‘eadless chook disarray over Housing NZ dividend

It seemed bizarre yesterday with both the manner in which Steven Joyce claimed that Housing New Zealand would not be required to pay a dividend for the next two years, and also the break from steadfast requirement for SOEs to pay dividends.

See Housing Corp dividend dodo.

Now it is being reported that Bill English says no decision has yet been made.

Sam Sachdeva at Stuff: Bill English denies U-turn after Steven Joyce reveals Housing NZ won’t pay dividend

Housing New Zealand will not pay $100 million in dividends to the Government over the next two years, following pressure from Labour and the Greens to stop treating it as a “cash cow”.

The decision has not been finalised, but Finance Minister Bill English has signalled it is almost inevitable – while denying the move is a U-turn.

This is the sort of reactive disarray that can swing public opinion against Governments and lose elections.

English said it had become clear as Housing NZ updated its long-term plan that it would require more money to ramp up its building programme.

No final decision had been made on whether a dividend would be paid, as there were a number of ways to fund the extra work, but it was likely Housing NZ would keep the money.

English denied opposition pressure had forced the Government’s hand, saying it was part of long-term planning.

“It’s nothing to do with Labour and the Greens. This is a $20 billion entity – you don’t come up with capital plans for the next five years because Labour puts out a press release.”

The dividend figures in the Budget were based on old information from Housing NZ, which was being updated.

With Joyce and National flailing about on housing generally and on the divide in particular this is where ‘explaining is losing’ may be apt.

They are looking increasingly like a headless chook government.

HeadlessChook.jpg

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12 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  12th July 2016

    typical Nats….360% turn around,and then the pretence it was all planned.Bereft of ideas,incompetent and arrogant.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th July 2016

      Come now, Blazer. The PM explained everything on the radio this morning. I didn’t understand a word of it, but it sounded pretty damn good. Of course this had a whining Philip Stoner Twyford ( I shite you not) complaining National has stolen Labours policy. Stoner is a perceptive man, eh Blazer. Meanwhile our PM will be the last world leader to have an audience with outgoing PM, David Cameron. Talk about a man always in the right place at the right time. Arrogant!!!!…no, just smart.

      Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  12th July 2016

    Twyford should be saying ..we don’t mind them stealing our good ideas,we have more for them.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  12th July 2016

      one good idea in 1000 attempts doesn’t make Labour a good idea factory……

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  12th July 2016

        well some might say that National is a ‘no idea’ factory.English reinforced it when asked what plans he had for NZ in coming years.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  12th July 2016

        Nice work to the ribcage, PDB.

        Reply
    • Dougal

       /  12th July 2016

      Now that would be a smart way to manage it you would think. the problem is the opposite is true. Twyford and the rest of them only react negatively. Why not counter with support for their own policy (regardless of who enacts it)? At the very least this would give the appearance of a mature party with sensible management.

      Reply
  3. duperez

     /  12th July 2016

    Having seen the reference this morning to the magic phrase of last week and heard the interview with Bill English this morning, there are questions about the Housing NZ dividend break and it’s announcement and how they were part of the grand “Comprehensive Housing Plan.”

    It’s seems most likely Steven didn’t tell Bill or John that he was going to announce it and it seems they they didn’t tell him it wasn’t part of the plan. The good thing is the House is in recess this week. That’ll give Bill time to convolute more convolutions about the plan being so comprehensive it included Steven making announcements about stuff which wasn’t on the plan that they didn’t know he was going to make announcements about. 😊

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th July 2016

    Joyce putting his foot in it while Key is away? Sounds like the underlings squabbling for status and attention

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th July 2016

      Joyce is usually a smart cookie. Some are blaming a good wine and love of social media as the reason for this policy on the hoof announcement. While it may stuff the books up to some extent this may actually work in the governments favour if they have a think about it.
      It will allow HNZ to improve their lagging maintenance schedule making a whole lot of tenants far happier people. And happy people, on the whole, don’t bite the hand that feeds them

      Reply
  5. alloytoo

     /  12th July 2016

    Thing is, labour (and our greenie friends) are always looking for “Reasonable” levers in their policy in order that they can focus on those and ignore the batshit crazy portions.

    Ultimately the Housing NZ dividend isn’t going to make much difference to the budget and probably isn’t going to result in any more houses for Housing NZ.

    What this about turn does do is deny Labour and the Greens oxygen on the subject and takes that “Reasonable” lever away so that the people are forced to look at the rest of Labours Kiwibuild plans which just don’t stack up.

    At most Labour are going to get a week’s worth of “Wah wah they stole our plan!” coverage while the rest of NZ looks on and thinks “Ah yes a sensible government nicks sensible idea, all good for NZ Inc.”

    Is the policy on the hoof? Probably.
    Was the communication poor? Definately.

    However this hasn’t, as some commentators have hysterically suggested, cost the government (or the taxpayer) a 100 Million dollars.

    The money is still there, safe as houses, and if HNZ don’t use it in two years it can probably still be taken off them.

    Reply

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