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(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

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    When asked by TVNZ who they believed – Kim Dotcom or John Key, an overwhelming number of people backed Kim over John…   Taking into account the bias of land lines opinion polls, that’s an extraordinary result and it’s a result that...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: Yet more changes at Radio NZ
      Paul Thompson is a man who can move mountains and in moving Radio NZ into another decade, he may have set off an avalanche – Chris Laidlaw retired and  replaced by Wallace Chapman, Geoff Robinson retired and replaced by Susie...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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