Housing? A National mess

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, December 15th, 2016 - 97 comments
Categories: housing, national, tenants' rights - Tags:

3 stories from Checkpoint yesterday, that add up to a picture of National’s response to housing.

Firstly an Auckland caravan park getting probably more than $1 million/year from low income New Zealanders and beneficiaries with nowhere else to live.  They’ve received half a million dollars of WINZ money that must be paid back by the tenants.

The conditions:

[His] caravan was only about 4m long, leaked and had broken windows.

“There were cockroaches there when I moved in. There was no bathroom, I had to use the public one by the office.”

The man lived at the park last year and paid $240 a week.

“[There were] gang members roaming around, drug deals happening at your doorstep. There were quite a few families with kids around,” he said.

Meanwhile, State Houses in South Auckland have been sitting vacant for a year, getting damage from being unoccupied.  A dozen houses in the street:

Fina Leiataua, one the tenants who was forced to leave after five years on the street, said she did not understand why HNZ told her to move, if it was not ready to start development.

“They shouldn’t be empty. We thought they would’ve started building houses already because there are so many people that need houses to stay in,” said Ms Leiataua.

“Those houses are now being broken into, people drinking in them, it’s not safe, especially for young ones. Our next-door neighbours were telling us that people have been stealing stuff from their houses.”

Earlier this week it was revealed a family with a disabled child were in a $2300/week motel unit (without oven or laundry – $4/load) while they desperately wait for a Housing NZ home.  They’ve been in motel units for most of a year, and initially had to pay the money back to Work and Income.  They’re struggling with the lack of stability for their child.

MSD’s response: to vilify them, saying that they weren’t eligible for a house until next year and were difficult to place as their behaviour had resulted in them being repeatedly evicted.

Except, it wasn’t true.

They’ve now had to apologise, as they made mistakes in their hurry to vilify respond.

Ms Murray said she had never been evicted.

She said she did flee a state house late last year after armed men showed up demanding money.

MSD said the family not only owed $340 in rent but contractors who went to the property found blood and a gun and the house later tested positive for methamphetamine.

Ms Murray said squatters moved in after she left, the weapon had nothing to do with her family, and she and her husband have never used or sold meth.

So it appears they’re also somewhat caught up in the Housing New Zealand scandal where houses are tested for trace amounts of meth, and families barred from housing as someone once smoked in that house – when it’s not a safety issue (levels are too low), and there’s no proof it was the tenants who did the smoking.  The Law Society has called for a review.

“They’ve been challenged by an independent review from Deloitte, the Ministry of Health, scientists have challenged them and so have we,” Mr Bell [executive director of Drug Foundation] said.

“At every point they’ve been challenged, Housing New Zealand has acknowledged they know the guidelines weren’t fit for purpose, that they shouldn’t be evicting people for meth use, but they continue to do so” […]

About 80 percent of the 116 people issued with 90-day tenancy termination notices last year were evicted for alleged use.

New guidelines relating to meth use were recently unveiled. They indicate HNZ has evicted tenants, and sought costs for clean ups, for traces of meth that posed no risk to people’s health.

All this adds up to a right mess this government is making on housing.

Not providing one of the most basic needs of people in our society, but instead vilifying them and throwing them on the street at any opportunity.  All this under housing ministers Bill English, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith – and clearly National MPs see their job as so well done that they need rewarding…

97 comments on “Housing? A National mess”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Not providing one of the most basic needs of people in our society, but instead vilifying them and throwing them on the street at any opportunity.

    It’s much easier to say that we have an over supply of state housing when there are many empty houses and it’s much easier to kick people out of state housing if you can find a way to vilify the tenants when you kick them out. Then it becomes real easy to sell them to National’s donors.

  2. Paul 2

    Shameful.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      John Campbell kinda overcooked this piece….the “incredibly basic bathroom and incredibly basic kitchen..” Both the bathroom and the kitchen are perfectly adequate for this type of motel unit. Detracts from the overall stupidity of WINZ funding anyone to live in such expensive accommodation.

      The media have to be very careful when highlighting important issues like this that they don’t lose the real message in a cloud of hype.

      • roy cartland 2.1.1

        ??? The oven and rangehood didn’t work, that’s not even remotely adequate. For any type of motel unit.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1.1

          An oven and a range hood are not generally standard in this type of accommodation, and neither are necessities….why they there and are not functioning is the question that should have been asked. Perhaps the power used to run either or both was too great an expense to be included in the daily room rate? I know that using the oven is a luxury for most on limited income…they are simply too power hungry.

          Apart from that…the kitchen and bathroom were fine. More important issues to talk about than irrelevancies.

          • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1.1.1

            I think the whole point about the oven, etc, is what tenants are getting for the enormous amount the motel is charging MSD per week.

            But, yes, and oven is not a necessity for emergency accommodation, and a microwave costs less to run.

          • Paul 2.1.1.1.2

            He also went online and found the most expensive house for rent ( a 6 bedroom house in Papatoetoe) which cost $880 a week. Bet the house had an oven.

      • Paul 2.1.2

        Pretty basic for $2300 per week.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.2.1

          The point is, surely, that it is akin to screaming insanity that WINZ would even consider funding such accommodation.

          This is a motel. Not a rental property. The rent rooms by the day. That’s how they make their $$$.

          The ‘story’ is that …how many weeks (since we heard about this family)?…have passed and WINZ has not said, “no way we are paying this much” to their mates over at Housing NZ, who have not replied…” no worries, there’s a nice little 2 bedroom unit that can easily be made accessible here.”

          It can’t be that hard.

          Unless they want it to be, that is….because they’re miserable pricks.

      • Chris 2.1.3

        What’s happening with the huge debts people are ending up with? The Auckland Action Against Poverty group said they’re taking MSD to court. Where’s all that at? Bennett said they have to be paid back. Surely that’s a major issue, too. That it can be correct that a beneficiary has to repay $100k for emergency accommodation is unfathomable.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304607/homeless-family-faces-$100k-winz-debt

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.3.1

          And this is where it goes down the rabbit hole.

          What numbskull signs off on an advance/allowance/extension/or whatever of that amount to someone of extraordinarily limited means for something as basic as housing.

          When there is no hope of that person ever paying back such a ‘debt’.

          In my more cynical moments I think perhaps the only logical explanation is that WINZ and /or HNZ are playing some sort of bizarre Machiavellian game…either to make each other look bad….or make the government look bad.

          Whatever…it makes no sense at all.

          • Chris 2.1.3.1.1

            I can’t work out how the heck it’s legal, or even government policy to put beneficiaries into this sort of debt under the guise of social welfare. So a person in financial strife asks for help and gets landed with a $100k debt? It wasn’t that long ago when it was being debated whether it was fair to put medical students into this level of debt via the student loan scheme. But this?

            • greg 2.1.3.1.1.1

              its insane how con these people ever get out of poverty under these conditions.
              its profiteering from human misery

    • Eralc 2.2

      As commented above, John Campbell has overcooked this story. If he had done some research into the back story of this person and her partner, he may have thought twice before taking the the story to air.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        have no idea what backstory you refer to but it makes no difference to the gross stupidity of the gov paying extortionate sums to private moteliers/camp grounds particularly when they are busy emptying and selling off state housing….there is absolutely no way anyone could place a positive spin on any of these actions and it defies belief that anyone would try.

  3. Paul 3

    A wretched effort by Paula Bennett.

  4. Paul 4

    Disgraceful and shameful actions by Bennett

    Social Housing Ministry accused of dirty politics tactics to smear Te Puea Marae

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/social-housing-ministry-accused-dirty-politics-tactics-smear-te-puea-marae.html?auto=4940217474001

  5. Paul 5

    Shame John Key, Bill English and Paula Bennett.
    And all of those who voted for this government.
    And all of us for tolerating this and not insisting the Labour Party, the Green Party become a lot more staunch on this.

    • NZJester 5.1

      How about shame on the Maori Party for propping up a government that does such things to their people. The high majority of people being treated like that are of Maori blood.

  6. saveNZ 6

    It’s so cruel, shocking, unjust and unnecessary – what can you say except, vote to change the government next election.

    • Paul 6.1

      I have never voted for them.
      We need to highlight these stories so 1 million people don’t vote for this greedy selfish crew again.

  7. tc 7

    National regard this as a success and shows how much they value plundering state assets over citizens.

    Backers rewarded, non national voters impacted adversely, socialist initiative put to the sword, dog whistling, impairing the states ability to look after the needy etc etc

  8. greywarshark 8

    It seems that NZHousing hate people, so don’t give a stuff for their ‘clients’.
    It seems that NZ National Housing Party hate people, so don’t give a stuff for their ‘clients’.

    Worse, from my observations for a few decades, it seem that NZrs couldn’t care
    less about other people who can’t find anywhere of decent condition and affordable to live, and no sad story will stir the vast majority to compassion and outrage.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Hmm. I meant to under line something but couldn’t. See if I can strike out ‘Housing’. NZ National Housing Party.

  9. wellfedweta 9

    “They’ve now had to apologise, as they made mistakes in their hurry to vilify respond.”

    You have based this claim entirely on ‘Ms Murray said’. You have been conned. There are papers in the public domain that show Ms Murray was taken to the TT for unpaid rent. There is also evidence that Ms Murray has at least twice been asked to leave accomodation due to unpaid rent.

    That said, I agree entirely on the meth issue. If there is no evidence the current tenant was responsible, and the level is safe, leave them alone.

    • Paul 9.1

      Do you care about the levels of poverty in this country?

      • wellfedweta 9.1.1

        Yes. Which is why I detest those who cry poor and don’t take responsibility for their own actions. It’s also why I despise the media who ‘pimp’ these people. There is a long history of doing this I’m afraid.

        • Paul 9.1.1.1

          So what are your solutions well fed?
          How do we ensure everyone is well fed?

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.1.1

            Ultimately, feeding a child is the responsibility of parents, not the state. The unfortunate reality is we have parents who are unable to do that. My view and observation is that this is not from a lack of money, but a lack of education, a lack of will, or both.

            Because I am to some degree involved, I can see much good coming from a lot of initiatives already underway. I agree with the much improved multi-agency co-operation that is identifying families in need. I would want to see this followed up with mentors being placed into those families, and on a long term basis, if necessary.

            Sadly many SW’s I know are pessimistic, not because of the lack of effort to address the issues, but because of the pervasive criminal underbelly that often inserts itself into the situation. Many families in need are simply that – in need – and can be readily identified and assisted. But there are many others where the criminal connections are such that those who could help can’t or won’t. That is behind my comments recently about getting vulnerable children out of these situations.

            I am also against the close ties maintained with family when children are in danger. The default position has led to children frequently returned to abusive, dysfunctional households, or move from foster home to foster home, with no hope for a stable or loving environment. I would advocate a radical reshaping of child custody laws, where there is a far more stringent break between young children and their criminal relatives.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, in Aussie they call it “the stolen generation”. That’s what you get when your policy solutions are motivated by hate.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                It is not so cut and dried OAB…and its disingenuous to throw the ‘stolen generation’ line around over this issue here in New Zealand.

                If I had refused to welcome a child into our family because they were Maori and we’re not, and the child had no option but to stay in a risk ridden environment and the child was ultimately killed….?

                We constantly asked CYFs, when they reminded us that our home was ‘culturally unsafe’ for the Maori child we were about to welcome into our family…”why are you not placing this child with a Maori foster family?”
                “We don’t have enough Maori foster parents.”

                I know I’m running the risk of again being accused of ‘being part of the abuse’ again….but…be mindful of making sweeping statements until you’ve stood at the coalface.

                Do you feel strongly enough about this that you are prepared to risk the life of a child through adherence to ideology?

                • wellfedweta

                  Well said.

                  I have attended family many family group conferences. I attended one a few years ago where the child has been in 14 foster homes, all Maori, because those foster parents are related to the birth parents. In virtually every case the foster parents were simply making matters worse, because of their own dysfunctionality.

                  • Tricledrown

                    So where do these children go no body is putting up their hand to take these children in.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Canterbury University has been running an experimental program.
                    Where well trained Social workers step into failing families and take over their budget and stick with the family till the problems are solved the average length of time to fix the family 6 months.
                    Cost $72,000 per family.
                    Success Rate 70%.
                    I have talked to Judith Collins MSD minister at the time and Labour Mps.
                    No action no reply.
                    Fixing these families is cheaper and work’s where as we see what’s happening now is a complete failure and is why we have these Million dollar welfare families.
                    Now Collins is in charge of expanding prisons.
                    $2 billion plus on new prisons.
                    Looks like they are happy to continue down this path of failure.

                    • wellfedweta

                      I’m with you. That is precisely the type of intervention that is required and justified.

                • Once was and others etc

                  “Do you feel strongly enough about this that you are prepared to risk the life of a child through adherence to ideology?”

                  +1 !!!
                  Especially in an environment where there are not enough suitable ‘culturally appropriate’ foster parents, and where the front-line CYFS social workers are so under-resourced and in short supply, each with huge case loads where it’s not possible to adequately monitor placements. Let alone having to work under the box-ticking, purchase agreement-driven, KPI ridden corporatism that afflicts the rest of our public service.
                  Anne Tolley “is determined” to change things. I wish her well but it sure as shit isn’t going to happen if certain really fundamental things don’t change.
                  Having attended quite a number of FGCs myself I can sort of understand where wellfed is coming from but I disagree with his suggestion that the problem is not due to lack of money.
                  FGCs are a bit like ISO9000 accreditiation sometimes. You can tick all the boxes and make all sorts of agreements. Utterly useless if you don’t have the capability to monitor and enforce.
                  Every FGC I’ve ever been to, the agreed to plans have never come to pass, but instead have been tweeked or changed to accomodate the environment (above) – and unfortunately with tragic results (such as knives being pulled, fellow students being bashed up, etc.)

                  • the pigman

                    This is a worthy little thread, but I am quite comfortable with the CYF Act principles emphasising the importance of maintaining links to family and culture.

                    If any of you have ever practised child protection law in the UK, or been in childrens social services there, you’ll see the opposite at work.

                    Trainee social workers, without adequate oversight, with access to quite significant resources (by comparison to CYFS in NZ) chomping at the bit to remove children from their families and “seek permanency” (adoption).

                    My experience there was almost the 180 reverse of FGCs in NZ. The parents aren’t listened to or consulted at all, the social workers get most of their oversight from the lawyers they’re asking to remove the children (the number of blank stares you get when you ask social workers for notes of their interactions with family members was shocking), and somehow the children having both separately appointed guardians and lawyers leads to both shunting their responsibilities to one another.

                    So I don’t think the FGC model is too bad. Resources would make all the difference.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    “Every FGC I’ve ever been to, the agreed to plans have never come to pass…”

                    Twenty something years ago I was speaking with a social worker from the UK. We were talking about child welfare and family dysfunction, and she brought up about NZ’s wonderful Family Group Conference Model…how innovative and successful it was…an example for the rest of the world. She said we must have some of the lowest youth convictions/child abuse/ suicide/

                    When I’d wiped the tears of unhappy mirth from my face, I tried to let her down gently that the hype had buried the intentions. In the end…I just had to say…it’s useless.

                    The last FGC I was even remotely involved with did not offer much concrete hope for the children.

                    Seems to me that an FGC is a time and resource wasting box ticking exercise.

                    I’d love to be wrong…because it sounds like a very good idea.

                    http://www.napierlibrary.co.nz/assets/mcelrea/beyond-prisons.PDF

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Rosemary, in specific reference to someone whose views are by their own admission, motivated by hate, it’s entirely apt.

                  That there may be too few Māori foster parents is not a good reason to abandon whānau-based care.

                  Don’t forget that the architects of this policy change refuse to take steps to tackle inequality, refused to even acknowledge it at all for years. We had Wayne Mapp here recently telling us that the increase in the GINI associated with “free” “market” “reforms” was deliberate.

                  Poverty is violence. The comparison with Australia is valid.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    With respect OAB, addressing inequality (which it seems you believe is the root cause of children being at significant risk and hence being taken into state care) is going to take more time than some of these children have.

                    Material poverty does not inevitably lead to child abuse and murder. NZ’s unenviable child body count would be much higher if it were.

                    The vast majority of people struggling to survive are not abusing their children. Whatever the crises they face, they try to put the children’s needs first and don’t beat them….sometimes to death.

                    If you go and seek out those working with families struggling with severe hardship they will most likely tell you the same thing.

                    Ask those same workers at the coalface (probably better to do this in private as sometimes speaking the truth may cost them their jobs) what are the common factors in most of these horrific cases that come to the attention of the media. Ask them about the children who don’t die, and are left to grow to adulthood carrying the scars.

                    Speak to some of these survivors, as often those who have not grown up to repeat the cycle have had to place distance between themselves and their wider family so they can create a more healthy and sustaining culture for their own children.

                    This is a very complicated problem. The children that will die at the hands of their family do not care about political ideology and slogans.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I know it’s going to take more time, especially considering the fact there’s no plan and this government has no intention to create one.

                      Which emphasises the point: the people who create the victims in the first place are now hell-bent on revictimising them. Will Herr Doktor Poulson’s kids be tested for potential future oath-breaking and massive conflicts of interest? Nope.

                      Child poverty has more than doubled since 1982, a deliberate act, according to Wayne Mapp. You trust the people who did this to suddenly start acting in good faith, to fix the damage they’ve done?

                      I don’t.

                    • ropata

                      Granted that poor families are largely doing an amazing job, but poverty/inequality is still the most significant factor associated with poor social outcomes. Not just family violence but lower levels of education, employment, health.

                      Addressing inequality is a basic plank in the fence that stops people falling off a cliff. Far preferable to the very costly ambulance at the bottom

                    • wellfedweta

                      Thank you for your common sense Rosemary.

                      “Material poverty does not inevitably lead to child abuse and murder. NZ’s unenviable child body count would be much higher if it were.”

                      YES! Not only that, but I have seen abuse in very wealthy families. The link that is often suggested between financial status and dysfunction is offensive and frankly unhelpful.

                    • ropata

                      WFW doesn’t care if families sleep in cars, he will keep bullshitting till the cows come home, as long as he and his National mates can avoid their social obligations to help the poor.

                      It’s fucken obvious that poverty correlates to shitty life outcomes.

                      https://www.google.co.nz/?gws_rd=ssl#q=inequality+poverty+deprivation+correlation+to+social+outcomes

            • Paul 9.1.1.1.1.2

              So if parents don’t feed their children properly, do we take them from their parents?
              OK.
              That has been done before.
              With pretty grim results.

              • wellfedweta

                “So if parents don’t feed their children properly, do we take them from their parents?”
                No, and I never suggested that. I’m happy to discuss this with you, but only if you represent what I say honestly.

                • Tricledrown

                  So where do these children go no body is putting up their hand to take these children in.

                  • wellfedweta

                    We have to teach the parents to feed their children. Others here have suggested teaching gardening lessons for parents and children. We don’t teach cooking anymore at school. I’ve been in homes where there are two generations of adults who can’t boil an egg. I’m serious.

            • ropata 9.1.1.1.1.3

              There used to be a govt department called CYFS that took a family based approach to those with problems. But it’s been renamed to the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, so (I assume) their scope has been reduced for Bling’s budget bottom line.

            • Cinny 9.1.1.1.1.4

              Education is the key to so many social problems, none seem to want to invest in social education.

              Have a baby and push you out the door, cease support or unfund social agencies that can help.

              It’s messed up. One of the most important things you can teach a child is how to grow and prepare food, after all we all need food to survive.

              There is a lost generation in NZ, maybe a few of them, they live in apartments or do not know how to grow food so rely on buying it.

              Poverty.. many factors need to come into play to solve that problem.

              Food in schools, students grow it, prep it, eat it. They go home with their new skills and share the knowledge around. Meanwhile their bellies are full, they are gaining so much information not just about food prep but also horticulture etc etc, and with full bellies comes good behaviour, among other things.

              Yes parents should provide food for their kids blah blah. Over the blame, above is an idea which would work. Sprinkle it with some oldies whom have a life time of gardening experience, keep them active and involved and not lonely, interacting with the kids. Building up the community. So many benefits.

              • wellfedweta

                Thanks Cinny. I believe we can agree on all of what you say. I particularly like the growing food idea.

                • Cinny

                  Sweet, the thing that really annoys me is ‘the parents must take responsibility narrative’, because no matter what happens it’s not the kid’s fault and we need to look after them first. Feeding them does them no harm, kids going hungry however…

                  Kids love gardening, am yet to met a child whom didn’t enjoying growing food, especially when it’s food they like. And the benefits for their mental health would be fantastico

                  Would help with the childhood obesity epidemic too.

                  Soil is more precious than gold, if only people understood it’s true value. Consumerism has stolen far to many generations.

                  When science catches up with nature, then come the true technological advances, take off your shoes and open your mind.

                  • wellfedweta

                    Yep, although I still believe strongly in individual responsibility. Still, the more we assist in practical ways, the more tools people have.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2

          You detest people. And there it is: the hate.

        • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.3

          (9.1.1 )

          ‘ Which is why I detest those who cry poor and don’t take responsibility for their own actions.’

          Great !,… so going by your logic we can now be released to take the former Business Roundtable (now the New Zealand Institute ) to court for charges of social malfeasance , obtaining pecuniary advantage ,and treason.

          Additionally , we can also charge the neo liberal leaders of the last 32 years retrospectively with the same criminal charges with the added charges of collusion and being complicit in a crime.

          Well done , Weta – I always knew you had it in you.

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.3.1

            If you can prove your charges, fill yer boots.

            • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.3.1.1

              32 years of evidence is going to take a long long time to present at a High Court, – however, unlike your neo liberal govt that stripped the legal aid system for those least able to afford a lawyer…

              We could scrub that and ensure the trial is payed for by taxes – and – the bulk of the costs taken by former state owned assets that are frozen and were gained through duplicity and subterfuge by those so accused…

              A little bit like your neo liberal poster pin up boy John Key tried to do to Kim Dotcom. – the difference being , however , was that Kim Dotcom earned his cash legally in this country .

              Once that’s done, legislation passed to make it illegal to sell off assets owned by the general public and thus neutering the criminality and activity’s of the neo liberal.

              That oughta do it.

              • wellfedweta

                No, you were making specific allegations against the business round table. I assume you have evidence to back those up?

        • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.4

          ( 9.1.1 )

          ‘ Yes. Which is why I detest those who cry poor and don’t take responsibility for their own actions. It’s also why I despise the media who ‘pimp’ these people. There is a long history of doing this I’m afraid.’

          Hmmmm…this starts to get really profound the more one looks at it.

          Sooooooo…. that means, in following along that line of logic,…. that these govt depts that are in collusion with the National party and particularly with ex PM John Key ,…. and also the Pike River Coal Mining company who said they didn’t have any funds left to stand trial….should be taking responsibilities for their actions, reentering Pike River and being manned up enough to accept the consequences of any evidence found and of a renewed High Court trial by which a significant number would be convicted…

          I like what Im hearing so far.

          Keep it up.

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.4.1

            I actually don’t have any problem with your suggestion at all.

            • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.4.1.1

              Good. Then you will be happy with a social democratic govt that will bring in a progressive tax scale for the highest earners who aren’t paying their fair share, and strengthening the unions to assist in preventing further corrupt practices like Pike River.

              And ensuring the return of the union award rate system to prevent the sort of exploitation that was underlined in the nz herald today.

              Good.

              Were finally starting to get somewhere with you , Weta.

              • wellfedweta

                1. We have a social democrat government.
                2. We have a progressive tax system.
                3. The highest income earners are paying more than their fair share.
                4. We have union award systems, in those areas where employs feel it is worth being in a union.

                So, you have your wish!

        • Red Hand 9.1.1.5

          Research findings suggest poverty impairs cognitive function, which might explain your observation that some people “cry poor and don’t take responsibility for their own actions”.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23990553

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.5.1

            During the depression of the 1930’s, how many people suffered from cognitive impairment?

            Your comment is more than a little patronising.

            • Red Hand 9.1.1.5.1.1

              Read the paper and the comments. If you want to assist the poor who “don’t take responsibility for their own actions” you need to know why they don’t.

              • wellfedweta

                Oh you can lay blame, but my question about the depression addressed that. Also if poverty leads to some people not taking responsibility for their actions, then why did those people not take responsibility before they fell into poverty?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Born into it, most likely, Trashinthemiddle.

                • Tricledrown

                  Inter generational poverty.
                  I have worked at the Coal face for over 30 years nearly 40.
                  These people are seriously psychologically damaged.
                  Are dysfunctional their behaviour is deeply ingrained they are incapable of taking or making change’s without serious and expensive intervention.
                  Budgets have been frozen since the 1980’s.
                  Still getting the same payment per child as we got in 1982.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    incapable of taking or making change’s without serious and expensive intervention.

                    And from their point of view, what’s the point of changing if there’s no hope for their circumstances to change.

                    The sooner significant support and intervention, including structural and systemic change, is begun, the better for them and all of us.

                  • wellfedweta

                    Yes, I have no doubt some are as you say. I’ve met a few, and it is very sad.

        • NZJester 9.1.1.6

          What about all those hard working people who are now below the poverty line because the Government did a tax swap that favored those with higher incomes by lowering PAYE and raising GST. That extra money in their pay packets was less than the cost of the extra GST added to their basic living expenses like food, housing, and clothing.
          The government then try to vilify them by saying they are spending all their money on booze, drugs, and gambling when it is a lie.

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.6.1

            You conveniently forget the first increase in real benefits in over 40 years, regular increases in the minimum wage, a larger increase in real wages, a higher proportion of total tax paid by higher income earners….

        • greg 9.1.1.7

          fuck off wellfedweta same old right wingers trotting out same old lines go back to planet key or whale oil

          • Wellfedweta 9.1.1.7.1

            Oh my that’s an entirely rational response.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.7.1.1

              Pointing out that your spoonfed drivel is tiresome and unoriginal is an entirely rational response, Maninthemiddle.

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.8

          I hate people with money to spare who cry poor when its time to pay taxes. The responsibility for not paying their fair share of taxes from their spare money, is that more taxes are paid by poor people from their living expenses driving down their basic levels and often to drink too much, drug too much, to lighten their lives for a while.

          Also the comfortably-off tax avoiders and evaders don’t put enough in to the national pie and so the provision of services for the people drops steadily as we note every day in NZ.

          I see your pseudo cropping up in the comments a lot wellfed. Filling in time till you die perhaps?

          • wellfedweta 9.1.1.8.1

            I’m as against tax dodgers as benefit bludgers. I’ve met both, and detest their behaviour equally.

  10. Siobhan 10

    The problem is that for most people this ‘Motel Debt’ has to be paid back.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304122/homeless-borrow-thousands-for-motels

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304607/homeless-family-faces-$100k-winz-debt

    And for those big hearted souls out there who may want to bang on about drug use…I personally would rather see my tax dollars spent on housing a drug addict and their children, than trying to pick up the pieces when they end up sleeping under a bridge….

  11. ropata 11

    National’s Leaky Homes crisis is still a huge problem affecting approx 80,000 homes, but current owners prefer to remain in blissful ignorance
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11758299

    As many as 90 per cent of standalone leaky homes are likely still rotting, says leaky homes specialist lawyer Tim Rainey. And tens of thousands of owners who have stuck their heads in the sand are too late for most forms of redress.

    The Government’s financial address package closed in July this year. Add in that once a code compliance certificate is issued, there is only a 10-year window of opportunity to file a complaint about a leaky home with the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service, and time is almost up for the majority of home owners. The whole process has been a “monumental failure”, says Rainey.

    In 2009, a building expert report panel calculated the cost of the crisis at $23 billion.

  12. ropata 12

    Australia’s construction sector seems to be in the doldrums, maybe we could get them over here…?

    Yeah right, they won’t work for NZ slave wages while paying top dollar for materials

  13. the pigman 14

    The Left need to distill this fracas into a strong, negative advertising campaign next year (sometimes you need to go negative to Vote Positive.. cringe).

    1. They are kicking out tenants left-right-centre on the basis of expensive, disgraced and discredited meth testing carried out by a cartel of drug-testing companies (scientifically rejected by the govt. itself, no right of appeal to those decisions, no suggestion of investigation or prosecution for criminal offending relating to meth, just some fat, bossy bureaucrat at HNZ making that decision);

    2. They are leaving the HNZ properties they evict them from empty and selling them off to the oligarchs/land-owning class; then

    3. They are then paying motel operators and private landlords exortionate sums to house these families in sub-standard accommodation.

    Does that sound like “social investment” to you?

    I mean, what the fuckkety-fuck-fuck? And they made — her — our deputy PM?

    • Cinny 14.1

      Investing in the profits of meth testing companies and moteliers. Makes one wonder whom has shares where.

  14. ropata 15

    Don’t worry, Paula Bennett says there is no housing crisis

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    Listened to David Seymour interview on RNZ. He seemed completely out of touch.
    Beneficiaries don’t wreck motels any more than other visitors, it’s much more believable that the reason they aren’t welcome is that they look poor + depressed + stressed, and require repeated quotes.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201827727

  16. Tricledrown 17

    The selling off of John Keys state house hat he grew up in sums up the situation we are in now.
    100’s of thousands of families with no stability.
    Keys success a direct result.
    Now we have the opposite.

  17. Treetop 18

    I looked over the Hobsonville housing development on the Whenuapai side last week. The homes better be well insulated from sound. I would dislike being in the middle home, either side of the people joint on, on either side. The view is not great and there is not much privacy.

    There is a nice play ground for children.

    Sad that this is what some middle income people can only just afford until mortgage interest rates hike.

    I do not know what plans there are for extra shops.

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  • US imperialism’s 40 years of war on the Iranian people
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • $47 billion
    How much will NeoLiberal irregulation of the building sector and subsequent leaky homes crisis cost us? $47 billion, according to a new book:The total cost to fix all of New Zealand's leaky homes would be $47 billion, probably. The estimate comes from a new book, Rottenomics written by journalist Peter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago