Pathetic wage rise granted to the working poor of NZ

Since the government announced this year’s rise in the minimum wage, a few weeks ago, an idea has been brewing. This morning (1 April 2017) I put pen to paper, well fingers to keyboard, and sent this as a letter to the editor’s column in Christchurch’s newspaper…

The Power-house Economy (that previous Prime Minister John Key kept congratulating himself on) has certainly benefited property price speculators, but with oh so many in society missing out. I was hoping that under Bill English, New Zealand’s hardest workers, crushed at the bottom of the pile, might finally get a fair go. Alas it seems not.

The minimum wage has just been increased from $15.25 an hour, to $15.75. Totalling $20 a week gross, that’s just $13.22 a week nett after tax and student loan repayments are deducted.

A commonly held misconception among the well paid, is that only school leavers, the lazy and stupid, are paid at the legal minimum. In actuality, a substantial swathe of hard working Kiwis are kept in servitude at, or just a few cents above, the minimum wage. This includes educated and highly skilled workers in the electronics and manufacturing industries here in Christchurch NZ. Earning export dollars in hard currency, we are the people actually earning the overseas funds so essential for NZ’s development.

Employers may grant wage rises even less than annually, and said rises are often so small as to be equalled or overtaken, by the measly 50 cents an hour rises that the government has granted every year, for the last umpteen years.

Workers on the bottom of the pile need meaningful and worthwhile wage rises. Since 1991 when the government (virtually) castrated the trade unions, and dealt almost all the cards into the hands of the employers, the poorest workers are utterly dependent on the government to legislate the basic level of remuneration and conditions.

It’s great to have ‘aspirational targets’, like the independently assessed “minimum living wage” (was $19.80 per hour, going up this year to $20.20), but unless it, or something close, is actually getting paid to workers, it’s just more airy-fairy pie-in-the-sky bull-dust.

…and don’t even get me started on the recent hijacking of the term “affordable housing” to mean “affordable by doctors and lawyers, and those with an 80% deposit/equity”. At this year’s new wage rate of $15.75/hr, (and using the accepted formula of sensible mortgage financing being 3.5 times annual gross of $32,760), even if a worker saved the $11,500 being the 10% deposit required under “Welcome” home loan, good luck on finding that house-and-land package, even in Christchurch’s cheapest suburbs, for $115,000 ! (You would need double that, and then some, as the cheapest places to be found, anywhere in the greater Christchurch metro area, would be in the suburb “Aranui”, where prices for the cheapest place start at about $260,000).

I, assert to being the author of the above article, written for consideration of inclusion in “The Christchurch Press”. It has not been submitted elsewhere.

…After I emailed it to The Press on Saturday April 1st, I watched and waited. NOW I am publishing it on my Blog Friday April 7. It has not that I have seen, been published in the newspaper upto today (I mostly get to see the newspaper Mondays to Fridays only).

…”We can talk about this ’till next Sunday, or we can just go do it, real quick !”
The Walking Dead, ep 2:02 @21 mins

House auctions corrupted, highest bids refused on “no reserve” houses

Re-posted from my original blog. With additional stuff about a 2010 case added at the end.

Here’s something I wrote on my original blog November 16 2005. I wonder how it eventually turned out ? I never heard, so perhaps they hushed it all up !

SCUMBAGS SATTERLY’s REAL ESTATE agency Corrupts WA TELETHON house auction fund-raiser
This weekend, saw the WA state’s annual Telethon fundraiser for the children’s hospital in Perth, as televised on Ch 7 in Perth and GWN in WA state country areas.

Now I don’t watch this program generally, but did see the last half-hour or so, as I was watching for the program following to start.

A regular event is the Telethon House auction fund-raiser. Held live on air, and with statewide tv coverage, including substantial televised promotions before the auction, and the auction itself. A house is built each year, the land, materials and labour all being donated by various suppliers and companies. Therefore the house cost is “free” and all money raised at auction goes into the Telethon coffers

As such, the house is (or *could* be, and arguably *should* be) auctioned on a “No-Reserve” basis.

Now although I didn’t see the auction component of the Telethon itself, there seems to have been something seriously screwy about this most recent auction.

As the Telethon was concluding, they babbled and waffled and generally spewed shite from their mouths and pitifully announced that they could not tell the audience what price the house had ultimately been sold for, and how much it had benefited the Telethon appeal, because apparently the auctioneer had refused to allow the sale to be confirmed to the highest bidder……

Der, say what ! They went onto say that the auctioneer was negotiating with the 5 highest bidders.

Der again, say what again !

All I can say is that, my understanding of an auction-without-reserve, is that the highest bidder gets to buy it, at the price he bid. I feel sorry for the guy that made the winning bid and was then apparently denied the property, unless he was prepared to enter a further, extra-auction bidding war, with another 4 or 5 of the auctioneer’s Yobbo mates, whom he rapidly rounded up to drive the price up more !

Note that the highest price bid was somewhere in the region of $700,000 anyway, certainly putting the Telethon fundraiser home far and away out of the reach of normal people.

You know there’s something pretty scumbag about the whole principal, of auctioning of a luxury type house, which is a very “exclusive” event. A far more “inclusive” way would be to RAFFLE the house off in a lottery with tickets at say $10 each, that way many many more folks could have a chance of being involved in this major aspect of Telethon fundraising.

I have always been highly suspicious of the auction system as used for house and land sales, and this is only made worse by laws which allow owners to make *dummy* (pretend) bids on their own properties (even though they have zero intention of buying them off themself, etc)

This latest debacle re the Telethon fundraiser house……ggrrr …..all I can say is I hope the highest bidder gets the house at his original winning bid and if necessary he sues the real estate agent conducting the auction, to make him honour his original winning bid, at the winning bid price (not some higher price that the auctioneer plucked out of thin air, then somehow forced on him, later, after the event)

*IF* the house IS auctioned, but with a “reserve” then how can they possibly justify a reserve on a “free” house. They can’t claim there was a “poor turnout” or etc, as it’s always televised and always huge. Surely the highest price bid, is the property’s true, and maximum value…..on the day, and the place should goto that bidder, whatever that price might be…….even if it’s a bit less than what the Chardonnay sipping, Camargue driving auctioneer reckons he’d like it to sell for !

Ha, those bastards pulled the same scam again, in 2015, they refused to accept the highest bid at auction. Given that the house and land were donated, how can they justify setting such a huge “reserve” that even spirited bidding amongst several folks, and the bastards STILL failed to sell the house to the highest bidder on the day. It really is starting to look, as if EVERY SINGLE HOUSE AUCTION is an utter fit-up job !

A url below has been tested and working, as of 7 April 2017.

Airlines complicit in Flight 93 tragedy of Sept 11 2001.

This is a re-posting from my original blog, from 2005

I had actually gone looking for this article I wrote back in 2005. I’d really like to know WHY the friggin’ pilots opened their cockpit door after receiving the message from flight control. (original blog post follows)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
AIRLINES COMPLICIT in the tragedies of Sept 11 2001 ?
Sunday evening on Australia-wide on Channel 7 network in city areas and Prime-GWN in country areas, was the new docu-drama……
(United Airlines Flight 93, Sept 11 2001)

Now firstly I must start off by declaring I have nothing but admiration for those passengers on board who tried so valiantly to take back control of this airliner. Even though their efforts ultimately failed, costing the lives of all on board, they prevented their aeroplane from being used as a deadly missile. Remember that in the hijack attacks of Sept 11, the number of people killed on the aeroplanes was “comparitively” small. The biggest loss of life was caused by the impacts, fires and collapse of the buildings concerned. The loss of the 45 or so aboard Flight 93 that day is tragic, yes, but their actions likely saved the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands, of others. We can only guess at what exists such as “Heaven”, “God” and “the HereAfter”, (as these things are a matter of individual faith for us all) but I surely hope that God has a special place in Heaven for the passengers on board (and a special place in Hell, for the Hijackers).

The program, made just earlier this year, was surprisingly engrossing. A sorta docu-drama it included actual sound recordings from the mobile phonecalls made from the plane, plus reconstructions of what is thought to have happened, using actors, obviously. It was a bit like watching an episode of the hit tv series “24” as it had some narration by Keifer Sutherland aka “jack baeur” (golly how he had time to do this as well, I’ll never know, I mean there’s only 24 hours in a day, eh ! )

There was comment and recollection from relatives of the passengers, and some technical info provided by qualified pilots etc.

However after having seen this program, there are some BIG questions that need to be answered……..and currently no-one on Earth seems even to be asking the right questions, so here I’ll stick my neck out and do it.

Now flight 93’s take-off was delayed by some 40 minutes due to heavy aircraft traffic ahead of it, so this aircraft could not be hijacked nearly simultaneously with the other 3 planes that were hijacked that day.

It is now known for an absolute fact that before Flight 93 was hijacked, Airline control had sent a text message to the pilots computerised communication system, and the text message HAD been received and read by the pilots on board.

From my memory, The message read something like this …

“Beware of Cockpit intrusion, 2 hijacked aircraft have just been crashed into NYC World Trade Center buildings”

Only AFTER the pilot had received this text message, and responded back to the airline’s command, was the cockpit door voluntarily opened from the inside and the hijackers given control of the plane.


Now we know that the hijackers promptly knifed someone to death, perhaps they stood outside the cockpit door and threatened to knife someone if the captain didn’t open up.

But for Frell sake, after having been warned that IF HIJACKERS ENTER YOUR COCKPIT, THEY WILL TAKE CONTROL AND CRASH THE PLANE INTO A BUILDING KILLING ***ALL*** ON BOARD, why oh why oh why would you voluntarily allow them in.?

We know from when the passengers did finally storm the cockpit, that it took the efforts of several big burly men, pushing the food-cart as a battering-ram, many many attempts to bash the door in.

The lives of all on board could have been safe if, when confronted by hijackers demanding entry to the cockpit, The Captain had simply announced to ALL onboard over the public speaker system

“would the attempted hijackers currently hammering on the cockpit door with their bare fists please lay down their knives and return to their seats to await arrest by cops when we land, and would several big burly guys come forward from Coach section, including the Federal agent on board, the Judo champion, and the ex-police officer please stand gaurd over them, and if necessary, encourage them to co-operate…..the use of Deadly Force is authorised by me, if they give you a speck of trouble or do not comply immediately, we will be landing in a few minutes at the nearest airport where a full contingent of armed police will meet the plane..”

and further “the pilot and co-pilot wish to express their regret for the person already knifed to death lying in the aisle, but we’ll be FRELLED up the RING-GEAR with a Broomstick Sideways, if we’re going to open this cockpit door for any reason on Earth at any time before we land, and give these Hijackers our aeroplane, KNOWING FULL WELL that they’re going to fly it at full speed into a building killing everyone on board and many more besides”

The program did say that the cockpit voice recording WAS NOT being made public because it was the subject of ongoing legal action. (Although it had been played in private to families of the passengers, who gave the reconstruction their recollections of it). You gotta wonder if someone is going to hold the airline to account for the actions of the pilot and co-pilot on board that day. Note that the program did say, that the believed that both the pilot and copilot had been killed almost immediately that the hijackers had entered the cockpit

Sept 11 was a terrible tragedy on so many levels, but Flight 93, even moreso, because it seems that this aircraft was voluntarily and willingly given over to the hijackers without a fight, even AFTER the aircrew had been told what the Hijackers would do with it !

Once again, to those passengers on board who refused to stay seated as told to by the Hijackers, and who refused to comply with Hijacker’s demands, like a bunch of woosy six year old girls, as official airline policy dictates……I salute you. You *almost* UN-Hijacked your plane successfully, and for that attempt, you are to be commended most highly.

Actually as an aside, you know all this extra airline security nowadays is pretty un-necessary, and there’s no good reason why passengers shouldn’t be allowed to carry small knives manicure scissors and nail-files etc onto planes like the used to be able to, prior to Sept 11. As I see it, every aeroplane now comes already equipped with a full complement (of 50 or 100 or 300 whatever) of “volunteer, will-fight-to-the-death Citizenry-Air-Marshalls”. Anyone trying to hijack a plane nowadays is going to have to get through near every single one passenger first.

THIS UPDATE ADDED Monday 5 Dec 2005. It’s recently been announced the possibility  that soon US airport security screeners commence to re-allow the carrying onto planes of nail-files, small scissors etc. Yep, yet again, the Government and powers-that-be etc have admitted that I, good ol’ Catherine, was 100 % correct in the first place ! It’s good to know that the new US’s, unlimitedly cashed up mega-beauracracy “The Department Of Homeland Security” (sic) have seen the error of their ways and is now supporting my ‘Blog (in this particular area at least, if nothing else !)

Note that it’s recently come to light that it was actually a direct result of the formation of The Dept Of Homeland Security, that caused the previously excellent FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority) to be downgraded and basically “gutted”. …..and it was directly because FEMA had been so thoroughly gutted, that it’s response to the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was so poor. Independent commentators have warned that, Changes announced recently, intended to improve FEMA, will actually make the situation very much worse !

Woman stole $278,000, sentenced to proverbial “slap on wrist with wet bus ticket”

Down Dunedin way, some woman, a sack of shite by all accounts has left court laughing at the justice system, “laughing all the way to the bank” it could be said.

Even though the judge actually commented “What really sticks out in this is the most unconcerned person throughout this whole process is you”. before he basically gave her, everything that her and her lawyer wanted.

Yep, she’s got “permanent name suppression”. The company she now works for and her position in that company are also being kept secret.

I’m sorry Judge Kevin Phillips of Dunedin. I think this woman’s having a lend of you. I think she’s tricked you mightily. I think she’s pulled a snow job on the Dunedin District Court, just like the job she did on her previous employer’s bank account.

She only took her previous employer for $278,000 (in diverted tax and Kiwisaver payments) but I reckon she’s taken the New Zealand justice system for a joy-ride.

Here is what her former co-workers reckon…”Her former employees were appalled by the granting of name suppression and her sentence of five months’ home detention, with many left out of work and out of pocket.”

She’s only described as a “Prominent Dunedin woman”. You’ve gotta wonder who she is and how she managed to walk away with so lenient a sentence. “Go home and sit on the couch and watch Oprah for 5 months”. Sorry judge, that’s my definition of a holiday, not a “sentence”.

A few years back someone described only as “a prominent local (Queenstown) businessman” escaped an attempted rape charge. For some reason, the prosecution wanted to do the guy a few favours, so kept reducing the charge until it got down to “committing an indecent act”. Even after he pled guilty and was convicted, he then appealed his conviction and sentence. All the time maintaining name suppression. He managed to score the right verdict second time around and walked away scott-free (laughing, no doubt).

I won’t name him here, but his name’s a matter of public record on various Australian based websites (such as “laudafinem” ). Which as well as naming him, claimed he was an ex All Black and ex National Party member.

Although I don’t know the specifics of this recent Dunedin case, I reckon I’m fairly safe to say that she is NOT an ex-ALL BLACK. (Just how many women All Blacks, have there been ?). But I’m left wondering if she’s an ex National Party member ? Or maybe she’d sent her kids to the “right” private schools, or maybe she’s known around Dunedin for being seen eating at the “right” restaurants.

I guess that with $278,000 in her purse, she could’ve afforded something more than the McDonald’s that to most of us hard-working Kiwis, counts as a meal out in the best restaurant, that we can afford.

Here’s a link to the full article on the Christchurch Press newspaper’s “Stuff” website on Friday 2 September 2016.

Note that the “laurafinem” website is huge and has quite a number of articles relating to crime and justice in New Zealand. Amongst many other things, it seems to show that being an ex All Black (or even just a potential future All Black or club footballer) will work as a get-out-of-jail-free card, even to those violent youth that walk up to people and punch them to death (which is quite a problem in NZ’s North Island, happening all too often unfortunately).

One small positive of the Brexit vote.”Bonfire of the EU laws…”

Here is one small reason for the UK to leave the EU. The ability to reject crazy laws.

Occasionally I (like many others) suffer from migraine episodes and even including also in the pre- and post- episode times, I find that CFL (compact flourescent lamps “energy efficient lightbulbs”) cause me added distress. They often also colour wrongly for filming video items.

I use CFLs at MOST locations throughout the house, for MOST of the time. But if I’m feeling migrainy, then I have old fashioned, non energy efficient lightbulbs available to change as required into the main lights I am using for that day (or that time of filming something indoors).

That said, many of the lamps I use are small portable desk-lamps fitted with 20 watt, 12 volt reduced voltage halogen lamps.

Curoiusly these are really common in NZ, having been sold often by Australian owned and based “Bunnings” hardware store amongst other places. Yet in Australia these are very rare and hard to fin. I finally found one after much looking, at Kmart, and the price was more than double the NZ price and spare bulbs to suit it were several times the normal NZ price, weird eh !

Note I have recently gotten some of the newest types of LED replacement household light bulbs, as they became offered as a good special, NZ $ 29 for 5 bulbs, at Bunnings in NZ about one month ago. Rated at “5 watt” they give a light similar to about a 11 watt CFL or a 60 watt old incandescent bulb. One advantage is they power up to full brightness straight away without taking a minute to reach max brightness.

Note that in the past, I have sometimes used mid to large size Tungsten incandescent, (old type), light bulbs,m in the 60 watt to 100 watt range, when I SPECIFICALLY WANTED the feature of their in-efficiency, that they put out HEAT.

Yes I have used them as warming heat-lamps when raising young chicks inside the house (back when I lived in the, almost outback, of Western Australia). Similarly they can also be used to keep other small animals warm, eg sick kittens or puppies etc.

Curoiusly while in WA (1990 to 2007) I noticed that apparently the SMALLER normal lightbulbs were being phased out. When I first moved into my place in WA I used many 25 watt Tungsten incandescent lamps and in some places even 15 watt bulbs strategically placed as needed.

Over time those bulbs became completely un=available and I ended up HAVING to use a minimum of 40 watt bulb everywhere I wanted a small bulb as there was simply no other option.

Even getting the 15 watt bulb intended for inside fridges turned out to be very difficult to source (and expensive). I went for a long time with a torch kept beside the fridge, until I could fine the correct replacement bulb.

Also as a bedside lamp, I have one of those “touch” lamps. They require an incandescent lightbulb of between about 25 to 60 watts to work properly, something about the resistance of the lightbulb filament and human touching the metal parts of the lamp.

They normally work so that at each successive touch it goes OFF, dim, medium, full, off. And while in the dim and medium settings they are only using a fraction of the full bulb rating anyway, so they ARE energy efficient but you DO need the old type, energy in-efficient bulbs to use in them !

I also have a visual display sorta “pretend Lava-lamp” which is rated to use a 60 watt incandescent tungsten bulb. As an experient I tried various other bulbs, but ONLY an old fashioned type 60 watt bulb makes it work correctly.

It needs the rising heat from the bulb to cause a sorta propellor shaped top piece to rotate as the hot air escapes.

Here’s a small exceprt from the NZHerald website story titled “Bonfire of the EU laws…”

QUOTE BEGINS. Incandescent lightbulbs
Something else that could now make a return is the incandescent lightbulb.

Incandescent bulbs have been phased out in stages in the UK since 2009 following European regulations.

The Government banned the import of 100-watt bulbs from 2009, followed by a ban on 60w bulbs in 2011 and a full ban on all ‘traditional’ bulbs in 2012.

The bulbs were branded environmentally-unfriendly because some 95 per cent of the energy that goes into them gets turned into heat rather than light.

Following the EU’s ban on incandescent light-bulbs, many people were reported to have suffered epileptic fits from the flickering, supposedly eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs. QUOTE ENDS.

Brexit, Britain votes to extract itself from the EU

I write this from the point of view of a New Zealander, who has some English relatives and friends. I’ve never been anywhere further North than Australia, but hope to visit the British Isles and mainland Eurpoe, sometime. It is about 24 hours since the news broke that the “Brexit” vote has been counted and the result is “Leave” the European Union.

First let me say of the current British PM (David Cameron), I think the guy’s an idiot, and I’ll tell you why.

In England, previously, the very recent past, just a few months ago, there was a competition to name a new Royal maritime research vessel. The competition was in the form of a public poll (something similar although less formal than the recent “Brexit” voting poll). I’m unsure of the exact system, but it probably came down to a few college friends having fun on social media, Facebook, Twitter etc But somewhere someone said “hey let’s see if we can get the stupidest name we can think of, to win the poll !” You guessed it. Turns out that “Boaty McBoatface” won. This has left the maritime research authority in an unenviable situation that it is, almost if not actually and completely, legally required, to name Britain’s new flagship of maritime research, “Boaty McBoatface”.

So with this knowledge clear in the front of his mind, having only just recently occurred, why oh why oh why would David Cameron (or to use his apparent title The Honorouable David Cameron Dik HeD, why would he even have instituted a poll if he wasn’t absolutely sure to win it ?

Stuff I’ve previously read said the poll was to quieten some rumbling voices of dissent from within his own political party. Hmm, well how’s that workin’ out for ya Davey boy ?

It seems the REMAIN (in Europe) vote won out conclusively in London, Oxford and Scotland. But pretty much everywhere else in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, voted “LEAVE, Let’s bloody go mate, on yer bike as fast as !”.

I have heard it said that one major contributing reason towards many people voting for “LEAVE” was because of difficulties the UK is currently facing regarding a shortage of housing and especially a shortage of affordable housing. Especially when people see immigrants coming into an area, the immigration is then, rightly or wrongly, blamed for those housing problems.

(Here is a short quote that I have cribbed off someone’s Facebook). “… I voted out. Why? Simply because politicians had tried to force a remain vote by imposing an intolerable dilemma on the British people. In, and keep the decline we have forced on you, or leave, and we will ensure even more pain and hardship. Think about it. That was really the message of the remain camp. Worse still, the message was originating from persons who live in penthouse accommodation and shop at Harrods. …” (Quote ends).

Certainly in both Australia and New Zealand, this is an issue at the moment. Both countries have high (relative to our population) immigration. However the vast majority of immigrants settle in the one area (each) that is already full to bursting point, and with people sleeping in cars and tents on open land because there’s simply not enough houses.

Yes that’s right, about 60% of immigrants to Australia, never go any further than the greater Sydney area, and in NZ, it’s the Auckland area.

Obviously immigrants like to settle in the major metropolitan areas because they are the most “cosmopolitan” places. Because of previous migration, that’s where the most “ethnic” food stores will be. The Lebanese and Chinese food shops, the Indian take=away and the Asian grocery store. And hey it’s understandable that if a Vietnamese person needed to visit a doctor or dentist, they’d be more comfortable going to a Vietnamese speaking one.

You’ve got to ask, why the idiots in the Australian and New Zealand governments, instead of actively bringing in all of the fully supported migrants to areas which are already over-populated, don’t they pick some of the half-empty country towns dotted around the land ?

It’s true that support services for new migrants, like social support services and some English classes for new arrivals etc are already located in Sydney and Auckland, but those sorts of things could be opened up elsewhere with very little effort.

From a zero start, a critical mass of new immigrants would very quickly be built up, so very soon they could have access to ethnic based shopping options and healthcare providers in their own languages.

One wonders if the same is needed in Britain ? Do new migrants need to be more equally shared around the place ? And for that matter are there issues regarding housing supply and affordability that need to be addressed ?

Governments cannot be blamed for the weather (well not directly) but they are responsible for things like immigration. New entrants can be granted visas which require them to live somewhere for a particular period of time (say 10 years) by then they will (hopefully) have become settled in their new community, and hopefully they won’t want to all rush to London/Sydney/Auckland the very day their 10 year visa condition expires.

To all those wallies in government, I say to them “hey budds, why are you so single-minded about doing nothing about housing affordability and supply and just leaving it all up to the “free market” (which clearly isn’t working) ?”

We have many many restrictions of the otherwise “free market” in many areas. Whether talking about UK, Australia or New Zealand, the government specifically DOES NOT ALLOW the “FREE MARKET” to apply with respect to things like the supply of COCAINE, or MACHINE GUNS, or PLUTONIUM dust.

Now maybe you should argue we should just leave all those things up to the FREE MARKET as well, and not be bothered about what terrible downstream social consequences might well arise (with all the cocaine, machine guns, and radioactive dust floating around the city streets).

Or maybe it’s time for the governments, at least in those countries that are having major problems in their biggest cities, to find some fixes.

I personally believe that taking the PROFIT-EERS out of the equation will help considerable.

Just to take a simple example, water (definitely essential to life). In places like Australia and NZ we have a two-tier system. We have “for profit” water as sold in plastic bottles and carry-containers at supermarkets and we have “not-for-profit” water as made available through our city council, or local water authority.

The difference in price is somewhere in the region of a thousand to one, or 1000:1. Often even more. Indeed in many areas, the bottled water actually wouldn’t be allowed to be piped to the city’s inhabitants as it is HIGHER in contaminants.

To take an example I know from Christchurch city in NZ. The cheapest house and land package in the cheapest suburb would be about NZ $ 250,000 in Aranui, for an old 3 bedroom house on land (and possibly no lockup garage).

(In NZ, the minimum wage of $15.25 per hour is $31,720 annual gross. So using the traditionally accepted bank formula of house price being 4 times annual gross, that would make an affordable house total price of $126,880. Therefore housing, (at the bottom range of the market) is a multiple of almost 8-times income. ie Christchurch’s cheapest houses are costing about double what they should in relation to wages. Minimum wage isn’t going up by anything anytime soon, and never goes up by much anyway, so somehow we need house prices to fall to half what they currently are.)

I am *NOT* suggesting that similar houses (to what’s currently available in ‘Aranui’) could be made on a “not for profit” basis of one one-thousandth of the current NZ $ 250,000 price, ie, DON’T expect to buy a house and land package for just NZ $250 !

But it makes me wonder, if we took the profiteers out of the equation, how much would a house and land sell for ?

(In 1974, NZ took the profiteers out of the motor vehicle personal injury compensation system. Annual car registration in NZ is now NZ $ 130 annually. Australia has a similar-to-the-USA profit based system and car registrations (including MVIT “green slip”) are somewhere around Aust $800 a year. ) So taking the profiteers out of the equation, might well reduce house prices to a quarter or a fifth of their current level.

How much would people happily pay for a house to have security of tenure over their home, if they knew that when they sold it again, whether in 3 months or 65 years, it would have to be on-sold for the same price they brought it for ? ie, no personal profit would be made.

Currently in Auckland NZ we have the stupid situation that houses get fully refurbished, at a cost of many tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, just prior to demolition (as the house buyers just wanted the land onto which to build a new house).

Not counting the cost to the planet in the huge waste of resources (the labour resource of a fully refurbished house is entirely wasted during its demolition, and only a limited amount of the materials used are salvaged and re-used).

In Auckland and Christchurch, and possibly London too, can we please get the PROFITEERS and “investors” OUT of the housing “market” Let’s leave the housing “market” for people that want a house just to live in, for them and their families.

Far too many people are currently paying 70% or more, of their nett income in “rent” whether it’s to a private landlord or  in mortgage repayments on huge loans to buy even basic housing. That gives them very little else to spend on food, electricity and home heating, car costs and public bus/train transport or education classes and courses etc.

Imagine how much better life on Earth would be for all of us, if rent or mortgage repayments only typically amounted to say 10% of your weekly income.

Think how much good could be done as people donated just a small portion of all their “spare” money to various charities (whether it’s guide dogs for the blind or conservation groups trying to re-plant native trees or whatever). What about saving something extra towards a rainy day, or ones’ retirement ? If it was just 10% of weekly earnings needed to  cover rent or mortgage payments, folks on even modest wages could afford to “gamble” something on the share market. The extra finance available for new start-ups would push investments in new technologies. Many would fail, but some would succeed.

When I first heard about the “BREXIT” vote coming up, I was initially a supporter of LEAVE. I looked forward to Britain re-establishing closer links with former colonies like Australia and New Zealand.

NZ exports used to go 70% to the UK and 3 % to Asia, but since the early 1970’s that ratio has switched. Asia’s population has exploded and the people there want feeding, plus some manufactured goods we sell into those markets and many people from Asian countries come to NZ for holidays.

However I have come to the opinion that the right move was for Britain to stay within the European Union.

It seems though, that with the outcome of the BREXIT vote, an orderly withdrawal will commence.

The process is expected to take 2 or more years and the exact details simply aren’t known.

Some options are a sort of “Norway” situation which would place Britain outside the EU and unable to vote on EU policies, but still bound to adhere to many of them. Whatever the details eventually become, there will be many politicians and senior civil servants laughing it up big-time at the taxpayers’ expense, as they attend an even greater number of talk-fests over the next few years…

“Boaty McBoatface” it makes you think, don’t hold a poll unless you’re sure you’ll be happy with the outcome.

I fear that 48% of Britons are going to bed unhappy tonight and that a great many more (98% ?) will be unhappy when the repercussions of leaving the European Union, come back to bite them in the arxe.

I’m left wondering if “immigration” has taken the blame for the UK government’s failure to provide, allow and facilitate, healthy, safe, comfortable and affordable housing for people. All in the name of “free market” economic theory.

Community Crofting, a new form of lease with security of tenure, opportunity lost

It is my understanding, that in USA, a perfectly livable house on several acres (which I might call a “hobby farm, or a livestyle block, but which some people may call a homestead etc “room for a pony” as Hyacinth Bucket would say on the tv show comedy) I understand that within a short drive to a USA large town or reasonable city would cost about $50,000. In NZ you’d be looking at about $1 million.

Probably even more than that in Aussie and UK. Of course if people live in the USA they risk being shot dead by poolice, no questions asked, if found committing offences like “being black in a public place”. If you’re just being disresepctful to a poolice officer, you may get to survive being tasered multiple times and pepper-sprayed from a giant flyspray size can (none of those little wee lipstick sized pepper-sprays for US “law enforcement”.

It sickens me to my stomach that the NZ govt bulldozed 12,000 houses (in Chch’s ‘red zone”) just as fast as it could get the bulldozers around there, instead of saving say 4,000 of the completely un-damaged, and least damaged houses, and making them available at a ‘peppercorn rent’ for cheap housing under a special  new “community crofting” leasehold arrangement (that could have been devised). A new form of lifetime lease with security of tenure, but without the ability to make a profit from the house. These houses could have been released onto the market, some perhaps incorporating the surrounding empty sections where houses had been demolished, so as to give half-acre and acre lot sizes.

Currently in New Zealand, residential tenants can by evicted with  just 42 days notice. Especially during times of housing availability and affordability crisis, and with many thousands of people on government housing waiting lists, this does not give tenants long enough to secure alternative accommodation.

A golden opportunity was shit out the arxehole and flushed down the toilet, just to prop up and increase Christchurch’s house values. The flow-on effects from Christchurch having a large pool of affordable  rental housing and stable long term communities (that long term, security of tenure that “community crofting” leases  would give), would also have helped reign in Auckland’s rampaging house price inflation (and Christchurch’s not-quite-as-rampaging house price inflation).

Here’s yet another article on the housing un-affodability crisis in Auckland (and to a lesser extent, all of NZ) from the Auckland Herald Newspaper’s NZHerald website.