Glib words and false hope aren’t going to cut it

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 19th, 2016 - 151 comments
Categories: accountability, election 2017, housing, national, quality of life - Tags: , , , ,

Glib words:

Speaking to Morning Report today, Prime Minister John Key said it was not acceptable that people were living in cars or under bridges. Mr Key said people in those circumstances should seek help from Work and Income.

False hope:

Emergency housing beds gave ‘false hope’

Confirmation that 3000 emergency housing places to be funded by the Government are mostly already provided shows New Zealanders have been misled, the Green Party says.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said Ms Bennett’s comments about the new emergency housing funding had given “false hope” to desperate people.

Not cutting it:

Hundreds tell WINZ they’re homeless

But Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said if Mr Key was spending any time on the ground he would know there was a long waiting list for social housing.

“There are huge problems with access to emergency housing and the reality of life for those people living in cars and garages is appaling, and the prime minister should be more in touch and know what’s going on.”

Not cutting it:

Latest figures from WINZ show 428 people across the country were recorded as saying they were homeless in the month of March.

However that figure is far too conservative, according to chief executive of advocacy group Lifewise, Moira Lawler. She said there was a tidal wave of homelessness in Auckland that was too big for Work and Income, which was desperately under-resourced.

The reality was there were not enough places to shelter people and many would give up after waiting months or years for housing or for benefits to be approved. “What is the point of putting yourself through that bureaucracy, the constant reporting, the constant turn-up, when if you’re in Auckland you know they have nowhere to put you anyway?”

Ms Lawler said Work and Income staff could only put vulnerable people on lists and did not have the mandate to make sure they did not end up on the street.

Not cutting it:

Laughter at PM’s suggestion Auckland homeless should try Work and Income

Married Auckland couple ‘Chris’ and ‘Dee’ aren’t celebrating their latest anniversary. The couple are going on one year homeless and laugh bitterly when asked about seeking help from Work and Income New Zealand – as Prime Minister John Key suggested to homeless people.

For nearly a year Chris and Dee have made a late model Nissan people mover van their home because they say they cannot afford a place to live. In their fifties, the couple, who don’t want to use their real names, said they had given up on trying to deal with welfare agencies.

Not cutting it:

Homeless mum: ‘It’s pretty scary at night’

Julie, a homeless woman in Christchurch who has five children aged between 3 and 16, moved out of her ex-partner’s home six weeks ago because of domestic violence and says she has been forced to spend many nights sleeping alone in her car.

“It’s pretty scary at night, down dark roads, hoping that nobody is going to come in the car. I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat so any little bit of noise is quite frightening. A lot of thoughts go through your head, like ‘what if?’, and ‘why am I even in this position?’. It’s not nice.”

With no family to help out, Julie has approached government agencies for assistance. She said she had been on the Housing New Zealand waiting list for five months, but was kicked off when she refused a house around the corner from her ex-partner’s mother’s home.

An Auckland advocate for the homeless said Work and Income was overwhelmed by the problem, and unable to address a growing social disaster.

Corie Haddock has worked with the homeless for nearly a decade, and said in that time the problem had grown to such a level that social agencies could not cope, despite their best intentions. He said it was now beyond the capability of government agencies to fix.

“The staff at WINZ are amazing, but they don’t have the systems and processes in place to address homelessness.

“They do what they can, but the reality is that the majority of people that would go to WINZ continue to be living on the street. And when you’re talking to Housing New Zealand, they’re telling people they have to wait for 18 months. Well, if you’re living on the street or in the car, you need support now.”

Not cutting it:

Homeless borrow thousands for motels

Earlier this week, when asked what people living in cars or garages should do, Prime Minister John Key had a simple reply.

“My really strong advice is to go and see Work and Income,” he said, “and we’ll see what we can do, because I think people very often don’t understand what’s available to them. “My experience with Work and Income is they do their very best to support people in those situations, especially when children are involved.”

He was talking to people like Nicole. Her stay cost $2200 – money loaned to her by Winz. But today, Nicole’s booking ran out. This afternoon she was at Winz, begging them to loan her more money, so the family could stay there. But she said Winz had no other options for her and so tonight, bed looked likely to be her car. “That makes me terrified for my kids especially, because the first time that this happened to me… They couldn’t sleep there.” She said she just wanted somewhere for her family to sleep.

And Nicole is not alone. …

This is a massive market and moral failure, and it’s obvious that the Nats haven’t a clue what to do. The problem isn’t going to go away, it’s going to get worse, and the media are going to stay on the case. Time for National to borrow some more Labour / Green policy thinking.

151 comments on “Glib words and false hope aren’t going to cut it ”

  1. Whateva next? 1

    The irony overwhelms me, and the arrogance Sickens me .
    Key actually seduced “mum and dad” kiwi’s with his “local boy makes good” back story, being brought up in a state house… ChCh.(whether he got an inheritance later or not)

    He has created a situation where his own family would have been split, and his own mother could end up living in a car, or a garage etc

    Decent people learn and appreciate lessons from life, Key shows contempt.

    Great post, so good that we are seeing it everyday and the story cannot get smothered. I hope this is to Key what the poll tax was to Thatcher, a step too far.

    • linda 1.1

      What is really sickening is the natioals governments. Lies denial. Sneering. At valid questions sof nearly every issue
      These prick have had 8 years where is the planning now we will. Get some half cocked 11th hour
      Solutions from these incopetent dicks

    • Johan 1.2

      John Key is well on his way as being the most hated Prime Minister New Zealand has had.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.3

      At the time he would have been in the State house the government treated state housing very differently from what it does now.

      In the past State housing was a reward, not because you were in “poverty”. Sorry but from what I understand Key’s mother was independently wealthy.

      To keep suggesting he completed some kind of major life turn around is an insult to all those who struggle at the bottom.

      • whateva next? 1.3.1

        from another poster yesterday, and maybe Key’s mother didn’t actually need a state house (and therefore was it fraudulent to be taking a resource from someone else?), but he certainly implied he was just one of us in order to get the vote, it has will come back to bite him on the bum.
        “There will always be a social welfare system in New Zealand because you can measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable. Once I was one of them. I will never turn my back on that.”

  2. Ad 2

    Well put together there Bill

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Don’t you mean R0b? 🙂

    • ianmac 2.2

      +1 Rob. I wonder if those huge house properties in Auckland could be infilled with Social housing. Mr Key could donate a chunk of his place?

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    The rhetoric this morning is to demand more urban sprawl. Not immediate emergency funding before winter sets in, oh no. Tories eh: apparently calling them what they are “puts people off”.

    • weka 3.1

      We couldn’t even provide proper shelter and emergency housing after the Chch quake, why would we steep so low as to help out benes who by the state’s definition are responsible for their own situation?

  4. Peter 4

    …. “moral and market failure” is what they do best!

  5. weka 5

    A couple of points re WINZ. One is that to get a benefit you have to have a residential address. There are ways around that, but if I was homeless and applying for a benefit I’d think very carefully before I told WINZ that I had nowhere to live. This is hugely problematic because to get full entitlements they are theoretically supposed to take your overall situation into account.

    The other is that there are limits on how much you can borrow from WINZ. Once you have borrowed 3 times you then have to start going to budget advice and proving that you can manage your money. If WINZ are routinely giving repayable grants instead of non-repayable ones, they themselves are increasing debt on people who by their own rules don’t have enough money to live on. It’s a complete and utter mindfuck.

    Marama Davidson points out that the people she knows who are homeless have already exhausted all avenues of support via WINZ,

    It’s a bloody good post, full of a social intelligence we see rarely from politicians. I hope I live to see Davidson as a Minister in a NZ govt.

    This mess has not happened overnight; wages and benefits have not kept up with the cost of living and rising rents, there has been an aggressive drive to cut and remove people’s benefits. For eight years the National Government has denied opportunity to those with the most to gain from it, scapegoating society’s problems on the most marginalised in society. I am embarrassed by what New Zealand has become.

    Real political leadership would put families first. Real leadership would discourage the buying up of houses as a speculative business; homes are for people to live in, not for profit at the expense of all else. Real leadership would actually invest in building more state homes. Real leadership would be to go and see for yourself what exactly is going on with our families, our children, and our elderly – our New Zealanders.

    Real leadership would acknowledge the absolutely vital role of government in implementing a whole of system approach to end homelessness; ensuring that government agencies, local government and the community sector are offering a coordinated response to the complex structural issue that is homelessness.

    • weka 5.1

      Another thing about WINZ. Generally emergency grants are by definition for things that are unforseeable. If they are ongoing there comes a point where they refuse to pay them because by that stage you have had time to understand what the problem is and do something about it. I’d be interested to know how WINZ are treating the housing crisis.

      Anyone know if there is a (valid) reason why WINZ can’t pay motel fees via accommodation supplement? Esp where someone is able to negotiate a weekly rather than nightly rate?

  6. vto 6

    The free market failed Pike River miners – the free market doesn’t work there

    The free market failed finance company investors – the free market doesn’t work there

    The free market fails low income housing – the free market doesn’t work there

    The free market wasn’t even attempted in Chch’s CBD by this government – they know the free market doesn’t work there.


    Does anybody know whereabouts the free market actually works??

    edit: oh, and don’t forget that this government want to turn heavy trucking regulation over to the free market and self-regulation too – you know, those monster 50-ton mega-wheeled trucks that thunder past and almost annihilate you with their dust and wind alone…. ffs idiots supreme

    • Sabine 6.1

      i think the ‘free’ market worked well for Paula Bennett and John Key…….:)

      • Jenny Kirk 6.1.1

        Ha ! when they were younger people, Sabine, the “free market” was not idolised as it is today – so they both had “state intervention” at the beginning of lives. State intervention : that odd phenomenon that we used to pay our taxes for. Don’t know what we pay our taxes for these days !

        • Pat

          we used to pay tax to redistribute wealth to provide for the needs of greater society… we redistribute to provide the wants of a minority of society

        • save nz

          Don’t know what we pay our taxes for these days !

          Sky City, Saudi sheep farms, oil speculation welfare, the TPPA roadshow….

          In a nutshell, corporate welfare…

          • Draco T Bastard

            In a nutshell, corporate welfare…


            Our government over the last three decades have come to believe that supporting corporations and rich people are the real reason for the existence of society.

        • Sabine

          we pay taxes to support the ‘free’ market.
          see that was not so hard 🙂

      • WILD KATIPO 6.1.2

        And the Mont Pelerins, and Freidman ,and the Rothshilds and the Bilderbergers …etc etc etc etc…

        As for the rest of the cattle… ?

        ‘ Whats this big building they’re herding us into now ?….funny… I don’t see any of us coming out the other side ‘…

      • Olwyn 6.1.3

        Paula, in common with free-marketeer Donald Brash, seems to have been paid by the state for most of her life. Pushing the free market idea from a political platform is what has actually worked for both of them.

        • jcuknz

          Olwyn That is what they write at kiwiblog about all the profesional polys in the Labour Party … that none have any work experience in the outside world.

          • Olwyn

            My point is not that they lack experience in the outside world. It is that they take the side of the free-market against the state from a state-funded platform, while depending on the state to pay their salaries, along with their various other perks. And it is not as if they have just stepped in from busy market-based jobs to fight their team’s corner for a couple of years. Both Brash up until his retirement and Bennett are long term public employees.

            • Colonial Viper


              • Olwyn

                Yes he’s another one. And I would not be surprised to learn that many of Key’s new upwardly mobile, celebrity-imitating bourgeoisie have gained their first step on the rentier ladder through well-paid government contracts.

    • save nz 6.2

      I think the free market works if you have an offshore tax haven there VTO….

      At last a winner for the system!

    • Observer (Tokoroa) 6.3

      . VTO

      You are so correct ! The woefully impotent free market designed by John Key and Billy English will go down in history as the most colossal stuff up ever by an NZ Government.

      The Tories – have created the most evil Tornado – and given the gluttonous rich goodies and goodies and goodies.

      They have not only given NZ wealthy more than they could possibly need, but they have given foreign investors land and housing by the $billions. (often on receipt of a contribution to Tory vile coffers).

      No amount of slurred speech will ever redeem Key and English.

      • TC 6.3.1

        Its not a stuff up, they knew exactly what they were doing and its impacts.

        Wilful and deliberate escalation of house prices to hoodwink folks about that equating to economic growth.

        English was dissected by beatson over the fact they did no analysis on the impact of gst rise to 15% in 2009 on middle/lower earners.

        Nats responded by engineering the removal of stratos, dumbing down freeview and that pesky journalism.

        • Heather Grimwood

          Indeed TC ( 6.3.1.) indeed they did know…no-one in their position could have got us into our present position by being dumb ( unless dumb enough to take orders from MUCH more clever advocates/manipulators).

        • Molly


        • Stuart Munro

          Yes – quite right – but stupid is a safe consistent critique of their actions.

          “Bill English is so stupid he lost us a $120 billion for nothing.”

          It will hurt his feelings, and he’s demonstrably done nothing constructive with the money. But he’s not about to say “No, I’m not stupid, I’m fiendishly clever, it’s just that I’m corrupt.” Stupid it is then. The evidence supports it.

          • tc

            Screw safe, time to go for the jugular and serve it back at them.

            Nice guys finish last is what’s happened last 2 elections up against the owned msm and CT/DP.

    • Nessalt 6.4

      Oh god. this exercise in onanism is so weak. “the free-market doesn’t work because of these specific instances”

      1) the directors of pike river failed the miners. not the free market. it was malfeasance. not the invisible hand coming in and dooming those poor souls

      2) finance company investors got greedy, the ROI was over 13% when the banks were offering 5.5-6.5%. then they got done in the downturn. no sympathy.

      3) the housing market is hardly free, a monopolistic building supplies behemoth controlling the domestic market via a duopoly distribution channel, with set limits imposed by both local and national government as to what, where and how.

      where the free market works, everywhere all around you. you’ve just picked rubbish examples. look harder. or try and understand what the word free actually means. bit difficult for a lefty of course

      • Colonial Viper 6.4.1

        The “free market” is a false god.

        In reality it has always been an exercise of the powerful over the less powerful.

        Those in power don’t want a “level playing field”. They never have. They always want it tilted in their direction.

        And when it suits them, the free marketeers love getting socialist government bail outs.

        That’s how sincere they are to their free market religion i.e. not at all. The real religion they adhere to is personal financial success ahead of all other values.

        Another note – no large corporation wants real competition. A monopoly is preferable, but a duopoly or oligopoly is tolerable.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4.2

        The “free” “market” only works when it’s regulated.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha


          Assuming that the free market will automatically give the desired outcome is the mistake.

          It is like expecting the same from evolution. Evolution is real and a powerful force in nature – and you are best to take account of it. But it has no inherent tendency to produce an outcome that humans desire. Markets are the same in my view. It is up to us to choose what we can with the reality around us.

          If the best outcome comes from regulating markets while at the same time understanding that market forces are real and need consideration, then let’s do that.

      • Foreign waka 6.4.3

        Nothing really is ever for free. Unless someone prints money in clandestine, every dollar that makes a rich person richer makes a poor or middle class person poorer. All that wealth has to come from somewhere – it sure cannot be “produced” by sitting behind a desk, going for the obligatory 2 hour lunch and various events at all times. And even if someone is an eager beaver working very hard there is no justification for getting 100x or more the average income. This is very anti social and psychopathic behavior really.

      • gnomic 6.4.4

        Sad and pathetic bilge. Has your brain (if any) been rotted by over indulgence in Ayn Rand? You should stay off that stuff. Clear off to Fail Boil where they will enjoy the smell of your rot.

  7. jcuknz 7

    What happened to all those rental vans that were lined up for CHCH folk dispossessed by the earthquake which nobody seemed to want?
    Trouble is … where would they park?

    If there are all those empty state houses in New Plymouth why don’t WINZ pay folk to move there? Rather than lending them blocks of $2T which will burden them for years to repay .. but show as black entries for Bill English.

    I am starting to think that this is a clusterf$ck on the part of public servants as well as the politicians … by the way not the hard working lower grades but the bosses judging from the MBIE person waffling on Morning Report today about fishing.

    • Pat 7.1

      “What happened to all those rental vans that were lined up for CHCH folk dispossessed by the earthquake which nobody seemed to want?”

      that was a gov sponsored private initiative….and like most gov responses to the quakes failed spectacularly….mainly because they wanted approaching $400 a week rental from memory.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      Can you suggest a way for civil servants to prevent the National Party’s human rights violations?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      Hard to blame the public servants when they told Bennett about the issue at least a year ago.

  8. ankerawshark 8

    I have been thinking about this. We hear about people land banking in Auckland. Sabine I remember you mentioning empty houses in your area. Gareth Morgan admitted to have 6 empty rental properties (tenants just dirty the carpet). These houses need to be liberated for the homeless. NOW. Political parties can’t do that, its the role of activists. Might it be possible to find out the addresses and owners of such houses and then have “open homes” . Media invited and homeless people (if they are willing) and stand outside the house and name and shame these parasites.

    Just an idea. I don’t live in Auckland, but would be willing to donate and help with the campaign. …………………………..

    • srylands 8.1

      Your view is abhorrent in a society that relies on markets and property rights to deliver prosperity.

      I own a flat in central Wellington. I stay in it 4 or 5 days per month. For the rest of the time it is unused. Do you think you should be able to liberate my property from me?

      • framu 8.1.1

        yeah – thats TOTALLY the same thing as buying a house an leaving it empty till you sell it

      • ankerawshark 8.1.2

        Actually I didn’t propose taking people’s property off them, although things are so desperate I could understand if people started a campaign to sqat in these empty houses. I meant to name and shame people who are landbanking, by having the media turn up with families who need homes and naming and shaming the owners.

        It is abhorrent to me that there are empty houses in Ak that are being kept empty because speculators what to make capital gains, while people with kids sleep in cars. Do you find that abhorrent syrlands or are you o.k. with that.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        The markets and property rights are only delivering prosperity to the top 10%, the rest are in increasing poverty.

        • Chuck

          NZ home ownership as of 2013 was 64.8%

          Which is a lot more than 10% referenced above.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But who’s actually benefiting? Home ownership doesn’t automatically become a benefit for the home owner.

            And then there’s the fact that home ownership is declining:

            Data showed this number rose during the 1920s but fell during the Great Depression, hitting an all-time low in 1936 at around 50 per cent, before rising steadily during the 1950s.

            It peaked in 1986 and 1991 at 73.5 per cent.

            Figures from the 2013 census showed a downward trend in home ownership, with a decline seen across the board from people in their 20s and 70s.

            So, yeah, back to what I said.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            …being the lowest home ownership rate since 1951.

            Must mean we are on the cusp of a special brighter future.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Having said that, home ownership isn’t always a great indicator. Germany has low home ownership but strong tenancy rights – people can live very stable lives in homes they don’t own.

            Thailand and India have much higher home ownership than NZ.

      • AB 8.1.4

        “in a society that relies on markets and property rights to deliver prosperity.”
        Should be:
        “in a society that relies on markets and property rights to deliver inequality.”

        • maninthemiddle

          Markets and property rights do deliver prosperity. Inequality is a fact of life in all political/economic systems. The richest person in venezuela is the daughter of hugo chavez. In cuba, fidel castro lives in opulence while his citizens live in poverty. I’m not even going to start on soviet russia.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Gosh, you’re well informed! 🙄

            You forgot to mention that inequality, while present in every society, is highest in right wing shit-holes.

            In New Zealand, for example, which is not Cuba nor the Soviet Union nor Venezuela, corrupt right wing trash have spent the last thirty years or so pretending that their incompetence and greed are virtues, despite the human cost.

            That’s why people say they’re scum: rotten, low-life scum, creating homelessness and misery and yelling “but but but Venezuela” whenever anyone mentions it.

            • maninthemiddle

              “You forgot to mention that inequality, while present in every society, is highest in right wing shit-holes.”

              The term ‘right wing’ is somewhat lazy. And so is the term ‘inequality’. As I said, all systems produce inequality, and I challenge you to a> demonstrate socialist system do any better than capitalist one, and b> that the overall economic well being of the citizens of socialist countries are any better than those in capitalist ones.

              You might find this article helpful, that shows how capitalism is lifting the wellbeing of all of a nations citizenry, and this which illustrates the high level of wealth inequality in Scandanavia.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I challenge you to drop the drivel, and acknowledge that I am arguing in support of social democracy, which is the actual force lifting nations out of poverty. Capitalism existed for 60,000 years; the increases in standards of living over the last 100 years are a consequence of basic Social Democratic principles like “one person one vote” (you will recall the right’s opposition to universal suffrage) and Human Rights (I note that right wing employment law promotes slavery even today).

                As for “Capitalism”, it’s a somewhat lazy term. I presume you are referring to eg: NZ government policies over the last thirty years, including all the extra homeless people and increased incidence of “third world” diseases.

                I wonder that you aren’t a little bit ashamed of it.

                PS: when I use the term ‘inequality’ I mean “that which is measured in GINIs” – so no, not a lazy term at all.

                • maninthemiddle

                  What is lazy about the use of the term ‘inequality’ is that it is meaningless as a measure of wellbeing. Inequality can increase yet the status of all citizens improve.

                  You continue this by your use of the term ‘social democracy’. This is a political term, not an economic one. We live in a social democracy, just as we live in a mixed market economy. I encourage you to look these terms up.

          • joe90

            The richest person in venezuela is the daughter of hugo chavez

            I tried to find a source to back up the claim – turns out the idiots over at RWNJ sites brietbart and the daily heil etc are all citing an anti-Chavez rag’s unsubstantiated propaganda.


            • maninthemiddle

              Then you didn’t look hard enough. Google ‘Hugo Chavez daughter’. There are many mainstream media reports, quoting Venezuelan media reports.

              • joe90

                Then you didn’t look hard enough.

                Show me one, just one, of these many mainstream media reports, quoting Venezuelan media reports citing something other than the same unsubstantiated source I linked to.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Typical elite smear campaign against Chavez and the remnants of his socialist government via the corporate lame stream media.

                    Venezuela has been under continuous economic attack by the west for well over a decade now for daring to have an independent economic and foreign policy.

                    The western corporates want full and free access to Venezuela’s massive heavy oil reserves.

                    They’ll burn the entire country down to get it, with the help of the local Venezuelan 1%.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      You can call it what you like. I’m sure you are happy to believe such reports when they suit you’re narrative. I have found no reosn to doubt the figures.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The US does not permit central and south american countries to have independent economic and foreign policies. It hasn’t for a century.

                  • joe90

                    I can quote more if you like.

                    You’re not very fucking bright, are you, but anyhoo, the daily heil cites the second, I posted the translated version above, which makes the unsubstantiated claim, and your third link cites the same unsubstantiated claim made in the second link.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      Another one having a bad day! What is it with you people and personal abuse? The posts I gave you are all from the mainstream media. Are they all wrong? Is this, and every other media outlet making this claim? Here’s a test for you…find a denial by her.

                      And while you’re at it, here’s another:

                      “Alejandro Andrade, who served as Venezuela’s treasury minister from 2007 to 2010 and was reportedly a close associate of Chavez, was discovered to have $11.2 billion in his name sitting in HSBC accounts in Switzerland, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Hervé Falciani.”

                      Socialism has it’s own inequalities, you just don’t want to see it.

                      [lprent: You don’t make the rules about behaviour here. “Personal abuse” is fine on this site. It is just part of the robust debate this site was set up to foster.

                      I’d explain the reasoning behind that part of our rules. But I suspect that you are just the kind of stupid dimwit who just needs things to be demonstrated to them. What kind of irresponsible fool drops on to a site and starts trying to set the rules of behaviour without first checking the local rules? Obviously some kind of self-entitled, pig-ignorant and quite stupid troll – which fits you quite well.

                      Banned for 1 week to allow you time to read the policy. I hope you can manage the long words. Learn to be an intelligent troll who might survive here. ]

                    • joe90



                      And while you’re at it, here’s another:

                      Again, both cite the same unsubstantiated article as their source.

      • Kevin 8.1.5

        Probably won’t be the Government you have to worry about taking it of you.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.6

        Oh noes! Someone might come and take the fruits of your career-long mendacity and dogmatic incompetence away! It would be well deserved.

        After all, your dogma leads directly to pitchforks and always has.

    • Sabine 8.2

      there is an estimated 20.000 empty houses, units, flats, apartments empty in the city.

      now granted, some of them might be on the expensive end of the bracket, often these would be houses bought in the nice leafy subburbs that yet have not the required zoning to subdivide the shit outta them, but you go to Otara, Otahuhu, Onehunga, West Auckland and so on and you will see a lot of places that could house people.

      Another thing is a lot of residential properties where transformed into commercial properties – especially in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Herne Bay and so on, and are usually for Barristers and Chartered Accountants, Vet Clinics and so on, but often times when they are empty they are empty for a long time – these should loose the commercial status after x-amount of time empty and be re-classified as residential. Surely, someone then would rent the property.

      Should the government ‘confiscate’ these properties at Market value and rent them to those looking for housing as Germany does and has done in times of a housing crisis (after the wall and now with the syrian refugee it is done again with commercial properties), yes, why not.

      Could the Government incentives Landlords to rent their empty buildings by removing any tax incentives they may have by keeping them empty, yes, why not.

      Could the Government create a law that prevents someone from buying up properties in a city they don’t live ? Why yes, they could.

      Fact is its not going to happen, and our resident National Party voters make it clear to us on every turn they can. You, me and even them are worth nothing to no one, and hence you, me and even them deserve no help what so ever should we fail in procuring housing, food, electricty, water for us and our loved ones.

      Sick and disabled? Shit outta luck.
      Unemployed? Shit outta Luck.
      Homeless? Shit outta luck.

      What to do? Go to a ditch, die, quietly.

      I have advocated for the last three years or so, that the Labour Party, the Greens, and any other party that is concerned with these happenings go and open up ‘Key Villes’ in our public domains. We could have a look at the refugee tent cities and model them after that. Auckland Action against Poverty could have a permanent address there to help people access the benefits they are entitled too and in many ways have paid for via their taxes, and the Politicians could put their words to deeds and live there for good measure.

      but fuck, again, unless there is a realization that we all only go there by the grace of God or Dog nothing is happening.

    • You_Fool 8.3

      Why not have the government or council lease motels off the owners for 5 years, home all the homeless there until these magical houses are built 100 km away from any workplace?

      The owners get recompense and we don’t have the horrid situation of people living in cars.

      Or just take any house not lived in and play a tiny violin for srylands and his facsict mates

      • ankerawshark 8.3.1

        LOL you fool.

        Seriously though interesting Sabine’s point that in Germany they can make use of empty houses in a housing crisis.

  9. Anne 9

    Went to a meeting on the North Shore last evening about the Housing crisis. Speakers included Shamubeel Eaqub, Yvette Taylor (Living Wage campaign), Alex Johnston (Auckland Youth council) and Labour’s Phil Twyford. It was a combined meeting of the aforesaid organisations plus Labour. Large hall filled to the rafters. I was amazed to see the huge turn-out of young people. Who said that young people are not interested in important issues? Me, for one. I’m glad to have been proved wrong!

    All speakers were treated with respect and there was little disagreement in what needed to be done. Phil Twyford and Phil Goff were in campaign mode and they regard this issue as the top-most priority of the times. Good feed back from the audience who were clearly appreciative of what they were hearing.

    The two stand out comments for me was Phil Twyford and Labour’s recognition Auckland is going to have to spread out as well as go up. However he made it clear areas of high environmental interest, and those semi-rural regions where market gardening is flourishing would not be touched. The other… Shamubeel Eaqub made it clear in answer to a question that the issue of housing affordability and supply – plus the infrastructure required to sustain them – has reached such crisis proportions they need to be handled ahead of and in isolation to other associated social issues. Well, I think that was the substance of what he was saying.

    It seems to me we are now in the same place the first Labour govt. found themselves in the 30s and 40s which saw a massive housing programme take place… one which was largely responsible for pulling NZ up and out of depression and war.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Will the next Labour Government be willing to self credit the many billions of dollars in expenditures required to do a similar thing again.

    • dukeofurl 9.2

      What about the land inside the urban boundary, land bankers are sitting on it. Outside the boundary will just be a rush for a few larger blocks, most is small lifestyle blocks that arent economic to subdivide.

      It would be a catastrophe to have a non existant urban boundary like US cities such as Dallas or Houston.

    • maninthemiddle 9.3

      A building program of the scale you describe could not happen today, sorry, too much has changed. Back then there was no RMA, no restriction on land supply, the country wasn’t rebuilding one of it’s largest cities, there were huge labour resources…I could go on. The current problem is a failure of misguided environmental and transport policy that has straightjacketed Auckland. Labour are right to put the urban limit on the table, but their numbers on new builds is fairy tale stuff.

      • Anne 9.3.1

        Nope. I wasn’t suggesting a building programme on the scale of the 30s and 40s which was also fairly evenly spread through-out the country. Rather, I was saying that the sense of urgency and need is on a par with the 30s and 40s, but in a different time and space and the resolutions are not going to be the same.

        Dukofurl, I think it can be safely said that any extension of the Auckland peripheral regions for new housing areas is going to be carried out in a careful and responsible manner under a Labour/Green coalition govt. It is National who are far more likely to conduct such a programme in an ad hoc and willy-nilly fashion which seems to be their M.O. with most things.

        • maninthemiddle

          Fair enough. I don’t share your optimism about any greater progress under an alternative government. This is a failure of Auckland’s local government to permit auckland to sprawl because of the need to justify huge investment in public transport. Successive labour and national governments have had to live with those poor decisions.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Who knew the “middle” was a derivative litany of zombie right wing drivel?

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.2

        A building program of the scale you describe could not happen today, sorry, too much has changed.

        You’re weirdly pessimistic.

        All the roadblocks you mention are man made, and can be solved by man.

        What is missing is the political will in government.

        • maninthemiddle

          The problem is that local government in Auckland has an unchallenged obsession with a high density city based on the need to justify more investment in public transport. The roadblocks are largely the fault of Auckland council. There is no lack of political will at a nationwide level.

          • Colonial Viper

            hey stupid go stay stuck in a traffic jam.

            • maninthemiddle

              Traffic jams wouldn’t occur in a sprawling city. In Auckland traffic jams occur primarily because of intensification. Satellite towns connected by modern roading and express public transport links is the answer.

      • Stuart Munro 9.3.3

        Of course it could – but some must go up instead of out, and some must be relocatable.

        • maninthemiddle

          Up is easy…our council is obsessed with high density. It is out they have roadblocked.

          • mauī

            Building outwards just continues the insanity, the Northwestern and Southern motorways are f**ed and unusable last time I looked.

            • maninthemiddle

              You should visit again. There is a huge roading program being completed over the next year or so to complete the ring road around Auckland. Building out isn’t insane. It means infrastructure is properly planned and constructed, and in combination with higher density is the best solution.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Any solution which does not include warm dry accommodation for an extra one to two thousand people within the next 60 days falls short of the mark.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    This is a massive market and moral failure, and it’s obvious that the Nats haven’t a clue what to do.

    Having full faith in ‘The Market’ and no ethics means that they don’t have to do anything as it’s the poor persons fault and not theirs despite the fact that it was them that put in place all the policies that cause poverty, i.e, tax cuts for the rich, selling off state assets, cutting people off of benefits etc, etc.

    • srylands 11.1

      You are lying again. There were no tax cuts for the rich. The mixed ownership model will reduce power prices. Benefits were increased.

      Your lying dirty politics meme is alive I see.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        care to support all your statements with links?

        especially the ‘mixed’ owner ship model that will reduce the prices 🙂

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        No I’m not, you are.

        The tax cuts that this government brought in benefited the rich and no one else
        Power prices are already going up and the power companies are working to discourage solar generation on homes so that they can bring in more profit from a captive customer base
        A very few people on benefits got a very slight increase

        As I said, you’re lying. But, then, you have to as reality doesn’t meet your delusional ideology.

        • indiana

          Can you define the “rich”? Is it anyone that earns over $70k pa but does not get any tax credits? I’m lost as to who the rich are? I mean if I’m single and earning $50k pa am I rich compared to a family with a house hold income of $120 pa or are they richer than me?

          • Colonial Viper

            Anyone in the top 5% of income earners or wealth holders is rich.

            Of course within that 5% there is a hell of a lot of inequality, as the top 0.1% are the ones who are really raking it in, while those just within the 5% mark are the poor cousins of the flash crowd.

            I mean if I’m single and earning $50k pa am I rich compared to a family with a house hold income of $120 pa or are they richer than me?

            They have 2.4x your gross income. You could not hope to match their lifestyle and expenses. Conversely, they could not survive on your meager income.

      • dv 11.1.3

        I see you don’t think some on a million who got 80k tax back not a tax for a rich person.

      • framu 11.1.4

        another peddling the meme that those that practiced dirty politics are in fact the victims of it

      • AB 11.1.5

        Hasn’t the phrase “mixed ownership model” become a sort of obscene euphemism? Like “collateral damage” or “ethnic cleansing”.
        And anyone using it clearly has a need to sanitise the reality?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.6

        will reduce power prices

        That’s what Max Bradford said, S Rylands. Did you write the press-release?

        I know you believe your assertion very very hard. Show me a real world example where privatising the commons lowered costs to commoners.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    @ dukeofurl

    “It would be a catastrophe to have a non existant urban boundary like US cities such as Dallas or Houston.” But that is what we are going to get.

    Many European cities have high density housing that feels like you are in a small town with plenty of green spaces.

    That requires strong centralized planning and tight rules about land use. It will never come from “the free market decides.”

    Social well-being is the enemy of corporate profits.

    • dukeofurl 12.1

      European cities ? They tried that in UK and Australia with tower blocks and open spaces. It was a disaster.
      More human scale and narrower green linkages rather than that awful ‘open space’
      They built a big tower block in one of Auckland suburbs recently, just terrible.
      Its lit up at night like a pretend ocean liner, and yet it won awards.
      Maybe a 4 -6 stories would have been better.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        They tried that in UK and Australia with tower blocks and open spaces. It was a disaster.


        • McFlock

          They even have their own wikipedia page.

          No doubt you’ll be able to point to all the flaws in design and construction that contributed to socio-economic decay and argue that your tower blocks will be energy-efficient communities in the sky.

          Unfortunately, that’s what the original architects were aiming for, too. Whoops.

          • Draco T Bastard

            An interesting page as it points out all the faults that were made in the construction back in the 1950s/60s and how that contributed to the decline of the buildings themselves.

            And then further down points out how they’re now being refurbished for young professionals across the UK. And in the US we have:

            In contrast to their public housing cousins, commercially developed high-rise apartment buildings continue to flourish in cities around the country largely due to high land prices and the housing boom of the 2000s. The Upper East Side in New York City and Chicago’s Gold Coast, both featuring high-rise apartments, are the wealthiest urban neighborhoods in the United States.

            So, yes, it’s entirely probable that they could be done better today – although, probably not with NZ developers as they have a tendency to cut corners even when the place they’re building is being built for the wealthy.

            • McFlock

              …and the issue facing Auckland in particular isn’t a problem of housing young, wealthy professionals who can go somewhere else if they’re turned down by the building residents’ association.

              It’s social housing and family housing allocated by need. NZ developers and policy makers are totally capable of fucking that up 🙁

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              This theory of yours isn’t yours, as McFlock has pointed out. Claude Edouard Jeanneret had similar delusions.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Which delusion is that one? That there is a better way to build cities than building them for more cars?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That you can foist housing “solutions” on communities regardless of culture.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And where have I ever said that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Why else cite some areas in the world with that style of domestic architecture? Why else claim that it “could be done better”?

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    I still find it ironic that Labour has finally come around to National’s way of thinking:

    – Auckland City Council and their zoning regs are a major problem
    – The RMA has to be gotten out of the way
    – Public land needs to be opened up for building on
    – Sprawl like private sector development is the way to go.

    • BM 13.1

      Yep, Labour has finally seen the light, either that or it was a purely political move to get in before National.

      Can’t see this going down well with the Greens, though, have they made any sort of comment?

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        I can’t see it going down well with Labour members.

        • srylands

          Well hopefully there is now Parliamentary support to proceed to special legislation under urgency to override Auckland Council and simply abolish the urban limit.

          This announcement by Twyford is the most significant policy announcement by Labour in 8 years. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a series of policy shifts by Labour. The country is crying out for some strong market-oriented policies to present a credible Opposition. In turn that will make Labour electable. Maybe that will go down well with Labour members?

          • mickysavage

            You have not read the details have you. It is not the removal of urban limits. Planning tools will be replaced with economic tools.

            • Colonial Viper

              Is it not just another method of getting to opening up much the same land?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ah, so you’re all in favour of dictatorship and parliament forcing entire cities to do what they’re told.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            No-one believes your gobshite anymore, S Rylands. Even those who pay lip service have their snouts in the trough of corporate welfare and corruption.

            Your entire professional life has been completely worthless. Worse, it has fostered nothing but misery. Sick children living in cars.


        • Chuck

          “I can’t see it going down well with Labour members.”

          Maybe not…but its the type of policy that will appeal to the potential swing voter…that could get Labour back up over 30% and into the mid 30’s.

          Maybe Chris Trotter is starting to have some influence in Labour policy?

          Long way to go though…and I suspect Little will stuff it up again.

    • Sacha 13.2

      Moronic, not ironic.

  14. srylands 14

    It is important to remember that is the responsibility of individuals and families to provide for their own housing. Government provision is a last resort for those without the means to provide for themselves, either through poor decisions or misfortune. The best thing the Government can do for most people is get out of the way. The Labour party announcement this week that it will abolish the urban limit in Auckland is an excellent example of such a policy. Stop making it hard for people and allow markets to allocate land and housing.

    We do not want people homeless. There is currently a problem, especially in Auckland. This is because governments – both local and central – have allowed house price inflation to get out of control through poor policies. What is required to fix that is well known.

    As for emergency housing, I would suggest that the Government provides emergency housing at scale for everyone who wants it. Set up tent cities on the outskirts of the main cities. Provide some good sturdy tents, some portaloos, water tankers and some gas barbeques. Everyone pays 20% of their income as rent. Stay as long as you like. Nobody is excluded. No waiting list. Free shuttle bus into the city of you need to commute. That way nobody has an excuse to sleep in cars. Over time, as we replace good poor housing policies with good ones, the need for the emergency camps will diminish.

    • BM 14.1

      Porta coms instead of tents

      You could knock something up really quickly.

    • Sacha 14.2

      “The best thing the Government can do for most people is get out of the way.”

      Libertarian tosh.

    • dukeofurl 14.3

      ‘responsibility of individuals and families to provide for their own housing’ but not AJ Hackett to pay for his tourist ventures.
      And it was Key who announces taxpayers money will go for hacketts business.

    • McFlock 14.4

      “tent cities”?

      Back to the tory playbook of shanty towns, slums, and Hoovervilles to wipe your hands clean, eh.

      Got to keep them on the outskirts of town, otherwise rich people might accidentally see poor people and be disgusted.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.4.1

        The disgust is displacement behaviour: what they’re really experiencing is bidentaphobia.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.5

      It is important to remember that S Rylands has a massive conflict of interest: having touted this delusional gibberish his entire working life, his income requires that these zombie policies keep on shuffling and moaning and eating brains.

  15. Observer (Tokoroa) 15

    . Srylands

    . I get the feeling that it was you or someone like you, who advised the super competent Paula Bennett to charge desperate families $190 per night for accommodation.

    She is absolutely brilliant. Superb at making money ($1330.00 a week) out of someones dreadful misfortune.

    She is a Tory to the core. Totally free of compassion is our Paula – Tory First Class. Even worse, she doesn’t seem to know what a good idea is, and neither do all the Ministers of John Keys Cabinet.

    But, as a Tory you know that already.

  16. dukeofurl 16

    “The Prime Minister has just anounced a grant of $500,000 for A J Hacketts new attraction in Queenstown.”

    Cough, the hiprocisy, homeless can go to Winz, but rich have their hand in taxpayers pocket.

  17. seeker 17

    Such a well put together post, as ever, Anthony. Vitally important that we see things clearly as the government and msm continuously murk the waters. Thankyou so much.

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Helen Kelly just Tweeted this:

    Irony today Govt profiteers off selling state house it paid $250000 in 2012 & sold today r $800,000. It has no interest in affordable homes

  19. North 21

    And as they carry on in this way Key looks more and more disconnected. Like he’s on auto-pilot. No consciousness. Just robotically ‘say something’ and carry on.

    This cannot go on. His ‘colleagues’, viz. Judith, read developing senses about Key as a cynical failure. His days are numbered however that occurs.

    Ultimately and sooner rather than later the deficit in quality will tell.

  20. aldousk 22

    Earlier in the week the Prime Minister asserted that he would be “amazed” if Winz was not able to provide a homeless supplicant with accommodation. By Tuesday he must have been quite flabbergasted. Then bamboozled. And three days later he must feel utterly hornswoggled. But relaxed and comfortable as usual.

    • gnomic 22.1

      The smirking weasel has lost the plot. Not that he ever had a clue. Likewise the minister of Everything. The ministers of housing wouldn’t know pooh from clay. And the only possible reason there are three of them is to f**k it all up and hand it over to the vulture classes (aka the private sector).

      English. Smith. Bennett. Extremely inspirational. Or aspirational. If you are looking for bungling incompetence. And concealed agendas.

      This shambles (not worthy of the name of government) must go.

      But is there any alternative? Maybe Labour should change its name to Slave Labour?

  21. Observer (Tokoroa) 23

    . What a vile sickening Government !

    . The Torys have dragged themselves into the gutter. The lowest of the low.

    . Key, English and Bennett forcing low wages on those who do the work in New Zealand. Then denying them the opportunity of getting secure, warm, dry housing. Finally saddling them with impossible crushing rents. Then “giving” them emergency rooms at $190 per night and demanding they pay the money back at $1330 per WEEK.

    Have you ever heard the like ! All of it planned to a nicety by “nice guy” Key, Assets flogger English, and money collector, madam Bennett.

    What is really going on is a cruel genocidal force, put together by the fat, lazy, dishonest Tory cats determined to gut New Zealand working citizens.

    New Zealand’s Governor and the Crown should step in and disband the Tory monsters, and set up Courts to try them for deliberate inhumane criminal neglect of New Zealand’s Common Citizenry.

  22. Jerko 24

    What happened in the fifties and sixties was that whole villages were built by the MOW. They housed hundreds of families for the duration of the Hydro Electric Power projects. I know because I was raised in these villages. It did not take a rocket scientist to put those houses and families into them in a very short time frame. Seems a similar stategy would be useful right now. With a solar power project instead of hydro.

  23. Dorothy Bulling 25

    English knows even less than Key about being poor. He grew up on a farm in Southland at a time when farming had it better than those of us who serviced the agricultural industry. No idea how it would be to have Mum and Dad say, ‘sorry you will have to wait a while before we can buy you a new pair of shoes.’ He has learned very little in his time in the House and should get out. But of course he would then find out how hard it is for older people to find a job. Nevef mind, he can always go and milk cows at home in Dipton.

  24. Smilin 26

    This is the price we pay to have greedy lying self entitled creeps running the country who have the gall to believe their bs is the truth and that NZers have no sense of value about what they are worth or what their history amounts to
    Since when do we have to be slaves to a global ideology that is corrupt and has been for most of the years since ww2
    What sort of history is taught now ? The world since Key took office? is that all we know ?

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    7 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    1 week ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago

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