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Housing crisis day of action today

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 7th, 2012 - 17 comments
Categories: activism, class war, housing, mana, Public Private Partnerships - Tags:

Today is Housing Crisis Day of Action with a march on parliament in Wellington (see Facebook page). The government’s response is “cautious” as it doesn’t want to interfer too much in the housing market.  It is putting too much emphasis on encouraging the building of housing for the home buying and private rental market.  It aims to give taxpayer money to construction businesses, so they can profit from the desperation of low income people to find somewhere safe and secure to live.

The government’s plan to build low cost housing on the fringes of cities like Auckland, is just adding the costs for low income people; costs of time and money for traveling to work and elsewhere.  It also aims to speed up the council processing of new housing subdivisions and construction – more “cutting red tape” with possible changes to the Resource Management Act.  And we all know where that leads.  They are also planning to open some inner city “brownfields” land (derelict industrial land) for housing.

So they want to keep the prime land for specluators and the wealthy, and the less desirable land for low income people.  People are being removed from state houses located in prime real estate areas, to make way for private developers.  This has been happening in Glen Innes, where Hone Harawira and John Minto have been arrested on protests.  The Mana Party calls this approach to housing, “ethnic cleansing.

The only way create more affordable housing is to build more state housing.  The Housing Day of Action Group states on Facebook that the protest is to:

demand an end to all evictions and sale of state houses; for HNZ to let all vacant state houses to families in crisis; a withdrawal of the draconian requirements to get a state house; a reopening of all HNZ offices and the construction of 20,000 new state homes.

The protest will be at 12 Noon today, Civic Square, Wellington.

Updates: John Banks heckled by protesters.  Banks had gone onto parliament steps to sign an anti-shark finning petition. Housing Day of Action protesters were also there and apparently focused on his 1996 anti-abortion comments.

When the remaining housing protesters saw Banks they turned their attention to him, yelling: ”Shame on you, John Banks. You’re a lair, you’re a coward.” …

”Not John Banks and not the state, women must control their fate,” the women chanted.

In the General Debate in the House today, Annette King gave a very powerful speech, largely focused on the housing crisis and the overnment’s poor response.  Craig Foss, in his speech denied that there was either manufacturing crisis or a housing crisis.  He said there were plenty of state houses available. Andrew Little gave a really good speech about the need for more affordable housing: for renters and buyers.  He said that the governmentMP’s are spending all their time talking about Labour, and anything other than the country’s crises, because they have no plan to improve things.

17 comments on “Housing crisis day of action today”

  1. xtasy 1

    Karol –

    I bet you that this will be resulting in a “turnout” like the ‘Day of Action’ by beneficiary advocates and supporters, who bothered to come out to protest against the draconian welfare reforms on 05 October.

    Maybe a few dozen, maybe a hundred or so, not more are likely to bother – or be able to attend (due to tight financial pressures not allowing travel).

    Sorry to be so negative, but the scene is dominated by a government supporting developers and speculating home owners, who rather want to see Housing NZ move their tenants to “cheaper” ghettoes, so their street looks all “nice” and tidy, so that values of their homes will go up, or at least stay where they are.

    Even the ones planning an exit off the sinking ship called Aotearoa-NZ will rather have that, so they can sell their home for a good price to new migrants or investors, enabling them to bring sufficient cash with them to start a new life in Queensland, West Australia, South Australia or NSW or Victoria.

    The good old “granny” Herald seems to put any housing-, rent- and related articles under the “business” heading, so they go with the trend to view it all mainly from an “investor’s perspective”.

    NZ is divided, the “middle class” that owns homes may be unhappy if they face high prices to buy, but as long as interest rates are low, as long as they have a job, as long as they can let tenants and flatmates pay their mortgages, they do not give a damn about the ones at the bottom, who now even get shifted out of existing Housing NZ homes and put into little boxes stacked on top of each other, or close to each other, in areas like East Tamaki or others.

    The first link to some of interesting stories (see below) shows us what is going on, and what it is all about:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10845613

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10845630

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10839987

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10845615

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10845394

    Sadly most NZers have little time for Housing NZ tenants, and I ask, where are Labour’s alternative plans, as it is easy to criticise, but poor to slam the government and not deliver at least some draft plan. Now Annette King, there is a challenge, perhaps!?

    Housing and construction in NZ: A total sick joke for much over the last one to two decades! Tens of thousands of leaky homes rotting away on a large scale, what a bloody waste. So after selling F+P to Haier, perhaps start selling the universities next, to get more “cash” to fill the holes???

    • karol 1.1

      xtasy, I agree with you that the focus of NZ Herald of housing as a business issues.  It’s really annoying.
       
      Well, I always live in hope as many people as can, make it to today’s demo.  There’s supposed to be people traveling to Wellington from all over NZ for it.  It’s in the lunch hour, so I hope a few Wellingtonians make it to the protest as well.
       
      I will also be looking for the response of the media and politicians.  Nine-to-Noon is doing an interview with a housing activist right now – a response to the planned protests. So the scope of a “Day of Action” is not just getting numbers out on the streets – but also raising awareness of the issues in a range of ways.

    • just saying 1.2

      Xtasy,
      I understand your feelings of demoralisation and bitterness. Please be careful not to take it out, even inadvertently, on those who have a courage, energy, and resources to protest.

      If there is no resistance there is no hope for things to get better for those suffering the most, and a guarantee that the rate which things get worse is accelerated.

      • xtasy 1.2.1

        just saying: I admit, I put a bit of hidden cynicism into my comment, but it is due to many repeated experiences over recent years, seeing the “protest scene” decline and become a residual phenomenon of the now rather aged hard core, who seem to have very few younger “recruits”.

        When people see the same people, with the same banners, the same slogans, the same leaflets, the same words, the same messages, the same ineffective efforts and sadly also too poor communication and organistion, when you see them hold pickets, protest meetings, sit ins, or whatever, I fear you will get what you ask for: Disinterest, lack of connectivity, lack of understanding, lack of appreciation and so on.

        Also I have witnessed a growing level of resignation (not surprising with many “opposition” MPs too busy feathering their own nests and careers than take real, decisive action), of disinterest, of also cowardliness and preferred isolation, from so many individuals affected.

        Hone does appeal to some, so may some of the Greens and the odd vocal Labour activist, but in general, there is apparently NO trust, NO faith, NO motivation, NO hope and a total alienation and even indifference, as too many are just too brainwashed to even bother, and rather look at fighting their own battles for survival, as they have no more sense of the meaning of unity.

        It is just the same like the loss of union membership that was evident over so many years. People do not want to bite the hand that feeds them, so by being passive and submissive, they may “survive”, but they also hand over power and make themselves even more dependent.

        So I feel a need to SHOCK people out of their apathy and disinterest. Maybe we need massive homelessness, unemployment reaching 10 or more per-cent, so people will bloody wake up. I cannot see it happen now, and Labour is NOT helping.

    • fatty 1.3

      “The good old “granny” Herald seems to put any housing-, rent- and related articles under the “business” heading, so they go with the trend to view it all mainly from an “investor’s perspective”.”

      true…that’s the way housing is viewed in NZ at the moment. Its seen as an economic issue for the individual, not an issue of wellbeing for society.

      “and I ask, where are Labour’s alternative plans”

      true again…if we are being honest this behaviour from National is not surprising, but the real problem is a lack of opposition. Karol points out Mana’s dedication to the issue, but they are just painted as crazy radicals who don’t understand economics.
      All most people want is a simple warm cheap place to live…that is all. Its a human right, and it should be available to all Kiwis, but its not. We are going backwards.

    • insider 1.4

      Looks like about 20 people. Almost more people in the welcoming party.

      • karol 1.4.1

        Some battles are worth fighting, how ever many turn up.  The MSM is doing its best to ignore it, as it doesn’t like to give such campaigns a positive face – see fatty’s comment above.
         
        The organsiers didn’t expect many more than 100 – weekday as well.  They are resenting a petition with about 1000 signatures.  RNZ is about the only MSM actually covering it.  Their regular news updates have reported about 70 people on the march – so probably closer to 100 then.
         
        Of course, our MSM is much more interested in, and distracted by the US elections – they show they don’t care that much about the interests of ordinary Kiwis, especially ones on low incomes.

        • Mickey Mouse 1.4.1.1

          “Of course, our MSM is much more interested in, and distracted by the US elections ”

          Then why organise the protest for this day? Dumb

          • karol 1.4.1.1.1

            I don’t know why they organised it for today.  It may be timing: aiming for a Members’ Day.  There may be a limited number of these days before the Xmas break.

    • Fisiani 1.5

      70 people is hardly a crowd

  2. AwakeWhileSleeping 2

    There is certainly a housing crisis, but this is not the way to solve it.

    Steve Keen suggested a debt jubilee but instead of giving money to banks he proposed paying a sum of money to each individual which they had to use to pay off any debts owing. If they have no debt they get to spend the money. What this does is reduce the amount of money banks have to loan out in the first place which I would say is what drove the housing crisis in the first place.

    We need to do something radical like Steve’s idea, we don’t need to create a class of people who think the house they are renting from the government is basically in their ownership in everything but title.

    Another alternative would be to build houses as required, rent them to those who need them (as opposed to those who moan the loudest) and then offer to sell them to the residents. This one will be slower to take effect.

    • karol 2.1

      As a lifetime renter, I disagree with your and both Labour and National’s focus on home ownership.  ultimately this will always benefit the better off people.  Many on lower incomes, who manage to srape together enough to afford a house, are always at the insecure and struglling end of the ladder.
       
      If there are more state houses, then private landlords will also have to provide rents at at a reasonable price.  other countries, e.g. in Scandanavia, don’t put so much emphasis on home ownership.  Many middleclass people are happy to rent all their lives.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        All which is required is a secure long term tenancy, and agreed rights to make minor decorative changes to a property, and I suggest a shit load of people would be happy to rent all their lives.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Yep, if people are secure in their tenancy then they will be quite happy. People renting from private landlords aren’t secure in their tenancy and, as Karol points out, low income people trying to own their own home aren’t secure either.

      • mike e 2.1.2

        Karol even better off people are at an advantage to rent as proven on Campbell live about 2 months ago.If they are disciplined enough they can save the difference on mortgage maintenance rates and insurance and invest it they will be far better off!
        Even Don Brashes productivity commission said that housing affordability was the biggest factor in New Zealands decline against Australia that’s probably why Shonkey closed it down the only ones benefiting from our current regime are the four gouging major trading banks who are happy as allowing our housing bubble to reignite!
        Housing is the single most important issue for maintaining family stability if families have a permanent roof over their head they will thrive!
        Since the Douglas /Richardson years Itinerant families have become the norm not allowing stability when it comes to child rearing it is most important to have children settled at home and school!

  3. AwakeWhileSleeping 3

    Another comment:

    Broadly speaking, the “haves” and “have not’s” can now be clearly divided between the owners of real estate + those who have stable long term rentals and everyone else who is forced into the scramble for available property.

    * Children are often caught inbetween, a growing number of which are attending multiple primary schools as a direct result of housing insecurity. This has not been covered by the media. Tawa College where my children go has a program to pick up these children some of which have attended 10-15 primary schools according to those I spoke to at the school. Most colleges still don’t provide this type of enhanced support due to lack of funding/workloads.

    * Families in poverty have financial situations made worse by moving costs and in particular “letting fees” which are not regulated by law when they are forced to move due (due to rental increases, houses being sold, or family members of the owner moving back in because they can’t find affordable housing etc). They more they move, the poorer they.

  4. karol 4

    In the general debate, David Shearer did a pretty good job of laying into the government’s housing policy….. until he got Phil Heatley’s name wrong and called him “Craig Heatley”.  Shearer put too much emphasis on home ownership.

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    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    16 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    18 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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