Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Flaccid balloon, mite-ridden bees

15 Responses

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Why does Auckland need a Government House? - it doesn't have a Premier House - I assume that non-Auckland PMs stayed in hotels.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Julie Fairey,

    One of the sites on the secret minibus tour was Three Kings Quarry and surrounding park land, land that most certainly isn’t owned by the Crown. No surprises then when Smith decided to join the resources of the Ministry of Housing and HNZ Corp to the side of the owners of Three Kings Quarry, and hopeful developers of that and a bunch of council land too, Fletchers, in an Environment Court appeal now being heard in June.

    Is the list of land available anywhere online? I would be very interested to see it if so.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report

  • bob daktari,

    I'm interested in what the 54 million was spent on?

    If you want a gotcha surely this is the area on which to focus - especially given how the 26 million spent on the flag referendum caused such outrage from certain quarters, pointing out Smith's failings is a road to frustration on most levels, except perhaps the financial

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Why does Auckland need a Government House?

    You probably missed the memo about the coup!
    :- )
    or maybe it's a back-up one for after the Wellington earthquakes...
    :- (
    (hope not, touch wood)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Moz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Why does Auckland need a Government House?

    It's less why the country needs it, and more what its value is. The current incumbent would no doubt be happy to knock it down and replace it with a modern collection of "first home buyer apartments starting from $1M" or somesuch, but unless the land is cleared first I expect no private enterprise will touch it. Getting permission to clear the site would be only the first problem.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

  • papango, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    No, no. It's not a back-up. It's where the G-G lives in Auckland. And also where we officially stow the Queen if she ever shows up.

    It was gifted to the country in the 1960s and it's actually pretty modest as far as these things go. It doesn't have the reception rooms and ball rooms and whatnot that the Wellington one does.

    It's got a really nice garden, though. It'd be nice if they opened that up a bit, you can go for a guided tour, but it'd be nicer if it was part of the domain.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 19 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Moz,

    first home buyer apartments starting from $1M


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Scott G, in reply to papango,

    Part of the domain?
    Do you mean part of Mt Eden/Maungawhau?

    Since Mar 2016 • 10 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    You know there's a simple solution to the Auckland housing crisis ... house buyers just need to get some solidarity, go on strike, refuse to buy any houses .... the bubble will burst, house prices will drop, all will be right with the world

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    Two simple things the government can do to make housing more affordable:
    1) Legislate to limit all foreign buyers to only purchasing new builds. That will bolster the market for new houses, which is what everyone agrees is the problem - we're not building them fast enough. If developers know they have a market segment guaranteed to them they will ramp up building projects. At present they have to 'compete' for the property investor dollar with existing stock.
    2) Legislate to rezone whole blocks in the CBD fringe as high density residential living, since council don't have the political will to make that hard decision (which is also why the govt won't do it either). You need to rezone whole blocks, not little pockets here and there, in order to (ultimately) get a decent design aesthetic. Pardon my privilege, but I have been to Barcelona and Paris and Brooklyn and seen great examples of high density neighbourhoods with pocket parks and six storey apartment buildings. With proper design controls (oh, there's that thing again: regulation!) we need not fear 'Hong Kong style slum towers' (which is a whole other subject, because HK also have lovely apartment communities)

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Building more houses is not the (whole) solution.

    If people expect house prices to inflate at a higher rate than they can borrow at, then owning a house turns into signing up for free money.

    If there's free money on offer, then everyone will pile in. It's got nothing to do with supply and demand for houses to live in - the demand is to join in the free money scheme, which will always tend to infinite.

    Stop foreign buyers purchasing existing properties, and that might depress the price of those vs new builds, but there'll be plenty of NZers to keep buying into existing properties and sections.

    Intensification will help, in that it'll mean people will be able to afford some sort of property (much as in expensive overseas cities) but if the expectation of continually rising prices doesn't go away, then quite soon those 30m3 apartments will also be unaffordable.

    The only thing that would work would be a house price target, say a range of -3..-10% over the next ten years, backed up by a system of automated measures up to and including a 100% tax on capital gains above a certain price/GV ratio (for instance, that if you sell a house with a GV of $500k for $700k, you pay $200k tax).

    They won't do it, because governments (Labour as well) are addicted to giving the middle classes free money, in part to compensate for the erosion of the purchasing power of the money they earn from actually working.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Mark Graham, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    In case there's a need for the Crown to put down an insurrection led by Parliament. The G-G can stay in Auckland whilst the air force bombs the crap out of Wellington.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report

  • Rae Sott,

    Hamilton • Since Apr 2015 • 21 posts Report

  • Moz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    a 100% tax on capital gains above a certain price/GV ratio

    The old Australian system was actually good IMO. They taxed the after-inflation gain on all assets at your personal tax rate (with spreading over I think 3 years). So if you owned a house for 20 years then sold it, you only got taxed at the real gain, not the raw dollar figure (because over 20 years inflation alone is likely to double the dollar figure).

    Then Howard decided to encourage churn in the housing market to help the states (who tax the churn rather than having a land tax). So now we pay tax on house price gains, but get a 50% discount on investment properties and 100% on the house we live in, if we meet some rules based on "people do X, which is bad, so X is banned"... after ten years it's 3 pages of weird questions. It means that if you own a house for 20 years you pay tax on much of the inflation, but if you only hold it for 3 years you only pay tax on half the profit. Oh, except for superannuation funds, including "self managed super funds", which pay tax at a rate of 15% regardless of your personal/marginal rate.

    Australia is both a good example of how you can do this, and of how you can really screw things up.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

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