web analytics

Gutting the state housing system

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, June 28th, 2011 - 25 comments
Categories: housing, national - Tags: ,

Reprinted from No Right Turn:

One of the reasons the New Zealand public have such a dim view of politicians is because they have shown time and again that they are cheats and liars. They set themselves performance targets (whether explicit or implicit) in opposition, then juke the stats and distort the facts in government so they can claim they met them. National did it back in 1990 with its promise to remove student fees (they didn’t; they simply devolved responsibility for charging them to the universities), and Labour did it with hospital waiting lists in the 2000s (by the simple expedient of throwing people off and making them wait again – “solving” the problem in the statistics, but not in reality). And now National looks set to repeat the latter trick with state housing. Faced with growing waiting lists for state houses, despite their attempts to discourage people from applying, they are going to just chuck people off the list and forbid them to reapply rather than do anything to deal with the housing crisis.

It is cynical. It is unethical. But its what politicians will do to avoid a bad headline. Which is why people think they’re scum. Anyone who thinks their reputation and/or re-election is worth more than the housing prospects of 4,700 needy families is either a colossal egotist or has a black hole for a heart (and probably both).

National is of course trying to downplay the status of those it is going to abandon. But Housing NZ’s own assessment categories [DOC] make it clear that they will be denying help to those who need it. This is what they call “moderate need”:

The household is disadvantaged, and this is likely to compound over time due to housing circumstances that are unsuitable, inadequate or unsustainable. The household is unlikely to be able to access or afford suitable, adequate and sustainable housing without state intervention.

Under National, these people will not even be allowed to apply for a state house. They will be left to the market, which Housing New Zealand has said will not provide for them. As for the state housing system, it will become a system for emergency accommodation for the truly desperate only, people who are actually homeless or living in garages. These people should obviously be the priority, since their need is greater – but the system should provide for more than that. And its here that National’s true goal becomes apparent: they’re planning to effectively gut the state housing system and reduce it to a rump. And having “reduced” demand (by defining it out of existence and making it someone else’s problem), they’re promising to privatise the “surplus” state houses, while removing income-related rents for the remainder if re-elected.

This is an outright abandonment of a core government responsibility. But National isn’t interested in a government that meets its social obligations – instead, they want more profit opportunities for private landlords. Those profit opportunities will come at the cost of homelessness and overcrowding, with all the consequent health and educational problems and misery, just as it did in the 90’s – but National don’t care. Their mates will be making money. And that is all they really care about.

25 comments on “Gutting the state housing system ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    This was covered on “Breakfast” the other day.

    The ones who are being kicked off are those who wouldn’t qualify anyway, but are just clogging up the system and slowing down the process for more deserving cases.

    • Treetop 1.1

      Do you think that everyone who goes into WINZ will be given the option of having a HNZ home? If the government are so concerned about housing deserving cases they need to get their a into g cause there is a big demand for government housing due to the CURRENT shortage.

      I have used those on a benefit because they are struggling the most, so are the elderly and so are low income earners.

      I expect landlords will put up the rent due to rates which will go up because of increased premiums due to the cost of reinsurance for councils.

    • r0b 1.2

      Those being chucked off are in “moderate need” – see the post. So what do you conclude?  Should we:

      (a) build more state houses pronto, or
      (b) pretend that there is no problem and privatise the ones we’ve got.

      The Nats pick option b of course.

      • Treetop 1.2.1

        The accommodation supplement (AS) has been stuffed for years except for those in a HNZ dwelling as they do not qualify for the AS due to rent being 25% of income. My main problem with the AS is that it is not on par with a person on a benefit in a HNZ dwelling. The only way to get more for rent in a private rental is to access every 13 weeks targeted assistance support (TAS) and this does not even put a person on par with a person recieving the same income as someone renting from HNZ

        A question needs to be asked in the house to Heatlley and Bennet: At what income level does a person not qualify for TAS for rent and is this considered as being a moderate need for a HNZ home?

        I reiterate there are not enough HNZ homes for low income people. To me anyone who has to access TAS is desperate and desperate is struggling and struggling needs to be housed by the state.

        • Treetop 1.2.1.1

          TAS temporary additional support

        • Ari 1.2.1.2

          It’d be great to see the accommodation supplement set so that your rent was also 25% of income, although I’m not sure what the best strategy for achieving that would be…

          • Treetop 1.2.1.2.1

            The sale of just one state dwelling is placing hardship on someone. Were the housing stock doubled tomorrow there would still be a shortage for low income people.

            I am over 50 and in three years of any government I have not seen the basic cost of living increase so much.

    • bbfloyd 1.3

      you’re seriously quoting “breakfast”? your taking the mickey, aren’t you? is it deliberate, or is this natural for you? your obtuseness i mean.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        Once again, I’ve never actually seen you contribute anything to this site, other than bashing other people.

    • Vicky32 1.4

      The ones who are being kicked off are those who wouldn’t qualify anyway, but are just clogging up the system and slowing down the process for more deserving cases.

      Oh really? You know that how?
      I am in a 2 bedroom state house, and I want a transfer to a 1 bedroom place as I don’t need 2 bedrooms now my son has moved to another city. Getting one has been a nightmare of delay and farce, and I’ve been told that the dump I am in won’t be freed up for a family. “It doesn’t work that way” I was told, to which the Tenants Protection woman and I asked “why not?” . We got no reply…
      Back in 1990, was the first time I applied, I was on a DPB with a 3 year old, and no family existed who could help (parents long dead, siblings unable to help.) I was turned down by an Island woman who said she knew that all white people had money hidden away in trusts, so I should “buy on the private market”. Of course, innocent as I was, I hadn’t taken a witness to the meeting and couldn’t prove she’d said that. Bit is that one of the ways they get rid of applicants?

      • Treetop 1.4.1

        HNZ are dysfunctional. Their transfer process is a big joke because they obviously have not built enough one bedroom places and is this because they are not cheap to build compared to a two/three bedroom. HNZ haven’t figured it out that they would get more rent if two people lived in a two bedroom.

        HNZ are not morally, ethically or socially responsible and if you are single it is worse.

        • Vicky32 1.4.1.1

          and if you are single it is worse.

          Exactly. I am single, and I feel like a fraud, because I know there are famil,ies with children who are in great need. However, while I am unemployed I am also in need… and that’s a state of affairs that looks as if it’s going to continue for some time. 🙁

          • Treetop 1.4.1.1.1

            I fully understand why you have to stay where you are, I rent privately due to taking HNZ to the district court a decade ago (I won my case and recieved some compensation). You are not a fraud. HNZ need to employ people like you, as what you say, is what needs to be changed.

  2. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    There are lots of hungry people. The government must, as an urgent priority, nationalise a supermarket. There’s just no other way out of the problem.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Well, immediately raising the minimum wage to $14/hr and increasing all benefits by 5%-6% would be a start.

      • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        No. The only way is for the government to own the place that the food comes from. That’s just the only solution.

        • rosy 2.1.1.1

          No. The only way is for the government to own the place that the food comes from. That’s just the only solution

          Yes, China seems to think that is the way to go. Sound strategy for them. 😉

    • Yep.

      It’s no coincidence that the US has made food production a matter of national security. It’s also no coincidence that, after abandoning Gandhi’s notion of self-sufficiency in food for reliance on ‘the market’, India is now – you guessed it – treating ‘food security’ as a national priority through enactment of the National Food Security Act.

      So, you’re right. It seems there is just no other way out of this hunger problem.

    • millsy 2.3

      Actually I think turning supermarkets into grower and farmer owned co-ops is a much better idea.

      • Oleolebiscuitbarrel 2.3.1

        Yeah. I thought the ridiculousness would have been self-evident. I blame myself.

  3. marsman 3

    And on the other end of the scale we have a Minister of Finance who rorted half a million taxpayers money for his own house and is still receiving $30,000 p.a. to live in his own fucking house!

  4. millsy 4

    I can only see the slumlords and rack renters and owners of dodgy boarding houses (who buy up motels, hospitals, etc and rent the rooms out at 200-300 dollars a week) benefiting from such a policy.

    Truly ironic seeing as it was the state of the slums in Auckland that prompted the state housing system in the first place. From what I understand, the idea was that there would be no private landlords and every rental property in the country would be a state house, and that people would be able to migrate into home ownership from there.

    • Vicky32 4.1

      From what I understand, the idea was that there would be no private landlords and every rental property in the country would be a state house, and that people would be able to migrate into home ownership from there.

      How wonderful that would have been… what a pity it never happened..

      • millsy 4.1.1

        Labour lost in ’49. That’s what happened.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          We could bloody learn from the likes of Singapore and HK where the govts are one of the major landlords. It adds a stability to peoples lives that is very very helpful.

          It was a big help to the Russians during the collapse of the USSR: the USSR economy self destructed but you didn’t get the millions of homeless like you see in the US as a result of all the foreclosures there.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago