Bravo Clare Curran

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, July 21st, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: housing, labour, leadership - Tags: , , ,

I’ve only just found out about this, or I would have written about it sooner:

Making stand for homeless

Moral judgements are not all that helpful when deciding who gets a house, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says. “The bottom line is people need somewhere to live”.

Since Sunday night Ms Curran has been camping in the Octagon to protest against the Ministry of Social Development’s treatment of homeless Dunedin mothers Kylie Taggart (30) and Amy Stuart (25). She said she planned to stay in the Octagon until both women had a place to live. …

Last night:

Dunedin MP ends homelessness campaign as women move into houses

Ms Curran said one of the women has today been given a private rental house and the other looks likely to get one too. She said it was not a perfect outcome because generous private landlords had to step in where the state would not, but the situation was good enough for her to pack up and go home. …

Bravo Clare Curran for putting yourself on the line to draw attention to homelessness.


Photo ODT / STEPHEN JAQUIERY

48 comments on “Bravo Clare Curran”

  1. Thank goodness for gutsy people and MP’s such as Clare Curran.

    However , – much of this discomfit and angst could be avoided if political party’s stepped up to the stump and started putting under the spotlight the origin and root causes of why we find ourselves today in these atrocious conditions …

    The 1991 ‘ Mother of all Budgets ‘ , – rammed through by the then Finance Minister of the National party , – Ruth Richardson.

    And then after that ?

    Take appropriate measures to dismantle much of the effects it has had on our society.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Historically there was a fair bit of good analysis here at The Standard on Richardson’s bloody minded disaster. If it’s Douglas’ image I print on every roll of toilet paper in the house, it’s Richardson’s who decorates the dart board.

      Crucially it was never really understood by the public that Richardson asked for the numbers from Treasury around what minimum incomes were needed for a household to sustain themselves. With nothing left over.

      Then the bitch deliberately set benefits 20% lower than this. She intentionally pitched a whole generation of kids into poverty.

      If you think the b-word a bit strong, keep in mind she then very quickly left politics, not having the guts to defend her actions, and swanned about the rest of her career in a number of very cosy directorships.

      • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1

        … ” If you think the b-word a bit strong, keep in mind she then very quickly left politics, not having the guts to defend her actions, and swanned about the rest of her career in a number of very cosy directorships ” …

        Personally I prefer the words :

        REPROBATE
        ˈrɛprəbeɪt/Submit
        noun
        1.
        an unprincipled person.
        “he had to present himself as more of a lovable reprobate than a spirit of corruption”
        synonyms: rogue, rascal, scoundrel, good-for-nothing, villain, wretch, unprincipled person, rake, profligate, degenerate, debauchee, libertine;

        And :

        SUBVERSIVE
        səbˈvəːsɪv/Submit
        adjective
        1.
        seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.
        “subversive literature”
        synonyms: disruptive, troublemaking, inflammatory, insurgent, insurrectionary, insurrectionist, rabble-rousing

        When it comes to a term of reference for both Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson. And it is amazing that subsequent political party’s have not sought to overturn the destruction they together both caused. I can only theorize that they too , secretly agree with what they did and have no desire to redress this destruction.

      • Cricklewood 1.1.2

        I just cant fathom why Helen Clarks government didnt undo this when it had the political capital and opportunity… its not like National would ever do more than make adjustmemts to keep up appearnaces

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          I had the chance to ask Michael Cullen this one on one over a beer. His answer encapsulated the strangle-hold neo-liberalism held over acceptable public discourse at the time.

          I do believe Clark and Cullen would have personally moved much further than they did, but there were hard boundaries on how far they could. Just look at the massive speed wobble over the Seabed and Foreshore debacle to see what I mean.

          • marty mars 1.1.2.1.1

            cowardliness springs to mind – both for doing nothing and when doing something, making it worse – the shit from the foreshore and seabed is still falling on labour.

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Maybe, but you’re not telling the whole story when you leave out Brash’s role and that damned Orewa speech. There is your root cause.

              By continuing to blame Labour only, it’s handed Brash a second-hand victory for decades after.

              PS: We are rather hijacking this thread….

              • No that was a catalyst I think. The cause much deeper. My point is that clark and cullen got scared because of the noise the gnats had stirred up around race relations. They blinked and let so many people down – begat two new political parties and sullied their reputations in many quarters – see clark getting non endorsed during her recent UN bid. The fallout from their weakness has cost labour and the left dearly – but oh well, dear leaders are always loved aren’t they.

                Edit – okay good point I won’t say anything else.

                Thank you Clare for your work on this issue.

          • Anne 1.1.2.1.2

            You are spot on Redlogix. They wanted to move more quickly and cover a far wider field – especially in a social context – but were constrained by the voting public who had been thoroughly brainwashed by the neolibs who went before them. It was a case of… doing a little bit at a time. That is why Clark wanted that fourth term so badly… to try and finish the job.

      • Anne 1.1.3

        If you think the b-word a bit strong,…

        No. We readily call out disagreeable males as ‘bastards’ and ‘bitch’ is merely the female equivalent. Sometimes they can be more dangerous than their male counterparts because their venomous behaviour is often clandestine by nature and therefore harder to identify. I can speak with personal experience so not even the word ‘bitch’ is a strong enough word to describe them for me. 🙂

        • Hanswurst 1.1.3.1

          Actually, there’s no gender-based reason not to call a woman a bastard. “Bitch” is not the female equivalent (Bastard is gender-neutral), but a completely unrelated word.

          • Anne 1.1.3.1.1

            You may be correct Hanswurst and, setting aside other definitions for both words, ‘bastard’ has come to be used as a description pertaining to males of dubious quality and ‘bitch’ pertaining to females of equally dubious quality. They may not have started out as such, but they are now widely acceptable meanings for both words.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    I’m surprised it happened so quickly. I thought she would be there for at least a few weeks.

  3. James 3

    I bet she would not have don’t this if there wasn’t an election around the corner.

    • And I’ll bet you wouldn’t have written that unless there was either.

    • Gristle 3.2

      Hi James,

      Over the last few months every time I see your name come up in a thread I scroll down until your presence vanishes. I am sure that this type reaction is neither your intention nor the intention of the people who run The Standard.

      Solutions:
      1, You improve the quality and style of your posts
      2. Banned
      3. Me continue to ignore you.

      • james 3.2.1

        Personally – I do not care what you do with my post.

        I know that sometimes an opposing view is challenging – but feel free to ignore them and read what you want to read.

        • OncewasTim 3.2.1.1

          You and your ilk ride on the idea that you’re offering an ‘alternate view’ @James. Whereas it’s simply that you delight in being contrary.

    • Paul Campbell 3.3

      you know she’s the local MP she’s supposed to step up and work for her constituents, I bet you’d complain if she didn’t too

      Our local National MP, photos all over town, is never seen working for local people, whenever people try and get him to do stuff he blows them away claim conflicts of interests with being a cabinet minister

    • McFlock 3.4

      ISTR reading in the paper that she’s participated in the local “Sleepout” for the night shelter.

      So your bet might be of doubtful return.

    • Doubtless, James, you feel the same way about National’s last-minute pouring of money into every imaginable, previously neglected, issue throughout the country.
      I expect you’ll preface your comments on each of these examples of largess with;
      “I bet she they would not have don’t this if there wasn’t an election around the corner.

    • Incognito 3.6

      The fact is that she did do it.

      About one million people can’t even be bothered to lift a pen and tick two boxes on a piece of paper once every three years.

    • Molly 3.7

      I bet those homeless she camped next to wouldn’t have been there if they weren’t… homeless.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    Thank you for this item. We know there are good people including politians, putting pressure on the government, and that not all landlords are self serving.
    These women are the reminder of their sisters and bothers still looking.

  5. red-blooded 5

    Claire has been camping out since last Sunday, which is actually quite a commitment. It’s worth noting that the two young women she was trying to help were both mothers (so young kids were also homeless in the cold Dunedin winter) and one was pregnant. I think we should congratulate her on a gutsy action that draws attention to a bigger problem while directly helping constituents in need.

    • Willy Wilson 5.1

      Actually the reason these women can’t find a rental is deliberate damage to property, rent arrears in the $thousands
      Perhaps people need to respect properties they rent and pay rent before anything else.
      Just saying

      [If you’re going to make supposedly factual accusations, you need to back them up. Just saying.

      Ms Curran said the women deny claims of antisocial behaviour. ”Like anyone who’s looking for a state house, often they’re finding it difficult in the private sector because they’ve got bad credit, that sort of thing. ”This is absolute character assassination. The ministry here seems to want to demonise these two particular women.”My blood chills at how heartless and negligent the state is behaving towards these two young women.”

      ]- Bill

      • Dazzer 5.1.1

        “Documents obtained by Checkpoint show landlords have taken the two women to the tenancy tribunal six times for not paying rent and damaging property.”

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201851516/dunedin-mp-camps-out-in-octagon-to-highlight-homelessness

        There are grossly nonfactual comments supporting the women that go completely unchecked but then you hold the whistle you get to blow it.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          I’m assuming the “you hold the whistle, you get to blow it’ is a reference to the mod note I dropped into Willy’s comment.

          You’ve given a linked back-up for the statements in the original comment that Willy didn’t bother to provide. That’s all good.

          The point is that making unsubstantiated claims in the form of stating purported facts (as Willy did) can be hugely problematic on a number of fronts, especially but not only if they’re false. I’ll leave you to think through what some of those problems might be.

  6. Zane 6

    “Homeless” is a bit of a stretch – they werent out on the street or sleeping in their car. They were provided motel accommodation that the state is paying for (yes they have to slowly back pay it, which they should).

    I hope that these private landlords keep everyone up to date with the condition of their properties going forward, and don’t get burned like all the others have done. Time for the woman to prove their worth, step up and start looking after themselves!

    • fuck in zane

      yeah pay it back – fuck that is costing me heaps via my tax – I’ve had to bloody pay 0.0001 cent for this shit – where will this end, when will it end – why not think about the hard working stiffs having to fork out for what? So some kids and families can have a home that is warm over winter – COME ON – get the priorities right – I will not carry these families much more – it’s not fair that they get stuff and what about me? What do I get eh?

      //sarcy

      “This is the car at the edge of the road,
      There’s nothing disturbed, all the windows are closed,
      I guess you were right, when we talked in the heat,
      There’s no room for the weak, no room for the weak,

      Where will it end? Where will it end?
      Where will it end? Where will it end?”

    • weka 6.2

      ““Homeless” is a bit of a stretch”

      No, it’s not. Homeless is when you don’t have a home. Temporary accommodation in a motel is shelter, not a home. You don’t have to be on the street in order to be homeless.

    • You’re a one, Zane!
      Get down there and join Clare Curran in her protest and show that you’re more than just a shallow troll. Let us know how you felt on day two.

    • Incognito 6.4

      Inzane!

  7. Now when I was a young – un , I read a book on William Booth and his family and how the Salvation Army came into being. It was a short wee book but kind of interesting all the same.

    If I recall Booth worked in the East end of London in 1865 . There they ministered in practical terms to people who did not have any social welfare in those days. The people were homeless , they were alcohol addicted at the age of 5 , they suffered from nutrition related disease and overcrowding and unemployment , – caused largely by the effects of the Industrial revolution and Great Britain’s total monopoly of a free market system ( think the East India Trading Company etc .. ) …

    One hundred and fifty two years later , MP Clare Curran undertakes campaigning on behalf of two women with small children who are homeless , in a country where large numbers are homeless , makes getting any social welfare assistance whatsoever extremely hard, where substance addiction is rife , and many suffer the effects of poor nutrition – related disease , overcrowding and unemployment , – caused largely by New Zealand’s neo liberal political party’s with their New Zealand Initiative’s total corporate monopoly of a free market system ( think the Employment Contracts Act and the Mother of all Budgets etc… ) …

    Tell me then , … what has changed ?

  8. Heather Grimwood 8

    to WK at 7: Nothing’s changed , but thank goodness there are enough folk like Clare who have compassion, insight, and love towards those in need. To sleep in a tent in Dunedin’s Octagon was not a comfortable exercise by any means and I for one am mightily glad her vigil has ended. She will presently no doubt be attending to imminent flooding problems in her South Dunedin electorate. I admire her immensely for her stance in supporting these young women constituents,WK, and hopefully Clare’s example will help accelerate the change so sorely needed.

    • For sure. My point was that not a lots changed, that these perverted sociopaths are still pulling strings, that we gave away our social democracy and our Keynesian economics and our high standards of living when we gave in to Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson.

      We went backwards in time to the point MP’s like Clare Curran have to even do this sort of thing to raise awareness and help out people that should never , ever have been subjected to these conditions in the first place.

  9. Heather Grimwood 9

    Couldn’t agree more WK (8.1)

  10. Ad 10

    You mean “brava”.

  11. adam 11

    So one of the laziest and condescending MP’s I’ve ever met, is actually doing somthing for once, not much mind.

    But, got here picture in the paper – so must be an election coming up…

  12. savenz 12

    Good on her for this, but she hasn’t been good on TPPA…

  13. clare curran 13

    Thanks for the post and the comments. I’ve only just seen it.
    What my five days in the Octagon taught me was that the homeless issue is much bigger than I had thought and that almost everyone who interacts with Work and Income (or CYFs) has a terrible experience, whether as a beneficiary or a superannuitant. The cultrue of punitive accusatory behaviour towards people in need is very entrenched. The two women I advcoated for certainly had issues in their lives. I did not cast judgements because I saw their need for a roof over their head (and their children). No matter what they had done they deserved and needed that. It was WINZ that demonised them by focussing on anti-social behaviours while in emergency accommodation (motels) such as the spillage of a glass of red cordial on the floor by a child. Motels (where people are trying to run a business) are not appropriate places for people in dire circumstances who need services supporting them and not demonising them. Previous tenancy issues exist. But there are circumstances alongside each one. Neithr women were blameless but they owned up to those things and had their personal lives exposed all over social media and mainstream media. I feel responsible for that and it’s a big call to take public action on behalf of individuals.
    And yes there’s an election coming up and yes I am a politician. Politics is what I do. Representation is what I am supposed to do. Absolutely no apology for standing up and taking direct action. Politicians should do it more. I had wonderful support from random people who came and slept beside me, who kept vigil through the night and by the last night there was a line of cars with homeless people sleeping in them up behind me. Let’s not stop. Let’s keep taking action outside all those empty state houses in our city. Outside Work and Income and Housing NZ. Let’s not stop until we have social housing that amtches the need. Until the culture of ugliness changes and people are treated with respect and dignity. Please get involved.

    • weka 13.1

      Great comment Clare, thanks.

      That would make the basis of a good post. Problem is that Labour generally are taking a pounding on the left for not standing up. I know you probably can’t get into this here, and I’m sure Labour are aware of the degree of frustration from lefties, but it’s the kind of thing you just posted that people need to hear from Labour, across the board. You probably can’t change policy this close to the election, but the passion and commitment needs to come through more clearly. Much more clearly. We need the party to pick a side and then make it clear what it is.

  14. Sabine 14

    thank you.

    + a million.

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