web analytics

Poverty Watch 13

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, November 24th, 2012 - 24 comments
Categories: labour, national, poverty - Tags:

Welcome to Poverty watch, a weekly update on the National government’s lack of response to the urgent and growing issue of poverty in NZ. A lot of background issues and links are set out in Poverty Watch one two and three.

Only one item this week. While National sits on its hands, Labour set out policy at last weekend’s conference that would help to tackle a major poverty-related issue. Poor families live in poor housing, and that contributes to a range of health problems. Labour is proposing a “Healthy Homes Guarantee” to improve the living conditions of children. First the background:

Research by the Public Health Association estimates that child poverty is costing the country up to $8.8 billion a year. Between $3-$4.5 billion of that is health related costs. Some of these costs could be avoidable if more progress was made in upgrading our rental housing stock.

Māori, Pacific Islanders and lower socio-economic groups are less likely to own their own homes and more likely to suffer from the effects of poor quality housing.

Why housing matters:

A 2010 survey by BRANZ found that only 22 per cent of rental properties were in good condition and 44 per cent were in poor condition. The Productivity Commission has estimated that one third of New Zealanders in rental accommodation feel their homes are damp or cold. The Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty also warns that many rental properties have inadequate or non-existent insulation, and inefficient and ineffective heating. …

The medical research is emphatic – substandard housing is a major health issue in New Zealand. There is broad consensus that ensuring homes are warm and dry is the most urgent priority for New Zealand’s housing stock. Independent research has shown that up to five dollars’ worth of benefits arise from every dollar spent on insulating homes.

What Labour is proposing:

Labour will introduce a healthy homes guarantee so that every rental home in New Zealand is a healthy home that meets minimum standards of insulation and efficient heating.

All rental housing (state, social and private sector) will be required to meet minimum health and safety standards in regard to insulation and effective non-polluting heating. Landlords will need to make a declaration, or guarantee as part of any new tenancy agreement that their property complies with the standards.

Our growing rates of poverty-related “third world” diseases are a national disgrace. This policy would have a significant impact on health, and up to 5:1 return on dollars invested. We can’t afford not to do it!

Labour can’t make it happen until they get in to government. In the mean time National will continue to do nothing. Poverty Watch always ends with the following list, the National government’s response to rising poverty in NZ:

• National has not yet set any target for reducing poverty
• ?

24 comments on “Poverty Watch 13 ”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    All good stuff, but we have to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves as to how many better off New Zealanders are genuinely concerned for the betterment of Maori, Pacific Islanders and lower socio-economic groups?

  2. PlanetOrphan 2

    Bloody Gnats M8! ,
    Couldn’t organise a [insert any human persuit] in a [insert appropriate location] M8!.

  3. BevanJS 3

    forcing landlords to improve their rental properties will surely drive up rents ………

    • fender 3.1

      Allowing landlords to continue letting substandard, unhealthy dumps at over the top prices should lead to them facing prosecution. To recieve top dollar for renting a property you should have to obtain a certificate proving the property is fit for habitation. Those who refuse to comply should not be able to let the property out. Raising the rent for making improvements that meet minimum requirements should not be allowed and should also lead to prosecution. Simple really, strict rules are all that is needed. Why should someone who is fortunate enough to own housing stock be allowed to jeopardise the health of others?

      • BevanJS 3.1.1

        … and this “fair” and ‘simple’ system would be enforced how and by who?

        • fender 3.1.1.1

          Can’t be too hard to implement a system of inspection for rental properties. An annual fee paid by landlords could fund such a system for the privilege of being allowed to let out a property.

          I’m not sure, but I don’t think a car rental business would be allowed to hire out cars that don’t have a WOF. Just looked at NZTA website and yes a car must be safe before it can be hired out.

          • BevanJS 3.1.1.1.1

            and I’m sure rental car companies don’t operate in fear of prosecution for “Raising the rent for making improvements that meet minimum requirements”.

            How about the gummint doesn’t tax us to fail at micro-managing housing stock and we can all take the extra money still in our pockets to do what we need to do for our families.

            • fender 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think a car rental company would survive too long if they raised their fees every time they replaced bald tires, but if they rent out substandard vehicles they could certainly be experiencing some fear of a penalty.

              If the Govt. were more concerned about families having extra money in their pockets they could outlaw price gouging by those greedy landlords who don’t even seem to care if people get ill from being in their unhealthy rental properties.

    • mike e 3.2

      Bj they will sell into the marlet rather than do them up reducing prices to new home owmers!

    • mike e 3.3

      Their is an under supply of housing that’s why landlords can get away with gouging and substandard dwellings .
      This is also the reason why we have a house price bubble that is also the reason why the big four banks are gouging our economy ,forcing our dollar up and seriously damaging our productive sector!
      Nationals lack of action is creating poverty.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Not to mention the constant moving by families caught between rapidly rising rental properties and even more unaffordable housing to purchase.

    Moving means lack of stability which is especially important in children’s lives, no investment in their community, and disturbingly attendance at a frightening number of schools adding to the damage to our kids. Unacceptable.

    We need to encourage long term rental agreements, improving quality of rentals, and stop rewarding speculation on real estate asap.

  5. Hobnob 5

    Labour created this so called poverty. Funded by unions. Oh well

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      To be more accurate, the neoliberals in both National and Labour created this poverty – while greatly enriching the top 5% of society.

      • Hobnob 5.1.1

        It I was successful and made my wealth in Eco business environment and become part of the 5% am I bad as you suggest?

        • KJT 5.1.1.1

          No.
          So long as you are prepared to keep the ladder there for the ones after you.

          Be a Warren Buffet, Hallenstein (For an NZ example) or Bill Gates. Not a Koch, Bennett or a Key.

          I don’t believe all the rich are “rich pricks”.

          • Hobnob 5.1.1.1.1

            I am Eco business don’t do ladders – made of steel. If my lowest guy gets 30.00 an hour for working in the warehouse..why does he need a union rep? He gets all the other basics plus 5 weeks holiday and 6% kiwisaver.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      In general it’s capitalism and the privatisation of the commons that causes poverty. It’s expanded under neo-liberalism which has been followed by both sides since the 1980s.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Agreed that is the more general case. Who is going to move core assets and wealth back into the commons…

  6. locus 6

    NZ housing is pitifully inadequate in terms of insulation. Changes in legislation and significant long term commitment by NZ governments to fund and enforce higher standards are the only way to bring NZ up to first world standards. The benefits will far outweigh the costs

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      And will create jobs, lots of jobs. Ensure the insulation is NZ sourced and start up an R&D effort around it too.

      • locus 6.1.1

        so many success stories around the world of initiatives to restore renovate and build to exacting and inspiring standards while in NZ we rely on half-hearted measures and charity funding. Huge opportunity as you’ve pointed out.

  7. Michael 7

    This is a good policy (and long overdue) but, as always with Labour, the devil will be in the details. A good example is the much-trumpeted “income-related rents” for state housing tenants. Very few tenants actually qualified for income-related rents, due to absurdly low thresholds, while those who did only had their rents dropped if they were able to complete a complex bureaucratic obstacle course not just once, when they applied for income-related rent, but every 6-12 months thereafter, when they were subject to rent reviews. The dishonest nature of Labour’s state tenancy policy was revealed in two court cases involving the same tenant, just before Labour got kicked out of office in 2008. The judges, in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, after reading mountains of documents, had no difficulty concluding that Labour’s underlying policy was one of market rents for state house tenants. I believe Labour knew this all along but calculated that it could bullshit HNZ tenants into thinking they could get cheaper rents and, thus, keep voting for it. Will anything really change in the remote chance of Labour taking office again?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago