web analytics

Postcard from a 21st century renter

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, December 3rd, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: greens, history, housing, Left, mana, poverty - Tags:

Dear Jack,

It’s been almost a century since your major contribution to NZ well-being, and many still see you as an inspiration for a left wing vision of community and solidarity. Unfortunately, we are having to fight the same old battles once more.  The struggling poor are still being demonised and scapegoated, and we need more state housing. Jack, in the name of your selfless, visionary and productive generation, some are misappropriating, misnaming and distorting your vision into a platform for the children of middle-class property owners. The bankster-driven, housing market is a jealous god, and will not tolerate the active promotion of affordable rents, and safe and secure housing for the children of the poor.  Fortunately there are those, like you, who are still willing to make a stand for a more fair, equal and community-based NZ.


History

16 comments on “Postcard from a 21st century renter”

  1. Phaedrus 1

    Jack wasn’t well treated by the party then and I suspect that the same would apply if he was a member of the party today. Wasted talent.

  2. Peter 2

    Well, no one can doubt John A. Lee’s intention on housing, and also on economics (he and Kirk were the Labour politicians who delved the deepest into social credit theory), there’s a bit of revisionist history going on here.

    People love a martyr, and he was able to create himself into one, but don’t forget that this was the man who publicly and viciously attacked NZ’s most loved Prime Minister (by writing Psychopathology in Politics), whilst he was dying of cancer. Savage literally gave his life for social security, delaying treatment so he could fight the 1938 election.

    • karol 2.1

      There’s nothing revisitionist about crediting Lee with being the main driver of state housing – the topic of my post.  What is revisionist, is trying to pass off KiwiBuild, which focuses on the private market, as being a similar move to what Lee and his fellow Labour MPs did back then.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1.1

        Absolutely. There isn’t even a strategy to stop wealthy from (predictably) taking advantage of the policy and no clear method, or for that matter intention to target assistance to those most in need – the people who currently don’t own housing, and have legit reasons why they can’t afford out of control market rates.

        Without more targeted assistance Labour could save a lot of time and money by encouraging 100 year mortgages which would technically make all housing “affordable” again.

        • QoT 2.1.1.1

          As I said in a post on the topic, the problem isn’t just the lack of strategy to stop the wealthy taking advantage – it’s the deliberate choice not to have such a strategy at all, and the deliberate effort made to justify not cutting out the wealthy.

          • karol 2.1.1.1.1

            When I read various articles for this post, I was reminded that so many of the Labour Government of the 30s had come from working class backgrounds:

            In the early 1930s, New Zealand was in the grip of the Depression. There was mass unemployment, and the government had no idea what to do about it….

            Labour’s senior members had been miners, labourers and union activists. Although very few of them had gone beyond primary school, they had enough common sense to see that “the methods of sound finance” were major causes of New Zealand’s desperate economic situation….

            Most of the members of that government were ordinary working-class blokes who had never been beyond primary school, but thanks to them, we achieved prosperity in a remarkably short time because we used our own resources – and Kiwi common sense.

            Now most (all?) of the Labour MPs are university educated and have a comfortable lifestyle.  It’s no wonder they don’t have the same passion and commitment to provide for low income people, and have produced a housing policy from a middle-class perspective.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Now most (all?) of the Labour MPs are university educated and have a comfortable lifestyle.

              And that really is a problem – especially in economics where everything that’s taught is wrong.

            • Chalupa Batman 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I believe I’ve pointed this out to be one of Labours problems in the past…

  3. just saying 3

    Thank you Karol. Well said.

  4. Bill 4

    Future proofed housing is what’s needed. The days of the self contained ‘nuclear family’ housing unit need to be consigned to history. Labour could have made a start on that even though they are punting to the middle classes. But, of course, they haven’t.

    • karol 4.1

      Very good suggestions, Bill.  Yes, while the first state housing programme provides a bit of a guideline, it needs to be re-thought for the 21st century.  The original state housing were on little sections and quite suburban looking, and designed for nuclear families.

  5. bad12 5

    A round of applause for this post, Labour’s KiwiBuild is simply the Socialism of, by, and, for the middle class,

    The same middle class which created the issue of ‘affordability’ in the first place by piling into home ownership as a rental investment en masse has not only managed to trap the working poor as their captive tenant base as State housing became mainly the preserve of the ‘newer’ creation ‘the beneficiary class’ also managed to ensure their own children would be left out of home ownership by house prices being forced higher,

    The only (slightly) credible defense i have so far seen put forward from the pro faction for KiwiBuild is that ‘in time’ the middle class taking advantage of KiwiBuild will take pressure off of the rental market and rents for the working poor might ease,

    Pink fucking pigs might grow avionic protuberances and fucking fly ‘in time’ as well in the ‘time’ it will take for yet more of the Neo-liberal trickle down bullshit theory to manifest itself in the pockets of the working poor as a + in income saved from being forced to service some-one else’s mortgage,

    Given ‘time’ those from the middle class empowered by Labour’s KiwiBuild plan will accrue enough equity in such property as to allow them to use this to re-mortgage into a second and third property thus following their parents into the Landlord class…

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    With an older population I would have thought also that bulldozing some of the older rental stock close town, building retirement housing and allowing swaps of a 3 or 4 bedroom houses in the suburbs for such retirement housing would make some sense.

    Freeing up land further out of anywhere brings it’s own transport difficulties and moving older people close to amenities where they have easy access to public transport and access to supermarkets, movie theatres, shops, etc makes much more sense to me.

    There’s little difference in most provincial centres between an older 3 to 4 bedroom house with a section and a new low maintenance unit for pricing and a voluntary one for one swap would free up larger homes and provide a bit of renewal for the next 20 years or so for the fringe 1930’s to 1960’s homes that are mainly deteriorating rentals these days.

    A good design of several units u-shaped around a central garden area seems to me to be a viable option.

    The freed up homes could become the state rentals or rent-to-buy from the state options and the state (followed by councils) could also have first right of purchase for the units which then then be rented out to older people as the original swap owners die off.

  7. Chalupa Batman 7

    Gotta say Children of the Poor was a pretty good book

  8. Imagine Labour thinking like Karl Marx Hof meets Hundertwasser?
    http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Karl_Marx_Hof.html

  9. millsy 9

    From what I understand, John A Lee slowly moved to the right during his latter years, becoming a confidant of Robert Muldoon, and supporting the Vietnam War. He also counted the bible bashing mayor of Mt Roskill, Keith Hay (who pioneered outsourcing of council services) in his colleaugues, having formed the Democratic Labour Party with him, along with Roger Douglas’ father. He died in 1982, just as the fish and chip brigade was about move to depose Bill Rowling and impose their monetarist theories on an unwitting Labour party. It is possible he would have been supportive of them had he still lived.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


History

  • Foreign Students just a commodity to National
    National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has confirmed that his party sees international students as nothing more than a commodity, says Labour's Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. "Mr Bakshi’s appalling comparison of some students to 'faulty fridges' that should be returned to ...
    7 hours ago
  • Tolley’s spin on Education spend doesn’t add up
    National’s spin about school funding won’t wash with parents who are paying more and more of the cost of their kids’ education every year, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “All the spin in the world can’t hide the fact ...
    9 hours ago
  • National not facing up to export challenge
    “The latest export data from Statistics New Zealand paints a picture of an economy which is not paying its way in the world, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Exports fell 9% - led by milk powder exports falling to ...
    10 hours ago
  • Correction over Talley’s statement
    Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway has been advised by AFFCO Ltd that AFFCO is not advertising for staff in the Manawatu through MSD as stated in a press statement released earlier today.  “I have been advised by AFFCO that ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister, cut your losses – withdraw this doomed Bill
    Local Government Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga’s request for a five month extension on the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) is an admission that the Bill is fundamentally flawed, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson ...
    3 days ago
  • Coleman’s cuts create crisis
    Mental health services in New Zealand are in a state of crisis with Youthline saying that calls for extreme depression doubled last year, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “About 150 young Kiwis are missing out on help ...
    3 days ago
  • Government helping Talley’s to break workers
    The Ministry for Social Development appears to be assisting Talley’s-Affco replace experienced workers effectively locked out by the company, say Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni and Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “MSD is advertising for meat processing workers for ...
    3 days ago
  • Electives lag due to $1.7 billion hole
    The lag in hip and knee replacements is a direct consequence of the Government’s $1.7 billion underfunding of health, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “A comprehensive study by the University of Otago says that the rate of ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Master Builders’ Constructive conference
    Today’s all about being Constructive. And that is good because I believe there is a hunger out there for positive solutions. We must be able to believe there can be a better future. ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori Party housing plan complete failure
    The Māori Party’s housing plan to put more Māori into more homes has been a complete failure with fewer than five loans granted per year, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    4 days ago
  • Fund IRD better to go after tax avoiders
    National’s Tax Working Group used the following graph (p30) in 2010 as part of their justification to cut the top tax rate. The big peaks around the top tax threshold were evidence of a suspiciously high number of taxpayers ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    4 days ago
  • Pasifika youth ignored by the Government
    The Adolescent Health Research Group’s new report on the wellbeing of young Pacific people shines a spotlight on the Government’s failure  to deliver any “brighter future” for them, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Their research shows ...
    4 days ago
  • Police in the provinces are dissatisfied
    Police in the cities of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are a lot more unhappy than their big city cousins says Labour’s Police Spokesman Stuart Nash.     “In fact the top four districts for enjoyable work within NZ Police are ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt action needed after Wheeler holds
    The Reserve Bank Governor’s warning that “excessive house price inflation” is posing a risk to financial stability puts the pressure back on the Government to take action to address the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister confirms – new ministry only about abuse
    ...
    5 days ago
  • Silver Ferns Farms decision a tragedy
    The rubber stamping by the Overseas Investment Office of the Shanghai Maling buyout of Silver Fern Farms is a sorry day for the once proud New Zealand meat sector, says Labour’s spokesperson for Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor.  “Generations of Kiwis ...
    5 days ago
  • Benching Nick Smith first step to Kermadec solution
    Side-lining Nick Smith must be the first step in sorting out the Government's Kermadec debacle, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Last week Labour called for Nick Smith to be removed from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana over the ...
    6 days ago
  • Parents, schools, teachers oppose bulk funding
    Overwhelming opposition to the National Government’s school bulk funding proposal is unsurprising and Hekia Parata should now unequivocally rule out proceeding with the idea, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Bulk funding could only lead to bigger class sizes or ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE gives up on enforcing the law
      The Government must provide labour inspectors with the resources they need to enforce basic employment law after reports that MBIE is only prosecuting the worst cases, says Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Today’s news that MBIE ...
    6 days ago
  • West Coast population declines amid bleak economic forecast
    Despite the country experiencing record population growth, the number of people living in the West Coast fell, highlighting struggles in the region from low commodity prices and a poor economic forecast, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery roadblocks cause for concern
    Strong pressure on mental health services, a flagging local economy and widespread issues with dodgy earthquake repairs are all causes for concern for people in Canterbury according to a new survey, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Today the CDHB’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Motel purchase must not kick people onto the street
    The Government’s purchase of a South Auckland motel to house the homeless must come with a promise that the current long term tenants will not be kicked out onto the streets, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is bizarre ...
    1 week ago
  • Not everyone singing along to so-called rock star economy
    The Westpac McDermott Miller Confidence Survey shows there is serious unease about the economy’s ability to deliver benefits to many New Zealanders, despite the Government trumpeting headline figures, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “According to this survey a significantly ...
    1 week ago
  • Youth no better off under National’s “guarantee”
    John Key’s Youth Guarantee is such a spectacular failure that those who undertake the programme are more likely to end up on a benefit and less likely to end up in full-time employment than those who don’t, Leader of the ...
    1 week ago
  • More low-skilled students becoming residents
    New figures showing international students now make up nearly 40 per cent of all principal applicants approved for New Zealand residency and that their skill level has fallen dramatically, are further evidence that National’s immigration system is broken, says Labour’s ...
    1 week ago
  • 35% of offshore speculators paying no tax
    Offshore investors are aggressively exploiting tax breaks to pay no tax on their rental properties according to IRD data released by Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “35% of offshore investors are paying no tax on their properties, and are pocketing ...
    1 week ago
  • Friday fish dump stinks
    This government has dumped bad news on a Friday to try to avoid political scrutiny in Parliament, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • OECD report card: National must try harder
    The OECD report on education shows there’s much more to be done for young Kiwis, Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kermadec stoush shows Maori Party double-standards
    The Māori Party’s reaction to the trampled Treaty rights and the Government’s lack of consultation on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary reeks of the same arrogant mismanagement of the unpopular Maori land reforms, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed fish dumping calls
    The finding that MPI failed to properly enforce the law even when it had evidence of fish dumping seriously damages the trust and credibility of the Ministry, the industry and this Government, Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Sidestepping Smith should be side-lined
    Nick Smith's arrogance and disrespect towards Māori is putting the future of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary at risk and he needs to excuse himself from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana, Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must respond to cash for jobs scam
    Urgent Government action is required to halt  the emerging cash-for-jobs immigration scandal that is taking hold in New Zealand says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Stories of rogue immigration agents scamming thousands of dollars from migrant workers are just further ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government dragging its feet on surgical mesh
    Jonathan Coleman is dragging his feet over any action to protect New Zealanders from more disasters with surgical mesh, says Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The Government’s pathetic response is to claim all will be fixed by a new regime to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s baby number app goes gangbusters
    An interactive tool that celebrates Labour’s achievements in health over the decades has become an online hit, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Since the tool was launched last night, 18 thousand people have used it to find their baby ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Real disposable income falls in last three months
    Kiwis are working harder than ever but real disposable income per person fell in the last quarter thanks to record population increases, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said. ‘In Budget 2016 the National Government said that what mattered most for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Baby number app celebrates Labour achievements
    Labour has launched an interactive tool that allows New Zealanders to take a look back at our achievements in health over the decades, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Today is the 78th anniversary of the Social Security Act 1938, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal experts unpick Māori land reforms
    One of New Zealand’s top law firms has joined the chorus of legal experts heavily critical of the controversial Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, adding more weight to the evidence that the reforms fall well beneath the robust legal standards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Industries most reliant on immigration worst offenders
    The industries most reliant on immigration are the worst offenders when it comes to meeting their most basic employment obligations, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “The industries that are most reliant on immigration are Hospitality, Administration, Agriculture, Forestry and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to remove law that discriminates against sole parents
    It’s time to repeal a harmful law that sanctions those who do not name the other parent of their child, Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Every week, 17,000 children are missing out because their sole parent is being ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government handling of Kermadecs threatens Treaty rights
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister should give Police Minister some backbone
    The Prime Minister should condemn the ridiculously light sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for seriously assaulting a police woman, Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government listens to Labour on family violence
    Labour is pleased the Government has finally acted on strengthening a range of measures against family violence, says Labour’s spokesperson on Family Violence Poto Williams.  “Some of the latest changes including a new family violence offence of non-fatal strangulation is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must rethink paying for police checks
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams.  “National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven months for families in cars to be housed
    Disturbing new figures show it is now taking the Ministry of Social Development an average of seven months to house families who are living in cars, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “John Key made a song and dance ...
    2 weeks ago
  • North Korea test must be condemned
    The nuclear test by North Korea that registered 5.3 on the Richter scale needs to be condemned, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “This test, coming hard on the heels of a missile launch a few days ago, shows ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tribe footing the bill for Maori Party?
     Waikato-Tainui deserve committed representation, yet the President of the Maori Party is muddying the waters by confusing the core business of the tribe with party politics, says Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.  “The only way to fix this growing negative ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools set to lose millions
    Schools will start 2017 grappling with a $7.8 million funding cut, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Hekia Parata has been adamant changes to the way our schools are funded would see them better off. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 70% of families in cold, damp homes powerless to fix them
    Shocking new figures out today show 70 per cent of the families living in cold, damp homes are powerless to make improvements because they are in rental properties, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The 2016 Household Incomes Report highlights ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Wealth inequality at record levels
    The housing crisis is making inequality worse, with housing costs in New Zealand now way out of proportion for those on the lowest incomes, according to the 2016 Household Incomes Report, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Migrant exploitation must be stamped out
    Migrant workers are being treated like slaves by rogue employers and the Government has failed to get on top of the issue, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.“A report released by Caritas Aotearoa details ongoing exploitation of migrant workers such ...
    3 weeks ago


History


History


History