Maths is not their strong suit

What a bunch of geniuses we have running the country. One cannot pose a mathematically based question properly. Someone else wilfully misinterprets it so another can bat it away. I despair.

Bridges was trying to make a valid point that rents went up $12 a week on average each year under National, compared to going up on an annualised basis by $33, under the NZ First led Coalition. He suggested that the increase was three times as much. 12 x 3 = 36, close enough to 33 for the purposes of making a point.

But Bridges failed miserably. Quote.

Hon Simon Bridges: If that’s true, and given she said there was a housing crisis when the National-led Government was in power, why have rents gone up three times more each year?that is, the last 18 months?under her watch? End quote.

That is a very confusing way to make his point. Quote.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: As I’ve pointed out before, the last time I looked at the statistics they were actually not too far off the exact increases under the last Government, and that’s because it does take time to build houses. Again, I am not in denial, no one in this House is, that we are picking up the pieces of a housing crisis. Do we want rents to come down? Absolutely, but if that member thinks that not talking about a capital gains tax will make rental increases go away, that member is dreaming. End quote.

Ardern does her usual waffle and Peters rides in to rescue his princess. Quote.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Did the Prime Minister truly hear that last question, which suggested that rental prices had gone up three times more? That’s 300 per cent. Did she hear that, and can she answer it? End quote.

Deliberately misquoting and suggesting that Bridges said rents had risen 300%. The increase in the price had risen 300%, the price had not risen 300%. This allowed Ardern to make a strong rebuttal to a point that was never made. Quote.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: I absolutely refute that, and as I’ve said in the House before, on my last check?and, in fact, it wasn’t just me; he’s had those facts checked by others who have questioned his use of the data.

Hon Simon Bridges: Isn’t the proposed capital gains tax part of the reason why rents have risen $50 a week under her watch, and won’t the implementation of one see rents go significantly higher still?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Again, I put this issue to the member: under his watch when he was in Government, rentals increased by a rate not too dissimilar than we are continuing to see them increase now. So either the member accepts that we have a housing crisis and a lack of supply, or he doesn’t.

Hon Simon Bridges: What part of the following is incorrect in her view: rents going up $12 a week on average each year under National, and going up on an annualised basis on her watch by $33? End quote.

Finally, Bridges asks the question correctly. Quote.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Again, there has been a breakdown of that member’s use of data, and the comparisons I have seen have questioned the way that he has used those comparisons. I can be forgiven for disputing what the member has said?

Hon Simon Bridges: Give me the real numbers.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Again, I have acknowledged that there have been rental increases while we have been in office? End quote.


And then it descended into a shouting match …