Category: housing


New Zealand’s Labour Party are not trusted to govern. Such is Labour-bureaucrat hunger for power, wealth and influence that meaningful difference from the dominant National Party is long lost. Labour has cast principle of purpose aside and the public know it, distrusting evasive professional politicians. Action to rein in the runaway corporate salaries, corruption and control is what collapsing economies most need but instead Labour promotes these and obstructs any genuine opposition. Fixated upon parliamentary power in Wellington, at community level Labour’s lousy monopolist method is most readily exposed for overdue challenge.

So to the 2016 local elections.

From the Labour point of view (dishonestly branded “People’s Choice” in Christchurch) there are only two permissible actors: staff of the corporate council (that Labour battles head-on for control) and themselves. All other community voice – and actual democracy – Labour extinguishes in pursuit of absolute power. These politicians generate few ideas for solutions and specialise in obstructing other people’s (the public’s) ideas for solutions, or hijacking them sometimes instead. A monopoly of ideas works like that: primarily Labour must silence all visible alternative, by any desperate means that they can; corruption included (like National’s).

The mostly Labour people’s choice for the new south city ward has just been announced, as illustrated here:

Labour people’s choices, 2016

Labour deceived people’s choices, 2016

These are all sitting representatives of the current Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board that the Labour-led council has just destroyed, stripping it of suburbs, history, and connection to the commercial inner city, but with one exception: Labour has decided to stand a senior council staff member for one of the public representative seats.

That’s right. Unbelievable but true – here in black and white print – Lee Sampson is a Senior Project Manager in Social Housing at Christchurch City Council and is proposed, by Labour, for election to a public representative decision-making seat!

Clearly Sampson cannot perform both roles, for that would be terrible conflict of interest: Sampson cannot represent both the council and its rate-paying public at the same time, or else this is pure dictatorship. Therefore Sampson must resign his council service role in order to be able to perform public representation. Sampson should do this immediately, if he has integrity, to make his loyalties and intentions clear to the public he now claims to represent!

That members Clearwater, Potter, Mautner and Coker should stand by, endorse and disguise such an appalling conflict of interest shows how far principle has fallen for each of them individually, in pursuit of outright power. And how ruthlessly desperate Labour always is to win, at any cost, to very clear detriment of democracy. The worst of it is the stupid arrogance that Labour selection seems to imbue its anointed local candidates with – all reason and listening is lost. Theirs are the only opinions brought to bear, thereafter.

Democracy is thus shown to have eroding value under Labour, which is why public decisions have also been going backwards with Labour monopoly of so-called ‘opposition’. Genuine public voice, Labour does not allow. Theirs is pretence, that political ‘left’ does not mean ‘right’ for them. Labour are professional frauds.

This explains why, under a Labour / “People’s Choice”-led council, where their party policy is ‘against’ public asset sales, corporatisation of City Care outdoor maintenance and council Social Housing have still proceeded.

New Zealand is unable to elect a different choice of government until it has thoroughly understood the so-called ‘Labour Party’, demolished it as a force and then swept it into the dustbin of history. Only then will Aotearoa-New Zealand society be able to progress past the rotten ravages of corporate fascism it now suffers systematically.

Kia ora

Ref. Southern View, 31-05-16, issuu.com/the.star/docs/116152ob, p.3.

PostscriptFiddling while Rome burns

“#BREAKING: The Risingholme Community Centre in Chch has been destroyed by fire tonight. @NewstalkZB @nzherald” – twitter.com/lynchinnz/status/739748940900245504

“Second flare up at Christchurch’s historic Risingholme Community Centre” –
stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/80789078/fire-at-christchurch-community-centre

A horrible indictment of Labour-dominated community board, which was long-warned of this high risk to heritage but did nothing – except throw Opawa out of the ward area to advance their own career ambitions 😦 Awful loss.

FYI, re technologised work in ‘the brave new world’ – radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/queensbirthday/audio/201803432/how-to-fix-the-digital-economy-douglas-rushkoff

N.B. Post followed up here: riktindall.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/council-bullies-residents-dalziel-edwards-dictate-christchurch-adventure-park-ccc-local-democracy-chch-newzealand-nz/

Noting a return of readers to my blog today, probably looking for New Zealand earthquake analysis, I will rattle this post off quickly, as a catch-up on a previously strong theme to my writing. Then I will take a good long walk to relax. As should we all.

Having accurately forecast, to within 50 minutes, a magnitude 4.7 Christchurch earthquake yesterday, what are my afterthoughts about this? Under-earth events continue for the country and are detailed here: #Masterton‬ mag 5.2 ‪#‎eqnz‬ this morning is not alone..”[1] (Read research at footnote link). The title is only more fitting, a month to the day since it was written, when there have been two 5.2 magnitude earthquakes, this new morning. (Ironically, says the Moon Man?)

Stunning, really. Awesome Earth!

But what is the big picture, if I am asked?

Well, it’s not good. Not for New Zealand, one of the newest land masses and nations on the planet – it is likely to have to start again. In our lifetime? It seems / I would say, perhaps yes. Because a 330-year Alpine Fault cycle is sitting at year 299, approximately.

The tectonic motion we have begun to experience as a constant factor of the post-colonial state has the capacity to practically destroy it. In my opinion. A catastrophe so large is built into this land, Aotearoa – Land of the Long White [volcanic] Cloud – that it will surely cripple us one day. Soon? Hard to say. Why? It looks like this:

Current south-east/central North Island quakes are signs that the Australian Plate it is on is moving, a little bit more. When it finally gets going properly it will be a huge leap south-east, and this will spread the central plateau / Kermadec Arc enough for the Taupo super-volcano to explode again. That will obliterate the central North Island and disable both Auckland and Wellington.

What will initiate this calamity, however, will be almost as bad for the South Island  – a magnitude 8+ slippage of the Alpine Fault, disabling Christchurch and the then-isolated West Coast. This (long-term) ‘regular’ event constitutes the letting-off of the not-quite slow-moving tectonic brake, that is the Southern Alps, that keeps this geological system ‘stable’. A relative term. Long calm will resettle again, after many many large and small aftershocks.

Will Otago-Southland be left standing to pull us through? Let us hope so.

There is no way we can recover from this imminent (in our lifetime?) surety without massive international support and massive sacrifice of sovereignty.

Let us prepare for that transitional step now. However we are best able to.

But it may be that the next magnitude 8+ Alpine Fault earthquake does not release Taupo super-volcano.[2]  Let us hope so. ‘Not yet please.’  We are not ready. …

Is the Taupo volcano on a 5, 6 or 7 Alpine Fault-slip cycle? Some decade on from now, all New Zealand will be discovering this, as-yet hidden fact, together. It will be our darkest hour. Human spirit will pull through.

Kia kaha. Kia ora. Waimarie.

[1] facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209826325001836&set=a.1294734535479.2045005.1443783772&type=3

[2] “1800 years ago Taupo volcano in New Zealand had the largest volcanic eruption in the world for the last 5000 years.” sott.net/article/249473-Is-The-Super-Volcano-Taupo-in-New-Zealand-Awakening and see wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcano “The main pyroclastic flow devastated the surrounding area, climbing over 1500 metres (5000 ft) to overtop the nearby Kaimanawa Ranges and Mount Tongariro, and covering the land within 80 kilometres (50 mi) with ignimbrite from Rotorua to Waiouru. Only Ruapehu was high enough to divert the flow.”

“Possibility of further eruptions on White Island remains high” 10 May 2016 m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11636672

“Mt Ruapehu still shaking” – top closed to public radionz.co.nz/news/national/303667/mt-ruapehu-still-shaking

“Aggressive 4.7 Christchurch shake centred close to February 22, 2011 earthquake”  stuff.co.nz/national/79890087/earthquake-rattles-christchurch and five hours later a “‘Strong’ earthquake shakes lower North Island” stuff.co.nz/national/79892918/Strong-earthquake-shakes-lower-North-Island 12 May 2016 – graphic, GeoNet.org.nz/quakes/drums:

120516b-NSN-drums-Masterton4.7-5.2

Update 30/5/2016

Scientists prepare for Lake Taupo eruption

“A team of researchers is studying the volcano so better response plans can be put in place in case of a large eruption. The Earthquake Commission said damage from the last time the volcano erupted – almost 1800 years ago – would be large enough to destroy the central North Island…”
radionz.co.nz/news/regional/305214/scientists-prepare-for-lake-taupo-eruption

Understand that the Taupo Volcanic Zone, stretching from Mount Ruapehu to north of White Island, marks the southern pin of the broad Kermadec Arc and basin, a massive slow-spreading rift in the Earth that forever thins its crust. From this steady motion – eastwards, of the Australian Plate – re-eruption of Taupo Volcano is inevitable. It isn’t the centre of the North Island for no reason – it explains why the island is above water. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcanic_Zone

Subduction Zone diagram

Subduction Zone diagram

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lau_Basin + Graphic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-arc_basin

The 5th most explosive volcano event known to human scientific records:
Name: Whakamaru
Zone: Taupo Volcanic Zone
Location: New Zealand, North Island
Notes: Whakamaru Ignimbrite/Mount Curl Tephra
Years ago (approx.): 340,000
Ejecta bulk volume (approx.): 2,000 km³
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervolcano#VEI_8

Later, “Earth’s most recent eruption reaching VEI-8, the highest level on the Volcanic Explosivity Index” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcanic_Zone

“The Ōruanui eruption (about 26,500 years ago) covered much of the central North Island with ignimbrite, up to 200 metres deep. Ash fallout was spread by the wind over the entire North Island, much of the South Island, and a large area east of New Zealand, including the Chatham Islands. About 1,200 cubic kilometres of pumice and ash were rapidly ejected. This caused a large area of land to collapse, forming the caldera basin now filled by Lake Taupō.”

…”Big bang – The Ōruanui eruption was so enormous that it is hard to visualise. In only a few days or weeks it ejected enough material to construct three Ruapehu-sized cones. After the eruption, the new lake gradually filled to a level 140 metres above the present lake. The lake broke out to the north, resulting in a huge flood. For several thousand years the Waikato River flowed northwards into the Hauraki Gulf, but it later changed its course to flow through the Hamilton lowlands to the Tasman sea.”

Then, …”Taupō eruption – The most recent major eruption of Taupō volcano took place in late summer–early autumn around 200 AD, from vents near Horomatangi Reefs (now submerged). The eruption produced a towering ash column, resulting in tephra-fall deposits over a wide area from Hamilton to Gisborne. The airfall deposits were much thicker to the east of Taupō because the eruption column was blown in that direction by strong westerly winds. The eruption column was followed by a devastating pyroclastic flow, blanketing a roughly circular area within 80 kilometres of Lake Taupō with ignimbrite, and destroying all life in its path. The ground-hugging pyroclastic flow appears to be one of the most powerful ever recorded, and was able to overtop Mt Tongariro and the Kaimanawa mountains, climbing 1,500 metres in a matter of minutes. The outlet of Lake Taupō was again blocked during the eruption, and the lake level rose to 34 metres above its present height, forming a widespread terrace. The lake eventually broke out in a huge flood whose effects can be traced for over 200 kilometres downstream, and include boulder beds and buried forests.”
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/volcanoes/page-5

That is, the same most recent was, the ‘Hatepe eruption’: “considered New Zealand’s largest eruption during the last 20,000 years.. ejected some 120 km3 (29 cu mi).. of which 30 km3 (7.2 cu mi) was ejected in the space of a few minutes. This makes it one of the most violent eruptions [on Earth] in the last 5000 years.. Tsunami deposits of the same age have been found on the central New Zealand coast, evidence that the eruption caused local tsunamis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatepe_eruption

“Radiocarbon dating indicates an uneven spacing of Taupo’s eruptions, from decades to thousands of years apart. This makes it difficult to forecast when the next eruption will occur and how big it will be.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/volcanoes/page-5

http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php#supv

http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake

Update 4/6/2016
“Magma chamber blamed for Bay of Plenty earthquake swarm.. study found the previously unrecognised magma body caused several thousand small earthquakes between 2004 and 2011.. expansion of the molten rock chamber approximately 9km below Matata has pushed up 400 square kilometres of land by 40cm.. something was accumulating at a depth of around 9.5 to 10km beneath the Earth’s surface.. The magma body could have been there for centuries or more.. The area was a ‘rift zone’ where over time the crust had been stretched and thinned – but it was not clear whether the crust was already thin, or the magma made it thin. ‘It is probably a thinner crust than the average you’d find elsewhere.. But what happens is as you stretch the crust and the hot rocks beneath come to a shallower depth, as they become shallower they get less pressure, which actually then enables them to melt and become magma. That magma, because it’s less buoyant than the surrounding rock, it then wants to percolate up through [into the crust]'”, RNZ – radionz.co.nz/news/national/305592/magma-buildup-blamed-for-quakes & Science Advances article, “results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system” – advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/6/e1600288.full
“A huge deposit of magma has been detected just 9km below a small North Island town – and scientists say it may be causing earthquakes. Matata is nestled between Tauranga and Opotiki, and new research using satellite image, GPS data and surveying has revealed the molten secret. The level of the town has been steadily rising over the last few years – up to 10mm per year of uplift, but it is now beginning to slow to about four-five millimetres per year. Scientists are confident there will not be an eruption in the near future, but say they will continue to monitor the magma field”, TV1 – tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/huge-field-molten-magma-found-under-north-island-town
“Rising magma to blame for swarm of quakes”, TV3 – newshub.co.nz/nznews/rising-magma-to-blame-for-swarm-of-quakes-2016060400
“Volcano status and notifications come to the GeoNet app – With the flurry of volcano activity last month, we’re pleased to add some new features to the GeoNet app so you can keep an eye on them, too”, GNS 30May2016 –
info.geonet.org.nz/display/appdata/2016/05/30/Volcano+status+and+notifications+come+to+the+GeoNet+app

Update 17/6/2016

Lake Tarawera water warning, 10 Jan 2015 – “People are being warned not to drink water from Lake Tarawera or swim in it after locals noticed the water was discoloured. It was reported to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council yesterday by Hot Water Beach residents. The council says geothermal activity could be to blame for the water’s white, milky appearance. Samples have been taken to test for the presence of algal blooms. The results are not due back until next week.”
http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/lake-tarawera-water-warning-2015011012

Lake Tarawera tests positive for algae, 15 Jan 2015 – “Lake Tarawera has tested positive for potentially toxic blue-green algae, but a health warning will not be issued. The confirmation comes after samples were taken from the lake last week, as well as Te Rata Bay near Hot Water Beach. The lake is at ‘amber alert’, meaning the situation will continue to be monitored. ‘The blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic but the levels of algae are below health guidelines,’ says Bay of Plenty Regional Council science manager Rob Donald. ‘We recommend that people do not swim in the water if it is discoloured.’ Blue-green algae only recently arrived in New Zealand, but has already taken its place in lakes throughout the North Island. It causes water to appear green and cloudy, and sometimes green specks will be visible.”
http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/lake-tarawera-tests-positive-for-algae-2015011517

Mt Tarawera vent erupts after 35-year slumber, 17 Jun 2016 – “One of the geothermal vents in Mt Tarawera’s Raupo Pond Crater came alive for the first time in 35 years last month, according to GeoNet. The Mud Rift feature — a 6m-wide, 36m-long, 15m-deep vent formed in 1906 that has been lying dormant since 1981 — was activated sometime between May 17 and 20 this year. A blog on the GeoNet website suggests the eruption was a fleeting event, and involved fluids flooding into the vent and causing ‘stress and browning off’ of surrounding plants. It says the eruption was mainly steam-driven, and involved plenty of water, creating what has been likened to a ‘muddy geyser’.”
newshub.co.nz/nznews/mt-tarawera-vent-erupts-after-35-year-slumber-2016061716

Update 27/7/2016
It appears this blog post has been read and authorities are now responding:
stuff.co.nz/national/82524357/team-granted-funding-to-plan-response-for-alpine-fault-megaquake

– Noting that a Megaquake could hit central New Zealand, Stuff 19 May 2015, motivating research like Simulation of a Magnitude 8.4 Megathrust Quake in New Zealand, GNS Science youtube, 12 November 2015

Stuff graphic - "Megaquake could hit central New Zealand" - 19 May 2015

Stuff graphic – “Megaquake could hit central New Zealand” – 19 May 2015

Local government work is worthwhile when helping good initiatives take shape. This was the case last week, when the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board endorsed the concept of a ward youth community board:

Christchurch Youth Council deputation to SHCB, 1 March 2016

Christchurch Youth Council deputation to SHCB, 1 March 2016


The Christchurch Youth Council spoke to us about challenges local youth face, due to funding cut-backs in mental health, loss of useable space, activities and opportunity in the Christchurch rebuild, cultural diversity, disability support, etc. They have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Christchurch City Council and are exploring how best to activate it, this week. How a local youth council could work was outlined in December, during SHCB’s Child and Youth Workers network meeting:
extract - Child and Youth Workers network meeting - 2 December 2015

Extract: Child and Youth Workers network meeting, 2 December 2015


The full record of this meeting is here: Notes – Child and Youth Workers Network Mtg – 2 December 2015.
We look forward to this new council establishing! Any assistance required, please do ask. Thanks and well done!

Refs. Christchurch Youth Council; Canterbury’s mental health funding to be cut; Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board

Rabbits and tumbleweed inhabit our destroyed city core, where “the possibility of building offices in the centre of the city now seems quite remote.” An effective remedy might be to ask: how much does Christchurch really need a ‘Central Business District’ (CBD)?[1]

Christchurch BNZ building - Press article/pic 160415

Christchurch BNZ building – Press article/pic 160415

If many headquarters aren’t coming back and the same demand for office space that we had won’t return, a stronger dynamic for regional recovery would be concentrated, affordable housing. True, innovative, contemporary and appealing urban density: the new central city village ‘Otautahi’ (to be named through public consultation).

The Cera-set height limits of 5-6 floors would really suit apartments though most would be half that scale. We could fix one of New Zealand’s biggest problems by starting an alternate route into new housing than Auckland, with strong supply to head off price inflation nationally. Drawing in rebuild workers at the time they are needed. And inner-city accommodation would gain value over time, inside recovery that is less guaranteed without it.

So let us address substantial need for housing first and foremost – lead the way as a watching world wants Christchurch to. With hotel density increased also, and revitalised cultural attractions including the urban innovation, the ‘CBD’ would prosper quickly again through injected custom.

Note: an expensive, overgrown and dominating convention centre is not necessary to this picture. Cathedral Square – within pleasant walking, bus and cycle distance – is for local people too: the heart of a once and recoverable happy city?

The investment development waves that set up Christchurch the way it was (Anglican settlement, gold rush, bonanza wheat, heavy industry, long stable market for animal products) are gone forever. Except for long-stayers Ngai Tahu combined with preceding and more recent iwi.

There needs to be a new, contemporary investment wave for the city to really prosper again. The $40B government rebuild contribution won’t suffice. Major corporates don’t need the same base here that they maintained in the past, so what will next define central Christchurch?

All the ‘urban density’ focus talk (of the current District Plan Review) should be given an exemplar, it seems. If the many office blocks aren’t coming back, to feed central city service industries, then repopulate with many more apartments and hotels. Built to top earthquake spec reassuringly, of course, around revitalised cultural attractions to recover strong tourism. Simple?

“People have reported being happiest in cities where they expressed the highest levels of trust for their neighbours.. We may be able to nurture more supportive relationships simply by limiting the number of people in any particular residential cluster. That may mean limiting the number of apartment units sharing a particular elevator bank, or building more rowhouses, townhouses and courtyard apartments rather than towers.” – Charles Montgomery, Happy City: http://thehappycity.com/building-happiness/

[1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/67780735/developer-abandons-christchurch-for-auckland April 2015 & http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/67782456/why-didnt-you-shoot-them-you-bunny 16 April 2015 + http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/67741917/christchurch-in-2050-will-it-be-vibrant-or-depressed

Full credit to Kim Dotcom for getting the IMP waka moving, but the sooner he hands over his rudder the better. Kim’s hirelings are building a ‘representative’ structure per instruction, but will Kiwi people endorse them? Only if democratic norms prevail – something New Zealanders understand and value a lot.

Without rank-and-file input for where the Internet Party is going, it is bound to hit the rocks of reaction. So let’s stand up for what is right in representation and take the reins – should Kim be willing to pass them on.

Otherwise the negative publicity based on sound analysis will prevail and drag Internet Party followers down:

Octo-Kim - June 2014

Octo-Kim – June 2014

…… A bigger, more meaningful campaign than what has been proposed is required, to replace the National government in 2014. It must be good, just, open and fair. Let us get on with it. Stop the Internet Party write off

New Zealand housing must be uncoupled, from the investment market needed by creative industry, to become a consumer durable: steady transition, through new government and policy reducing cost, over time.

A combination of approaches are required to freeze and stabilise home values, at their current level, without bursting the housing bubble – which inevitably would happen of its own accord. We must address the top, bottom and middle the of the housing inflation spectrum, at the same time.

The pair of policies I recommend would be capital gains tax upon the over-investors and flooding the affordable housing market from below, through smart mass production and land access technique.

And in case you haven’t noticed, the 2014 general elections have shaped up as Auckland and Christchurch policy needs versus the capital’s, on many points, and the latter cannot win this year.

N.B. These are the personal policy perspectives from an internet.org.nz hopeful, and not official policy.

Vikram Kumar – Change and the Internet

Other party housing policies so far:

http://alliance.org.nz/what-we-stand-for/alliance-policies/alliance-party-housing-policy/
“State housing: We would fight for a radical increase in the number of state houses being built to ensure adequate supply of quality affordable housing, appropriate to people’s needs. This must be a universal entitlement rather than targeted at those with extreme needs.

We would establish a publicly owned and controlled housing construction agency employing builders and apprentices to build State houses, and to modernise and insulate existing State houses.

Capital gains taxes and rent controls. We would not allow property investors to offset losses against taxes, as well as benefiting from untaxed capital gains. At the same time, we would introduce rent controls and stronger tenancy protection to prevent exploitation of the the poor.

Assist local bodies: Councils and other agencies aiming to provide pensioner flats and other social housing would be assisted by loans at below market interest rates, but only if rents are set at less than 25% of household income; no more sales of Council housing.” etc.

https://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/housing-policy-summary

“Housing is a social good and a basic right.
No one should be prevented from establishing a decent home because of low income.
All people should have secure tenure of appropriate housing.
Housing developments should optimise land use, reduce car use and be built to sustainable building principles.
Energy-saving and resource-conserving technologies must be promoted for all buildings.” etc.

https://www.labour.org.nz/portfolios/housing Statements outlining thinking

https://www.labour.org.nz/affordable-and-healthy-homes
“Put 100,000 Kiwi families into their first home through KiwiBuild.
Restrict the ability of non-residents to purchase New Zealand houses.
Require landlords to ensure every rental house in New Zealand is warm and dry.
Create new jobs, 2,000 apprenticeships and give a $2 billion boost to the economy through KiwiBuild.
Introduce a capital gains tax to take pressure off house prices.
Introduce a National Policy Statement to ensure Councils are more likely to approve projects involving affordable housing.”