web analytics
The Standard

National’s house of straw

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, February 14th, 2008 - 13 comments
Categories: housing, same old national - Tags: ,

Affordable housing is the topic de jour. The foundation of affordable housing in New Zealand and other developed nations has long been houses built by the government and rented cheaply: state housing.

Since the construction of the first state house in 1937, it has been a history of Labour building them and National selling them off, culminating the 1990s free-for-all.


National cut state house construction from 2500 a year to 250, while it began selling them at up to 3000 a year. Just as bad, those people who could stay in a state house saw their rents skyrocket with the introduction of ‘market rents’ while wages stagnated and benefits were cut. By the end of those years over 10,000 state houses had been sold. If it had gone on much longer we would have seen the unplanned shantytowns develop that the First Labour Government built state houses to avoid in the first place.

The Labour-led Government placed a moratorium on most state house sales and has undertaken a vigorous building and renovation program, as well as reducing rents. Every step of the way National has called for more sell-offs and simultaneously criticised the Government for the wait-list of would-be state house tenants; an extra 10,000 state house are needed, the wait-list only exists because of National’s sell-off. And to take the hypocrisy one step further, John Key has vigorously opposed state housing construction in his wealthy electorate calling it “economic vandalism”.

13 comments on “National’s house of straw”

  1. SweetDisorder 1

    pretty graph, what happened to the data post 2002?

  2. The Double Standard 2

    Reading the source article it seems that sales were mainly to tenants.

    I guess it just proves the point that the Nats favour individual effort and advancement (ambitious?) while Teh Party would rather keep the proles sucking on the state’s tit.

    Of course its no surprise that state house sales will have dropped in the last few years – due to Teh Party’s shameful record on housing affordibility, a typical tenant will no longer be able to afford them.

  3. Chemist Peter 3

    We need a high no. of SHT to keep voting their Landlord back into power.
    Statehouses should be a hand up, not a handout. This site assumes we should pay for everything. Anyone against this is a fight wing jackboot wearing member of the SS.

  4. r0b 4

    due to Teh Party’s shameful record on housing affordibility

    National = market rents. Labour = income related rents. The shameful record on housing affordability is National’s.


  5. Gooner 5

    “The foundation of affordable housing in New Zealand and other developed nations has long been houses built by the government and rented cheaply: state housing.”

    Yeah, mostly houses that are cold, damp, damaged and overloaded with occupants.

    Private property ownership (i.e. selling to tenants) gives them pride in their property resulting in better quality housing.

    Governments can’t and shouldn’t run health systems, education establishments and certainly shouldn’t build and own houses.

  6. lprent 6

    rOb. On your request. Did some research on search for search plugins. Found two that I’ll try out on a copy of the site. The best looking one is google based, but has a flaw. It is wide, and seems to leave some kind of largish icon in IE trident engine (that figures). Looks good in mozilla and khtml based engines (firefox and safari mainly). There is a css hack that looks like it might work for the people still using IE.

  7. lprent 7

    Using safari on windows right now, I’m afraid I mainly use the mac for testing css and javascript on old safari’s. I’ll try to get it in before I do the other upgrades.

  8. r0b 8

    If only all developers were as thorough about testing for a range of browsers. (If only people would give up IE, If only MS didn’t intentionally break standards).


  9. r0b 9

    Governments can’t and shouldn’t run health systems, education establishments

    Why make statements that are simply false? Governments can run health systems and educational establishments. They do so in New Zealand, for example.

  10. r0b 10

    Cheers Lynn! That’s great!

    Looks good in mozilla and khtml based engines (firefox and safari mainly). There is a css hack that looks like it might work for the people still using IE

    I’m one of those insufferably smug Mac / Safari users, so I’m happy. I’m off line this weekend, but will look out for it when I get back…

  11. Steve Pierson 11

    Sweet. I presume Housing NZ would have the later data, but the graph is from the NZHistory site, and only goes to 2002, unfortunately.

    DoubleStandard. Traditionally, houses were sold to tenants by both parties. National begana free-for-all sell-off in the 1990s.

  12. how many houses in NZ does Key own? Seven i believe. lowering their value wouldn’t make a lot of sense to Key.

  13. AncientGeek 13

    Thoughtful post on Helen’s speech at The Thorndon Bubble “Clark’s “real’ speech“. Well worth a read.

    I think that state funded housing is an essential part of the role of the government in human infrastructure.

    It is part of the public health system. Inadequate housing is the third fastest way to cause reservoirs of diseases. The others are lack of a clean water supply, and inadequate sewerage systems.

    Similarly inadequate housing is one of the fastest ways to ensure that a child is unable to utilize the education system. The effects of that not only affect their future opportunities, but also their children, and society. It is difficult to grow and economy, even more so if you do not have people capable of changing with it.

    cap: Shriver City
    first word should have been Shiver and it’d have been perfect

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    22 hours ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    22 hours ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    22 hours ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    23 hours ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    1 day ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    2 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    3 days ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Invermay petition delivered to Parliament
    Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark handed over a 12,450 signature Save Invermay petition to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran on the steps of Parliament today.  “The level of support that the petition has received across New Zealand is overwhelming,”… ...
    3 days ago
  • Redcliffs School closure plan wrong
    The Government’s proposal to consult on the closure of Redcliffs School not only goes against the best geotechnical advice, but more importantly goes against the best educational outcomes for Redcliffs children and the health of our community, Port Hills MP… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cotton On first to test the tea breaks law
    Australian corporate Cotton On, the first major business operating in New Zealand to exploit the new tea breaks law, could walk away from negotiations if it doesn’t get its own way, says Labour Party Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Cotton… ...
    4 days ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Council can stop Port’s encroachment on harbour
    As owner of the Port of Auckland, Council can stop the wharf extension and reclamation if it wants to, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Goff. ‘As owner the council is custodian of the port and harbour on behalf of… ...
    4 days ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • State house sell-off fiasco a gift for developers
    The Government’s property developer mates are the only people who can salvage National’s state house sell-off now the Salvation Army has torpedoed the policy, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Having been cynically used by the Government as the poster… ...
    4 days ago
  • National reinforces inequality in schools
    The National Government’s flagship programme Investing in Educational Success is clearly reinforcing inequality in the school system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The analysis released today by the NZEI clearly shows schools in wealthier suburbs are the main beneficiaries… ...
    4 days ago
  • GCSB: Groser’s Competition Scuttling Bureau
    Tim Groser’s personal use of the GCSB to try and get himself a job at the WTO is a highly dubious use of an agency that is meant to combat security threats, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “This is outrageous.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere