The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon is back: Wagner, NATO+ & housing

The Hoon is back: Wagner, NATO+ & housing

Bernard Hickey & Peter Bale are back hooning around the week's news with Robert Patman on geopolitics, including Chris Hipkins’ big speech; Plus Vee Blackwood on the HRC’s big housing report
Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TLDR: The week’s news in Aotearoa’s political economy I covered via The Kākā for subscribers included:

  • The Opposition’s reckless talk about a ‘mortgage bomb’ hitting the housing market and economy, which I showed was out of line with what home owners and their banks are actually doing. Friday’s email.

  • The Human Rights Commission’s conclusion in the final report from its landmark housing market study that the Government and others breached our international human rights obligations. Thursday’s email.

  • Reports emerged of migration scams dragging in thousands of temporary workers with fraudulent claims of jobs and promises of residence. Monday’s email.

What we talked about on ‘The Hoon’ last night

In this week’s podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers at 5pm on Friday night, I talked with special guests:

  • 5.00 pm - 5.15 pm - Bernard and

    opened the show with a summary of the news domestically and internationally, and a chat about Bernard and Lynn’s trip to Europe.

  • 5.15 pm - 5.35 pm - University of Otago ProfessorRobert Patman talked about PM Chris Hipkins’ speech on security policy ahead of his trip to NATO early next week, plus the latest on what on earth is happening in Ukraine and Russia;

  • 5.35 pm - 5.50 pm - Human Rights Commission Housing Inquiry Manager Vee Blackwood talked with Bernard and Peter about the Commission’s housing inquiry final report;

  • 5.50 - 6pm - Bernard and Peter wrapped the show with a chat about plans for election coverage, with 99 days to go.

The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.

Thanks to the support of paying subscribers here, I’m able to spread the work from my public interest journalism here about housing affordability, climate change and poverty reduction around in other public venues. I’d love you to join the community supporting and contributing to this work with your ideas, feedback and comments.


Other places I’ve appeared this week

My podcast for The Spinoff this week

Why land prices are 60% over-valued, but sustainable (spoiler alert: it’s the tax advantage)

In 2021 the Reserve Bank told everyone house prices were unsustainably high and would probably fall 15% or so. It was right, and now prices are bottoming out. But that implies house prices are officially at sustainable levels now. Surely, that can’t be right? Especially house price to income multiples are two to three times higher than they were 20 years ago and most people on regular incomes can’t buy their own homes without massive parental support or a lotto win.

This week on When the Facts Change talked to Reserve Bank researcher Andrew Coleman about his in-depth work on how to measure house price sustainability, and why the tax preferences for owner-occupied residential land make it 60% more expensive than it would be if taxed neutrally.

Chat thread of the week on The Kākā

I also host regular discussions on the Chat section of The Kākā for paying subscribers.

Here’s one of the most commented ones this week, which was open to free subscribers too. Almost all are only open to paying subscribers and I’m thrilled at high level, depth and collegiality of the conversations we now have there as a community.

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
Bernard Hickey's discussions with Peter Bale and guests about the political economy in Aotearoa-NZ and in geo-politics, including issues around housing affordability, climate change inaction and child poverty reduction.