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Affordable Housing: the way forward?

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, October 7th, 2012 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, Annette King, campaigning, housing, poverty, Public Private Partnerships, thinktank, welfare - Tags:

There is increasing concern about New Zealand’s housing situation, with an escalation in homelesssness, people living in substandard conditions, and the lack of sufficient affordable housing stock (especially in Auckland and Christchurch). The government claims to have a plan, but so far there’s little noticeable improvement in the situation.  Labour MP Annette King claims that single women have been particularly hit hard by the housing shortage. Urgent action is needed, but it’s also necessary to have a plan and vision of affordable housing.

As reported on Stuff website this morning. Some are asking for solutions, action and leadership from the government, such as those advocating for the homeless.

Lifewise general manager John McCarthy and Dr Cathy Casey, chair of Auckland Council’s social and community development forum, are scathing in their assessment of the treatment of the most vulnerable.

They say New Zealand’s response to homelessness lags behind other developed countries: there are no official numbers, there is no legislation, there is no national strategy and there is no funding.

“It’s homelessness in all its guises. It is people living in garages, in cars, having 20 family members living in one room – homelessness is a New Zealand problem so the Government must be involved in it,” Casey told the Sunday Star-Times. “They can start by having a strategy, having a plan or having some legislation that says people have the right to a warm, secure, safe home.”

A report (Home and Housed: A Vision for Social Housing in New Zealand) was requested by the ministers of housing and finance and completed in April 2010.  It concludes that the way forward is to encourage third party involvement in building and providing housing.  They envisioned that this would include public, private, non-government sectors and iwi working together. But have they come up with the best plan, and if so, what is the government doing to implement it?

Meanwhile, others are trying to find their own solutions.  An concerned citizens group in Wellington announced last week they were conducting a think tank on the issue. Organiser Barry Thomas said:

“Already we have designers, artists, social thinkers, people, architects, developers and community housing advocates, lining up alongside experts in homelessness and people who have experienced and are experiencing homelessness in the common cause of taking some tangible leadership and action.

Speaking at the Day of Action on Welfare Reform on Friday, John Minto said there was a National Day of Action on Housing planned for November 7.  People will travel from around NZ for a protest in Wellington on that day.

What are the best ways to campaign for more affordable housing, and are new ideas needed, or is the solution obvious – just get off our butts and build more houses?

[Update: Government about to unveil plan for cheap housing]

According to an article on the front page of the Business section of today’s Sunday Star Times (and buried in the Auckland section of the Stuff website):

The government is close to announcing policies that would free up city-fringe and more central ‘brownfields’ sites for residential development in an effort to cut the cost of housing.

How “close” is “close to announcing”? I’m hoping this includes more state housing, but I fear it may be more focused on the low-end private rental market and/or involve PPPs. And I’m not keen on the idea of housing for low income people being marginalised on the city fringes. How much time and money would it cost workers to get to their jobs, and beneficiaries to get to job interviews?  And, in Auckland, it’s just likely to increase the urban sprawl, unless they build up instead of outwards.

“Brownfields” are under-used or un-used industrial sites, possibly containing industrial waste.  I hoe this is not going to be some cheap option with low regulations, setting us up for ‘leaky homes: episode II?

28 comments on “Affordable Housing: the way forward?”

  1. millsy 1

    We need more state houses — plain and simple.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Which would create a lot of jobs, co-incidentally.

      • KJT 1.1.1

        Affordable State housing.

        Worked before.

        Could help keep housing prices realistic also.

        Though I prefer people have to rent to own, rather than just renting.

        Rental and housing subsidies, to third parties, just drive overall prices up

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Though I prefer people have to rent to own, rather than just renting.

          Personally, I see no point in owning a house.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Stable long term rental agreements like that available in many parts of the world would be ideal. Many working and middle class people in Europe never own their own home nor do they need to.

        • Young and Dumb 1.1.1.2

          I think that if people are willing to pay to rent a house they should have to pay less than a mortgage.

          It is slightly unfair to limit what people can and can’t do with their own property, e.g. rent it to somebody,

          However as I am in the stage where I am looking for a place to rent it seems as many landlords are taking advantage of people where we may be paying around 8% of the value of the property annually is just as unfair

  2. captain hook 2

    yes but then thee would be no losers and the tories could not drive round looking down their noses at the peasants.

    • KJT 2.1

      Didn’t think of that.
      Maybe we should just make people poorer so they drag the RWNJ’s out of their cars and rob them at street lights. Like many countries were there is no social insurance.

      Unfortunately it will not be just them who suffer.

      May make them think about why we should have a fair society.
      Why all those Indians and Chinese want to come here.

  3. A very real concern – Thanks for highlighting it Karol.

    Out here in the country it is difficult too. For instance at Tata Beach about 15 people live permanently over winter. The 150 houses or so sit empty until the happy holiday makers arrive in summer or they rent them out at minimum $150 a night per person. A lot of people in the bay live in difficult conditions. Here at least there is not a shortage of houses – just a shortage of smart thinking. That thinking would assess where the empty houses are and put deserving families in them. Shit I’m sure they would tidy up before they move to their shed for summer. So like food it seems a distribution issue (at least here) which is very real issue especially in this twisted society we find ourselves living in.

  4. s y d 4

    Phew, affordable housing, it’s a problem alright. I’m afraid that the ‘house’ is no longer about all the things that we once may have considered it to be (shelter, home, a sense of place and belonging) but more a vehicle for selling debt, a way to inflate supposed wealth (while slashing real incomes) and a means to make money for nothing. The house has become another consumerist product, and the whole ‘housing market’ is a three dimsensional triangular shaped scheme whereby the already wealthy obtain massive subsidies from ratepayers to increase the base of their pyramids.

    Hence we have former national party MP’s and current ACT members parading themselves as champions of affordable housing.

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/32405-building-bobs-dream.html

    Makes me want to weep or laugh or give up or something….I’m working in this crazy system and the only way I could see for people to have affordable housing is to step right outside the current ‘housing’ system and build their own places to live..only thats illegal!!!

  5. tc 5

    Affordability is an interesting aspect. We have a concentration of the supply industry in the hands of too few players profiteering their fat arses off, mainly Fletchers with a near monopoly in steel, roofing and a stranglehold on concrete, gib etc

    Another epic fail of rebshockers reign was the rubber stamping of Fletchers acquisition of stevensons precast business, crane group etc etc which they are now flicking the non core ( read non duopoly oligopoly segments) to strangle the supply side even more.

    To quote my architect who has built in Europe and travels back regularly, ‘why is it so expensive to build in this country with all these forests, stone and other raw materials already here…’ that would be that free market the NACT worship
    wouldn’t it.

    Syd is right, the only way to be affordable for most is step outside as most councils are arseholes to deal with. Try and build an earth ship(cheap, solid, proven and centuries old) and discover how much of a struggle that us.

    • KJT 5.1

      Don’t know if it is still the case, but I priced a house from NZ materials bought in Australia and freighted here, some time ago. It was a lot cheaper.

  6. Jenny 6

    Here in Papakura state houses are left to stand empty sometimes for months.

    Why is that?

  7. Young and Dumb 7

    They should just sell the empty state houses in more valuable areas at market rate and use the money to build more state houses. 

    Maybe the government should start a scheme where people living in state houses can rent to buy their homes over a long period of time, but only ONCE.

    This would give these tenants something to call their own as well as actually look after.

    Recently my company has acquired some contracts for maintenance work on many Housing New Zealand Properties and can I tell you guys there are some drastically different standards that tenants keep their houses to

    The retirement housing complexes are usually kept impeccable by the people who leave there. Everyday I’m there I see them wandering around, tending to their gardens or cleaning.

    However at the properties where younger tenants are the condition is shocking. Nobody there is at work and theyre all just sitting around watching us work. Maybe they could use the time they have to look after the property that is being supplied to them at a heavily discounted rate.

    This just really annoys me and makes me think that maybe if they were to own their own properties they would look after it better, otherwise nothing can be done for these people and they are truly their own worst enemies. 

    • tracey 7.1

      My father has access to info about middle class andxwealthier renters. Folks paying $800+ a week for two bed apartments. They show little or no respect too. The homes are constantly requiring carpet replacements for wine stained carpets never cleaned and so on. To paint poor tenancy as a feature of poorer folk only is be blissfully ignorant of thevtruth about most tenants.

      • Young and Dumb 7.1.1

        Yes they are paying $800 a week of their own money, in which they will have to pay to repair the damage and to be honest they have the right to do say as they are not in accommodation that is being subsidised by the taxpayer and then trash it.

        You are correct poor tenancy is not a feature of poorer folk, however not being able to pay for the damage you do as a tenant is a feature of poorer folk.

        People living in state houses or any other government subsidised housing should be grateful and take care of it, just as any of us would be if somebody offered to allow us to stay in their house at a very cheap rate.

        Shelter is a fundamental need however it is not good that people take advantage of it and have no respect for it.

        And before this goes on, I am well aware that poor people make good tenants as well, unfortunately it is the minority ruining it for the majority where social housing is concerned.

        • millsy 7.1.1.1

          “Yes they are paying $800 a week of their own money, in which they will have to pay to repair the damage and to be honest they have the right to do say as they are not in accommodation that is being subsidised by the taxpayer and then trash it.”

          So its OK to trash a rental property as long as (a) youre rich, and (b), you pay for the damage

          HNZ probably chase tenants for damages more than a private landlord will/does.

    • mike e 7.2

      Well the positive is that you wouldn’t have any work if the places were looked after.
      A large portion of HNZ tenants have serious issues that in a thin labour market make it difficult to find work !
      Its very easy to be judgemental when your not in that situation.

  8. tracey 8

    This announcement is a smokescreen for overriding the auckland district plan and central govt giving the greenlight to developers and slacking of consent processes…

    • karol 8.1

      tracey, are you referring here to the article in today’s Sunday Star Times?  The one I just linked to in an update to my post above?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        More stupidity from this government – Auckland is already too sprawled out. Those homes will only be cheap to buy – More sprawl costs more to live in. And, as you say, we’ll probably end up with another round of leaky homes but NACTs backers will make a killing on them and then be found to be unaccountable.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          DTB:  ACTs backers will make a killing on them



          I wondered why the article was in the business section… tipping business people work is coming their way? 
           
          When I was out today (it being a work day for me), I spotted the headline on the front page, saying the full article was in the business section.

  9. captain hook 9

    of course affordable housing is the way to go but this government will not tolerate uniformity and the economies of oversight and regulation.
    they leave it to the market to ratchet up the price of everything just so consumers can kid themselves that they are free because they have a choice.
    its little peoples rules.

  10. Lindsey 10

    HNZ has a lot of older properties that could be re-worked to get more land efficiency. Most HNZ tenants these days do not want 600m2 sections (except for my Ethiopian friends who have every inch in corn and chillies). They could do much more of this in Auckland in a similar way to Talbot Park in GI. I was in Onehunga today where there seemed to be streets of HNZ 2br houses and duplexes on much bigger plots than needed.

  11. kiwi_prometheus 11

    “Labour MP Annette King claims that single women have been particularly hit hard by the housing shortage.”

    She does not, Karol ->

    “..the growing number of homeless New Zealand women…Social agencies are now reporting single women – of any age – are sleeping in cars, couch surfing and in short term boarding houses. They are desperate for housing.”

    She talks about a “growing number”, so why do you believe that is “particular” or women are getting it worse than men.

    You don’t believe there is a growing number of homeless single men? Are they not “sleeping in cars, couch surfing and in short term boarding houses.”

    Or is it you just don’t care, after all they are only males, right. If its females then it is important.

    “Building today for women in the future”.

    Imagine if a party Housing spokesperson titled an article “Building today for men in the future”?

    The shrieks of hypocritical outrage from the fembots. 🙄

    • karol 11.1

      Oh dear oh dear K-P. On your little high horse again. A bit sensitive to anyone who highlights issues for women, aren’t you? Most of my article on welfare reform has been about hardships of “people” on benefits. Ditto for my post here on housing – one sentence on the issue for women. Are you only interested when it’s totally about the menz?

      Yes, the numbers of homeless are still higher for men, at least amongst the most visibly homeless. But the fact that there is a rise in the numbers of homeless women, even amongst the most visibly so, is of concern. It is an emerging phenomenon, indicating the current tough economic circumstances are impacting more on women now than previously.
       
      The other issue is that I think a lot of homelessness amongst women may be less visible than for men. Consequently it needs highlighting and monitoring. Women are less likely than men to take to the streets.  Also this emerging phenomenon for women is being seen amongst single middle class women, not just the least well-off.  This points to the fact the situation for men and women may be slightly different.
       
      The evidence of this emerging problem for women also backs up the experiences amongst people I know.  Amongst women I know, we have noted that several of our female friends and acquaintances have a housing problem.  They are not sleeping in the streets, but couch-surfing, or staying with friends.  But they are on the look out for rental accommodation, which they are having difficulty finding. Most are in the 30s-50s age bracket, have profession jobs and/or tertiary education.  We have not seen this amongst men I know.
       
      Here’s what Annette King said about this issue in the General Debate on 19 September:
       

      One of them has to be the cost and the availability of housing for single women. There has been a rise in the homelessness of women. Women are sleeping rough in the streets not just in the big cities of Auckland and Wellington but in places like Nelson. The warning signals are being sent out by those social agencies right now. They are the people who are on the street and who are seeing what is happening day by day. For decades we have had homelessness amongst men. We have accommodated them in night shelters. But now we have a new problem emerging: homelessness amongst single women of all ages. In fact, the problem has got so big in Nelson that the Salvation Army is undertaking a major piece of work to focus on why single women are becoming homeless and what plans it could have for housing in the future. It has found increasing numbers of single women are sleeping in cars, are couch surfing, or are in short-term hostels.

      One of the reasons it has found is housing affordability. It is getting worse. There are fewer low-income homes available. Here in Wellington there is a growing number of homeless women, and it is being put down once again to the cost of housing, a housing shortage, and a lack of jobs. Contrary to the popular belief, many of these people are well-educated women. They are not the stereotypical dropouts or checkouts of society that some people may think.

      • kiwi_prometheus 11.1.1

        “A bit sensitive to anyone who highlights issues for women, aren’t you?’

        Is that what you call it, “highlighting”. Whereas if a male spokesperson for Housing were to title a speech “Building today for men in the future”, imagine the pandemonium amongst the fembots – “racist, sexist PIG!”.

        “a lot of homelessness amongst women may be less visible than for men. ”

        Like domestic violence against men is [ not may be ] less visible than for women. But do feminists demand more tax payer money to “highlight” and “monitor” this? No, because they are fixated with themselves as eternal victims of villainous men.

        “Yes, the numbers of homeless are still higher for men…a rise in the numbers of homeless women…is of concern.”

        Oh, so now women haven’t been harder hit, its still men who suffer most as usual, but the rise is “of concern”.

        But then you use anecdote to try to prove women are getting it worse than men.

        “Most are in the 30s-50s age bracket, have profession jobs and/or tertiary education. We have not seen this amongst men I know.”

        You don’t know any men obviously, except maybe the gay ones you enjoy playing fag hag to, but then they are more like honorary females, no? Otherwise you would be well aware how many men lose their home to the ex, who concocts baseless accusations of ‘child abuse’ to block access to his children and thereby allow her to demand more maintenance money off him.

        Leaving him homeless and impoverished.

        And the Left cant figure out why it trails way behind the Right amongst men voters. 🙄

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          *sigh* This again: No, because they are fixated with themselves as eternal victims of villainous men.

          Get a clue, k-p.  If you read my posts, you will see my main targets as the “villains” are capitalists, wealth-hoarders, the powerful elites, and NAct.  One mention of women specifically. And off you go.
           
          And I’d be careful about directing personal insults against a Standard author if I was you… there are rules. You clearly know nothing about my social milieu.

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  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago