Monday, November 19, 2012

House prices unafordable for NZers

It is becoming obvious that New Zealanders are living in a country that is becoming the target for foreigners wanting to buy up houses and thereby forcing the prices up for NZers. The fact that many Chinese buyers are coming into NZ and attending auctions with lots of money to spend is putting huge pressure on NZers. It goes without saying that the bourgeoning middle classes and rich in China vastly outnumber and outmanoeuvre NZers when it comes to bidding, especially in the Auckland area.
It has to be said that this is putting NZ citizens in the position of being unable to compete against such practises. When I brought my first house, no such impediments existed. Auctions were not as common, but now they seem to be dominating the sales process. Prices are now at the point where people are paying over a million dollars for houses that clearly need a lot of work done. Yes, these houses are in the inner suburbs of Auckland, but that does not take away the fact that the mat is been taken from under our feet.
It is going to take a brave Government or political party (other than NZ First) that is going to ask the hard questions or put this all out there for us to discuss as a nation.
 In a sense our independence as a nation is being brought out from under us and we seem to be unable to do anything about it. We do not want to be or appear to be racists and we need to have good relationships with the world’s second biggest economy, but surely we need to address the problem of affordability in our own nation.
We have embraced the notion of the ‘free market,’ so any interference in the ‘market’ is frowned upon. OK, but let’s have an even playing field. Are we Able to go to China and buy houses and land? I think not. Why can we not have reciprocal arrangements with nations whereby ‘if they want to be able to enter our markets to the point of owing houses and land,’ then we need to be able to do the same in their countries? Even then, we may not be able to compete, so maybe we need to weigh the odds and make them more favourable to our citizens. If we do not address this issue now, we are going to be dispossessed I n our own land. Does that not sound familiar as a factor in our own history?

Thanks to the wonderful friends who keep helping me

Many of you know that my fingers have a mind of their own and that 'errors' manage to find a way into my books. If you are a reader who zips through books at lightenning speed, you may not notice them, but if you are one of the personality types who loves to underline the mistakes you find in library books, you would be most frustrated with my books. (Don't you hate reading books where someone has done that!)
I have come to the conclusion that I am a 'story teller,' not a writer.
My friends and colleagues are slowly going through my books and then I send the corrections to my printer. The books are therefore gradually shrugging off the mistakes and becoming more professional. I look forward to the time when I can honestly say that 'there are no mistkes, typos or any other form of 'wrongness.' Take this posting, for example. I did not use 'Word' so God knows what I have written!
Thank you once again my dear friends.

Israel and Hamas--so people die while you both try to save face!

It seems that  political organizations/nation states are like kids. Neither wants to make the first move in a fight. Both want to save face and not be the one to appear to be the one giving in. In the meantime people die; the least powerful; the children and elderly, who have no say in what is happenning around them. The overcrowded streets of Gaza provide no sanctuary from Israeli bombs and the houses of those Israeli citizens within range of the increasingly sophisticated missiles sent by Hamas; all are defenceless against the rain of terror falling from the skies.
Is there a will on either side to settle this dispute or is this latest life destroying battle one that will never end, until one side vanquishes the other? I am not hopeful, a place in my mind that is intolerable. Young Palestinians and Israelis deserve a better world in which to achieve their dreams. At the moment all they share is the nightmare of war.

Now let's get on with the job--the battle of the Davids is over!

David the winner could demote and shame David the loser but I think that both Davids need to be on  the front bench and that any demotion going as far as the backbench is probably not the best way to go forward. There is no doubt the David Shearer has a right to be a bit pissed off, but it is in the best interests of the Party (and the nation) for him to take a 'Helenic' approach; that is to embrase his prodigal member. Now is not the time for vengeance, but it is time for a pulling together of all the resources; both human and financial to get on with becoming and promoting the 'Government in waiting.'

A word of caution--democracy was not born in a day!

Rome was not built in a day nor was democracy. It took many centuries for the system we have in New Zealand to evolve from the feudal despotic royal families of England. The royal kings and queens did not give up their power easily and even when one of their numbers was executed by a powerful Parliament, there was a ‘Restoration’ of Royal Privileges and the battle to achieve a Constitutional Monarchy needed yet more centuries of strife and war. It was only in the 20th Century that the system as we know it today came to fruition.
How then can we expect those countries that have undergone the changes in the Middle East and nearby to mirror the institutions we have in the West? There is a mistaken belief that underlays the foreign interventions led by the USA and its allies that change will be achieved and that democratic ‘norms’ will make the lives of the citizens of these ‘liberated’ countries much better.
Our arrogance will not deliver the results we wish; at least not in the short term. There are age old divisions in these societies, underscored by religion and power cliques. One would have thought that those advising Presidents and Generals would understand this but to all appearances, this is not so, hence the obvious disappointment of our ‘leaders’ when things don’t quite work out as planned. The sad fact is that the citizens of Iraq, Egypt, and Libya are not lining up at western embassy gates and thanking them. They are more likely to be hurling bombs.
What do we do then?—step back and leave them to their own devices and allow them to develop their own change? Of course we don’t and for one reason alone----oil! If there were alternatives that worked, then I am sure the Middle East would no longer feature in world politics other than as a transit point for the world’s trade.
How cynical you say. Just delve back into history and learn the lessons that we should have taken on. It seems that history repeats itself over and over. Democracy then is an illusion unless it has roots that are nurtured in the culture of the area involved. Politicians seem to be the slowest to learn these lessons.