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Tents warehouses and driveways

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, August 19th, 2016 - 64 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national, useless - Tags: ,

Now here’s some radical new thinking on the housing crisis!

‘Tents and warehouses’ suggested for homeless

Real estate company Colliers International suggested the government house homeless people in tents and warehouses in an urgent report for the Ministry of Social Development.

Radical and unworkable, a sign of just how desperate we have become.

“Other options that may be viable, but are not commercially procurable and are already assumed to be exhausted are surplus housing from Housing NZ, housing held by the NZ Defence Force, and charitable offerings from marae and churches.”

Other suggestions – including “enhanced tents” and warehouses – were suggested, but rejected by Ms Bennett. Shipping containers were given a “maybe”.

You’d have to do a lot of work to a shipping container to lift it to “maybe” status, and even then it’s a short-term emergency measure. We need to build more state houses.

Meanwhile some desperate car-dwellers are also breaking new ground:

Would-be tenants seek to live in cars on driveways to beat Auckland rents

Auckland’s rent crisis is forcing would-be tenants to seek driveways and front yards as dwelling options.

Advertisements are being placed at supermarkets by people wanting to live in cars seeking “driveway and shower” arrangements.

One of the people featured in that piece is a construction worker:

At Countdown Browns Bay, Frenchman Alban Morin also placed an ad looking for “a place with my car in your garden”.

“Just need a shower and kitchen,” Morin said in the ad. “Will pay for it any prices (sic) reasonable.”

The 25-year-old construction worker wrote that he would sleep in his car. “Auckland’s rent is really expensive and the pay in New Zealand is really low,” Morin said. “With my minimum wage job, I just cannot afford to pay it any longer.”

He is paying $230 in weekly rent for a room in the city, but was planning to live in his car once he could find someone’s driveway to park in. …

Say – has anyone seen John Key? He used to be clowning about all over the media, but he’s gone a bit quiet lately. If anyone knows where he his, could you let him know that the country could use a bit of leadership right now?

64 comments on “Tents warehouses and driveways ”

  1. Ad 1

    Rob great stuff as ever

  2. Adrian 2

    Key may be in mourning.
    The neoliberal privatisation dream is over with news from the US this morning that all private prisons to close as they are more expensive dangerous and badly run than Federal ones.
    Shit they must be bad.

    • Garibaldi 2.1

      That’s great news Adrian. Trouble is it’s a step too far to expect our idiot govt. to drop any of the failed policies it has adopted from overseas neocon governments.

  3. weka 3

    “You’d have to do a lot of work to a shipping container to lift it to “maybe” status, and even then it’s a short-term emergency measure. We need to build more state houses.”

    A lot less work than building a house though and fast. Shipping container conversions done right would be a useful thing. Immediate emergency housing that is transportable and can be used in a variety of situations including post-disaster rebuilds. I don’t trust National to understand how to do that though (remember the Chch camper van fiasco?) because to make shipping containers work you have to have the ability to understand what people need in terms of a home. Bennett is basically incapable of that degree of empathy.

    Btw container conversions can make good permanent homes.

    • jcuknz 3.1

      Well written Weka 🙂

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Container conversions seem to be mostly temporary single occupant type housing. There could be ’boutique’ conversion for those who want something different- a small market.

      • weka 3.2.1

        I wasn’t talking about the market. Most tiny home builds are for couples, but they’re great for singles too. Not sure why you think they’re temporary.

        • dukeofurl

          These are boutique conversions

          Bigger scale seems to be construction camps as you know containers are sized for ease of movement using existing infrastructure.
          They are only really feasible when at the end of their life for transport purposes

          This guy has some real experience and raises some compelling issues
          The are too heavy for residential use and are a waste of resources, far better to recycle them into steel housing framing.

          At the end of the day do we really want to come up with homes that are sized for driveways ?

          • s y d

            +however many you want.
            containers are for shipping goods, not housing people. we need to think better than this.

            • Siobhan

              Well, come picking season down here in the Hakes Bay we have a small container village that pops up just out of town. I hate to think how many overseas workers they can cram into one of those things.
              If only NZ workers weren’t so uppity and were willing to live like sardines in shipping containers, then the pittance wages for the season would be more than enough to last the year.

              • weka

                Those aren’t homes, please stop confusing the two.

                • Siobhan

                  I am not.

                  The point is containers can make great housing solutions when done right, infact I’m sure I’ve seen many housing programs and designer magazines where the end product is award winning.. But given how badly we do at maintaining housing for the poor, and even building houses for the well to do, I hate to think what level we will stoop to once we start using containers.

                  • weka

                    Ok, so you support container housing so long as it’s of a good standard. Sounds reasonable.

                    I don’t trust the government to manage that well, which is another kete of whitebait.

            • jcuknz

              It depends on how they at modified … people have a very restricted view of them from their primary purpose … sad really that rigid concepts hinder a solution to the problem.

          • weka

            What do you mean by boutique? You think people that need housing shouldn’t have houses that a hipster could live in?

            Why are they too heavy for residential use?

            Basic sustainability princple, upcycle and reuse before recycling. Recycling is energy intenstive and polluting.

            “At the end of the day do we really want to come up with homes that are sized for driveways?”

            Lots of people live in tiny homes and like it. The size of housing in NZ is much larger than it used to be. Many places in the world utilise smaller housing, so there is a cultural thing here. No-one is suggesting that a family of four should have to live in a container (although there are some for whom that would work well) but not everyone who needs housing needs a big house.

            I think this is a process of getting past preconceived ideas about what housing is. We need to be innovative here. I know lots of people who live in tiny housing, including people who have lived in converted containers, good ones and poor ones, so it seems more real to me rather than abstract.

            • dukeofurl

              Yes a few people like tiny homes, the boutique market, as shown in the refreshreno site. Individual design and consent is required of course.
              Some are very sweet and fill a niche for occasional use here and there.

              Id be intrigued where they are used on larger scale that isnt a temporary solution.
              This is more likely
              Keetwonen is the name of the biggest container city in the world. A student village using containers in Amsterdam.
              It doesnt say why but its being removed, but it fits the bill for being temporary

              • weka

                Why do you think they are temporary? Do you think they don’t last?

                The tiny housing movement in the US is booming.

                Consent issues vary depending on how transportable the building is. Some need no consent, others do.

                • dukeofurl

                  Recent annual new house units are at the 1.1million mark, I think that includes apartments not just separate dwellings

                  Looking at floor area size for individual homes ( in old Sq ft) shows US in love with ultra large standalone houses

                  2105 648,000 units only 49,000 are under 1400sqft ( 7.5%)compared to 132,000 between 3-4000 sq ft US census.
                  Could tiny houses be only 1-2k new house starts. Actual figures hard to find.

                  I think ‘tiny houses’ are between 100-500sq ft in US. That smaller size in NZ is usually a minor dwelling on a site with a larger house.

                  • weka

                    I think you are missing the point. Don’t look at tiny houses as a percentage of all housing. Look at what it means to the people who live in them. Many of them are middle class couples who know they cannot afford their own home any other way. That’s where the boom is.

                    “I think ‘tiny houses’ are between 100-500sq ft in US. That smaller size in NZ is usually a minor dwelling on a site with a larger house.”

                    What’s your point? The discussion here has been largely about creating something new, that works for certain people and is one part of a multitude of solutions to the housing crisis.

                    ‘Tiny House’ refers to a range of housing, from small fixed dwellings, to container conversions, to houses on trailers, to caravans and housebuses to yurts. In NZ many people have lived in tiny housing when they built their first home. It’s already normal in part of the culture.

                    • dukeofurl

                      I was just verifying what it means for ‘tiny house’ in US, They are smaller than 500sqft. Are a very small % of new single dwellings, so are a limited appeal. maybe around 1200 per year but hard to find numbers for that size range.
                      But thats fine for those that want them. A more common tiny house in US is their infamous trailer homes.

                      Its a bit like container homes, mostly boutique here, overseas hard to find large scale thats isnt a temporary fix or construction camp.
                      As they say in software , they arent yet a killer app, as I cant see them taking off here or elsewhere.

                    • weka

                      There is an actual tiny house movement, you seem to be oblivious to.

                      You still haven’t said what you mean by boutique or temporary.

                      No-one is suggesting tiny houses for the masses. You still seem to be largely missing the point.

    • +1.

      If I were ever looking for my own place I would probably be looking for land to do a double-container conversion. They’re cheap and easy, and mostly just need some insulation, wiring, and basic interior decorating.

      This is precisely the sort of thing the government should consider for emergency and/or affordable housing. Granted, it’s budget housing for sure, and it shows that things are wrong that we have to resort to it, but it’s better than standing by idly.

  4. b waghorn 4

    the Problem with young people today like that builder chap is they expect to start out living in a drive way. I say to you young man lower your sights , I’m sure there is a perfectly suitable sewer somewhere near you

    • esoteric pineapples 4.1

      Reminds me of this (pre Monty Python version) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAdlkunflRs

      • b waghorn 4.1.1

        Just thought I’d get in before right wingers turn up .

        • AB

          I bet the driveway is paved too and he probably gets Sky TV from a reflection in the neighbours’ window. Has he wasted $6.90 for a Whopper (burger only) from BK in the last 18 months when he could have made his own perfectly nutritious burger for less that 29 cents using the car radiator as a cook top ?

    • North 4.2

      You have me chuckling there Waghorn. Although read it wrong and one could easily think you’re Michelle Boag.

      Wasn’t that long ago the haughty baggage would insist that the main problem was that first home buyers expected to find their first home in Remuera and like areas and wouldn’t settle for less.

      Scandalous bullshit of course but her besties Brian Edwards and the smarmy Mora on The Panel never pulled her up on it……..well maybe Edwards chided her, indulgently, lovingly, but that’s about it. Stephen Mills is the only one I’ve ever heard bite her for it.

      • Rae 4.2.1

        Biting Michelle Boag could easily result in a hasty, expensive, restorative trip to the dentist

  5. dukeofurl 5

    Guess who was recently slamming the Government Statistician for ‘dodgy figures on Inequality’.

    “”Does he consider it a disgrace that the Minister of Finance stood in this House and said that Statistics New Zealand’s statement that inequality in New Zealand had grown under his watch was statistically invalid – is that a disgrace as well?”- Grant Robertson

    • weka 5.1

      What does that have to do with the post? Be specific. It looks like garden variety trolling to me.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Housing crisis- inequality increases- while Bill English puts his fingers in his ears.
        Just showing how they are deaf to the problems.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.2

        No weka. I can see what dukeofurl is getting at.

        On the top of inequality the government is happy to dismiss Stats NZ findings when it suits, yet they uphold Stats NZ integrity after the change in the way job figures are announced, again when it suits them.

        Perhaps not specific to this post but then there is often a lot of double up and redundancy in authors’ articles and we common members sometimes find it difficult to know where to put our ideas.

        • weka

          fair enough. Odd to see him criticising the govt that way, I thought it was a lead up to blaming Labour for something.

          • dukeofurl

            Blame labour ?. Not me Im usually stuck supporting the old line labour. Blair Clark, Clinton. etc.

  6. jcuknz 6

    An idea I had awhile ago …. build basic state houses for the small family and then when there is a larger family to house simply truck in a container or two to act as extra bedrooms.
    More recently thinking of how I lived in a motorcamp in my old school bus and used the camp’s showers etc …. instead of a old bus but a well fitted out container? Would be better than how I converted my bus and I survived AOK

    Really Ms Bennett needs to wake up and do something rather than ‘considering the options’ …. but she will not as what right winger reads the common sense to be found here.

    • save nz 6.1

      You would have thought that the years spent on the unitary plan might have come up with some options to legalise affordable houses, but um no as usual taken over by the usual barristers and lobbyists and careerists on the crony take and special interest groups that fucked it all up by supporting it, when there was never anything to provide immediate solutions to affordable housing. Just wasted a year, a lot of money and media time to get nowhere.

    • Molly 6.2

      As a educational project – we did just that. The kids came up with designs that could be added to as the people living in the home changed.

      Not that difficult.

  7. save nz 7

    The other thing about councils and affordable housing, in particular Auckland council, is when people advocate container homes and the like, they go on about ‘quality’, but when ports of Auckland try to steal the harbour or put up a massive high-rise concrete bunker in the city, or some developer builds the worst multi-storey monstrosity that is already a slum, they say, there is nothing the council can do.

    So if seems if you are poor you can’t have your 20m2 dwelling due to quality issues, but if you have millions to build 1000 poor quality shonky apartments, wrecking city amenity, they say no problem, nothing to do with them.

  8. s y d 8

    affordable housing comes down to incomes.
    NZ incomes are pitiful, just ask Albin.

  9. keith ross 9

    There is a charity that converts containers to little houses


    so it can be done quite quickly and being easy to transport they could be relocated to wherever they are needed. I thought that this was a stupid idea till I started looking into it. We are in a housing crisis and this would not work for everyone, but , it could help with some of the pressure. One thing is for sure no one single idea is going to fix this clusterf##k overnight. It is going to take multiple different ideas and real action to make any real progress on this many headed monster that is housing in NZ.

    • weka 9.1

      I think the relieving pressure stuff is really important. If we go, oh housing all has to be traditional and like this, but it will take us ten years to build enough, then we are failing.

      I can see tiny homes, converted containers etc being great for single people, couples, solo parents etc. Not ideal, and you wouldn’t want a punitive govt doing it. People have to be able to say actually I couldn’t stand living in a small space with my two kids it would drive me crazy. But for the people that it would work for, great.

      I can also see the potential for people ending up owning the tiny home/container, we should be looking at those schemes.

      People have this idea that tiny homes aren’t real housing, but I can easily see NZ having a rolling stock of such houses, state, council, community, iwi and private, that become a normal part of the culture. They need to be of good standard, but the fact that they are small and transportable is an asset, not a liability eg tiny homes are cheaper to run, you don’t need to own land.

      • jcuknz 9.1.1

        I do not have a link but awhile back I saw an article about holiday homes using old containers. Not suitable for the couple and three children plus but they are not the only ones in the market by a long way.

      • Wyndham 9.1.2

        Judith Collins reckons those containers are just great for packing our prison overflow into.

        • weka

          Judith Collins should never have another job that involves people’s wellbeing.

          • mosa

            ” Judith Collins should not be involved with peoples wellbeing “Weka that statement applies to the entire cabinet, caucus, and coalition partners.

      • Siobhan 9.1.3

        Hi weka…it would be good to see some convincing examples of tiny houses en masse, as most examples I’ve seen are in the Olds back yard or some nice parkland, and as such would not address our current issues of cost of land or urban spread.

        Maybe a better solution would be community group, built and run co op housing. Apartment style, multi story, small, but with extra communal living areas as an extension of peoples private space. I have seen examples of these, online, in both South America and some smaller European countries. They seem to be the only real and future proof solution to our current situation.


  10. jcuknz 10

    With lifts rather than stairs I wouldn’t mind living in such a development [ the Brighton story from UK] as a retirement home. Again I say it is a shame people have such negative views holding up a solution.

  11. TC 11

    Wtf is bennett, nasty when cornered with a vindictive track record.

    Opposition should be lining up these placeholder ministers and nailing them. Smiling sammy being off topic but same principles apply.

  12. Righty right 12

    We are almost 9 years into the brighter future /nightmare the basics of life we used to take for granted are disappearing all in the name of greed by the few at the expense of the many our society our economic and social systems are broken as is the social contract God knows how bad the books are I suspect national have looted the place dr

    • TC 12.1

      Nobody in opposition seems capable of doing the simple maths of revenue from assets sales V the cavalcade of promises the funds would be used for.

      Tracking that would wake many up to the shell game that their msm shills claim as ‘sound economic management’.

  13. Infused 13

    Quick everyone: Cast your spells and make houses magically appear!

    • McFlock 13.1

      The above was a party political broadcast detailing National’s new housing policy. /sarc

      • weka 13.1.1

        Looks like a rought cut and paste from a half hearted Crosby and Textor memo. Ridicule people who want solutions by making out that the solutions are fanciful.

    • righty right 13.2

      what you can not deny is key and the gang have had 8.5 years thats almost a decade to sort housing out thats not good enough from a government that promised the moon blew 564 billion and has delivered banana republic results dear leaders neck should be on the block since decapitation is touchy at the moment i wont go there

  14. Macro 14

    Say – has anyone seen John Key? He used to be clowning about all over the media, but he’s gone a bit quiet lately. If anyone knows where he his, could you let him know that the country could use a bit of leadership right now?

    I gather he was relaxing in Parliament the other day – feeling comfortable about something or other. But really he wouldn’t know what leadership was if he fell over it! The sooner the man is gone the better for this country and we can get back to the task of clearing up the sorry mess he will leave behind.

  15. mosa 15

    Where is Wally…?
    Relax everyone he is alive and lying here in Dunedin doing what he does best posing for selfies and photo shoots too make the front page of the ODT.. a charm offensive !!!
    The BMW crown cars really make an impression and let this old Labour town know that John really does care … at selected good news events for the all important publicity that makes the front page shame the real stories he doesnt want to acknowledge dont… thats what page 23 is for.
    Then its on too Queenstown where he is idolised and then a round of golf and more selfies.
    Mystery solved.

    • b waghorn 15.1

      That’s what is meant by rock star economy , every thing goes to shit while key lives like a rock star!

      • righty right 15.1.1

        in the wondrous dimension of planet key(gated housing developments) where dear leader and the blessed ( elite scum) can play my little pony with out having to look at smelly homeless people

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