Thanks to greed, poor planning and economic mis-management, we can kiss goodbye to dreams of home ownership and a quarter acre section for the kids to run around on. We now have people living in cars – unheard of before the economic reforms of the 1990’s.
New Zealand now has the highest housing prices in the world, next to Qatar!
How did we get here? These are a number of causes; (1) Supply and demand, (2) Land restrictions under UN inspired initiatives like Agenda 21 and now C40, (3) Foreign banks creating NZ’s money, and (4) Economic mismanagement.
(1 and 2) The demand for land out-stripping supply. The Auckland City Council has been restricting the amount of land that can be built on. Our media haven’t reported on this – but in December the Auckland City Council signed up to the C40 Low Carbon City Group, a group of councils across the world that regard carbon as a pollutant. Carbon is not a pollutant – but we won’t go into that here. I’ve already addressed that in Carbon Con, another blog post.
The C40 dream is for “compact cities” where car use is restricted. Our councils were already restricting land for building on under Agenda21, but it will really ramp up now Auckland is one of the C40 cities. The plan is for high density housing where people walk, bike, or use public transport. How can that be good for families? Gone will be our own private backyards where children and pets can play in the summer, and log fires in the winter. Gone will be our cars and garages. Gone will be land ownership and privacy. Surveillance will be increased and energy use will be monitored by things like “smart meters”, another thing that has been imposed on us.
(3) Foreign Bank lending causing housing inflation. The other reason for inflated housing prices is bank lending. NZ’s banking sector is dominated by big Australian Banks – called “the big four.” New Zealand banks were sold to them in the 1990’s. The big four are the ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank. These foreign-owned banks hold 90% of New Zealand’s mortgages.
They make money electronically out of thin air and then loan it to New Zealanders at interest. Our money system is still based on the printing of bank notes, and nothing has been done to stop them from creating electronic money in this fashion. The overseas banks do have to have reserves, but its not covered by depositors funds – it’s covered by the inflated price of the land from the bubble they’ve created.
The big banks make huge profits which are taken out of NZ. They win, property owners and speculators win, and our children and people on the lowest rung of the economic ladder lose.
I’ve just heard on the news that half of the house buyers in Auckland are speculators. There are no laws to stop speculation in the NZ property market. The speculators don’t even have to be NZ citizens. It’s morally wrong.
(4) Economic mis-management. Finally, we don’t have enough builders. The National Party decided that ‘the free market’ would deliver all the industry training New Zealand needed,” effectively wiping out the old apprenticeship system in the 1990s. Wage subsidies for apprentices on block courses were abolished in 1991, leading to the huge trades skills-crisis facing New Zealand today. Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0507/S00250.htm
What can we do? Here are my ideas. Stop unelected overseas entities from stealing our wealth.
Put pressure on our local and national government to demand the councils get out of the C40 “low carbon cities” initiative. Our rate payers are not being looked after in this group, and rates have gone up and will continue to go up. Technocrats in the UN, carbon exchanges and overseas investors are the only winners here.
Ask for a change to the money system. Ask why we aren’t creating the money electronically and giving it to Housing NZ?
Join Positive Money NZ – they’re part of an international movement for money reform. http://www.positivemoney.org.nz/
Demand that we reinstate building apprenticeships.
Stop speculators buying our homes. Make it so they can invest in forestry or commercial property – but make it illegal to speculate on our homes.
Demand our local and national governments use some common sense – something that has flown out the window with the neo-liberal reforms of our economy in the early 1990’s. Blind fools in our government have let “the market’ dictate business and economic activity here, without any rules around the banks or the investors – resulting in this mess. They’ve enriched themselves at the expense of our country and our children.
Don’t borrow from the big four Australian Banks. Go to the Cooperative Bank, Kiwibank or the Taranaki Savings Bank – they are all NZ owned.
There’s also Liberty Trust, who provide Interest Free Lending from pooled money.
I’d love to hear what you think.
Further links: Bernard Hickey: Power of printing money