Turei telling the truth as she saw it

Audrey Young writes that their can be harsh political lessons in telling the truth, and she thinks that Metiria Turei has been taught one, in Harsh lessons about telling truth in politics

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei was telling the truth as she saw it, that in order to improve affordability of housing, house prices needed to fall by up to 50 per cent. She didn’t say they needed to fall fast. In fact she said they needed to fall gradually to prevent a crash.

But she didn’t think it through and Labour was smeared with it, less than two months into the memorandum of understanding between the two parties.

Disregarding the political carelessness of her comments, they also breached the agreement because Labour was not warned in advance that Turei was going to posit such a controversial policy. Andrew Little and John Key seized on them.

You can hear it already: A Green-Labour Government says house values must fall. It is a gift that National will return to no matter what qualification the Greens put around it and no matter how much Labour seeks to distance itself from it.

Little needed to distance himself quickly from the Green policy. The only thing scarier than the prospect of falling house values for a home-owner is a politician with a plan for falling house values – and Labour cannot be associated with that plan.

But it appears to have been a carefully planned announcement by Turei.

The Greens promote themselves as a party of principle and courage.

Turei was attempting to meet the challenge of former National leader Don Brash who told me three weeks ago that politicians of the left and right were terrified of saying house prices had to fall.

She later described her own comments in terms of political courage.

Somebody has to be “brave enough” to talk about cutting house prices so a rational conversation about how to do it could begin.

But…

Turei may have told the truth as she saw it but for someone who has been a party leader for seven years, it was careless and damaging to her party and to Labour.

Stacey Kirk: Labour and the Greens fall out over whether house prices should be cut in half

Just two months later the Greens have thrown a grenade at their cosy little home.

More precisely, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei announced (debatably on the hoof) that her party supported slashing house prices in half to fix the crisis.

Labour leader Andrew Little was never going to agree to this – he’s spent the last however many months repeating the word “stabilisation” like it’s going out of fashion.

To add salt to the wound, the first Little heard of the Greens’ plan to drop house prices to about three or four times the average household income, was when media started calling him asking for his thoughts.

Turei’s random announcement is a serious breach of the MOU – there’s no two ways about it.

What possessed the Greens to put a wedge between the two just as the Opposition was making some headway is anyone’s guess.

LabourGreenSplit

How ‘on-the-hoof’ was Turei’s announcement?

At Dim-Post, on the Notes towards a Red Queen hypothesis of New Zealand politics thread, a claim was repeated that everything the greens decide on has to be agreed to by the membership:

RJL:

The Greens are driven by their membership, so for the Greens to move to the right, their membership would need to utterly change. That is, not going to happen.

But Ximenes responded:

Strange that none of the Greens I know knew anything about the latest policy on driving down house prices. Did that ever go before the Policy section or was it just made up on the hoof? At the latest branch meeting not a single person was aware of the policy.

Turei made it sound like it was a party proposal – Greens want 50% house price drop:

“The Green Party is putting together a plan for how to reduce house prices responsibly and gradually, and that will include making sure people who’ve recently taken out big mortgages to buy a home are safe and secure.

“Nobody, including the Green Party, wants to see the housing market crash and equally nobody thinks the current situation can go on like this.

“Our plan for more affordable housing will include building more houses, a capital gains tax (excluding the family home), and restricting non-resident foreign buyers,” Mrs Turei said.

But she went further on RNZ, clearly saying that Auckland house prices should be deliberately reduced by up to 50 percent over a period of time to make the market affordable again.

Andrew Little and Labour weren’t aware of this Green target, and Little strongly reiterated opposition to any drop in house values.

It appears some of the Green membership was unaware.

Was James Shaw in the Turei loop, or did she decide to go it alone?

She may have been telling the truth as she saw it, but perhaps it wasn’t the Green truth, and it certainly wasn’t the whole truth in respect of the Labour/Green MoU.

The truth is Turei made it look like a Misunderstanding of Unity.

 

Leave a comment

97 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  31st July 2016

    In context,she says gradual,and she is right,and who would get hurt if it happened= sfa!

    Reply
    • – The Labour-Green MoU has been hurt.
      – It would hurt the chances of a Labour-Green win next year.
      – It would hurt those with mortgages greater than their equity (and a 50% reduction would affect many people).
      – If there is no capital gain to be made by landlords then the rental market may collapse, hurting those who need to rent.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st July 2016

        1-early days
        2-those affected wouldn’t vote left regardless
        3-only ‘investors’ and speculators would be concerned
        4-so rents would come down ,making them more affordable,and accomodation generally would become more affordable-wunderbar.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  31st July 2016

          “1-early days”

          Sure is. Imagine how totally rooted it’s going to be by the next election.

          There’s a good reason the greens have never been in govt, and it’s not just because 90% don’t want them, it’s because most of the Labour Caucus hate them.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  31st July 2016

            Greens are becoming more popular.Brocolli,brussels sprouts,and that perennial favourite…’cabbage,a lettuce with a college education'(OW.)

            Reply
            • Blazer,
              You could at least get the quote right. Mark Twain said “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education”.

            • Blazer

               /  31st July 2016

              sorry chrism56 you are correct,had a feeling I was wrong just after posting.

        • Corky

           /  31st July 2016

          “4-so rents would come down ,making them more affordable,and accomodation generally would become more affordable-wunderbar”

          Nope- landlords would just walk. Some are now with new regulations governing their right to do as they please with their own properties.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  31st July 2016

            ‘walk’ where?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  31st July 2016

              Wherever they don’t have to worry about deadbeat tenants and interfering governments. That means real-estate under bridges will be at premium.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st July 2016

      Saying it won’t hurt if it’s done slowly is like saying that it won’t hurt having a leg cut off if it’s done slowly. It’s not going to make everyone’s negative equity less. And anyone who believes that a house that is now worth 50% less will be rented out as if it cost that is dreaming.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st July 2016

        Does Blazer think that people won’t notice it so much if it happens slowly ? That’s like thinking that someone won’t notice their income dropping if it happens $20 a week at a time. This policy is political suicide.

        Reply
  2. It needs to happen, so now she is painting herself as the only one with Cajones to talk about it. The Moral high ground is a great place yo put your artillery……

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  31st July 2016

      I’ll give you an upvote for saying she has balls.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st July 2016

        Why is considered to be a great compliment to say that a woman has (a slang word for) male genitals but a gross insult to call a man by a slang word for female genitals ? Are male bits more admirable than female bits ? This is a really sexist thing to do.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st July 2016

          Why is it.

          And it’s cojones, not cajones. Not that this makes it any more flattering.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st July 2016

          why do you use the term ‘buggered’ ,very unladylike…tut,tut!

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st July 2016

          I am quite happy to refer to women having the ovaries or the gonads to do something ballsy.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  1st August 2016

            Gonads are balls, aren’t they ?

            Buggered has nothing to do with this.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  1st August 2016

              gonad
              ˈɡəʊnad/
              nounPHYSIOLOGYZOOLOGY
              plural noun: gonads
              an organ that produces gametes; a testis or ovary.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st July 2016

    A politician saying house prices have to be deliberately reduced by half should be ridiculed as someone who knows nothing about economics and is deluded about the power of government. Given that it is precisely the market and bureaucratic constraints her party advocates that had caused the problem she should be doubly ridiculed.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st July 2016

      I can’t fathom why a politician saying houses should be affordable for every citizen and not the sole domain of speculators and rapacious investors ,would be ridiculed…at all.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st July 2016

        Since it is her policies that make them unaffordable?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st July 2016

          try talking sense …Al.

          Reply
        • what needs to happen economically versus what the people want and are prepared to stomach are 2 different things. The best outcome we can hope for is a well managed soft landing spanning more than a decade, in 3 year election cycles nothing is ever well managed……

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  31st July 2016

            I am in favour of a four year term. I think a four year term is long enough for a government to be seen more clearly by the electorate as either a success or a failure – and might reduce the number of times a government which is causing unnecessary damage to some sectors of the electorate gets re-elected because ‘we cannot achieve our objectives of making NZ a better place for all’ in three years.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              I am buggered if I want my house to be worth half what we paid for it so that someone else can buy it cheaply; it’s not a mansion and isn’t worth a huge amount now.

              MT would be retrospectively stealing half the money that we spent buying a house.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              Blazer seems unaware that 2/3 of Kiwis do own their own houses, which means that the investment properties account for less than 1/3 if state houses are taken out of the equation. How does he explain this ?

              Owning a house is not a right. It’s not something that people who do own houses owe to people who’d like to. There are people who prefer to rent and not have the responsibility of owning. If Blazer owned a really good car, would he expect to have to sell it for half its value so that someone who wanted it and couldn’t afford it could have it ?

      • Blazer

         /  31st July 2016

        @Kitty..’.In May, ACT leader David Seymour said home ownership had become the privilege of the wealthy.’….anecdote….’In 1978 I bought my first house for $24,000 with a mortgage of $20,000 on a single earner income of $8000 a year. The house was three times my income and the mortgage was two and a half’….not sure you understand,price or value,any asset is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.You must have paid a mere % of what the present inflated market price of your house is today.The main cause of this inflation is the GFC,the main beneficiaries of asset appreciation are those who caused the GFC.Vehicles are a depreciating item,as soon as you drive it out of the showroom wipe off 25%.To summarise who has access to all this Q.E capital?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  1st August 2016

          The mortgage can’t be less than the value when it’s taken out-allowing for the deposit, of course. But nobody pays the bank less than the value of the house at the time that the mortgage is taken out, and possibly not even the value when the mortgage is paid off. I believe that in the past there was a substantial penalty for paying it off ahead of time.

          I have been trying to make you see that a house is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, and only a fool would insist upon taking less.

          Reply
  4. Can anyone please point to an occasion in Turei’s taxpeyer funded tenure when she has made a positive contribution to the NZ political landscape. I fail to see her as anything but a baby-voiced whiner.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st July 2016

      Could ask the same Q of most polies….start at the top…Key?

      Reply
      • So that’s you unable to give an example then Blazer.

        Mr Key has overseen remarkable growth and progress. We’re famous and respecte the world over because of his governance. Key is not perfect, but despite having to govern within the restrictions of MMP and the handwringing of leftist idelogues of this country, we are in the top 5 for most of the markers of OECD social and economic progress.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st July 2016

          overseen and his governance….you are deluded,I guess you think he had something to do with winning 2 Rugby W.C’s too!Remarkable growth in house prices,immigration,people living in cars,kids going hungry….surely you jest.Keys big ideas,a new flag,a bicycle track,Switzerland of the Sth Pacific,pandas,and record borrowing!NZ was no.1 in the OECD in the 60’s.

          Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st July 2016

      I can, Traveller ! I can, sir !

      She makes everyone else look brilliant !

      Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  31st July 2016

    The MOU is a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ NOT a marriage certificate.. it just says that the Greens & Labour will work together on common issues. obviously they dont agree on everything.. :/

    “Go Metiria… you good thing !!” 🙂 😀

    btw; I think ‘Team Key’s coalition’ looks more like a dictatorship ! 😦

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st July 2016

      Why? Have they been using paid thugs or corrupt officials & police & army personnel to kill, beat, threaten or imprison opposition party candidates, and to prevent their supporters from voting for someone other than the Government Party, or forcing them to vote for National or supporting parties?

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  31st July 2016

        Key always seems to have his way.. ‘the final solution’ (to everything) 😀

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st July 2016

          Does he? I have seen him have to change what he wanted (his way) on numerous occasions in order to keep getting voted back into power … ?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  31st July 2016

            He changes things if the people as a whole don’t want them, not for the reason you give. If he didn’t, he’d be accused of being arrogant and dictatorial. If he does, that’s wrong, too.

            I sincerely hope that Zedd’s use of the words ‘final solution’ were accidental (although I suspect not) and not an incredibly tasteless reference to John Key’s being Jewish. Shame on anyone who deliberately said this of a Jew, knowing its origin..

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              Undemocratic would be a better word than dictatorial.

            • Blazer

               /  31st July 2016

              what rot,people didn’t want asset sales,gst increased or his flag to name a few.

            • Gezza

               /  31st July 2016

              He changes things if the people as a whole don’t want them, not for the reason you give.
              No, I disagree. I think the reason I gave is the reason he does it. He has ignored other issues where the majority of people clearly didn’t want him to get his way. But he was ideologically committed to doing it anyway.

            • Zedd

               /  31st July 2016

              @kck

              NO.. I was not saying anything about ‘key being jewish’ more about the dictator (who I wont name).. on the extreme right.. who was a total authoritarian too ! 😦

              btw; HE was apparently ‘of jewish decent too’ ?

              also.. my great grandfather (maternal side) was of Jewish decent.. but I dont make a song & dance about it !!!

            • Corky

               /  31st July 2016

              Yep, he was being tasteless, Kitty. Scratch his eyes out…er, or do something.

            • Gezza

               /  31st July 2016

              Or at least tell him off for misspelling ‘descent’ as ‘decent’.

              (Sorry Zeddo. Had to be done. Somebody’s got to maintain the standards here. 😀 )

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              Anyone who’s crass enough to use the Nazi euphemism for the Holocaust will never understand why this is such a tasteless expression to use of a Jew. It was obviously not chance that it was used of the Jewish John Key whose mother escaped the Holocaust.

              It’s pathetic and shows a repellent side of Zedd’s nature.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              Hitler wasn’t of Jewish descent, that is an urban myth that has been disproved. The story was that his grandmother became pregnant when she was working for a Jewish family, but it’s untrue-she certainly did not have a baby by one of the family.

              John Key isn’t ‘of Jewish descent’-he is Jewish.

            • Gezza

               /  31st July 2016

              A minor issue, I realise, given the context of your criticism of Zedd’s tasteless & unjustifiable reference to ‘the final solution’ in association with John Key – but why can a Jewish person not also be a person of Jewish descent?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st August 2016

        Well, a Jewish person is, in that way, but someone could have very distant Jewish ancestry and not be Jewish but ‘of Jewish descent.’. John Key is Jewish.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  1st August 2016

          Yes, but he’s also of Jewish descent & his Jewish ancestry is not distant. I really think you should just let me have this one. o_O

          Reply
    • How’s that ZEDD? That’s so TheStandard of you. Where’s the compulsion, the undemocratic decision making. You may be thinking of the EU.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st July 2016

        Todd the latest…fallguy’…bit of a list now.

        Reply
      • Zedd

         /  31st July 2016

        again.. I just sez wot eye&I seez… 😀

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  31st July 2016

          Most of the things you see are not real. Not even the Gruffalo I’m afraid.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  31st July 2016

            @ice

            another saying ‘believe half of what you see & nothing that you hear !’ esp. from ‘politicians in power’ 😀

            Reply
    • Zedd

       /  31st July 2016

      thats more like it.. a few downtiks from the ‘Keyites’ !! 🙂 YOWZA

      I missed them… 😀

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  31st July 2016

      “Authoritarianism is not necessarily “right wing”, with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today’s Labour parties”.

      google

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st July 2016

        Hitlers economic ‘policy’ appeared to be …War ,conquest,lebensraum,so I guess that aligns with U.S post war economic…theory!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st July 2016

          The US has not since WW2 undertaken any conquest for lebensraum. But it has routinely & regularly undertaken, and threatened, & supported others to wage war to secure its own military, political & economic dominance.

          Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  31st July 2016

    remind me again.. how much the ‘Team KEY flag’ referendum cost us ? 😀

    ..who was it that mostly championed that ‘winning design’ !! :/

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st July 2016

      Alan, if I recall correctly.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st July 2016

        It was Labour who wanted it in the first place !

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st July 2016

          No that’s not correct Kitty. They wanted a flag change. But they didn’t want something clearly chosen by a flawed & bought panel that was specifically intended to fit John Key’s personal preference and which would be better used as a tea towel, brand logo, tablecloth, or sarong than a national flag.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st July 2016

          like a trained parrot…’Labour did it too’…amazingly puerile and a hallmark of Key fanbois.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  31st July 2016

            @Blazer

            YES one of the ‘keyites’ main excuses for their failures.. ‘its all the fault of the previous Labour Govt.’ : divert the attention ! 😦

            ‘BUT you cant fool all the people ALL the time..
            so now we see the light..
            we stand up for our rights !’

            ‘SO.. Get up, stand up..’

            ‘We’re sick & tired of the (Nationals) ism schism..’ 🙂

            Reply
            • Zedd

               /  31st July 2016

              before youz keyites ask..

              Neo-liberalism-ISM
              Mind the Gap-ISM
              Tax Cuts to the richest-ISM
              Put the boot into the poorest-ISM
              Move the tax burden to the poorest-ISM
              Sell everything not bolted down-ISM
              Blame the previous Labour Govt.-ISM
              Grab every spare dollar we can-ISM
              Etc. Etc. ISM

              😀 :/ 😦 😦

            • PDB

               /  31st July 2016

              Now I know why you are called ‘Zedd’

              ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st July 2016

              Labour did want it-look up the history of the flag change.

              I don’t believe that the panel was bought-who bought them ? It’s impossible to believe that they were all able to be bought and that nobody was aware of this. What was their price ? Nor is it likely that John Key has so little to spend his money on that he’d spend it ‘buying’ his favoured design with no guarantee at all that it would be the next flag,

            • Gezza

               /  31st July 2016

              What was their price ?
              Whatever they were paid, Kitty.

              If you can’t see how 3 of the 4 designs originally selected as the finalists were all, essentially, exactly the same design, and one – the koru – was an obvious sop to Maori (which probably actually insulted them), and that one finally chosen most closely resembled what John Key had already made known was his preference for what the new flag should be, then nothing anyone could say would convince you.

              Also, I don’t understand why two, very expensive, referendums had to be conducted when surely, with a more intelligent design & selection process, only one would have been necessary & could have been carried out at the same time as a General Election.

    • http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/

      What you’re entitled to, despite the “costly” f;sg referndum. When you compare it to the cosy wee billion Labour squandered on trains…it’s s mere drop in the bucket

      Reply
      • Or the substantial amount knocked off the power company share float values due to Labour and Greens floating political threats.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st July 2016

          the power companies that taxpayers already owned,but since floated have proved to be great sinecures for National acolytes on ludicrous remuneration.Look at the new Mercury logo…what a joke.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st July 2016

            You mean the power companies that after partial sale are returning more profits to the taxpayer than they were when completely publicly owned?

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  31st July 2016

            @PG…its simple that if 51% public ownership now results in increased dividends,then 100% would amount to even more.To suggest that this rationale …’valuable private sector discipline’ has any merit is laughable.Just off the top of my head..some big names on the payroll now Shipley,ex teacher,fresh from Mainzeal debacle,Smith,fresh from Finance coy flop,Withers ,fresh from Feltex debacle….all pvt coys….where was the…’discipline?

            Reply
            • “its simple that if 51% public ownership now results in increased dividends,then 100% would amount to even more.”

              Not necessarily.

            • PDB

               /  31st July 2016

              Power companies, followed by partial sale, followed by much increased profitability.

              Only Blazer would suggest that there is not some relationship between the three.

              What we DO know is since the partial sale profitability has gone up considerably (FACT), what we don’t know is if kept 100% in govt ownership the same result would have been achieved (THEREFORE A GUESS).

  7. Blazer

     /  31st July 2016

    so all I can find to attribute the increase in dividends is this spurious argument…

    ‘The share offer programme has brought valuable private sector discipline to public assets’….private sector discipline…hilarious….like Cushing and Air NZ,Ami,Tranzrail….etc,so convenient,when it suits to trot out this b/s.

    Reply
  8. PDB

     /  31st July 2016

    “Cameron Burrows, a spokesman for Finance Minister Bill English, said the Greens’ comments confirmed they did not understand how business worked”.

    Swap the word ‘Greens” and change it to ‘Blazer’ and we have the same answer.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st July 2016

      the double dipper from Dipton sure knows where his bread is buttered though…Pea Dimension Brain.Bol!

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  31st July 2016

        You’ll be still hoping your house loses capital value so your mortgage goes down Blazer………one of the great economic minds you ain’t………

        Reply
  9. I recall noting that the “average Kiwi” had achieved millionaire status for asset ownership according to Statistics NZ about three months ago, when they published figures relating to GDP growth in NZ. I commented at the time that was meaningless. What I meant of course was that the value of something is what a genuine buyer wants to pay on the day that a genuine seller sells the asset. Most of us will never see the real value of our assets because we will be dead before the assets are sold. So how much you own is meaningless unless you sell it when you are alive. To what purpose?

    Blazer wants the State to exercise the ownership of the means of production and retain the power to redistribute the rewards of the use of the profits of production based on equal distribution to all, regardless of contribution, unless he has changed his consistent socialist viewpoint. If one has no incentive to produce why produce? Altruism is no substitute for providing for the family unit. We see in Western Society the breakdown of the importance of the nuclear family unit, the demolition of gender identity and the rise of Pre-eminent Individualism, the concept of “I’m Okay Jack” to hell with the rest of you. Moral fibre is a dirty concept.

    I believe that we Kiwi’s want to have no part of a society that does not recognise morality, humanity, care and concern for others, Recognising that we can all contribute, and that we working together, can overcome whatever problems we face in the future. Without Unity of Purpose, we are lost. Where is the leadership?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s