Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Straight talking on housing

We didn't see or hear any of the proceedings of Parliament yesterday, given that we were dashing around the Mid North. We'll be doing more of the same today, so once again, Parliament will have to do without us.

But whilst the focus was on various party leaders preening and gloating, there were apparently some excellent speeches from less high profile members. A reader kindly e-mailed and suggested that we catch the speech by the Hon Maurice Williamson on houses and housing. Williamson is one of Parliament's better debaters, and we'd actually prefer to see him rather than Hon David Carter assume the role of Speaker of the House. That however is another debate for another day.

So here's Maurice Williamson's excellent speech, which we suspect was not warmly received in the Leader of the Opposition's office:

Labour offers much rhetoric with regard to housing, but little tangible, achieveable policy. And credit to Maurice Williamson for a factual rebuttal of Labour's affordable housing rhetoric.


WatchOut said...

"the focus was on various party leaders preening and gloating"
Yes, that was Key. Disgusting and un-Prime Ministerial. What a clown.

bsprout said...

Thanks for this, KS, Willimson did make some excellent points. It's a pity that there can't be an amalgamation of ideas from all parties to solve what is acyually a serious problem. The agreement between National and the Greens to insulate housing has been a real success and something similar around house building and ownership could be useful.

I am also concerned that the focus is on Auckland, where land is expensive. If only there was more support for regional development so that more people could shift to jobs in areas of cheaper housing. We had a heap of Pacific Islanders shift to invercargill when our freezing works were working at full capacity in the 70s and 80s.

I agree with WatchOut that Key does not present himself as a Prime Minister.

gravedodger said...

Sadly BS a non performing MSM means that to get any traction Mr Key is left with no option other than to attack Shearers rubbish totally false housing claims in the house.
Your valid point about the Home Insulation success with National and the Greens has had no resulting acknowledgement from the Green party leadership who for obvious reasons have hitched their wagon to the socialst horses, no surprises there when the political past of Norman and Meturei are considered. However it highlights the stupidity of constant harping negativity instead of looking for common ground.

It was a blistering dismantling speach by Maurice Williamson and every churnalist and aspiring polly should have to listen to it then answer 30 questions.

bsprout said...

I'm sorry, Grave dodger, but the Greens have often talked about the success of the insulation scheme, and it was National that almost walked away from it at the start of their second term. It is also National who talk about it's success now as if it was their idea.

I though Williamson had some valid points but the Green Party's rent to buy scheme also has merit it would be good to have acknowledgement from National for good ideas but instead they twist the detail and basically lie about opposition policy. The nonsense about the Green's approach to roads is a classic example:

I disagree with your view that there is constant and negativity from the opposition, both the Greens and Labour have been making some worthwhile suggestions and it was the Prime Minister who spent much of his speech criticising the opposition. it is the oppositions job to challenge the Government and the Government's job to justify their policy. Key should have been talking about all the Government's plans for the year, but he spent little time on this.

Julie Anne Genter's speech is every bit as good as Williamson's if you bother to listen to it.

Viking said...

Appently we measure the success of the insulation scheme by the amount of subsidy paid out. Turns out that people with warmer houses end up using more electricity.

The energy study showed that insulation treatment caused a statistically significant, but small (0.7%-1.0%) fall in metered energy consumption. The small drop in energy use is consistent with an economic model in which energy efficiencies were obtained from the insulation so that the effective price of heating fell, in turn resulting in increased consumption of heat (i.e. a warmer house). Greatest energy savings were experienced in cool areas. Measured energy use was shown to increase slightly with the installation of clean heat installation (no data were available on nonmetered energy use).

So free insulation will not help reduce energy demand: people respond to the reduced cost of heating by consuming more of it. This is worth knowing as some parties think that improved insulation is a substitute for greater generation capacity.++