Auckland man living dream of totally self-sufficient life without bills

After the power outages in Auckland this week, Seven Sharp visits one man who has everything he needs right on his property. Source: Seven Sharp



Christchurch homeowner on hunger strike until earthquake claim sorted after seven years of frustration

A Christchurch homeowner is vowing not to eat again until his earthquake claim with government insurers Southern Response is sorted.  

Peter Glasson began his hunger strike at midnight last night outside the Southern Response office in Addington. 

Seven years on from the Christchurch earthquakes, his family's claim still hasn't been resolved.

Mr Glasson says the insurer has used bullying tactics and the court process to slow things down.  

"There's 800 families involved in fighting Southern Response at the moment. And I'd like to know whether there's a proper other process that takes out the kind of antagonism and dishonesty that Southern Response have exhibited to date," he told 1 NEWS.

Fairfax reports that Mr Glasson launched legal proceedings against Southern Response two years ago and since then he has been spied on by the agency and has sign-written an anti-insurance car in protest.

While he has not eaten since midnight Monday, the report said he is taking electrolyte sachets and multivitamins prescribed by his doctor, along with mugs of water. 

"I've read a bit about it on the internet and apparently it's not a painful way to die," Mr Glasson told Fairfax. 

His wife, Anne, has joined his hunger strike in a self-contained camper and they will return home at night.

Southern Response says it has been unable to agree with the Glassons on the extent of damage and repairs required, but would consider further mediation.   

The dispute is scheduled to be settled in court later this year.

Peter Glasson began his hunger strike at midnight, because his claim still hasn’t been sorted since 2011. Source: 1 NEWS

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NZ Government finances 'comfortable' says IMF, in positive report on our economy

The International Monetary Fund says New Zealand is enjoying a solid economic expansion and growth is expected to remain around three per cent. 

The IMF has today delivered its two-yearly review of the New Zealand economy. 

In making its assessment, a visiting IMF team of economists says among other things higher government spending is offsetting slowing residential investment and weaker agricultural exports. 

It also notes while net migration and potential output growth are expected to slow, the new KiwiBuild program should result in a gradual increase in residential investment growth. 

The IMF is broadly supportive of the Government's fiscal policy. And It welcomes the continued commitment to budget discipline and a medium-term debt anchor (net 20 per cent of GDP). 

However it says there is no need for faster debt reduction than outlined in the 2017 Half Year Economic outlook. 

When pressed further on whether the Government could relax its 20 per cent debt target to boost spending on infrastructure, the IMF team suggested New Zealand's fiscal position was "comfortable" and some relaxation could be helpful, depending however on the quality and appropriateness of any extra spending. 

Meanwhile the IMF has raised some concerns about the Government's foreign buyers ban, saying it is unlikely to have a significant impact on housing affordability. 

It says the broader housing policy, if fully implemented, would address most of the potential problems associated with foreign buyers on a less discriminatory basis. 

It also raises some issues about the free tertiary education policy. 

It says while the program could boost human capital, it could given the fiscal cost, include greater targeting based on needs. 

On Monetary Policy, the IMF seems comfortable with current settings and the recent mandate reforms.

However it says it would not support any further reduction in RBNZ loan-to-value ratios given household debt levels.

New Zealand currency fifty dollar note money
New Zealand currency fifty, dollar note (file picture). Source: istock.com