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Housing dreams should not be blocked

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, August 5th, 2016 - 54 comments
Categories: housing, human rights, Social issues - Tags: ,

dont block housing dreams

Details of a protest for tomorrow organised by the Unions Auckland Housing Action Committee.

The story we’re told in The Block is that if you work hard, then you will be successful. But this opportunity is only for four couples on The Block. Meanwhile the housing crisis remains and affects everybody else.

The housing crisis comes out of a profit-driven housing market. Building more houses (or renovating them) won’t solve the housing crisis unless these houses are truly affordable for everyone.

To buy a Block house a working person would need a deposit of more than $200,000 and mortgage repayments would be $1,085/week. Only a few people can afford these houses- meanwhile families are living in cars or garages.

This weekend The Block NZ is hosting its open house. When there is a housing crisis, and there are families living in garages and cars, do you think that its fair that a prime time TV show celebrates property speculation?

Come down and make your voice heard! Housing is for people, not profit.

And a Quote from Unite Union‘s Joe Carolan:

There is something deeply morally wrong about a small minority in our society making huge profits from non productive speculation, setting the economy up for a crash, whilst hard working people struggle to keep up with rack renting, never mind never being able to afford their own home. Unions have had enough of this, and we are going to build a movement to solve this problem like we did in the 1930s.

54 comments on “Housing dreams should not be blocked ”

  1. BM 1

    Worst idea ever,

    • mac1 1.1

      What idea, exactly, BM? Housing is for people, not profit?

      • BM 1.1.1

        This protesting at the block open day.

      • Muttonbird 1.1.2

        BM loves reality tv. It’s right at his level.

        • BM

          Never watched it, but a lot of people do and really enjoy it.

          • Muttonbird

            Well then, this protest might get its message across to ‘a lot of people’.

            It’s called direct action.

          • mac1

            “Never watched it.” Good for you.

            “Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity.

            Much of the criticism has centered on the use of the word “reality”, and such shows’ attempt to present themselves as a straightforward recounting of events that have occurred.

            Critics have argued that reality television shows do not accurately reflect reality, in ways both implicit (participants being placed in artificial situations), and deceptive or even fraudulent, such as misleading editing, participants being coached in what to say or how to behave, storylines generated ahead of time, and scenes being staged or re-staged for the cameras.

            Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows); that they make stars out of either untalented people unworthy of fame, infamous personalities, or both; and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.”

            Reasons for demonstrating against The Block?

            Meanwhile, in the little town where I live, house prices rose 13% from July 2015.
            Wages went up 1%. Inflation went up 1%. And an estimated 63 people are sleeping rough, in a cold southerly.

    • mauī 1.2

      Hits a nerve obviously.

    • AmaKiwi 1.3

      The protesters will gather at 200 St. Johns Rd. in St. Johns (Meadowbank), and march to The Block at 95-97 St. Johns Rd.

      The Block’s open house is from noon to 3 pm, Saturday, 5 August.

      There are numerous buses. The nearest bus stops: Eastbound stop is at 68 St. Johns Rd., a 3 minute walk to the protest. (Bus stop number 7432.) Westbound stop is at 91 St. Johns Rd. (Stop number 7437.)

      • mosa 1.3.1

        Lets hope it is the catalyst for larger future protest action rather than a “one off “that will fizzle out between this episode and the next.
        Key need a fire lit under his complacent attitude and a message sent that its bigger than just housing that is hiding other serious issues not being addressed and show him and this government kwis are angry and have had a gutsful.

  2. save nz 2

    My 1st thought good idea, 2nd thought bad idea. 3rd thought is do they qualify for the speculator tax or capital gains tax as they are deliberately trying to make a profit and therefore will fall under our capital gains taxes. 4th thought punishing young people working hard to try to get a house will not win the heart and minds of Kiwis in the fight of propaganda on housing. 5th thought, hope they egg Julie Christie

  3. James 3

    “hope they egg Julie Christie”

    classy – quite happy with violence against women if its someone you dont like huh?

    • save nz 3.1

      I don’t see an egg as violence, as the power ratio is in Christie’s favour.

      It’s more a statement, like a Dildo to Joyce.

      • James 3.1.1

        I think you will find the law and just basic reasonableness would say that throwing eggs at people is indeed violence.

        If I saw Andrew Little and decided to throw eggs at him (just because) do you think that would be acceptable?

        • save nz

          Pies and eggs James are well known non violent political acts that serve as direct action. People throw eggs/non violent objects (don’t think anybody will be hurt by an egg James) to demonstrate disagreement.

          Since nobody was ever charged for Roast busters – raping girls under the age of consent and bragging about it on social media, I think you are drawing a very long bow about women and violence – but hey if it helps the right wing discourse to pretend an egg to a position of power is violence, in the same way – go for it!!

          • Chuck

            “Pies and eggs James are well known non violent political acts that serve as direct action.”

            FFS save nz think about it for a second…now what happens if the “target” stumbles and falls over from the “non violent political act of throwing” and hits their head on the road or a hard surface and hmm is seriously hurt or dies?

            Throwing something at a person is a violent act.

            • McFlock

              The headline “egg scrambles person” would happen.

            • mauī

              Holy sharp edge of the table batman! Have you ground off all the sharp objects in your house to avoid possible health and safety incidents?

              • Chuck

                Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt 🙂

                However the point I was making is people do get hurt or worse from falling over.

                If that was due to an egg thrower they will be charged with assault or manslaughter.

                • McFlock

                  and the penalty thereof would correspond to the degree that the death was reasonably forseeable from a fucking egg, you hyperbolic idiot.

                  • Chuck

                    Its clear you have no understanding of this matter McFlock.

                    To kept it simple here is a link to Youthlaw website in case you are under 25!


                    Note: “Throwing anything at someone = assault”

                    If that assault results in the person falling over and suffering harm or worse you will be held accountable.

                    Rather than calling you an idiot, I prefer to say you need a little education.

                    • McFlock


                      how does that contradict what I just wrote?

                      I probably have a better understanding of how the law around assault, including its defenses, is applied in the real world than most people do. Preventing it, defending myself from it, and using physical force in a manner that kept me from being charged with it were the bread and butter of my work for several years.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No fair McFlock using reality against Chuck’s reckons.

                      In the court of Chuck, egging Dear Leader is a capital offence, whereas not egging Andrew Little is grounds for suspicion.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Tell it to Chester Burrows – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/82715740/MP-Chester-Borrows-in-court-over-protester-incident

                      An egg is assault but a vehicle is… merely a cavalier attitude.

                    • ropata

                      JK repeatedly tugging the hair of a female barista? not violence
                      Chester driving into protestors on a footpath? not violence
                      Someone suggesting chucking an egg in a blog comment? VIOLENCE!!

            • save nz

              Hey we have politicians running down protestors with cars. No problem!!

              Still waiting for that prosecution and the politician to be stepped down.

              Love the RWNJ language like ‘target. Is that some sort of drone military speak there, Chuck in some sort of reversal discourse that a protest about a reality show is now some potential sinister violence with ‘targets’?

              In this case your scenario is that someone might trip over, not actually be injured by direct action.

              Here is a firm you might like to investigate, Chuck for health and safety. Their directors get knighthoods for injuring and killing people.

              Over the last three years ACC has paid out $8 million to nearly 5000 Talley’s employees – that’s more than one injury for every worker employed by Talley’s companies. 1286 Talley’s workers were injured on the job last year alone.

              This year Talley’s made extremely strong submissions to opposing any union role in the new health and safety law. Sir Peter Talley said he opposed workers electing health and safety representatives as “unreasonable” and that “unscrupulous unions” could use them to “intentionally damage or destroy a business”.

              Here is a sample of cases that have made it into the public arena where Talley’s owned companies have killed and maimed in pusuit of their god – profit. It is obvious why the company does not want stronger health and safety laws.

              In February 2008 Talley’s were fined $110,000 for carbon monoxide poisening of 11 workers.

              Talleys Frozen Foods Ltd has been fined a total of $110,000 after being found guilty of failing to keep its employees safe. This is one of the highest total fines ever imposed under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

              Talleys Frozen Foods was also ordered to pay reparations of $3000 to each of the 11 poisoning victims, a total of $33,000.

              The company was today found guilty of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that 11 employees were not exposed to carbon monoxide fumes when an LPG forklift was used inside its factory on June 19, 2006.

              The prosecution was brought by the Department of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, and was heard in the Blenheim District Court.

              The company was found guilty on all 11 charges laid, and was fined $10,000 on each charge – a total of $110,000.

              The fines and reparations reflect the seriousness of the circumstances involved in the case, said Department of Labour Deputy Secretary Andrew Annakin.

              “This case is a reminder of the dangers of using LPG forklifts – which can produce potentially fatal carbon monoxide gases – in confined spaces. The Department welcomes the court’s decision and encourages all employers to check the safety of their LPG forklift practices.”

              “Employers must ensure that all employees are aware of the hazards and risks associated with their work – in this case it took some time before anyone identified that the symptoms they were having were caused by the forklift and carbon monoxide.”

              “All forklift drivers should be adequately trained – the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning should be included in training.”

              In January 2010 a SPM worker Henry Richmond Kingi severed part of his thumb at work. The company took no action. The Otago Daily Times reported June 5, 2010, that “The plant has been under the spotlight in recent weeks after the Labour Department said it had investigated 19 incidents of serious harm at the plant, including six workers amputating fingers on bandsaws, in the past 18 months.”

              The union successfully brought a private prosecution which concluded that the company had failed to provide a safe working environment. But it took two years for the judgements and inevitable appeals by the company to be completed.

              In February 2012 a SPM employees arm was nearly severed by a bandsaw.

              A South Pacific Meats worker is recovering at Southland Hospital after his arm was nearly severed by a bandsaw early on Saturday morning.

              The man’s wife yesterday said her husband was heavily sedated after two surgeries to repair his arm.

              She had been notified of the injury soon after it happened by one of her husband’s co-workers, she said.

              The saw had gone through the bone at the elbow and was only attached by tissue, muscle, artery and nerve, she said.

              He had gone through two operations to repair the arm on Saturday at Southland Hospital and had a blood transfusion on Sunday.

              A third operation was a possibility, she said.

              “The hope is that he will regain 95 per cent of movement within 18 months.”

              Her husband – who had worked for two seasons at South Pacific Meats – would probably never operate a saw again, she said.

              She believed the incident was fatigue-related and management had been told of the issue last week, she said.

              In May 2012 a Talley’s employed seafarer Cain Adams, a 33-year old father of five, was killed when he fell nearly 7 meters through a hatch. The company was found at fault and fined.

              Talleys Group Ltd has been fined $48,000 and ordered to pay $35,000 in reparation to the family of a crewman killed after falling nearly 7m on the vessel Capt MJ Souza in Nelson in May 2012.

              The company was sentenced in Nelson District Court today (29 April 2015) after being found guilty in March of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees after the death of crewman Cain Adams.

              The reparations ordered are in addition to a payment of $54,000 already made to the family by the company.

              Mr Adams died while working on the Capt MJ Souza after he stepped onto a hatch on the main deck that rotated, causing him to fall nearly 6.9m through another open hatch in the deck below to the floor of the floor of the vessel’s fish well.

              Maritime NZ prosecuted Talleys under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work.

              Following a defended hearing, the company was found guilty in the Nelson District Court on 23 March.

              At the time of the accident, several contractors were at work on the vessel, with the hatch on the main deck left vented, or partly open, to allow hoses and cables to pass through it.

              In his judgement, District Court Judge Ian Mill said the company “either foresaw the risk but did not take all reasonably practical steps in the circumstances of this case or ought to have foreseen the risk and failed to do so”.

              “These practical steps were no more than ones already available but not used because the Captain and crew were lulled into a false sense of security from years of using the same practice without incident and always treating a vented hatch as safe,” Judge Mill said.

              Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said lessons must be learned from the accident.

              “This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided through very simple measures,” he said.

              “Ships are inherently dangerous working environments and employers must ensure all practicable safety steps are taken to protect their employees when they are on the job. All employees have the right to come home safely from work.

              “Our thoughts are very much with the family of Cain Adams, for whom this case will have been extremely difficult, but the whole of the maritime sector must heed the lessons of this case.”

              The maximum penalty for breaching section 6 of the Health and Safety Act is a fine of $250,000.

              In August 2014 a seafarer on a Talley’s owned boat was killed.

              In May 2015 the Employment Relations Authority fined Talley’s $6000 for again failing to provide a safe workplace.

              Worker David Brine suffered respiratory problems, vomiting, burning eyes and coughed up blood after cleaning a meat chiller which had been chemically fogged at the Malvern freezing works.

              He says he felt poisoned within 15 minutes.

              Mr Brine told the Employment Relations Authority he and a colleague complained to their supervisors but were told there was nothing wrong with the chemicals – that the smell was safe and they should go back to work.

              Talley’s-owned South Pacific Meats was ordered to pay Brine $6000 for “hurt, humiliation and loss of dignity” because it failed to provide a safe workplace.

              In June 2015, Talley’s was ordered to pay $15,000 in total to Alister Doran, another SPM employee who had his arm cut open at work and was left to look after himself.

              Mr Doran’s arm will never be the same again. It was sliced open while working on the slaughter board at the Malvern freezing works, which is owned by Talley’s.

              His bosses failed to rush him for urgent medical treatment, forcing him to get himself to hospital.

              “I went to hospital [and] spent three days in hospital getting my arm reconstructed,” says Mr Doran. “It’s got permanent loss of feeling along the top of my arm and I’ve lost 40 percent of strength in my arm.”

              An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ruling recounts Mr Doran’s boss as saying “he was too busy to deal with the matter”.

              “I have always believed it was a personal issue, the reason why I wasn’t given transport,” says Mr Doran.

              When he took a personal grievance case against the company, they responded by moving him to a lower-ranked role and dropping his pay.

              The ERA ruling called it “an element of punishment” and ordered Talley’s owners South Pacific Meats to pay Doran $12,000 in lost wages and compensation.

              “They treated us all like scum,” says Mr Doran.

              “I wasn’t treated like a human being. I was treated like a number.”

              Sir Peter Talley’s attitude to the environment is expressed in a speech in 2011. “We need a new balanced approach to environmentalism, one that recognises sustainable extraction, and one that recognises a higher ranking of mankind, that should rightfully be placed well above the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. I, for one, certainly did not fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”

              The company also lost a landmark case about equal pay for women. They had refused to allow a woman to become a filleter at their plant. The response of Andrew Talley was to dismiss the decision as a joke. “In any job there are attributes that suggest it will be more likely to be done by either a man or a woman – that doesn’t mean you discriminate,” he said. “There are jobs – pole dancing being one and fish filleting being another – that have a higher predominance of either men or women. The decision is a joke.” The complaint was made in 2002. The 2005 Human Rights Commission ruled in 2005. Talley’s appealed to the High Court which made its judgement in June 2007.

              The company was also fined $27,000 in March 2014 for sacking a Christian Pacific worker for wanting to exclude Saturday from compulsory overtime as it violated his churches beliefs. The decision politely suggested the company should provide human rights training to managers.

    • Richard Christie 3.2

      quite happy with violence against women if its someone you dont like huh?

      No need to worry, James, there will be a thick blue line at the event, staunchly defending privilege.

  4. Siobhan 4

    ‘ young people working hard to try to get a house” is great, on the other hand this show is about property speculation, quick renovations for quick profit.
    Its one of the many things that have made our housing market a dangerous business. And, incidentally, when the market does crash these ‘Block’ kids are exactly the people who will get burnt in the ponzi scheme we call ‘The Housing Market’

    • dave 4.1

      debt bomb the dirty little secret that under pins the NZ economy i honestly feel a great sense of unease about the near future nobody talks about how the debt mountain is going to be repaid this housing bust is going to destroy lives how could we allow this debt bomb to build up. ponzi scams cant be unwound there is no answer to the housing market except a full blown crash bubble pop they don’t deflate

  5. adam 5

    I always wonded if the produces of the block could be charged under the Crimes Act 1961 Section 98

    If you win the block sure it’s good, but otherwise it is little more than an indentured celebrity. Serf, would be an apt description.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The housing crisis comes out of a profit-driven housing market.

    Even The Block comes about as a result of the profit-driven housing market.

  7. Alan 7

    Brilliant – piss off hundreds of people and maybe win a few sympathy votes.
    And people here wonder why the left isn’t more popular.

    • ropata 7.1

      Oh dear a few investment bankers in Remmers might spill their lattes

    • Garibaldi 7.2

      Howzabout ” piss off a few and win hundreds of sympathy votes”

    • mosa 7.3

      Nothing else is working, it takes a foreign news programme too highlight this disgraceful situation that the media here pay lip service too and the left arent allowed to be popular in this country thanks too the inherant bias in this countries news organisations.
      Its the Nasty Natz that have all the answers apparently.

    • weka 7.4

      “piss off hundreds of people and maybe win a few sympathy votes.”

      It’s hard to tell exactly who is organising this but I’m pretty sure it’s not a political party. If you think this is about votes you are basically clueless about activism and how social change occurs.

  8. Venezia 8

    Well – the Auckland housing crisis has made it on to the Al Jazeera news, including Taraq Bazley interviews with two homeless families, one family of four living in a car, the other with six children living in a garage. They showed a line up of cars with sleeping families alongside a park at night. But the Minister of Social Housing was not available for an interview by Al Jazeera!

  9. James 9

    Read about the open homes in the news. The idiot protesters didnt even get a mention.

    So about as must air time as they deserved.

  10. Neil 10

    These protesters are barking mad leftie rent-a-crowd, John says so……lol

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