As the housing crisis in Auckland prevents so many first home buyers from stepping on the first rung of the property ladder, John Key has announced some thinking his party has been doing in this area. MyThinks talked to the PM about his plans and how they will address the potential for a bursting bubble any time soon.
MT: Thanks for speaking to us today, Prime Minister.
MT: I suppose we should get into it. Do you have any plans to deal with the cost of housing in Auckland?
JK: Well… although we don’t believe there’s a problem…
MT: …the current average house price in Auckland is $1 million. How is that not a problem?
JK: Look… I see what you’re saying but you have to remember there are a lot of voters out there who own property in Auckland. I bet they don’t see this as a problem.
MT: Isn’t that a problem for you though? I mean, there are also lots of voters out there who don’t own houses yet.
JK: Oh.. yes.. but generally they either don’t vote or vote for someone else… so… you know… whatevs.
MT: There are plenty of economists out there that are warning of the danger signs to the economy. If the Auckland housing bubble bursts there could be thousands of people out there who lose out. Are you planning ahead for when this could happen?
JK: (long period of laughter) Oh… lordy. Goodness me. Planning ahead? What do I look like? A planner? No… seriously… the National Party have an excellent plan for dealing with the housing crisis – we’re going to get voted out at some point. Let Labour & the Greens deal with it. Then when we get voted back in… presto… we’ve solved the housing crisis.
MT: Yes… but Labour and Greens would have solved it.
JK: Yes… it’s genius, isn’t it? Look… at the end of the day I can pretty much do whatever I want. People don’t care what I do. If they did, I wouldn’t be the PM any more. I would’ve been voted out years ago. Years ago!
MT: You would’ve thought… but… I don’t know…
JK: Yeah, I know. Anyway, the National Party also have a proud record of being responsible property owners. The last thing we need at the moment is any panicking like the bringing in of any new taxes. That’s why we’ve announced a new tax – a land tax – for foreign investors.
MT: How do you think that will slow house price rises?
JK: We don’t actually know. We’re guessing that it won’t, but it’s important to make an announcement like this so people actually think you’re doing something, then do nothing. The last thing we need is people being scared off investing in the Auckland market and decimating the tax-free earnings of Cabinet.
MT: Thanks for your time prime minister.
Yesterday, during a short piece about possible corruption and dodgy dealings within the National Party of New Zealand, MyThinks suggested that all anybody had to do to get anything from them was to set up some kind of crowd funding scheme whereby a whole lot of cash was raised and donated to the National Party, and then there was some kind of quid pro quo in return.
Senior National Party prople have been in contact with us and it turns out it is far more complicated than we first thought.
Sure you can give them a whole bunch of cash and they’re likely to do stuff for you. However, they aparantly have this thing called the Old Boys Network which is essentially a vast network of rich, old white guys. This network has no need for large envelopes of cash in the traditional sense. It turns out they just ask the National Party to do stuff and they will do it.
It appears for many National MPs, life after parliament might also be important.
MyThinks unreservedly apologises to the National Party for suggesting they will only change policy or take action against something if money changes hands in some way. We are truely sorry of this lack of insight caused any offence.
With everyone jumping up and down this week about corruption in the delightful resort nation of Niue, MyThinks thought it was important to point out a few things that have been missing from the discourse.
The implication that by somehow giving the National Party $100,000 and then receiving a large resort management contract makes Earl Hagaman or Murray McCully or the National Party corrupt is just plain wrong.
We are in New Zealand people, not Italy, Africa or any other country. Those countries, where dealings like this take place all the time, are utterly corrupt. New Zealand isn’t.
Paying money to the ruling political party to win a highly sought after contract isn’t corrupt. It’s just clever business.
The other thing to remember is the minister responsible – Murray McCully – would have to have some kind of history of doing this sort of thing for people to see it as corrupt. Wouldn’t he?
I don’t know about you guys, but if I wanted a change of policy or some kind of action on something (like obesity, the housing crisis, inequality, or my missing knighthood) my first port of call would be to raise a few hundred thousand and give it to them right away. After all, with National, money seems to talk louder than 25,000 people marching up Queen Street.
I suppose you could either go down the crowd-funding route or just threaten pull out of New Zealand altogether. I’m pretty sure that’s how Warner Bros. got their employment law changes through.
Anyway… there’s a few things to think about this weekend.
Murray McCully has denied a link between a a hotel deal in Niue and a large donation to the National Party.
The donation – just over $100,000 – was paid to the National Party by Earl Hagaman, the founder of Scenic Hotel Group, shorty before the company won a contract to run the Matavai Resort in Niue.
“The National Party receives millions in donations each year,” the Foreign Minister said in a statement, “and sometimes people give us policy suggestions or ask us for stuff. It’s always a very happy coincidence for the National Party when monies and askings come from the same person/lobby group at roughly the same time. But that’s all it is. A coincidence. A fiscally delicious coincidence.”
McCully was also at pains to point out he was, in his role as Foreign Minister, setting up a range of opportunities that would benefit New Zealand long after he had retired from parliament to the McCully Suite at the Matavai Resort in Niue.