Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    How much demand is that? How many people rent a house a the lower end of the market? How many people are you talking about? How much will it keep prices lower by? How much are they going up by anyway? How much will they cost? How many are being built anyway? How will it affect the quantity of the ones that are being built? How many people will the population be by the time they’re finished being built? How much effect does building of new houses actually have on population?

    I’ll get my research team right on that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    It’s a very well held theory with lots of real world evidence.

    And a whole lot of counterexamples. It's so useless for any practical purpose that it's only used in theoretical arguments.

    but demand for housing is moderately predictable at the lower end.

    Then predict away.

    State housing competes with the bottom 10-20% of income levels

    Because only poor people ever buy cheap houses? It's like landlords never even existed.

    I’ll get my research team right on that.

    So actually it's rather a complicated thing then? But surely there's "lots of real world evidence". Surely making predictions about how much prices will be affected is child's play? Tell me, even in the broadest sweeping strokes, how you would go about putting a number on it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Suzannah Paul,

    As a community worker of may years I offer just this, believe nothing of what your hear, and half of what you see! Via our news reporting system we see only what representations the media want the General Public to see. In truth, the gaps in socio-economic boundaries are far wider and impacting than we are ever told. One question that needs answering is: what is happening to all the $$$ being gradually, (and not so gradually) from the public sector? The public fund for supporting Community Groups who use volunteers to assist those who are in need and at risk is, and has been a sinking lid policy for many years. It is about to get much worse! Volunteers form a huge part of a work force that is not actually taken into account as far as income saved is concerned. At one time, some years ago, the amount of man hours if calculated as paid time, for one sector was $10,000,000.00 per year. That figure was not definite, as many hours are not recorded in a manner for such a calculation. Government needs to recognise that Volunteers are an very important part of the community bindings, and advocate for more use of volunteers, as they make friends, network, and learn work skills. New Zealanders with English as a second language also make a difference here.
    So, back to my question: where is all the money being withdrawn from services going? We are all spending more under the user pays system, costs for services, power, telephone, etc are increasing, as is food, clothing, and transport, so it isnt going there. Importers, traders, businesses that manufacture goods to sell, and export, all have to pay to do this, and much of the cost is in duty, customs etc that goes into the government revenue coffers. Salaries and wages are not keeping up with increasing inflation, Beneficiaries, (those awful people who bludge!) are not receiving enough to keep body and soul together, never mind support a family, particularly when there are children or others who have serious health issues.

    If anyone chose to look back over the last few years, and research how much we have lost in $$$$ from the services, it would be realised that much of that money would have made a difference to the housing situation in this country. There have been over the last 20/30 years several practical building methods that cut the time, and cost of constructing a house for example. Modulok/kitset style is one. Habitat for Humanity, I understand, uses group work, (like barn raising?). Some of these ideas are worth implementing today when the need for fast, cost effective, sound construction is the requirement. Sweat Equity, where the future home owners put in time and energy, is another way of building equity.
    Which ever way we look at it, unless the current system is restructured, New Zealand will end up with overwhelming poverty, illness and crime.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Russell owns an ex-state house and enjoys the social equity he experiences in that. Russell spends considerable time and energy defending the Labour government, over almost anything, , on Twitter, except if they don't come around to his way of thinking about drugs because that's his tribe.

    Russell used to be a series journalist who I respect and feel gratitude toward. Seriously, what the fuck is up. The accomodation supplement helped me to pay the mortgage on my ex-maori affaires house in Whangarei while I was new parent and getting an arts degree. Thats why I'm not part of the patronised classes of "needy" homeless people.

    Social Equity please, grown ups need to actually act. Endless dribbling on Twitter only makes you 'feel' like you did something.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And this was my comment that piece Russell just linked to from his Twitter.

    “ The exception is those who managed to land with a mortgaged home, but don’t have the income to service it. The subsidy systom can help keep these people out of poverty. This is particularly helpful to solo parents.

    It would rather be nice to hear some talking about getting people who live in poverty, into home ownership with subsidized loans.

    Poverty sucks. And by the way, it has almost nothing to do with children rocking up to school in barefoot.”

    And if you go back and read the first lot of comments there are high levels of engagement -ie people writing actual whole paragraphs of enlightening thought. Compare that to the Twitter current Twitter conversations about this same social dilemma today.

    Russell linked this article from his Twitter feed to do nothing more that get some told you so pats on the back. And as you would expect, predictably as a man made algorithm. That is what happened, but none us are any the wiser about anything in particular.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,


    Housing minister encouraging wealth inequality. She is marketing the build to rent concept which is just raw capitalism. If you where born into a bit of money you get to clip the essential workers wage packet because they don’t have capital. With out having to even get off you arse. The government will facilitate this.

    ““What opportunities does it provide for so-called mum and dad investors to invest in a different way in housing, to bring forward new supply, not have to have the hassle of being the landlord because it’s a more professionalised rental market, and more importantly, they’re not competing with their kids in the suburbs over the same stock.”

    Can we stop calling it a “housing market”. It’s a need, unless you're okay with the essential work force living in cheap vans. And then becoming unemployable because of stress, then creating actual full blow slums a few years down the track.


    Tourism minister looking at banning people from living or “camping” in cheap vans.

    These people are arse holes. We should tell them to fuck off.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The emergency motel population is ruffly the same number as the prison population - Circa 8000. Both have revolving doors.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to steven crawford,

    Newshub, nice to see some healthy anger. “All those wankers you see in the paper that are 32 years old and ‘I bought my first house at 22 and now I own 12 houses’ have just been lucky enough to be in this 10-year period where [house prices have soared] and they just keep re-leveraging. Well, those guys will be fucked, which is good…

    I agree, owning more than one home is greedy. It’s okay to be angry about that sort of thing.

    Mark Todd is rightly our local version of Nick Hanauer, who's also posted on Newsroom:


    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Most New Zealanders don’t understand relative poverty.

    It’s acceptable to build tiny houses on state owned land in most poor countries. These are called slums.

    You could get fined for sleeping in your car in New Zealand. Being punished and patronised (treated like a child) for not having wealth, is part of what makes poverty real and relative in New Zealand. You probably won’t suffer malnutrition but your mental health will deteriorate.

    Wealthy New Zealanders normally view poverty while on package tours in developing countries. But never look at their own.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Relative poverty is when you work all day at the minimum wage and you get home to find an email from your medical centre billing you that entire days wage for a short consultation plus “admin fees”. Or your car gets a $200 ticket because you didn’t have time between shifts to spend that half a days wages for the 20 minute check at VTNZ (including admin fees).

    Or when some arse hole policy wonk just creates a random compliance fee that equals a days pay, which doesn’t bother them because it doesn’t hardly touch them personaly. The average policy analyst gets paid four times what a bus driver is paid.

    Okay thats not really relative poverty, its plain ordinary unfairness. But if we continue with this social power imbalance the the comfortable classes have become accustomed, everyone will end up stressed and unable to operate well. Wealthy people will waist energy justifying it and poor people will simply crap out.

    I mean more people than the thousands that already live in “emergency accommodation” and the prison system, will start spitting at you on the street. And fear enough.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    This from Twitter:
    "I like craft beer, unstructured data, and the right turning give way rule. Social Democrat. Public servant. I have a folder of Simpsons GIFs"

    Just had two E-bikes stolen from the garage!

    In other, less news,

    Dude I know living on his boat at Herald Island is running the gauntlet with his children thru the alcoholic depravity on the landing because the sheer numbers of homeless men who have thrown the towel in.

    Dude says his mate just got fined $200 for illegally sleeping in his car at Papamoa beach.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    "Departments that have a higher proportion of staff in operational and service delivery jobs tended to have a lower average salary, such as the Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Social Development, Department of Conservation and New Zealand Customs Service.

    Agencies with more staff in leadership had higher average salaries."

    That would explain an endemic culture of bullying many people feel. Pushing and shoving to get to the leadership role.

    Carolyn hasn’t had a pay rise since 2019, when her pay increased by $5000 a year to just under $100,000.

    “It doesn’t make me feel at all valued,” she says. “The cost of everything else is going up. It makes me feel like ‘stuff it, you don’t value my work, I might as well go and do something else’. It’s a kick in the teeth.”

    Carolyn (not her real name, is a manager in the department of corrections. She is in the business of managing to keep people locked in small concrete containers.

    PS: Prison managers are often doing humanitarian work. Trying to seperate sexual abuse trauma victims from perpetrators while they’re all locked up together in the concrete containers.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Jacinda Ardern, has the cold sociopathic look in her eyes

    “While it is too soon to assess the longer-term impacts of Covid-19, we know it has given rise to major challenges in the lives of our most vulnerable.”

    Jacinda Ardern needs to fuck right off.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Jacinda Ardern : “Many of the issues facing children, young people and their families are complex, stubborn and intergenerational, so we know change will take time, and will require sustained action across government and across our communities."

    "In the 2019/20 year, 36 per cent of children had been living in households spending more than 30 per cent of their disposable income on housing, up from 35 per cent the year prior. This shift was within a margin of error, so may not represent a real increase.

    “Spending more than 30 per cent of disposable household income on housing costs is generally considered unaffordable,” the report said."

    Thats not "many complex issues" or Covid 19. Thats Jacinda Ardern "No capital gains tax on my watch".

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The National party MP for Wellington ( name irrelevant ) was up on the podium making a speech about cleaning up the streets because it's ugly and scary.

    The MP was talking about those people urinating, vomiting and shouting. Thats the middle class at 3am on after a night on the clubs.

    The homeless people are scared of them.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    New Zealanders don’t like to talk about the class system.

    It’s easier to pretend there isn’t one.

    But let’s have a go. What is Middle Class – how do we know if we are Middle Class?

    There are measures such as home ownership, income and education, but what about attitude?

    How do you view yourself in relation to the Essential Worker Class?

    Were you dependent on the people in the Essential Workers Class during lock down, but because you have a superior education, own your own home and manage your money online, you can afford to feel mushy empathy for them?

    And do you sometimes make the comment “thank you”, while you glance up from your iPhone because the person in the Essential Worker Class cleaned the toilet?

    If yes to all those, congratulations! thats me.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I thought this was satire

    But then I realised its the same as being on fortune five hundred, but instead of being praised for being supper greedy. It’s for those kids who did and said what ever it took (what ever it took) to get the achievement trophies at school assembly.

    The current government seems to be stacked with these sorts people. They don’t really care about the people they’re supposed to serve, because they are shallow and empty people. They strive, pathologically, for achievement trophies and applause to fill the empty void within them.

    Thats why they don’t have the ability to achieve anything much for us.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Habitat for humanity

    Sometimes, when I read something like that, a voice inside me says : “These people should take responsibility and sort there own shit out – all by them selves”

    Lucky, there is more dialog going on in side of me than just that.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Anyone reading all this could easily mistake me for being some sort of resentful trailer trash with a drinking problem. Not true.

    Yesterday, being the weekend, I went out with my partner to cycle our local rail trail. It was wonderfull to be out under the Autumn trees meandering thru the historic passage ways over looking the gentle water flows. And to get that heathy oxygen thru the blood.

    And to see that carpark full of late model SUVs (which make us proud to be kiwi). At the high peak, we stopped for lunch among the decent family’s and they’re wonderful expensive bikes. to see 12 year old kids with $6000 bicycles brought a tear to my eyes. I thought about how these kids are so happy, and that they have caring parents who probably own a rental property or two for funding the toys and halls of residence-higher education.

    New Zealand is a wonderful country, pretty much like one of the United States of America.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I drive thru Whitby then Waitangarua – Canons creek regularly. Disgusting inequality going on between these two community’s. It’s black and white. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.

    But it’s better to do something about it.

    Remember, it's okay to get angry about these things.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Housing thats nauseatingly bland but ticks all the sensible boxes

    Let's live like that, because its logical.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The new more condensed housing I’m seeing popping all over the place needs a bit more colour. But I’m sure they are all warm, dry, energy efficient and within commuting distance to low paid and meaningless work. And they’all probably have ultra fast broadband for watching streaming documentary’s about outside.

    What more would you possibly need?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Cycle ways!

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    All sorts of detachment

    Its good to see people thinking about the homeless teens, but not sure if building boxes that look like nice prison cells, then placing them in “good people” gardens like pet animals is the total solution.

    Not sure why the architecture award ether. Maybe it’s something to do with bang for buck.

    Or the name...

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

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