You know when you're with a group of people, and the conversation doesn't interest you at all? You've tuned out, watching lips move rather than listening to what's said.

Then you pick up a change; the conversation takes a turn to something you have a passion for. "I've got something to say about that," you pipe up in your head.

But you've been out of the conversation so long, no one expects you to say anything. At what point can you interrupt the flow?

You don't want to appear too eager. Better to play it cool perhaps. A casual comment before getting on to the things you really want to say.


Well, it's felt a little like this watching the election campaign hot up and then reach its denouement. The conversation had finally changed, after long years of one I wasn't that into.

Now we've had a chance to digest the contents of Labour's agreements with NZ First and the Greens, as well as Labour's 100-day action programme, there's an unfolding debate about how radical the new government is.

Is it change or modified status quo? Is Jacinda more of a leftie than she's letting on, or not as red as some imagine?

If you've been reading or listening to Mike Hosking, he seems to be alternating back and forth daily. And that's the thing; nobody knows for sure where this new government is heading.

There will be high expectations from supporters, but then the economic power of the financial markets and global capital will have a substantial say in what happens.

Nevertheless, something has shifted, which has a lot to do with all of us out in electoral land as anything else.

It's the new Government's willingness to move quickly to address the housing crisis that signals the shift most clearly.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford is ready to go with Labour's "Kiwibuild" programme, which aims to have 100,000 new homes built by 2028.


The focus is on smaller dwellings, which the market is failing to build in large enough numbers.

One of the first stages of the programme is a commitment by the Government to buy off the plans new apartments and terraced housing, and then on-sell them; thus providing some certainty to new developments.

The Government is looking to buy land in suitable areas for further high-density housing, particularly in and around Auckland. Existing Crown land will also be utilised.

The sale of state houses will cease.

And blocking foreign buyers purchasing existing homes is in the Government's sights. This, and the conversation we'll eventually have about a capital gains tax, will help to deter speculation.

Whatever else this Government does or does not achieve, I hope one of its legacies is that it re-establishes housing as a human right, not an investment opportunity.

Will conversations about valuations and the performance of housing portfolios be vanquished from dinner tables and workplaces?

A mad phase the country went through, never to be forgotten or repeated.

the planet.