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Apparently the housing crisis surge is a figment of our imagination

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, May 24th, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: making shit up, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:


Nick Smith is on a roll.  Hard on the heels of his success in delivering 0.75% of the new homes he promised for Auckland he has declared that the surge in the housing crisis is a figment of our imagination.  Just as well he has failed so spectacularly to solve a problem that apparently is not getting worse.

From Newshub:

Housing Minister Nick Smith is calling the recent surge in homelessness a figment of people’s imagination.

The minister refuses to call New Zealand’s housing problems a crisis and says anyone suggesting the issue of people living in cars popped up overnight is dreaming.

“The idea that that suddenly happened in May 2016 is a figment of some people’s imagination.”

“These are long-term challenges.”

The comment is of course disingenuous.  A housing problem has existed for years.  But it is now well and truly a crisis and is getting far worse.  It is wrong to suggest otherwise.

Government policies are contributing to the crisis.  One recent example involves a hard line policy by Housing Corporation over the discovery of methamphetamine.  This has caused one woman to lose her home, even though it is not known when the contamination occurred, and the evidence may point to one time use of mephamphetamine in the premises by person or persons unknown.

The absurdity is that she is now staying in a motel with her family.  She is in debt to the tune of $60,000 to WINZ for Motel costs and by the time she serves her 12 month Housing Corp ban the cost will be over $100,000.  Barring extremely good fortune she will never pay it back.

As Russell Brown said, this is crazy.

And what should a Government do?  Well building a few houses would be a good start.

As pointed out by Shamubeel Eaqub using the accommodation supplement to fund interest on crown borrowing could raise a lot of money, enough to build lots and lots of houses.  But clearly the Government is not interested in solving the problem, lest landlords be affected or spiraling housing costs are slowed.

51 comments on “Apparently the housing crisis surge is a figment of our imagination ”

  1. Sabine 1

    Ghost Housing for Ghost Homeless People

    National, working for a brighter future. 2008
    National, working for NZ. 2011
    National, no Capital Gains Tax. 2014
    Naitonal, Tax Cuts. 2017

    National, can’t give a fuck since ages ago.

  2. save nz 2

    National has a policy to ship the poor out of housing especially in Auckland, which also helps them win elections.

  3. b waghorn 3

    nick smith ” its a figment of peoples imagination”
    key ” there is no crisis”
    bennett ” its a crisis for some” ( just today)

    The cracks are appearing

    • Richard Christie 3.1

      Smith’s hit on the perfect solution, ghost houses can be occupied by figments of the imagination.

      Somehow it all seems to fit together.

      • WILD KATIPO 3.1.1

        I prefer Sasquatch and the theory of interdimensionalism to get my cryptozoological rocks off TBH… as for mere idiots like Smith… he would do far better as one of the cast of Rose Red.

        As one of the inanimate stone gargoyles…

  4. roy cartland 4

    I think they’re playing the long game. They aren’t stupid or incompetent, just far more malevolent than we thought.

    They will string this out until the election, then when the government changes the crash will be so devastating that they will be re-elected out of all the confusion.

    “Oh look, we had house prices and ‘the economy’ stable, the moment the Greens/Lab/NZF get in it crashes!”

    So cynical but with the right propaganda it could work.

    • Jones 4.1

      I wouldn’t put it past them to engineer that… sonething like the transition between the Muldoon and Lange Governments in 1984.

    • That strategy is par for the course with National.

      It should be no surprise.

      Therefore archives should be kept readily accessible to refute that line of inevitable attack to show exactly who was responsible for the Left having to clean up after the mess of the far right wing fanatics.

      Nine long shitty years of it.

  5. Venezia 5

    Its sounding more and more like Alice In Wonderland! In spite of all the evidence Paula Benefit, John Key and Nick Smith have all denied the reality of the housing crisis recently. The truth is probably closer the the previous poster suggestion – the poor are being shipped out of areas with hot housing markets so they can be snapped up for quick capital gains by those who are of course the National Party donors and or core voter base!

  6. Apparently that is what Louis XVI said to his wife Marie Antoinette who responded with: “Quite so, why don’t they eat cake if he bread is sold out!

    We all know how that ended!

    • Glenn 6.1

      “According to biographer Antonia Fraser “Let them eat cake” did spring from the mouth of a real person, but it wasn’t Marie Antoinette. It was uttered by Marie-Therese the wife of Louis 14th a century before Marie Antoinette was born.”
      Amazing but False by David Diefendorf which I happened to be reading on this dark and dismal day.

  7. Jones 7

    This guy is unbelievable… I wish he was a figment of people’s imagination but unfortunately the impact of his incompetence is too real to ignore.

  8. Bill 8

    Just another detail to throw in the mix.

    If Housing New Zealand evict, they bar the person evicted from any housing New Zealand help for 12 months. And they evict more or less as a matter of course these days. It’s the ‘go to’ solution for tenancy issues because – easy.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      It’s the ‘go to’ solution for tenancy issues because – easy.

      So because one government department has been put under so much pressure to cut costs and return a dividend, they are making decisions that ultimately cost the government more in the long run.

      Sounds exactly the same as your glasses experience with WINZ. Complete economic stupidity, coupled with a lack of empathy.

      And that’s basically why I support left-wing governments and politics – because in the long-run, left-wing policies are ultimately cheaper than right-wing ones.

      • North 8.1.1

        Excellent LT. Your last paragraph. Not that the economics command me but if they did what a wonderful bonus – humanity one to another. How lovely a feeling is that ?!!

  9. Lanthanide 9

    I wish the media would report this as “Nick Smith admits this government hasn’t done enough for years to solve homelessness in this country”.

  10. Johan 10

    Nothing new from this do-nothing Tory gov’t.
    What’s this unsavoury speech delivery by Nick Smith?
    This “computer speak” by Smith, is that an attempt to hide his emotions? He always had problems with this aspect when questioned by reporters.

    • Wensleydale 10.1

      Smith has always seemed more reptilian than human. No matter how distressing the subject matter, he displays an uncanny ability to shrug and say, “Yes, but we’ve always had cripples, beggars and starving orphans. This is a long term societal issue.”

      Until people are camping on his lawn, I’ll doubt he’ll grasp the gravity of the situation.

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    so let’s take him on his word – this isn’t a new problem, the government has known it’s a long term problem for years

    Yes they’ve known about this and done NOTHING for years, what a disgusting pack of heartless plonkers – giving tax cuts to their rich mates on the backs of people living in cars

  12. mary_a 12

    Well there you are then. The word is out there. Prophet Nickolarse Smith has spoken, on behalf of his dear leader. We are getting carried away by our imagination! Beggars and homeless people living rough simply do not exist in the context we “imagine” them!

    Smith needs to come to Auckland more often. Then he can exercise his “imagination” with the rest of us JAFAs! I promise him it will go into overdrive!

    I wish Smith and his rotten lot of degenerate colleagues were figments of our imagination. If they were, NZ would be a much better and fairer place!

  13. Adrian 13

    The meth contamination problem is obviously real but nowhere have I seen the threshold at which ” contamination ” becomes injurious to habitation.
    If a one time user makes a place uninhabitable then this stuff is more toxic than Sarin, and I don’t believe that.
    Is this just a nasty scam to clear out ” less desirables” from state rental housing ?
    If so then that is so evil it defies belief.

    • Corokia 13.1

      Agreed. Where is the data on adverse health effects in people who are living where someone is, or has used meth? Is it worse than living in a cold, mouldy house? Surely there must be clear information out there? Maybe I’ve missed it.

    • Outdoor 13.2

      My thoughts entirely, I have done many house repairs in Chch & a few of them would be suspect, one even had the spoon on the stove but I never felt in any danger. The ruling class delighting in making things as difficult as possible for struggling kiwis is about the only explanation I can produce for the nonsensical so called safety based rules we have. The money trail that pays for the clean up could be worth investigating also.

    • millsy 13.3

      “Is this just a nasty scam to clear out ” less desirables” from state rental housing ?”

      I would say so, given the hysteria.

      It really seems that there seems to be no such thing as ‘due process’ when it comes to things like this.

      It is going to get to the point that you are going to have to pee in a cup every week to be able to keep your house.

  14. adam 14

    Just another failed Tory minister.

    How many times can this guy fail?

    Mind you, goes to show how little talent this national government have…

    • TC 14.1

      I dont believe he has failed, they encouraged this crises and are now flipping the bird when challenged.

      Working as designed.

      • Richardrawshark 14.1.1

        Yeah nah, for them to flip the bird requires just one of them to have a semblance of a backbone.

        No these gutless filthy lowlifes just sit back with smug grins on their faces and say no crisis, we build houses, everything’s sweet.

        Now that’s gutless when they know the damn truth mate.

        • North

          I feel your anger RRS. It’s abysmal and for so so so many innocents, our future, utterly traumatic what we’ve become ! No decent government would just hit the CT button and try to tough it out. They’d cry the heart out if there was a heart to be found amongst them. Bastards !

    • Richardrawshark 14.2

      It’s unbelievable isn’t it, in the private sector his references would be that shot he’d be labouring for a living. Provided they didn’t ask for references.

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    The statement made that there is no “crisis” is so offensive and out of whack with the reality I have nothing to say. I’ve spun out on spin.

  16. The minister refuses to call New Zealand’s housing problems a crisis…

    If you’re a property owner, it’s anything but a crisis, more like a totally awesome achievement by the current government. So if you’re a political party whose voter base consists to a great extent of property owners, no way are you going to call it a crisis. Now, if a Labour government had built so many houses that property prices and rents had fallen dramatically, property speculation was unprofitable and landlords were desperately selling up to try and avoid bankruptcy, that would be what National would consider a housing crisis.

    • TC 16.1

      Yup they have displayed a liking for disaster/crises economics, chch, acc and ecan being 3 examples.

      if its not a real crises they can always turn it into one thanks to their msm mates.

  17. What gets me is that you still think that these people are failing! They are immensely successful with their own agenda. More for themselves and less for everybody else. They are absolutely not interested in fairness or community. In fact if all of us died they would be perfectly fine with that. To them there are way to many of us!

  18. greywarshark 18

    I see your thumb, and raise you two. Up you Nick Smith, you old pirate.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Ahhhh Nick Smith better get reined in by his handlers in a hurry, this is the kind of out of touch comment which gets the electorate mad at an incumbent government.

    • North 19.1

      Very true CV. His dysfunction/snobbery/entitlement has run away with him. He’s a bloody idiot like off some 70s british thing on the tele’.

  20. Anne 20

    Good questioning by Andrew Little and Metiria Turei today. Question no 1. It had the appearance of ‘co-operation’ between the two parties.


    JK not his usual ebullient self. In fact he looks quite pissed off especially towards the end – having to cover for the Nick Smith Blunder Bus?

  21. Richardrawshark 21

    National Strategy -Deny there’s a problem when asked. Collectively stick heads up backsides.

    • North 21.1

      How hilarious ! Tolley on Checkpoint saying all this stuff about being humanly decent and there are children etc etc etc. What a crock ! She and those other whacked-out Antionettes have made a career outa crapping on poor women and their children.

      Knock me down…….now Tolley’s talking like decent hearts did years ago. Bullshit though. It’s not theirs to lecture everyone about what must be done.

      Get a heart Tolley. Order no repayment for motels. Cancel the proposed limitation to one week for duration of emergency accommodation.

      Do something ! (Yes, yes we’ll acknowledge that you the Aintoinettes and Key have lovely hearts PS for a consideration we’ll delete Key).

  22. Sacha 22

    Smith is just one of the useful idiots in the current cabinet. Book-smart but easily led and practically clueless. He is doing exactly what Joyce, English and the party’s backers want done.

  23. Macro 23

    Of course it is just all in the Imagination! Why John and Paula and Judith and Bill and even Maggie! all have houses! I have a house, so what are you talking about housing crisis?

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