I am one of a new generation of Kiwis that just can’t see any useful future for me in Christchurch or New Zealand.
The system is rigged against me in every way, where I get paid minimum wage and get hammered with maximum tax and student loan repayments, and the government is bending over backwards to prop up house prices as they continue to spiral upwards, to continue to buy the votes of the 61% of people that already own housing and just screw the 39% of people, especially singles, childless and low income earners who do not.
(oh what a golden opportunity was just bulldozed away… of the 12,000 houses in the Govts self designated “Red Zone” that were just demolished and sent to landfill (just a handful of houses were relocated and transported away, and very few had materials salvaged from them, save for some copper from hotwater systems)… the Govt could have made the 4,000 or more of the undamaged and least damaged houses available to first-home buyers and disadvantaged second-chance home buyers on a special new invention of a long term “Crofters’ lease” )
We know that elsewhere when something is seen as having potential as “AN INVESTMENT” then the price of that item becomes doubled, five-pled, or even multiplied 10-fold, when compared to similar “non investment” items.
If we had a new class of housing that we could buy, but NOT make a profit on (thereby taking all the profiteers out of the system) We just don’t know what the exact price would settle at (I’d suggest it may be one fifth of current prices), but the Govt could create a class of housing from which a profit simply cannot be made. But the houses and land would still be available for people to “buy/lease” and have long term security of tenure over, leading to stable long term communities and all the social benefits that we know come from such.
If people could buy a home for one fifth the current price, then that gives them far more money to invest in all those things the govt WANTS them to spend money on, things like retirement savings accounts (in NZ called Kiwisaver and in Australia called Superannuation) and company shares of new start-ups. More money to invest in education, eco organic Walnut orchard plantings, or re-afforestation of degraded land for future plantation based sustainable forestry. solar panels for their roof, money to donate to charities, at home and overseas, to help give the disadvantaged a hand up.
Currently people often spend $20,000 “doing up” a kitchen, because they want to get an extra $30,000 more when they sell the house. If they knew that the selling price of the house would be the same price they bought into it at (with the Govt statutory “Crofters’ Lease” authority taking ALL of the profit) then folks would just spend on their hosue what it genuinely needed to improve it’s function and comfort as they lived there. So the kitchen would get $3,000 spent on it to make it nicer, plus some ceiling insulation could be installed to make the house more pleasant to live in and have lower energy bills for 10 months of the year. But as it was their “own” home they could fit upgraded door locks or nail up a bookshelf without pleading for a landlord’s permission first.
(The current system means huge environmental costs to the planet, as some homes get huge amounts of money and resources expended on them to “do them up” yet often fundamental flaws are un-addressed. In Auckland, many old houses get fully refurbished just prior to sale and demolition, simply to “get a better price”, even though the buyer just wants the land for a new build .)
“Profits” from house sales would help fund the “Crofters’ Lease” statutory authority (after an initial seed funding from the govt, for the first generation of house purchases)
Of course that first generation of house purchases could have been simply gifted to the Crofters’ Lease authority from the lesser damaged, indeed many undamaged RED ZONE houses. But it was Govt policy to bulldoze 7,000 houses as soon as possible, so as to place Christchurch and NZ house prices under increasing upward pressure.
The Govt had a stated policy of ‘not wanting Christchurch house prices to fall, after the earthquakes’.
Politicians in Wellington and councillors at Christchurch City Council, laugh all the way to the bank on their fat salaries and supplementary allowances and freebies, even though these people have a lack of forward vision, and have failed their voters and citizens. The existing homeowners, 61% of the population laugh all the way to the bank on tax free profits, and everyone else is considered a worthless runt, a serf, a peasant, a land-begger, tenant scum. 39% of the population is thrown on the scrap-heap.
The opportunity we had for Christchurch city and New Zealand to pioneer a new form of home ownership that gives stable societies and neighbourhoods at minimal cost has just been pissed away under the bulldozers.