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Building our future

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 10th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, housing, jobs, john key, Keynes - Tags: ,

Facing a housing shortage in Auckland now and a massive rebuilding programme in Christchurch to come, the Government has announced the biggest public building initiative since World War 2. Thousands of unemployed young people will be paid to train as apprentices in building trades and contribute to their country’s future.

The Building Our Future initiative will fund apprenticeships for several thousand young Kiwis who will get their training, first, in assisting with the construction of 5,000 new State Houses in Auckland and then in replacing and repairing the multitude of homes that have been ruined by the Christchurch earthquake.

Prime Minister John Key explained:

“Christchurch is going to be a massive rebuilding job, totally outside the capacity of New Zealand’s existing building industry workforce to complete in any reasonable timeframe on top of existing demand. We could go overseas to try to find builders but that carries with it additional complications and the wages would flow offshore. It just makes more sense to take some of the 67,000 unemployed people below 24 years of age in this country and not only give them something to do and a way to earn some money but valuable skills and work experience for the future, and a chance to be part of building that future.

It’s going to be about 18 months until rebuilding really gets underway in Christchurch, Gerry will talk more about that, but there’s a housing shortage in Auckland right now. Rents are shooting up because not enough houses are being built due to the recession. And, I’ll admit we didn’t help by canceling nearly all the funding for new State House construction in the last Budget. Only 5,000 new dwellings have been consented in the past two years in Auckland, which is about half the rate needed to keep up with population growth.

So, the government will step in with the apprentice programme and a joint operation with Fletchers to build 5,000 State Houses in Auckland by the middle of next year. Obviously, these houses will be built to get the best value for money now and in the future by being constructed to meet stringent health and energy-efficiency standards. With that training under the apprentices’ belts, the focus will turn to Christchurch where the Crown/Fletchers venture will lead the construction of new sub-divisions and replacement homes.

We’re setting aside some extra money for this project but with insurance payments, State House rents, and the money saved by not having these people on the dole, we think it will work out pretty revenue neutral.

It’s kind of appropriate that we’re working in partnership with Fletchers in this. Like every major Kiwi company, Fletchers got big thanks to the government. James Fletcher designed the State Housing plan with the First Labour Government and Fletchers built the houses. When Fletchers made a loss, the government underwrote its debt allowing it to grow to what it is today. Today, as then, Fletchers and the government stand side by side to build the homes of future generations and provide jobs to the young people of today.”

The ‘Building Our Future’ initiative is just part of the ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ announced today by Prime Minister John Key and Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee in Christchurch. The Roadmap also includes:

  • Neighbourhood by neighbourhood target dates for the restoration of utilities.
  • A target date for when announcements will be made on any houses or areas that need to be abandoned because of quake damage. This comes with a check-list that geo-engineers will be working off to assess the viability of land and a guarantee that announcements will be made to affected communities in person by the Minister.
  • A step by step flowchart sent to each household in the quake-zone showing how, depending on their house’s circumstances, they will be restored to normality – whether that’s minor repairs, total reconstruction, or relocation to a new house and property, and in what approximate timeframe they can expect these steps to take place. This will give families a chance to trace out their future.

Brownlee said:

“We can only give a rough set of dates for the time being and dates may move around but we feel it is very important that people know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that they have some idea of how long it will take to get there. Knowledge is power. It simply wouldn’t be good enough for me to make ominous and vague pronouncements from afar like ‘you might not know for three months whether we’re tearing down your house’. Look, there’s bad news on the way for a lot of families out there that but we want you to know that these are all steps to a brighter future and the government will walk that path beside you. We have a plan and we are sharing that plan with you.”

In other news, Prince William has canceled his visit to Christchurch and, instead, bought 200 Portaloos and sent them by plane. “I just thought the people would appreciate something that would actually make a difference in their lives” said the second in line to the throne.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Nah. Not really.

As Phil Goff revealed yesterday, Christchurch building companies are currently laying off staff and over 3,400 building industry workers leaving the country in the past year, including 350 just in January. Yet Key says the market will take care of providing all the building trades people – they’ll magically appear when demand picks up and he has no intention of increasing training or working to make sure we hold on to our skilled workers. And English defends cutting apprenticeships funding.

Eastern Suburbs residents say its not the conditions that they’re living in that is the problem but not knowing when it will end or how they will move forward. Brownlee says ‘I’ll tell you what’s going to happen to your houses in a few weeks, or a few months’

Meanwhile, Key’s trying to work out how to smile and wave behind a visor with cricket gloves on. Don’t get me wrong. I love cricket and I’ll be at the Basin on Sunday chucking some extra money into Hadlee’s bucket. I just don’t get why Key thinks he should be making it all about him. Or why he thinks clowning around is the best way the PM can help Christchurch.

At least there’s the Royal visit to look forward to. I wonder if Wills will bring Kate! I can hardly wait!

69 comments on “Building our future ”

  1. lprent 1

    I put the appropriate image in as a thumbnail – a old plan of a state house 🙂

    • Marty G 1.1

      cheers. had forgotten to put in the pic of the strapping young apprentice.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        That is better….

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        Mmm, eyecandy.

      • Blondie 1.1.3

        Uh, this is probably terribly inappropriate of me, but who’s the hot builder?

        Is he single? Can you send him my direction?

        • felix 1.1.3.1

          That’s a pic of the author.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.2

          I already called dibs.

        • Marty G 1.1.3.3

          he’s the first good pic that shows up when you type “apprentice builder” into google images.

          Ah, now I’ve clicked through to the website, http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2009/12/16/143021_sport-news.html

          he’s an Aussie Rules player who is, ironically, giving up being an apprentice builder to play in the AFL.

          “Dream come true: tenacious midfielder Andrew Hooper, from the North Ballarat Rebels, will give up his job as an apprentice builder to join the Western Bulldogs.”

          • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.3.3.1

            he’s an Aussie Rules player

            Ah, a real charmer with an abiding respect for the female sex then. The AFL’s sexual harrassment policy: “Hey, at least we’re not the NRL“. 😀

            Still keen ladies? If not, I should point out, apropos of nothing in particular, that I own a hammer…

            • Marty G 1.1.3.3.1.1

              “If not, I should point out, apropos of nothing in particular, that I own a hammer…”

              if this wasn’t a family blog, I would make a pun about nails.

              • Lanthanide

                I’m not sure it really is a family blog, since swearing is completely uncensored and allowed. We’ve had people saying ‘cocksnot’ and ‘cocktwat’ and other such things, calling people cunts. I asked for “sex” to be removed from the captcha because it’s NSFW and was laughed at.

                These ‘talented’ guys http://www.hotchippies.com.au/site/team.php show up 8th on the google search, and appear to be actual builders.

                • lprent

                  I wouldn’t say that it was a “family blog” either. But I when I read it, I thought that Marty was being as ironic as Rex was.

                  We don’t really care too much about what language is used. We do care if there isn’t a point to go with the language or if the point made doesn’t justify the language. In other words we’re interested in the behavior not if people are ‘polite’.

                  Quite simply there really isn’t a broad enough standard of politeness that covers the whole range of society. You’d have to exclude some groups to impose one. Since we have limited effort available we impose it on what we consider to be bad behavior for a forum like this – people who can’t argue.

                  BTW: I’d also care if the words used caused access issues into ISP’s or organisations through blocking border censorship. In that case I’d be more likely to work on whomever is imposing the border issues. McDonalds comes to mind.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Yeah, I appreciate he was being ironic (since he made it clear was his joke was anyway).

                    My post was actually mainly to coax you into posting the rationale that you just did. And also to link to some hotties (literally, it says it right there on their shirts).

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    You had me going there for a moment. All I can say now is: the stagflation ninja is going to kill the economy.

    • LynW 2.1

      Me too! Just for a brief moment I felt some hopeful excitement! Trying to get used to your style Marty G!

    • Me too. I was ready to rip up my Labour Membership card and give these guys a chance then thwack, back to reality …

      • Jum 2.2.1

        Me too, and if we can get taken in so easily, and we don’t even trust the guy!…

  3. tc 3

    ‘I just don’t get why Key thinks he should be making it all about him’ yes that a fair question if he was a leader who focused on issues and outcomes but being a PR seeking media whore type it’s all about him as usual.

    Remember this is a bloke who made his millions speculating on currencies and financial devices such as the ones that fueled the GFC so cause and effect or taking responsibility is not really something he cares about just show him the PR opp and he’s happy like most kiddies are when given a treat.

    Paraphrasing a line from a TVNZ7 doco about bottled water summed up sideshow John ‘ a classic late 20/early 21st century product that you don’t need but everyones convinced they do even though it didn’t exist before and everyone got along just fine’ Great work CT, Bravo.

  4. BLiP 4

    Heh!! Yep, got me too. Ya bugger. Wouldn’t it be good, though? Everyone would benefit sooner and not just the foreign-owned banks now.

  5. fermionic_interference 5

    Thanks Marty
    Just the scare I needed. Instantly I thought “a plan oh shit there goes the damned election and we’re going to lose all our public assets next term”
    Thank goodness for satire.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    “At least there’s the Royal visit to look forward to. I wonder if Wills will bring Kate! I can hardly wait!”

    You don’t need to wonder, because he isn’t and this has already been publicly confirmed.

    I think that visiting CHCH should be their first official function together after their marriage.

  7. felix 8

    Well done Marty. For about a paragraph I was thinking “Crikey, they’ve actually seen sense – or at the very least been dragged grudgingly to sense by their internal polling”.

    You know what the sad part is? Clowning around at the cricket really is the best way for Key to help Christchurch.

    And that sucks. We need a leader who will actually make things happen, instead we have one who plays cricket and leaves the rest to the market. Sad state of affairs, but clowning is all he’s good for.

    In Parliament yesterday he referred to the hardships in Christchurch affecting both “businesses and consumers”. No John, it’s PEOPLE you fucking useless cunt. PEOPLE.

  8. Zaphod Beeblebrox 9

    The free market! The free market! The free market will save us!

    • billy fish 9.1

      baaaaa baaaaaaaa baaaaaaaa maaaaaaaket mmmmmmaaaaaaaaket

      [lprent: Do I have a policy excluding goats? I’m sure I have a policy excluding goats! No goats allowed…. ]

      • mcflock 9.1.1

        lprent – no need to be so gruff

      • mickysavage 9.1.2

        What about fish? Or do you discriminate?

      • Uncle Helen 9.1.3

        [lprent: Do I have a policy excluding goats? I’m sure I have a policy excluding goats! No goats allowed…. ]

        Have you yet been able to distinguish between the Linux Operating System the BASH Shell and the Fortune application? Lynn Prentise, you are a joke.
        take a week off – Marty

        • lprent 9.1.3.1

          Sigh. Apart from the fortune application (which I think is a total waste of time), I get paid to write c++ code that uses the others. I wind up writing configurations and shell scripts all of time for this site.

          BTW: The goat stuff was a joke, one that appears to have \e\s\c\a\p\e\d you. Just like the spelling of my last name.

          Adding an extra week because you are foolish enough to waste cpu using fortune utility.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Technically, it’s the invisible hand of the free market which will make everything alright in Christchurch again. A few waves of the capitalist wand is all it requires.

      Just you wait.

  9. neoleftie 10

    Damn it, what a cruel post – i read it with increasing relief then the bombshell at the end.
    The ‘Building Our Future’ initiative is just part of the ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ give this to Phil Goff and Co.
    We need decisive leadership right now – bring us someone who can grasp the big pcture and provide the resolve to get things done…..inaction is killing this country.

    • give this to Phil Goff and Co

      Why bother? If Goff and co were worth the effort, they’d have announced precisely this as their policy and be sitting back smugly taunting Key to call an election right now to get to decide who rebuilds the country.

      No, Goff’s too busy slithering round after the handful of voters who don’t have a champion now David Garrett has gone, as reported by none other than Whaleoil, who quotes the Leader of the Opposition as saying on BFM, vis-a-viz looters:

      I saw the army out in the street. I thought, okay, court mar­tial, fir­ing squad.

      Then he weakly says he was joking. Just like… you guessed it… “Crusher” Collins!!.

      Could Labour get any more frackin useless?

      [Apologies, LP, for the links which no doubt mean you’ll have to fish this out of moderation. But the posts have the original audio, links to the Herald story, etc etc… just more convenient that way]

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1

        Oh for fucks sake. Nice ‘joke’ there too from a former Minster of Defence. Dick.

        Not that I’m giving dpf much credit for this post either:

        http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/03/why_we_shouldnt_give_into_our_primal_instincts.html

        It can’t have been easy for him to write, but:

        A number of people commented about how they were disappointed Mr Wilson-Carver had not fallen down any flights of steps. And to be honest on a primal level, that was pretty much my response also.

        But then we had another “looter” appear in court, and it looked like indeed he had fallen down many flights of steps. He was Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp.

        Well, no actually, “to be honest” when people were commenting about their disappointment re Mr Wilson-Carver not being assaulted, dpf cracked a joke about Arie Smith, which he later deleted.

        Open mike 08/03/2011

        Then a day or so later he wrote this post which makes the generous acknowledgment that umm, ‘the rule of law’ trumps ‘vigilante cops’. Why? Because sometimes the perp might have a mental health issue.

        From his post:

        But it seems very clear [Arie Smith] was not someone who was in the same category as Mr Wilson-Carver. He wasn’t really a looter, seeking to inflict misery and make illegal monetary gain from the earthquake.

        And so this is a good reminder about why we shouldn’t give into our primal instincts. Why punishments should be meted out by a Judge and/or jury after a trial – not by the Police or vigilantes based on what we think are the facts.

        How about we don’t give in to our primal instincts because it’s fricken barbaric? But I guess it’s progress of a sort, right?

        Phill Goff however? Hang your fucking head mate.

        • just saying 10.1.1.1

          Is there anything Goff could do, along with his big fat nothing postive, that could get him kicked off the Labour leadership. The guy is beyond parody. The word pathetic is too damn sympathetic.

          Can anyone, ANYONE please explain what the hell he is doing there as the leader of the purported opposition. Is this about him knowing where the bodies are buried or what?
          Hell he has shown his true colours time and time again. And it’s all blue with a very red neck folks. No-one, other possibly than Annette King, (god help us, number 2) could possibly be worse.

      • Rosy 10.1.2

        jeez, some times it’s a relief that Goff gets no media coverage.

      • felix 10.1.3

        Fuck me.

        Can someone from Labour (mickey?) confirm whether you’re still interested in having ANY liberals at all vote for you?

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1

          **Sigh**

          At this time I am just too tired to make any more of a remark than that.

        • mickysavage 10.1.3.2

          Ummmmm

          I can explain and minimise the statement but not justify it. It was said shortly after the earthquake during an informal BFM chat that Phil has and he was obviously talking about a feeling and not a thought. He was not advocating the shooting of looters and I believe he was joking.

          BUT …

          Phil must do better. This sort of stuff sends the wingnuts into raptures and allows the Nats to continue pillaging and looting under the smoke screen that gets thrown up.

          • Rex Widerstrom 10.1.3.2.1

            It’s worse than that micky, and I suspect you know it.

            Remarks like that coming from the “Opposition” validate the comments of Collins, Garrett et al.

            Just as does, sometimes, saying nothing – like Labour essentially did (bar one weak blog post) when the government attacked the Chief Justice.

            Resorting to “Shucks, I was just kidding” rather than “Sorry, I don’t know WTF I was thinking” is a calculated validation of the sentiment regardless whether or not the first outburst was “accidental” – which personally I don’t think it was.

            If “all it takes for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing”, then evil will certainly prosper when the people who are meant to be good go about repeating it.

            • Armchair Critic 10.1.3.2.1.1

              True enough, Rex.
              I read the comment (10.1.3.2) and thought it was quite harsh, considering who wrote it.
              Let’s hope the message gets through, otherwise I’ll be forced to waste my electorate vote on the Greens.

  10. ianmac 11

    Brilliant Marty. And oddly your plan is exactly what Labour should be trumpeting, loudly. But there is little sign of a clear dynamic coming from Labour leadership. You could just hand this to Phil Goff and give him a swift kick to get him started.

  11. Tel 12

    Marty, that is hilariously funny. 😆

    Nearly as funny was the huge gob of spit sliding down the cover of a M2 magazine with “Man of the Year” on the cover I saw this lunchtime in a magazine rack. Clearly not everyone is in agreement?!

  12. tc 13

    I dunno if you look at typical M2 target audience …..gadget fixated, style over substance 21st century urban males who think Top Gear is the pinnacle of TV then they’ve nailed it.

  13. Irascible 14

    Anti-spam- Misled.
    A brilliant piece of satirical writing with a kicker at the end that gave relevance to the royal family.

    The anti-spam word also sums up the whole NACToid govt – a party that has misled NZ for the past 2 & a bit years in every way possible.

  14. JonL 15

    Barstard! Just for a minute I thought the Gov. had pulled 2 rabbits out of the hat!!!!
    I should have known better…
    Business as usual – run the country into the ground……

    • Jim Nald 15.1

      I thought ‘Wow! National Party! I lurve you!’
      But started to get a bit suspicious when the sentences seemed a bit too long and made too much sense to be coming from John Key and Brownlee.

      Roadmap from Nat rats? Got my hopes up there.
      Try talking to Bill English when the microphones are off. He will give you a Rortmap.

  15. Mac1 16

    Capcha ‘false”! Well done Marty G. Fooled me. Read it thinking what’s the catch, there’s got to be an angle here, can’t be this good.

    The sad part (well, part of the sad part) is the energy and talent of unemployed youth being lost, the run down of the apprenticeship scheme, the bloodletting to Australia, the sheer dearth of positive thinking shown.

  16. adriank 17

    Urgh… I’m passing on the cricket because he’s there… will just make another donation of $50 or so instead.

    Unless, of course, they decide to replace Shane Warne with Shane Bond? And take away Key’s pads?? I’d take a out loan to make large donation to see that!

  17. Adrian 18

    Like I said a few days ago. What’s our chances of ressurecting Harold Larwood. I think he was even workin’ class from oop norf!

    • Mac1 18.1

      A Nottinghamshire lad, he used cricket to get away from an early death to black lung disease down t’ mine. Poor enough to have to walk miles to and from work, games and practice which kept him in very good shape.

      He was staked for six months’s hotel accommodation personally by the Australian Labour leader Curtin when he emigrated to Australia, with no future in England. His biography was a bloody good read, but never mentioned his politics, as I remember.

      Harold Larwood was a private, loyal and principled man who was sorely abused by the English cricketing establishment. He kept in deference to and some fear of his mother her adherence to truth and honesty – that alone would have put John Key in the opposite team.

  18. Damn…that would have got me voting for the shifty bugger

    as is, i’ll be doing whatever to make sure he doesn’t get an easy look in this time round

  19. Kevyn Miller 20

    Politicians setting target dates for engineers to meet! That insane bit of the plan had me believing that this was a real plan, especially since the road map begins with targets for fixing the damage. Since a road map is meant to show you how to get from here to there and stay on track along the way, the logical first step is to find out where you are and what’s actually in the way of getting from here to there. Picking a few dates at random and giving them to affected home owners/renters might be psychologicly bneficial in the short term, especially in an election year but in the end it’s just a cruel deception.

    But then, this government doesn’t seem to have even bothered asking the engineers for even a broad timeline for the investigation phase which would at least give some sense of control to those whose lives are currently in limbo.

    • Marty G 20.1

      Yeah. If it were real the dates would be estimates from the engineers, as you describe in the last paragraph, not political targets.

  20. RedLogix 21

    I started reading this out to my partner, but had to stop after a couple of paras… too cruel.

  21. B 22

    WHAAAAT… just got whiplash from coming back to reality so fast…

  22. KJT 23

    And they will pay skilled builders enough wages to attract them back from Australia to train the apprentices. Yeah right.

  23. Jenny 24

    This sounded like such good news, I wanted to skip to the end and rush to make a comment “Hooray!!!” I wanted to say.

    I honestly thought good sense and decency had broken out in parliament.

    How dumb can you be?

    I felt as annoyed as professor stickman looks like here, when I finally realised I’d been had.

    captcha – “misleads” (Lynne you gotta be kidding me?)

  24. vto 25

    Quite why no party has suggested such a type of plan is a bit bizarre. Do they not think?

    I guess the next best thing would be to repeal that legislation which now requires all housing to be built by certified builders. I mean, everybody says “oh they don’t build houses like they used to blah blah rant”, so lets build them like they used to then i.e. non-certified builders and non-certified home owners.

    Worked then, will work now. In fact, requiring certified builders solves NOTHING of the leaky home scenario. Just a pander to the noise by Clark et al to be seen doing something (adding another layer to the complexity of buildling – typical useless political response).

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