Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland

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  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Another strange idea is the idea that any analysis that looks at race and ethnicity must therefore be racist.

    If Labour were talking about all foreign investors not just one ethnicity of them, you might have a point. You don't.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    People have been pointing out that there is an unresolved logical leap between ‘has Chinese surname’ and ‘is foreign investor’. Pretty major weakness wih the argument.

    It's not logically robust, but it could be pretty strong statistically. So long as you have good evidence about the distribution of people in each category, and can reasonably assert the independence of the "chinese sounding surname" from the residency status, you can actually make sound inductions about the various proportions. I feel pretty sure that Rob is competent in this respect. We can, at least, attempt to put numbers around this problem - it's a worthwhile thing to do, and it's quite hard to find a way to do it. If it takes somewhat sophisticated statistics to do it, that doesn't mean it's just crap as a result.

    A similar analysis can and probably should be done for non-"asian sounding" names to get a handle on the comparative levels of foreign investment coming from non-resident Euro-origin sources. Because it's not like Americans, Australians and Europeans have no money, or aren't insignificant investors in NZ. There's a reason the place is mostly Europeans in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster,

    Sacha, in response to your first point: this weakness is openly and frequently acknowledged in the analysis, and the result still stands from a statistical point of view. This is like saying polls are worthless because they aren’t a 100% guarantee of how people actually vote. But, as I said, if you think the analysis comes to fundamentally incorrect conclusions, just say so. Why can’t you just say so?

    In response to your second point, Labour is talking about one nationality (NOT ethnicity) because that’s what the data shows. If the data pointed to another nationality, they’d be talking about that nationality. But it does not. Talking about “all foreign investors” happens all the time. But this analysis clearly shows massive overrepresentation of people from one group. The fact that they have to do this in a roundabout way using data on ethnicity just proves why we need a register of foreign investors.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    One issue is the fact that you are comparing percentages of buyers with total population percentages. What is of more interest is the proportion of people in cohorts that are sorted with regard to their likelihood of house buying. Recent immigrants certainly fall into a category of people likely to buy houses. What is the proportion of migrants to Auckand that have Chinese sounding surnames?

    Another issue is that, if their are foreign investors buying, they may be doing so with the intention of migrating sooner or later. It's impossible to sort this group from genuinely foreign investors.

    Another other issue is it is a three month snapshot.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Labour is talking about one nationality (NOT ethnicity)

    It is ethnicity. Do read Rob Salmond's post on the methodology.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    if you think the analysis comes to fundamentally incorrect conclusions, just say so. Why can't you just say so?

    I did. Learn to troll better.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    There's an easy way to test all this - the NZ dollar just got worth a whole lot less (hooray!, I'm an exporter I ....) if Auckland house prices follow the RMB (or the US$) - jump up by ~20% again then yes, Auckland real estate is being bought up by off-shore investors, if they follow the NZ$ and don;t suddenly jump they're probably not so much.

    Of course if you are worried about the effect of immigrants on Auckland house prices simply do what we've done in the past and require new immigrants to settle somewhere else ... of course National would have to reopen all the Dept of Immigration offices they've closed around the country over the past few years

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    this analysis clearly shows massive overrepresentation of people from one group.

    and that group is only 'people with Chinese surnames'. There is no way to go from there to 'foreign investors' that is not just statistically bogus guesswork. Read Thomas Lumley's post about it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Sacha,

    Technically, labour seems to be talking about the foreign investors that can be identified as Chinese through a statistical patterns, rather than individual cases or foreign investors that cannot be identified because Australians have the same kind of surnames.

    the argument is not, as I understand it that the Chinese people here are in anyway responsible for the boom more than any other group. The argument is that, on the basis of PRC names, there is a statistical anomaly in house purchases that can plausably be explained by an additional pool of foreign speculators which do not seem to be present in the case of Indian surnames and is unidentifiable in the case of Australian hot money (at least unidentifiable in this manner )

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    faux-outrage

    Are you saying what people say about their feelings is bad faith lies? I think that’s the obvious way to understand “faux-outrage”, but feel free to correct me. For the record, I am very genuinely angry.

    about statements that were not made and conclusions that were not drawn.

    So here’s how I heard about this. I got up on Saturday morning, at my friends’ house, because I was visiting Auckland for a boozy social weekend. I was seedy but cheerful because we’d up up until 1am catching up over beer. And Matt says to me “I just read in the Herald that Labour are saying people with Chinese surnames are buying all the houses.” And from there my head started to throb. I didn’t read it and twist it, I just listened to how a reasonable apolitical person summarised it to me.

    Tom can tell me I’m patronising about the salt of the earth real people who are not like the faux people on handwringing soppy forums like this one. but I’ve spent enough time canvassing to know that most don’t read the news for detail and think about it hard, they receive an impression that gets massaged to fit with their existing understanding of the world. So being precious about “I didn’t make that statement, I didn’t draw that conclusion” is useless if you could reasonably predict how what you’ve said will be understood. Dog whistle. Peep peep peep. All the worse if unintentional in my view, because that would imply incompetence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Sacha,

    You are just wrong. All statistics is guesswork, otherwise it would be called “addition”, but the methods and evidence behind the guess is the issue. The methods and evidence behind this “guesswork” is statistically robust, and I know since I have twenty years of experience working with statistics.

    I’m still waiting for to unequivocally state whether you think the conclusions of the analysis are right or wrong. Why can’t you just say it?

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Stephen, yes or no, do you think the CONCLUSIONS of the analysis are fundamentally incorrect?

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    FYI: to discount the lived experience of thousands of Aucklanders of all races and the open and honest testimony of Chinese citizens (see NZ herald interview) absolutely is fundamentally patronising. And they are all saying the same thing. Chinese money is flooding the Auckland (and Sydney, and Vancouver, and many other cities) market.

    The strange idea that it's a good idea play less-racist-than-thou while ignoring the elephant in the room... just silly.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    There is nothing in their data about foreign investors - because NZ does not collect that detail. They have used some sound statistical work to get to their intermediate results, then nothing more than guessing from there.Do read Thomas Lumley's post.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Why can’t you just say it?

    This sort of discussion style may go down swimmingly over at Kiwibog or Failoil, but it's bloody boring here. Get over yourself.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Chinese money is flooding the Auckland (and Sydney, and Vancouver, and many other cities) market.

    My word! um, is that not good?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to KathrynB,

    KathrynB, About 22 hours ago

    ScottA
    "This really is spectacularly stupid politics from Labour."
    I couldn't agree more, and I am astounded that Rob Salmond and Phil Twyford don't see it.
    For what it is worth I do think there are a lot of non-resident investment in Auckland housing, but why frame it as a Chinese issue, and why use suspect data that inevitably will be seen as racist? Why not just say we need some accurate figures as there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that could fuel racism?

    I agree that this a real issue, for now and the future.

    It is infuriating that Labour's cack-handed dump of totally refutable figures has given the National Government a leave pass to not address anything connected with non-domiciled residential property ownership, while howling "racist".

    It is racist to look at one ethnic grouping who can be more easily identified than, say Australians or British. Good chance too that Koreans, Singaporeans, and other "Asians" have been slung in the "Chinese" pile. I am surprised Rob Salmond is trying to defend the indefensible. Sorry, or I overlooked the obvious problem with this, would be a great start.

    Was the approach were a strategic decision for Labour? If it were a bright idea that ran away with itself, why did the strategists or cool heads not get to see it before the media splash? The latter would be a fail in basic political management, but not unusual in politics or irrecoverable for the party. The former is more unpalatable: that the senior MPs and party strategists have lost the plot.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    1. I think the methods provide a pretty plausible conclusion. The idea that unregulated foreign buying is causing problems is not the controversy here.

    2. I'm quite happy to be less racist than thee. Thank you. From my perspective, you're basically arguing that reinforcing a racist discourse is ok as long as it's in support of achieving our policy aims. It's not, and it's not even necessary. The ignored elephant isn't cashed up buyers from other countries, it's how New Zealand's nationalism is intertwined with not very covert racism. Talk all you like about ignoring lived experience -- the lived experience of minorities is that this shit bleeds into their daily life in this country. But you're quite happy to ignore that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    And from there my head started to throb.

    My sympathies to you and all the 99% of Labour people I know who don't agree with the way this has been done.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Sacha,

    If your response to new people trying to have an opinion is to accuse them of being whale oil trolls that's sad. I vote green and have never posted on any of those blogs.

    You do not seem to understand that all statistics everywhere is a guess. The logic seems to be: it's stats, stats is a guess, guesses aren't absolutely guaranteed to be right, so it must be wrong. This fundamentally misunderstanda what stats are.

    I've seen you state that you think the analysis is wrong. I have not seen you state that Chinese foreign investors aren't a major driver of the Auckland housing market.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Here the logic seems to be: because some racists like this analysis, we should ignore it.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Here the logic seems to be: because some racists like this analysis, we should ignore it.

    The problem is that this analysis is fatally flawed, and not much better than anecdata. I wish, given the basic importance of the issue and the resources devoted to it, that it was reliable. The discussion should not be about race, but one of domicile and citizenship, and that's the black hole Labour has fallen into with a dreadful starting point for their research.

    (I'm green, mostly.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    We should talk about it without singling out a group of people who have regularly been singled out as a sinister presence, yes.

    And yeah, if our message -- not our analysis, which I've stipulated I'm happy to entertain, but our message -- reads as racist, that should give us pause. I go back to the summary that other people reported to me. I'm not basing that reading on my own super-sensitive antennae.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    1. I think the methods provide a pretty plausible conclusion. The idea that unregulated foreign buying is causing problems is not the controversy here.

    It's good that we agree here. From the posts on this board, the statement that

    The idea that unregulated foreign buying is causing problems is not the controversy here.

    is quite clearly true. But, in the wider world outside these political blogs, this absolutely is the controversy. So, the question becomes: why, on this blog, is perceived racism the issue, and not unregulated foreign buyers? Why, in other words, isn't it the controversy?

    Percieved racism is the controversy on this blog because the right predictably screamed "racism" and, like a flock of sheep ready for slaughter, you uncritically accepted this framing, penned yourself in, and loaded yourself into the back of the truck.

    The idea that this analysis is racist is an opinion. That's all. So, you find yourself in a position where you're defending the Labour party on charges of racism, instead of attacking the National party on charges of blowing out the Auckland property market, failing to collect vital information, and screaming "racist" because they have no other argument.

    And that's why Labour loses elections.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    I have not seen you state that Chinese foreign investors aren't a major driver of the Auckland housing market.

    Of course they are - but this piece of research does not show that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

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