing time bomb waiting to happen. Free market ideology?

  9. Destruction of the middle class is intentional as this now dying species is learned and intelligent enough to take up more human resources and to better defend their position than those less well educated.
    Anyone looking closely at the U.N. Agenda 21 documents will see this is a strategy to reduce society levels down to two … the Elite … the rest.

  10. Subsidising rents is dumb! It just fuels demand and allows landlords to charge higher rents than the market would otherwise allow.
    Its like trying to put out a fire by hosing it with petrol.

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