web analytics

Housing Band Aids

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, May 26th, 2018 - 54 comments
Categories: class, families, housing, Social issues - Tags: , , , ,

The homeless are not nameless faceless nobodies, they’re babies, children, women and men all clamouring for a place to call home. A place where they can put down roots and establish a sense of belonging within their local communities. They’re not all the stereotype that is portrayed in media stories, they’re people who have been forced into hardship, debt and homelessness for a variety of reasons.

This is a sector I know well, a sector where I have had to break down the perceptions of social service providers and landlords alike. Where much of my work has been just as much about negotiating and challenging the stereotypical thinking and attitudes of  the ‘helping’ professionals as it is about convincing landlords to give this or that person a shot, despite bad debt and tenancy history. In my experience discrimination is rife in the rental industry and letting agencies are a waste of time.

Transitional housing is not a fix, it is nothing more than a holding tank, where families get to live in accommodation for up to 12 weeks, paying 25 percent of their income on rent, while looking for other housing.

Transitional providers are contracted by government to support these families in that journey, a journey I liken to a conveyor belt of next, next and next. There’s no end in sight at this stage of the game and those transitional housing contracts look set to go on and on, presenting an ever expanding façade that someone, somewhere, is addressing the homelessness ‘problem’. At this stage we’re simply shifting the ‘problem’ around and transitional housing providers are actually removing rental houses from the market to provide a short-term fix.

Some providers may argue that they’re making progress, and that may be so, but progress in what? How can progress be made when there are more and more families lining up for a home? When you’re housing one family, another’s being made homeless somewhere else because they could not afford the rent, because the landlord increased the rent or simply decided they no longer want you in their house.

If transitional housing providers are removing properties from the market, one has to wonder what is happening to the families who would have otherwise been able to access those properties on a longer term basis. In some cases, I wonder if the competition created by providers is impacting on rental prices (I know of some cases of landlords hiking the rent when in negotiations with providers).  I am also aware of instances where people viewing houses have ended up in ‘auction’ style negotiations with landlords using competition to pit desperate would be renters against one another.

Meanwhile, parents (generally mothers in my experience), their babies and children are left in a constant state of flux and worry about where they’re going to live next. A 12 week reprieve in a house is better than a motel (unless you’re one of the unlucky ones ending up in motel style transitional housing). The stressors of living in motel style accommodation is real and quite daunting for parents having to keep children quiet, where there’s nowhere safe to play, mum or dad cannot get a break and kitchen/laundry facilities make the living more difficult and more expensive for already cash strapped families. Not to mention the full-time job of keeping bored kids, in a cramped space, quiet out of fear they’ll upset someone and end up with nowhere to go.

While the main problem is homelessness due to an increasing population and decreasing rental housing supply, there is an assumption inherent in the whole transitional housing scheme. That assumption is that the people in need of housing also need ‘fixed’ in some way. If I had more time I could provide example  after example of how the housing problem is being individualised so that the onus is on ‘fixing’ flawed homeless families and implies they are somehow to blame for the situation. I suppose if nothing else, this assumption provides extra funding to the providers and keeps a few more of them employed, while little is being done to address the more serious problem of poverty.

54 comments on “Housing Band Aids”

  1. David Mac 1

    I think that’s a good post koreropono, thank-you. Your illumination is accurate, reading it leads me to wonder: What on earth do we do about it? I can’t see many solutions beyond the Govt buying and building houses.

    Ricky Houghton is doing some interesting things in the Far North. It appears his program is getting families into homes of their own and ultimately saving the taxpayer money at the same time.

    Where do you see timely, cost effective solutions korero?

  2. saveNZ 2

    I think if they want to address it your sentence sums it up.

    “While the main problem is homelessness due to an increasing population and decreasing rental housing supply”.

    The increasing population is deliberate it’s from immigration. Essentially someone somewhere (and in mostly was the National party), decided it was more important to give a home to someone from overseas to work for $16p/h or someone that could bring in some money and buy a business or property, than employ somebody who already lived here to work here or buy a business or property.

    Then we have a rip off system of building where immigration is an essential part of the system to drive down conditions and quality, a dysfunctional neoliberal council operating under COO’s, that have been selling off social housing for 30 years (John banks sold off a lot of Auckland housing when he was mayor).

    Then everything to do with property is going up. Rates for example up and probably $50 from every person’s rent will go straight to the council in rates. Insurance has gone up and is about double what it used to be. Insulation and smoke alarms while I agree with in most cases, will be driving up the prices. There is a plethora of ‘new businesses’ for landlords checking smoke alarms and installing P meters all of which are driving up the prices.

    Costs of repairs, plumbers, electricians and builders are through the roof, not on the wages but by things like sending two people at a time to bill double and then having 500% mark ups on the materials and then the quality is so poor, they don’t fix it.

    Then there is the costs of the unregulated rental agencies and so forth.

    Then satellite families and owner occupied businesses claiming all the allowances for accomodation and family credits due to creative accounting but living in million dollar houses and driving a Mercedes and sending their kids to private schools.

    There was a net gain of 60,000 people into NZ just last year. That is a lot of people to house and the cost of housing vs the amount of wages and the cost of just maintaining a property, let alone when you add in mortgage payments, just does not add up into an affordable rental situation.

    There are fewer rental properties because more people are moving to NZ and buying them and either live in them themselves or have family members living in them or friends living there or unoccupied (and this can be unoccupied due to p, waiting for council consent to develop and so forth as well as straight out ‘gold brick’ investments).

  3. Bill 3

    The homeless are…nearly a full 1% of NZ’s population. (0.94%)

    The next nearest rate I can find in the OECD is the Czech Republic at 0.65% of the population. (pdf)

    I can’t see how a management strategy built around “shunting” is ever going to work when we’re talking about over 41 000 people.

    And obviously, building so-called “affordable” houses for first time buyers, when we’re looking at over 41 000 people who will likely never buy a house, doesn’t do anything on the homeless front bar provide a nod and a wink to “trickle down” theory.

    And 1600 state houses per year? That’s a lot of years at current levels of homelessness for people to wait around and die in.

    Where’s the requisitioning of empty residential properties…the compulsory purchasing and conversion of suitable, empty commercial properties… the squatters rights…the life long tenancies with a legislative cap on rent levels in the private sector?

    • Antoine 3.1

      > Where’s the requisitioning of empty residential properties…the compulsory purchasing and conversion of suitable, empty commercial properties… the squatters rights…the life long tenancies with a legislative cap on rent levels in the private sector?

      Those things would alarm property owners and also undermine business confidence

      A.

      • adam 3.1.1

        Quick sicken to reading your apologist comment Antoine. What next don’t do anything because business knows better. Well we are in this situation, so obviously not ah.

        The liberal ideologies are going to be out in force on this one.

    • Barfly 3.2

      33000 empty houses in Auckland at the last census(?) – sure a portion aren’t ghost houses but I wager that the vast majority are. The country can’t afford the social and financial costs of these parasites on our society.

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        Exactly. There’s a massive amount of waste in thesystem at the moment.

        One spitball idea that just occurred to me was maybe a rates levy of 10% GV on every residential unit without a resident for more than six months of the calendar year? Wouldn’t even need to be universal – just designate high-need areas. Suddenly a lot of property bankers would have a bigger reason to bother with tenants.

    • dukeofurl 3.3

      Theres a lot of reasons why 40,000 ‘homeless’ isnt 40k who are ‘houseless’
      an Otago University study from last year, which found that the “severely housing deprived” – or homeless – population in New Zealand was around 41,200.

      Those literally without a roof, is still a terrible number, 4000+ ( could be well over that number)
      https://thespinoff.co.nz/media/22-05-2018/no-reuters-there-are-not-tens-of-thousands-sleeping-in-nz-cars-shop-entrances-and-alleys/
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11908336

    • edgil 3.4

      I live in Tamaki Makaura acres of empty land from bulldozed homes.
      Shame on this Nation Shame.
      Go on trolls pick that apart.

  4. AB 4

    New Zealand’s business and economic culture is one of plundering downwards. Get ahead by ripping sh*t out of the guy below you who has limited options. That way you get a squeezed middle and a desperate bottom.
    The popularity of owning ‘rentals’ among quite ordinary middle class people is a fine example – so is people going into the Sally Army stores buying any half-decent stuff for next to nothing and putting it on TradeMe. So is the high cost of construction materials…
    We live in very degraded times.

    • Antoine 4.1

      Why the scare quotes on ‘rentals’? They really are rentals.

      A.

      • AB 4.1.1

        Apologies. Double quotes intended not single, because that is what people call them. Often with quiet pride.

    • greywarshark 4.2

      AB
      This is getting off-topic but is an illustration of how clinging to past practices and policies can prevent movements to improve them, and stop development of helpful ideas.

      You are looking at things the wrong way when you talk about people utilising things from Salvation Army shops for product to sell on TradeMe. The first point I want to make is that that creates a micro business which has to be worked at.
      It recycles things so that they are utilised , and used things not wanted get reused by others.

      Opshops like those operated by charities provide a place where people who have the desire for things at a cheap price can go, and that applies to the really poor, and the bargain hunters with money.

      But there is a problem with NZ attitudes, they resent people who show entrepreneurship and act independently to earn money like people who buy stuff at op shops and then resell it. The people who do this are usually people on low incomes who become determined to increase them, they see opportunities for business and either work at it themselves, or find others to do so. If those others are receiving some return that is satisfactory to them, then a number of boxes about value to society get ticked.

      But because better-off people are increasingly using opshops, there is a feeling in the opshops that they should be charging more, ‘they’ can afford it. So the emphasis goes off getting enough money from selling donated goods to provide the funds to run their projects and services, but to get more money for the item. This can put items needed by poor people beyond their budget. This is such a shame on the charities. If they receive a price enabling them from their earned funds to do their work, then what is done with the goods is of interest only, and they should not be judgmental. If they are being onsold, then they have enabled micro business to operate. They have acted as a warehouse, and provided a platform for that business.

      The important thing for the Sallies and others is that they receive enough money from selling their donated goods, to pay for what they are trying to do. It should not be to take as much money as they can out of the pockets of poor people and put goods donated for others benefit beyond the ability of those really needing them who are poor. Otherwise they are making the poor pay for the services that they are receiving, in a roundabout way.

      I can’t stress this enough, because this thought has not percolated through the minds of those deciding on opshop policy who just mirror previous years, in a conservative way.

      • Molly 4.2.1

        I don’t know if I’m correct, but I read AB as describing people who buy from op shops to trade, not to use – being similar to those who have the wherewithal to purchase houses for personal gain, not to live in.

        I understand what you say about the microbusiness, but those on limited funds are looking to the op shops to provide them with what they need to use, and sometimes they will miss out because someone else, with no need for the goods, but with the cash to make money out of them, will purchase them at a lower price and offer them up for sale with a markup, making them out of reach.

        I tend to agree with him in this instance, and his analogy with housing.

        There is no added value, just an opportunity taken because you have the capital to do so.

    • Grafton Gully 4.3

      “We live in very degraded times.” These behaviours are fundamental to humans and other living beings, so “increasingly normal times”. The constant state sponsored propaganda and control needed to shift this is widely resented and has failed (USSR and its allied communist states).

  5. Bill 5

    I admit I chuckled darkly at Di Mazwell, a landlord quoted in the first link provided saying “People get sick of being abused”.

    Because it’s not as though homeless people will likely have a mountain of abuse below them and a mountain of abuse “yet to be visited” hovering above them? And no, I’m not talking about individual or personal abuse, but systemic abuse.

    But hey. Homeless people are not to be housed, but are to be protected against and treated as unfortunate but necessary components (to be accommodated, as it were) in he pursuit of that “higher calling” focused on the making of money (at least, according to the linked article).

    So the systemic nature of abuse is not to be recognised yet alone confronted. It does not exist, and so we’re just talking about bad people who make bad choices and behave badly.

    It’s a huge unacknowledged throw-back to the ideological roots of Liberal Capitalism that holds up as inferior, and invariably morally lacking, those people who are not a part of the property owning class.

    Remember any piles of nonsense thrown around about housing and any number of peoples not considered as a part of humanity’s higher echelons (non-white, non-European, indigenous…)?

    Oh, how we’ve progressed!

  6. greywarshark 6

    I think this material and its recycling effect, and lightness and Kiwi ingenuity etc can be utilised to help our housing needs.

    It seems a bloody good idea and working within our present parameters to make a difference right now. Planning for better in the future shouldn’t stop but go concurrently with these practical problem solving ideas at present.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thiswayup/audio/2018646484/recycling-polystyrene

    [Polystyrene afterlife user] Richard Moore of Poly Palace in Porirua has hacked together a bunch of old farm machinery, scavenged parts, and even some old rollerblades, to develop a simple solution for recycling polystyrene so it can be resold for road-building and house construction.

  7. Matthew Whitehead 7

    Honestly, we should build affordable housing and give it away to the homeless. It’s probably cheaper than paying for the hospital costs when they inevitably get sick by being outside in conditions they shouldn’t be.

    • Bill 7.1

      Facilitate small groups of people buying appropriate properties by way of housing collectives and such like – such that they are both landlord (through the legal entity) and tenant.

      Then pay the rent to the tenant as landlord, that then goes to the bank (or other funding body) as mortgage payment.

      It’s essentially what happens now – the government buying houses for people via the Accommodation Supplement. Only difference would be the abolition of the divide between tenant and landlord for as long as the tenant resides in the property or properties 😉

      And yes, any such body (housing co-op or whatever) would be well served to have very clear criteria set down that determines whether a person is a part of the co-op/collective decision making processes, and also very clear procedures or mechanisms for joining and being “asked to leave”.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Honestly these ideas are ground-breaking and the best I’ve heard for a while.
        New, and practical and inventive yet once adopted would seem so obvious that no-one will understand why they weren’t adopted decades ago.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          Those ideas are very old.

          I first came across them some 30 years ago and know of many properties that were bought in such a way. (btw, because it’s the legal entity that owns the property, when a person leaves, they leave behind any property rights, being that they are no longer a part of the legal entity.)

          So there is no need to have cash up front to “buy in” to any vacancy coming up because of someone else’s departure – ie, there is no buying and selling going on between those leaving and those coming in.

          • greywarshark 7.1.1.1.1

            Bill
            I think everything you say on this issue is likely to be right. So okay you remember the ideas from the past. But they at present are staying in the past, as with so many things the young ones haven’t heard of them, experienced them. So they are new.

            And they would be ground-breaking literally. Find a way to adopt them, and take the project forward, and start turning those sods over ready for the foundations, and get people who are prepared to look after the houses, have them take part in workshops on building and maintenance and gardening and so on. And also meet their neighbours at a quiet social evening and think out and talk about what sort of community they could have. A really holistic thing, and not expecting community to arise automatically, assist it. Each housing project would be a bright drawcard for others.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1.2

        Dude!

        And this allows disabled to solve their own issues rather than wait for the State (which may never bother).

        How is Wayne doing now I wonder?
        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/06/05/upper-hutt-residents-mobilise-to-fight-state-house-sell-off/

      • David Mac 7.1.3

        I think Ricky Houghton is working with programs similar to the one you describe Bill. This from an online interview he did…

        If that’s the case, what’s stopping you doing more?

        There is so much bureaucracy. These families can’t even get a home with help from a provider like me because they do not meet the banks’ lending criteria in spite of the Government insuring the loans to the banks. If either of the homeowners has a criminal record, they are very unlikely to get insurance for their homes, and therefore they won’t get a mortgage. The state will pay their benefit, but the policies for many of these families are prejudicial. A family gets $200 a week benefit, and then another $100 for the children, but when Housing New Zealand or Work and Income assesses them for housing, the $100 for the children is counted as income. The reason these kids are facing poverty is that the money set aside by us as taxpayers for the children is being used as a generic family income. It is a tax on the children. The state needs to help put these families back on the ancestral land where they have natural family support. Instead, it spoon-feeds them. They have disconnected the umbilical cord from the family and reconnected it to the state, and the state is going to pay dearly for it. It is fiscally impossible to fix the social problems in Kaitaia.

        How are you getting people into houses?

        I can move people from a cowshed with no toilet into a three-bedroom 105sq m home. I can give them meat, eggs, milk, fruit, early childhood care, pastoral care and the best addiction support. With no deposit and $250 mortgage payments a week, they will own their house in 17 years. The trust owns the land and gives them a licence to stay in perpetuity as long as they observe our no-alcohol, no-drugs and no-violence policy. If they want a drink, they can go down the road, but we don’t want it brought into the home. It is a model that works for the Far North.

        We also need to prioritise keeping people in their homes. I know a family facing a mortgagee sale for the sake of $400 mortgage arrears. We save one family a week from mortgagee sale – Māori houses are being sold up at an alarming rate. When I say to government departments or credit departments of banks, “Here is my card, give it to them so I can help”, their response is that there are privacy issues and they won’t. What is so private about a huge sign on their front lawn saying mortgagee sale?

        https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/profiles/ricky-houghton-is-about-finding-innovative-solutions-to-the-issues-facing-maori/

        • Bill 7.1.3.1

          That sounds not too dissimilar. (That page is a pig btw, wouldn’t scroll).

          The main point of difference I can see is that those being housed aren’t in control of their housing – ie, it’s a top down model that leaves someone in charge (be that a trust, an individual or whatever) “calling the shots” on tenant’s lives.

          And that fcking bureaucracy he speaks of, with it’s tickets and certificates and endless bullshit…

        • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.3.2

          https://www.fndc.govt.nz/about-the-district/tangata-whenua/papakainga-toolkit/Papakaainga_Toolkit_A4_ONLINE.pdf

          “The Te Tai Tokerau Papakāinga toolkit is designed to help Māori land owners understand and navigate the process for undertaking a papakāinga development on their ancestral lands.

          The meaning of papakāinga can vary from a cultural and historical view. Traditionally, the literal meaning of papakāinga is, ‘a nurturing place to return to’. However in the context of this guide, papakāinga is generally considered as ‘development of a communal nature on ancestral land owned by Māori.’

          Papakāinga developments can be difficult. A lot of people and organisations are involved and it can be hard to get agreement.”

          And as for Ricky Houghton….a medal for that man. He saw the need and just got on with it. Like Kiwis used to do before the bureaucrats took over.

          I have heard the odd grumble about the no drugs/booze/violence rules, but the vast majority of residents really appreciate having a ‘higher power’ to invoke for enforcement.

          Thought provoking post kp.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Be cheaper than paying all the ongoing subsidies to private owners of housing as well.

    • saveNZ 7.3

      ‘Give away to the homeless” – all this ‘giving away’ to housing providers and to individuals over the years as well as the sell off of state homes and social housing is why we have the rental problem and now spending $1000 p/w for one room hotels!!

      Stop the government selling and giving away the state and social housing and have it impossible in law for successive governments to do so!

      When they kicked out all the state housing tenants onto the private sector it also created this on going effect of having a small but destructive percentage of tenants trash and contaminate multiple places instead of being left to it, in the state house so at least it was contained in one location.

      Is someone really going to risk renting out a place to a person (increasingly there are many) who have a P problems and face a decontamination order on their LIM as well as $100,000 of repairs?

      Now it turns out most of the P contamination was a lie anyway and you can wash down walls and get the same result! Too late for many houses lying empty and for landlords that will never rent out a property again.

      Judging by the government actions it looks like the government themselves want to get out of renting and just ‘sell’ off the laughable affordable places like Unitec to the highest bidder.

      How the hell is that going to solve the rental crisis?? It’s crazy strategy by a government that does not seem to have a practical approach and costing a fortune in social and actual costs (aka $1000 hotels) in the mean time.

  8. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    How long do people think the differential between those who pay 25% of income in rent versus those who are just as vulnerable, just as needy but not catered to in social housing will last?

    The difference in money after rent is staggering.

    It pisses me off that there is an assumption if you are vulnerable you are housed by HNZ or similar. Total BS. They house the housable, not the vulnerable.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    And that 65 day average for being housed doesn’t sound right either, unless you only look at A18 (highest urgency).

    Two years average looks more like it.

  10. Ad 10

    Korero, from your experience in this sector, is this statement from Christchurch Methodist Mission’s Andrea Goodman accurate?

    “Many of the families CMM helps into housing present with a range of complex issues.” says Housing Development and Tenancy Manager Andrea Goodman. “These families can’t always secure a house privately because they are not a landlord’s first choice due to barriers such as bad credit or low income. Accessing emergency accommodation gives them a warm and safe place short term while they are supported to transition to longer term housing that is more likely to be sustainable”.

    • koreropono 10.1

      Ad, I can’t speak for the CMM clients that Andrea Goodman works with and their issues may be ‘complex’, but I suppose the question that should be asked is, what is driving those supposedly ‘complex’ issues?

      In my experience people present for support for a variety of reasons, if I was to choose a common theme in a majority of cases that I have worked with it would be poverty, many of the ‘complex’ issues people are dealing with are a direct result of the stressors of poverty.

      The issues can get quite ‘complex’ but in my opinion we can call many things ‘complex’ because for some reason the helping professions like to ‘problematise issues, perhaps because it is advantageous for them to do so (think funding).

      I think we should just keep it really simple and say what it really is, people are homeless because there aren’t enough houses available to rent and people are poor, it really is that simple.

      In the meantime, if we problematise people who are homeless we can individualise the problem and pretend we are doing something constructive about it. We can make people who have the ‘problem’ attend government funded programmes to fix said problems.

      An example of this is the CMM offer budgeting and parenting (see http://www.mmsi.org.nz/pdfs/news.pdf) (I haven’t done any research on the parenting programme so I won’t comment on it) but budgeting programmes are pointless when people don’t receive adequate income to live on (and most don’t). Research coming out of Canterbury Law confirms that fact. However to give CMM credit, if they are still providing socialisation opportunities for homeless families then that at least will have some benefit for those people.

      In my experience the factors preventing people getting into rental properties include, competition, demand outstripping supply, discrimination, affordability, bad credit history and/or poor tenancy history.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        I don’t work in the field of homelessness.

        But there are a couple of distinctions that would be useful here.
        And I write noting that it’s from my own house, with the fire on, and well fed.

        I think it would be OK for people to be both problematic, and also homeless, and hence need help with both.

        There are plenty of social programmes that make no sense by themselves.
        But for people to get homeless, their lives have gone through multiple crises, all making life worse and worse, none of which were fixed. Each further problem means the fixes or “interventions” in state-speak to get their lives slightly more steady, would be bigger and bigger.

        I would just personally honour any person or any longstanding good-record NGO who tries to deal with the problematic issues, and homelessness. I wouldn’t want to see them knocked.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1.2

        In my experience as an advocate people try to be as complex as possible to access the more stable and cheaper social housing.

        I appreciate this isn’t everyone but it is well known the more “complex” your life problems are (+supporting letters), the higher the priority you are to house.

        I don’t blame anyone for hamming it up. You do what you must to escape the rentiers and keep your kids schooling consistent.

        • koreropono 10.1.2.1

          I agree and actively support people playing up their ‘deficits’ in order to gain access to support…but WTF, why should people have to?

          There are so many contradictions inherent in this system and the only way people can get help is if they carry the labels. The irony is that we work within a ‘strengths based’ and focused system and yet we’re encouraging people to concentrate on their deficits just to get some of the support they need.

          • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1.2.1.1

            Its a direct result of having a competitive system. Be the bigger victim or the suffering continues.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    If transitional housing providers are removing properties from the market, one has to wonder what is happening to the families who would have otherwise been able to access those properties on a longer term basis. In some cases, I wonder if the competition created by providers is impacting on rental prices (I know of some cases of landlords hiking the rent when in negotiations with providers).

    I’m wondering how big the government subsidies are getting. This sounds like a typical capitalist rort that makes a few very rich for doing nothing at the expense of everyone else.

    That assumption is that the people in need of housing also need ‘fixed’ in some way. If I had more time I could provide example after example of how the housing problem is being individualised so that the onus is on ‘fixing’ flawed homeless families and implies they are somehow to blame for the situation.

    Sounds like WINZ where the assumption is that unemployed people need fixing and ignoring the reality that the power is all in the hands of the employers. In other words, it’s the employers that are the problem. In this case it’s the rentiers that are the problem as they keep housing supply down so as to get higher unearned income and usually that’s coming from government.

    • Adrian Thornton 11.1

      Exactly right, imagine what would happen if there were no family tax credits or rent subsidies..the whole filthy housing “market” would collapse overnight…that is just a fact.

      Meanwhile banks are selling debt to NZ’s desperate to get on the “housing ladder” at record rates..
      https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/households-debt-to-income

      I saw a run down, shitty old house here in Hastings sell for $450,000 dollars last week…in Hastings for fucks sake, I mean I love Hastings, but come on seriously, that value is pure fantasy (or nightmare).

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    These are all interesting views and conversations to have, but until NZ produces a political leader that actually says and reiterates again and again and again, that the free market model is not, has not, does not and will ever work to create any sort of long term sustainable, healthy housing model in New Zealand for all New Zealanders, then all that will ever happen is what is happening now….just more bullshit fiddling around the edges.

    In short we need a real Left wing Labour Party and leader who would put it’s citizens welfare firmly before some debunked trickle down neo Liberal ideology, which is exactly what we have today.

    Turn Labour Left!

  13. Valerie 13

    Do not know if this still applies but were you aware that back in the early 2000’s refugee’s were allocated Council or Housing homes within 2 weeks of application ie 10 working days – this apparently was the law – properties were kept intentionally empty for such cases. I can vouch for two (one who admitted paid “the Turkish Mafia” for false refugee papers) here in Wellington. These young men (married) who then ran off with NZ women and within two weeks had a place in the Willis Street and Taranaki Street flats after renting privately. I lost a bit of faith after this.

    • dukeofurl 13.1

      People who arrive here first and then are approved refugee status can come from countries we wouldnt think of as refugees. *
      ( Separate from the UN refugee program)
      China – 1/4 of the total
      Saudi Arabia
      Turkey
      Jordan
      https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/statistics/rsbrefugeeandprotectionstatpak.pdf

    • AsleepWhileWalking 13.2

      I’ve heard of this happening and I assumed it continued but then there was that article a few weeks ago. Certainly they have a very high priority (note the crisis only just being felt)

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/103557081/housing-crisis-hits-refugees-as-government-looks-to-boost-bed-capacity

    • saveNZ 13.3

      I know a family of migrants who got a state home in Mission Bay, who both worked and earned over $100k and then were offered a 10% discount to buy the house!

      Then apparently there was the housing corp guy who if you gave him a bribe you got to the top of the list for a state house.

      It is time that our government actually have a plan to help those who are born in NZ and can be verified as being poor first and actually go around and work out how many people who are getting all these benefits after arriving in NZ in the last 15 years are holding up against those who actually were born here.

      I know a family who just bought a brand new 4 bed 3 bath Home in Auckland after only living in NZ for 8 years on low wages, while receiving all manner of benefits. Who knows whether it is hidden behind trusts so they can claim the ‘rent’ as well. You have to wonder, because our ‘honesty’ system does not seem to be working out.

      In Italy they went around looking at people who were driving Ferraris and living in nice houses while claiming benefits.

      It’s about time, NZ government stop taxing honest people more, and take a look at all the rich trougher’s whose income and lifestyle in particular does not add up to a beneficiary or low wages one! Because they are sucking the system dry and being cheerleader to do so.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 13.3.1

        I agree.

        Here we don’t need to look for Ferrari’s just flash cars in driveways.

        Oh don’t moan – you take a higher rate of housing subsidy you should expect higher scrutiny as to whether you actually need it or not.

  14. edgil 14

    Acres of empty land in GI and Panmure, Communities bulldozed out of their homes.
    Shame on this Nation, Shame.

    • saveNZ 14.1

      @edgil – this is the strategy whether the government know it or seem unable to think it through, evict state house tenants leaving them homeless and the tax payer paying $1000 a week for a hotel against the profitable housing corp state houses, bulldoze state houses and sell/give the land to private developers or cronies who then make a massive profit and only have to build back the original number of ‘social’ houses years later.

      Who apart from the government gives away free prime land? It is crazy, but that is neoliberalism and the government spend all their waking moments with neoliberal business and organisations with lovely sounding names like, help the homeless, but the reality is, it’s asset transfers from the useless state to the private greedy.

      Oh and then they put up taxes and reduce social services or borrow money so they can pay the private companies profits to build these houses that they already had and a $10k makeover would have sufficed!

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Just recently on Radionz there was a good interview about the tenure change of high country land and the peculiarly unbusinesslike way that the Crown (government) negotiated away $100,000s of undervalued land which once free for sale was then inflated to million dollar subdivisions.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018646691/ann-brower-critical-conscience

        Christchurch – 31 May Uni of Canterbury

        Civil Defence environment
        27 May 2018
        Ann Brower: critical conscience
        From Sunday Morning, 10:04 am on 27 May 2018
        Listen duration 32′ :18″

        On 31 May, Dr Ann Brower will deliver a lecture at the University of Canterbury, titled: A Little Guy’s Guide to Making a Difference after receiving the Critic and Conscience of Society Award earlier this month. Dr Brower is probably best known for her advocacy for more stringent regulation of earthquake-prone buildings, a campaign informed by her experience of being on a bus crushed by falling masonry in Christchurch’s 2011 earthquake. Twelve passengers died on or beside the bus.
        She’s also been prominent in highlighting high country land being transferred from Crown to private ownership.

      • edgil 14.1.2

        Save NZ. You are correct.

  15. greywarshark 15

    What is ‘the Critic and Conscience of Society Award?’
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1709/S00231/inaugural-critic-and-conscience-award.htm

    http://www.criticandconscience.org.nz/resources.html

    Critic and conscience of society: A vanguard against jackboots?
    A five-point definition of ‘the university’ was enshrined in New Zealand legislation with the passage of the Education Amendment Act in 1990. The fifth point of the definition – that universities must ‘accept a role as critic and conscience of society’ – introduced a phrase that has been embraced by New Zealand academics.

    But where did the phrase originate and how did it come to be a part of the Education Act?

    https://www.gamafoundation.org/GAMAF/About/gamaf/About_Us.aspx?hkey=a890dd84-6698-45ba-bb89-4ef74881d99f

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10431003

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    50 mins ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    17 hours ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    17 hours ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    18 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    21 hours ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    22 hours ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    1 day ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    7 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago

  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    50 mins ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago