- Date published:
9:31 am, May 14th, 2017 - 78 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: alfred ngaro, john campbell, Linda Cooper, radio new zealand, willie jackson
After nine long years of National rule you can tell that this government is running out of gas. The Crosby Textor polish is no longer there and hubris and attacks on critics is becoming the norm. And what is particularly worrying is that it is now making threats against its critics and people who publicly express concern and the current state of New Zealand that their contracts may be interfered with.
From Tim Murphy at Newsroom:
Don’t expect any apologies or contrition from the National Party on housing – a new, muscularly aggressive defence of its most vulnerable policy area has emerged at its Auckland conference.
The associate housing minister Alfred Ngaro led the charge in a presentation laced with political menace against those who question National’s performance on housing.
He even suggested Labour list candidate Willie Jackson could expect to lose Government support for his Manukau Urban Māori Authority interest in a second charter school, and its Whānau Ora contract should he “bag us” on the campaign trail.
“We are not happy about people taking with one hand and throwing with the other,” Ngaro said.
“Do not play politics with us. If you get up on the campaign trail and start bagging us, then all the things you are doing are off the table. They will not happen.”
The article details claims by Ngaro that he had met with Willie Jackson to tell him of this new muscular approach to critics of the Government. Jackson was contacted and said it was a deputy with a slightly more restrained message and not Ngaro who met him but the threat is clear.
The Salvation Army is also in the Government’s sites.
He told the conference there were issues within the Salvation Army. “With the Sallies, you have the Church, the social programmes and the policy part. The policy part is running riot and sayings all sorts of things and there’s some tension in the Church because they are not sure about that.”
The media are also in the Government’s sights, particularly Radio New Zealand.
Ngaro also targeted media coverage of housing. “We have to push back against some of the media,” he said, detailing an exchange he says he had with RNZ’s Checkpoint presenter John Campbell, challenging him over questioning, or the lack of it, over a person housed in a motel.
“I told him: ‘You are not in pursuit of the truth. You want to manufacture a crisis. You cannot ask people to help themselves unless you are willing to journey with them and ask them the right questions’.
Get that? The housing crisis is manufactured, not a terrible reality that is a blight on our society.
And Ngaro even appears to question whether there is a housing crisis at all and maybe it is all Labour’s fault.
Ngaro claimed the controversy last year over people having to live “in cars and park benches” was prompted by “an opposition that chooses to use their constituents for political fodder.”
And a novel solution to the housing crisis was offered, state support to further incentivise landlords.
An Auckland Councillor, Linda Cooper, backed the call to challenge the media and opponents. “We have got to squash that tired old, lazy notion of the media and Labour Party that we don’t care.”
She, and Ngaro, emphasised National needed to start talking about security of tenure for renters, as well as its historic emphasis on people being able to own their own homes.
Cooper said: “The reality is, there will be people who will not be owning houses. How do we incentivise private landlords to keep these good tenants, keep these people in the same community.?”
Social welfare for landlords, not tenants.
Clearly as far as National is concerned there is no real housing crisis and critics should be silenced.
Also clearly for the sake of our country’s future there has to be a change of government. This year.