“Such inexcusable neglect”

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 am, December 8th, 2017 - 39 comments
Categories: Economy, housing, human rights, nick smith - Tags:

 

39 comments on ““Such inexcusable neglect””

  1. Ad 1

    Twyford was righteous in the House this week on it.

  2. Antoine 2

    Not only central Govt needs to take responsibility for this.

    A.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      🙄

      See the graph? The problem starts in 2008. It really kicks in when Smith becomes housing minister.

      • Antoine 2.1.1

        If you want to play that game: The green bar doesn’t substantially go into negatives until 2010, when Len Brown is elected.

        A.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          You mean just after the National Party let Rodney Hide vandalise Auckland’s democracy?

        • savenz 2.1.1.2

          Somehow I think Len Brown is not the one selling off the state houses and importing in cheap labour and property developers to stay in power so that their austerity policies are masked by a housing boom.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1.2.1

            And regardless of local government (or whether National directly caused the problem, which I believe they did) , a responsible central government would take action to prevent such a debacle.

            At best, National just watched it happen, a disgraceful act of irresponsibility.

        • Me 2.1.1.3

          You mean one year after Shon Key got elected?

      • Bill 2.1.2

        The crisis in housing goes back to at least early the 90s.

        Dogmatic adherence to a flawed market ideology, by both the National Party and NZ Labour led governments, has led to what we’re seeing today.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          Lab5 increased state housing stock by about 15k. Looks more like lukewarm adherence to me 😉

          • Bill 2.1.2.1.1

            NZ Labour are fully signed up members of the liberal capitalism fan club OAB.

            But just being curious. When you say Lab5 increased state housing stock by 15000, could those builds be bought under right to buy scheme?

            Because if they could be, then it’s far from accurate to claim that state housing stock was increased by x, y or z, when or if there was a concomitant reduction in the overall capacity for state provisioning of housing (ie – if they were built but disappeared into private hands).

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1.1

              State housing stock was 15k more in 2008 than in 1999.

              And yes, I know what the NZLP is.

  3. tracey 3

    Another conspiracy could contend that under the prior Govt the ministry workers had it made very clear to them tgat no OIAble document could say anything bad about housing…

  4. David Mac 4

    The situation creates an opportunity for Twyford to ease back on making life tougher for landlords.

    “The crisis is so dire we are not yet in a position that we can ask a family to vacate an uninsulated house.” etc.

    • tracey 4.1

      Tougher or responsible? Self regulation has failed for sufficient numbers of homes to be unhealthy for renter occupants. All taxpayers share the burden of paying for the consequences.

      • David Mac 4.1.1

        Yeah, I was more thinking of a historical theme. A post election campaign Labour Govt setting sail for the middle of the road.

        It’s wise politics of Twyford to float out life rafts should he need to alter course or scupper the good ship ’10 Year Tenure’.

      • tc 4.1.2

        Agreed, after Oz I was appalled at what passed for ‘habitable’ in the rental market here.

        Then there’s the empty ones as National created a climate where it’s potentially cheaper and less hassle to leave them empty rather than risk damage prior to it being flicked on for tax free cap gain profit.

        Friends who moved within the northern reaches of Akl recently stated they know of about a dozen just in the surrounding streets.

        Speculators can carry the lack of rent easily.

        • David Mac 4.1.2.1

          Yep, there is something fundamentally wrong when we’re short by 71,000 houses and it makes logical sense to be sitting on an empty house.

          We don’t need to come over ‘Gimme that house now!’

          We just need to mark out lines on the playing field that make that method of play outside the rules of the game. Costly rather than profitable.

          Smart power meter data/water consumption data should highlight unoccupied properties.

          Don’t legalise squatting, just make it crappy to have an empty house.

          • SARAH 4.1.2.1.1

            Several years back there was a reported 33,000 empty houses in Auckland alone. Filling them with families would go a long way to solving this, but how you go about that I don’t know.

    • savenz 4.2

      I’m not sure how ‘unhealthy’ these old houses really are! Generations grew up in them and are still going strong. The biggest risk to health is the newer ‘leaky’ houses and P and with P it is not even clear what is harmful or not (aka money having more residue than the houses condemned as inhabitable).

      The reality is that National has pulled the wool over people’s eyes, by deflecting their self made housing crisis that kept them in power by blaming landlords and the council in particular zoning.

      Funny enough we now have the council zoning completely relaxed but few houses being built and those being built not actually affordable enough to rent.

      What happened to those affordable houses after 2013 is the big question?

      The reality is there is a scarcity of landlords not a surplus of them as many seem to think. The houses people used to rent are now occupied by new residents and will not be available as rentals – the state houses sold off, unmaintained and so forth.

      The Christchurch rebuild the slowest rebuild ever with all the micromanagement and government managers.

      • solkta 4.2.1

        You seem to be confusing a shortage of houses with a shortage of landlords. If there are not enough landlords then why do home ownership levels continue to plummet?

        • savenz 4.2.1.1

          Because the immigration figures show that there has been record immigration for 3 years in a row and growing before that as well. There has also been something like 180,000 new work permits given out for students and temporary workers imported in each year. Where do you think they live? Many of the new residents including students have money and can afford to buy a house.

          Homeownership continues to plummet because the costs of houses has risen due to the above and wages have both become static and local working conditions more temporary aka not guaranteed hours. You struggle to get a mortgage with that so even if you did earn enough the price of houses is continuing to soar. Locals are competing with foreigners who can borrow at overseas mortgage rates which are lower interest than Kiwi’s have to pay.

          Meanwhile many of the other causes of high building have not been investigated such as the rising cost of materials, changing building practises such as many more subcontractors all who need to make a profit, and everything is set up to build a more expensive house in particular council consenting, than an affordable one.

          • solkta 4.2.1.1.1

            You seem to be confusing a shortage of houses with a shortage of landlords. Only a very few landlords add to the housing stock.

      • I’m not sure how ‘unhealthy’ these old houses really are!

        Unless they’ve had significant maintenance carried out on them with huge repairs done then they’re really bad. The majority of old homes in the country will fall into the latter category.

        The biggest risk to health is the newer ‘leaky’ houses

        Bollocks.

        Old houses are crap and probably either need to be brought up to modern standards or torn down with the latter being the better/cheaper option.

        The problem with houses in NZ, and this even applies to new houses, is that they’ve been built on the cheap. This is why houses in NZ have always been cold and draughty.

      • Siobhan 4.2.3

        “Generations grew up in them and are still going strong”…well, the ones that survived are ‘going strong’.
        Unhealthy style homes have always had dire consequences for their inhabitants. Premature death due to cold, damp, (not to mention overcrowding) in other words cardiovascular and respiratory disease, have always been a problem, and, infact, were a bigger problem for previous generations.

        You may find this article interesting…i quote… “By the 1940s the ceilings and walls of over 50% of new dwellings contained mould,”

        https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/thermal-insulation-required-nz-homes

        http://www.noted.co.nz/currently/social-issues/1600-deaths-attributed-to-cold-houses-each-winter-in-new-zealand/

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/fiscalposition/2006/14.htm/ltfp-07-018.gif

        While these stats are not broken down to cause, common sense tells us our great grandparents were not all dying at 50 after being run over by a horse and waggon….

        • savenz 4.2.3.1

          Well baby boomers, the ‘silent’ generation all deemed to be living longer than ever… in spite of all that ‘hardship of those mouldy houses’.

          I’d say more Kiwi’s dying of obesity related illness – heart attacks and general decline from obesity caused by poor diet and sedentary lifestyle and medical disease.

          But housing has been used politically to mask the austerity policies and to mask our lack of productivity by successive governments and using immigration as a way to pretend our country is doing better than it actually is. And this masks not changing tack earlier aka growing economy with real jobs and realising that the low wage economy was making NZ a worst place for many not better.

  5. savenz 5

    Anyway I live in Auckland which is ground zero for National’s housing ‘reforms’. If you want to try to solve it, then you have to lose the ideological lens in particular about immigration or hatred of landlords, banks and state, because it’s not helping by ignoring or blaming various parts of issues that is needed to solve the problem. Also when making a change to housing it is a good idea to do an impact analysis with someone who has NOT got an ideological focus because you need to be completely impartial, and predict exactly what is happening now.

    Scarcity of rentals.
    Rise of homelessness.
    Cost of housing beyond the rise in wages.
    Wrong types of houses being built and often need remedial work later.

  6. David Mac 6

    I think it’s wrong to place too much cred in the prices.

    On a personal level: ‘How am I ever going to afford $475 a week?’ and ‘I’ll never be able to afford one of those million dollar Albany doll’s houses.’ “Yep, me too.”

    But 40,000 of those million dollar houses in Albany would go a long way to solving everyone’s hassles. The glut would see the asking price drop to $850k, the ripples would run all the way to the bottom of the market. The new folk of Albany and the flow on effect will free up housing and relax pricing right across the ‘What we need’ spectrum.

  7. adam 7

    So we have years of lack of homes ahead of us. We got behind, and now it will take at least 10 years to catch up.

    The head baring stuff from the Tory rejects, hurts working people, they obviously just don’t care.

    I said for a while that the Tory scum hate the poor, If you can’t see that in this. Then what more proof do you need?

  8. Grantoc 8

    Its clear that there is a housing shortage issue.

    Twyford banged on about it for months prior to the election. He is still banging on about now that he is the minister.

    Its time for him to now actually begin to try and do something about it; rather than to continue banging on about it.

    I think he said he was going to facilitate the building of some 10,000 houses in his first year in office. The months are ticking by. I’m not aware of any that have been built to date under his watch.

    Its time for action Mr Twyford. Not more hand wringing words.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Sorry, vandals and their enablers don’t get to make demands of the repair crew.

    • JC 8.2

      It’s been clear for a number of years that there has been a Housing Issue!

      Yes National Did It!

      Bang bang … Are you for REAL! or just trolling …

  9. savenz 9

    If they bothered to decontaminate the existing houses of P quickly and cheaply, then that would bring existing houses back into usage and reduce the contamination crisis or fear of that for anyone renting out a house or having to live in a rental.

    Just had a friend had to move out of an upmarket apartment (yes it’s not just affordable houses that are effected it’s everywhere) when the P level was too high after moving in. So that’s yet another rental out of usage.

    • Brigid 9.1

      The “P contaminated houses” is a scam.

      I think you should read this SaveNZ:
      https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/august-2016/poor-foundations/

      Dr Leo Schep, a toxicologist at the National Poisons Centre, told the SMC that “people dwelling in a house where previous tenants had smoked methamphetamine, and there is some evidence of low concentrations on surfaces, have minimal risks of toxicity”, comparable to people who lived in a house where cigarettes or cannabis had been smoked at some point.

      Massey University’s Dr Nick Kim, a peer reviewer of the original Ministry of Health guidelines, said his guess was that, in most cases, even “quite high levels of (non-powder) methamphetamine on a surface may pose minimal risk”.

      At the 0.5 microgram Ministry of Health guideline value – the point at which hundreds of properties are being declared uninhabitable – the possible dose from a wall or other surface is “1000 to 2000 times lower than the initial 5 mg dose given to a six-year-old for ADHD.”

      Then there is the story of the meth testing companies, their profits and incompetence.

  10. greg 10

    where smith goes disaster follows or it was deliberate to enrich the nact voter and keep the corrupt nact in power

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