If not racist, it’s certainly xenophobic

One quarter of all foreign sales of real estate in New Zealand are to ‘Chinese’ buyers. The reason I wrote the word Chinese as a parenthetical phrase is to most red blooded necked true New Zealanders (i.e. white) the classification of ‘Chinese’ would mean anyone of Asian ancestry.

So let’s look at those numbers.

Firstly, if 25% of real estate sales to foreign nationals are to the ‘Chinese’ then 75% are to other nationalities. They are mostly made up of Australian, English and American…but of course most of them are white so they don’t stand out as much at an auction, still where are our politicians rallying against those ethnicities and banning them thar white foreigners from buying?

Marry all this up against the idea that only 6% of all sales are to foreign nationals then we have a true picture. The ‘Chinese’ make up one quarter, or 6% of all sales. That means the red invasion of our real estate industry purchases a total of 1.5% of all the properties on the market.

Some are now saying that the ‘Chinese’ should only be able to buy newly built houses, well lets look at that. That is what they do in Australia and now Chinese (no parenthesise) buy 20% of the new housing market which is now causing the same headlines over there as people are ‘being shut out of the new housing market.’ It also means that the new house prices are spiking as there is a cashed up group of people fighting for them leaving many now unable to purchase either a new build or new-to-them house.

When I go to sell property I want as many people there who can purchase the property, I’d happily sell my property to an Asian, Australian, American, Angolan or anyone who had the right to buy it, and had the ability to do so.

I am sure you’ll see and hear people like Winston Peters on the telly and radio airwaves talking up the yellow peril this week, but please lets keep this conversation in the realm I like to call ‘reality’…which is ‘Chinese’ buyers make up 1.5% of all purchases and any kind of spin on that other than calling it ‘hardly any sales’, well if it ‘aint racist, it’s certainly xenophobic.

“Yes to Colin…and mmmaybe to Winston” says Mr. Key

John Key will signal in a speech in few minutes that if the people of NZ want to continue with the status quo he’s happy to oblige. Mr Key will say that “given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.”

Mr. Key also sees a scenario where the Conservatives could be an option even though he’ll acknowledge that they have “policy differences” it doesn’t mean they also couldn’t find some common ground.

Unsurprisingly the Prime Minister will rule out Labour, The Greens and Mana as potential coalition partners however with regards to NZ First there is the hint of a slight softening. Mr Key will say that a “relationship was very unlikely” but ultimately he will not rule out the possibility entirely prior to the election.

See the full speech from JohnKey.co.nz below

Prime Minister John Key today set out his decision on which parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.

“MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.

“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.

“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.

“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.

“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.

“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.

“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.

“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.

“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.

“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.

“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”

In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.

“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

Colin Craig on Radiolive

Colin Craig just spent an hour on Radiolive with Wallace Chapman. It was very entertaining and it was great to hear Craig’s comments and interactions with the listeners.

It is an interesting time in the media as they are all over the Conservative Party story and links to National. I wonder, as did a caller to Chapman post Craig leaving the studio, if the media has nothing better to do at the moment so look for stories where there is none.

The Conservative Party could definitely be there or thereabouts after the next election and indeed could become a coalition partner to prop up a third term National Government, but the confident talk of “We’ll definitely be there” needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. There was internal polling at the last election that had Craig and the Conservatives convinced they’d win Rodney in a landslide which they ended up losing by more than 12,000 votes. I don’t say this to say they won’t be there, just as a reminder that polls ‘aint always accurate. Poll results go both ways as well, just ask Winston Peters.

On the topic of Winston Peters, having done talkback and talk radio for close to a decade I have to say that the supporters of Colin Craig, their angle on the world, and the repetitive themes that come from them do remind me a lot of NZ First supporters. I wonder if the Conservatives will go head to head with NZ First for these votes which could lead to a few scenarios.

  1. NZ First losing all it’s share and it disappears again.
  2. NZ First takes voters away from the Conservatives once Winston starts the ‘Foreshore and Seabed’, ‘Immigrants are evil’, ‘Everybody is against the elderly’ campaign which is sure to come.
  3. Or will they spread the potential vote too thin, and end up keeping each other out of politics by splitting the vote.
  4. Or I guess you have to ask for fairness, will the both get in…which would make for fun political observing in 2014/15 as Craig could try to out-Winston Winston!

One of the messages I enjoy from Colin Craig is that he wants to be, and thinks all politicians should be, representative of their constituents. I agree. The problem the Conservatives are going to face is who their constituents actually are.

Here are a couple of examples from today’s hour on Radiolive

These are the constituents that Colin Craig and the Conservative will be representing. I don’t know about you, but if I were in politics I don’t think I’d want ‘Michael’ to be my spokesperson, or writing my bumper stickers but if we did they’d be something like…

  • “We don’t believe in Aotearoa – Vote Conservative”
  • “We believe in Equal Rights for all (especially those of us with current privilege) – Vote Conservative”
  • “We want to smack our kids – Vote Conservative”

Or maybe Esther would be a better way to go…

  • “We used to live in harmony, except those of us who didn’t and had things like our language and practices oppressed – Vote Conservative”
  • “All that land we took off you, that you got back, well you should now agree to give it to everyone and let bygones be bygones – Vote Conservative”

I wonder if the Conservatives are setting themselves up to be a far right alternative to ACT. This is of course a valid voting block with an audience large enough to get the Conservatives into parliament.

I have spent some time at Conservative HQ, I actually offered to help them with their message, but it was plain to see then, as it is now, that as long as they can get across the 5% threshold appealing to the group of NZers that would adhere to the above thoughts then they’d get in, and of course there is a market for those thoughts.

So we shall now see if the media continues the narrative of Colin Craig being the next king maker, or if next month they will be back to Winston and the Maori Party then in 12 months we’ll all know if they were correct or not.

Winston Peters pointing the bone…again

Winston Peters has been pointing the bone at the National Government over the Aratere Ferry in a tweet this morning that follows several months of blaming National for the poor performance of this marine vessel

Winston Tweets

Winston Peter was in Government alongside the National Party in 1998 when the Aratere was purchased from Spain, in fact at the time of purchase he was the treasurer (December 1996 to August 1998).

I wonder if Winston is using this to score points when from 1999 this ship has been labelled ‘El Lemon’ by the crew. If it was that bad in 1999, surely he, as a part of Government and the treasurer when purchased, should hold some responsibility for buying this piece of junk.

I have to say we are used to Winston using the elderly, or immigrants, or anybody to further his political narrative, but he’s now using a ferry to score points. Wow!

The art of the political ‘flip flop’

We all know what it is about, we know all politicians do it, I’m pondering if in the next election cycle will our media serve us in demonstrating which politicians and political parties are flip-flopping for what some would say is political expedience.

A couple of examples that I have come across recently.

The much publicised flip-flop by Prime Minister John Key on Winston Peters

Key in 2008

“It’s a matter of political principle. We just do not find NZ First acceptable”
“Mr Peters will be unacceptable as a minister in a government led by me.”

Key in 2011

“I want to lead a positive aspirational government and I don’t believe a Winston Peters government does that.”
“If Peters is the balance of power it will be a Phil Goff-led Labour Government.”

Key in 2013

“I think partly it reflects that the country doesn’t want to see Labour and the Greens in office. And so if it means having to deal with New Zealand First – a lot of our supporters would prefer to see that situation.”

And here is a less known, perhaps unknown flip-flop I cam across in my archives.

We interviewed Colin Craig from the Conservatives in 2008 and when asked about Gay Marriage he said the following

Yet this year I think it is safe to say that the Conservatives have made it quite clear that they oppose ‘Gay Marriage’ and have spoken with pride (‘scuse the pun) about being the only party ‘arguing against it‘.

From the Conservative website

Conservative Press Release

Seems the Conservatives are no longer ‘uncomfortable’ with making this a focus

The US media is brilliant at showing politicians changing their position for political expedience. The Daily Show makes a living off showing these clips back to back on a nightly basis.

I only hope that somewhere in the media in the lead up to next years election we will see clarity and long memories from our media to demonstrate these inconsistencies in our politicians and give us a fair look at who we are voting for.