Power poverty on the up

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, December 19th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: child welfare, cost of living, energy, health, housing, national/act government, poverty - Tags:

Stuff has published a couple of very useful, but depressing, articles based on data extracted from the 2013 census.  The grimmest information is that fuel/energy poverty is increasing, with a higher proportion of households unable to afford any heating.

Auckland has the highest proportion of households in the country that never use heating.  Related to this, Auckland housing crisis continues to increase, with population growth being higher than the growth in building of new residences.  It is not surprising then, that a high proportion of Aucklanders homes, especially Pacific Island households, that are overcrowded.

Such living conditions will result in an increase in health problems, with an impact on things such as education and work outcomes.

Catherine Harris reports:

The Housing in Auckland survey, which uses census data from 1991 to 2013, said 5.9 per cent of dwellings last year never use heating fuels, about 25,854 homes.

Northland was next with 5.3 per cent and nationally it was 3 per cent.

Although Auckland homes don’t need to be heated as much as southern parts of New Zealand, there are some times when it is required, especially in uninsulated households.  These are the ones more likely to be inhabited by people on low incomes.

Fuel poverty in Auckland was also on the rise. Last year’s figures were nearly 40 per cent higher than the 18,513 dwellings noted in 2006’s census.  It was a national trend, with the number of unheated houses across the country rising to 44,832, up 35 per cent.

In Auckland unheated private dwellings are most common in Waitemata and south Auckland.

Nearly 16 per cent of houses in Waitemata went without heating, 12.3 per cent in Mangere-Otahuhu and 10 per cent of Otara-Papatoetoe homes.

These are low socio-economic areas.  The report also shows that a higher proportion of people across the country are living in rental accommodation.  Auckland has a big increase in renting.  Since 2006 there has been a n 18% increase in renters in Auckland, making the 2013 proportion being 35.4% of households being rented.

* The increase in renters was lower in Wellington (up 12 per cent) and Canterbury (up 11.7 per cent).

* But several other regions had even bigger increases in the renting population than Auckland, including Southland (up 27.2 per cent), Northland (20 per cent), and Bay of Plenty (19 per cent).

In yesterday’s article by Catherine Harris, the Auckland housing situation was highlighted.

Since the last census in 2006, Auckland’s population had risen 8.5 per cent, which had outpaced the 7.6 per cent increase in dwellings.

[…]

Home ownership rates in Auckland were 43 per cent compared to almost 53 per cent in the rest of the country, and this did not only affect the young, said Goodyear.

“There have been substantial drops in home ownership for Aucklanders aged in their 30s, 40s, and 50s since 2001.”

The process of supplying more houses for Auckland’s growing population was also slower than other centres.

There were 358 building consents issued in Auckland per 100,000 people last year, compared with 423 per 100,000 for New Zealand overall, although that was changing.

[…]

And inside the houses, Auckland’s share of the country’s overcrowded households had risen from about a third  in 1991, to almost half 12 years later.

Crowding was highest among Pacific peoples, with 45.3 per cent of Pacific peoples in Auckland living in a crowded household last year.

The average Auckland household housed 3 people last year, up for 2.9 in 2006, while the rest of the country ranged from 2.3 to 2.7 people and households were either stable or falling.

Overcrowded families Stuff

Image from Stuff 2012 article on “crammed families waiting for state homes”

Not only has the government ailed to do anything to improve the living situations of a high proportion of Kiwis, but things have got worse under their watch.

As Anthony Robins showed yesterday, the National government’s “rock star” economy was more spin and fantasy of what might happen in the future, rather than being based in reality.  Furthermore, the government’s handling of the economy, with it’s unhelpful tax cut bribes, has resulted in a recovery being delayed.

 

56 comments on “Power poverty on the up”

  1. vto 1

    This government only offers token gestures to these realities…. they are uncaring. They put all their time into increasing their own wealth and ignore their fellow kiwis and neighbours who are struggling.

    Not a very nice way to go about life is it. Never has been and never will be. It has never been recognised as a worthy approach to life. Shame on this National Party government and its supporters.

    The kick in the guts is that this government’s arseholes will reward themselves with gongs within a handful of years of leaving these people in the lurch.

    Such a fine bunch.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      But they did say they dont care. Neoliberals believe the market will solve poverty. The market will get us to Mars. The market will keep our rivers clean.

      They abdicated from governing for all. Removing the means govt uses to deal to poverty, and giv the savings as tax cuts, so the many doing fine think its good for them. Yet it isnt.

  2. coaster 2

    There are plenty of cheap houses for sale in parts of the south island, coal is cheap and wood plentiful, and on the west coast we dont have leaky building problems. Why dont people relocate?.

    • miravox 2.1

      “Why dont people relocate?.”

      – jobs
      – family
      – cost of move

      For starters

      • BassGuy 2.1.1

        I’d just typed up a reply listing those in a rather more long winded fashion, although there are a couple of things I’d add to that list:

        The first is that I’m not sure it matters just how cheap houses are in the South Island, because people who can’t heat their homes usually aren’t able to buy a house.

        Some years ago I had some party animal flatmates who ran up very large power bills and refused to pay for what they’d used, dividing the bill by the number of people in the house (they usually paid their share by selling drugs, I seem to recall).

        I had no money for food after paying power and rent, so I had to go and stay with family for a few weeks until I could afford to eat again.

        Work and Income, being their usual helpful selves, started getting really nasty to me, threatening to cut me off because – in their eyes – I was moving away from the big city to a small town with fewer employment opportunities just so I could stay on the dole and not have to look for work.

        I imagine that would still apply, particularly to someone moving from Auckland to the South Island without a guaranteed job.

        • miravox 2.1.1.1

          Yes, I forgot about those work and income directives.

          And thanks for reminding me of how Work and Income can fail to understand that life happens in ways that are outside the manual.

    • lprent 2.2

      Jobs? Internet?

      I rather enjoy the substantial payments from my employer, and the fast fiber that I enjoy at home.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Coal is not cheap as anthropogenic climate change has shown.

  3. miravox 3

    Chances are the rheumatic fever reduction programme would have worked a whole lot better if over-crowding was addressed as a prevention measure.

  4. Since the last census in 2006, Auckland’s population had risen 8.5 per cent, which had outpaced the 7.6 per cent increase in dwellings.

    And inside the houses, Auckland’s share of the country’s overcrowded households had risen from about a third in 1991, to almost half 12 years later.

    Illustrated with photos of people who appear to have ridiculous numbers of children. Cause, meet effect.

    • karol 4.1

      Whole lot of assumptions there. PM.

      When there is overcrowding, it often means several (nuclear) families are living in one household. How do you know which families the children in the photo belong to?

      Houses should be built to accommodate the kinds of households people live in. Single people and two person households make up the majority of NZ households.

      Often there are a small number of people living in big houses, with bedrooms they don’t use.

      There also should be some households for larger extended and/or nuclear families.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.1

        When there is overcrowding, it often means several (nuclear) families are living in one household.

        In cases where multiple families are having to share a house, we have an overcrowding problem. In cases where one family includes a ridiculous number of children, we have an idiot problem. They’re different problems, and the second one isn’t the government’s job to do anything about.

        Often there are a small number of people living in big houses, with bedrooms they don’t use.

        Me, for instance: two kids, four bedrooms. It’s lovely and spacious. But if there were seven kids, I’d have a very foreseeable overcrowding problem and can’t-pay-the-bills problem. This is, of course, why I don’t have seven kids.

        There also should be some households for larger extended and/or nuclear families.

        There should be a pony for everybody, but there isn’t. The people who build houses are generally in a position to build a house because they didn’t have ridiculous numbers of children, so the private sector won’t supply them. And the public sector is probably well aware that if it did build some such houses, it wouldn’t take long for the sob stories to appear about how the only available big house isn’t where the idiot-problem family wants to live, or what a crime it is that the parents are being expected to move out of the big house and let someone else have it, now that all their kids have left home. No-one likes a thankless task.

        • batweka 4.1.1.1

          what’s the acceptable number of children?

          • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.1

            Useful rule of thumb: any more than three and you’re giving planet Earth a big middle finger.

            • batweka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really. If you are concerned about the environment we live in then we should be repopulating in relationship to the resources of the landbases we live in. Your kids are going to live in a resource depleted world not the one you live in where people are privileged to replace themselves. I’m guessing you didn’t take that into account when you had your kids though. Which means that you are moralising about other people without applying the same moral stringency to yourself.

              • That reply makes no sense.

                1. People have a built-in and pretty powerful urge to reproduce.
                2. The planet could with a lot fewer people on it, not more.

                These facts are in conflict. A sensible person will seek some useful compromise between evolutionary failure and overpopulating the planet. That useful compromise progresses via: no kids, which is an evolutionary fail; one kid, which is risky in evolutionary terms but great in population-reduction terms; two kids, which is still slightly risky but also still just below population replacement level; three kids, which pretty much removes evolutionary risk but increases the population; and upwards of three, which basically says “Fuck the planet, my selfish genes rule!”

                • karol

                  PM, you have set off a big diversion from the main issue – that there is not enough affordable housing for our population. You have opted for blaming the victims, rather than looking at the bigger picture.

                  The stats show that large families are not the problem. People like you who live in houses with more space than you need are as much of a cause as people with large families.

                  I read an article recently that said we need to be thinking in terms of available beds rather than available houses.

                  In recent times houses have got bigger, and families had tended to get smaller. That stats NZ figures I linked to showed the majority of people live in one and two people households.

                  It is not large families that are causing the affordable housing shortage, it is the lack of sufficient affordable accommodation. Builders and developers have focused too much on building bigger houses for the better off, and treated accommodation for low income people as an after-thought.

                  • It’s not a diversion, because families of three or four generally don’t suffer from overcrowding. Someone who’s living in overcrowded conditions because they have half a dozen kids is a victim of what, exactly? Apart from stupidity, I mean.

                    The stats show that large families are not the problem.

                    Depends which problem. Large families aren’t the reason we have too few houses in Auckland, true. They are a significant part of the reason we have a lot of overcrowding in particular suburbs, though.

                    Builders and developers have focused too much on building bigger houses for the better off…

                    They build houses for people who can afford to build houses, so that’s hardly surprising. Low income people needn’t and shouldn’t expect to live in a new house – mine was built 30 years before I moved into it.

                    People don’t fuck thinking about the global population situation.

                    The smart ones don’t fuck without thinking about potential consequences. That’s why it’s an idiot problem.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not a diversion, because families of three or four generally don’t suffer from overcrowding.

                      Of course, your assumption is one family per dwelling.

                    • It’s not. See above: “In cases where multiple families are having to share a house, we have an overcrowding problem. In cases where one family includes a ridiculous number of children, we have an idiot problem. “

                    • McFlock

                      Fair enough.

                      Before we start arguing about whether the so-called “idiot problem” is a rational description, care to prove it exists?

                    • karol

                      From an Otago Uni report on Auckland’s housing inequality:

                      In New Zealand, the rates of overcrowding are highest for Maori and Pacific Islanders. This can be attributed to a number of factors including that families of these ethnicities more commonly live with other families or extended families, as well as affordability of rent and house ownership.

                      You keep trying to divert from the main problem – something which has increased in recent years. And it’s not surprising seeing as the “market” favours building for better off people.

                      You keep adding one diversion upon another, and keep ignoring any contrary evidence.

                      Who says low income people expect new houses?

                    • Before we start arguing about whether the so-called “idiot problem” is a rational description, care to prove it exists?

                      From the report referred to in the post:

                      Crowded Housing in New Zealand 1986–2006 showed that crowding increased sharply with the number of dependent children. In 2006, less than 2 percent of households with no dependent children experienced crowding, but 8 out of every 10 households with seven or more dependent children were crowded.”

                      Multi-family households are increasing as a proportion of the total, as you’d expect with housing in short supply:

                      “Multi-family households have increased as a proportion of both severely crowded households (from 42.1 to 45.1 percent)…”

                      However, they’re still only 45% of the total. It doesn’t break down the other 55%, but it presumably consists of single-family households (maybe also groups of unrelated residents if these aren’t classed as ‘multi-family’), and crowding “increase[s] sharply with the number of dependent children.”

                      It exists, alright.

                      You keep trying to divert from the main problem – something which has increased in recent years.

                      I’m not diverting from the main problem. Yes, Auckland has a housing shortage, and yes it’s resulting in more instances of multiple families living in the same house. However, let’s not ignore the significant impact of the idiot problem on these figures – according to the report itself, multi-family dwellings are only 45% of the severe overcrowding total.

                    • McFlock

                      It doesn’t break down the other 55%, but it presumably consists of single-family households (maybe also groups of unrelated residents if these aren’t classed as ‘multi-family’), and crowding “increase[s] sharply with the number of dependent children.”

                      🙄
                      Your problem is that you look at the real data and then pretend that things the data doesn’t describe at all are “presumably” of characteristics XYZ, and then you pretend that your speculation is:
                      a) therefore evidence based; and
                      b) relevant to the point that overcrowding is not due to an oversupply of people.

                      It’s the result of leaving the market unregulated (or even overcooked by interests rates that are focused simply on keeping inflation down), coupled with the obliteration of state housing and increasing inequality making housing unaffordable.

                    • Sabine

                      Unless you are a family of three living in a one bedroom apartment as that is the only affordable housing available.

                • karol

                  Actually, “evolution” tends to result in people with scarce resources having more children than people and communities with wealthier lifestyles. It’s a protection against the whole whanau or community dying off because of poor health, etc.

                  People don’t fuck thinking about the global population situation. Fix the too large inequality gap, provide adequate incomes, education, and housing for all, and the tendency is for individual families to have fewer children.

                  Victim blaming does nothing to provide a solution.

                • Your problem is… etc

                  It is of course within the bounds of possibility that the 55% of overcrowded houses not occupied by multiple families also aren’t occupied by single families, and that the evidence that crowding increases sharply with the number of dependent children has no bearing on the level of overcrowding found in these suburbs, and that the fact that every story about this issue is illustrated with a photo of someone with an excessive number of children is just an unlikely coincidence. Believe that if you wish.

                  • McFlock

                    It just seems to me that if more than 5 or 10% of overcrowded households do not fall into the single or multiple family dynamic, and only say half of single-family overcrowded households fall into your “idiot” category of more than two kids plus parents, then your problem-solving skills seem to be deficient (if you genuinely want to address the issue of overcrowding by concentrating on a quarter of overcrowded households, as opposed to just diverting the discussion into a debate about your personal hate-fetish).

                    • …if you genuinely want to address the issue of overcrowding by concentrating on a quarter of overcrowded households, as opposed to just diverting the discussion into a debate about your personal hate-fetish…

                      I’ve characterised it throughout this thread as ‘a’ problem, not ‘the’ problem.

                      Everybody reading this will be aware of the contribution of Auckland’s housing shortage to overcrowding there, and to the various claims about the causes of that shortage (varying according to political outlook), and to possible solutions. But the housing shortage isn’t the only cause, and I’ve pointed out another one. By your own account it’s reasonable to assume it accounts for a good quarter of overcrowded households, and I think you’re being very conservative in your estimate. It’s not unreasonable to point it out.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, it does seem pretty unreasonable to focus on a characteristic of a quarter of a population that might only be tangential to the problem of a dysfunctional housing market.

                      Or to put it another way: even if the parents are, in your estimation, “idiots” and don’t count as what you’d call the deserving poor, why should the kids live in an overcrowded house?

                    • Actually, it does seem pretty unreasonable…

                      It would be pretty unreasonable to treat it as more significant than the dysfunctional housing market, yes.

                      …even if the parents are, in your estimation, “idiots” and don’t count as what you’d call the deserving poor, why should the kids live in an overcrowded house?

                      Even if a small business owner makes a bunch of stupid decisions and goes bankrupt, why should the employees lose their jobs? Our ability to prevent people’s stupidity from affecting other people is finite.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, given that you’re talking to someone who thinks that the government should get the reserve bank to also look at an unemployment rate of 0-3% rather than 6-8% when deciding interest rates, your analogy is a near miss.

                      Our abilities might be finite, but overcrowding (and, for that matter, trans-generational unemployment) are definitely solveable – but only if people care about the suffering of others more than they care about calling the parents or employers “idiots” as if that addresses the probem.

                    • Addressing the problems idiots cause requires first recognising the idiocy. Refusing to recognise the cause effectively equates to ignoring the problem.

                    • McFlock

                      When your “idiots” are associated with a majority of the problem, then you might be on the way to identifying a major cause of the problem.

                      As it is, it merely looks like you are driven by bias and presumption, rather than anything rational.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah but you also think that a problem can be solved if we call a quarter of the affected population “idiots”.

                • batweka

                  That reply makes no sense.

                  1. People have a built-in and pretty powerful urge to reproduce.
                  2. The planet could with a lot fewer people on it, not more.

                  These facts are in conflict.

                  Actually they’re not. Many cultures have intentionally controlled population when they didn’t have the resources to have more people around.

                  A sensible person will seek some useful compromise between evolutionary failure and overpopulating the planet.

                  You are conflating evolution with individual choice. Most people don’t have choose to have children because they’re thinking about the survival of the species.

                  Humans evolved via tribes. The individual drive isn’t as important as you are making out. eg humans developped menopause and that tribes that had non-childbearing women had better survival rates (read up on the Grandmother Hypothesis), because it was the survival and thriving of the group that made the difference.

                  That useful compromise progresses via: no kids, which is an evolutionary fail; one kid, which is risky in evolutionary terms but great in population-reduction terms; two kids, which is still slightly risky but also still just below population replacement level; three kids, which pretty much removes evolutionary risk but increases the population; and upwards of three, which basically says “Fuck the planet, my selfish genes rule!”

                  Your basic premise fails because you have assumed that replacing oneself is ok for the planet. I can’t understand why you would think this, because that’s apparently what you have done. But it’s not true. The only sane way to judge reproduction in an environmental context is to look at what the landbase can support where you live. We are in resource overshoot globally and here in NZ and when the dust settles on that, what’s going to be important to your kids isn’t whether we can import cars from Japan and send milk powder to China, but whether the local watershed they live in can supply the food and other needs for the population that lives there. That’s what AGW and PO are going to do.

                  In that case, you also have to look at whole communities and their ability to function, not just this nuclear family ideal you seem to have. The large Polynesian family you are so disdainful off may have far better community building skills and capacity for work than your 2 adults/2 kids nuclear unit.

                  Instead you’ve taken the global measurement approach. If you really want to do that then we have to be reducing population, in which case you’ve failed by your own morals which makes you a hypocrite as well as a judgemental fuck.

                  I also think you conflate a whole bunch of your personal ideas with evolutionary theory but don’t apply it in the real world.

                  • karol

                    Indeed. And meanwhile, an increasing proportion of Kiwis are living without heating when they need it.

                  • Your basic premise fails because you have assumed that replacing oneself is ok for the planet.

                    Given the level of obviously wrong achieved with that, I’m not going to bother with the rest.

                    • batweka

                      Ok, I’ll take that as a sign that you can’t address the points (not even at a basic level of which bits of that sentence are wrong and why). This does seem to be a pattern, that you don’t clarify in ways that assist communication.

                    • Take it how you like. Other people manage to read my comments without willfully misinterpreting them, and I’m not customising them for you.

                    • batweka

                      Someone else commented the other day asking you to post coherently, so it’s not just me.

                      And if you’re not interested in communicating effectively why do you bother to reply to me?

                      my point still stands. You appear to not be able to address the points raised in this instance.

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.2

              How many children living a normal lifestyle in (say) Bangladesh, would it take equal the impact of one child living a normal lifestlye in NZ? Just askin’.

          • sweetd 4.1.1.1.2

            what’s the acceptable number of children?

            A number you and your partner can provide all the necessities of life for.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              What if your circumstances change after procreation?

              • batweka

                It never fails to amaze me how some people in conversations like this appear to have a complete lack of imagination about what happens in RL. I can understand people not having the direct experience themselves, but really what kind of vacuum do you have to live in to not be able to think how things work for others?

                • greywarshark

                  …some people in conversations like this appear to have a complete lack of imagination about what happens in RL. I can understand people not having the direct experience themselves, but really what kind of vacuum do you have to live in to not be able to think how things work for others?

                  This is how I objectively see many of the population thinking and behaving.

                  The general idea is that you aim to get educated and get to run your life, with a job that pays. You live your life and don’t go under the surface, to plan, think about your life but also how you fit into the whole. Planning and pondering is other people’s work. .

                  You remain unmoved and unaware of the deeper matters of society, you get on with your own business and watch the turmoil others experience with interest and perhaps surprise or annoyance. But you don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit yourself, or isn’t a reaction to something affecting you. You may not limit your number of children because it is your right to have as many as you like, over- population concerns are for those who are trying to interfere with personal rights.

                  Like ants you scurry around following your daily routine with no time allowed for deeper understanding. And because there is a gap in your thinking, a cult leader may come along and fill that gap with some slanted philosophy that captures your heart and mind. And you preen yourself for being a clever human, able to do so much, with so little comprehension of the total picture.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                What if the landlord jacks up the rent on you by $100 pw because he can.

                • batweka

                  Or your marriage ends, or one partner dies, or gets a long term illness/disability, or your job that looked secure for the past decade suddenly disappears, or you get behind on insurance payments and your house burns down, or you live in Chch, or contraceptive failure means you get pregnant again and you can’t bring yourself to have another abortion (or abortion isn’t available where you live). That’s not even close to being a comprehensive list.

                  Methinks sweetd needs to read some Tirado.

            • Sabine 4.1.1.1.2.2

              I wonder how many white, middle class families would start to struggle, once that “Working for Families ” Benefit / Tax shenanigan is removed?

              Just asking.

              i have been told by too many people that they are responsible having three kids, and others are not responsible having three kids.

              But when one asks them if they could afford their children without their partners income i.e. unemployment, or temporary loss of work due to illness they usually don’t give an answer.

              Fact is that accommodation is chosen by its location and affordability. If I have two children and the only apartment that is within my price range is a one bedroom apartment than i will take that 1 bedroom. It beats sleeping in a car. But I will then live in an overcrowded house and would have been irresponsible…but I might have had my children at a time where I had a good paying job living in a three bedroom house.

              It gets to me all the time, that people really believe that circumstances don’t change, and that above all circumstances don’t change on them. They will always be blond, white, middle class, able to afford their mortgage, two cars and three children. Until shit hits the fan….and then they have a right to benefits because they ‘earned’ them. Not like the others that have been irresponsible and who are bludgers.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      I remember you from The Meaning of Life. You’re the Anglican who got his wife pregnant every time they had sex, aren’t you?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifgHHhw_6g8

    • miravox 4.3

      ‘Ridiculously’ large families.

      Maybe you need to look at the causes of this before saying the size of the family itself is the cause of the problem. Aside from genuine maternal/paternal feelings that lead to more kids than a person can afford there’s also:

      – family was complete before a fallout from the 2008 financial crisis so income were lower than planned
      – sudden increase in rental prices because no government has the guts to tackle incentives that skew investment decisions into property
      – houses are not where the jobs are
      – command and control misogyny (barefoot and pregnant)
      – contraception failure/cost etc, etc.
      – community values
      – the family includes fostered or whanau adopted children
      – the children are an investment for a future family wage. Because life is tough, the more kids, the more secure your old age might be. Ironic that keeping people destitute may make this scenario more likely.

      I’m sure there are plenty of other valid reasons for having a large-ish family and that these are not the ’cause’ of overcrowding. However, the problems are greater because of essential issues with the supply of housing like where it is and how much it costs in relation income.

  5. adam 5

    To add to the nightmare Karol, now that work and income have taken over NZ housing – the delays in finding people housing has got worse.

    Who would have guessed a government department, under resourced and full of staff which – well let’s be frank – would struggle with the work loads in the private sector. Can’t organise housing and get the most desperate people into homes.

    It’s an interesting tactic by the these ideologues, we call a government. Make the systems of the state harder and harder to engage with, couple this with underfunding, and a top heavy structure – so they can fulfil an ideological imperative that the state is a failed mechanism and the private sector can can do it better.

    I think Karol, you just highlighted why market solutions are not the answer to very much. The market understands only one thing – greed.

    • Andrea 5.1

      “would struggle with the work loads in the private sector”

      Now which sector of the private sector would that be? And why are they so maximally inept as to tolerate excesses of busy work or overworking staff?

      It’s possibly wrong – but dear old Housing Corp and its previous incarnations seemed to manage quite well.

      And I doubt that there’d be many in the sacred private sector who have to work under the no-choice situation that the Housing people had to work under. Like it or otherwise they have to deal with the difficult and dangerous. Unlike the private sectors (which aren’t as competent and smooth as those who work there like to kid themselves, based on many experiences.)

  6. Treetop 6

    In the last two months I have had three extra summer power bills or two extra winter power bills due to a faulty valve in the hot water cylinder (now fixed). I requested the last six months of power bills to prove to the landlord that there was a fault in the hot water cylinder. Just to get a plumber to the door to say hello, the cost is $75.

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    23 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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