Wednesday 11 November 2020

Afternoon roundup

 The afternoon's worthies on the closing of the browser tabs for a system update:

  • This mess has been a long time coming. There are piles of small rural water schemes that largely supply stock water. The government has been trying to figure out how to apply water quality standards to that sector where the number of people on those water supplies is tiny, where treating huge volumes of water intended for stock is just stupid, but where government and councils worry that cost-effective solutions could leave them legally liable if anything goes wrong. You'd think there'd be some way of letting households on those schemes install their own UV filtration on a caveat emptor basis. Three cheers for the Local Democracy Reporting fund that helps this kind of journalism. 

  • Getting a tenant who terrorises the neighbours evicted apparently takes long enough that the neighbours have all gotten security cameras installed, there have been multiple police calls, and finally the tenant breaking into the neighbour's house at night. It's great that the Tenancy Tribunal granted the immediate eviction, but you've got to wonder about a process that takes all that to get there. I wonder what things would look like if landlords, including state housing providers, could evict a problem tenant on having letters requesting it from a supermajority of neighbours. 

  • The Ministry of Health does not like to comply with the Official Information Act. Just read through this mess. Some journalists wanted to be able to map out vaccination rates by neighbourhood. The data exists. It wouldn't have been hard for the Ministry to aggregate it up from meshblock to neighbourhood if it wanted to confidentialise, but nothing really enforces the Official Information Act. 

  • I am still angry about an old Circa Theatre play that cast developers as moustachioed villains, and NIMBYs as heroes. Continuing to try to get housing built in a housing crisis, despite the best efforts of the politically powerful, is heroic. So three cheers to Ian Cassels, and brickbats for everyone else trying to stop Shelly Bay.

  • The RBNZ is again talking about LVRs. House prices are terrible, and RBNZ policy is exacerbating things because of the existing supply constraints. But Michael Reddell's critiques the last time through remain pertinent. Is there really a plausible financial stability / prudential regulation basis for the rules? They never made much sense to me on that basis, or at least the case for them hadn't seemed to have been made. I could kinda see how they might make sense if the Bank were targeting not just CPI but also wanting to pull the peaks down on asset price inflation. 

  • Jack Vowles starts parsing the numbers on party switching in the NZ election. For every voter National lost to ACT, it lost about 2 to Labour. And Labour pulled in a pile of votes from people who hadn't voted in the prior election. One bit relevant to some speculation:
    There has been speculation that many of those switching from National to Labour did so to keep the Green Party out of a coalition and thus prevent any possibility of a wealth tax being introduced. When asked the reason for their vote, five people who switched from National to Labour did mention the wealth tax and the need to keep the Green Party out of government. For only three of these was this the major reason for their vote shift; and these people form a small minority of the 500 National to Labour switchers in the sample. In their responses to another question in the survey, two thirds of those 500 switchers indicated they were actually in favour of a wealth tax. 

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