Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Arrest the bastards at the border

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  • WH,

    I have a suspicion however that it would be similar to the Reserve Banks intervention in the currency markets. Fiddling at the margins.

    However it is done, this is a problem that needs to be fixed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_housing_bubble
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0703/S00615.htm

    Since Nov 2006 • 602 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    When the Council sold off it's houses in the '90's wasn't there a no developer clause (only allowed to bid for one house)? It seemed alot of council workers got in the duplex bonanza in areas like Pt Chev. and Remuera.
    BTW this from 1997, http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/speeches/speeches-96-97/greed-aa.doc.htm
    there will always be ways for people to make money while others arn't llooking, creation of credit by inflated mortgages is the modern one.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    BTW Danielle,

    the last HNZC annual report states that the number of underutilised homes (where the household count + 1 is less than the number of bedrooms), is 4%. That definition by its nature is pretty iffy though.

    The report also states this:

    Strategies to increase the supply of rental housing and improve property use saw a number of tenants, with their agreement, transferred to more suitable housing. This freed up larger homes for others in housing need.

    The operative phrase being "with their agreement".

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Getting back OT. The F&R boys have been pinged for a transaction that took place in 2002. Years after the winebox debacle. This is the story that keeps taking.

    There's a quite hilarious letter in this morning's NZ Herald from someone who thinks people shouldn't knock FR because they started with nothing and worked hard to build their company, and had done a lot of good things for NZ. The writer seemed deadly serious. They're either completely deluded or the non-deplume for Michelle Boag perhaps?

    For those coming in late, this link is worth repeating. It's a pity the Herald don't link to it.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The HNZC annual report may say 'with their agreement', but I bet that's a CYA maneouvre by management. The rule under which tenancy managers operate is this: if they are informed that children have moved out and left tenants alone in a three or four-bedroom house, the tenant either takes in flatmates or is moved. I am not talking out of my ass here: I know that this happens. Now, if someone goes to an MP and kicks up a stink, all bets are off - but most tenants don't do that, because most tenants are reasonable people. They'll see the unfairness of staying in a huge house when there are waiting lists a mile long. Additionally, they're not actually asked: they're told. I bet none of them even know the report says that they're supposed to 'agree'.

    (Incidentally, I lived in a HNZ house for three years [not, needless to say, under my relative's care]. They were by far and away the best landlords I've ever had: they actually followed the rules about bonds/visits/inspections and so on, and they made sure the property was completely up to standard. If I hadn't bought a house, I would have tried to stay with them forever!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    but I bet that's a CYA maneouvre by management.

    And I am telling you quite catagorically, that it is not. I didn't get that from a "close friend", I got that from being an HNZC manager for 7 years..

    If your friend the tenancy manager says s/he does otherwise, I would respectfully suggest s/he is in the wrong job.

    The rule under which tenancy managers operate is this: if they are informed that children have moved out and left tenants alone in a three or four-bedroom house, the tenant either takes in flatmates or is moved.

    Rubbish. How do they move them? That's called eviction & you will find that there have been very few over the last 10 years. And how come there are still a lot of multi bedroom homes with sole tenants who have lived there for more than 60 years if such a rule exists?

    What actually happens, is if the tenant who has signed the lease moves or dies, the other tenants can be placed on the waiting list for another home. Otherwise, good old negotiation between the remaining tenants & HNZC takes place. They cannot be evicted just like that.

    but most tenants don't do that, because most tenants are reasonable people. They'll see the unfairness of staying in a huge house when there are waiting lists a mile long.

    So, um, in effect you're saying they agree?

    Additionally, they're not actually asked: they're told. I bet none of them even know the report says that they're supposed to 'agree'.

    I bet too, if this is actually happening, and did get out, say from one of the tenants who isn't so reasonable, you'd see it all over the newspapers & your friend would lose his job.

    (Incidentally, I lived in a HNZ house for three years [not, needless to say, under my relative's care]. They were by far and away the best landlords I've ever had: they actually followed the rules about bonds/visits/inspections and so on, and they made sure the property was completely up to standard. If I hadn't bought a house, I would have tried to stay with them forever!)

    Cheers - yes, the vast majority of HNZC staff are hard working & committed. But OTOH, not following the rules,if caught, is not tolerated by the corporation. And to be fair, most of the tenants are very reasonable too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I, on the other hand, would respectfully suggest that there are huge communication problems between tenancy managers and Housing New Zealand management, since my relative is, in fact, following orders from his/her direct managers, and has done so for over ten years. And oh yeah, I was in a three-bedroom house. I was told I had to have flatmates by another one of HNZ's tenancy managers. So I got some. There appear to be more HNZ workers unaware of these policies than you think.

    So if that's a real policy that isn't CYA, then perhaps it should be made clearer to your workers on the ground floor - who have particularly stressful jobs as it is. As you know, they spend a lot of their time wading through cockroach and rat-infested abandoned houses and being abused by the small minority of unreasonable tenants. But by all means, continue to imply that they're incompetent if you like.

    (BTW, I'm not talking about 'evictions'. I'm talking about transfers to other, smaller HNZ homes. Do we have our wires crossed?)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    If I hadn't bought a house, I would have tried to stay with them forever!

    Hmmm. So you had enough money to pay a deposit and meet the mortgage payments? Methinks [presuming you didn't win Lotto/inheritance] you should have been required to leave a State House at the point your income took you out of the person in need bracket. Sure, you may have been paying 'market rent' towards the end, but you know that would have still been well below actual market rent. Which is possibly how you were able to save that deposit?

    That you would have "tried to stay with them forever!" speaks to my earlier comments about the sense of entitlement some tenants feel.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Not that it's any of your business, InternationalObserver, but a) my partner moved from being a student to working full time and b) we did, in fact, receive an inheritance for a deposit. (I also got several raises, because I'm so awesome. ;)) So I'm afraid I can't be your scapegoat example in this particular instance.

    I got so sniffy about this transfer-agreement policy that I rang said relative, who clarified: yes, tenants must agree (aha! so I am wrong, sorry!), but in over a decade my particular relative has never had anyone who refused to move. The wording of the transferral or flatmate-gaining request is, however, as per management instruction, meant to be pretty forceful, not wishy-washy. So Andrew, what's management policy on how these things are worded? Because I was never given the impression that I had a choice on the flatmate thing by that other tenancy manager, either. How are tenancy managers supposed to act? Do they get fired for sounding too imperative? I should let my relative know...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I just knew as I was writing my previous comment that it would be so! :-) (Hence my disclaimer)

    Can you shed any further light on this requirement for flatmates/boarders? Do you have to find your own or do they assign one to you?! Sounds bizzare! And what about the rent/board they pay? Does that get added to your income? Reduce your Accommodation Supplement?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Retrofiting state Houses to improve Energy Efficiency - is a study by The Energy Management Group - at Uni of Otago.

    Cost Benefit is still being done but initial results point to a 2/3rds saving on heating in a fully insultated house in Dunness.

    Fuel Poverty indicates Christchurch having the larget fuel cost & number of fuel poor households.
    Similar numbers as AKL but twice the costs with similar cost to Dunedin who have 1/2 the number of fuel poor households.

    If that's clear as mud.

    timb@solaraction.org.nz

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You can find your own flatmates - HNZ aren't that draconian! You don't get an accommodation supplement if you're paying income-related-rent in an HNZ house - you're already being subsidised with your cheap rent. Board didn't get added to your total income as the holder of the tenancy, which is kind of a loophole for tenants I suppose, depending on how much board your flatmates paid. But this was a few years ago, so maybe they've changed that now...? Plus Andrew will probably tell me that management policy is actually totally different. :)

    (The more I think about it, the crappier a tenancy manager's job is. You have to be all sound and fury, but in the end you signify nothing!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I got so sniffy about this transfer-agreement policy that I rang said relative, who clarified: yes, tenants must agree (aha! so I am wrong, sorry!),

    No sweat - I was wondering if the policy had changed since I left last year.

    but in over a decade my particular relative has never had anyone who refused to move.

    I can believe that - usually they're being transferred to a better property, or, as in the case of the Community Renewal projects (eg, Glen Innes), urged to move either temporarily or permanently. And offered a place in a new property in the same place when they're built or refurbished.

    So Andrew, what's management policy on how these things are worded? Because I was never given the impression that I had a choice on the flatmate thing by that other tenancy manager, either.

    I presume they are worded so as to comply with tenancy laws.

    How are tenancy managers supposed to act? Do they get fired for sounding too imperative? I should let my relative know...

    Did I say that? What I said was that they have to follow the rules. Your relative probably knows that already.

    And on the subject of being told to get tenants - that was before you signed the lease? Because there wasn't a smaller property available to you? Yes, HNZC, with their Suitable Homes initiative, are quite keen to ensure their properties are utilised efficiently, they might (depending on demand & supply) decline to rent a 4 bedroom house to a single person or couple, but that's not the same as forcing you to get flatmates.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    You can find your own flatmates - HNZ aren't that draconian!

    And on a light note - you're maybe thinking of Corrections :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I, on the other hand, would respectfully suggest that there are huge communication problems between tenancy managers and Housing New Zealand management,

    and in the same vein... You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment! :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Board didn't get added to your total income as the holder of the tenancy, which is kind of a loophole for tenants I suppose, depending on how much board your flatmates paid. But this was a few years ago, so maybe they've changed that now...? Plus Andrew will probably tell me that management policy is actually totally different. :)

    Actually as far as I know you're right & it hasn't changed. And it IS a loophole for some, although tenancy managers told me that it's a hard one to police because not everyone declares it.

    it was/is a favourite parliamentary question. Some (not many) tenants were paying income related rents, taking in boarders & making a profit.

    Oh and Danielle - one thing I didn't address before - no way do I consider HNZC tenancy managers incompetent in general. I've tagged along behind one or two on their rounds & I have nothing but respect for the jobs they do & the difficulties they face each day.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    KUMBAYA
    Traditional. Adapted and arranged by Robert DeCormier,
    Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers.
    © 1998 Mapape Lake Music Publishing - ASCAP

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Last night I was out enjoying both the blustery cold and second hand reports of the Warriors' win. I got talking to a colleague who over the last seven years has made $1,000,000 on the property market. Over the same period he's earned about $500,000 in salary. Because of his savvy use of the LAQC structure, he faces a 10% marginal tax rate. (For comparative purposes, a worker on an average income faces a 33% marginal tax rate.)

    I respect my colleague's achievement, and I believe that he is entitled to the rewards of his foresight and hard work. On the other hand, I believe that our property market is hurting our economy and disadvantaging ordinary people. IMO we face a problem that only a law change or a market correction can resolve.

    My question is this: why was there so much momentum for the politically catastrophic Anti-Smacking Bill but so little behind moves to address a problem that affects so many ordinary New Zealanders?
    Is it because almost everyone in a quasi-professional job has a second house or is thinking about getting one?

    Sue Bradford has frittered away the left's political support on an meaningless personal crusade. IMO it is incumbent on Bradford and her supporters to get it back. She might start by not putting up absurd private members bills.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10447178&pnum=0

    Since Nov 2006 • 602 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    This is a very warped thread.
    I was hoping for much more comment pointed towards the two merchant bank tricksters, but on page one the subject was changed to welfare fraud in connection with state housing.
    Having re-read the original post I am unable to see any mention of that topic.
    I am looking forward to a future post on welfare accomodation fraud, so that those of you who know so much about housing might all be able to express some thoughts on Fay and Richwhite.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I can only assume it's because there are about 3 people in these forums who know anything about Fay and Richwhite or care to comment on them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    So should it have been quite a short thread, Yamis?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Bryan you haven't added to the thread you've just complained, are you a British immigrant?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    "why was there so much momentum for the politically catastrophic Anti-Smacking Bil"

    Sues anti smaking bill is one whos time had come.
    There is no better demonstration of this than the amazing accord of Green, Labour, National, Untied Future (he he), Maori - have I missed anyone? I mean was there a party against it?
    And this may well save lives and will definately improve lives for families.
    This means it wasn't 'just' a smack. As the rule of thumb has gone so too violence to kiddies needed to.

    "Is it because almost everyone in a quasi-professional job has a second house or is thinking about getting one?"

    Those who know are often paid by those who don't want to know or instruct them to tell them what thay want to know.

    Who is speaking truth to power?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Is it True the BullDogs Rugby League Team have been banned from booze & porn?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Bryan you haven't added to the thread you've just complained, are you a British immigrant?

    S'funny, it seemed to me that Brian made a damned good point about the rather strange direction that this thread's taken.
    If you were attempting a joke with your 'British immigrant' reference, I'm afraid it slipped right by me.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3555 posts Report Reply

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