Andrew Little’s ‘hard-hitting’ speech

Labour on Facebook have referred to Andrew Little’s speech in the General Debate yesterday in Parliament as ‘hard-hitting’.


ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition): I move, That the House take note of miscellaneous business. It is a great pleasure to speak at this particular point and ask the question that is on the lips of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders every day, and it is this: what is it about the housing crisis that this Government does not get?

Unlike the Minister of Finance, I get around a lot of New Zealand and a lot of places. Just in the last couple of weeks, hundreds of people turned out at Tauranga, and hundreds turned out at Whangarei—200 at Clyde last week alone. Everywhere I go, everyone I speak to, and everywhere I look, people are saying: “Why is it this Government does not get it about the housing crisis?”

Everyone is now affected by this Government’s neglect and negligence and dereliction when it comes to housing. It is not just about the out-of-control house prices in Auckland; it is also now about rents and rentals. It is not just rent in Auckland; it is rents right across the country, as people are finding. Hard-working New Zealanders are finding they cannot afford to pay their rent any more.

What a damning statistic—that we now find just 2 weeks ago that the average working family finds that what little pay increase it got last year was almost entirely eaten up in extra housing costs.

So New Zealand families last year were, on average, better off by—would you believe it—$2 a week. Just $2 a week, and that is before inflation. That is before the rising cost of food and other costs that households have to meet. No wonder we have people living no longer just in cars and garages but now in caravans.

And now it turns out that schools are so desperate they are going to teach kids in caravans. I do not what it is about this Government and caravans, and jamming people into places where they cannot live and cannot learn.

You know, this Government boasts that it is the social investment Government, and it says “We look at figures and we look at information and we have all the best data and we make a decision that answers the problem that we see.”

Well, what is it about the information about housing that this mob does not get? What is it about the one in five working New Zealanders who are now paying more than 50 percent of their take-home pay in accommodation that does not compel the Government to want to do something serious and meaningful about housing?

What is it about that figure about household incomes simply not keeping pace with the real rising cost of living that does not force it around that Cabinet table to say “You know what, Nick? You’ve got to do something else. You’ve got to do something better because what is happening now is not working.”?

What is it about 41,000 New Zealanders at least who do not even have a home they can call their own that does not make the Government want to do something different?

Well, Labour is going to come to the rescue. Labour has got the plan. Labour is here and we will build a hundred thousand affordable homes over 10 years, and we will build the workforce to go with it, and we will work with the landowners and the property developers, and whoever else we have to, with our affordable housing authority, and we build those homes.

We will get stuck into the speculators—the people who live overseas but want to own a home here because New Zealand is a fantastic place to own a home in even if you do not want to live in it. We are going to get stuck into them and we are going to do what many of our counterpart countries do around the world and say: “If you want to own a home here, you build a new home.”

And then we are going to go after those who get the tax break called negative gearing and we are going to say “You ain’t having that tax break any more.”

We are going to do something about that so that first-home owners, those struggling and striving to do what every New Zealander who has grown up believing they could do—that if they do the right things, work hard and save hard, they can buy their own home. They are going to get a look in, for once.

They are going to get a look in, because right now there is one party that is listening to New Zealanders right across the country. Whether it is Tauranga, Whangarei, Clive, the Botanical Gardens here in Wellington—everywhere I have gone there is one party that is listening to New Zealand, and it is the Labour Party.

New Zealanders are saying: “We want our dream back. We want our kids and our grandkids to have the opportunity that we had to own our own home, to have our own place, to put down our anchors, to have a place where we can raise our children with confidence, be part of strong communities, raise a strong family and live in a great prosperous, bounteous country that we are.”

That is the Kiwi Dream. It is the Labour dream, and we are putting it in place in September this year.

Leave a comment

32 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  March 16, 2017

    Good effort I thought.
    (Gone right off Nikki Kaye)

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 16, 2017

      Why have you gone off Nikki? She was just pointing out the emperor has no clothes and is a hypocrite on super.
      A point made by a number of other commentators I note.
      Jacinda is being promoted as the shining new leader. Is she also not allowed to be criticised?
      At least Nikki kept the criticism to performance issues (or the glaring lack thereof), unlike the much of the vitriol sent towards Paula Bennett.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 16, 2017

        I haven’t exactly figured out why yet, HFD. Just a gut reaction.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  March 16, 2017

          I dunno … it might just be that Jacinda hasn’t said anything worth having a go at yet.
          I don’t like king hits & especially when women do it. At least Nikki hasn’t attacked her over what she’s wearing yet.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  March 16, 2017

            I suspect you are right, G. It seemed gratuitous and just left you wondering why she was worried about her. A tweet would have been enough words to waste on her. A speech was way over-kill.

            Reply
    • Corky

       /  March 16, 2017

      The pressure at election time always brings out tribal affiliations, Gezza. Except if you are one of a growing number of New Zealanders who don’t vote because they have heard it all before, like above, or obversely have no concept of what elections are and why they are important.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  March 16, 2017

        *conversely*

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  March 16, 2017

          Well, no one will have been watching Parliament anyway, but Andy’s starting to campaign with a bit more verve.

          Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  March 16, 2017

      Wasn’t all that tough in the grand scheme, was it G? I’m guessing she had limited input.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 16, 2017

        Lost me a bit there Pete. Which “she” had limited input into what?
        Bit of a laugh hearing it described as hard hitting but he had reasonable script, consulted it, and stuck to it. Marking out some territory which might resonate.
        (I know I come across all maco & stuff but I do have an emotional side, I just keep an eye on it & try keep it real)

        Reply
  2. High Flying Duck

     /  March 16, 2017

    So he promises to build far more houses in the current overstretched construction market by “building the labour force”. I assume this dovetails with his plans to reduced immigration.

    And with the help of the Greens I’m sure he’ll have great success in fast tracking RMA consents get these homes built.

    And while stopping negative gearing sounds like a winner, it is incredibly complex and could have a multitude of unintended consequences – including lifting rents and affecting small businesses trying to grow.

    More mindless platitudes from Little with no actual solutions.

    But I think this hard hitting angry thing he has going will take him far.

    Reply
  3. Strong For Life

     /  March 16, 2017

    You are wrong Mr Little. Not “everyone” is affected by the housing “crisis”, I am not and it doesn’t concern me at all.

    Reply
  4. PDB

     /  March 16, 2017

    Jacinda looks like she is thinking about what photo shoot she should do next – all I can say is photoshop is a wonderful thing………

    Reply
  5. PDB

     /  March 16, 2017

    It’s a revolution I’m telling ya!

    Little: “Just in the last couple of weeks, hundreds of people turned out at Tauranga, and hundreds turned out at Whangarei—200 at Clyde last week alone.”

    “About 100 people crowded into the Whangarei Club to hear Labour Party leader Andrew Little give his ‘State of the Regions’ address.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11811422

    Andrew Little in Tauranga (he gave his address at a pub);

    Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  March 16, 2017

    Little has finally landed on the ‘winning square’….stay on it and keep hammering this topic….forget the…rest.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  March 16, 2017

      Blazer: “Little has finally landed on the ‘winning square’”

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  March 16, 2017

        National are promising a home for all homeless people ….wooden,rectangular and…below…ground…level.

        Reply
  7. John Schmidt

     /  March 16, 2017

    On the lips of Hundreds of thousands of NZ’s is the housing crisis, really, I must move in a different universe, I only hear about how well everyone is doing and how well their children are doing mind you I dont live in Auckland.

    Reply
  1. Andrew Little’s ‘hard-hitting’ speech – NZ Conservative Coalition

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