GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Money For Nothing


So.. the median house price for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, in January, is up 11.7 percent compared to January 2019.

Accord to REINZ there was record median house price growth year-on-year for the following regions:

• Southland: up 28.7 percent
• Manawatu/Wanganui up 24.5 percent
• Hawkes Bay up 22.2 percent
• Otago: $570,000, up 19.9 percent
• Bay of Plenty: $683,000, up 17.8 percent
• Taranaki: $420,000, up 9.1 percent
• Waikato: $599,000, up 8.9 percent

Auckland ? Up 8.7 percent

And yet both of the major parties , one of whom will form the next government, are promising to continue to make it harder for the ‘have nots’ to have a place to call home by allowing ‘the haves’ to make money by sitting on their assets.

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When asked for comment Mr Burns rubbed his hands together and said



Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I find it sickening that those wealthy enough to own property are not taxed on this asset – especially if the said asset is not the family home but part of an investment portfolio. The lack of a CGT has partially led to the housing crisis as ‘land banking’ for very lucrative. So we have a housing crisis but there are numerous empty homes (both HNZ and private) while those in poverty sleep in cars or in the street.
    I strongly support a CGT and at the same time a reduction in GST which would be at least partially funded by the CGT. GST is a regressive tax in that it impacts on the poor the most.
    We currently have a situation in NZ where housing and food costs have blown out dramatically and yet core benefits remain effectively stagnant and those in the greatest need become increasingly disadvantaged. It really is no great surprise that poverty persists in this country and those at the lower end of the income range become increasingly disillussioned – watch for crime and domestic violence to continue to predominate in this country where there is MORE THAN ENOUGH to provide everyone with a reasonable standard of living without deincentivising the idea of “getting ahead”.
    The current Labour/NZF government have dome something to reduce the issue but lacked the fortitude to impose a CGT. Wimps really.

    • I think you will find council rates are taxes on the value of the land and buildings… so it is a capital gains tax paid yearly if you own a property. Paying this is a struggle for many home owners especially when incomes disappear aka you retire.

      In Auckland rates are astronomical and your services keep being discontinued while you find that Americal’s cup for billionaires is being funded with your rates to help business. It’s crazy.

      Renter’s don’t pay rates but obviously all residents use the services, aka roads, libraries and so forth.

        • @ GAP Just pointing out the obvious. Before I bought a house I hated landlords too, but when you purchase a house there are a lot more expenses that you had zero ideas about as a tenant such as council rates, water rates, insurance costs, and maintenance costs…all these have increased astronomically.

          I know a landlord, (of course they are selling) as they are elderly and are being ripped off constantly by the property agents and the escalating cost of compliance over $10,000 to meet the health rental standards. Now they are selling up. The healthy homes rental laws are a bonanza for the middle men making profit. (Rental agents charge a decent percentage of any work carried out and pick out the contractors).

          Sadly it’s just another great cheap rental in Auckland that will be lost to developers and in the never never come back into circulation as a McMansion at double the rent urrently being paid by a tenant that was in there for years.

          So COL and Natz got rid of the evil landlords. But, now what? Living under a bridge or in a Compass run bedsit with a whole lot of people with social problems for $1000 p/w is the new but worse option for both tenants and the taxpayers now being touted? Or is there some marketing spin on it all, that has kinda stopped being believed?

          As for no capital gains, council rates are based on the cost of the property, and there is a capital gains tax for the bright line test for selling property,… which is not really a capital gains tax as it is priced based on the taxable income … same problem, same loopholes as the working tax proposals.

          The inability for the left to understand that capital gain that is different based on how you structure your income taxes not a set rate for everyone based on the actual gain or sale price of the house, is my beef with the lefties who are flogging the unelectable capital gains horse and turning homeowners off COL.

          COL and Natz keep bringing in more taxes on property every election but COL still seem to want to blow their chances every election on promoting the idea of a capital gains tax on the table.

          The Greens is the party who seemingly have the biggest capital gains obsession, guess what, they jettisoned their votes to labour as soon as labour ruled out a capital gain last election!

          I voted for Greens based on their environmental stance, not their economic one, which is based more on pre Neoliberalism and globalism, paper based economic assessments… that no longer work because tax havens and dual nationality and the ease of travel and prevalence of economic migration and global investment have rendered much of it irrelevant.

          In practice everything COL did to help renters made everything worse for the majority of vulnerable tenants because it increased the shortages of housing by scaring off or taking out non compliant housing, the very landlords they needed and increasing the costs of owning a property.

          I’m sure COL mean’t well, but clearly they have never known true poverty, because if you are aware of poverty you’d know that a place that does not have a fan in the bathroom is probably not the strongest priority for the poor, or that our growing meth use and social depravation means that there are tenants out there with major problems, not paying rent, trashing places and the government does not enter that into their calculations of healthy homes costs going forward, in fact probably does not think it exists.

          Geeing rid of private landlords, selling state houses/land and adding hundreds of thousands more people to be resident in NZ is not a good idea in a rental crisis…

          but clearly there is no telling most of the lefties anything practical on housing or taxation, if some economic person of the other side of the world, or a resident here with an immigration agenda, the glorified construction industry or just plain Intellectual yet Idiot, quotes a bit of paper of statistics for other countries and twist it, our government, the lefties, jumps at it without any critical thinking not understanding how property is different in NZ.

          God knows how many times for example you see someone quoting density figures for why NZ needs 35,000,000 people here. They normally quote the UK, however the UK has had a fantastic train system already in operation for 150 years, millions of houses already built and extremely strong planning laws, It’s comparing apples with oranges as we have the opposite in NZ.

          To provide housing you need to put ideology and marketing aside while putting on critical thinking and understanding local conditions like transport and how people live here and what housing stock we have and prioritising loa residents before adding hundreds of thousands more in. That remains to be seen in NZ as an inconvenient truth for the woke.

        • I do not disagree with a large part of your posts saveNZ and do not hate landlords per se.
          The part that i do have a problem with is that renters do not pay rates? Imagine a conversation with your accountant, “oooh look you forgot to include the rates in the rent calculation” .(tax deductible of course) i am losing money

          • G.A.P. Well lets introduce a poll tax then, so the woke can be right about everybody paying council taxes and feel sanctimonious.

  2. My 3 bed house was RV’d at 2015 340 thousand at 2018 at 570 thousand. That’s an increase of 77 thousand a year! Property speculators with 3,4,5,6 and more houses must be so rich. In a small isolated country such as NZ this is a catastrophe this profiteering without tax is mega socially divisive. Ordinary kiwis are impoverished: can’t afford even basic rents and are homeless. Plus massive immigration has made the situation much much worse. Young professionals I know haven’t a chance of getting their own place. The neoliberal disaster train wreck gets worse and we have the political class of all shades wagged by the tail of the F.I.RE. sector.

    • I hate bloody acronyms!
      FIRE economy – Wikipedia › wiki › FIRE_economy
      A FIRE economy is any economy based primarily on the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors. Finance, insurance, and real estate are United States Census Bureau classifications.

  3. This morning I caught an interview with someone in Nelson raving about the lifestyle here being so good.
    Working locally, trading globally I think was the phrase used. I thought that is the nub of what is screwing the world. Sorry peeps but your happiness bluebird is one that shits on the rest of us. I have read that the roving keyboard warriors are roaming around the world as they can afford to, and settling in places that have nice climate but a low priced economy, get a cheap house, the house prices rise and in the end the locals are forced out of their rented homes or by other rising costs. Isn’t this just colonialism at a ‘popular’ level. It’s a cycle that has been going on since one tribe attacked and forced another tribe up into the hills away from their customary food gathering areas.

    This is so f…ing familiar. How can ordinary people in the world get control of their country’s controls again and balance their runaway economies?
    Ana Guerreiro points across the street at a handful of housing projects in Lisbon’s up-and-coming riverside neighborhood of Marvila. It’s where she moved in with her mother last year after soaring rents meant she could no longer afford to live alone.
    “Prices have gone through the roof here,” said Guerreiro, 33, stepping outside the cafe where she waitresses for a break.
    Portugal is western Europe’s most dynamic property market thanks to tax incentives for foreign buyers and a so-called golden visa program, which offers residence permits in return for a minimum 500,000-euro ($550,000) investment. The flip side for people like Guerreiro is that they have become collateral damage with no prospect of prices cooling any time soon.

  4. I heard that an offshore based Singaporean “Levin” investor has bought up 18 approx rentals in Levin, (92 km from Wellington) so having Singapore investors not counted as foreign investors is working a treat. NOT!

    And don’t forget anybody in the world can invest in a ‘new build’ apartment in most cases they are not foreign buyers if they buy new build apartments for some reason.

    Due to that, most developers are building luxury apartments and new builds because not much money to be made housing the poor, who by the way will probably never afford a house on $20p/h…. but lets not think about why NZ wage growth is not keeping pace with the cost of living.

    Even if you give away the land aka Kiwisaver houses they still managed to be $500k for a 1 bedroom which increased the prices of ‘affordable’ housing instead of reducing it!

    If they want to bring in taxes on housing they should bring in a stamp duty on the purchase and had they done that a long time ago then at least the government would get a fraction of the sale prices as more NZ is sold off overseas or put into ‘funny money’ schemes of businesses and gifts.

    You are pushing shit uphill thinking that the working group taxes were somehow going to help the poor – they were designed so the billionaires didn’t have to pay the taxes with pretty legal accounting measures for a start! Only the locals would be paying housing taxes in NZ.. and many are tired of that scenario and paying for the infrastruction of the developments and the roads, and the new schools and hospitals and the super for those who paid zero taxes in NZ, and multinationals when profits are our 2nd biggest export but too difficult for anybody to understand that.

    • Funny that and ironic that locals can’t understand the whirlpool nature of our economy, going fast by us down to a gravitational pull at the bottom and OUT into the wider world. A commentary on teachers being limited in their scope particularly by National Standards to concentrating on Reading writing and rithmetic and how to use the new machines – computers. Yet the ability to analyse the economy which does not require high math seems to be far beyond the average school leaver or NZ adult.

      Limiting educational subjects will I guess bring us to the level of the early 20th century. Why bother to encourage education when the country can import the labour from India China etc where they can learn everything and end up better NZs than we are? I guess they are brought up to believe life will be hard, whereas life used to be easier in NZ and there were options to work up to – all of which have been taken away. People are still stuck in the late 20th century milling around like the blind people at the beginning of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. And the rest of his story could be our future too.

  5. Government land should be leased at a peppercorn rate so first-time buyers have a chance of owning their own home with a 999 year lease and ground rent at a few dollars a year. Take the cost of land out of the new-build equation and you get affordable housing. Plus government retains an asset – the land.
    CGT is needed and it is disappointing to say the least Ardern back-tracked on this.

    • Interesting that numerous comments are in favour of a CGT. It exists in the UK and Australia and has done nothing to cool the market there or help those trying to buy into the market.

      If this Government really wanted to help those in need they could do two really simple things, 1. Massively reduce immigration and 2. build houses, thousands of the things just like the Savage Labour Party did – this would address market shortages, collapse prices and help those that need it.

      They won’t though. They seem incapable of even thinking about something like this, let alone actually doing it.

  6. The above is, to me, another grim affirmation that [we] have no politic.
    We do, however, have four unfettered foreign owned banksters sucking out close to $6 Billion a year from our modest economy.
    But what to do? We know what the problems are but what to do about them?
    Our political system isn’t for us as such, that’s obvious surely? If our country is all about money, which it clearly is, then our politics is all about making sure it stays at ‘all about money’ because as we can see in the U$A, nothing shouts louder than money. bloomberg, for example, is spreading billions around like fertiliser and it’s working. Despite what a narcissistic little monster he is, it’s working.
    I sit here and write but that’s all I feel I can do. And what does that achieve? I get to preach to the converted?
    What good does that do? What effect does that have in the scheme of ‘things’?
    There’s now this new phrase I see popping up; ‘Key Board Warrior’
    What does that mean? It sounds belittling and condescending to me. A Kiwi-bully, tall poppy put down of those who, rightly or wrongly take time out of their day to try to connect with other brothers and sisters, no matter how crude that may be sometimes, at least it’s communicating.
    So? What might augment change then? How can we regain steerage of our own AO/NZ?
    How do we actually, literally, physically do that? Form an armed revolutionary army? Armed with what? Slug guns? Slingshots ? Pop guns? Super soakers ? Sarcasm? We could strike? Storm parliament wearing jandles and red bands ?
    There’s a joke about the British police being unarmed unlike their U$A contemporaries.
    If an American cops shouts “Stop! Or I warn you, I’ll shoot !” You’d better fucking stop.
    The British cop can only shout ” Stop! Or I warn you, I’ll shout ‘stop’ again. ”
    All we AO/NZ’ers can do is shout. That’s why our politicians don’t listen. They don’t need, nor have to.
    But if a foreign billionaire shouts ” Jump! ” all our politicians beseech ” Absolutely Master. And just how high? ” ( Lets spare a thought for peter theil at this point.)
    The rise of the values of a house i.e. the cost of owing a house for others is a trap.
    A trap is being set and if we follow the flow of debt out of AO/NZ to where the four banksters sequester it, it will lead to the Fed Reserve and the Rothschild empire, I bet.
    But they’re not after our paltry few billions. [They’re] after our country. Our AO/NZ Ark.
    [They’re] keeping us poor and off-balance. They’ve got us reliant on the idea that debt is a normal and acceptable realm to try to live within, to make do, to try to get by. Jesus! We can’t even build a simple hut without some Debt Pimp Minion official with a clip board and a shiny 4×4 telling us this and that about the why’s and wherefores of safety and head room and a drain for your shit and piss.
    They quite literally have us believe ( And acquiesce to, or else) that it’s better and safer if you live in the gutter or in a car if your lucky than to bump your head on your hand built hut during your hut warming piss up.
    Our problems and troubles are so great and so enormous that we can’t see them for their size.
    So fuck it! Lets party !
    Make that hut jump son.
    Club Des Belugas – Straight to Memphis

  7. A CGT can only apply to future gains and will take decades to get of the ground in today’s political climate.
    A land tax avoids the elephant in the room whish is residential houses.
    A net equity tax with an exemption of $1 million for the family home– taxes only the equity, replaces the need for rental returns, can be taxed progressively and designed to affect only the top 20% . The minority view of the tax working group said they wanted this examined further

  8. No political party wants to stop the freedom of the propertied classes to accumulate wealth on the basis of scarcity, which is what the property market is (because there is a finite amount of land to build on, and a finite number of houses to be built). Politics in this country suffers from the same problems as the ‘land of the free’. Everyone aspires to being in the propertied classes, even the down and out bums on the street. They all think that all they need is a lucky break, like winning the lottery, or getting discovered by a Hollywood agent, and all will be sweet. They will buy the biggest McMansion, or every house in the street, become like the landlords who rule over them, and all will accumulate in value. If a political party dares to take that dream away, they are ‘socialist’ toast. This economic Ponzi scheme was established in 14th Century Italy when it was a mortal sin to profit from interest. The wealthy elites got around this slight discomfort by commissioning large paintings of Jesus descending from Heaven on church walls. Then, when Christianity was given the heave ho, these folks went rogue, or they invented ways for Christianity to favour their greedy ways, such as divine pre-determinism. The system was perfected in 16th and 17th Century Holland, then refined in 19th Century Scotland. It became rampant cowboy capitalism in 19th Century America as the new world was raped and pillaged, and was the basis to the genocide and colonisation of indigenous lands by the Spaniards and the British. Despite the years of struggle to improve the lot of workers (since the industrial revolution), or to try to protect the rape of the environment (more recently), the corrupt Ponzi scheme now has global acceptance, capitalism has won the battle for the minds of the people. Nothing can change it now except ecological collapse, which is happening faster than we are being told by the capitalist media. Brace for impact.

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