web analytics

Stealth privatisation of state housing in budget

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, May 15th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

There’s more than one way to fleece the public of our assets. While attention is rightly on the big sell-offs of the energy companies, there’s also privatisation in the form of public organisations selling or giving away parts of their operations (eg Orcon), and opening public funding to for-profit companies (eg. charter schools). More seems on the cards for our state housing as National offers to give over control to private organisations.

I’m deeply suspicious of public funding being extended to unaccountable NGOs in this manner. It makes cost-control and quality-assurance harder. It’s an invitation to corruption – a whole new layer of checks usually has to be invented within the public funders to keep an eye on the NGO providers. And there’s often little proof that outcomes are actually better. Whanau Ora is the classic example of how out-sourcing a government service to private, semi-amateur groups results costs a lot and delivers little, and is blighted by corruption.

And will there actually be any more affordable housing as a result of National’s changes? Or will state houses just become privatised? That’s the test – if National’s not increasing the number of families getting good quality affordable housing in a cost-effective manner, then they’ve achieved nothing.

35 comments on “Stealth privatisation of state housing in budget ”

  1. freedom 1

    Am I being overly cynical or will the Government say they have increased social housing by incorporating whatever housing numbers the NGO’s already have on their books ?

    • geoff 1.1

      They’ll totally do something like that and David Shearer will nod along in agreement with them like he has with National’s housing policy.
      Prediction: One of National’s strategy going into election will be presenting policy that looks like it’s in the social good so that DS won’t know how to argue against it.

  2. fambo 2

    This government wants to privatise everything. Once one understands this, everything starts to fall into place

    • johnm 2.1

      100% right!

      • fambo 2.1.1

        Here’s how it would work for your local park.

        1/ Government introduces legislation prohibiting councils from running parks because they are outside their core responsibilities

        2/ Councils have to give contracts to private companies to maintain parks and introduce a user pay system to cover the cost of maintaining the park because councils are prohibited from running the park at a loss (under the guise of saving rate payers money). Users of park have to pay for using it.

        3/ Councils eventually forced to sell half or all of the value of the park to private sector, most logically the company already involved in running the park.

        4/ Business(es) who own half or all of the park flog of a good proportion of it for real estate subdivision so they can make a profit and also argue the money raised will help them run the park.

        5/ Community left with small park or no park at all, or a small park they have to pay to use.

    • Olwyn 2.2

      The idea of privatising absolutely everything would not be so bad, and I say this as a socialist myself, IF it was underpinned by the notion of forming a functional society upon this basis. But it is not. It is underpinned by a Thatcherite mentality; an outlook that is more committed to ensuring that the other side never again gain traction than it is even to its own abiding success. In short, by class warfare. Landlording is better than manufacturing within this framework, because manufacturing might ultimately give a little power back to the enemy. Eventually of course, partly due to a lack of manufacturing, the state will eventually run out of money to prop up the landlords, but meh…at least for now, the enemy is subjugated, and something might come up….oil perhaps…

      • geoff 2.2.1

        The thing is that even Thatcher didn’t have the gall to go as far or as fast Roger Douglas did here. Like Geoff Bertram said, in regards to comparing how Britain privatised compared with NZ, Thatcher flogged off the assets but she at least regulated them so they couldn’t increase the book value which causes the price gouging. Here in NZ it was a complete fucking free-for all, hence why we are so screwed.

  3. tc 3

    Yes Eddie there appears to be no focus on the trough for the MP that is whanau ora.

    Watch the NACT flog everything in sight off over the next year, they will not gamble on a third term IMO they will go for broke.

    With muppets like smith, bridges, parata in place whilst the dark lords in the shape of Blinglish, Bovver boy Joyce, Royall and Findlayson go about the required spadework to make it occur.

  4. jcuknz 4

    Orcon a public organisation? Surely not.
    Though I much prefer that the government provides housing rather than councils and NGOs …I suppose councils are NGOs? The record of recent past govcernments of all kinds is pretty dismal IMO..

    • Lightly 4.1

      until recently, Orcon was owned by SOE Kordia, which sold it.

      • tc 4.1.1

        And it’s rapidly gone to the dogs of commercialism even more than it was already with a phillipines call centre fronted by friendly yet unhelpful folk who talk complete shite as they’ve no clue about the services being supported, all about the bottom line folks and a quick buck on the sale.

      • Doug 4.1.2

        Orcon began as a private company. Kordia purchased it and now sold it.

  5. pollywog 5

    Let the slumlord privateers have the shitty, cold and obsolete state houses.

    So the state can use the money to build stuff like this…


    Whole neighbourhoods of them!

    • ghostrider888 5.1

      Discussion on local initiatives; Nine to Noon,
      (although, my personal experience of NGO’s in the health sector? Not good, overall; the delivery of service producing more pseudo-professionals, ticket clipping and weak accountability).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      Its the land on them that the private interests want.

      The houses would be moved off pronto and probably sold back to the government for a fat profit

      • pollywog 5.2.1

        No one said nothing about land 🙂

        • ghostrider888

          “Easy Money”, “Free Money”, “Money money money…” “here they go now singing monie monie…”

  6. infused 6

    Orcon was a dog. If you had any idea of the inner workings, you wouldn’t even mention it.

    • NickS 6.1

      It actually used to be pretty damn good, decent prices decent speeds and fast tech support that would work things out quickly. And if it was telecom’s fault (i.e. work on an exchange/streetbox) they’d usually know and tell you so.

      Then something went wrong and they turned into a cheaper telecom clone, likely due to the management wanting “profitsssss” irrespective of the fact the ISP market was rather competitive and users talk. Leading to a flight to better ISP’s, despite of penalty fees.

      • Rich 6.1.1

        It’s a dumb business model. There are two (urban/suburban) networks in this country, Telecom/Chorus and Vodafone (ex Telstra). Everyone else is just reselling Telecom/Chorus and trying to carve a margin out of lower volume – obviously customer service has to give.

        We’d be better off with an NZ Power model where a fair price and SLA gets set and the suppliers just deliver to that. Cheaper, better and more transparent service. Less marketing make-work jobs and corporate profiteering.

  7. karol 7

    Very good and important post, Eddie. I think community housing organisations can make a valuable contribution to housing provisions, but they shouldn’t be used to replace state housing. State housing is a necessary under-pinning of the whole array of housing available in the country.

    Community housing without a strong state house provision, will become dominated by, and sucked into, the “market” logic.

  8. Lionel 8

    we have a far right government who are trying to bulldoze through everything that it is dear to them
    before their time is up National,s distain for the electorate is obvious by the contempt in which they have shown towards the recommendations by the electoral commision which made the referendum a waste if time and money and because they rely on ACT and doofus Dunne they were bound to ignore it they,ve got to go

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Everything you said is correct, except they are not a “far right government”, they are a moderate right government.

    • Arfamo 8.2

      Dunne’s not a doofus. He is simply a professional minister available to whichever party for the right price every three years.

    • jcuknz 8.3

      If you want to see a ‘far right’ party look at the Republicans …. National are further left than the Democrats.
      I joined and liked Hyper in its early Dunedin days but now I have gone to another smallish outfit and shot of Orcon thank goodness.

  9. vto 9

    There in only one solution…

    Vote Them Out

  10. Doug 10

    Orcon began a a private company and has now returned to private hands.

    • lprent 10.1

      Let me correct that for you…

      Orcon began as a competent private company and has now returned been flogged off to incompetent private hands.

      The original Orcon was pretty fantastic for anyone interested in good service. Their service before since they started getting packaged for sales was pretty adequate. However for the last year or two it has been deteriorating rapidly and can now only be described at complete crap. Basically seems on a par with slingshot or ina different but similar frame, with the disaster that is Chorus.

      Looking for anyone else who is more competent as soon as the fibre becomes available at home. Probably Voyager…

  11. Stephen 11

    As Phil Twyford pointed out in a speech at the Region 5 conference on the weekend, this offloads maintenance and other responsibilities from the government. It’s pretty cynical cost-cutting.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    It’s an invitation to corruption

    Which is, as far as I can make out, why National do these things. It allows more ticket clipping by the ownership class.

  13. Binders full of viper- women 13

    “I’m deeply suspicious of public funding being extended to unaccountable NGOs in this manner.”
    I’m not .. the very good Greens housing policy (incl progressive ownership) encourages social housing from the likes of iwi/councils/salvation army etc. They are all quite often more in tune with the community than housing corp.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihƍpai RĆ«naka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago