web analytics

National’s brighter future

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 16th, 2017 - 11 comments
Categories: grant robertson, housing, national, paula bennett, Politics, same old national - Tags: , , ,

New Zealand used to be a land where everyone had a chance to have a decent life. Norm Kirk put it well in this description that Grant Robertson has referred to many times:

What New Zealanders want is somewhere to work, somewhere to live, someone to love and something to hope for.”

We have drifted far from that ideal.  Nowadays far too many people do not have somewhere to live.  And they are dying because they do not have that most basic of human requirements.

On July 1, 2017 Keith Johnson died in Onehunga.  Stuff had this touching article about his life which included this:

A well-known homeless man who had a cheeky smile and lovable nature died on a bench in an Auckland cemetery.

Keith Johnson, died aged 57 on the same bench he had sat on most days for the past four years in St Peter’s cemetery in Onehunga on July 1.

Johnson was not in the best of health, and his alcoholism may have contributed to his death, those close to him say.

An outpouring of love and messages have been placed on his bench including table spread, flowers and tomato sauce.

The public has responded to Johnson’s death with an outpouring of grief. Mementos including a surfboard, table spreads, flowers and notes have been left at the bench he used to occupy.

Constable Don Allan would regularly walk the beat in the morning around the church and always looked out for Johnson.

“Keith was a loveable person and always had a cheeky smile,” Allan said.

“He made friends easily and touched the hearts of those who had dealt with him.”

Allan said many of the homeless in Onehunga chose to live on the streets, but he constantly checked on them and encouraged them to seek housing.

Well done Constable Don Allan but this should not happen in New Zealand.

And then just over a week later another homeless person died in Papakura.

From the Herald:

A homeless man has been found dead, huddled under his sleeping bag at the back of a church – the second known such death of a homeless person in two weeks as a polar blast grips the nation.

The man was found on Tuesday morning as Manurewa Methodist Church set up its weekly soup kitchen for the homeless.

Manurewa mum Beverley Losefa, who organises the soup kitchen, thought he was sleeping in. But when they served the first cup of tea and he still hadn’t risen she became worried.

Police were called and confirmed the man had died, before they cordoned off the area.

Losefa was heartbroken to see the man die without his family. She spoke through tears about how lonely and cold he must have been to take his final breath outside the church they call “the corner of hope”.

“I’d never forgive myself if it was someone I knew. I hope no one loses someone this way,” she said.

“We know what it’s like to lose a loved one. We all cried, even the minister did.”

Again well done Beverley Losefa.  But no one should have to deal with this sort of event.  Not in New Zealand.

And in related news Te Puea Marae is gearing up again to look after the homeless.

From Radio New Zealand:

The south Auckland marae that opened its doors to the homeless last year is about to do so again.

Te Puea Marae in Mangere helped 181 people last year, using 1200 volunteers over three months.

Starting on 18 July, it will again take people in – for six months.

Spokesperson Hurimoana Dennis told Morning Report this time they’ve been working hard with government agencies to provide the service.

“We believe we can still … support homeless families. We did it last year – we learnt some things, and we put people into homes.

“It’s an opportunity … to work with agencies, to show agencies what best practice engagement looks like for our Māori families, our communities and those who are homeless.”

Te Puea Marae in Mangere will open its doors to the homeless for the second winter in a row. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Mr Dennis said the marae would be taking a more measured approach than last year, helping 25 people at a time for six to 12 weeks.

Of course the Government is pouring resources into Te Puea Marae.  Last year it was the very public example of how badly the homeless problem was out of control.  Initially Paula Bennett’s office chose to smear him rather than help him.  That a small urban marae had to show the Government how to handle the homeless crisis and was treated in this way was an absolute travesty.

The problem is multifaceted.  Those of us who own houses think that things are great.  We are rich, rich, rich …

Meanwhile teachers and police officers and nurses cannot afford to buy houses in Auckland.

And families are paying huge amounts of money in rent that leaves them with little room for anything else.

And families whose parents have jobs are living in their cars because they cannot afford any better.

And people at the bottom of the pile are dying because in godzone they cannot afford to live in a home or a car.

How is that brighter future looking for you all?

11 comments on “National’s brighter future ”

  1. Belladonna 1

    And in Christchurch where it is freezing, hard to believe the homeless aren’t affected. It is being kept very quiet if so.

  2. Keith 2

    One of the most corrupt things National have done this calendar year is use tax payer money to buy motels to hide the homeless away from questioning eyes, very temporarily, to save their own miserable skins. How much has that cost?.

    Selling state houses, bulldozing a lot more in the name of “redevelopment”, flogging them off to profit oriented businesses, and in short walking away from their obligations has not been a good look, especially when working families end up on the street, not a good look at all. Hence the motel band aid.

    If these arseholes get reelected, expect the motels to quietly be sold off, their temporary residents to be shown the door, and the problem to worsen.

    And be very worried that property speculators are in a holding pattern only, until they see if National win. After that things will only get worse!

  3. Ed 3

    33 years ago New Zealand adopted a toxic economic theory that placed the desires of the individual above the needs of society. It was named Rogernomics.

    Now people die from cold in the streets because providing safe shelter for our citizens is no longer a human right or a priority.

    38 years ago the U.K. adopted a toxic economic theory that placed the desires of the individual above the needs of society. It was named Thatcherism.

    Now people die in fires in tower blocks because providing safe shelter for our citizens is no longer a human right or a priority.

    These tragic events are an inevitable consequence of such a warped philosophy. It has a name neoliberalism and it transcends national borders.

    As Naomi Klein has said, ‘No’ is not enough. We need to offer a positive alternative to neoliberal economics that encourages people to force change on the comfortable elite who have benefited from 35 years of neoliberalism.

    Jeremy Corbyn and the UK Labour Party are doing that.
    We could follow their lead.

    • Ed 3.1

      Last year the actions of Te Puea Marae shamed the government into action. Now they are paying money for motels (ambulance at the bottom of the cliff thinking) to hide the problem rather than spend money dealing with the underlying economic and social issues that cause homelessness. So no money for more state housing, a nationwide living wage, better rental laws….instead money for moteliers.

      One thing we could do on this site is collate all stories we find about homelessness to apply pressure.

      The one thing this government does not like is bad publicity and it spends a fortune Making itself look good. The vast majority of New Zealand are appalled by such stories. The problem is that such news is brushed under the carpet so it is not looked at properly.

      • Ed 3.1.1

        Hidden below the headlines of this article about charities helping with homelessness we find this.

        ‘Mark Thomas, a doctor at Auckland Hospital’s infectious disease unit was more blunt about the issue. He said the fundraising event would only raise enough to afford half a house.
        “That’s not going to fix the problem. It needs much more than ordinary small-time people and small time NGOs to fix,” Thomas said.
        About a quarter of homeless people are children.
        Thomas said the Government needed to take stronger action for the cause by providing social housing to combat the homelessness crisis.
        “It’s so distressing that people don’t have a place to sleep at night time. Much bigger organisations than Lifewise need to tackle this problem,” Thomas said.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/94428250/More-than-300k-fundraised-for-the-homeless

  4. Jono 4

    yes the National party are currently hiding this issue before ths election. But i don’t think they can hide it very well. When i am around Wellington during the day you can see the homeless everywhere. It is obvious its just the MSM just are not focusing on it or say it is the individuals problem. No I think this will come to a head soon. The business community already say they want to ban the beggars which is the same as banning homeless really. Its becoming class warfare coming from the elites…

  5. JustMe 5

    When people are homeless and lack any money then we all know perfectly well they are the very people this government just doesn’t have any interest in.
    If people had money, especially enough to donate to the political party of the government of the day(16.7.17)and were wealthy enough to afford to buy property galore then those are the people this government will court.
    Time and again we have seen money exchange hands for what I now call Instant Kiwi citizenship. It’s a scenario that shame NZ and New Zealanders. But it’s now part of NZ that we have had to get used to over the past almost 9 years that there has been a National government.
    To date and I am sure during this winter period we will be hearing of other homeless people dying in the streets. But does this government give a stuff about the homeless???!!!! So far the answer is so clearly NO. Right now there is a truant National MP who is paid $3000 per week for his non-appearance in parliament because he was caught out as a workplace bully.
    There is now a current serving pm(I am deliberately using lower case here)of NZ who had no hesitation let alone remorse for double dipping at NZ taxpayers expense on accommodation costs.
    This very person also once told NZers that we are living beyond our means and MUST experience financial cost cutting whilst at the VERY SAME TIME he was DOUBLE DIPPING!
    And so from now on for each homeless person that dies in the streets of NZ must rest firmly on the shoulders of the very government that through pure arrogance has deliberately lost touch with reality.
    I hold off saying that the National Coalition government has a conscience because quite obvious to all who notice they do not possess a conscience.

  6. Sabine 6

    i got some wood delivered today.
    i got soup on the stove and a roast in the oven.

    and this is the least that any family should have on a day like today, warmth, a bit of comfort food and safety.

    sadly, sadly for many it is not so, and sadly yes, people will day.

    so really go out, make sure people are registered to vote, make sure then that people will vote. cause one thing is for sure the Nationalistas will vote. for people dying in the cold, for people sleeping in cars, for people trying to make it while hungry, homeless and out of luck.

    Vote. Take a handful of people to vote when you go. Make it a party, a celebration, a family affair, a community gathering with food and laughter.
    Vote.

  7. adam 7

    Keith drank to deal with pain. He had a medical condition, and used alcohol as a pain killer. Not the best decision, but the system is not there for people at the edges anymore.

    So when you are broke, unwell and suffering. Alcohol is a way to stop the suffering, and forget about the pain – if only for a while.

  8. greg 8

    i see homeless every where i go national can not hide an epidemic the homeless are right across this city the brighter future was only for property speculators everyone else is picking up the bill.

  9. Daveosaurus 9

    Murder by capitalism.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Protect seamounts and ban bottom trawling right now
    The Green Party is renewing its call for Minister for the Environment, David Parker to immediately ban bottom trawling on seamounts. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Building Auckland’s transport future
    We’re making sure Auckland has the infrastructure it needs for the future, so Aucklanders can get around safely and efficiently as our biggest city grows. The new, linked-up transport system we’re building will include partially tunnelled light rail between the CBD and the airport, as well as another Waitematā Harbour ...
    7 hours ago
  • Build Auckland light rail for benefit of everyone
    The Government’s decision on light rail in Auckland is the first step towards building the climate friendly, accessible city our communities deserve. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    2 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    5 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tupu Tai graduation-It’s time to step up
    Greetings: Kia orana, talofa lava, Noa’ia e mauri, malo e lelei, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, talofa, kia ora, tena koutou katoa.  I would love to begin by acknowledging everyone here in attendance, especially the families and friends of the 2021/22 Tupu Tai cohort, and those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Building and shaping a city: Future-proofing Auckland transport infrastructure
    The Government is bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the future by moving forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, progressing light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport, and creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan. Key decisions on additional Waitematā Harbour crossing to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago