Loose Lips Pop Bubbles

An Announcement from Mr B Anglo-Saxon

The Terrace School of Financial Witchcraft and Wizardry

My fellow New Zealanders – please do not mention the house price bubble.

Two years ago, John Key said New Zealand was on the cusp of something really special. I know a lot of you didn’t believe him, but that something special is here. Forget exporting milk powder or logs or aluminium – forget the minimum-wage jobs the tourism industry creates in places like Queenstown where nobody can live on minimum wage – this government has turned Auckland real estate into the greatest and cleverest export industry this country has seen since we subverted the gold standard by digging up more gold. But we have to keep this a secret.

The idea that the country could get rich by selling its assets to foreigners has been around since the time of Roger Douglas, but you nay-sayers thought we could never make it work – how wrong you were! It has now got to the point where the average Auckland homeowners can earn themsleves and the country one million dollars in foreign exchange, tax-free, simply by selling their house to foreigners. Stick with us, and we can get that price fifty percent higher before the bubble bursts and the foreigners sell the houses back to their former inhabitants for a loss. But only if you help keep the secret by not talking about the bubble.

The Labour Party have tried to suggest this trick is racist, by pointing out that some of the buyers we are tricking into buying these overpriced houses are Chinese. What they overlook is that some of the other buyers are Australians, and it’s not racist to take advantage of Australians.

You need to bear with us. We can sell overpriced New Zealand real estate to British people looking for a safe place to put their money after Brexit. We can sell to Americans who are scared that Hilary Clinton will become president and everything will continue along the same path as it has up until now, only without that nice black guy pretending to be in charge to make people feel everything is going to turn out okay in the end.

Most homeowners in South Auckland have not yet had the opportunity to sell their houses for a million dollars to foreigners who will later offload the properties back to them for a fraction of the price, because the bubble is not yet big enough for their houses to sell for that much. If by talking about the bubble you deter the foreigners from buying, you are robbing these South Auckland homeowners of their million dollars, and you are robbing the people living in converted garages next door who we believe that wealth will eventually trickle down to.

Untied Kingdom votes to leave Europe

Citizens of the Untied Kingdom, whose recent vote to name a boat ‘Boaty McBoatface’ was annulled on the grounds that it was too silly, voted last week to leave Europe because they were sick of too many white people moving into the country. Many people have only recently realised that the north Atlantic country is even called the Untied Kingdom – due to a recurring typographical error, many thought the name was ‘United Kingdom’, but recent attention paid to the country has clarified that it is not particularly united, and does not have a king.

Untied Kingdom citizen Nigel Llywellyn said he was pleased to be finally leaving Europe. “The weather’s ghastly here, and there are too many muslims getting in. I hope there are fewer muslims in Africa or wherever it is we’re going.”

Many other citizens of the Untied Kingdom voted to leave the European Union to express their opposition to neoliberal austerity policies and dominance by the urban elites of London, despite predictions that an Untied Kingdom cast adrift from Europe would in fact end up being ruled from London.

While the people of Untied Kingdom member countries England and Wales mostly voted to leave Europe, the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the temperate northern continent. This may lead to a split between the countries, which is problematic as they are part of the same tectonic plate.

When the shock election result was announced, the Prime Minister promptly announced he would be resigning, but would stay on as Prime Minister for the next 3 months in an attempt to keep the kingdom in limbo as long as possible. He said that because he had campaigned to stay in Europe, he was the wrong person to resolve the last few technical details, such as how the country will go about leaving Europe, and which continent it will move to. It was assumed that the leader of the campaign to leave Europe would take over as prime minister and leader of the Conservative party, but he unexpectedly declared that he didn’t want the job either. Meanwhile, the Labour Party are concerned that their leader was insufficiently staunch about the need to stay in Europe, and some of them are worried he may see the kingdom’s impending overseas experience as an opportunity to promote reforms based on Labour Party values. He may nonetheless be allowed to stay on in the job of Labour Party leader, so long as he makes it clear that he does not speak for the Labour Party. If the uncertainty in the two major parties continues much longer, the Queen may have to step in and appoint Scottish Nationalist Party leader Nicola Sturgeon as Prime Minister to reunite the country.

Lots of British people who are unhappy about leaving Europe are now enquiring about moving to New Zealand, which is also not part of Europe. “Of course we’ll let them in”, said a generic Kiwi, “the same as we would let in people from somewhere like Syria if they were facing a similar situation”

Republicans agree to have ‘no candidate’ for president

The US Republican Party have decided overwhelmingly to select no candidate for the presidency, and will henceforth be campaigning for people to vote for no candidate in the election. “That’ll show those Washington establishment types”, a Republican delegate was heard to say yesterday. The agreement is seen by many as the only way to please both the people who give the party its money, who wanted to not select Donald Trump, and the party faithful, who roundly voted against the idea of selecting one of the other guys.

Oklahoma Republican Tex Hunter said that he had been wanting to distance himself from Donald Trump’s candidacy for some time, but was scared that people would interpret that as support for someone like Ted Cruz, who Mr Hunter also doesn’t support.

A representative of the Republican establishment said he was appalled at the way Donald Trump was using bigotry and xenophobia in his campaign. “Bigotry and xenophobia,” he said, “are some of the few tools we have to convince people to vote for the Republican agenda. I am utterly appalled that Mr Trump would waste them to attract public support for a platform that contradicts the basic Republican principles of cutting costs and invading places.”

A spokesperson for Mr Trump warned that this was a bad move, saying “We need a president to exercise the presidential prerogative to veto all the things”

Utah delegate O’Reilly S Johnson took umbrage at these remarks, saying “The presidential veto is our god-given right. How dare you Washington establishment types tell us we need a president to exercise the presidential power which was given to us by God.”

The head of the Congressional Tea Party (who nobody has ever heard of) acknowledged Johnson’s point, but added that the Democratic party were planning to put forward a candidate for the presidency. “A Republican Party without a candidate,” he suggested, “might struggle to compete in a presidential election against a Democratic Party that does have a candidate. Thankfully this issue does not arise if the candidate in question is Hilary Clinton, because everyone I know hates Hilary Clinton.”

Tex Hunter explained “It’s really very simple. If the Republican Party – the real Republican Party, not those Washington sellouts who call themselves the Tea Party – chooses to nominate no candidate, then there must be no candidate on the ballot. It’s as simple as that. How dare the Democrats try to nominate a candidate – what part of ‘no candidate’ do they not understand??”

The Mystery of Plot 9

Last week, an advertisement in the New Zealand Herald warned that Maori people might soon own the water. I was shocked. How can this be? Nobody owns water. So I decided to investigate.

I went to the local dairy, and bought a bottle of water. As I paid for the water, I asked the man behind the counter “If I buy this water, is there any risk that the government will take it off me and give it to Maori people?”

He replied, “I wouldn’t think so, mate”

So far, so reassuring. But then it occurred to me … if I had bought this bottle of water, didn’t that mean that I owned it? And the whole premise of the advertisement had been that nobody can own water! So I asked the shopkeeper “Do I now own this water?”

He looked at me like I was an idiot, then slowly explained “Yeah, mate. She’s, all, yours”

“But, how can I own this water, when they’re saying in the New Zealand Herald that nobody can own water?”

“Oh, that’s the New Zealand Herald – it’s from a place called Auckland, where they get water falling from the sky. I know that seems hard to believe here in Cromwell, mate, but even here nobody owns the water in the river. Unless them bloody Maoris get hold of it.”

“But you can own water in a bottle?”

“Yeah, it’s different, mate. Water in a bottle, water in a river; they’re completely different”

That all seemed pretty straightforward. Then I heard about another scandal involving water. Apparently up in Ashburton, the local council had sold land to a company that was going to extract water from the ground and put it in bottles to sell overseas. This seemed a bit worrying – the guy had said that you could own water in bottles because it was completely different from water in the river. But where was the water in the ground in Ashburton coming from?

On the outskirts of Ashburton, I found a local. I asked him, “Have you heard about these people who want to take water out of the ground and put it in bottles?”

“Yeah mate, it’s a bloody disgrace. Nobody can own that water – it’s the common right of everyone to use that water to irrigate pasture to feed our cows.”

“Do you know where the water comes from before it gets into the ground?”

“Yeah, it comes from the rivers, which bring it down from the mountains. It rains up there, you know.”

Wow! If this man was being honest with me, the mysterious people were going to take the kind of water you can’t own (water in rivers) and pass it off as the kind of water you can own (water in bottles). Had I uncovered some massive fraud?

“So, has anyone rung the police about this?”

“Why would they do that? It’s nothing illegal”

Hmmm. Then I had a brainwave, and asked “So, are they Maoris? Is that how they’re allowed to own the water?”

“Maoris? Dunno. They’re a company from Christchurch, so I doubt they’re Maori”

Next I met with a water lawyer in her plush office on the main street of Ashburton, and asked her, “how has this company been able to buy the water off the council? I thought nobody owned the water?”

“Oh”, she replied, “They haven’t bought the water. They’ve bought Plot 9”

Plot 9? it sounded like the name of a bad science fiction movie.

“What is Plot 9?”

“It’s an area of land in the Ashburton Business Park”

“So how do they own the water, if they only bought the plot?”

“Well, you see, the plot owns a trust in Panama”

“How can a plot of land in a park own something?”

“Well, the Panamanian trust registry don’t know it’s a plot of land, because of secrecy provisions. For all they know, it could be a person, or a company or the Whanganui river, which are also people.”

“Wha?”

“Pay attention. They don’t know it’s not a person, so they let it own water in New Zealand”

“But you can’t own water in New Zealand”

“Not under New Zealand law, but under Liechtensteinian law you can own water in New Zealand”

“Liechtenstein?”

“Yeah, they’re a tax haven. We can blame them for stuff.”

“But how does Liechtensteinian law apply to a trust in Panama owning water in New Zealand?”

“Well, under the Tax Haven Co-operation Agreement, Panama has to recognise Liechtensteinian law over New Zealand water rights, even if it conflicts with Panamanian law”

“But surely New Zealand isn’t a signatory to this Tax Haven Co-operation Agreement?”

“Just a minute” – she got up, and started leafing through a leather-bound tome on the mantelpiece.

After a while she closed the book, and said “Sorry, I am not authorised to tell you whether or not New Zealand is a signatory to the Tax Haven Co-operation Agreement”

The interview was at an end.

KFC to transition to vegan menu

Today the New Zealand branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that they will be transitioning to a new all-vegan menu, in the biggest shake-up since film director James Cameron bought the restaurant chain three years ago.

It is believed that Mr Cameron never particularly sought to own a fast food chain, but his Avatar movie franchise ended up buying KFC New Zealand to resolve a 3-year battle over a series of figurines the restaurant chain planned to distribute with its variety buckets. KFC’s toy division were intent on making the figurines three-dimensional, because Avatar was a 3D movie. However, James Cameron had a much greater sense of connection to the characters he had created, and was insistent that the figurines should be two-dimensional, because the characters they represent are two-dimensional characters.

Colonel Sanders’s grandson, US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said the KFC restaurant chain had been owned by many different companies, but this was the first time they had been owned by a movie franchise.

Berhampore restaurant critic Florian Brown said he was against the proposed changes, on the grounds of authenticity. “Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably the most authentic ethnic restaurant chain in New Zealand – the combination of deep-fried chicken, shoestring fries and flavoured mashed potato really is what the working class eat in Kentucky. Sure, with the addition of flavour enhancer 621 the new vegan KFC will probably be just as yummy, but it’s not as authentic. A vegan KFC won’t speak to the diner about the traditional cuisine of salt-of the earth Kentuckians, and won’t have the minor variations in the shape of chicken body parts that speak to the individuality of the chicken you’re eating.”

Mr Cameron said that he intends to keep the eleven secret herbs, spices and flavour enhancers that make KFC unique, but will slowly phase out the use of ingredients such as chicken, replacing them with textured vegetable protein hot wings, zinger burgers made with deep-fried tofu patties, potato in lentil gravy, and a double-down burger consisting of two gluten-free seitan steaks around a slab of hydrogenated palm oil.

KFC to transition to vegan menu

Today the New Zealand branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that they will be transitioning to a new all-vegan menu, in the biggest shake-up since film director James Cameron bought the restaurant chain three years ago.

It is believed that Mr Cameron never particularly sought to own a fast food chain, but his Avatar movie franchise ended up buying KFC New Zealand to resolve a 3-year battle over a series of figurines the restaurant chain planned to distribute with its variety buckets. KFC’s toy division were intent on making the figurines three-dimensional, because Avatar was a 3D movie. However, James Cameron had a much greater sense of connection to the characters he had created, and was insistent that the figurines should be two-dimensional, because the characters they represent are two-dimensional characters.

Colonel Sanders’s grandson, US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said the KFC restaurant chain had been owned by many different companies, but this was the first time they had been owned by a movie franchise.

Berhampore restaurant critic Florian Brown said he was against the proposed changes, on the grounds of authenticity. “Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably the most authentic ethnic restaurant chain in New Zealand – the combination of deep-fried chicken, shoestring fries and flavoured mashed potato really is what the working class eat in Kentucky. Sure, with the addition of flavour enhancer 621 the new vegan KFC will probably be just as yummy, but it’s not as authentic. A vegan KFC won’t speak to the diner about the traditional cuisine of salt-of the earth Kentuckians, and won’t have the minor variations in the shape of chicken body parts that speak to the individuality of the chicken you’re eating.”

Mr Cameron said that he intends to keep the eleven secret herbs, spices and flavour enhancers that make KFC unique, but will slowly phase out the use of ingredients such as chicken, replacing them with textured vegetable protein hot wings, zinger burgers made with deep-fried tofu patties, potato in lentil gravy, and a double-down burger consisting of two gluten-free seitan steaks around a slab of hydrogenated palm oil.

Pride Parade disrupted by Queer People

The Auckland Pride Parade, held last Saturday, was supposed to be a happy event for all the family. Groups from ANZ and Westpac marched. Staff of the Coca Cola corporation marched to express their pride in being employees of a very large corporation founded to manufacture a drink that used to have cocaine in it, but now doesn’t. Other groups that marched included a contingent from the Israeli Embassy, prison guards and government MP Judith Collins accompanied by a posse of police officers.

A group called ‘No Pride in Prisons’ announced a counter-protest, which many people assumed was an attempt to argue that, while people may be proud of working for junk-food manufacturers, law-enforcement agencies or embassies that forge passports, nobody should take pride in being in prison. However, when the members of No Pride in Prisons reached the parade route, they started shouting “We’re here, we’re queer!” A representative from the Bank of New Zealand was heard to say “Why are they bringing sexual orientation into it? This is our day. This is the only day of the year when we can openly express our pride in being bank tellers. People tell us we’re not marginalised, because we have a Prime Minister used to be a banker, but the fact is that he doesn’t represent low-status bank tellers like me.”

The Pride Parade is an initiative of Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye, and is loosely modelled on ‘gay pride’ marches of previous decades. This sometimes causes confusion. After the parade, a policewoman who had been marching said “This is about pride. This is about us celebrating our pride in being allies to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Fa’afafine communities. I think it’s very arrogant for members of those communities to disrupt our march on the one day when we get to celebrate our pride in being their allies”

“But it’s not really about you, is it? Surely it’s about them?”

“It’s about us too. We are the A in LGBTIAF”

At that point, a young man butted in and said “It’s not your A. The A stands for asexuals like me”

The police woman stood up on tippy toes, her face red with anger, and said “No, it’s ours. People like me go through a lot of shit in the police for being allies”

“Um, I think we’re the ones who are actually marginalised in New Zealand culture”

“Get fucked”

The young man shrugged, and replied “I’d rather not, actually.”

Late into the night, a group of Fa-fafines from Manurewa wearing hi-viz vests were seen furiously scrubbing the surface of Ponsonby Road to remove a light rose-coloured stain that had spread across the whole surface. It is believed the stain was from a substance called pinkwash.