Andrew Little has endorsed the awful data analysis of Auckland house sales that was promoted by Phil Twyford over the weekend.
He has modified Twyfords statements that Labour would ban foreign buyers.
Twyford on The Nation:
We would ban foreign buyers from buying New Zealand houses, end of story.
We’re going to ban foreign buyers.
Little says they would ban foreigners from buying existing houses but they would be able to buy sections and build on them.
Auckland’s problem is a shortage of land available to build on, therefore pushing up land values, so it’s hard to see that helping much if at all.
Data analyst Rob Salmond tried to defend his work at Public Address: House-buying patterns in Auckland
Data Analyst Keith Ng slammed Salmond, also at Public address: My last name sounds Chinese
The Labour leaning blog has strong criticism of Labour playing a hamfisted race card and Ng continues to slam Labour in social media.
And it continues with another post at PA, by Tze Ming Mok: Identification strategy: Now it’s personal
The real question is what did the Labour Party think it was doing taking this public. If they just fucked up, so far so familiar. If they did this on purpose for well-calculated reasons – and it works – we Chinese-sounding named people are in way more trouble in New Zealand than we ever thought we would be again.
The second comment on that thread is from Stephen Judd:
I just wrote and cancelled my regular donation to the party with the message that it can restart when we have three clear months without race-baiting or hippy punching.
As someone who belongs to another ethnic minority where people stereotype about money and leap to conclusions based on names, this shit makes my skin crawl.
Political messaging is different from rational discourse over policy and you don’t get a pass for Bayesian inference when there’s a thick layer of racist implication on top.
Salmond has had another go at defending himself, this time on his own blog, Polity: http://polity.co.nz/content/how-labour-estimated-ethnicity-surnames (I can’t load it at the moment, must be busy).
Meanwhile in the other fairly Labour leaning blog, The Standard, some of the troops are doing their best to defend their cause:
Anthony Robins: Auckland property buyers
The big story this morning is Labour’s analysis of Auckland property purchase data.
Greg Presland: International investment in Auckland housing
Phil Twyford’s recent announcement on Auckland’s housing crisis raises important issues concerning the inflow of overseas capital into our housing market. But should it have depersonalised the argument?
Too late for depersonalisation now. That was yesterday, and Little has endorsed the personalisation (or the targeting of Chines) today.
Te Reo Putake: China Crisis
Good on Labour for saying what needed to be said. Can they, the Greens and NZ First save the next generation of Kiwis from being tenants in our own land?
Includes Bonus Seinfeld reference!
Te Reo Putake: Twyford Responds
Labour’s Housing Spokesperson Phil Twyford responds to accusations of racism and points to the way forward. The Labour Party will limit foreign speculation, build affordable houses and replenish the State Housing stock.
But there’s an onslaught of criticism of Twyford, Labour and Little in all of those.
If Labour get this off-side with their own side of the spectrum it would appear to be a major own goal.
This looks like the first big mistake and misjudgement by Andrew Little.
He didn’t look flash with his handling of the Northland by election but that situation was mainly dumped on him by Winston Peters.
But this has been entirely of Labour’s own doing, it seems like a planned strategy.
Perhaps a sign of how badly they misjudged on this is Peters is endorsing what they have done.
Some might think this is a good sign for a left wing coalition plus NZ First – but Green and Mana supporters have reacted in horror at Labour’s race bashing.
And all this is without even looking to the centre and right for their reaction.
This has happened half way through the Roy Morgan July polling period. Labour may be hoping the bulk of the polling was already done.
It may or may not be a disastrous way for Little to emerge from the political doldrums, but it surely makes his hill quite a bit harder to climb now.