Labour and National announce Kiwibuild Version 2


Political co-operation across New Zealand politics is usually in short supply. Labour and National usually reserve bi-partisan support for what they call “national security” – like voting together to increase the powers of our spy agencies, the Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau.

I can’t recall anything similar on social policy in the last few years – unless it’s the unsaid co-operation by which each party has demonised people on low-incomes over recent decades – National actively and Labour by neglect and omission.

It’s a measure of the seriousness of the housing crisis that they have joined forces to make it easier for property investors to build homes for middle class New Zealanders. They are co-operating to provide political cover for each other so that neither party can be singled out as allowing piles of townhouses in sections in leafy suburbs. It’s a gang up against wealthy nimbies. Both parties are now more scared of the backlash from the middle class struggling with housing than scared of wealthier homeowners who don’t want higher density accommodation in their streets.

But let’s be clear – this is not addressing the most critical problem in the housing crisis which is the desperate lack of warm, dry homes for families and tenants on low incomes.

Labour is building a net increase of less than 2000 state houses each year for a waiting list of 24,000.

The policy announced today is version 2 of Labour’s Kiwibuild policy. The party is fixated on homes for the middle class at the expense of the desperately needed homes for the working class.

Still missing from Labour’s housing policy is an industrial-scale state house building programme to get New Zealanders on low incomes out of motels, caravans, sheds and garages and into decent state housing.

Is anyone there, Labour?

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    • Yes. I know many young couples planning for 3 or 4 children. Why? These couples also preach ‘save the planet’.

      • But we can’t unborn all the born people, so we have to house them. Bringing in the extended family from everywhere and having to house them too, is another matter.

      • How ridiculous we are not over-populated at all. It is total ignorance and lack of action by successive governments.

        We can build bulk houses, the government should get off their arse and do it!

        • No, we aren’t “over populated” if comparisons are made to most other ciountries, but our own “population explosion” was inflicted upon, mainly Aucklanders, but has impacted the economy in shocking ways, by the importation of half a million people without even a nod in the direction of the amount of new infrastructure required to deal with that many people at once.. Add to that the dozens of high rise “dormatories” in the CBD that now stand largely empty as the owners await a return of asian student exploitation.. Then we had 6 years of unrestricted land banking (by the Chinese in the main) which I had the privilege of witnessing first hand while working for the sons, daughters, nephews, nieces of the owners of Grandee Developments, which was a major player in high rise construction in Hong Kong, and China…. And we haven’t even registered the number of “skilled” labour brought in during the Key years.. A lot of these people were simply abandoned to our tender mercies when Covid hit, so the big end of town dumped the after effects upon the taxpayer to deal with instead of having the slightest social conscience… We are overpopulated when it is looked at through the lens of what this country can deal with all at once, but then, John Key, and the craven rabble standing behind him, and directing him from overseas, never gave a shit how that affected us, so why would we even look at this as a problem, right?

    • Yes Tim and you seem to be the only one highlighting the root cause of this crisis. Everyone else on here just wants to pick sides and and throw stones at each other.

      • Rubbish yeahnah – your name says it all. People have been throwing ideas – just because they differ from yours doesn’t make them worthless, probably more the other direction for that.
        The bulk housing, the small united local groups gathered and trained into a team at polytechs, learning and building their own under full supervision and with more than adequate materials and practices. What a good idea to have one if poss in each area. Labour are happy to have the pmc step up, like Habitat for Houses?, and do what a State Housing department should be doing with MP having full ability to question and have good advice as to reasonable time limits, ground stability, drainage, roof capture, and suitable tenants. And people have fences and privacy.

        I know that is a strange idea to the gracious, who might decide to live in a gated community themselves but it’s of value to have your own vege garden and limit on the extension of others into what you would like to enjoy yourself. Like NZ at present on a larger scale.

    • Not really Timmyboy, it’s a lack of building going back decades. 5 million in a land area same as England – 65 million, we are sparsely populated by world standards. Our neo liberal masters have allowed, nay encouraged, the working class to get screwed in favour of generations that have greedily snapped up all real estate to enrich themselves. Politicians deliberately running down the housing supply to create greater demand that feeds price inflation, eg selling off state houses. Bastards.

      • The issue I believe is two fold. If you increase the population to the degree NZ has without the investment, particularly infrastructure, then it’s doomed from the start. Chicken and egg theory.

        • Bert plenty of taxpayer money for investment, the problem is it’s investment to business for the most part, who want to keep the PPP’s and profits going by keeping the infrastructure projects and consultation going for as long as possible. They will never build or solve anything under those conditions.

          Working in NZ is literally pretending to work. Normal folks who can’t stand the pretence are leaving to go overseas, making the system even worse, as there are less and less people calling out the situation or actually have real skills left in the NZ workforce.

        • Yes Bert agree and who did that increase in immigration benefit the most and who did it hurt the most. We should always weigh up the implications of policy to see if the benefits outweigh the negative impacts either way there is always a costs when you do trade offs.

      • Quite right GreenBus.

        Governments each and every one of them have been used by big business to cry out for labour that we already have but won’t pay decent wages to so we bring in and screw cheap labour.

    • Timmyboy. Yes. Read the book ‘The Population Crisis’ by Dick Smith (yes that Dick Smith). He’s done his research.

      • There has always been and continues to be enough to feed the world, distribution is the problem, along with the greedies who have way more than their fair share.

    • No, the problem is empty houses. 33,000 in Auckland. Over 100,000 countrywide. Landlords.
      Tax empty houses to free the up for supply drive down rents, and solve the housing shortage.

  1. Question Is anyone there Labour
    Answer. Sorry, there’s no one here, I think they’ve all gone looking for Chris Faafoi.

  2. John
    It’s all very well housing everyone and we should. But what then…how to pay for living in your own house besides the mortgages? The running costs etc. We have no significant industry any more, no resource exploration, no big job projects to keep everyone earning money. All we have is an ever growing hand out industry. That’s probably the greater problem facing this country…the ever growing reliance on the state.

    • Well, this is something I agree with you on Kraut.
      However, the reason we rely on the state is for the reasons you give, we have no significant industry any more. And this fault lies directly with the state, both Labour and National responsible for the start of and continuing of deregulation.
      But hey, back in the day everyone wanted their money to go further, cheaper imported cars, cheaper imported goods of all denominations. One only has to read the labels of most clothing products to see they’re not made locally and if they are, they are priced out of the market.
      If ever there was an opportunity to reset and re-establish industry it is now, sadly won’t happen. Imagine timber mills, meat works, engineering and car assembly plants to assist with employing an unskilled workforce.
      So again Kraut, 100 % agree with you.

      • Yep, you’re onto it, and half the problem these days is NIMBYism. We want it all, but oh boy, we don’t want the factories that make it. Or dig our own iron. Or drill for oil. No no no…other countries can do that. Well….Newsflash everyone… they are! Countries like Norway are loaded with cash. Interesting fact here to read – in contrast to the rash move made here to placate the Greens (like they actually matter since they aren’t greens) Read this

    • People pay rent but they cannot possibly get together a deposit for a house whilst doing this, well a huge deposit if you live in Auckland. We need rent to own, with the government helping out.

  3. All they did was remove the RMA from house building. As you say, to stop nimby’s. Another pointless charade to pretend they’re doing something rather than doing something!

    This will drive speculation and development in well off areas where a single dwelling section, for example in Herne Bay converted to multiple upmarket apartments should easily provide a guaranteed tidy profit. Same in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby etc.etc.

    But were I a developer, would I bother at the poor end of town? Not likely.

    What about the material supply issues? What about the skill shortages? What about the oversight? Christ, it’s not half obvious that Megan Woods is so far out of her depth that this catastrophe can only get worse.

    Labour continue to fiddle while rome burns because they are hopelessly incompetent. They deserve to be booted out.

  4. Not sure what the details are, but like everything they do with housing the side interest will be to destroy the environment, enable the richest individuals in the world to come and buy up NZ assets (both in and outside NZ) and then pretend that removing regulation (such as building and resource consent standards) is for the ‘poor’ and ‘middle class’.

    Meanwhile the removal of building and resource consent standards tend to do the opposite, (and especially with the council rate payers guarenteeing the quality of the builds aka leaky or otherwise) and creates a litigations nightmare where surprise, surprise the richest and least moral individuals get to win while the taxpayers and middle class lose.

    We have already followed the neoliberal ideology for decades now in NZ for housing, and when ever they do something which is always to help the poor, it somehow backfires and instead creates the opposite in NZ.

    There is a lot to be said for doing what is existing, correctly, rather than abandoning it, for a new regime held out by business to solve problems and eagerly picked up by lazy government.

  5. Radical idea.

    they stop giving corporate welfare to private individuals and businesses to slowly and expensively and pollutingly and actually spend that money on Housing NZ building houses direct from state to renter, and my god! no profiteering in between! Then the profits from the low rents can be cycled back into Housing NZ and the public keeps their state owned assets for the next generation.

    • Good grief! are you suggesting the government should have actually done something to make housing and rents affordable for ordinary people? But, but – that would mean cutting out the banksters and property developers and speculators. We can’t have that now, can we?
      Sadly, this “plan” will change nothing.

      • Far more radical than that RosieLee, don’t allow middle men in between to siphon off profits. Radically avoid ghost jobs, by making sure builders are actually working under pre 1980 wage laws and not illegally, subcontracted scam labour who don’t know what they are doing.

        This idea is so radical it would ensure that the taxpayers benefit from owning, controlling and making sure they can guarantee the low rents for future generations. Not ‘gift’ off or sell, and then wring their hands when it all goes wrong!

        And so radical that a proven similar post war policy in NZ carries no risk and , creates conditions for individuals in NZ to be some of the wealthiest in the world and most highly paid, stopping inequality and profiteering at source.

        • They do realise that 3 story housing will shade neighbours and not create free warm, dry housing. That will have to be mechanically made now, with power companies hiking their power prices.

          Instead of making it compulsory in the building act to ensure any new building has solar power and water recycling for affordability. Passive heating. That would ensure that any new build, does not need to provide additional heating and uses less and recycles water to make renting and running a home more affordable!

          What happens when the new houses flood without resource consents, and waste water capacity is overloaded as the detention tanks must drain the water eventually!

          • Instead of making it compulsory in the building act to ensure any new building has solar power and water recycling for affordability. Passive heating. That would ensure that any new build, does not need to provide additional heating and uses less and recycles water to make renting and running a home more affordable!

            ABSOLUTELY AGREE, wanted a compostable toilet when we built our house but it wasn’t allowed. All these things should be compulsory as you have said.

            • Michal, thanks, the collective voice must somehow get through to Labeen that people need sustainable solutions for those that live in communities, not greedy, polluting ones that benefit the 0.01% and want growth, growth, growth, while pretending to benefit the poor and middle class but actually doing the opposite.

              Helping the 0.01% around the world have cheaper workers, and profit from consumerism with expanding populations and more landfill and plastic goods. Also now owning the media, influencing counter-media, owning and influencing politicians with donations and business-led thinking, taking over ‘charities’ increasingly counter measures such as controlling discourses through climate denial, paying lobby groups, and creating social media cancel culture groups.

      • RosieLee – ‘ Sadly this “ plan” will change nothing.’ I rather think that it will. I rather think it will propel us back to the terrible living conditions of post-Industrial Revolution Britain, which so many of the hard- working pioneers who helped to build this country were escaping from.

  6. You can not solve a problem cause by neoliberal actions by more neoliberal actions.

    The market CAN NOT solve a problem that it is profiting from quite nicely, thank you, no matter what the Ayn Rand fantasists might peddle.

    This has been imperially proved – around the world! – where they are all having the exactly same problem.

    Govt have to make a decision: are people going to have a home they own or will there be permanent renters – and if that is the case then renters need to have legislative protections so they can do that. If not, pull finger and do what has worked in the past: build houses for the people.

    It is a human right to have secure housing – no other problem can be solved until this is (including the vaccine roll out)

    • Neo-liberal economics is not economics – capitalist, market, free or otherwise. It is domestic and financial rule by a combined, centrally controlled, political / commercial system (the original definition of fascism). It’s pure command and control economics by the wealthy for the wealthy (with the odd bone thrown to those who do their bidding).

      I’m no fan of market economics, but it would do a whole lot better than the crap we have to put up with.

  7. These crappy townhouses will go up in the working class suburbs first, I have seen similar go up in South Auckland again, 4 + dwellings – each a three bedder on a standard quarter acre section. People move in, overcrowding ensues, people move out, rent to high, rinse repeat.
    These crappy townhouses will not go up in the nice and leafy areas where any of these ‘people’ will live.
    And without consent, anyone here can wake up one day to have a building sight to the right, the left, behind and in front.
    If you don’t like it, hey, you can always sell and move, right?
    Also, these will not be cheap rental. One of these types of builds have gone up here Rotorua, 4 *2 bedroom on a small section next to State Highway 5 – busiest, most polluted street in town. 5 meters away from the Highway (aka the pedestrian strip right in front of the fence) Selling price was 650.000 each, rental 580 each. Neither affordable for the ‘middle class ‘ certainly not affordable for the poor, but i am sure Winz will be happy to pay the accommodation benefit after all the taxpayer will foot the bill.
    Vote Labour, we are only a smidgen better tehn National, and sometimes we are so out of fucks to give we don’t even care about that smidgen. Both parties have let this particular problem get out of hand so bad, that we now are happy for developers to rip up hole neighborhoods and no one living there is even allowed to say something. Yei.

    • Sabine. Happened to somebody I knew living at Whitby, with a new build right outside their bedroom window. She ended up sometimes crawling in and out or keeping the curtains permanently closed, and her husband had a nervous breakdown. Then they vamoosed, to Auckland I think.

      • Yep. Had a friend who lived in Mission Bay, Auckland. He went to a meeting in Mission Bay run by the council and full of woke types.

        His interpretation of what they were saying was,

        “Leave, old, white, people who are stopping young, people getting a home”. He left, and bought a house in Whangerei.

        Now there are more expensive McMansions and apartments everywhere in Mission Bay driving the professional work force out of Auckland.

        Nobody wants to come home after a hard day, being a doctor or specialist and find relentless construction noise and zero sun or privacy and your neighbours don’t actually live there, you can’t communicate with your neighbour easily, and the house is left empty for years, while the next development on the land is planned which could be anything, as you no longer have a say.

        Experience professional people who have become a scarify in NZ, are speaking with their feet!

        And as for more affordable housing and rentals in the area promised by relaxing the building rules! The opposite of what they promised – more and more expensive, professional people leaving.

        Now they are relaxing the resource consent rules, as if they couldn’t get any more relaxed!!!! 99% of all resource consents are rammed through already! It is about money and has been for a decade in NZ.

          • They are trying to make housing a racial issue to distract from the intense profiteering of developing NZ with taxpayer money, creating housing many who live here can’t afford as NZ becomes an overseas playground for rich and profit centre for social bond housing (owned by the overseas playground folks instead of formally middle and blue collar NZ), and that is part of the problem.

  8. Here’s how you build a house.
    Dig some holes in a measured fashion. Pop in some ground treated posts and cut off level. Fit bearers then joists. Don’t forget to secure your joists and bearers to each other and the foundation posts. Put down flooring paper, then the flooring. Build wall framing with door and window spaces then the roof trusses. Bung up. Stoned is best because it can become hilariously funny.
    Stand the wall frames up and tie together temporarily across the corners until they’re all in place. Now secure them permanently. Heave up the roof trusses and secure with batons. ( Just keep firing nails in until they stand. ) Building paper then roofing iron ( Thanks to the crooked building suppliers industry, read gold plated roofing platinum with just a dusting of diamonds.
    Wrap the house in house wrap, fit windows and doors ( tons of second hand and cheap as and available on trademe.)
    Clad your house in second hand corrugated iron or exterior grade ply.
    Done. Stand back, admire.
    Tools? I use a cordless Senco screw gun I bought second hand for $200.00. ( 1000 collated screws = $29.00) and a cordless nail gun leant to me, which I must now pay for, come to think of it.
    A fairly good AEG cordless drill with a pair of 18 V batteries.
    What’s not necessary but makes a job tidy and fast:
    A drop arm radial saw, a bench saw, a pair of adjustable work tables, a short crowbar for inching timbers here and there, a packet of bandaids and a good ointment. I use a fantastic ointment called Rexona. A small amount under a sticking plaster ( Only use the fabric ones. ) and off you go. If you’re doing dusty work, put on your bandaid then a thin strip of proper white fibre sticky tape on each end of the bandaid to stop dirt getting under and causing an infection thus slowing you down and making a fantastic project uncomfortable.
    A box of square drive screws from 25 mm to 75 mm, a couple of G Clamps, a spirit level and a nice hammer, like an Estwing or similar. DON’T BUY SHIT TOOLS! You’re better to buy good second hand gear.
    Sure, there’s wiring, plumbing, heating etc to do but at least you’re not fucking homeless. Living in a fucking car! With your poor wee kids!
    The above house could be built for a few thousand. As time goes by, you’ll become more experienced and you’ll fuck things up but you’ll learn many valuable things too. A small price to pay if you ask me.
    Now? Bankster? Real E-snake agent? Sundry lawyers, accountants and hangers on? Where do you get your $100,s of thousands of dollars for an ugly , average house from again? Pulled out of your fat, lazy, bullshitting arse holes?
    The ‘housing crises’ is a lie. The cost of house building’s a scam. Anyone who’s homeless is the victim of liars and swindlers. Our ( sad, pathetic, controlling ) local body laws governing house building are works of fiction designed by con artist lawyers then policed my petty, pasty little bureaucrats shuffling paper with their dicks in their weak little fingers and it’s all a con job to hand you, your money and your lives over to foreign banksters.
    And lets not forget the house building materials suppliers? What a pack of greedy arseholes, man. What a cadre of price fixing bullshitters? I can see millions of pine logs being ground up for wood-chip export while I must pay close to $4.00 a meter for a 100×75’ . WTF? Where’s the soft sell wanker politicians when that shit’s going on? Hiding behind the stacks of cash they insist we pay them?
    You’re being conned. We’re all being conned. And the only people who could effect change are our primary-industry farmers once united. How mind bogglingly, Professor Milgram-irally bizarre is that?
    Professor Stanley Milgram.
    Small-world experiment
    Familiar stranger
    “One aspect of research on familiar strangers that hampered research was lack of available data about these relationships. With the advent of widespread social media and urban analytics, researchers have used new datasets to understand familiar strangers, including public-transportation usage[3] and web blog networks.[4]”
    Milgram experiment

    • This is interesting… isn’t it?
      It’s a talk by the ever fabulous Russell Brand on the price-rorting behaviour of Big Pharma. I know, a crisis in housing isn’t the same as a crisis in drug manufacture except that it’s an example of how a corrupt model can influence the way OUR government behaves. Does our government behave in a manner that best serves we, the people? Or does our government best serve those who most successfully lobby OUR government in hopes of swaying decision making in favour of Big Corp so as Big Corp can, with gleefully unfettered greed, help themselves to your’s and mine’s money?
      I tried earlier to show above how easy it is to build a very modest house. Much better than a very modest sleeping bag in a very modest shop door way, I think.
      What I tried to do was to show how vulnerable we all are ( except you rich fuckers constantly padding up and down our parliament’s luxuriously carpeted hallways.) to exploitation. By merely by using ridiculous and unnecessary laws and acts to corral people in to foreign bankster debt unless we pay Big Corp building suppliers Big Money they have us hog tied.
      Was I wrong in trying to do that ? Is it wrong to suspect that entirely self interested, self serving paying fuck all taxes rich bastards are balls deep up our politic?
      I don’t think it is.
      I’d love you to watch this:
      Russell Brand.
      “Thought Big Pharma Couldn’t Sink Any Lower? THINK AGAIN!!!”

  9. Reading the plan released by Labour and National for this pretend building program seems to me to not be much of a house building program but instead a test for a new coalition partner for Labour in 2023 maybe?

    The Greens are toxic after their reign of terror with Identity Politics and Wokeism.
    The kids will need to repeat the last 3 years of schooling that they’ve missed out on because of covid and fuckwittedness too. Otherwise they will be the dumbest generation ever!

    With flimsy numbers of builds somewhere between 48,000 to 100,000 in 8 to another 23 years to me seems like another bs plan pretending that they’re doing something.

    With a global materials shortage, an ongoing qualified labour shortage and a low take up of willing Capitalists other than developers wanting to cash in. Its another fail to add to their books.

    So, with the National and Labour coalition first date it’s seems as though they ackshully might make a good matching couple, just to keep Act out of the picture.

    • Aunty Jude will knife JA in the back (literally) just before the election and guess who will finally realise the dream. Don’t even think about it Denny.

      • Chrusha is too dumb and brainless to even consider that ‘plan’. Nor is her caucus.

        Arderns enemy is her own popularity and track record of failures. Failing to deliver and failure to render all Crisis’s that she promises to deal with.

        As one of her cabinet ministers said about the Nat’s moaning about labours inaction, could be said about Ardern too.

        ‘Be a doer and not a Hua.’
        ‘Don’t be a tero, get the wero’.

    • They will go arm in arm into the sunset, Labour bringing some better class to the National business grifters.

  10. ” It is a human right to have secure housing ”

    No those rights were abolished in the neo liberal revolution with the insatiable drive to return a profit on everything.

    Your only protection is wealth , assets and a six figure salary.

    If you aren’t in that group then you are at the mercy of free market forces that despite their slogans and promises the parties in parliament all support the same plutocracy and use the power of the state to enforce it.

    The people needing to be housed and earn survivable wages are expendable and have no rights or protection and all the handwringing wont change that.

    • ” It is a human right to have secure housing ”… the way Labeen are going, people are not going to be able to afford free water.

      It literally keeps getting worse on what neoliberals including Labeen are trying to control and take over with business/CCO’s getting unlimited powers to keep charging for everything*.

      * for our own ‘safety’ of course.

  11. I would suggest building big 6 – 8 – 12 floors appartment houses from concrete prefabricated blocks. What is the advantage to live in your own house when your neighbour is looking through your window and you can hear children playing in his house with no parking place no garage for your car. Just more expensive maintenance. People should get used to live in flats, it’s cheaper to build and cheaper to maintain and cheaper to heat via central heating for all the area. There can be big green parks and shops etc. nearby. Some of them can be state owned some can be private, people can rent them or buy them. They will also save the farmland. You have them all round Europe.

    • Who is going to pay for them when they fail as our neoliberal, profit, cheap, untrained labour and anti regulation seems to be falling short in building anything in NZ.

      Concrete safety investigator ‘surprised nobody had been killed’

      Multi-storey building flaws ‘almost the norm’

      Apartment complex hit with $32.8m repair bill

      Council unable to identify possible defective buildings in capital

      Mainzeal loan generated hundreds of millions in wealth, court hears

    • You must be a Pom’. Fuck that, imagine a 7mag earthquake and hiding amongst those blocks. Dead meat, actually just a red smear.

    • Alexandra, you do realise that cheap often illegal labour is now in charge of re-building NZ. It so great as fast as your build them, another newly built one, fails and you get the contract to re-build it! Then you don’t pay your workers anything, but NZ keeps turning a blind eye. Even when they are killed. It’s the cost of pretending to build housing in NZ.

      Illegally working overstayer dies on the job – ACC payment made to widow in China

      Du praised Worksafe NZ’s approach to the investigation as “very professional”.

      “They’re amazing,” she said.

      “My husband worked himself to the bone for his employer, who did nothing for us, for our family, in the aftermath of his death.

      “If he had we could at least try to understand his situation and difficulties, but he didn’t care about us.”

      Worksafe NZ’s investigation report found Yu was working as a builder under the umbrella of a company called Star Echo Ltd (SEL), which was the latest in a string of subcontractors hired to develop the Hobsonville house site.

      Although Zheng Jinghui was director of Star Echo, the discussions and work was taken on by “a very experienced and highly regarded builder in the Chinese building community”. Yu was among those hired to build the house.

      On the day of Yu’s death, he had climbed to an incomplete first floor to work in an area where struts were temporarily pinned by only two nails. A co-worker nearby turned when hearing timber moving and watched Yu “trying to regain his balance”.

      Yu “tried to grab at some joists but wasn’t able to hold on”. He fell feet first through to the ground floor 2.9 metres below, landing on a concrete slab. “As he fell back his head struck a piece of timber that was located on the ground.” Yu was declared dead in hospital two days later.

      The investigation report found Star Echo had three previous interactions with Worksafe NZ with faulty and incomplete scaffolding cited in each instance. The company had received notices compelling improvement from Worksafe NZ but was not prosecuted.

      In this case, there was a recommendation to prosecute the company for removing equipment and tools from the building site before either police or Worksafe NZ arrived in the aftermath of the accident.

      The investigation found Yu was 45 when he died with no visa allowing him to legally work in New Zealand after arriving on a 30-day visitor visa in 2015.

      Du told Worksafe NZ her husband paid $30,000 in China for legal work in New Zealand but realised on arriving here that he had been duped. After paying $1800 to another contact, Yu was connected with the builder who was overseeing work at the Hobsonville site.

      u had been living with and working for the builder over three years, who said he had “no knowledge of his salary or other working conditions” which were agreed with Star Echo. The company said it had never received an invoice from Yu for his work.

      Worksafe NZ identified a number of areas at the construction zone that posed risks where workers could fall from a dangerous height. It emphasised the need for builders to protect workers where falls were a risk.

      “If a suitable ‘working at height’ control measure had been in place prior to the incident, the death of this worker could have been prevented.”

      Worksafe NZ found there was “public interest” in prosecuting Star Echo for removing equipment and tools from the building site. It also said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Star Echo over a “breach in relation to its primary duty of care” to Yu as a worker.

      That decision to prosecute was downgraded to a warning letter in April. Worksafe NZ’s specialist investigations boss, Simon Humphries, said the decision was made in the shadow of the pandemic.

      “This is because there was a greater public interest in Covid-19, amongst other reasons, and the offence by SEL was at the less serious end of the scale, as we only would have prosecuted for failure to preserve the site, not for the incident itself.”

      The Herald has attempted to contact Star Echo Ltd director Zheng Jinghui for comment. He did not respond.”

      Even the business review seems surprised that this firm was only fined $2500 for using illegal labour in construction.

      NZ increasingly is enabling the worst quality people and labour in the construction industry. And it is getting worse!

      • It is more than shame that these things are happening here. Do you think that the conditions are so bad that it is impossible to find some good building companies here? The apartments are being built round the world, there must be a safe way to build them.

        • Well it didn’t use to happen. Sadly neoliberals have now even infested some unions too. Unions instead of going after the people traffickers are inadvertently helping people traffickers and neoliberals get more labour in and lowering wages and taking up housing in NZ with scab labour here refusing to leave NZ.

          I’m all for making the people traffickers refund the scab labour money, not the woke led thinking of people traffickers and exploiters literally killing workers on the job, and nobody gets prosecuted for it. Then ACC pays out.

          Why don’t they just wave a flag to say, come to NZ and whatever happens you will make money here illegally and get to stay in NZ! Keep coming! You don’t need to know anything about construction or safety. It is only for the local firms to adhere to NZ laws!

          There is literally so much free government money sloshing around in construction industries, that they can afford to hire completely unqualified people and let them do whatever they want. Already happening and formally decent construction related firms are awash with unqualified people, but people doing all sorts of unethical behaviour in the work force on the side. The good people can’t stand it, and leaving the industry. Nobody likes to be managed by unethical idiots.

          Should be compulsory for audits every year for any firm anywhere involved in government money to be forced to do everything by the book, including avoiding cartel behaviour, unqualified managers and workers, and hiring more unqualified people into ponzi’s and using any form of illegal labour anywhere in their supply chain. Should instantly be fined $100,000’s of dollars per infringement.

          Guess what as soon as that happens and it becomes expensive to use unqualified and illegal labour and managers who allow and encourage this, our construction industry will start working again, properly.

  12. This infilling with 2 storied townhouses/apartments has been happening for the last six years. Just open your eyes when you walk or drive around your suburbs. Drive around the backstreets of Pt Chev and you will see multi-storied buildings going up on bare half/quarter acre sections in every street. No one digs large gardens any longer, no one wants to mow big lawns anymore so I think this is the best use of bare land on larger sections. The only problem is the lack of car parks.

    But the big problem for housing throughout Aotearoa are the land values. In Auckland CBD houses are only 20% of valuation while land is 80%. There should be a project for the building of papakainga housing on Maori lands. Also use of surplus crown land and some golf courses and reserves for housing.

  13. Rapid population growth with no plan on how to keep the infrastructure up to speed = what we have now

    It’s going to get worse before it gets better thanks to over population

    • The rapid population growth is deliberate via NZ visas both permanent and temporary and the tolerance of allowing people on visitors permits to stay in NZ and reward them with NZ residency if they fight for it long enough. Thus we have criminals being awarded NZ residency before doctors and our housing, health, justice and infrastructure crisis will not abate . Our birth rate is static.

  14. …”Both parties are now more scared of the backlash from the middle class struggling with housing than scared of wealthier homeowners who don’t want higher density accommodation in their streets”….

    There’s the motive,….now for the hypocrisy.

    …”But let’s be clear – this is not addressing the most critical problem in the housing crisis which is the desperate lack of warm, dry homes for families and tenants on low incomes”…

    According to the U.N Bill of Rights, to which we were signatories,…

    EVERY person has the right to a warm dry home.

    UN Declares New Zealand’s Housing Crisis A Breach Of … › Regional

    Paul Hunt: The Human Right to a Decent Home › news › paul-hunt-human-right-…

    Framework Guidelines on the right to a decent home in Aotearoa › files › Framework_Guidel…PDF

    This govt , and the proceeding one, in fact every govt from the 4th Labour govt onwards have broken their obligations regards being signatories to the U.N Bill of human rights due to pandering to the lobbying and donations given by the small wealthy elites who infest our legal and democratic institutions, and who wield unwarranted and unelected power via the access to wealth over those of the majority of the electorate.


    God rest the souls of all those primarily young men who shed their blood in both world wars for the sake of freedom, democracy and egalitarianism.

    Something to which these parasitic elites have no concept of.

  15. The devil is in the detail and we’ve seen no detail yet.
    1. We do need less restrictions on adding or modifying homes
    2. We do need less bureaucracy in council along with the associated costs and time wasting
    3. We most certainly do need to open up land on the periphery of the city to build new subdivisions
    4. We don’t need to allow an open slather for crooked Chinese developers to destroy beautiful suburbs with tilt slab concrete boxes spread all over.

    The constraints:
    1. Most suburbs cannot handle significantly higher densities, mainly because of inadequate sewerage capacity. (Where I live the sewer manholes were strapped down as a temporary measure …20 years ago.) Only when the ‘central interceptor’ project is completed can west & central Auckland handle more population. Once that’s in place, it will be the logical area for most densification.
    2. Do you really think the wealthy gentry in the leafy suburbs will take this lying down?

    • 2. Do you really think the wealthy gentry in the leafy suburbs will take this lying down?

      Clearly not judging by Seymour’s opposition.

  16. This is classic neo-liberal economics. Land, unlike money, is an asset. Land, and thus house, prices are a method of indebting the general populous into a lifetime of bonded employment (for the rich). Thus National and Labour’s solution – taking the existing wealth and dividing it between more (common) people. Then inflate the cost of that land to keep people still indebted. All while never having to transfer wealth (AKA assets) from the rich to normal people – and even reducing their individual share.

    The fact that the quality of life resulting from hi rise, no view, no light, no garden, no parking living is much lower is totally unconsidered.

  17. It isnt the excessive quantities of sewerage that need the manhole covers to be tied down, it is the combined sewerage and storm-water mains in the older leafy up-market housing areas like Ponsonby, Parnell, Remuera, Grey Lynn, etc where all storm water shares the inadequate sewer mains. During heavy rainfall sewerage overflow will occur. The individual detention tanks and the proposed intercepter main will mainly mitigate that problem and provide for any infilling. However the separation of the sewer and stormwater main in the up-market suburbs will need to be funded with the help of the outer suburbs in south and west Auckland.

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