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Homeless families are living in cars … and tents

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, April 13th, 2018 - 84 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national, national/act government, phil twyford, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Remember how early on during his reign as National leader John Key talked about the underclass and how they were a blight on New Zealand society?

He gave a speech in 2007 where he said this:

However, things are different now than they were 30 years ago. It used to be that any street in any community could be the launching pad for a happy and fulfilling life. That’s not the case anymore. Today many are being left behind.

These are tough problems – very tough problems. But I have no intention of being a Prime Minister who tackles only the easy and convenient issues. I don’t pretend I’ve got all the solutions. But I can tell you that dealing with the problems of our growing underclass is a priority for National, both in opposition and in government.

By the end of his reign the problem was not only people living in substandard houses.  But working families living in cars.  And from a recent story some families were actively helped by WINZ to live in tents.  And why during a time of crisis did National have to close and sell so many state houses?

From Television New Zealand:

In a shocking admission, Work and Income say it has been using tents to house the homeless.

Figures given to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show in the last year 20 families have asked for hardship grants through Work and Income to buy a tent to live in.

Work and Income Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Ruth Bound said the practise is extremely rare, “so rare in fact that our system does not record the grants as a separate sub-category of hardship grant”.

She says it agreed to fund the tents “in an effort to support its clients choices” and did not rule out supplying more than the 20 it could identify.

“Our case managers help clients with one million requests for hardship grants a year and were able to recall around 20 instances,” Ms Bound said.

The Government claims it only learnt of the [practice] when 1 NEWS raised questions and has now ordered Work and Income to stop supplying tents.

“It’s not ok for the government to be supplying tents. It might have been acceptable under the past government it’s not under ours,” said Housing Minister Phil Twyford.

“We’re pulling out all the stops with emergency and transitional housing, building thousands of extra state houses, and if people are homeless and don’t have anywhere to live we will do our absolute best to find somewhere for them,” Mr Twyford said.

And National apparently had no idea this was happening.  Again from the article:

National’s Social Development spokesperson, Louise Upston, said she too had no idea that special needs grants were being used to buy tents.

“I can only assume these are decisions made by frontline staff who are doing their very best to help people in need,” Ms Upston said.

The number of families on Housing New Zealand’s waiting list has almost doubled in three years to over 6,000, while there have been one million requests for hardship grants in the last year.

It is really weird.  National was in control of the Government for nine long years.  But they had no idea our major hospital had sewerage leaking into the walls of one of its buildings or that homeless people were living in tents.

One can only conclude that despite John Key’s protestations of interest National was totally indifferent to the plight of the poor.

Some things never change.

84 comments on “Homeless families are living in cars … and tents”

  1. savenz 1

    What do you expect when a country brings in hundreds of thousands of additional people – where the hell did you expect the existing people to go??

    Any trickle down will continue as it has for the past decade, 200,000 new arrivals of permanent, temporary and visiting arrivals per year, 20,000 new 1.5 million dollar houses being built and wealth is the deciding factor on the competition and a few $600,000 affordable houses being touted to somehow turn it all around.

    But we hear, it’s all for the affordable houses. If you think someone living in a tent can afford $600,000 for an ‘affordable house’ – think again.

    Even if you built the houses, our wages and jobs are so precariat now that many don’t have enough income to afford any style of accommodation.

    And you have to get people from A to B and in spite of 1.345 billion a year to Auckland transport – no sign of any affordable transport options for people, quite the opposite, it’s going up and they haven’t worked out, more people equals more services needed – that is before the issue of if you can afford the cost of the transport or what happens during bad weather and climate change!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/rodney-times/102028492/gulf-harbour-residents-seek-improvements-for-auckland-ferry-service

    • SPC 1.1

      A total planning failure – the free market was not capable of managing an increase in supply matching rise in demand from the liberalised immigration regime. And we allowed those with access to finance to make untaxed capital games gaming the tragedy (buying up existing property), rather than have the finance going into new house building.

    • cleangreen 1.2

      Yes saveNZ,
      Here’s my story.

      Immigrants are killing our country now as so many are coming that can’t survive without government help.

      Shit when i was in Australia working at 22 yrs old, I applied to Canadian Embassy to work in canada and was sent a letter saying as a Auto Electrician they determined that I would not be able to “establish myself successfully in 1968.

      So I went over to Toronto as a visitor, and waited in a motel for four months visiting the embassy on University Avenue every day requesting a work visa showing my certificates and credentials and finally was given a work permit and in 1976 became a Canadian Citizen but we now see these immigrants coming here with no skills and don’t speak our tongue and need government shelter so we have slipped far from 1968, and we wind up going into debt to allow them into the county now.

  2. adam 2

    Have we ever had a government leave office knowing so little about what they did when in power?

    Must be hard to earn so much money, and do and know so little.

  3. Ad 3

    Fair enough Mickey.

    But it’s 6 months ago since Labour-Green-NZF formed government.

    And it’s 6 weeks to winter. They won’t be blaming National.

    And winter’s coming.

  4. David Mac 4

    Consecutive governments have been making owning a rental property less attractive. The benefits of doing this are countered by unfavourable side-effects. One is escalating demands for emergency housing. The family that needs a $300 grant to buy a tent is a long way from buying their own home.

    I’d be interested to read an investigative journalism piece that was researched by ringing a number of property managers around NZ. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to discover that without exception every one of those contacted has a shrinking portfolio of properties managed.

    This in itself prompts rent rises. Property Management divisions attempting to extract the same income from fewer clients.

    • SPC 4.1

      Irrelevant, the problem is a shortage of property because of rising demand.

      • AB 4.1.1

        The problem is the rising demand due to the financialisation of houses from dwellings into investments and too much money in too few hands chasing safe havens in an era of globalised capital

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          There would be no interest in investment in urban/city property if it was not rising in value because of a shortage of supply.

          The matter of safe havens, the practice of the 1% to have residences in multiple nations and speculation in scarce markets (harbour front, coastal and grand countryside estates) is IMO a separate issue.

          • AB 4.1.1.1.1

            If it was impossible to make money from housing over and above inflation, any shortage of supply would resolve. We don’t see a shortage of commodities where the only money to be made is in their construction and sale, rather than mere ownership, e.g. sausages or sofas.
            I mean in the long run anyway – of course it is possible for idiot governments to relax immigration and import enough people to swamp existing infrastructure including houses. Usually they do this precisely to inflate house prices because their supporters own most of them.

      • David Mac 4.1.2

        The property shortage problem is being compounded as we see more ‘For Sale’ signs and fewer ‘For Let’ signs.

        There are 1000’s for sale, our property shortage is sliding towards a rental shortage. Tent grant applicants aren’t looking to buy anytime soon.

  5. savenz 5

    To hide immigration Natz blamed the Landlords. Now we don’t even have the landlords with the rental properties.

    To hide how poor people were Natz blamed the landlords, not the low wages and poor conditions and lack of training, now we spend 2 billion on low wages and our hospitals are mouldy and everyone has a student loan but the jobs are poor quality and they are considered replaceable at the drop of a hat. And soon the camp grounds will be sold off for higher grade tourism.

    For a decade the most major debate we heard about was how taxing landlords will solve all NZ social ills… how a WOF for rentals would solve poverty and sickness. Nobody obviously worried about how the hospitals themselves were actually mouldy.

    So there is no landlords but still no affordable housing to buy as well as to rent and the transport and sewerage and wastewater and low wages and full hospitals and schools and huge student loans, and lack of training and rising prison population to solve..

    • David Mac 5.1

      Geez, it’s not all bad news save, you’ll make yourself crook with a focus like that.

      I think campgrounds will go full circle. Now that coastal land is so valuable the only campgrounds on the coast are state owned. The places where older NZers had their family camping holidays are mostly luxury housing estates and marinas.

      Banks will stop lending, insurers will stop insuring houses and builds smack bang on the beach. These sites will only become suitable for housing that can be relocated when there is a cyclone on the horizon. Caravans and tents will reclaim their homeland and those forced to live in them will be in choice locations handy to the kai moana.

      • savenz 5.1.1

        Don’t worry now the focus is off the main issues and a debate of ‘racism’ is being promoted – another rights wing device/divide.

        Now Brash has gone, it’s entered a new phase – while we work out if Taika’s right of that lady really was racially profiled at the jewellery store, we can avoid looking at how NZ a formerly wealthy, egalitarian country into such an unequal one. Once we finish with racism we can then go back to landlords/house taxes. swap and repeat,

        Similar to climate change debate raging for 20 years, is it man made or natural, rather than what we should do about it.

        While NZ media debates, profits and consents flow in as usual, while everyone gets distracted.

        Quick answer to racism, yes it’s alive and well.
        Quick answer to landlords, nope they are moving on from renting property, so where are people now going to live?

        But maybe look a bit deeper than that, because everything is related.

        I don’t mean to be negative, just get bored with the same debates for decades that go nowhere or make those people’s lives who they keep talking about, worse and the public who don’t lobby get screwed over.

      • cleangreen 5.1.2

        David mac,
        Go look at Aramoana Beach in HB out from Waipawa and you will see about 30 homes on that beach that used to house 180 family caravan sites.

        In 1995 there was a large sea swell that flooded the whole number one and two caravan campsites and the caravans were recited higher upn the beachfront.

        In 2000 we were among a 180 families that received eviction orders from the farmer that sold the land to a queen street developer who come and built those 30 homes on a flood plane so we now will see that area destroyed by another tidal surge one day and the homes will disappear and caravans will be hauled back to some noew campsites we believe.

        Full circle indeed.

    • SPC 5.2

      No landlords … total rubbish, if home ownership is falling the proportion of properties that are rentals is rising, not falling.

      Requring rentals to be insulated and have an energy efficent heating will reduce poverty and sickness (assisted by the power payment supplement).

      Do you seriously question landlords paying tax on income after costs (the only change has been to end the depreciation allowance, but offer a subsidy for insulation instead – the the next proposed is they cannot deduct losses against from other taxable income).

      • David Mac 5.2.1

        Home ownership is falling because of immigration. People we deem fit to live in NZ have access to a house deposit. Why import paupers? Those of us that rent are a growing group with fewer rentals to choose from.

        As you said initially, we have a house shortage. Typically, those deemed to be the least desirable tenants will do it toughest. I agree with you, insisting landlords pay their fair share is reasonable. At the same time I think it would be wise to be making more preparations for those that will suffer the most as landlord numbers decrease and those that stay are obliged to do better.

      • savenz 5.2.2

        I’m for a full transaction tax. Tax on all money. Everything, gambling, houses, wages, incoming tourists, shares – as you use money a micro tax is applied. Buy a Ferrari, a super yacht, all bank transactions, a very small charge maybe half on one percent.

        The problem with capital gains, is that you can rearrange your affairs not to pay it as well as the family home and trusts are not part of it. It becomes an accountancy issue.

        With a Tobin tax/transaction tax NZ would then be a rich country with a tax on all money coming and going and the rich will pay their fair share as you come into NZ and leave and everyone living here.

        Time to tax those in this country who have a multi million dollar ‘family home’, but no job, no income but use all the services like schools, roads and hospitals.

        A capital gains tax are not going to get them.

        It won’t get Peter Thiel either, nor John Key selling his 21 million ‘family home’.

        But a Tobin tax/ transaction tax, done right, sure will!

  6. savenz 6

    A great article to read,

    “In short, the world of free-market capitalism and universal democracy that Albright spent her career trying to build — under American dominance, of course — has pretty much failed. Oh, people still claim to believe in it, in almost exactly the same cynical and instrumental way that Soviet citizens of the ’70s still claimed to believe in communism. Ours is a less grotesque and inefficient system than that one, no doubt, and it excels at diverting its lower-rank denizens with disposable goods and finely crafted entertainment. So its collapse is happening much more slowly.

    In Albright’s world, the world of the 20th century, history seemed to present a stark, binary choice between those two systems, and one of them seemed to emerge victorious. That was always a false dichotomy, and the global triumph of capitalism rapidly decayed into a suicidal sugar orgy. Now all that has been swept into the way-back machine of history, and Madeleine Albright’s weird Reaganite nostalgia can’t bring it back. Our choice is not between the “storm clouds” of fascism and a new era of muscular “American leadership.” It’s between clinging to hopeless visions of the past and building a future we cannot yet see.”

    https://www.salon.com/2018/04/07/trump-fascism-and-democracy-heres-what-madeleine-albright-cant-or-wont-say/

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    This is misleading:

    Work and Income Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Ruth Bound said the practise is extremely rare, “so rare in fact that our system does not record the grants as a separate sub-category of hardship grant”.

    Bound implies if it were commonly done there would be a category. Actually it is far more likely no category has been created so costs can’t easily be identified.

    Never underestimate the bureaucrat.

    • David Mac 7.1

      I agree and whilst it may not be a category in it’s own right. Surely a search for the word ‘tent’ in the ‘Other’ category would return a worthwhile result.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1.1

        You would need to search individual client notes.

        Same issue with searching different disability costs under “alternative medical treatment”. System won’t allow you to build a list of what specifically is being included under that heading.

  8. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    You know how you need life insurance when you buy a home?

    Well all it would take is an insurance company putting together the statistics on declining health the longer you are on a benefit, plus ever decreasing chances that beneficiaries will work again the longer they are on welfare and we have an entire tranch of people never able to purchase property.

    • Chris T 8.1

      You don’t need life insurance to buy a home

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Technically speaking, correct.

        But you do if you want a mortgage and most people need one to buy a house.

        • Monty 8.1.1.1

          Are you saying you need life insurance to get a mortgage.

          You might need house insurance but not life.

          • David Mac 8.1.1.1.1

            Maybe it’s a condition of granting a mortgage to those with dependents. I suspect they’d also like enough cover to make the house freehold.

            Lenders would prefer to avoid the press associated with putting a family on the street just after their household breadwinner has up n’ died.

          • SPC 8.1.1.1.2

            You only need house insurance. Some lenders will suggest it (the salesperson either gets commission or meets targets if they get you to agree), some brokers will require it (their commission is why they get lower rates than official bank rates).

            Income insurance that covers life makes more sense.

            • monty 8.1.1.1.2.1

              The mortgages I have the bank asked of course if I wanted additional insurances. Trying to up sell and get more money out me can’t blame them for trying but I prefer shop around for best deal on insurance and one that provies the best terms either like for lik or fixed value whichever is better.

              The only requirement I had was insurance for the houses, a section I have didn’t require any insurance.

              I agree income insurance makes more sense and I have that voluntarily

          • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1.3

            Back in the day it was called mortgage repayment insurance.

            I assumed it was compulsory, but not to have it would have been stupid.

            Especially if one’s equity in the property was less than..

        • SPC 8.1.1.2

          The main problem with mortgage repayment is divorce and there is no insurance to cover that. Second would be recession and unemployment.

          But of course the blameless widow is the hardest to throw out for the bank, the unemployed and the marital failures are somehow no longer “deserving” of continuing home ownership.

    • Siobhan 8.2

      Actually I would extend that idea…how about statistics on Health and Home ownership. There is not much on the interweb about this, and I notice even Australia is only making baby steps towards researching this issue, but in relation to NZ I did find this..

      https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd…/13-housing-and-health.doc

      “Housing tenure has a direct impact on the health and life expectancy of occupants. People in rented properties, particularly those in the public-rental sector, have higher death rates than people in owner-occupied households, even after other key socioeconomic variables are considered (Macintyre 1998)”

      even after other key socioeconomic variables are considered I found that interesting..and I’m not in the least bit surprised. A life time* of renting at the mercy of the Public-sector cannot but negatively impact your life, and i would be interested to see statistics on the outcomes for the children of lifetime renters.

      *(ie not people who rented when they were young and had the time of their lives before buying a nice house)

      https://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/2937/AHURI_RAP_Issue_6_Do_housing_conditions_make_a_difference_to_our_health.pdf

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    One solution to this mess might to to remove a landlords ability to restrict tenant numbers up to a preset amount (eg 7 people max in 3bdrm by statutory reg).

    That way they might think twice before rent ratcheting and declaring that the toilet sized study is in fact another bedroom.

  10. jcuknz 10

    What has happened to the requirement that 63ft2 is the minimum size for a one person’s bedroom?

  11. slumbergod 11

    Sad to see gutless Labour have done nothing about WINZ. I guess I will stay away from NZ for a few more years until we get a Govt that actually cares.

    • Cold Hard Truth 11.1

      Agreed.I will add I tire of sites that keep on about what the Nats did rather than talking about what Labour and co’s plan is to fix all this. From what I have seen so far there is little discernible difference between the Nats and this Labour led mob. The CP-TPP was the big indicator for me that little will change.

      Lets hope for new blood and parties that put the interests of Kiwi’s first not big foreign corporations. Failing that there is little to hope for come 2020.

  12. Cold Hard Truth 12

    Yes we all know National sucked,that’s why the majority of people voted them out. What do the new govt plan to do about it?

    On a different but related note I see the US is now talking about re-joining the CP-TPP. Will Labour finally see the light and back out or behave like Red Tories and see the thing through?

    If its the latter I can not see the plight of ordinary and disadvantaged Kiwi’s improving one Iota.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/423974-trans-pacific–deal-trump/

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    One can only conclude that despite John Key’s protestations of interest National was totally indifferent to the plight of the poor.

    I get the impression that the National Party MPs like the status that they get for being MPs but that they don’t like or actually do the work that’s required of them for being MPs.

    Basically, for them being an MP is a status symbol like the BMW/Maserati.

    • Wensleydale 13.1

      I’ve been saying that for years. They’re the party that likes being in government, but doesn’t actually want to govern. Because it’s hard. And the common rabble complain endlessly about the tedious minutiae of their insignificant lives. Why won’t people leave them alone to shuffle great piles of cash around between their affluent friends? Poor National. *sniff*

      • Craig H 13.1.1

        National primarily want to be in government to keep Labour out of government, not because they have any great plans or ideas.

  14. Corrupt PM 14

    I would be interesting to know more about the recipients of these grants.
    1) Is there a lack of available housing in the area where they currently at?
    2) Have they considered housing in other locations?
    3) Have they been evicted previously from any Private rentals and why?
    4) Have they been evicted previously from any State Housing and Why?
    5) Do they have decisions against them from the Tenancy Tribunal and why?
    6) Do they insist on housing solutions that enable them to possess a pet?
    7) Are there any Mental Health Issues and Addition Issues?

    Or we can simply grunt “Nats Bad, Labour Good”.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.1

      Well you can’t gather any of that information due to WIs shoddy record keeping

      • Corrupt PM 14.1.1

        Agreed their lack of information doesn’t help in finding the truth but equally you would expect any half competent journalist to be asking those questions unless of course, the answers don’t fit in with the narrative they have chosen (or been instructed to present by the minister of propaganda/public broadcasting) to present.

    • Wensleydale 14.2

      People want pets?! The audacity! Whatever next? Pot plants and wall hangings? It’s a slippery slope, mark my words.

      • Corrupt PM 14.2.1

        I don’t think many people would care if somebody chooses to have a pet or not however if they’re choosing a pet over being able to secure accommodation for themselves or their children I think its a completely different story.

    • koreropono 14.3

      Corrupt PM, the questions 1 through to 7 are aimed at finding fault with individuals, rather than looking at the systemic causes of homelessness (and all the factors that led to homelessness).

      Having worked in the transitional housing field and based on my experience, the problems are a lot more complex than the simple ‘let’s find fault with the homeless’ questions asked above. The problems mostly stem from long-term poverty, long-term health and disability issues and demand outstripping supply.

      In my experience question 6 above is irrelevant when it came to mums and dads desperately trying to house their children, pets are the least of their worries and not one person I worked with considered their pets were more important than securing a home for their children.

      As to the other questions they’re too simplistic and ignore the multiple issues faced by many struggling families and if you only seek to answer those questions, then you’re never going to find a solution.

      Nats are bad, left a mess after 9 years of trying to deny a problem existed, as to Labour, who I see as little different to National, I think we have to be fair to say that
      given the state the Nats left things in, and given they cannot magic up homes for families, we need to give them time to try to start to unravel the disaster(s) we’re now dealing with. However, Labour also need to take ownership of the part they’ve played in this problem because it has been coming for many years!

      • Muttonbird 14.3.1

        It’s hard not to just laugh when you read the sort of ACT party crap spouted by Corrupt. Your is a good comment though and well done for taking the time to reply.

        I’d like to know whether, in Corrupt’s thinking, living in a tent with your family is the appropriate punishment for anyone ‘guilty’ of his seven questions.

        Perhaps being guilty of just one is enough.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.2

        As to the other questions they’re too simplistic and ignore the multiple issues faced by many struggling families and if you only seek to answer those questions, then you’re never going to find a solution.

        They’re overly simplistic because the person asking them is overly simplistic. He’s the type of person who embodies the saying: For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

        He will always look for the simple answer and thus always get it wrong. It’s why he votes National despite all their lies and the fact that they fucked up the economy. National’s simplistic sloganeering appeals to his inherent bias and his inability to understand complexity.

    • AB 14.4

      8.) Are they unworthy untermenschen underserving of our care and sympathy?

  15. SPC 15

    I have no problem with it as a summertime option (if someone homeless requests it) – the person gives the tent back when W and I provide a home in the winter – one would imagine motel options diminish with summer holidays and peak tourism.

    Maybe we need to look at government building (temporary) emergency housing parks – small (factory built) homes on trailers or caravans (which can be heated unlike tents).

    • Craig H 15.1

      Good idea – they did it for temporary accommodation after the Canterbury earthquakes, so the model already exists.

      • David Mac 15.1.1

        I don’t think we’re far away from an important tipping point.

        When it makes more sense for a government to service a mortgage than pay the rent.

  16. JohnSelway 16

    Fuck man – I saw this in the news last night and was pretty horrified.

    If there is a homeless person then maybe for a very short-term option provide a tent, hot soup etc but for a family…WTF?

    Add it to the list of things Labour needs to fix…

    • Wensleydale 16.1

      WINZ probably don’t see an issue with it. I mean, a tent in winter — that’s some great indoor outdoor flow. It probably won’t be long before real estate agents start marketing them as ‘alternative housing for the budget conscious’.

  17. Observer Tokoroa 17

    How come Tents in Capitalist NZ?

    Well, John Key and Billy English had a lot of fun. Loads of fun. They looked in their expensive mean mirrors and decided their role in Life was to showcase the Greed of Capitalism. Damn anything human.

    They went hell for leather at it. Got their backs patted by the biggest wealthiest Apes in the Globe. Wonderful men – our lil kiwi blokes.

    They sold off NZ Assets. Gave away at no Cost free expensive schools to mates; Sedated Health services; starved Midwives; stopped wage growth (except for their business mates).

    They sold off literally untold Hectares of fertile NZ to foreigners. Again and again and again. For Capitalism is the art of giving wealth to your wealthy friends.

    But the Key and English masterstroke was to flood Auckland with colossal Immigration. Generations of Kiwis would be priced out of the house and home market. Priced out of their rental capacity too. Treated like slaves and scum.

    Thousands upon Thousands of wealthy people – who did not even live here, were granted homes and residency in Auckland. Foreigners of every kind flocked in. A human running Flood over nine long years. Still ongoing.

    But not a pipe was laid. Not a sewer built. Not a shed erected. Not a house was built to cope with the enormous flood of human beings.

    In fact, Bill English skited over the way he was selling State houses off in Auckland – and elsewhere.

    Perfect Capitalism. More pats on the back for Billy. That’s the thing about Capitalism. It regards everyone but the Wealthy as scum.

    Come and get your Tent scumbag! Courtesy of Key and English and National.

    • James B 17.1

      Observer Tokoroa, I have to say that after that rant that I know why you have the label of the loony left.
      In the six or so months the CoL has been in you say can the same sort of thing..
      Winter is coming and there are still people living in cars, tents and sheds, no houses have been built, trees planted, benefits been raised, immigration still in high gear or “homes for all” as JA promised. Oh and the CTPPA was signed.
      I am a Capitalist as I am in sales, I work hard and enjoy my life, family and friends, however I have never felt like anybody who was not working was scum or any other of the things that you seem to label yourself with in such a negative way, just moan about the Nats and the majority of Kiwis who voted them in for 9 years and call us RWNJ’s….
      Where is your solution?
      Capitalism:
      If I buy a broken push bike for $10.00 and fix it, then sell it for $20.00 and keep the $10.00 and buy a couple of beers, is the $10.00 going to the beer company a blight on the person I sold the bike to? Am I the scum for making a profit on the Bike? or the beer company?

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        Capitalism:
        If I buy a broken push bike for $10.00 and fix it, then sell it for $20.00 and keep the $10.00 and buy a couple of beers, is the $10.00 going to the beer company a blight on the person I sold the bike to?

        That’s not capitalism.

        As you seem to have a problem understanding the English Language I’ll get the definition for you:

        capitalism
        ˈkapɪt(ə)lɪz(ə)m/
        noun
        noun: capitalism

        an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

        At no point in your example did you point out that capitalism is all about taking the commons and privatising it so that a few people have power over everyone else. Which is what capitalism actually is.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 17.1.2

        “Capitalism:
        If I buy a broken push bike for $10.00 and fix it, then sell it for $20.00 and keep the $10.00 and buy a couple of beers..”

        What you describe is useful work creating something. That does occur under capitalism. But there are other highly undesirable outcomes, if free market capitalism is left to itself. The issue is that accumulated money allows you to accumulate more (including by taking from others) and eventually massive wealth gives individuals overwhelming power over their fellow citizens.

        – You (or an ancestor) save your $10. You use it to expand and ideally create a bike monopoly, excluding others from the opportunities you had. Eventually you no longer need to work or create anything useful – you can use your amassed capital to gather money from other people’s work, by mere virtue of ownership. Then you can use your wealth to influence politics, to (as examples) create laws to protect your wealth and allow you to pay your workers very little, and pay little tax. All the while your capital is compounding, giving you more and more wealth and power. You lobby to abolish inheritance tax (already happened in NZ), to ensure you have created an inherited modern-day aristocracy. Your children need never work or create anything – they just own. Over time your power becomes almost unlimited.

        – Meanwhile those who have no capital to start with, are now in a position where they can never buy a bike and make the start you did. They are on zero-hours contracts with no access to cheap education, housing or healthcare. Or maybe they had to care for a sick relative, or chose to do charity work, instead of fixing bikes.

        The question is whether it is right to allow your first bit of successful work (or good fortune) to be amplified by the power of capital, to give perpetual massive wealth without ongoing work.

    • patricia bremner 17.2

      Observer Tokoroa1000%

  18. AsleepWhileWalking 18

    They really shouldn’t make policy on the fly, in this case refusing to provide grants for tents.

    Why the fuck do they think they can deal with EVEN MORE people in emergency housing?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12031879

  19. timeforacupoftea 19

    The Greed of ACC – has accumulated $37 billion of OUR CASH.

    ACC is sitting on more than $37 billion, much of which isn’t needed for immediate claims costs.

    Wouldn’t it be better to invest OUR MONEY ie : ACC’s, for NEW Hospital’s and up grades then charge the State interest say at 1% above Bank rates.

    No reason why they couldn’t do the same with State housing.

    I would sooner see OUR MONEY working for US not overseas countries !

    • AsleepWhileWalking 19.1

      I’d like to see people get treatment, especially in cases where delays will worsen the condition.

      Built off the backs of sick people.

    • greg 19.2

      phil tyford is on the right track with prefab and modular construction add to that the nz building industry needs to be modernized and upgraded the future is factory built homes we need quality improvement efficiency and a massive increase in productivity current structure is not up to the task.

  20. David Mac 20

    There’s not many options after tents. Just the ‘6 rolls of tape and permission to rumage for big cartons in the skip behind Farmers’ option.

    The boat shed is the last bloody thing you do. Just before the gazebo. Need the houses first ya drongos, build the boat sheds when the house situation is sorted. All boatshed builders, I urge you to down tools, yes it’s a lovely outlook but we need houses.

  21. Macro 21

    Finland has reduced its homelessness by 35% over recent years – the only country in the “developed” world that has seen a decrease in homelessness rather than an increase. There are now only around 7000 homeless people in Finland (and that includes those sleeping at a friends). How did they do this? The answer is simple – the first thing they did was to give homeless people houses.

    In Finland, housing options included the use of social housing, buying flats from the private market to be used as rental apartments for homeless people, and building new housing blocks for supported housing. An important part of the programme was the extensive conversion of shelters and dormitory-type hostels into supported housing, to address the huge need for accommodation that offered help to tenants. The last big hostel for homeless people in Helsinki with 250 bed places was run by the Salvation Army. A couple of years ago this hostel was renovated and now consists of 80 independent apartments with on-site staff. The disappearance of temporary solutions like hostels has completely changed the landscape of Finnish homelessness policy in a very positive way, for vulnerable individuals and in combatting antisocial behaviour.

    *
    https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/sep/14/lessons-from-finland-helping-homeless-housing-model-homes

    Note that the list of actions undertaken by the Finnish Govt was far more extensive than the tentative approach being undertaken here. I pass a deserted, but substantial maternity hospital, in a local town nearby – there are up to 30 rough sleepers in each of these small towns in the Coromandel – many arrivals from Auckland – but with increasing property prices – locals are also being forced out of their homes. Their are some local initiatives to help deal with this growing crisis but they all need funding.

    Grant Robertson and co have foisted on this government a huge millstone with the imposition of the BRR. The ability of the Government to respond in meaning ways has been well and truly shackled.

    *(Reader alert! Guardian Article – so obviously FAKE news) /sarc

  22. greywarshark 22

    Typical politicians – stop supplying something that is helping homeless families when there is presently little other options. Both Labour and National. All talk about caring for people’s needs. The thing to do is to make it easier to buy tents to cope with present dire need, and find other ways that those people would prefer such as would they like a caravan, a tiny house, to be closer to family, or go to a work-friendly area, be a travelling family moving around with a caravan pulled by horse so not dependent on petrol etc.

    The authoritarian, charity-driven, middle class approach cannot conceive that people could make a good satisfactory life if they could have the resources they need; mixed home education, and temporary schooling places etc would be part of it.

    Many may have to become nomads again, gypsies, following the work and living away from the conforming, disdaining, narrow-minded people so prevalent in town society. Who haven’t got half the get up and go of the travellers. The conformists can just eke out a living doing far less important work than the travellers I envisage, who would be bringing in the crops and providing their work ethic, effort and work skills for supplying our basic needs.

    • Rosemary McDonald 22.1

      No truer words greywarshark.

      Here me and he are, parked up in our wee Bus in the arse end of nowhere enjoying blissful isolation.

      No lights for miles, and it is as a black as the inside of a cow outside.

      We are just parked up on the side of a back country road, and have a fresh filleted kahawai in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.

      The ‘Canes are giving the Chiefs a good run…from what we can deduce from the variable radio reception… and judging by the star filled sky there should be plenty of sun for our solar panels tomorrow.

      This nomad life is more than doable on the Super if one has simple tastes.😉😉

      Up here there is a burgeoning horticultural industry with the promise of jobs, jobs and more jobs to make up for sucking up precious water from the aquifer and spraying tonnes of pesticides.

      Trouble is there’s f all in the way of housing to a accommodate all these new workers…making me wonder if that has factored in Uncle Shane’s plans for the economic revival of the North.

      What were you saying about carts and horses?

  23. Venezia 23

    So Louise Upston says the Nats didnt know about WINZ grants for tents for families to live in. Jonathon Coleman didnt know about the toxic mould/seimic issues/ sewerage pouring into wall cavities at Middlemore…..There is an ever lengthening list of problems left by the National government, which will take a massive investment to turn around. It would be good to keep track of these Nat deficits/problems/lies/buried reports/manipulations of OIA/incompetent handling of cow diseases/broken election promises – something akin to BLIPs list of lies told by John Key.

  24. Observer Tokoroa 24

    Yes Macro

    Finland has done well.

    But we need to buy buildings – at low cost – and quickly convert them for use as good temporary apartments.

    At the same time residences must be built. But not housing for Immigrants or visitors.

    Remember this is Auckland”s problem. Given to us by Parnell. It is Not new Zealand’s problem.

    Auckland no matter what the issue, has never understood it has to fix itself. National has never understood that. For pete’s sake it can’t even deal with the crime rate. Or the traffic shambles. Or the Transport problem.

    However, every town in every region has to fix itself. And sitting down doing sweet nothing gets nowhere.

    As long as the Immigration gates are shut tight, we can beat the greed of Key and English and their strange weird followers.

  25. Cinny 25

    Not so long ago a woman who was living in a tent with her preschooler, had her child removed from her, due to the living conditions.
    Don’t know the whole story, but it would be pretty shitty if the removal of the child was solely due to having a tent for a home, especially after hearing this news.

    • Jum 25.1

      Hope this has been followed up…

    • OnceWasTImothy and others 25.2

      It’s possible the ‘authorities’ have a spreadsheet @Cinny. One that’s used to determine who to target. The woman is obviously a big risk with inadequate parenting skills.
      /sarc (very sarc)
      I wouldn’t be surprosed AT ALL if it was down to the ‘living conditions.

  26. Jum 26

    Any foreignors/greedy NZers owning empty investment houses in NZ should be required to open them up for people without humane housing shelter (which does not include National/Act tents which is the act of corrupt pondscum).

    Peter Thiel and other creatures like him, owning NZ property under rather stretched guidelines thanks to National, should be included in this.

    In a New Zealand I could be proud of…

  27. SPC 27

    A sort of related issue is how insurance is going up in cost. It is now higher than rates in Wellington under new insurance (ANZ – Tower in my case) settings.

    For those on fixed incomes (super) the increase is going to be way more than the new power income supplement. And it is a rip off of them, not only are they to meet the full cost of insurance for a rebuild in an earthquake area (user pays) but ALSO subsidise landlords for cover of loss of rent income and drug damage etc. Manifestly a double standard.

  28. Ian 28

    A tent will be a luxury after this collective bunch of dropkicks trying to be a Government reach peak dropkick.

  29. Where are all the far right wing nut jobbers?

    Is it Friday and they’ve all knocked off early for drinkie poos?…. nice for some eh?

    Then again , family’s living in cars and tents and shit piling up in the walls of hospitals is kinda indefensible, I suppose…

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