Clark part of Auckland housing problem

July 29, 2013

The imbalance between supply and demand for houses in Auckland which is the biggest factor behind swiftly rising prices there didn’t happen overnight.

It has been building for more than a decade and local and central governments should have been addressing the issue years ago before it got this bad.

Who was leading the government for nearly a decade as the prices soared?

Oh yes, Helen Clark and she’s part of the problem of houses owned by foreigners.

Rob Hosking points out:

It’s a mark of how bogus the housing debate has become that Labour’s figures about foreign owners of New Zealand houses almost certainly include former leader Helen Clark and her four houses. . .

Labour says more than 11,000 foreigners own houses here they don’t live in.

. . . What Mr Shearer didn’t say is the figure comes from “non-resident” taxpayers who pay tax on houses they own in New Zealand.

Most of those are ex-pat Kiwis who are renting out property they own here while working overseas.

How could Labour put out a policy so badly researched?

This conversation on twitter explains it:


  1. Shearer’s ‘foreign investor’ figures are mostly expat Kiwis – people like Helen Clark & her four houses [PAID] …

  2. .@robhosking This is frustrating. It took you less than a day to find the holes – why aren’t Labour peer reviewing before policy release?

  3. @MeganCampbellNZ Own arse. Both hands. Lack of a GPS navigational device not to mention basic hand/eye co-ordination.

But it gets worse – Labour’s policy is not only based on faulty figures, it also contravenes the Free Trade Agreement with China that was negotiated by the last Labour government.

  1. Lemme get this right. Labour’s housing ban stops expat Kiwis from buying homes here but the FTA lets Chinese buy, along with Aussies? WTF?

  2. @BillyRalston very slightly rushed out policy, you reckon?

  3. @toby_etc I think someone in Shearer’s office had a brain bypass.

  4. @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc C’mon you can’t put this FAIL on the ‘office’. Good politicians ask questions &understand own policy

  5. @MeganCampbellNZ @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc EXACTLY. Blaming minions is what Aaron Gilmores of this world do, not would-be PMs.

Oh dear, faulty figures based on incomplete understanding and no idea about the FTA a Labour government negotiated – is anyone in Labour thinking?

Hat tip: Keeping Stock

P.S. – in case you think I’m guilty of Clark derangement syndrome.The post is to show Labour’s shortcomings – in government for not recognising and acting on the growing imbalance between supply and demand of houses and now for this ill-thought out policy –  not to comment on her investment decisions about which I have no criticism.

Margaret Mahy 21.3.1936 – 23.7.2012

July 24, 2012

Friends gave our daughter a copy of The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate for her first birthday.

It was the first Margaret Mahy book I’d read and I was hooked from the first page.

Her wonderful way with words, her quirky use of language and unique view of the world made her books firm favourites in our household.

I read of her death yesterday, with great sadness.

The New Zealand Book Council details her achievements and contributions to literature here.

Storylines profiles her here.

A Kate De Goldi tribute in the Listener is here.

Her essay A Dissolving Ghost, Possible Operations of Truth in Children’s Books and the Lives of Children is here.

At NZ On Screen is  the documentary Made in New Zealand – Margaret Mahy. (Hat Tip for those link to Toby Manhire who writes: Weaver of magic, wearer of wigs, Mahy lives on in thousands of homes in New Zealand and elsewhere, her pages wrinkled from reading after reading.

Beattie’s Book Blog has a story which sums up her reputation and influence:

. . . One little story from a visit I made to an American library back in the late 1980’s. I was in the public library in the
small Connecticut town of Westport with the pre-school son of a friend. At one stage I took a photograph of him sitting looking at a picture book and was immediately reprimanded by the librarian who tersely asked “had I not seen the sign saying no photography?”. I apologised and upon noticing my accent she asked me where I was from. New Zealand I said. Oh my she said I don’t suppose you know
Margaret Mahy? Indeed I do I said, I know Margaret very well. Oh in that case she said please feel free to take as many photographs as you like! She then gave me a guided tour of the library which included two large full colour posters featuring Margaret and her books. And she talked endlessly and enthusiastically about Margaret’s genius and about listening her speak at a librarian’s conference.And then insisted on making me a cup of coffee. . .

She was a treasure, her books will continue to be so.

In memory of a great story person I offer these words of comfort from Brian Andreas at Story People  to those who knew and lover her:

It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it
is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space & she still
laughs & grapples with ideas & plans & nods wisely with each of us
in turn. We are proud to have known her. We are proud to have called her friend.

%d bloggers like this: