OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: My last name sounds Chinese

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  • Alfie, in reply to TracyMac,

    What a shame, then, that Twyford doesn't give you any information about either.

    Information he'd gather from where, exactly?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to TracyMac,

    What a shame, then, that Twyford doesn’t give you any information about either.

    That is because, as you damn well know, the government refuses to collect it.

    The wide eyed political naivety of the PA left – to the point of your self-serving deceit – never fails to let me down.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I don’t want our country to be owned by non-resident foreign landlords, having experienced the reality of this situation as a tenant on a few occasions. I want a better deal than that for my kids.
    As sprogs we were brought up thinking that house ownership was as necessary as learning to walk, and that those who didn’t own their own houses were inferior in some way to those that did. Many New Zealanders still believe all of this crap, unfortunately. The fact is that home ownership is treated as a rite of passage in New Zealand.
    As a home owner I found that I spent a huge amount of time and money improving the property. That hasn’t been my experience when renting a house instead – landlords spend nothing on anything unless they legally have to, in my experience.
    According to Overseas Investment Office info, our main investors are from the USA, then Australia - so the extent will be much larger than just Chinese investors. I think there are valid reasons to be worried about the results of the investigation into this data, the largest ever batch ever to be released. There have been many official references to the fact the Chinese intend to spend another $10 billion soon.
    The government could get all of the investor info together in no time, if they wanted to. They obviously don’t, which leads me to believe that the majority of the non-owner-occupied properties in NZ are already foreign-owned. And I don’t care too much where that foreigner resides – I just know that kiwis deserve to own their own homes.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 347 posts Report Reply

  • Bill Eaton,

    "hot money is a dangerous thing for a small, open, export-reliant economy"

    Quite. The price-insensitivity on display in the Auckland property market is not certain to be a sign of money-laundering and foreign loot-storage but ignorance is not bliss and makes space for all kinds of wild surmise. Ignorance is, however, government policy - with results that may even have been foreseen.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Turns out that the quantative analysis behind the story was done by another sometime PA blogger, Rob Salmond.

    He responds to the methodological criticism here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to llew40,

    I would have thought a more natural fit would be target the multi nationals avoiding paying hundreds of millions each year into tax base. But no.

    You'd think so, Lew, but don't forget that's far too complicated for the feeble-minded sheeple to understand when a pollster calls.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    And let us not forget the shameful reaction of the Labour Government when Maori asked for the return of rights to the foreshore and beaches

    Indeed not. And while we are at it, let us remember that National claimed that shameful reaction was tantamount to giving in to Maori. That was a shit of an election for non-racist voters.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Ths one could be similarly dismal if Labour has decided to try and out-do Winston First (though they lack anywhere near the right level of mongrel to pull that off).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19573 posts Report Reply

  • Rae Sott, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Well then if they want to live here they can sort that out FIRST not the other way around

    Hamilton • Since Apr 2015 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Rae Sott, in reply to Andre,

    Absolutely and the National govt in 2011 changing the investor category for prospective immigrants to include residential property was, to my mind, borderline criminal. I hate the whole idea of buying one's way in, fullstop. Give me, any day, the immigrant couple with the little cafe with the piano out front the wife plays whenever she has a few minutes to spare. I bought my unplanned coffee just so I could sit and listen to her, and even hear something a bit different, Chinese music. That is my kind of immigrant, money buggars everything up,
    It should never have come to this, non resident foreigners should never have been allowed carte blanche with our housing market and farmland. We are mad to allow. I am sick of being accused of xenophobia but I am damned if I want money coming in to this country from one that has come from a country where the political system has made it possible to hoover up most of the worlds money then set out into the world to conquer it with cash. Remember there is no freehold property ownership in China.

    I am just as concerned about the TPPA and the likes of Monsanto being able to have way too much say in our lives as I am about the prospect that Chinese Communist Party could see us as a potential Tibet

    And before you start jumping up and down, my first wtf moment regarding foreign ownership came when I first learned of Walter Peak selling to USA and Israeli interests, that was a lot of years ago, and my concern has only increased, the less we do about it

    Hamilton • Since Apr 2015 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Rae Sott, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    There is no equality in todays housing market

    Hamilton • Since Apr 2015 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Baring in mind

    Naked statistics?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2909 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Can't believe Labour would do this. Were they not unpopular enough already?

    Property speculation plays a part in driving up prices, and it's reasonable to suppose that non-resident speculators are part of that.

    Nothing in that equation has anything to do with what your fucking surname is.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • David MacGregor,

    The problem with this entire distraction is that it doesn't resolve the issue of planning for decent, affordable, well planned communities where people live together happily and enjoy the relative paradise we could have.

    It doesn't matter much to me who owns property; though it does matter to me that new migrants are permitted to bring wodges of cash from China - or the US/UK - speculate in residential property as their 'contribution' to our economy and benefit from untaxed gains that are exponentially higher than money earned in service jobs - or even academic salaries - which are taxed at source and contribute to the ongoing development of infrastructure such as health and education.

    Likewise when these same migrants install their children in homes in high decile areas to enjoy free top quality education which, de facto , excludes others while adding to the competition/demand for residential property in Auckland that inflates prices - with all the flow-on effects.

    Perhaps new migrants might also buy health and education tokens (10% of sum introduced - say) with the capital they bring to catch up with the huge investment prior New Zealanders have made in this country - to offset the risk that the notional 'presence' of their capital doesn't find its way into the commons.

    I am a migrant. My family benefited from welcoming policies and inclusion when I was child - including family benefit support and state advance home loans that should, rightly, make young families trying to kick off a decent life weep angry tears. So I will take all brick bats and accusations of being a bigot with a shrug. I'm not.

    And the sooner this whole issue becomes a non-partisan thing the better. It just creates heat and not much light.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    "Third, it makes no sense to assume that only those earning $50,000 a year can afford to buy a house, because only 26% of people in Auckland earn more than $50k, but 61.5% of homes are owner-occupied (both from Census 2013)."

    ~~~~
    You need roughly 3x your yearly income to finance a house (ignoring the 10% deposit) so it's actually a yearly income of close to $150,000 per anum (joint income) to buy a $450,000 house/apartment/unit. And that's the low end of the market.

    Two things - the baby boomers who have been in the market for 30 - 40 years have seen house prices increase up to 10-fold since their first home so it's not their income from work that's buying the next house but the profit from their previous house sale.

    I suspect there are a reasonably number of people who bought many years ago, have paid off their mortgage and have no intention of moving. My parents have moved once in the last 50 years and my in-laws have never moved in roughly the same time frame.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    If the debate about "is this or is this not racist" is distracting from the important issue of non-residents buying Auckland housing, then that's because Phil Twyford and Labour chose to make the headlines of this story about race. When it didn't need to be, at all.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to David MacGregor,

    Perhaps new migrants might also buy health and education tokens (10% of sum introduced – say) with the capital they bring to catch up with the huge investment prior New Zealanders have made in this country – to offset the risk that the notional ‘presence’ of their capital doesn’t find its way into the commons.

    It's a thought-provoking proposal. There is little doubt that we have a problem in terms of being able to afford our needed infrastructure upgrades - and not just in health and education, but in transport, and reticulated services.

    If as a country we want to be in the business of selling permanent residency - what better investment for our new residents than direct into public infrastructure as opposed to private housing?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to Scott A,

    You say Twyford "chose to make the headlines of this story about race", which implies you think he had several options to choose from. So - what were they? What choice would you have made?
    I'm more perturbed by all those who choose to see this as a 'race' issue, when other more mature options are definitely available.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Seriatim,

    I’m more perturbed by all those who choose to see this as a ‘race’ issue, when other more mature options are definitely available.

    Exactly. It's a QE/ZIRP issue. And we're a country where such QE/ZIRP policy action is not a sovereign option.

    The RBNZ is concerned, rightfully so. And with the OBR instrument in place - it is NZers deposits that will take the hit. One has to wonder whether that IS the government's plan?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Multiple government organisations already hold all of the information needed to deduce foreign ownership,
    Does it matter who owns our land? Of course it does. It seems like colonisation by purchase.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 347 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A, in reply to Seriatim,

    By making the headlines about buyers with Chinese surnames, instead of the broader issue of non-residents buying property, Labour now his the risible Nick Smith leading the news bulletin, accusing them of playing the race card.

    It was Labour who chose this lede. Not Smith. Not the media. Labour.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Scott A,

    I'll say it again... this is not a race issue.

    If Russians were buying almost 40% of Auckland's property, Labour would surely have called it that way. The fact is that Labour has worked with the only stats available, thanks to the Nats continuing refusal to compile meaningful purchase info. Rob Salmond's explanation of the methods used to interpretet the data seems reasonable and points clearly to Chinese buyers distorting the Auckland housing market.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Seriatim,

    You say Twyford "chose to make the headlines of this story about race", which implies you think he had several options to choose from. So - what were they? What choice would you have made?

    Gee, how about stop pretending to be surprised when you "leak" information to the The New Zealand Herald which promptly does what the Herald has done with monotonous regularity since forever? Beat up some half-arsed and dishonest race-based smear.

    I honestly don't get you, Seriatim. For someone who claims to want a "serious" and "mature" discussion on housing affordability, you're contorting yourself mightily to give a pass to Labour's unserious, immature and downright dishonest one.

    I'll say it again... this is not a race issue.

    That's ducky, Aflie. I'll keep responding "bullshit" until one of us gets tired and gives up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    It's not an either/or, is it?

    To quote Keith's post:

    Hot money is a dangerous thing for a small, open, export-reliant economy. And a tax regime that favours non-productive activities like property speculation is crazy. These are real political issues that I feel strongly about.

    As do I. As do many voters - polling suggests most.

    So the question for the opposition is: how to make this point? And they've answered terribly. "Surnames"? FFS, it's like 2008, when the GFC was caused by capitalist greed (and we're cheering) and then somebody says: "Yeah, New York bankers - called Goldberg and something-Stein, know what I mean?" (and we're not cheering any more, we're leaving).

    This isn't hard. Labour (and I've always had great respect for Phil Twyford, hitherto) only needed to ask: 'How will this play? And is it what we want?".

    The answer to the first was obvious. The answer to the second, only they can tell us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I repeat - what options were there? What would you have done?
    If this initiative pressures the Nats into finally setting up a buyers' register - success. It doesn't matter what it reveals, just as long as we finally have hard data to base some effective policy on.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

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