web analytics
The Standard

(Un)affordable rents in Berm City

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, October 3rd, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, class war, cost of living, greens, housing, labour, local body elections, mana, national, nz first - Tags:

So getting your grass verge mowed is the biggest issue for some central city council candidates and (presumably) their potential voters?  Life must be pretty cosy in those parts of central city Auckland.  Out here in the West of Auckland, many people have bigger concerns: like how they can find affordable rental housing in the west , while the cost of renting nearer the centre of the city is way beyond even considering (as for many in the south).

NZ First’s Andrew Williams is right about the insularity of the bermites.  However, I wouldn’t call it a “village” mentality, so much as a gated city mentality.  It’s the mentality of people living in a largely well off, self-centred world, who don’t look beyond their own alarmed gates.  It’s the mentality of people asking what more can their city do for their comfortable quarter acre lives, than what the city can do for those struggling to survive.

This morning Monica Tischler’s article on Stuff highlights the high incidence of garage living, hidden homelessness in West Auckland.

Tucked down a West Auckland driveway in a corrugated iron double garage lives the Crichton family.

Samoan lavalavas are attached to the ceiling for insulation and towels hang from makeshift clotheslines over beds and dressing tables.

Fonima Crichton has lived in the garage with husband Fossie and four children, including 9-month-old baby Kris, for two years and has been trying for months to find better living conditions for her family.

“I want to raise my family properly and want my kids to live a good life,” she says.

It was the pursuit of a good life that saw the family become homeless more than two years ago.

[…]

The Te Atatu Peninsula family has been on Housing New Zealand’s waiting list for a new home since January and there are others like them too. Henderson’s Housing New Zealand office holds the country’s biggest waiting list of families wanting better living conditions – more than earthquake ravaged Christchurch.

Living in garages is a health hazard, and one of the things being highlighted in a campaign next week:

Next week the Spotlight on Housing campaign organised by the Housing Call To Action group will assist tenants with information about their rights and responsibilities, bill payment information and costs of running different electrical appliances.

Homelessness in Paul Bennett’s territory of West Auckland is a long running issue:

This 2011 Western Leader article focuses on people living in the caravan park in Ranui, in the outer reaches of West Auckland.  It foregrounds Ivan Eden, who has lived for 3 years at the caravan park, along with 200 other residents.

Mr Eden, a 44-year-old sickness beneficiary, says he’d much rather be living in a flat but can’t afford it.

A report on homelessness was presented to the Auckland Council’s Social and Community Development Forum this month.

It says there is an increasing number of homeless people in west Auckland and a lack of emergency housing. It calls for a region-wide response to the problem.

There are 1000 people on Housing New Zealand’s west Auckland waiting lists[…]

This 2010 Western Leader article, highlights the fact that homelessness, as seen in West Auckland, is something experienced by a significant number of women. The issues for, and responses to homeless women differ somewhat from those for men.  Although, the problems for men are considered worse than for women and children, the article fails to look in any depth at how well the provisions work for women.

Salvation Army spokesman Malvin Reihana […]  says more than 150 women and their children came to the organisation between October and December seeking food and shelter.

“There are a lot of short- term homeless women,” he says.

[…]

He says women needing somewhere to stay have more options than men.

“There are a lot of social services in west Auckland for women and children,” he says. “But there’s zero help for men and that’s why they tend to end up under the bridges.”

In an article in last week’s NZ herald, Dr Ali Memon is critical of the Labour and National parties for both embracing housing as a home ownership issue, and for ignoring renters.  The headline, “Pity the poor who are forced to rent“, seems to have been written by someone other than Memon.  It is a direct contradiction of the content of her article, in which she states that some choose to rent rather than buy.  My guess is that the headline was written by a sub-editor with a different agenda.

But what is worrying is the degree to which the proposed housing policy initiatives of the two centrist political parties have been captured by the home ownership drive.

The role of rental housing in satisfying housing needs of Aucklanders is a blind spot in the gaze of our politicians.

The proportion of rental households has significantly increased during the past decade. According to recent surveys, approximately 40 per cent of Auckland households now rent. The proportion was 34 per cent in 2006.

Yet, the Auckland housing problem is being redefined by the politicians and the media primarily as a home ownership problem. This is not fair to those who rent.

To resolve our current housing problems, and build a more inclusive, livable, well-functioning and sustainable society, we need to return to the ideals of the 1930s: aiming for more state and council provided, non-profiteering, rental housing, plus other forms of social housing.  So far, only the Green and Mana Parties have such forms of housing policies explicitly on their agendas.

Green Party Housing Policy, includes,

increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.

Green Party home for life

And John Minto, Mana candidate for Auckland mayor, has council housing on his manifesto:

Minto for Mayor would build 20,000 affordable council rental homes to address the sharpest point in the crisis with other plans to promote home ownership opportunities for every New Zealand family.

Glen Innes housing protest

43 comments on “(Un)affordable rents in Berm City”

  1. Ad 1

    I would suggest that seeking a policy answer from central government is no longer the first direction to look. From the NZHerald today:

    “Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown are expected to announce a deal with communityhousing and Maori groups to build almost 300 homes on a 15.6 hectare farm next to a Child Youth and Fmaily child protection residence in Weymouth.”

    The partners taking this on are: the Housing Foundation, the Community of Refuge Trust, the Tamaki Collective of Auckland, and the Onehunga Hostels Endowment Fund.

    Just to pull one of those out, the Community of Refuge Trust (CORT) was set up in rection to Mayor John Banks selling off much of Auckland City Council’s public housing. It began out of Ponsonby Baptist Church, and started acquiring houses and flats in the Popnsonbly and Freemans Bay area, and now has over 90 of them.

    It focussed on helping people coming out of jail, and people recovering from mental illness.

    In discussion with Molly yesterday I was admitting that we are too far down the neoliberal paradigm in housing to expect the state or city to really help other than as broker to NGOs. I have seen the work of CORT first-hand and it’s really good. It’s the NGOs in my view that are really sorting the desperately needed from the remainder of the stressed (where state and city have long since abnegated any role).

    Maybe seeking the same old policy fix from political parties is looking for the solution in the wrong direction. The scale of the NGO response in the Weymouth example means it’s a whole lot less likely for policy outcomes to be overturned by successive governments (eg Hobsonville) if the NGOs are enabled to get on with allocating for need, and developing it.

    • Molly 1.1

      Hi Ad. Back again after a couple of days away, haven’t returned to that thread… will do so when I catch up on the Standard news.

      Agree with you on the impact small groups can make. I personally would buy into a mixed housing scheme, and be comfortable doing so – one that sells houses, rents some out, and keeps a proportion in perpetual affordable housing. But I have not seen a development that offers that choice.

      If small groups of individuals or NGO’s felt able and supported in created small-scale affordability models, we might end up with a wealth of successful models to give inspiration to others (and the failures while disappointing, would not be on a such a scale as to be unrecoverable).

      (Realised later, that I was coming from a mostly social and affordable housing perspective, but if middle class purchasers are willing to buy into these schemes, not only do they end up in a more diverse community, they may pay more affordable rates themselves.)

      • greywarbler 1.1.1

        Molly
        Agree with you on the impact small groups can make. I personally would buy into a mixed housing scheme, and be comfortable doing so – one that sells houses, rents some out, and keeps a proportion in perpetual affordable housing. But I have not seen a development that offers that choice.
        +1

  2. fambo 2

    As per usual, the Greens are the only one of the three major parties serious about finding genuine practical solutions to social issues like housing, and the only party one can be certain will act on them. Nice to see Labour go up in the polls but sad to see the Greens who have been doing all the opposition heavy lifting for the past two years with just 13 MPs drop so quickly. Hardly the reward they deserve.

  3. Penny Bright 3

    3 October 2013

    Press Release Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright:

    “Cut out the consultants – mow the berms!”

    “According to the Auckland Council 2012 – 2013 Annual Report, the total spent by the Auckland Council ‘Group’ on consultants and ‘professional services’ was $169 MILLION,” says Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright.

    (The Auckland Council ‘Group’ includes Auckland Council, Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs, plus subsidiaries).

    [http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/annual_report/Documents/annualreport20122013volume3.pdf (Pg 23 ) ]

    “Rodney councillor Penny Webster says that at a time when household budgets are tight, the council cannot afford the $12 million to $15 million cost of mowing berms for the whole region. ..”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11133160
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “The answer is simple. CUT OUT THE CONSULTANTS and mow the berms!”

    “The blinding hypocrisy of Auckland Councillor Penny Webster sickens me.
    Councillor Penny Webster, (Chair of the Auckland Council Strategy and Finance Committee), wants citizens and ratepayers to provide their lawn-mowing services free of charge, although there is no legal requirement to so do.

    However, she and her husband have entered into transactions with the Auckland Council Group, totalling $32,189 during 2012, for services provided by their jointly-owned private company, All Rural Fencing Limited . ”

    [http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/annual_report/Documents/annualreport20122013volume3.pdf (Pg 80 ) ]
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    All Rural Fencing Limited (NZ Companies Office)
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/1512665/directors

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “In my considered opinion, this is a clear ‘conflict of interest’,” continues Penny Bright.

    “As an anti-corruption /anti-privatisation ‘Public Watchdog’, I am totally opposed to any elected representatives personally profiting from contracts with Council or Council-Controlled-Organisations (CCOs) .”

    “I believe in the ‘public service model’, where people seek public office to look after the public and the public interest, not to ‘feather their own nests’, and enrich themselves from the public purse.”

    “The problem with Auckland Council, as proven by this 2012- 2013 Annual Report – is that ‘the books’ are NOT open – and we are NOT given the ‘devilish detail’ which explains exactly where our public monies are being spent, invested or borrowed.”

    “This is why, if and when I am elected Mayor pf Auckland Council, I will establish an Auckland Mayoral ‘Commission Against Corruption’, and will ‘open the books’, in order to find out where every dollar of citizen and ratepayer’s monies are being spent, invested and borrowed.”

    “This Auckland Mayoral ‘Commission Against Corruption’ will be staffed by a small team of forensic investigators, (whom I shall appoint, and who will report directly to me), funded directly from the Mayoral Office, using the budget which is set aside in order to help achieve the Auckland ‘Mayoral Vision.’

    “My Auckland Mayoral Vision is – to stop the corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region.”

    “Here is my ‘Action Plan’ to stop ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare':

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    “For those who really want to know who is running the Auckland region, ‘like a business, by business, for business’ – check for yourselves http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz (membership). ”

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    [lprent: I thought you’d already said this? Ummm nope the last one said much the same thing but was different and in a different post. But it is starting to feel like astroturfing with big cut-n-paste comments. ]

    • Ad 3.1

      Why not tell us where you’re really going to get the $10m plus to to this for the old Auckland City residents. Because your media release is a joke.

      And while you’re at it tell us where you’re going to get the $40m (approx) that would be needed to ensure the whole Auckland region gets their berms mowed not just your elite few in the isthmus. Because not to reinstatte mowing for all is to drive home one service standard for one set of residents, versus the great majority of Auckland who have been taking care of their own front lawn for many electoral terms without any of this petulant whining.

  4. bad12 4

    Nice Post Karol, very timely, and again it silently asks the question of Labour, where does that Party stand upon the need to seriously address the dire lack of affordable rental housing for those trapped in the low waged economy,

    i am here asking the question in relation to the number of houses provided by the State via HousingNZ,

    In my opinion it is not good enough for Labour to be proposing the building of 10,000 homes which in the main only the middle class will be able to afford while retaining what appears to be the vows of silence on the fate of HousingNZ as an entity that is the only possible means of housing the numbers of people who’s working incomes and housing situations demand that the State take the necessary actions to house them,

    Carving up the HousingNZ portfolio in favor of having special interest groups,(NGO’s), own 20% of that portfolio can only have any effect in a positive societal way if the actual numbers of Social Housing is increased by at least that number of houses,

    Carving up the HousingNZ portfolio in favor of special interest groups is simply more of the Neo-liberal abdication of responsibility which successive Governments have foisted upon the electorate as ‘progress’…

    • Ad 4.1

      It’s been carved up several decades ago and will not be reversed. Doesn’t matter whether you like NGOs or not – they are the the most active and response players in the market. The command and control policy response is no longer possible.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Perhaps you would care to explain that dribble of drivel in more basic English, as it is written it’s a perfect piece of gobbledy-gook…

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          OK try: you’re dreaming it’s no longer possible.

          Read my first post at the top of the page you will figure it out.

          • bad12 4.1.1.1.1

            No longer possible, now that is a statement based upon dreams if i ever seen one, the decision to either build Social Housing through the Governments own HousingNZ or through NGO’s is simply the neurons of the brains involved moving in response to certain impetus,

            Such an impetus if applied loudly and for a long length of time could change such decisions, i am tho operating under a certain belief that matters surrounding HousingNZ going into the future may have been to a certain extent ‘decided’ by an unsaid political consensus,

            National have it would seem silently agreed that the HousingNZ stock will be rented to tenants at 20% of their income,

            National have taken on board the previous Labour Governments idea looking to alter the mix of Housing stock they possess by selling off some houses and adding bedrooms to others,

            i assume that having NGO’s provide rental accommodation to their tenants at 25% of income and gaining the same subsidy as HousingNZ was also in the pipeline from Labour and was simply half-inched by National as they really do not have a clue about low cost rental housing or how much is needed,

            i see in your previous comment no valid reason why Governments have chosen to try and wind down the role of the State in the provision of affordable rental accommodation to be inclusive of only supplying monies to providers in the private sector except for politicians wishing to remove themselves from that responsibility,

            Having said that there is nothing wrong per se with private NGO’s being involved in low cost rentals especially when they are both housing and delivering other social services to those that they are housing,

            However there is still a gross shortage of affordable rental housing which has in the main left the lowest waged working families shut out of State provision that needs to be addressed and addressed urgently…

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Well said, bad.

              Also, ad’s line of argument just seems like capitulation to the neoliberal scam, rather than planning seriously for the future requirements of livable communities.

              • Ad

                You say capitulation, I say delivery of full project by 2017 that really helps vulnerable people.

                Shift all the neurons you like.Today, Smith, Brown and the NGOs won and delivered. Can the Greens or Labour deliver any better or faster?

                • bad12

                  Yes i can see the banner headlines and election billboards, National deliver 120 affordable rental homes to Auckland in 6 years of Government,

                  Really really good numbers i think not…

    • McFlock 4.2

      The economy delivers jobs across a wide range of remuneration levels, always has [at least 6.4% of the country would disagree with you, probably closer to 30% if you include under-employed and people bullied into other benefits or prison]. Those on lower incomes are massively subsidised by those on higher incomes via income distribution methods such as Working for Families [and yet a fifth of children in NZ live in poverty and hardship]. Housing is more affordable in Auckland now than it was in 2008 (cite: Roost)but people are still paying most of their income on unhealthy hovels], thanks to lower interest rates and taxes[which only help the already rich, as the poor got hit by the GST hike and ended up worse off] . The housing crisis is another left wing lie, just like the manufacturing crisis was, that made Labour the laughing stock of NZ [well, for those New Zealanders who haven’t lost their manufacturing job in the last thirty years]

      FIFY.

    • bad12 4.3

      Yeah right, as National tumble in the polls i think the laughter at the laughing stocks is becoming apparent from another direction,

      (…PS, if you are going to cite something pleases do so in a usable fashion)

  5. Penny Bright 5

    “Why not tell us where you’re really going to get the $10m plus to to this for the old Auckland City residents. Because your media release is a joke.

    And while you’re at it tell us where you’re going to get the $40m (approx) that would be needed to ensure the whole Auckland region gets their berms mowed not just your elite few in the isthmus. ..”

    What is a ‘joke’ about being consistent in calling for our supposed statutory rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government being enforced?

    You may be a bit ‘sheepish’ about upholding your LAWFUL rights ‘Ad’?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM171810.html

    14 Principles relating to local authorities

    (1)In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles:

    (a) a local authority should—

    (i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner;

    _________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    Part 2

    Recordkeeping requirements

    Subpart 1—Key duties

    17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    I am not.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    PROVEN ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  6. Penny Bright 6

    errr… before I can ‘show you the money’ – by opening the books – first I need to get elected as Mayor of Auckland Council.

    I look forward to your vote 😉

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    PROVEN ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  7. Tracey 7

    I dont have a lawn mower, but if I did I would mow our verge.

    Never heard of a berm til this week.

  8. vto 8

    We live in a non-gated community where people let their animals eat the verges and berms. And various empty sections, Stops the gorse. Keep the goats in milk and the horseys happy too (why do they never just step over the single wire and waltz to freedom?). Perhaps city folk should try it too. Goats and horses are great for verge and other grassy maintenance. And the kids love them. And the grown-ups love them.

    the city could learn a thing or two

    go organic

  9. Clement Pinto 9

    Last night, John Campbell had an interesting item on this. He also referred to Auckland as ‘Bermingham’! That I found funny!

    • karol 9.1

      Yes. That neo-language was funny, CP. However, this post is more about affordable rental housing.

      However, I also like vto’s no-gated community of borderless vegetation. Not sure where may renter s would keep goats & horses, though.

  10. Steve Forbes 10

    I wrote the Stuff article from 2011. Funny how little has changed in the past two years.

    • karol 10.1

      Thanks for the article, Stephen. Well, it’s sobering and frustrating that little has changed.

      Any change has been for the worse.

  11. Paul 11

    The Herald are taking the piss, right?

    “Man jailed for berm scan”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11134288
    “A former North Shore City Council employee has been sent to prison after signing off more than 150 invoices for road and berm maintenance work that was never completed.”

    Is it possible to satirise one’s own paper?

  12. Tanz 12

    The middle class is not the enemy. Why does the left hate the middle class? The middle class once voted Labour and could do again.

    • karol 12.1

      You miss the whole point of the post. The problem is that the people on low incomes, and renters, are treated as the enemy, or ignored.

      PS: did I say I vote Labour?

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      The middle class is not the enemy. Why does the left hate the middle class?

      Same reason that the Right hate the poor.

  13. joe90 13

    Could something like this be constructed to demonstrate the problem?.

    http://a.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/phes.RentAffordabilityRevised/page.html#13/37.7549/-122.4167

  14. xtasy 14

    From the Housing New Zealand website, see also this link:
    http://www.hnzc.co.nz/rent-buy-or-own/rent-from-housing-new-zealand/waiting-list

    Extract:

    “Current waiting list

    As at 31 August 2013 there were 5,017 people on the waiting list. Of this:
    1,315 were Priority Eligible – A
    2,698 were Priority Eligible – B
    593 were C (assessed before 30 June 2011)
    411 were D (assessed before 30 June 2011)

    Priority C and D applicants confirmed on the waiting list before 30 June 2011 remain on the list until they accept an available state house not required by any priority applicant, or they exit the list.”

    I read above from a quote from the Western Leader from 2011 that there were about 1,000 persons on the waiting list in West Auckland then! Now that was before Housing NZ changed their whole priority system and how they work. Where have they all gone that were on the waiting list?

    I can tell you, they have been “off-loaded”, as Housing NZ no longer bothers with those that have no immediate, desperate need for housing. Even staying in a boarding house in a room, with shared toilets and whatever is considered as being “adequately housed” these days. A non leaking roof, four walls around you, damp or not, a door that can ideally be locked, and no heating, that is “adequately housed” according to Housing NZ!

    Categories C and D, which were cases where a socially and economically justified need once was accepted, have since been excluded from the list. Those that remained on the waiting list in those categories since mid 2011 have been sent letters every three months, to ask them to contact Housing NZ whether they still required “help”. Many will not have bothered to respond, as Housing NZ staff would also have told them, that their chance of getting a Housing NZ home would be next to zero, given the new focus only on priority categories A and B. Indeed it is only category A persons that have a realistic chance to get a Housing NZ home now, as category B ones mostly only get “supported” to find other suitable housing on the market. C and D waiting list persons will have dropped away by the thousands, unless they would have stubbornly stuck to the gun and insisted on being kept on the list.

    See also the present waiting list figures by offices:
    http://www.hnzc.co.nz/rent-buy-or-own/rent-from-housing-new-zealand/waiting-list-by-nu

    I went through the new process mid to late 2011 with a friend, supporting him, and it was a nightmare!

    What New Zealand needs is a large scale public housing program, ensuring that at least all long term beneficiaries, plus those permanently on low incomes and with little chance of improving their income circumstances, get housed in an affordable manner, by paying rents they can afford.

    All else is tinkering with bits here and there, and catering for the middle class, some of whom would not buy or rent in more affordable South Auckland, for the simple fact, they dislike living among “brown folks”, and having their white or olive skin coloured kids share classrooms with brown skinned kids!

    • bad12 14.1

      4079 people who have accommodation that puts them and their families ate ‘risk’ or have an urgent need of stable rental accommodation that they can afford with a severely limited income and what has Nick Smith and National achieved in 6 years of Government,

      The short answer= NOTHING, except announce the selling off of even more of the HousingNZ portfolio claiming the homes being sold are ‘unwanted’,

      ‘Unwanted’ of course is a subjective term depending who you are, how much you earn, and how badly in need of stable,affordable rental housing you are,

      Smith, the Minister of Housing has recently been attempting to scam the electorate with a number of publicity stunts, having sold off into the private sector at least 1000 HousingNZ homes in the past 5 years Smith and National are now trying to appease the electorate with the sell off of even more with the false claim that these houses are ‘unwanted’,(when shortages in the major cities could have been relieved by offering long term city tenants such ‘unwanted’ tenancies further away from those main centers),

      The latest publicity stunt from Smith will include 120 odd affordable rentals in a new housing development, of course once the publicity has been wrung from this particular announcement there is no guarantee that the housing will in reality be used for that purpose,

      Hobsonville Point is the classic case to point at where National after having wrung the publicity from making grandiose announcements about the number of State rentals to be ‘pepper-potted’ among the new housing estate have then cancelled such additions to the social housing stock presumably not wishing to upset the ‘new’ home buyers with a wish not to have the poor living among them…

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.2

      Hi X,
      I agree with all your points, particularly the need to prioritise those who are CLEARLY unable to work in the long term. For these folks it is bad enough to have a severe disability without being discriminated against in the housing market, and suffering financially because of it.

      HNZ just don’t handle disabled well, particularly when it is a mental issue that has a medical requirement for a specific type of housing in a location suited to the disability.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 14.2.1

        https://fyi.org.nz/body/hnzc
        In case anyone is interested : )

      • bad12 14.2.2

        AWW, in my view everyone loves to hate on HousingNZ, that organization can only operate with the tools that a particular Government gives them,

        It is a political matter as to WHO is considered to be most in need of a seriously rationed number of houses, in the current climate HousingNZ and it’s staff are nearly as victimized as those who are in desperate need of affordable rental housing…

  15. xtasy 15

    OECD Better Life Index:

    http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/housing/

    “In New Zealand, households on average spend 26% of their gross adjusted disposable income on keeping a roof over their heads, one of the highest levels in the OECD, where the average is 21%.

    In addition to housing costs it is also important to examine living conditions, such as the average number of rooms shared per person and whether households have access to basic facilities. In New Zealand, 92% of people say they are satisfied with their current housing situation, more than the OECD average of 87%.”

    In contrast: In Australia households on average spend 19 % of their gross adjusted disposable income on keeping a roof over their heads.

    In any case, these are national averages, so living in Auckland, New Zealand is living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, especially when you are renting, as most rents in Europe and North America are lower in most places, except perhaps the top metropolitan cities in places like Paris, London, New York and the likes.

    Yet another perspective on housing ownership versus renting:

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/mar/19/brits-buy-germans-rent

    “So what keeps prices down, and why don’t more Germans buy? Firstly, there is the supply of good quality rental accommodation. According to CB Richard Ellis, German housing associations and municipal authorities hold about 12% of stock, private housing companies 10%, and property funds about 1%; the rest is held by private investors.”

    “Regional variations are enormous – in Berlin, the rental property share is an incredible 90% of the total residential market, which obviously keeps prices down; even in prosperous Hamburg the rental market is nearly 80%. But in other states like Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, homeownership is almost 60%, the highest in Germany.”

    With high home prices in the UK no wonder so many Brits, also like some investor Australians and Chinese come to buy property here, as few countries make it so easy to buy property as a non resident, as New Zealand does.

    This all affects the local first time buyers and also the renters, paying through the nose to be “housed”, while incomes in New Zealand are for many not that high at all.

    • bad12 15.1

      The question New Zealand need ask itself has 3 fingers but nonetheless is simple: (1), Is a Man, His Wife, and, their 3 children, working variable hours for the minimum wage, all living in 1 room in a city boarding house an acceptable standard of housing,

      (2), Is any number of families, because of their economic circumstances, living in garages, many of which have no basic services, an acceptable standard of housing,

      (3), Is having invalids beneficiaries living in private rentals, paying $290 a week rent, being told by WINZ they will have to move as the top ups to their benefits cannot be legally sustained long term by WINZ, an acceptable standard of housing,

      These are the people that Nick Smith and this National Government consider to be adequately housed and therefor having no need to appear on the A or B list of HousingNZ’s waiting list,

      These are the people in my opinion, in a decent society, the State should be building housing for…

  16. Neoleftie 16

    If berms are as we call them in the south grass verges property owner maintains them as a civic duty either directly or contract out of thier duty.
    Very sad reflection that people are neglecting thier civic duties and that, as Karol, has pointed out overshadowed such other more important relevant issues that we face as a community.

    • karol 16.1

      I’m a born and bred Aucklander, and never heard the term “berm” before this week. Always heard it referred to as grass verge.

      I often mowed our grass verge when I was growing up, as did others in my family. Sometimes a neighbour did it and vice versa.

      In the earlier days we used a non-motorised mower.

      But, yes, there are far more important issues for local body candidates to focus on.

  17. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    This is from the Wairarapa, but how long before we hear an entire family (like the one in the article above) is wiped out this way? Garages are NOT suitable housing just because it has become common.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wairarapa/9242419/Cousin-too-late-to-save-gentle-giant

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: What If The Government Rejects The TPPA?
    Grim Faces And Patriotic Words: With a few, well-chosen, words, Key could place the 2017 General Election beyond the Opposition’s grasp. The Left has been clamouring for New Zealand’s negotiators to reject the TPPA in its current form. But… ...
    1 hour ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • Today’s awful politicians
    by Redliners “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”… ...
    RedlineBy daphna
    18 hours ago
  • Not as much as it sounds
    According to TV3, the police are being inundated with OIA requests:Police are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of Official Information Act (OIA) requests which flood their offices every day, and some of their time-saving measures are now prompting… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Taxpayers condemned to a life sentence with Serco
    Public Service Association/Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) national secretary Erin Polaczuk and organisers Willie Cochrane & Nerinda Cropp will attend the privatisation protest outside Mt Eden Prison this Saturday, 1 August at 11am. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Journalism isn’t treason
    Back in February, German news website Netzpolitik.org published stories based on leaked documents showing that the domestic intelligence agency BfV was seeking additional funding to increase online surveillance and monitor social media. The German government's response? Investigate them for treason:Germany… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Questions in the House this week on TPPA.
    A busy time in the House this week with a lot of questions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. James Shaw asking John Key about the benefits to the ICT sector and the risks of investor-state dispute settlement and Andrew Little… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    20 hours ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    21 hours ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    21 hours ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    22 hours ago
  • The end of the unarmed police force
    Since forever, the New Zealand police have been arguing for more and better weapons with which to intimidate the public. And once again, they've got what they want:New Zealand police will now routinely carry Tasers, it has been announced. Police… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Navel Gazing with Toni Street – a lesson in trust.
    They should rename this cross: Navel Gazing with Toni Street A diet requires a variety of food groups.  Yet whenever healthy eating is discussed in the context of legislating for better food sources in our supermarkets, or a new study… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    24 hours ago
  • The Impotence Of Purity
    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    1 day ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    While rapid change is always possible in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui won’t improve much beyond the “appallingly bad” level currently being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Hone Harawira’s Open Letter to Barack Obama
    Press Release – Hone Harawira Heard you were able to get back to your dads turangawaewae last week. Mean hope you had a good catch up with the whanau. I also hear youre getting ready to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)
    Read into this what you will. ...
    2 days ago
  • Top 10 stories of the month – July 2015
    In case you missed something, here are our most read stories for the month.   1 - THE PENCILSWORD: WHO'S AFRAID OF THE TPPA? Laws are made to serve people, not profits, says Toby Morris. So what does… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Kick Out The Jams: Beatcomber
    Beatcomber are “a crazy, noisy, psychedelic, super-delayed, saturated, gear orientated, band from Wellington.” That’s how guitarist/vocalist Trent Williams describes them anyway. He says that he modelled his sound off surf music, which he was listening to a lot of when… ...
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   She's So Rad. The true cost of streaming: Spotify paid Kiwi band with five-star reviews and 90,000 streams just $130 – by Lydia Jenkin,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere