Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, November 2nd, 2018 - 215 comments
Categories: business, class war, discrimination, economy, Economy, Environment, health, housing, human rights, infrastructure, labour, liberalism, political parties, quality of life, Social issues, sustainability, useless, vision, welfare - Tags: class war, housing, KiwiBuild, poverty, privilege
By international standards NZ homes and building legislation are bloody woeful. With 100 000 house builds on the book, the government could save money by bringing the country’s building code into the 21st C, tackle chronic housing problems and the health problems associated with building to the current standards, and provide homes ‘fit for purpose’ in a warming world.
The New Zealand Building Code is below the standards required in most other IEA countries with comparable climates, and it would be absurd to have to retrofit newly built homes in the future.” International Energy Agency, Energy Policies of IEA Countries, 2017 Review
In 2006 the UK government announced policy intentions and introduced associated building design standards and up-dated Building Regulations for all new housing to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2016 and all new non-domestic buildings to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2019.
So New Zealand government’s going to keep building the same bullshit and crap that was built last century And bad as that is in terms of health, peoples’ back pocket and the environment, we know the detrimental effects are only going to increase as the world continues to warm. If the idea is to keep people safe, then everything slated to be built today under KiwiBuild will need to be retrofitted at a later date.
The links I’ve provided offer a lot of reading on those fronts, but I want to move on to another aspect of this whole KiwiBuild malarkey. Vanessa Cole goes straight to the point when she writes –
I’d suggest it’s not even seen as something desirable, but that as it may be, what she writes isn’t news to many of us. But of course, there seems to be some commentary to the effect that homeless people and tenants should quit whining and wait for some incremental incrementalism and a trickle down, such that, if we so desire, we can still have the option of not buying a house in a country where the middle classes have had their home ownership aspirations satisfied.
If you think that’s too cynical, then reflect on the fact that sitting at the heart of this KiwBuild programme, public land is being gifted to the private sector. What does the government think the end result of that will be?
From the same Vanessa Cole article as above –
In Māngere the proposal is for 2,700 state houses to be demolished, to be replaced with around 3,000 new state houses, 3,500 Kiwibuild homes and 3,500 market houses. While this project is building more homes overall, it is not really increasing the much-needed public housing stock and is instead privatising public land that could be used to build it.
John Tamihere, CEO of West Auckland urban Māori Authority Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust called the policy of building a mixture of social, private and affordable homes ‘social engineering’ and argued that there should instead be 100% social housing built on public land.
Or, as the Salvation Army’s economist Alan Johnson, quoted in the same article has written –
It is probably time to call the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild programme for what it is – state sponsored gentrification of state housing suburbs.
So, what the hell does this government think it’s doing?
There are thousands and thousands of people homeless and in dire situations. I commented under a post just the other day that NZ might be said to have a situation usually associated with what we used to call “developing” nations. In India and many other places, people live in slums. I dare say many a government the world over would love to be able to pull the trick that’s been pulled in New Zealand – so that instead of having slum dwellers concentrated in sprawling “eye sores”, they’d be invisibly dispersed behind garage doors throughout the country’s suburbs and/or disappearing into the traffic flow every morning after another night “out of sight and out of mind” in a car park somewhere.
What this government’s doing is what every government wedded to liberal orthodoxy is doing – in the words of Mark Blyth (from about 9 min) –
you [ie government] basically take the bottom 30% of the income distribution and […] say “We don’t care what happens to you. You are something to be policed. You’re now something to have your behaviours changed. We’re going to nudge you into better patterns…” […] this no longer the warm embrace of social democracy, arm in arm in solidarity with the working classes.
And all the talk of all the “kindness” in the world won’t serve to cover up the repulsive nature of that ideologically driven political reality Jacinda.