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Battle weary & marginalised: state housing

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, November 28th, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democracy under attack, greens, housing, labour, Left, mana, national, poverty, Privatisation, spin, sustainability - Tags: ,

There is some truth to Tracy Watkins claim (in an op ed piece a week ago explicitly labelled Opinion) that the Law change removing HNZ tenants’ right of tenure passed into law with “barely a ripple”.  She ends the piece with a reference to National’s sly style of piecemeal, step changes, which, in reality add up to a radical shift.

…  National has finally managed to finish what it started in the 1990s, but made a meal of the first time around.

That is, targeting state housing assistance far more tightly to need. But this time it remembered the old proverb – softly softly, catchee monkey.

That last sentence is blowing a raspberry to all those who have campaigned for and/or strongly support the principle of a society that cares for all.  It is 2 fingered salute to those who understand that a functional and healthy society is one without a large inequality gap, and where citizens work together for the good of all.

But this “bare ripple” largely has to do with the ways in which the concerns of those on low incomes have become marginalised by the media and politicians, including politicians of the (alleged) left.  Supporting state housing and its tenants, as well as campaigning against the destruction of NZ’s, once a source of pride, social security system.  It’s just not going to win votes from the much sought after “middle NZ” and its “swing voters”.

It’s a sad indictment on the demise of democracy (or at least of the goal to work towards true democracy).  It is a particular indictment on the “left” and labour movement, because it means they have bought into the “neoliberal” strategy of focusing on politics as “game”, where it is all about winning, strategies and PR: it is less about principle, and a fair society that provides a decent and livable life for all those in the country.

In an (alleged) news report by Tracy Watkins on the same day as the above linked article, she reports on the law changes (is there actually a difference between Watkins opinion pieces and the rest of her articles?). This is not an impartial report. It begins with implying that the law change is revolutionary, and necessary change for the future.

A cornerstone of New Zealand’s welfare system, the state house for life, has passed into history.

A law change has turned the state house system on its head by introducing reviewable tenancies and giving tenants in social housing provided by non-government organisations access to the same rent subsidy as Housing New Zealand.

The subsidy applies to low-income earners and means they pay no more than 25 per cent of their income on rent. Previously, people had to be in a state house to qualify.

On Monday, the NZ Herald gave housing NZ Chief Executive, Glen Sowry, a platform to spin the changes as a great thing.  For anyone who knows of the dire need for affordable housing, and the damaging struggles living in substandard housing, this is a despicable piece of propaganda.  I provided some examples of people struggling to survive in the context of our dire housing situation in an earlier post.

Sowry’s article talks up the positive side of gifting the use of HNZ land to private companies or organisations, so they can build rental or “social” housing there.  A major downside of this is the further demise of state housing.

In Auckland we plan to add thousands of new homes to our housing portfolio over the next 10 years. We’ll do this in two ways: firstly by building new homes, and secondly by working in partnership with other housing providers to build thousands of new homes on our land.

With modern and contemporary design and best practice place-making, we can materially increase the liveability, quality and performance of our properties.

But I’m not talking about the same old approach of high concentrations of state houses in certain areas. Well-proven international experience over the years and, indeed, hard-learned lessons in New Zealand, have shown us that often doesn’t work very well. Our homes in the future will be part of healthy, sustainable, mixed communities that include private owners, affordable rentals and other social housing providers such as councils and not-for-profit organisations.

This all reads like a real estate agent’s spin.

And as for “barely a ripple”?  The Tamaki Housing Group,has been robustly contesting the changes at Glen Innes for quite a long time.

We need to build more houses, not simply move them from place to place only to sell the land freed up to private investors whose goals is to make a profit by building a mansion with a waterview.

This is the gentrification process that is happening in Glen Innes right now, and it does not create new houses that are much needed.

[...]

For a working-class and mostly Maori and Pacific Islander community like GI, this is an economic and ethnic cleansing of the suburb.

The Mana Party has been at the centre of such protests. The struggle goes on:  many tenants are now feeling very anxious (and Sowry’s blatant spin won’t do anything to dampen their fears). Some campaigners could well be feeling a little battle weary right now.  The Green Party Housing Policy strongly supports the increase of state house building, as part of a focus on affordable, sustainable, secure and safe housing.

And Labour?

[Update] Picket of (Nat) Party for the Rich Saturday Dec 8 Akl.

Organised by Auckland Action Against Poverty.

Auckland Boys Grammar, Gate 4 Mountain Road, Epsom

[...]

The Nats are throwing a Christmas party … want to join us in letting John Key and his mates know what we think?

Come prepared to make noise to ensure Key and the rest get the message.

Stop the war on the poor!

Venue Map

Nats Xmas Party for the Rich

 

[Update #2] NZH article by Heather McCracken today: “Cost rises hit families” [h/t bad12]

A Statistics New Zealand survey shows average weekly household spending has increased by more than $90 over the past three years, to $1111.

That’s been driven by significant increases in the cost of food, transport, housing and household utilities such as gas and electricity.

Aucklanders are spending the most, an average of $1253 a week, and spend significantly more on housing, transport and food than residents elsewhere in the country.

The Household Economic Survey showed housing costs and utilities were the biggest household costs at $272, making up about a quarter of household bills on average.

Food costs made up one-fifth of expenses, costing $192 a week on average, up from $177 three years ago.

Darryl Evans, CEO of the Mangere Budgeting Service, said clients were spending a large portion on rent, with very little left for food.

About three-quarters of clients in private rentals were paying 60 to 65 per cent of their income on housing.

More at the link.

61 comments on “Battle weary & marginalised: state housing”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    Do you think the electorate really rates state house tenants having “tenure” as a high priority? when most of the young are reliant on private landlords? and can’t afford houses in auckland, regardless of LVR? You think it’s fair that our taxes should be used to fund what is in effect no-cost home ownership? when so many can’t afford to own a home but don’t qualify for state-housing, or even if they did, can’t get their hands on it because of “tenure”

    you are seriously deluded. you’re grasp on reality is questionable at best.

    • karol 1.1

      Do you really think focusing on what suits home owners and private landlords is going to do anything to move towards more affordable housing or to take the heat out of the destructive inflationary house buying market?

      • TightyRighty 1.1.1

        it’s not about what suits home owners and private landlords. It’s about what suits the housing market as whole. you are effectively saying the quasi-ownership of these houses, with all the maintenance bills footed by the government, should be enshrined in their rights, and anyone else who may need a house, privately or through public channels can go and get stuffed. Or go an complain to the government to stick there hand even deeper into the public pocket to help out. and it’s not the just the cost of the house the government is going to rape from the poor old taxpayer, it’s the maintenance and depreciation too.

        this isn’t a tenant vs landlord situation. it’s a macro supply and demand model. christ, tenure on state funded housing. that is the least fair and progressive policy i’ve ever come across. it’ll distort the housing market even further. i mean why on earth should there be any fluidity or recognition of changing circumstances? #sarc #duncepolicy

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Broadly agree, TR.

          With the limited supply of state houses we have, it doesn’t seem right to lock them up for life for people who aren’t really deserving.

          Ultimately the real solution is more state housing. But since we aren’t likely to get that from any government inside the next decade, this is a pragmatic change.

          • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.1

            the answer is not more state housing. It’s better quality housing stock amongst the lower income areas. a mix of private and public provision will assist in this. it will enable the ebb and flow of people as when different circumstances require different solutions.

    • shorts 1.2

      in answer to your questions Tighty – yes

      in so much as I’m part of the electorate and also not in need of such assistance personally

      • TightyRighty 1.2.1

        so you think, regardless of circumstances, that just because a tenant has lived in a state house for a certain period of time they are welcome to it forever.

      • TightyRighty 1.2.2

        so you think, regardless of circumstances, that just because a tenant has lived in a state house for a certain period of time they are welcome to it forever.

    • bad12 1.3

      My view of your comment is that it is an unwarranted attack of abuse on a Post Author for which you should be given the kick off of this site….

      • Tiger Mountain 1.3.1

        +1 bad12, what monumental fuckwittery and scapegoating nastiness from ’Righty, and unless he is a qualified medical doctor in which case he is breaking confidentiality anyway, should withdraw the “grasp on reality” bs.

        State house tenure is a major that Labour needs to be clear about. State house for life is a good thing and even better if 21st century add ons like agreed transferability for holidays and education could be in the mix. More state housing is needed not more tax payer subsidies to all the hangers on in the private sector.

      • TightyRighty 1.3.2

        spare me. listened to enough of your diatribes than make little, if any, sense for long enough. You don’t like what I’ve said as it points out the inherent flaws in your “major” policy. the real electorate won’t like it, it’s unfair, it discriminates against pretty much everyone and it will further distort the housing market.

        You might feel good when you talk such monumental rubbish, but you and others who espouse this, and all the other slipshod promises, always turn a blind eye to the foreseeable consequences. just to show you “care”. progressive guilt at it’s most destructive.

        • s y d 1.3.2.1

          I’m with TR on the issue of tenure. It isn’t (or shouldn’t) really be the issue.
          There is no way that a state house should be for life unless your circumstances are such that you warrant it.
          I cannot see how anyone can support the position that once you get into a state house you can have it (or another one) forever and a day. Thats like saying if you’ve ever been on the dole then you can expect to paid for the rest of your life, regardless of whether you find work or not.

          The issue is that we now effectively have a voucher system for state funded housing, with all that this example entails.

    • karol 1.4

      Let me tell you of a few realities. As stated in one of the articles I linked to in my post:

      Housing New Zealand tenants previously had security of tenure no matter what they earned, although their rent was altered if their income increased.

      So HNZ has always been able to adjust the tenants income according to the tenants changing circumstances, thus providing an increase in money that HNZ has to maintain their housing stock.

      It is a human right for people to have security of tenure in any housing, and to have legal protections against forced evictions.

      Over the last year or two, the government has been trying to forceably evict tenants from their statE houses. this is not because they earn too much, but because developers want access to the land in that particular area.

      The idea that a whole load of state house tenants go from rags to riches is a beat up. Most don’t increase their earnings but a huge amount.

      Moving most of the housing into a situation of market rents, contributes to the inflation of housing costs. state housing for those on low incomes takes the heat out of the market.

      Adequate supply of affordable housing will sort out a lot of the problems of of the inability of first home buyers to buy their houses, as well as the abuse of taxpayer funding. Using tax payer funds to help pay private landlords or social housing providers is an abuse of taxpayers’ money.

      Landbanking and people sitting on higher priced properties is adding to the affordability problem.

      A strengthened state housing sector will help take the heat out of the overly competitive market system of private provisions.

      Safe, affordable and secure housing is a right for all, and shouldn’t be skewed by an overly competitive system.

      • Olwyn 1.4.1

        Well said Karol! Both in your original post and in this reply. I agree that security of tenure is a human right, and one that New Zealand is shamefully refusing to meet. Without security of tenure there is no basis for building a stable life.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.4.1.1

          It is a human right for people to have security of tenure in any housing, and to have legal protections against forced evictions.

          Do we all have this right? If I stop paying my mortgage, can I tell the bank to stop fucking with my rights?

          • Olwyn 1.4.1.1.1

            There are rights that come with obligations, but that doesn’t mean they are not rights. “Security of tenure” assumes conditions, like the payment of affordable rent, that one can reasonably meet, and subjection to obligations on both sides.

      • TightyRighty 1.4.2

        “Over the last year or two, the government has been trying to forceably evict tenants from their statE houses. this is not because they earn too much, but because developers want access to the land in that particular area.” prove it

        “Moving most of the housing into a situation of market rents, contributes to the inflation of housing costs. state housing for those on low incomes takes the heat out of the market.” not true. An increase in supply forces rents down. you’ve got the wrong curve. it also acts as an incentive for private landlords to keep their stock in top condition to maintain their rents

        “Adequate supply of affordable housing will sort out a lot of the problems of of the inability of first home buyers to buy their houses, as well as the abuse of taxpayer funding. Using tax payer funds to help pay private landlords or social housing providers is an abuse of taxpayers’ money.” your opinion only. what is an actual abuse of taxpayers money is allowing state house tenants tenure regardless of income or circumstances.

        “A strengthened state housing sector will help take the heat out of the overly competitive market system of private provisions.” Err no. this is so incorrect as to be laughable. it will actually drive demand up for housing as the government will then be either a) forceable acquiring properties, accelerating the rental rate driving up rents and or property prices or b) taking builders away from building private houses, thereby driving up their cost, to build state housing, driving up the costs of state housing and therefore the price along the demand for labour curve.

        “The idea that a whole load of state house tenants go from rags to riches is a beat up. Most don’t increase their earnings but a huge amount.” good on them if they do though! what about when they’ve had ten kids, but then they’ve all left home to go live elsewhere and pay rent from a J O B? i know the right wing meme is that bennies are bennies for life and 3+ generations pile in to a house to maximise income while minimising cost / effort, smart capitalist behaviour that. However, the left always tell us this isn’t the case. So what happens when a 3/4 bedroom home suddenly only has a single mum whose kids have left / penisoner couple living in it? should it not then be freed up for a proper family? how does tenure work in those situations? you are yet to adequately explain that one

        the icing on the twaddle cake
        “Safe, affordable and secure housing is a right for all, and shouldn’t be skewed by an overly competitive system.” no one has been denied their right to safe affordable housing, and how does a system become overly competitive? particularly as it’s only in a few areas that the price is so ramped up it’s lifting the average. If you want to live affordably, you can move to a less “desirable” (real estate agent jargon meaning) area. kingsland and sandringham rents are cheaper than grey lynn / ponsonby and etc.

        all your other points are rubbish too. i just picked the worst offenders to rebut.

      • Francis 1.4.3

        Of course, even if by some chance someone living in a state-owned house ended up earning $100,000 per year, the rent would still be fixed at 1/3 of their income (or is it higher than that? I can’t remember…). So they would be paying $33,000 per year for renting, which I’d assume is at least market rates (though I don’t live in Auckland, and I know you guys have really crazy prices there).

        For that reason, State Housing works much like a proportional tax system rather than as a benefit. People are charged what they can afford to pay, rather than the fixed market rate which charges everyone equally (and therefore leaves out those who cannot afford them).

        I really think people (including the political parties of both sides) need to get it out of their heads that state housing is a “safety net” for those who are too poor to afford “market” rents, but rather as a publicly-run alternative to the private system. If someone who’s living in a state house doesn’t want to leave, but is earning $100,000 per year, then why should they be kicked out? The $33,000 per year that they’re paying for it is more than what those earning less would be paying, and it will provide the state house program more to cover maintenance and new building. In the long term, that means the government will be able to afford to build (and maintain) even more state houses.

  2. just saying 2

    + a gazillion, Karol.

    If Cunliffe can announce a national (but still profit-driven) insurance company to keep down premiums for those who can afford insurance, and promote the existing policy of housing subsidies for the children of the middle class, he can provide some leadership on our state housing crisis.

    Otherwise we might have to conclude that he’s just another soc/dem pretender representing the interests his own tribe of the comfortably middle-class, and chucking the poor under the bus.
    (In other words business as usual for Labour)

  3. Will@Welly 3

    Virtually everything this Government is doing is an extension of the philosophies and practices of the Bolger/Richardson administration of the early 1990’s, but taken to it’s logical – extreme – conclusions.
    State housing was never ever about “nice to haves”, it was about providing those who could not afford reasonable housing accommodation that was safe, sound, and affordable. Read the histories of the early Labour leaders and other socialists, housing pre-WWII was pretty diabolical – slum housing – and that’s what they wanted to prevent.
    Labour had 9 years in power to redress those reforms and did sweet F.A. – why ? Too many hangers on from the Douglas era, who actually agreed with those policies. Therein lies the problem. I used to laugh at the in-fighting that occurred with Labour in the U.K. – too busy fighting amongst each other to address the real problems; that I now understand.
    Labour still has too many in Parliament hanging on, it needs a clean out, it is now full of “nice middle class people” who haven’t worked at the coal face, and as we’ve seen, prefer social engineering to real policies that get people jobs, houses, a decent education, and one where people feel fully engaged with society.
    Not so long ago, Labour stalwarts would have been manning the picket lines regarding state housing, now they’re too embarrassed. Sold out by a party that simply doesn’t care.

  4. bad12 4

    i have posted so many comments on the States housing stock over an 18 month period that i do find myself somewhat jaded and such a fatigue is only exacerbated by what i have come to term the ‘vows of silence’ on the issue of State housing provision from within Labour,

    IF the State had of kept to the building of State Houses which peaked in number at 75,000 during the Norman Kirk lead Labour Government while our population ‘exploded’ from 3.3 million souls to 4.4 million there would not be in my opinion the current crisis of ‘home ownership affordability’ currently being experienced in Auckland,

    There are 4 types of home-buyer in Auckland currently fueling the house price over inflation of property prices (a) the speculator buying and selling in short term money making ventures,(b)the upwardly mobile middle class looking for ‘better’ housing,(c) the first home buyers currently being disadvantaged by the LVR’s, and (d), those buying property for the singular purpose of providing rental accomodation being aided by ‘tax breaks’ and Government subsidy in the form of the Accommodation Supplement,

    The current National Government policy toward State Housing of knocking over or removing bulk lots of the States Housing and only replacing a third of this housing are in fact fueling the fires of house price over-inflation by simply providing more tenants for those wishing to ‘invest’ in rental housing,

    And like the Post Author so succinctly put it, on the issue of State Housing provision Labour is???…

    • Herodotus 4.1

      Your reasons for property inflation are misplaced as you neglect to include:
      Cheep money and immigration
      http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Pacific/New-Zealand/Price-History
      http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/newseventsculture/OurAuckland/News/Pages/aucklandsstrongpopulationgrowthcontinues.aspx
      With the reference to cheep money there is also the advantage of leveraged debt having a far greater return with the gains than to have money in the bank, earning 4% less tax. Especially as the banks are forecasting 6% growth in property valuations over the next year, this after 17% increase in ak property last year, but just wait to see the hardship to those who have extended themselves by entering the market when interest rates rise., when this happens perhaps those 1st timers may be thankful that the lvr had placed a barrier from buying.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/9287358/NZ-vulnerable-to-fall-in-house-prices

      • bad12 4.1.1

        What i am doing is pointing to the various groups of house buyers in the Auckland area and connecting such groups of buyers into the whole picture vis a vis the deliberate ongoing shortage of State House building, pointing out that there would not have been such house price over-inflation had the State continued to build state housing as the population increased from 3.3 million to 4.4 million(which makes your point about immigration spurious),

        If you bothered to read the Post at all you should have ascertained that it’s substance is concerning the lack of State Housing and not about purchasing of houses and my reason for including the information as i have above is to point out that as LVR’s do the continual lowering of the number of State Houses by removal and demolition is with a political intent of ‘favoring’ the ‘investor class’ of house buyer especially in the city of Auckland…

        • bad12 4.1.1.1

          As a PS to this comment figures from i believe the Treasury,(sorry i havn’t got a link),show that in the past 20 years 200,000 former ‘homes’ have made the transition from ‘homes’ to become privately owned rental property at the same time as the number of State owned rental housing has been markedly reduced by several thousand,(with more being sold off daily), and while the population has increased by 1 million,

          i also do not have a demographic for where these former homes are located but would suggest that the bulk are likely to be in Auckland,

          What has occurred,(i would suggest deliberately),is a political decision has been made 20 years ago,(an unspoken of agreement between National and Labour some might add), that State housing was to be a thing of the past,

          Thus the first step to rampant house price over-inflation was taken creating a ‘demand’ for rental housing, and thus that competition began in earnest between the various categories of house buyers i have pointed to above to secure property some vying to secure a home, some vying to secure a ‘rental investment’,others simply speculating that the demand would continue buying property for quick financial reward,

          Addressing the LVR’s as a means of slowing the over inflation in house prices would tell us that while depressing demand from first home buyers LVR’s simply add fuel to the fire of those who seek to purchase ‘investment property’ as the first home buyer remains a ‘renter’ thus creating even more demand for ‘rentals’…

          • s y d 4.1.1.1.1

            if you want high rents you need the homeless
            if you want low wages you need the unemployed
            if you want…

    • Ad 4.2

      Probably time for Phil Twyford to do a Guest Post.

      Housing New Zealand should be solely directed to focus on providing housing for those who need it.

      The whole commercial focus should be removed from Housing NZ. Their sole directive should be responding to social need.

      Instead the Special Housing Areas and other revelopment opportuinities like Waterfront Auckland and Tamaki Transformation Project should be separated off into companies that concentrate on urban renewal.

    • TightyRighty 4.3

      what about older people, empty nesters, won’t move on from their 3-4 bedroom family home to a smaller unit or house. they don’t have to shift hoods, just get something more fitting for their requirements.

      your “four” classes of buyer are motivated by spite and envy. you must be an absolute joy to talk to socially.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.3.1

        Housing New Zealand should be solely directed to focus on providing housing for those who need it.

        Which is what removing the arbitrary right of tenure is about.

      • bad12 4.3.2

        You obviously don’t know the first thing about State Houses, myself i have little qualm about older state House tenants moving into housing that better suits their needs so as to free up larger homes for bigger families,

        However the absolute BULLSHIT within your constant whine is the FACT that there are not the numbers of smaller houses for them to move into and this particular Government has no great plans to build them,

        Which just makes you full of shit as usual…

    • TightyRighty 4.4

      well, you are wrong. being endlessly ignored because you are endlessly wrong will certainly lead to fatigue and a feeling of being jaded with the issue.

      you can’t argue that the removal of state housing stock increases house prices, while demanding tenure and claiming that it has no effect. in effect, they are the same thing.

      You’ve got no facts about your assertion that the ex state house stock then became privately owned investment stock for rental. And even if you are right, whats the difference? state owned and exclusive to a family / individual for life or privately owned and able to be rented dependent on shifts etc. they are both rental properties.

      you are so stupid it hurts.

      • bad12 4.4.1

        i would bother to debate the issue with you but your whole trail of comments today is one of abuse and basic ‘you thunk it therefor it is’ simpering,

        What i have argued is that the State first stopped building State Houses as the population began it’s rise from 3.3 million to 4.4 million and has since reduced the number of State Houses from it’s peak of 75,000 homes to 65,000, within those numbers area rising number of people needing State Housing and as there are few available this has created an artificial demand for private rentals which in turn has created price over inflation because of the relative demands of those seeking to own property as a home and those seeking to own rental property to cash in on the demand,

        By the way, by the sound of you, you should get the shrinks who manage your condition to up the meds, insanity of your sort obviously has no cure but with the right little white pills it is managable…

        • Tiger Mountain 4.4.1.1

          It has been quite disturbing to read ’Righty’s rantings today. This guys hatred and anger is palpable.

          You are correct bad12, the distortion in the housing market has in large part been caused by governments actively decreasing existing properties not just flatlining new builds of the housing stock. Not to mention previously charging market (greedy landlord) rates for state houses which sent a whole generation to garages, caravan parks and rural poverty.

          • TightyRighty 4.4.1.1.1

            decreasing properties? have they demolished them? have they been deemed uninhabitable?

            • bad12 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Yeah we realize tighty righty that the meds keep you off the planet most of the time, the Glen Innes housing stock, removed and/or demolished by the hundreds with the land flicked off to the private sector and the promise to replace the hundreds of HousingNZ homes with a mere handfull,

              In Lower Hutt, Prorirua and Napier whole streets bulldozed of their State housing NO replacements promised nor intended the land flicked off to the private sector,

              i would suggest you open your fucking eyes but it would be a waste of breath as your obviously too far gone…

              • TightyRighty

                Proriua is quite a demeaning nickname for porirua used around wellington. it snidely refers to the amount of professional crims and prostitutes reputed to live there. of course you wouldn’t be above calling it that. sheesh

                • bad12

                  Actually tighty righty i was born there and lived there for at least half my life, the misspelling of the name was a genuine spelling mistake that i didn’t pick up on the edit,

                  Nice to know tho what you meds restricted ‘wingnuts’ call my old home town tho…

        • TightyRighty 4.4.1.2

          and tenure is supposed to help with this?

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Poor old Tracy can’t seem to get a foot in the door. She has tried so hard. But they just won’t have her. I guess she is more use outside the tent?

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    Christchurch Housing: “worst it’s been” …”same as it ever was…same as it… ev…er… was”.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    oops,
    Christchurch Housing : “worst it’s ever been” …”same as it ever was…same…as…it…ev…er…was!”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/christchurch-earthquake/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502981&objectid=11163599

    • s y d 7.1

      Nick Smith, what a guy..there was no “silver bullet”, “people always want more “,”Rents are still significantly less to what they are in Auckland,”

      you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack..indeed

  8. taranaki@gmail.com 8

    I can’t in all honesty support the few lucky duckies who win the state house lottery. Why should such a small number of people have their lifestyle so massively subsidised when housing is a “livable right” as Karol posits?

    Successive Labour and National Governments agree that state housing isn’t the answer to this “livable right” – Karol’s urge to preserve this right for a privileged chosen few just seems abhorrent and the antithesis of the egalitarian values which constructed the state housing stock in the first place.

    If housing is a “livable right” then fighting for a few state houses is like complaining about a half cup of water added to the ocean. That horse bolted decades ago – to fight for the preservation of this rare privilege now is just counterproductive.

    • karol 8.1

      This is rather convoluted logic, taranaki.

      Because the Nats & Labour have been whittling away the state housing provisions, doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do.

      It’s a strange “privilege” that the least well off are being given, while increasingly their position is becoming insecure and badly managed.

      Surely the answer to only a few being given state housing while others live in garages etc, is to extend the “privilege” to more people, not remove it from all..

      • taranaki 8.1.1

        By your own admission a state house is a rare privilege that we only extend to a small percentage of the people with very high housing needs.

        Your defence of “state house for life” for comparatively wealthier people who no longer meet the criteria for need, while families are forced to live in garages simply doesn’t stack up. As you your self say “Surely the answer to only a few being given state housing while others live in garages etc, is to extend the “privilege” to more people, not remove it from all.”

        You’ve premised your argument on a fantasy of restoring state house numbers. Great idea – you wont hear any issue of that from me that we need more – a whole lot more. But by acting as though this worthy goal is fait acccompli you’ve completely disconnected your political values from the reality that we don’t have these houses, not now, not next year, and likely not next decade.

        So, until this fantasy housing stock is available – why can’t we give housing to those in genuine need? As opposed to the leaving this precious resource to be occupied by a lucky privileged few who enjoy lifetime tenure by historical accident.

        • bad12 8.1.1.1

          What a grand piece of defeatism that is Taranaki, in you game of ‘musical houses’ we should kick the elderly out into what, tents, rack-renting ‘holiday parks’ or perhaps who gives a fuck so as to free up their houses for families,

          You expound the same fallacy as tighty righty that the elderly should happily vacate their over sized HousingNZ properties for smaller ones when the known fact is that there are no smaller ones available and this Government has no intention of building any,

          Your view is that of the ‘enabler’ He or She who allows the Government of whatever hue to abdicate it’s responsibilities surrounding social housing,

          i would suggest that you actually ‘believe un-Housing Minister Nick Smith when He says the intention of the recently passed Legislation was to free up such mismatched housing where this government will evict 4000 of it’s tenants,

          Nick Smith has no intention of retaining those 4000 State Houses in the Government portfolio they are earmarked for sale into the private sector,

          Here’s a housing equation from Nick Smith, Hamilton 120 something urgent housing cases, Smith announces the sell off into the private sector of 120 Hamilton State Houses…

    • Rogue Trooper 8.2

      I like your style though taranaki@home.

    • millsy 8.3

      SO you would have state housing tenants kicked out on the street, and have them pay 70% of their income to a private landlord?

  9. chris73 9

    Good, until more housing stock is built this is the best solution

  10. Molly 10

    Attended a Unitary Plan workshop on Monday, and disappointed but not surprised to learn that the 12 SHA’s released with such fanfare by National and Auckland Council, are only the first of many such “tranches” that will be announced. The next tranche announcement due before the end of the year.

    Given that SHA’s can be a response to a direct request from landowners (such as the 1000 house area in Takanini on very unstable ground), this makes even more of a mockery of the whole well planned design for a livable Auckland.

  11. greywarbler 11

    It’s not new to pepper pot state housing amongst private dwellings. We had a good system, which could have been tightened up somewhat, but to go to annual reviews is disgraceful. It just confirms to me that NZs don’t take housing and its importance to people seriously.

    In 1990 when National was putting the rents up to market level in stages, the local religious ministers and various social services people were not traumatised as caring, responsible people should have been. They were hardly concerned. There was a brief show but it soon went away. Yet people haven’t been able to receive benefits if they haven’t been able to provide a home address. Isn’t that contradictory.

    The social community studies have shown how hard it is on people, and especially families with school children to be pushed from pillar to post particularly with their schooling where the children have to find acceptance over and over again as they move. Yet the NACTs ramble on about their concern about education. It’s concern about stats that they want to put up against other OECD countries stats, it’s not the fate of these potentially great NZs who can’t get a start in life.

  12. Murray Olsen 12

    We need more state houses urgently. I don’t care if the odd person has a bedroom they don’t use. How many people have all sorts of space they don’t use, and have to leave 2 of their cars in the garage every time they go out, because they got rich off property speculation or government handouts to private landlords? How many multimillionaires made their wealth because the government sold them some land near Wanaka which was then fortuitously rezoned for subdivision? Why does someone who’s had enough capital to start out and become a successful parasite think they’re the backbone of the nation? They contribute nothing except to push house prices further out of reach of the majority. I’m not in the least bit interested in their moaning. Labour, Greens, Mana, build more state houses. I know that in Labour’s case this would need about half of their MPs to be kicked out of the party first, but so many lie down to sleep and dream of Roger, Ayn, and Milton that the sooner they’re gone the better.

  13. bad12 13

    ”Cost rises hit families”, so says today’s Herald while highlighting the plight of one working Auckland family with 3 children forced to move in with friends while they wait to see what chances they have of having HousingNZ accept their application for housing,

    Right there within that article in the online version of the Herald is the tip of the housing ice-berg as the house price over inflation spiral forces rents in the private market out of reach of even the low waged working families,

    These people aren’t ‘bludgers’, simply a normal New Zealand family trying to do the best they can for their 3 kids,

    The tip of the ice-berg??? last we we seen the Auckland ‘holiday park’ where the tenants,mostly beneficiaries, are rack rented in abysmal housing conditions by a landlord said to be sucking up 32 thousand a week directly from the taxpayer via His beneficiary tenants,

    Previously i have spent many a comment pointing out Mene Mene another hard working Kiwi who’s wages and hours of work confine Him,Wife and 3 children to 1 room in a less than suitable Auckland City boarding house,

    And on it goes,for every family or individual housed in what are best described as ‘unsuitable conditions’ and more appropriately described when considering what we as Kiwis have as expectations of suitable housing as FUCKING SLUM CONDITIONS, there are 100’s more crammed into garages,’holiday parks’ or doubling up with relatives or friends if they are so lucky to have any with a spare room,

    We know where Paula Bennett is on this issue, She is trying to make ‘political hay’ out of the misery inherent in having 300 Kiwi’s trapped in the rack renting ‘holiday park’ decrying the landlords receipt of 32 grand a week of taxpayers money for running this slum,

    We know where Nick Smith, the Minister of Housing is on this issue, he is busy making ‘political hay’ over grandiose announcements of building 30 State houses where there once were 100, He is making grandiose statements about selling off 100’s of State Houses in the provinces claiming non-one wants them,He is busy making grandiose statements about kicking out 4000 of the States tenants because their accommodation doesn’t match the size of their family,

    What He isn’t making grandiose statements and political hay out of is the fact that any number of those He plans on giving the kick will not be able to find affordable accommodation, nor is He publicly broadcasting the fact that He and His Government plan to sell off most of the 4000 houses He plans to give the tenants the kick from, He is even less vocal that by the time He has finished re-arranging the States housing stock the numbers will be down to 60,000,

    And to finish, i have a question, where is Labour on the issue of a serious State House building program…

    • karol 13.1

      Well said, bad! This is the article you are referring to. Thanks for the ehadsup.

      A Statistics New Zealand survey shows average weekly household spending has increased by more than $90 over the past three years, to $1111.

      That’s been driven by significant increases in the cost of food, transport, housing and household utilities such as gas and electricity.

      Aucklanders are spending the most, an average of $1253 a week, and spend significantly more on housing, transport and food than residents elsewhere in the country.

      The Household Economic Survey showed housing costs and utilities were the biggest household costs at $272, making up about a quarter of household bills on average.

      Food costs made up one-fifth of expenses, costing $192 a week on average, up from $177 three years ago.

      Darryl Evans, CEO of the Mangere Budgeting Service, said clients were spending a large portion on rent, with very little left for food.

      About three-quarters of clients in private rentals were paying 60 to 65 per cent of their income on housing.

      More at the link.

  14. bad12 14

    The Green Party through it’s Christchurch East candidate are starting to talk of creating villages of pre-built studio units for Christchurch,

    In terms of money such an idea might be applicable for the creation of single person accommodation in any area of high need, (although i can hear the ‘Wing-nuts’ screech of trailer-trash as i type),

    There are a number of companies in New Zealand that produce such ‘housing’ which is simply trucked to a pre-prepared site and connected to services and these are not restricted to simple studio’s as bedrooms can be added to them,

    For single people such pre-built accommodation or even the high quality fifth wheel trailer accommodation now available might have to be the housing of the future when considering that such ‘villages’ could be sited on land the government already owns this would result in housing for around 100,000 a unit,

    Being ‘old style’ i am not entirely enamored with such an idea,but, am enough of a realist to know that with a Government debt of somewhere in the realm of 70-80 billion dollars with a crisis of affordable rental accommodation this ‘solution’ may provide the only means of providing a mass of housing in the shortest amount of time,

    Given that financial mess which Slippery’s National government are deliberately fixing to leave as the welcome to the next Government the only means of providing a serious ‘normal’ build of a mass of State housing would be for the Government to simply ‘print’ the monetary requirement,

    i would have thought David Cunliffe would have been well up to speed on how the first State Housing was produced seeing as He had the Bloke that done it’s picture hanging on His wall all that time,

    Perhaps that was just window dressing…

  15. One Anonymous Knucklehead 15

    Jane Fonda on the news today,
    convinced the Liberals it’s ok,
    So let’s get dressed and dance away the night.
    While they, kill kill kill kill, kill the poor…

    Are we going to let the National Party lower New Zealand to its level? Smash market fundamentalism. Destroy it utterly. Stop tinkering around the edges and adopt best practice.

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    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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