Published on Nov 1, 2017
Published on Nov 1, 2017
New Zealand is sitting on a half-a-trillion-dollar debt bomb and Kiwis are increasingly treating their houses like cash machines, piling on the debt as they watch the value of their properties soar.
Reserve Bank figures show household debt, excluding investment property, has risen 23 per cent in the past five years to $163.4 billion. Incomes have risen only 11.5 per cent.
Households are now carrying a debt level that is equivalent to 162 per cent of their annual disposable income – higher than the level reached before the global financial crisis.
Including property investment the total debt households owed as of April was $232.9 billion, according to the Reserve Bank.
Satish Ranchhod, a senior economist at Westpac Bank, says the main driver has been low interest rates.
“Continued low interest rates have sparked a sharp increase in household borrowing at a time when income growth has been very modest.”
And it’s housing loans where the growth has mainly come from.
Housing loan debt has risen 23.4 per cent to $132.83 billion. Student loans were up 22.9 per cent to $14.84 billion and consumer loans are up 16.6 per cent to $15.7 billion.
From William McGregor
O.M.G. – Is the media for real?!
I really am DISGUSTED with the way the media has played up the whole Metiria Turei saga – the way she wasn’t 100% honest while collecting the D.P.B…..
While it is NOT a good look (that she collected a few bucks more than she was entitled to) and she appears to be a dishonest person in among a Parliament of honest people, just how bad is their memory?!
Bill English (the Prime Minister of Aotearoa) was collecting OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS A WEEK by renting out his private home in the Hutt, living in accommodation paid for by the people of N.Z., and NOT SAYING A BLOODY WORD until it was brought to light after years of “double-dipping”; he would have collected more in a year (almost 60k a year) than Meteria Turei – before it was uncovered.
His 2 I.C. (second in command) Paula Bennett is no better! (And to hear her speaking “holier than thou” …. that’s got to be just as big a joke! ….)
Honestly – if THIS is the level we have stooped to in the Political Arena of Aotearoa, we are COMPLETELY STUFFED!
Ask EVERY MEMBER (regardless of their party affiliation) who hasn’t been honest, who’s hidden the truth from any Government Department (I.R.D. included) to leave – and I’d be willing to bet there wouldn’t be a single person left in the Beehive AT ALL!
And it is being fueled by the media.
So, look deeper – who is fueling the media?!
I think this is being engineered to make people MORE CONFUSED about who to vote in at the Elections later in the year, and (hopefully) stay away from the Polling Booths.
DON’T play their games!
Well congratulations Nat government/corporation, you’ve now put us on another dubious ‘honour’ list. Most homeless? Two homeless gentlemen recently dying in the winter cold even. Highest youth suicide. Highest child poverty. Well done John Key. Well done Bill English. You do us proud. What next are we going to excel in?
Who next can you simply kick to the curb with your boot that’s looking increasingly fascist these days? Twenty billion to weapons and war, and only one to housing? Whilst you land bank our state homes, 42K people sleep in tents, garages and cars. Your monetary priorities say it all. You’ve ushered in neo-liberalism on steroids. You’ve trashed not only the people but the environment as well. And what use is any economy with neither of those?
Social Housing Minister Amy Adams is rejecting an American University survey that puts New Zealand at the top of a list of developed countries for homelessness.
Yale University has released a list of developed countries ranked on the number of homeless people per capita – which has New Zealand at the top, followed by the Czech Republic and Australia.
It found about 40,000 people are either living on the street, in emergency housing, or shelter considered sub-standard.
The report does note that getting an accurate picture of homeless is challenging, because many countries define homelessness in different ways.
Ms Adams said the findings should be treated with a high degree of caution, as the survey did not have consistent comparisons from country to country.
“They’re not comparing apples with apples and to suggest that is our number of homeless is quite wrong.”
Join 10+K others and sign in support of Pike River families for re entry to the mine. Bill English is planning to seal it, so much for National’s promises. (And if you’re not a Kiwi go to our Pike River pages for further info on the mining disaster that took 29 lives).
“Twenty-nine men lost their lives when the Pike River mine exploded in 2010. The Government made all sorts of promises to do everything they could to get the boys back.
Instead, late last year, they started to permanently seal the mine without trying to recover any remains or evidence. That’s despite many international mining experts saying the drift – the 2.3km tunnel leading up to the mine – could be safely re-entered and may contain evidence and remains.
The Government wants to seal off Pike River and forget about it. But the families of the men killed there, their communities, and the majority of Kiwis won’t let Pike be forgotten.
Sign the open letter asking Prime Minister Bill English to do the right thing by the families of Pike River and work with them to recover the drift.”
As Bryan Bruce is pointing out here & I couldn’t agree more:
“The government doesn’t stop people climbing mountains because it is dangerous.
Nor does it hesitate to send volunteer New Zealander soldiers to fight in wars where they might get killed.
So the Prime Minister’s “responsibility for safety ” argument is a bit thin.
If qualified mine rescuers are willing to voluntarily enter the mine to see if they can recover any bodies or remains then it seems to me they should be allowed to do so.
The problem for the Government is commercial liability should anything in a recovery attempt go wrong.
I’m sure liability could be waived by the volunteers.
Click on the link below to sign an open letter to Bill English.
Please share to give others the chance to sign.”
Go HERE to sign
These families whose loved ones still lie in the Pike River mine, are determined to get them out, get answers and justice, give them a proper burial, and grieve and obtain closure. They’ve gone about acquiring a report from both a group of UN experts as well as a British former mines inspector. The report which has been both peer reviewed and endorsed by mining experts advises re-entry to the mine is “absolutely possible”.
So why is Solid Energy’s CE not willing to even sit down and listen to this report? They have plans to seal the mine in February with 30 meters of concrete. What’s to hide then?
Bernie Monk has said he’s “over” the firm because of this refusal and intends to deal only with the Government from now on. He hopes to bring the expert who wrote the plan to a meeting with new PM Bill English.
This cold hearted and steely indifference to the human suffering of these families for their loved ones is atypical of the character of corporations. The term ‘character’ is not a misnomer by any stretch of the imagination. In the documentary called ‘The Corporation’, professionals in their respective fields have astutely classified and labeled the “legal person hood” that corporations enjoy, as basically “psychopathic”. This legal entity is constructed in such a way that it enjoys complete absolution from all responsibility for the harm it inflicts. We can see this playing out now in the Pike River mining tragedy. Please also read Dr Jacob Cohen’s exposé of their activity in this respect. The following information is from The Corporation film’s own website.
“In the mid-1800s the corporation emerged as a legal “person.” Imbued with a “personality” of pure self-interest, the next 100 years saw the corporation’s rise to dominance. The corporation created unprecedented wealth but at what cost? The remorseless rationale of “externalities” (as Milton Friedman explains, the unintended consequences of a transaction between two parties on a third) is responsible for countless cases of illness, death, poverty, pollution, exploitation and lies.”
The people who work for corporations may be good people, upstanding citizens in their communities, but none of that matters when they enter the corporation’s world.
“To assess the “personality” of the corporate “person,” a checklist is employed, using diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. The operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social “personality”: it is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. Four case studies, drawn from a universe of corporate activity, clearly demonstrate harm to workers, human health, animals and the biosphere. Concluding this point-by-point analysis, a disturbing diagnosis is delivered: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a “psychopath.” “
Watch ‘The Corporation’ movie on our Corporations page. A very enlightening movie, it will switch on the light to what is really happening with this heart rending scenario at Pike River. It is time for these behemoths to be disabled and dismantled. They are about control and greed … and absolution from all responsibility for fallout from that. They are what controls the drive for introduction of the TPPA trade ‘agreement’.
“Families of some of the victims of the 2010 Pike River mine explosion have submitted an experts’ report to Parliament in a bid to stop Solid Energy from sealing the “crime scene” forever.
The report was written by David Creedy, vice-chairman of the United Nations group of experts on coal mine methane, and Bob Stevenson, a former mines inspector in Britain.
The report has been peer-reviewed and endorsed by Britain’s leading mines rescue expert, Brian Robinson, and mining ventilation experts John Rowland and Roy Moreby.
Moreby has advised Solid Energy, which plans to seal the mine drift, on re-entry of Pike River.
Monk said he was “over” the mining firm since chief executive Tony King refused to sit down and listen to what the families’ experts had to say.
“I don’t want anything to do with Solid Energy. They have been uncooperative. They are bullies. I will only deal with the Government from now on.”
He hoped to bring the expert who had written the new plan for safe re-entry to NZ for a meeting with Prime Minister Bill English.
READ THE ARTICLE:
This is a repost of this article. Timely as in HNZ has just announced they’ll be shortly out of funds. No surprizes! Why if these people have degrees in accountancy are they running us into the ground peeps? Do check out the links recommended in the older article here (Agenda 21 and Banking), and read about the new debacle here.
The Prime Minister John Key announced earlier this year that he intended to sell off 1000 to 2000 of NZ’s state houses. Large numbers of these homes were built by the first Labour government in 1935 and as of 2013 the stock numbered 69,000. That era had marked the birth of our welfare state and the tenants of the first house that was finished and let in 1937, paid just one third of their income in rent. Fifty years later we had the Labour government promising to remain involved in NZ’s housing market, then with the event of Rogernomics and Roger Douglas’s neo liberal economic policies (the new economic ‘experiment’ that benefited those at the top of the capitalist pyramid and launched the ever increasing gap between rich and poor) rents were raised to market rates. Tenants could then apply for a government subsidy called an accommodation benefit, effectively subsidizing the landlords. By 1997, 60 years later, tenants were paying three quarters of their income in rent. The welfare state in NZ, having officially begun with the Social Security Act in 1938 and the state ensuring every New Zealand family had at least a minimum standard of living, was now descending rapidly into an abyss of debt and for many, poverty. We’ve effectively gone from free milk in schools to kids with no lunch at all.
In a recent article by Bryan Bruce, advocate for NZ’s children in poverty, and maker of the documentaries ‘Mind the Gap’ and ‘Inside Child Poverty‘, some interesting questions are raised, questions many New Zealanders have also been asking. Questions like why is the Key government selling off our state housing stock, especially when thousands of families have nowhere to live? NZ is in fact experiencing a housing crisis, described by the Salvation Army as an ‘unfolding social disaster’. On the one hand we have soaring house prices in Auckland that have so inflated the market few can afford them, and on the other, according to Auckland’s City Mission estimates, the numbers of people sleeping rough in Auckland for the year 2013-2014 virtually doubled.
The NZ Parliament website states that a “2013 University of Otago study using 2001 and 2006 Census figures and emergency housing data estimated that 12,900-21,100 dwellings would be needed to house the 2006 severely housing deprived population. These were in addition to housing required to address other forms of need, and underlying demand”.
In total, “An estimated 34,000 people, or about one in every 120 New Zealanders, were unable to access housing” in that year (University of Otago Monday, 23 September 2013).
“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
~ Mahatma Ghandi
Now it gets interesting. The usual rationale proffered for asset sales since they began with Rogernomics, have been ‘to get us out of debt’ or ‘save us money’, giving the impression they are no longer breaking even let alone making a profit. Bruce however reveals that the HNZ corporation has in fact been making a very healthy profit (links in his article). Clearly it would be more prudent to keep this asset.
Further facts Bruce highlights are:
Bruce raises questions like, where did those profits go? Why have they not reinvested the profits into the housing stock? Why sell housing stock in the regions when they are presumably encouraging folks to move to the regions? (Agenda 21 maybe? … the real plan for UN’s Agenda 21 aka Sustainable Development is to have populations relocated out of rural and into urban areas).
You may not be aware of this, but NZ is a corporation. Our country is listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission website as a corporation under the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Most will be aware that corporations are required to turn a profit … to maximize profits is their legal mandate. They are not about, nor are they required to be about the welfare of people. (Watch two minute movie trailer for ‘The Corporation’ below).
So as our corporation steams along at full speed, rapidly selling off both our country and its assets, those who head it up are giving us the impression they govern as elected representatives of the people. In a sense they do but their real agenda, their corporate bottom line, is hidden from view. Corporations if you study them, and as the above trailer illustrates quite succinctly, are not required to consider the effects their economic activities have on people. I strongly urge you to watch the full documentary on ‘The Corporation’ page. You will then be joining some dots and making sense of what is really happening in our midst. As long as we remain a corporation, poverty will not disappear. The welfare state has always existed merely to give capitalism a human face. That capitalism is now shamelessly profit driven and the human face is disappearing fast.
Check out the links and see for yourself where and how we are listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website here.
See our Money pages for more info & links, &/or search categories for further related articles (at left of any page).
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Featured image: “State houses at Arapuni Hydro Works” by Archives New Zealand – State houses at Arapuni Hydro Works. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:State_houses_at_Arapuni_Hydro_Works.jpg#/media/File:State_houses_at_Arapuni_Hydro_Works.jpg
Where did the asset sales money go? The slush fund pretty much according to Winston Peters … not where Bill English said it would go:
“The fund will provide New Zealanders with better public assets, such as modern schools, hospitals, roads, rail and public transport without increasing the debt burden on future generations” Bill English, Finance Minister 2012
This sounds like a cruel joke in light of current events. Pollution is so rife (thinking the honourable minister’s “future generations” statement) wild food is now so poisoned it’s largely inedible, waters we can only wade in, and hospitals, roads, rail etc have never been worse! I heard recently of a person who lay for literally hours in a cold corridor in one of our hospitals’ A&E (known as ED elsewhere) crying out for the toilet, too sick to get up, who got a round telling off when she soiled the bed! Waits in there currently can be many many hours. Still according to the minister, who doubtless on his salary can afford private insurance, membership fees for the IMF is far more important, to the tune of $23 million*. Remember this image? So why ever would Bill & his colleagues want us to prosper?
*(A fellow blogger tells me the IMF cost is FACTA legislation and should have been paid for by the US government as it is their legislation, read about FACTA at her blog here).
Proceeds from National’s state asset sell-off is being used to cover all sorts of costs like the TVNZ video archive, membership of an Asian bank and a visitor centre at Government House.
That’s despite Finance Minister Bill English promising in 2011 that all revenue from the sales would be put in a Future Investment Fund to pay for “schools, hospitals, roads, rail and public transport”.
But the latest breakdown of the fund’s expenditure shows just 55 percent of the spending fits that brief.
So what happened to the money?
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
One big ticket item is our membership to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which was funded as part of this year’s Budget and came in at a cost of $144M.
Another bank membership has also been paid for out of the fund. In 2014, the fund was used to pay $23 million for a subscription to the World Bank.
Computer programme for ministers
Some of the cash was also splashed on the Prime Minister and Cabinet with investment into a document management project, CABnet, which received $2.6M in 2012 and a further $1.8M in 2014 — a total of $4.4M.
Doing up Government House
In all, $500,000 was also allocated to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to be spent on a new Visitor Centre at Government House in 2012.
Modernising the War Pensions Act 1954 and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act was allocated $6M.
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