National promised to get tough ‘undeserving’ state house tenants. (always someone to get tough on when maintaining the privileges of the elite) The first targets were 3 women and their kids, judged guilty by association with their partners who were charged with burglary (the charges were dropped). 2 years and $1m wasted and the government has given up.
2 years of needless distress for these 3 families. $1 million, enough to buy three state houses, wasted on legal fees and security guards (no-one ever accused these women of being dangerous or criminals, so why the guards?).
But the bigger question is ‘what was the government’s optimal outcome here?’ 3 women and their young kids booted out of their homes, smeared in the media and struggling to find accommodation elsewhere? If they were such a threat where they were living, wouldn’t they have been just as bad wherever they washed up? If the government had got its way, this would have been an expensive exercise in pushing what they consider a problem from one place to another. They wanted to be seen to be acting, even though they wouldn’t really change anything. As it is, they just succeeded in wasting a million dollars.
Ironically, many of the state houses in Farmer Cres are being demolished, supposedly to be replaced with better houses, including the homes of two of the families in question. So, after all this work, two of them will be forced to move anyway, and it won’t cost a million dollars in legal fees and security guards.
I seem to remember John Key promising higher standards of accountability. Surely a minister wasting a million dollars of our money on a political stunt and coming out of it with an embarrassing defeat dealt to him by some ‘underclass’ mums is a sackable offence.