Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    But to pretend that Twyford has invented a racist dog whistle ignores the evidence. Whether speculators from China are buying 40% of available stock is another question, but I absolutely guarantee they're buying some of it. Because our market encourages it by design.

    Nope - Twyford is being pilloried because he's still going out there and trying to spin dodgy conclusions drawn from weak evidence that I pray wouldn't pass muster in a halfway decent first year university paper.

    And every time I hear Twyford chirp "this is just confirming what everyone knows is true" I despair that he's likely to end up holding a Cabinet portfolio where leading with his gut rather than sound evidence-based policy could do real and lasting harm.

    frustration with the fact the left can't even attack National about this without being called racist.

    Well, I kinda share your frustration there Mark, but not in a way you're going to like. If a certain segment of "the left" don't like being called racist anymore than certain segments of "the right," that's all on them. Stop making it so damn easy. It really is that simple.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    I do regret that Twyford was inelegant on his appearance on The Nation. This is a subject that needs more than a little elegance, what with NZ’s sordid history of fear and loathing.

    Andrew Little has no regrets.

    "We understood the risks but we thought that having got information that clearly highlights an issue that is consistent with what we've been saying, we made the judgment it should be disclosed. I think people need to know."

    But finally rolls out a little more nuance.

    "Our first moral duty is to those who live here, and that includes those of Chinese ethnicity who have chosen to live here, or whose parents or grandparents chose to live here. They are the people we care about."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to ,

    As an aside, I haven’t had a lot of luck with Chinese equipment. But my frend has an old school Chinese, which is easily as reliable as a Russian one from the same period.

    Car? Manservant?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • Mark H, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    We can do something, but the left has given up on economics but that's cool. I'll retreat back into my little cave. But when the music stops, that's when we all going to really hurt.

    Since Sep 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Mark H, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    True Labour made too easy for National to attack them on this

    Since Sep 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    FWIW I don't think Labour/Twyford were dog-whistling. Labour stuffing up the framing is sadly unsurprising. But I'm still shocked this is a story about Labour fuelling racism and not the govt sitting on its hands with its eyes shut while out-of-control foreign investment fuels Auckland's property bubble.

    ‘hard-working Kiwis’

    Jeez I hate this. Any party that doesn't want the votes of laid-back lazy-ass kiwis is alienating a lot of us. But seriously: it feeds a nasty self-righteous work-is-the-only-thing-we-value narrative that's as dishonest as it is bigoted.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Mark H,

    the left has given up on economics but that’s cool.

    Well... some of us haven't, but the post 84 consensus has a lock on the discourse. In the course of this discussion, I've started to feel that a possible reason we keep having the OH NOES IDENTITY POLITICS thing blow up is that this is the only area where change feels possible any more; questioning the underpinnings of our current economic arrangements can only be done in the gentlest way before you're considered crazy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    questioning the underpinnings of our current economic arrangements can only be done in the gentlest way before you're considered crazy.

    Or you take the path of terminal political geekery. Why Barnett's bizarre brainfart generated so little reaction compared to Twyford's own goal is outside of my limited comprehension. As far as I know, it's not something that Barnett's resiled from yet.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    questioning the underpinnings of our current economic arrangements can only be done in the gentlest way before you’re considered crazy.

    The usual suspects will cry ‘crazy’. But the level of support Bernie Sanders is getting in the US raises the possibility there could be a sea-change in the offing.
    Labour and even the Greens’ tendency to buy into market gospel has pushed more than a few votes Mana’s way. It’s sure frustrating.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Swan,

    If this is a bubble, as some are suggesting, that is great for nzers. When the foreign investors sell up en masse we will have ended up with a large transfer of wealth from China to NZ. Also house prices dropping is what we want, right?

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Twyford doubles down, misrepresents critics.

    Aucklanders from all walks of life have offered their views. Many have welcomed what they see as a long overdue debate. Others, notably in the Twittersphere, have been quick to accuse me of racism because I have talked about a particular ethnic group.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    Further supporting the hypothesis of offshore money becoming a greater actor in NZ housing is the lack of reaction exhibited by the realestate market to changes in the NZ offical cash rate.

    Yes. Also changes to leverage ratios. We insisted that people have much higher equity. The market didn't even pause. All it did was lock out the poorest aspirants. Our problem is not a sub-prime bubble.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Mark H, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Well that's positive, yes I tend to agree that the left is more 'comfortable' talking about the identity politics thing rather than economics. Further National knows it and exploits it.

    Since Sep 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Swan,

    If this is a bubble, as some are suggesting, that is great for nzers. When the foreign investors sell up en masse we will have ended up with a large transfer of wealth from China to NZ. Also house prices dropping is what we want, right?

    Trouble is that if it's happening, it's being influenced by an even bigger bubble. If a lot of capital flees the two Chinese stock markets, it's going to go somewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Andrew Little has no regrets.

    Far out, what a ridiculous equivocation by Nick Smith. Because Pacific Island immigration is exactly like massive capital coming from China, and Labour is proposing dawn raids on Chinese workers here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Race Relations Commissioner comments.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    That's the sort of kicking you open yourself to by putting your foot in your own mouth for them.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Mark H,

    True Labour made too easy for National to attack them on this

    I dunno. I think this has a big chance of being an own goal for National. Because the unusual inversion of Labour being the "racists" and National getting to be the one who slams them for it isn't something that I think will resonate with a lot of undecided voters. If there truly is a demographic that is turned off by the "Identity politics focus", then I would bet that they would be wondering what the hell National is doing playing that tune. It's not a tune that they would feel comfortable echoing themselves.

    So them calling it "dumb politics" by Labour seems to me like a rearguard. They should be seeking to distance themselves from it completely - if it becomes a big part of national debate then we get the big danger to National that actual sound data about foreign ownership in NZ could come out and they'll be looking like they're in complete denial about something that is surely a massive issue to a lot of undecided voters. They will look like they're hiding it. Which, let's face it, they are.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    True, it may well blow up more before it pops. I think the message here might be caveat emptor to potential purchasers, but of course we heard that before. Any way you look at it, it is hard to make an argument that this is bad for NZ. It is only bad for would be property investors, but is that policy relevant?

    Also note that the front page of the herald site is looking pretty ugly at the moment. Certainly any hope that they might have moved on from the data being related to Chinese ethnicity to the wider question about foreign investment looks to have been dashed:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11480028

    I'm not in the office today but when I next have to sit down next to my ethnic Chinese colleagues I am going to be feeling pretty sheepish.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    It was clear during the middle of last decade that ever higher interest rates did little to slow the gain in house prices.

    I looked into that too. While interest rates got worse as a predictor of house prices, foreign currency conversions into New Zealand dollars got better as a predictor.

    But lets be clear, with regards to interest rate policy and houses, the RBNZ banking stability mandate means it is not actually a problem, provided not too many New Zealanders try and compete by taking out mortgages and buying houses (so that there are not enough mortgages that a downturn destabilises the banking sector). It would lock those with mortgages into a lifetime of "underwater" house value, but provided that number of people is fairly small the banking sector is safe.

    Of course, if you believe in quaint fairytale notions of home ownership and community building and social capital... well, that is not the Reserve Bank's mandate, and it doesn't seem to be the present government's interest.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Swan,

    Also note that the front page of the herald site is looking pretty ugly at the moment.

    Yup, got my ire up I can tell you.
    For those of you that don't wish to see it yourselves right now they have a "Property" article penned by Ann Gibson with the words "They should build, not buy" over a picture of some elderly Chinese people.
    This harks back to what I said earlier about Racism being endemic in NZ.
    To be honest it made me feel a little sick.
    So, for all those here bagging Twyford take a quick look in the mirror, Labour are NOT the bad guys here.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Swan,

    Any way you look at it, it is hard to make an argument that this is bad for NZ.

    No, it's really not. Being locked out of the property market is bad for a lot of NZers. And if the bubble bursts, it would be economically catastrophic here because so much of our economy relies on it. It won't be great for people that property suddenly deflates when their entire business folds at the same time, and no bank will lend them any money all of a sudden. It definitely won't be good for all the property owners who will have their mortgages foreclosed on them, losing everything they've got and a whole lot more.

    I don't know if it's a bubble, personally. But if it is, that's not a good thing. It's a recipe for the next Great Depression for us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Labour and the Greens have changed government housing policy this way

    What Members Bill on housing policy are you referring to?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You do all know that you can talk about two or more things at the same time, right? I'm sure moaning about "identity politics" makes perfect sense to you if you're not, y'know, one of the people with an "identity". You want to talk about economics? Go right ahead! Just don't tell the people feeling othered that racism isn't the "real issue". BOTH OF THE ISSUES ARE REAL ISSUES.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Swan,

    It is only bad for would be property investors, but is that policy relevant?

    As long as you think of aspiring first-time homeowners as schmucks who failed to get with the brave new agenda, no problem.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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