- Date published:
7:53 am, June 7th, 2018 - 122 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, class, housing, Judith Collins, law and "order", national, Politics, same old national - Tags: Housing NZ
What do you do if you are a member of a political party that has just been turfed out of office and a major fiasco emerges which shows that your party’s decision making while in office was less than perfect? Like you blew $100 million on tests and remediations that were not actually warranted and all it looks like is that you were being deliberately cruel to people who were down on their luck for political advantage.
Do you (a) try and divert attention by talking about something else like law and order or (b) keep the issue in the media cycle for another day and reinforce the perception of cruelty?
Guess what Judith did?
From the Herald:
National’s housing spokeswoman Judith Collins says Housing NZ’s move to allow drug-users to remain in Housing NZ homes is “a step too far” and sends the wrong message.
It follows comments by HNZ’s chief executive Andrew McKenzie that it had moved to a ‘zero eviction’ policy.
Instead of referring tenants to police and evicting them for drug use, the corporation now seeks to refer tenants to addiction services to get their lives back on track, he told the Herald.
Collins said she agreed with HNZ’s decision to adopt the new meth contamination standard identified by Sir Peter Gluckman after he found there was no health risk to others from third-hand meth contamination at a property.
“But allowing illegal drug users to keep living in taxpayer-funded housing while others are on the waiting list is a step too far.”
Collins said drug users did need access to services to get off drugs but many were not interested in doing so.
“It should be that they get help, or they get out.
“It’s not fair to taxpayers, to those on the waiting list, or to those living next door to these drug users – some of whom are children. This will send completely the wrong signal to them.”
Can you imagine the scene as a bunch of tory MPs are sitting around drinking Central Otago Pinot noir and discussing the evils of drug taking by state house tenants? Can you believe their inability to comprehend what it is like to be poor and how drug use may not actually be a sign of personal weakness but instead a coping mechanism?
And why is it that tenants who are down on their luck are to be punished for human frailty but the chain of command that caused this disaster are immune from consequence? Is personal responsibility a concept that applies to poor people only?
Danyl McLachlan summed the absurdity of the situation in three tweets:
Dear Judith, please keep it up. It really helps for the people of New Zealand to be continuously reminded what a cold hearted party you belong to.