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Archive for 17 July 2015

Why Labour should NEVER play the “race card”…

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… because National doesn’t like the competition;

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Don Brash tells Why I played the race card - orewa speech - national party

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It’s a bit rich for National’s Housing Minister, Nick Smith, to be crying crocodile tears on the subject;

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Labour accused of playing 'race card' over house price bubble claims

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– when, in the last seven years the Nats have;

  • sold off hundreds of State houses – and want to flog of 2,000 more
  • allowed a critical  housing shortage to make Cantabrians’ lives a misery
  • done practically nothing to alleviate a growing housing crisis in Auckland
  • refused to implement a comprehensive Capital Gain Tax, the lack of which is distorting the investment market
  • refused to set up a foreign buyers’ register
  • generally sat on their hands and done the bare minimum to build more housing

On this problem, National is way out of synch with public opinion. (ACT supporters’ public opinion counts for near zero.)

In fact, our esteemed Dear Leader even refuses to acknowledge  that a critical housing crisis exists in Auckland;

“No, I don’t think you can call it a crisis. What you can say though is that Auckland house prices have been rising, and rising too quickly actually.” – John Key, 13 April 2015

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John Key no housing crisis in Auckland

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My position on this problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”) is clear and simple: land and housing should not be sold to non-New Zealand residents or citizens. If you want to buy a house or farm, become a citizen and move to New Zealand.

This applies to whether you are from Boston, Beijing, or Berlin.

Those free-marketeers who maintain that a property-owner has an unfettered “right” to sell to the highest bidder, irrespective of nationality, are wrong. “Rights” are never absolute. The citizens of a country determine, through concensus, what property rights we confer upon ourselves.

Many other nations do not allow foreign investors to buy houses. China is one of them.

If, as I believe, the majority of New Zealanders are opposed to offshore investors buying up our houses, then that must be reflected in our legislation.

This is (hopefully) not about xenophobia. This is about the next generation of  young New Zealanders having the same opportunities to buy their own home, as their parents and grandparents did.

This is about not allowing an older generation of home-owners flogging their houses off to the highest bidders from Beijing, Boston, or Berlin, at the expense of a younger generation who cannot hope to compete with millionaire investors from overseas.

Our parents and grandparents never had to compete with buyers from Berlin, Beijing, or Boston. So it baffles me why we have saddled our children with this colossal hurdle. The only reasons that come to mind is greed and a misguided ideolological view of an unfettered right to sell to whomever.

Otherwise, if we keep going down this foolhardy road then, as sure as evolution made little green apples, we risk literally becoming tenants in our own country.

If that is our end goal, we are on the right track.

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References

NZ Herald:  Don Brash tells: Why I played the race card

Radio NZ: Labour accused of playing ‘race card’ over house price bubble claims

Radio NZ: Key denies Auckland housing crisis

Other blogs

Bowalley Road: Chinese Whispers

Dim Post: What we talk about when we talk about Chinese people

Dim Post: The racist style in New Zealand politics

No Right Turn: Sounds like racism

Public Address: House-buying patterns in Auckland

Public Address: My last name sounds Chinese

The Pundit: What’s in a name… and a number?

The Standard: International investment in Auckland housing

The Standard: Twyford Responds

The Standard: China Crisis

Previous related blogposts

Kiwis, Cows, and Canadian singers

That was Then, this is Now #10

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)

Three Questions to Key, Williamson, Coleman, et al

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301012NZHREtoon

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 11 July 2015.

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