At the first Helensville candidates’ debate last night, John Key reversed his position on state housing once again.
Despite using the years he lived in a state house as “a great marketing ploy”, Key called the plan to build state houses along with more up-market homes on the site of Hobsonville airbase “economic vandalism”. Then he flip-flopped on that saying he supported the Government’s plans for Hobsonville. Last night, he reportedly flip-flopped again, saying that there would be no state housing at Hobsonville under National.
Once again, it seems he’ll say whatever his audience wants to hear.
With further economic turmoil coming, state housing is needed as much as ever. Building more houses will help charge the economy. Key wants mansions to be built, rather than state houses. But there won’t be the demand for such houses whereas there will be more unemployed families who can’t afford private rents. A Hobsonville with some state housing will do much more good in coming years than Key’s elitist plan.
I don’t know if such weighty considerations enter Key’s thinking, however. I think he just wants more votes.
[My friends were unable to make a recording of the debate but the Herald was there, so they’ll report the details. It’s also worth remembering that Key wasn’t the only MP to grow up in a State house – in 1940s working class London, Cullen’s family could only dream of such quality of housing]