Time to boost workers' pay, and first home buyers


I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions. If you want to achieve something go and do it, any time of the year, I reckon.

But I do have two things on my wish list for 2015 - not so much for me, more for first home buyers, and workers, who surely deserve a decent pay rise as businesses cash in on what is likely to be another strong year.

It's well past time there was action on both fronts. First home buyers have been largely locked out of the market over the past year with the Reserve Bank's decision to introduce loan to value ratios. Basically you can't buy a house if you haven't got a 20 per cent deposit.

Perversely, this has knocked first home buyers for six, paving the way for property investors to make hay while the sun shines.

The rich have got richer and the poor have been locked out.

LVRs were largely introduced to cool the overheated Auckland housing market and it did, initially. Annual house price inflation fell from 10 per cent nationwide, to 4.9 per cent. In Auckland it fell from 17 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

But it also punished thousands of young people outside of Auckland, in places like New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Ashburton and Rangiora.

Suddenly their $25,000 deposit needed to be doubled and the bank shut them out. It's time these LVRs came off to help young Kiwis on to the property ladder. It's time they too were allowed to cash in on the record low interest rates on offer.

Why does the rest of New Zealand have to be punished for what is an Auckland problem? Why can't LVRs be dropped to 10 per cent for properties under $400,000?

The general concept was that the LVRs were a temporary measure that would cool demand until supply ramps up. Surely that's starting to happen - building consent levels are high. But I fear none of this will take place.

Ad Feedback

Actually, the talk this week has been that the Reserve Bank may actually bring in a new tool to make it even harder to buy a house because the Auckland market has gained new momentum since the election.

It could mean even further limits and restraints on what people can borrow. For those in the first home buyer market - and their parents trying to help them - cross your fingers, you're going to need some luck, and decisions, to go your way this year.

It's also well past time for employers to give their workers a decent pay rise.

At the end of last year the Household Labour Force Survey showed workers' average ordinary-time weekly earnings increased by just 1.7 per cent. And only one in two workers got a pay rise.

Yes, inflation has been low - but economic growth has been strong (growing by 3.2 per cent last year, a standout among Western nations). This year growth is expected to hit 3 per cent. It's well past time that workers got to share in this economic glory.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham labelled us a "rock star economy" last year and this week he told me 2015 would bring the encore.

Now, if that's the case then workers need to share in the success after a few years of doing it hard. Not all employers are miserable but my advice is knock on the boss's door and ask for a pay rise.

Be prepared: Ask how the company is doing and know when your last pay rise was. The truth is your boss probably doesn't want to lose you and you may come out pleasantly surprised.

POLICE had no other option this week than to swallow a big juicy dead rat over the "zero tolerance" holiday speed campaign.

They told us there was "zero tolerance" when officers did, in fact, have discretion. So police brass lied to us.

Police Minister Michael Woodhouse knew about the discretion and admitted to me that he sped during the holidays for that reason. In the end just 14 people were ticketed for going between 1-4kmh over the speed limit.

One of those was an 80 year-old grandmother who was ticketed doing 52kmh in a 50kmh zone.

Her son emailed me this week. She was mortified. He was furious. Police need to cancel her ticket and the other 13.

If they don't, this speeding granny should take police to court and challenge them. Not only would she win - but I'm sure most of us would be on her side.

One other person was ticketed doing 1kmh over the 50kmh limit.

Police say they won't cancel that ticket because the driver was clocked doing 63kmh but the radar only locked on at 51kmh.

Try that argument in court. Police would be sent packing. If the police minister can break the law without penalty, then we all can.

 - The Dominion Post

Ad Feedback
special offers

Political ad misses bus

The ads by ActionStation criticise Jonathan Coleman's approach to mental health services, but Coleman says mental health ...

Auckland Transport refuses to run ad at bus stops criticising Health Minister Jonathan Coleman's approach to mental health.

Innovative pipe work planned

Watercare is renewing some potentially leaky pipework in North Shore's Glenfield.

Motorists, don't worry, a $14 million dollar pipe upgrade won't disrupt traffic in busy Wairau, Watercare says

Fleeing car spiked, crashes

Emergency services are attending a serious crash near Glenavy.

Police arrested a man in west Auckland on July 21.

Rival gangs meet over meth

Gang members face off in Northland ahead of Saturday's 'Keep it in the Ring' fight night.

Rival gangs will gather under one roof to "fight P" at a charity martial arts event in Northland, as police call in extra staff.


Ex-cop battles police to save RSA

Former Titahi Bay RSA president John Ward.

An alcohol sting on the Titahi Bay RSA was excessive, and could have shut the club permanently, he says.

Night of wind, rain video

Heavy rain is set to ease into showers, but they'll be heavy. (File photo)

Almost 13mm of rain is forecast in Wellington between now and midnight.

Seatbelt message fails to click video

Freezing worker Danielle Kiriau, 17, was not wearing a seatbelt when she died in a car crash along with brother Shannon ...

Big rise in numbers killed when not wearing belts raises questions over safety ads.

Slip halts Johnsonville trains

A slip has halted trains on Wellington's Johnsonville line. (File photo).

Metlink says services should return to normal schedules from 7pm.


Second meth clean-up at complex

The Housing NZ Gloucester St unit being decontaminated for methamphetamine has been stripped of carpet.

HNZ's tenancy management negligence is creating a "ghetto-like environment", resident says.

Live: A rising threat

The Temuka River creeps higher and higher after a day of rain caused havoc around the South Island.

Defence force called in to help with Timaru's state of emergency as heavy rain continues to cause disruption.

Heavy rains, flooding in photos

The rain and flooding along State Highway 1 wasn't enough to deter Cameron King from Timaru jumping on his scooter and ...

Roads have turned into rivers as a huge winter storm moves down the South Island. 

Missing woman's car found

Canterbury Police are looking for 34 year old Melissa Jane Dalgety. She was last seen on Thursday morning and is ...

Search and rescue and surf lifesaving volunteers join police search for Melissa Dalgety.


Honeymoon hoon's 202kmh ticket

Brazilian surgeon Marco Filho, adjusting his belt after leaving the Hamilton courthouse on Friday, was charged with ...

Safe to say the Brazilian speedster is not in the good books of his new wife.

'Slow the (truck) down'

A variable speed limit for the section of Gordonton Road could be in place within a couple of months, council's ...

Frustrated city councillors send a message to drivers at a troublesome intersection.

Motorcyclist critical after crash

The crash occurred at the corner of the intersection of the Thermal Explorer Highway and Anzac St East in Horotiu.

Man taken to hospital following a serious crash in the Waikato.

Hung jury in rape trial

A former church youth group leader has been on trial in the Hamilton District Court on a raft of rape and sexual assault ...

A jury has been unable to determine whether a former church youth group leader raped two underage girls.


Truck blocks highway

The trailer of a large truck has rolled and was blocking half of SH3 near Waitotara in Taranaki on Friday.

One lane was blocked on SH3 near Waitotara after a truck crash on Friday morning.

Pre-nup was unfair

The High Court has upheld a lower court decision for a couple to equal property shares after separating

A pre-nuptial agreement gave one partner $20,000, and the other partner $1.5 million worth of assets.

Contented in Tikorangi

The cave had mysterious myths abut it but turned out to be a simple earth-moving creation.

This garden is a treasure as are the people who created it.

Doing the dirtiest work

After Disaster owner James Nunes-Vaz has never ever turned down a cleaning  job.

After the police and fire brigade have done their jobs at an emergency scene, the clean-up begins.


No way in, no way out video

The trail's reconstruction has made life much easier for villagers.

After the 2015 quake, villagers in Uhiya, Nepal, were isolated, forced to fend for themselves.

Paediatrician jailed

Jonathan Walsh is in jail after pleading guilty to 17 charges relating to the making and distributing of indecent images ...

Paediatrician who worked in New Zealand hospitals jailed in the UK over indecent images of children.

Petition calls for heads to roll

A Horowhenua resident has started a petition advocating the removal of council chief executive David Clapperton and ...

Boss of snooping council and deputy mayor must go, says petition organiser.

Tennis courts for sale

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite five submissions opposing the sale.

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite strong opposition.


Battle to return soldier's diary

Margaret Kearns of Stoke, Nelson with a copy of her father's dairy, Hartley Palmer.

The Government has intervened to help return a war diary to its rightful home in Nelson.

Nelson's changing face

La Per and Mu Su Pan say they enjoy living in Nelson.

A fifth of Nelson's population was born overseas. Can the city meet their needs?

Dairy owners 'terrified'

Vijay, left, and Darshini Chauhan speak with Nelson Police Senior Sergeant Blair Hall  following a robbery at the dairy ...

After a spate of robberies across Nelson, the council has initiated a meeting with police and dairy owners.

I can beat Bolt - Malone

Kiwi para athlete Liam Malone reckons he can break Usain Bolt's 100m record within three years.

Nelson para-athlete wants to use high tech superblades to become fastest man in world.


'Why not' sink navy ship?

Waikawa Dive Centre instructor Kate Trayling, left, and owner Stuart Scaife hope to use a decommissioned navy boat, ...

Divers push to sink HMNZS Endeavour in Marlborough Sounds for Cook commemoration.

Heavy rain causes slip

A section of State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson has been closed to one lane following a slip on the road.

SH6 down to one lane after rain hits the top of the south.

No parole for dance teacher

Stayz Raukawa was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail at the Blenheim District Court in 2015. (File photo)

The sex offender will not finish treatment outside of jail, after his victim spoke to the parole board.

Finals time at Lansdowne

Marlborough division one grand final rivals, Baxter Wilson, left, captain of Moutere, and Glen Ballam, co-captain of ...

Whatever happens at Lansdowne Park on Saturday, history will be made.

South Canterbury

Army called in to help gallery video

BP on Evans St, Timaru, has flooded.

Timaru and Oamaru in state of emergency as rain continues to fall. 

Downpours strike  video

Flooding in Allenton, Ashburton.

Storm sweeps south as Timaru placed under state of emergency.

Army to evacuate sick child

An aerial view of an Oamaru street that has surface flooding in what was Oamaru's wettest day in July on record.

Defence Force sends truck to Oamaru to transport sick child to Dunedin.

Fallen tree blocks driveway

Timaru resident Ricky Harper with a tree that fell across his driveway during the heavy rain on Friday, July 21.

South Canterbury man "stuck" at home with no way out other than on foot, after tree falls.


Stewart Island heritage gets $1m

An artist's impression of the Rakiura Heritage Centre. The centre has received, over $1 million in Government funding to ...

The Government is to commit $1.08m to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust.

Post-funeral brawl

Police and ambulance were alerted to the incident, but were not eventually required.

A post-funeral gathering in Bluff on Thursday night ended with blood, broken glass and a visit from the police.

Irrigation scheme 'a win-win'

Dairy Creek Ltd director Tim O'Sullivan, Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonker and Pioneer Energy project manager ...

A $10m irrigation scheme near Alexandra, Central Otago, is going to deliver water to about 1800 hectares of barren land.

Gecko stolen from visitor centre

The Marlborough green gecko that was stolen from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

An at risk gecko has been stolen from the DoC visitor centre in Fiordland.

Ad Feedback