It’s much eas­ier to pre­serve the sta­tus quo than to trans­form things.

Sunday Star-Times - - FOCUS -

on a rent-to-buy ba­sis? (The Greens wanted that, it’s in their agree­ment with Labour.)

What if they do enough to change the look and shape of ur­ban liv­ing with, say, sub­urbs of apart­ments spring­ing up along­side a tram route, like they have in the nicest parts of Europe?

What if those many more houses soak up de­mand and take the in­fla­tion­ary pres­sure out of the mar­ket and it flat­tens out and prices just stay where they are or even fall?

At some point does it stop look­ing like mis­guided mid­dle class wel­fare and more like ac­tual mean­ing­ful change?

You may say I’m a dreamer and, if you do, you won’t be the only one on Twit­ter do­ing the hard yards for the Op­po­si­tion.

You might say Phil Twyford is look­ing more than one step ahead. You might also say he needs to keep look­ing. The real test will be whether there are enough changes to get peo­ple see­ing things en­tirely dif­fer­ently and los­ing the mind­set that prop­erty fever is the way to wealth.

Our great prob­lem for years and years has been an in­ca­pac­ity to look any fur­ther ahead than next Fri­day. In this, both the the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the last nine years and the Clark ad­min­is­tra­tion that pre­ceded it were lamentably at fault. What did they do to calm the fever? Noth­ing.

Peo­ple who claim to be in­vestors in this par­tic­u­lar field flat­ter them­selves greatly. A truer de­scrip­tion would be a com­bi­na­tion of panic buy­ing, and par­a­sitism pred­i­cated on mak­ing free money from a ris­ing mar­ket that makes a home pro­gres­sively less at­tain­able for ev­ery­one who comes along be­hind.

You con­sider your­self a proud cap­i­tal­ist in­vestor? Then run that ac­tual flag up an ac­tual pole! Put some money in some ac­tual real pro­duc­tive in­vest­ment, and show you’re a be­liever.

It’s much eas­ier to pre­serve the sta­tus quo than to trans­form things. This gov­ern­ment is try­ing to achieve trans­for­ma­tion in all kinds of ar­eas. The like­li­hood they will make mis­takes is ap­prox­i­mately 100 per cent. That doesn’t worry me un­duly, just as long as they keep think­ing more than one step ahead.

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