RENTAL HOUSING

The Maori Council has called for the government to intervene against short term rental platforms such as Airbnb, to combat soaring rentals in the rental housing shortage. Putting aside the general undesirability of controls in any activity, would this alleviate the situation?

Airbnb and its like were designed for the tourist market. Tourism is currently dead world-wide so presumably the occupants are New Zealand tourists, which the government has encouraged.

As our hotels are being filled with quarantine arrivals, and the lesser quality ones with self-afflicted alcoholic and drug addicted bums scraped from the street at great cost to the taxpayer, compounded by the reported damage they do, I don’t believe the Council’s proposal addresses the issue.

Prior to Covid the same clamour arose in Edinburgh 18 months ago, for the same reason.

Once rated Britain’s most loved city, Edinburgh become a nightmare for its occupants with wall-to-wall tourists. Furthermore, thanks to Airbnb etc the rental housing market took a huge supply hit at the expense of locals.

As regular visitors to Scotland, in recent years we’d drive across from our Glasgow home to look at the latest National Gallery’s exhibition. But we gave up a couple of years back as it had become like London’s Oxford Street in its heyday, that is absurdly crowded.

In an effort to recover their city for its occupants, three years back the Barcelona City Council banned short term Airbnb type stays in flats. As in Venice, the aim was to confine tourism to the affluent. To that end they also banned new hotel construction to create a demand-supply imbalance inducing rising hotel room rents only the rich could afford.

Furthermore, they actively policed it, with teams of inspectors regularly waking up flat occupants in the early hours to see if they were short term occupants.

Similar constraints were introduced in Amsterdam with the same objectives.

Pre-Covid we did not have a tourism-induced crowding problem, rather it was a housing shortage. The Maori Council should focus on that for which as I wrote on this Blog last year, there’s a quick solution.

That is to plan whole new state house suburbs on Auckland’s and Wellington’s fringes then contract Chinese construction companies to quickly knock them up. They’ll fly in thousands of workers who will happily do twelve hour, seven day weeks, living in on-site barracks. After say three months’ stints, those tradesmen will return home happy with huge sums of money from this one-off opportunity to elevate their own home living standards.

The Chinese have an amazing ability to construct large scale projects incredibly quickly, to a high standard and a great deal cheaper than we can. We willingly import their quality cheap goods so why not extend it to services?

Our housing issue is a western world problem and the fact is, it’s of such a scale it cannot be resolved by our existing building industry, which lacks the manpower.

Why did this situation arise here and in Britain, and some other western nations?

With Britain and New Zealand there were common denominators. First, large scale migration which apart from its housing consequence, has been a huge boon for both countries.

Then cultural factors such as the practise of kids leaving home in their late teens to go flatting. In Italy by contrast, they leave home only to marry, often in their 30s. This was compounded in Britain by achieving Tony Blair’s goal of 50% of all kids going to universities or in many cases therefore, flatting. To attain that British universities introduced numerous useless joke degree courses without any intellectual or academic element, exactly as here with fat studies, maori wonderfulness and the ilk.

Then there’s the ongoing world-wide shift to large cities, not merely for economic reasons but as much for rastly superior life-styles. Add to that the growth in single or couple childless households, something virtually unheard of two generations back.

Use the Chinese and whole new townships could be quickly built, including community halls, retail premises, schools etc etc. It’s really not a hard issue to resolve.

When the government announced its latest state-house building programme there was criticism of creating slums. Really! I grew up in a state house suburb and it wasn’t a slum. Without exception people were house-proud with vegetable gardens at the rear and lawns and flower gardens in the front.

The critics say the state houses should be built amidst middle-class homes. That’s naïve as neither faction would welcome it, people always opting to live with their social and economic peers.

13 Comments

Thanks for the considered perspective Bob, appreciated.

Very good commentary. One of the best I would say. But not sure I want to Chinese coming land in bulk to build housing cause … they may find a pretext not to return.

According to the Reserve Bank the Maori economy grew at twice the rate of GDP between 2013 and 2018.
And no wonder.
If a Maori business pays any tax it is payed at a “ special people “ rate of 17.5%.
Mugs and non Maori are required to pay a rate of 28%.
Maori have huge swathes of underutilized land around Maraes and jointly owned land that has laid fallow for up to 100 years.
With assets exceeding $60 Billion the tribal elite are in the prime position to construct and finance housing for the tribal beneficiaries that currently occupy cars and motels .
It would however adversely impact the annual rapacious fees that Maori “ leaders “ currently receive to keep them in the style they have become accustomed.
Is this the reason that they always have a hand out for more from taxpayers instead of actually doing something constructive for “ their people “?

    I would agree mass immigration has allot to answer for. Sadly, I believe most of this immigration is by design. I and others call it part of the chaos theory; keeping the masses distracted while big business abuse the system.

    The whole problem is a few people are in too much of a hurry, with their employees contracts designed to facilitate this. Its short term gains that is causing the long term pains.

These days being next to state housing us a risk. Ardern is providing state housing side by side with privately owned townhouses in Auckland. New home buyers expressed their lack of enthusiasm for potentially living next to badly behaved families and meth users/producers not to mention devaluation of your adjoining property. That’s not to say all state housing occupants are terrible, they are not, but it is a risk.

Problem also with facilities needed, storm water, sewage, power supply, water supply even roading is an issue. That is why councils are anti sub-division development. They can’t do it.
Popping houses on land is the easy bit.

More BS from Maori.
SB: “With Britain and New Zealand there were common denominators. First, large scale migration which apart from its housing consequence, has been a huge boon for both countries”
Other than economics 101, Supply and Demand and what you mention above there is another big driver. Marriage breakdowns. A happy couple “need” one house. An unhappy couple now single again, requires 2 houses. And big ones to share the kids in. Do you think this is creating an issue on the supply side? Of course it is.
Nz ranks above UK, Japan, Denmark, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland in home ownership rates. A simple Google.
I suspect we rank in number 1 when it comes to whining and whinging about being to useless to buy a house.

There are two types of poor people, Sir Bob. There is the humble poor – and there is the underclass.

The humble poor are either lazy people who never did their homework, or immigrants. The underclass are the ones who yell out “what are you looking at, cunt!” on the street and have a background of massive child abuse.

One of those groups, the humble poor, desperately don’t want to mix with the underclass just like the rest of us don’t. I would hope new housing developments respect that.

I have suggested again and again for years, that Maori having some of the largest land holdings in NZ, they could also build the cheapest housing in NZ, eliminating the several hundred thousand per house being gouged by land rentiers under conceited central rationing schemes by Councils. But the role of Maori in housing development in NZ seems to me to consist mostly of angry demonstrations about bulldozers upsetting the Taniwha or the nature spirits or desecrating some Tapu or something. As Rodney Hide said years ago, Maori should have been told to provide a register of all sites of significance to them so we could get on and do stuff “everywhere else” – because without such a register, there is a whiff of suspicion that they are “making it up as they go along” for everywhere we chance to decide to do stuff. But surely they are at a natural advantage when it comes to their own abundant land holdings; they can avoid Tapu and Taniwha locations because they are the arbiters of this anyway; and they can call in the Tohunga to lift the Tapu anyway without the usual shakedown fees that apply to everyone else.

    Good thinking, Phil. Maybe we should promote directly to Maori what they can do for themselves, with their land? The product (nice detached home) and the cost breakdowns.

    Let Maori provide a naked example for the rest of the country to [be politically forced to] follow.

    And hell…you won’t even get called a racist for it! lol.

I’m finding it difficult to feel any sympathy for ‘Maori’ whingers. Just prior to the last election that useless obese pig trougher shane Jones announced a ‘gift’ of $100 million..yes $100 MILLION to ‘Maori’ for..wait for it..marae renovation! Well well..and who is overseeing this spend? where is the money going? Does anyone have any responsibility for how it is allocated? Or did someone in govt just send it to a bank account and say’ good luck’? My point is it is now 2021…maybe in 1951 Maori had some cause for complaint. But billions of dollars have been ‘transferred’ to maori in general,and still they claim to be ‘underpriviliged’? Bullshit.

If there were no social misery there would be no need for Cindy and her band of communists.
Prior to Labours wining the 2017 election our Left Estate were crowing about thousands of children dying of starvation without a roof over their heads. Following Cindy’s win, NOTHING. Apparently there were no more children dying of starvation in our streets. Go figure that !
The left must find something to prolong their control ; racial injustice the most convenient lever in their tool kit and no shortage of cunning parasites willing to gain.
Left Estate perfectly compliant, blind and under their control.

Immigration hasn’t caused a housing “crisis”. (Something you were quite specific about earlier on this blog) and a shortage isn’t a “crisis” anyway. Taxation systems that reward ownership of dingy old houses that are rented out vs penalising people with quite punative measures if they seek to start up a business or employ people have made housing a more attractive investment. That aside the endless advertsing of property and its inherent supply shortage plus low interest rates have been driving up demand for years.

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