Election time is less than a couple of days away and a lot has changed in the last 6 weeks with it being interesting to see if the ‘personality politics’ that worked so well for National under John Key also work with Jacinda Ardern taking the reigns over a Labour party that until that stage had managed to continue to trip over itself over the best part of the last decade. Under MMP the two major parties will continue to battle for the centre with NZ First and Winston Peters in particular looking increasingly likely to play “Kingmaker” at the moment especially with the withdrawal of Peter Dunne from Ohariu.
It is interesting to note that most of Labours increase has actually come at the expense of the Greens and NZ First however as some of their natural voters may continue to shy away if they feel that either party has any real risk of missing the 5% threshold and thus potentially being a wasted vote.
Often people (including myself at times) tend to continue to vote for a particular party even though they don’t necessarily keep up to date with that or other parties actual updated policies and stances. If you want a quick assessment of where you actually might stand THIS quick quiz is worth taking and is also a bit of fun.
There are many components that need to be looked at when addressing a political parties policies with education and health in particular being of importance but keeping on our general businesses commentary in talking about the property market (including the rental market) and the economy I will focus on these areas.
A summary on how the two major parties are approaching property this election is as follows:
Increase the HomeStart Grant by $10k for those eligible so it is $20k for an existing home and $30k for new builds
Develop fit-for purpose urban planning laws separate from the RMA
Make it easier for landlords to test properties for meth and evict tenants
Make tenants liable for careless damage to a rental property
- Ban foreign purchasers from buying existing homes
- Extend the Bright Line rule from 2 out to 5 years
- Stop investors offsetting tax losses against other income sources
- Build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years
- Apprentice policy to take on circa 4,000 young people for on job training in construction fields
- Remove urban growth boundaries in Auckland
- Substantially increase number of state houses
- Implement Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill
- Abolish 90 day no-clause terminations of tenancies
- Increase 42 day notice period for landlords from 42 days out to 90 days
- Limit rental increases to once a year
- Ban letting fees
Again if just looking at this with my property investor hat on National (or ACT) obviously are the best options as Labour have shown that property investors will be worse off under their watch with the extension of the Brightline tax rule from 2 to 5 years (I am personally fine with this) to numerous changes in regards to how tenancies will be handled (some that I am not okay with). The bigger issue is obviously what is already all over the media which was her avoidance to provide more clarity around taxation. We’ve seen the recent poll showing that National had spiked back up and commentary from the NZ Herald including pieces from Richard Prebble who used to himself be a Labour MP (before becoming a leader of ACT) and THIS piece which also shows that it was a large faux pas to not give more detail in regards to the actual intentions that Labour had although belatedly they have now backed off realising that voters want more certainty.
The question from now through to Election Day is whether voters will stay away because of worries around her political naivety shown by her handling of situations like this or whether the initial “stardust” that has seen her rise to become Labour’s leader continues.
Tony Alexander and Matthew Gilligan will be doing a Post-Election Special Webinar on the 26th September immediately after the election to discuss the results.