The strip mining of Housing Corporation

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, September 9th, 2015 - 82 comments
Categories: bill english, housing, national, same old national - Tags:

housing is a right

In these days of increased poverty and surging housing need a responsible Government would allow Housing Corporation to invest its spare cash in building new homes and repairing clearly deficient existing homes.  But the Government clearly has alternative priorities.

From Radio New Zealand:

Housing New Zealand is expecting to pay the Crown a dividend of $118 million this financial year, the largest in five years.

Opposition politicians have been urging the Government to take a smaller dividend from the agency that manages State houses, after reports of cold and mouldy houses.

Housing New Zealand returned a $108 million dividend in the past financial year, the third largest ever paid.

At the time the responsible minister, Bill English said the higher dividend would allow the Government to help more people with serious housing needs.

“Housing New Zealand has sufficient cash to invest in new houses and at the level that we’ve specified, and to do its maintenance programmes,” he said.

“So really the dividend is about just a bit of pressure on them to be efficient.”

This shows clearly the difference between Labour and National.  In the last three years of Labour’s reign the dividends the Housing Corp paid to the Crown were $20 million, $13 million and $2 million.  The last three dividends paid to John Key’s National Government have been $77 million, $90 million and $108 million.

It is not the case that Housing Corporation is run more efficiently by National and can therefore pay more money.  You just have to look at Solid Energy to realise how poor the Government’s managerial oversight of SOEs is.  Rather the intent is to minimise Housing Corporation’s effectiveness and make it no more than a cash cow.

English’s statement shows clearly how words can trip out of National Ministers’ mouths but be utterly bereft of meaning.  The higher dividends do not permit the Government to house more people with serious housing needs.  It means that Housing Corp’s ability to perform its functions of providing social housing is compromised.

These profits are directly related to Emma Lita’s death in a cold damp flat.  National’s insistence on increased dividends meant that basic maintenance work was not done.  And the sell off to Australian housing providers is not for some claimed efficiency but so that the dividend flow can continue and a state hopelessly financially compromised by unaffordable tax cuts to the rich can stagger on for another year.

82 comments on “The strip mining of Housing Corporation ”

  1. Ad 1

    Great post Mickey, and good to hear Twyford sticking it to them.

    There is such a bureaucratic waste in the Housing Corporation renting a house at market rate, then getting a tenant who gets a housing subsidy from MSD. And somehow Housing Corporation making a profit out of that, which is returned to the government, to help MSD with their housing subsidy, etc.

    I think a future government should throw the Corporation out the window, and amalgamate Public Housing and Social Development together. One big Ministry of Help.

    The only role for a public sector corporation is in building new houses that are as affordable as possible, by the thousand, and selling them to people who have to live in them not rent them out. Hopefully we get a hint of that at the Labour Party conference coming up.

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      Shoddy little diversion there Ad, people are dying in the poorly maintained houses while you and your mates Bill and Nick run their circuses.
      Tell us how the Nick Smith was going to save 000’s on new home builds for everyone, and failed, as usual. His incompetence is breathtaking

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Er, no, the last paragraph was merely repeating the well known Labour policy about building houses.

      • mickysavage 1.1.2

        What diversion?

        Ad is proposing that the provision of housing is done by the state instead of an SOE and he is right. A combined structure would be much more efficient.

        And DOE you should recheck Ad is no right winger, more of a critical independently thinking lefty.

        • Ad

          Cheers Mickey I’m sure his heart’s in the right place.
          Anyway, off to work now.

          • dukeofurl

            You are wrong about ‘Housing Corporation renting a house at market rate, then getting a tenant who gets a housing subsidy from MSD”

            Its not done by individual transactions, that only applies for private housing, ie housing suppl from Winz.

            For HCNZ it is a yearly vote directly to them in their appropriation.

            • Ad

              I’ve heard regular commentary otherwise.
              Got a citation for that statement?

              • dukeofurl

                See HCNZ Annula report , page 81
                “The Corporation has received from the Crown, through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, income related
                rent subsidies (IRR) totalling $663 million for the year ended 30 June 2014 (2013: $633 million).”

                On top of the ‘dividend’ to the government, there is income tax of about $90 mill per year

                • dukeofurl

                  I understand the tenants only pay the ‘income related rent’ which is either :

                  “IRR is calculated based on your income and that of the people who are living with you at the time you accept a housing offer. It works out at 25 percent of your take-home income if you earn less than the weekly New Zealand Superannuation payment, or 50 % of your income if you earn more than that.

      • tc 1.1.3

        Twyford needs to up the tempo on this and get Little and others chanting some slogans about manufactured crises and deliberate wilful destruction across housing, education, R&D etc.

        Given keys background there’s a genuine weakness here that needs to be hammered.

        • save NZ

          Yes Labour should be using this, most people probably think state houses are some sort of tax burden not an asset for this country. I would love to see the

          The last three dividends paid to John Key’s National Government have been $77 million, $90 million and $108 million.

          on one side of a poster and then the government sales to OZ, iwi or whoever they can sell to on one side and a picture of the mouldy house that poor little Kiwi toddler died in.

          This government is both heartless and economically inept.

          The problem is labour and the other opposition don’t seem to be getting the message across to joe bloggs in a format that is easy to decipher.

          it is coming across as blaming joe public of their love affair with housing.

          They need to use images more – a picture still speaks 1000 words.

          It is the hypocrisy and greed of this government that needs to be shown.

        • Tracey

          Treasury told English in July/August the surplus is now pushed out to 2017/2018 (from memory)

      • Tracey 1.1.4

        HOW did you get that from what Ad posted and posts?

        • greywarshark

          Are you referring to duke of url? He criticised Ad thinking him right wing and some of his comments in the past gave me that impression too.

          But Mickey Savage’s comment states the situation accurately I think.

    • DH 1.2

      Ad I have to say you really haven’t a clue there. Housing NZ has equity of about $16billion. Of that $4billion is the capital that paid for the state houses and $12 billion is revaluations of the land the houses sit on. Last year the state housing portfolio gained in value by over $2 billion.

      This nation’s ability to borrow is governed largely by our balance sheet. If we didn’t own freehold state houses that balance sheet would be poorer by a good $8-10 billion

      When you consider our nett worth is presently only around $70 billion after English’s borrowing spree I’d think it economic treason to sell appreciating assets.

      Look closely at the Crown accounts and you’d find our $70billion nett worth is made up entirely of revaluations on existing state assets. In other words if we didn’t own appreciating assets this nation would be bankrupt.

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 1.2.1

        DH State Housing is not an appreciating asset, in the sense that we have more houses or that somehow existing houses have got better (except in the few cases of upgraded insulation etc that in no way adds to $12 billion).

        That $12 billion of re-valuations represents the out of control housing market. That is a result of local and central government failure to regulate or intervene in the market by confronting NIMByism planning rules or by building more State homes, Kiwibuilds etc at affordable prices.

        This most benefits National constituents -the politically powerful, ‘landed gentry’ who think it is their god given right to benefit from regular increases in capital gains from their homes, sections and rentals. It is a burden on renters (over 50% of kiwis above the age of 15) and the productive economy in general which is starved of funds as the complacent wealthy play a stupid property ponzi game.

        The fact that National is forcing State Housing into playing this same ponzi game in preparation for sale to private slumlords shows the ideological divide in today’s politics.

        I recommend that everyone read Shamubeel and Selena Eaqub’s book “Generation Rent” to get the full picture

        • Ad

          Brendon I really liked your last two parts of your Christchurch CBD series.

          Particularly your point in 4 that using public sector development capital and instruments to artificially prop up both the tenancies and the Capital Value within the city core appears to be self-defeating.

          Maybe you could offer a condensed version over a few posts on The Standard?

      • Ad 1.2.2

        Never suggested selling any of them.

        • DH

          “Never suggested selling any of them.”

          That’s how I read it, apologies if I’ve falsely accused you.

          My main point was that it’s all about the land and the Crown should never, ever, sell land. Houses don’t appreciate, land does.

          The state can lease land but it should never sell it. They should not be selling state houses but since they are they absolutely should not be selling the land under the houses. They should be leasing that, land has no cost or maintenance and they can’t make any economic justifications for disposing of it. They’re giving away future inflation-proofed income from valuable land and that’s criminal.

          • Ad

            That would be an interesting policy debate.

            To me the policy question to answer is: how do we enable more New Zealanders to own their own homes?

            If that’s a good policy question, the secondary question is by what means?

            There are plenty of places in which surplus land acquired for other purposes under the Public Works Act (or indeed earlier Acts) gets converted into housing, then sold off. Typical case in point being Hobsonville Defence Base and its conversion into a housing estate, masterplanned into a small town. Hobsonville Land Co is still a subsidiary of Housing Corporation.

            Own does not mean leasehold, it means fee simple title. Proudhon’s only good line was “Property is theft”, but whether you want a super-state owning housing properties as a monopoly on social provision would be quite a step.

            • DH

              A lot of it is just common sense Ad. Look at this present plan to sell state houses to private social housing providers for example. Those providers will be providing housing, they won’t be providing land so there’s no requirement to sell them the land for the social housing experiment to work.

              The Crown will be paying those providers market rents and those rents are determined not by the price of the house but by the market value of the land plus the cost of the house. We know that land inflates and houses depreciate so if we sell the land then the provider benefits from the increased rents from the land while the Crown loses through continually increasing rents on land it could be leasing out.

              It makes no economic or fiscal sense to sell land to these social housing providers. They don’t need it, they’re not in the land business they’re (allegedly) in the social housing business. It’s just giving away an inflation proof income and the Crown needs an income just like anyone else does.

              • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                Hey I am not disagreeing with you guys -Ad and DH because you have some good points.

                Here is another side to this debate.

                There is was a really interesting video about construction costs recently on TV3.


                It points to a cartelisation of the NZ economy that our current status quo system of political/economy is unwilling to challenge. Much like the inflated prices of existing house prices has not been confronted by the current government administration despite promises since prior to being first elected in 2008.

      • mickysavage 1.2.3

        Yep I read Ad’s comment that the houses will be owned directly by the State rather through a corporation.

      • greywarshark 1.2.4

        Ad is looking at a better way of providing housing for ordinary NZs into the future, not for ways of playing see saw with the government’s financial handlings. Whatever way government chose to handle the housing problem probably any action would result in a positive in one of the accounts to our betterment.

  2. Citizen's Resistance 2

    There are enough New Zealand Corporations behaving badly in this country, the likes of Fletchers & Talley’s are classic examples. Being State owned Housing NZ should be a flagship good corporate citizen, alas not under this regime in power.

    “Stop The Rot Get Greedy Corporations Out Of Government.”

  3. save NZ 3

    +1 Unbelievable!

    This government is the loony right and I just hope someone takes criminal charges against the government for not maintaining the state houses leading to deaths, while taking in record profits.

    The Natz financial management is absolute lunacy. They have a cash cow of assets like the housing which are returning a profit and they are selling them off willy nilly to anyone to take them and then charge the government more in rent subsidies.

    The Natz want to totally destroy social democracy in this country (the final solution) and replace with the US style of trample all in your way to get to be super rich over the starving homeless bodies of their fellow citizens.

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100 save NZ…and great Post on State Housing and why we need to keep it in New Zealand government hands and control

      I very much fear jonkey nactional is selling off state housing for mates …and down the track nactional’s mates will be the eventual buyers

      …so not so much lunacy as pure GREED and THEFT from New Zealanders

      …once privatised there is nothing to stop this state housing to be on-sold separately at a profit

      …the mooted Australian buyers may only be middle men

      this jonkey nactional governent is sooooo corrupt

      • KeepLeft 3.1.1

        It’s the greedy Natz wanting to get into the housing game at the expense of the poor! The only way to stop it is to demand we nationalise all housing! No more rich pricks in their big mansions lauding it over the rest of us!

  4. b waghorn 4

    But but but surplus is just over there !!

    • Tracey 4.1

      EXACTLY. The accursed drive for a surplus means those in need get neglected… Ideology gone mad…

      The surplus, the surplus, whatever your question is, the answer is the sur – drool- plus

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        Its not really a surplus, thats just a bit of accounting nonsense. THis years new borrowing is around $6-8 billion.
        Christchurch spending went into’ the books’ a few years back but is still ongoing expenditure every year.

      • DH 4.1.2

        IMO there’s a need to try & think like a beancounter to truly get an idea what they’re up to. That’s a rather frightening mental state but it can be revealing.

        Housing NZ looks to have a hidden tax windfall of nearly $2 billion that I suspect English & the Treasury trolls have their eyes on.

        As a Ltd company it has a deferred tax obligation of $1.8 billion on rental property building revaluations. That comes off the balance sheet, it reduces HNZs equity from $18 billion to $16 billion. Since the Crown owns HNZ that in turn comes off the Crown balance sheet.

        I don’t think the Crown considers deferred tax to be a debt owed so I’m pretty sure that $1.8 billion doesn’t show up as an asset elsewhere in the Crown accounts either. It’s in limbo, can only appear & be realised when the state houses are sold. It’s off the books.

        If all the state houses were sold for book value I’d think English would then get a cash bonus of nearly $2billion in extra tax, over and above the sale proceeds, that would help him chase his rainbow surplus.

        (That’s if my reading of the HNZ accounts are correct and I think they are)

        • dukeofurl

          The auditors only qualify as accurate a few pages of the annual report, the rest is just money shuffling and saying what they want and has more in common with a game of snakes and ladders

      • Ilicit 4.1.3

        Thank you Tracey. I am one of the needy, really needy.

        And I see no way out of being that way as long as people keep putting up arguments instead of actions.

        And when Government stops chasing a dream surplus and gets real about the needs of those of us suffering.

        Forget all you people arguing about semantics, start getting real and look after your own.

        I didn’t give this country 65 years of hard work for your platitudes.

        Losing my not unreasonable savings has been a lot down to having an illness I could never have planned for, but more than that, a huge portion was lost to the greed of this current Government.

        I get sick of reading from those of you who pontificate about the “what ifs”………..

        I dread what some of you may think when “you have to walk in my shoes” !!!

      • Ilicit 4.1.4


        Whilst my drive may have seemed aimed at the people on this page, most of it is my anger and frustration of the day, aimed at a system that can’t afford to pay me enough to survive on, and one that can’t find me a place to live (after 9 months).

        It’s scary that a government with problems such as the one we have is reliant upon finding a surplus, when in actual fact, they should be striving for a deficit that brings up productivity within the country.

        Without productivity within, we are doomed.

        Surpluses are something that every rich country survives on, as much criticism as we give China, the USA relies on China for it’s debt.

        And yet stupid JK hasn’t figured that out yet………….so much for a money trader ?

        For no real fault of my own, this government is prepared to kill me for lack of useful support, it will do the same for many thousands of others IN OUR OWN backyard.

        Borrow some “real” money JK and get us, as a country, out of the shit that is rising close to your eyeballs !!

        • Tracey

          We need a flag that says

          “I’m ok mate” with John key’s signature

          • Ilicit

            No Tracey, we don’t actually need John Key…..

            • Tracey

              I get that. I should have put /sarc at the end

              • Ilicit

                Sorry, I knew that, but the more I flail his name around, the more reasons I find t hate him !!

                • Tracey

                  I understand.

                  Today I was pondering the reaction to refugees, and other matters, and I thought how the indivudalisation of people is harming us all.

                  YES we are individuals, but we dind’t come into the world on our own, we are not islands. Telling people they are, or need to be, is isolating and damaging to all of us.

                  Thanks for speaking out illicit

    • greywarshark 4.2

      A double rainbow – what can it mean!

  5. gsays 5

    this links to one of my bug bears.

    the way to get ahead in nz is to get a property portfolio.
    a suite of rentals and an income that is undertaxed.

    it is no surprise that this reigime is profitting off the most vulnerable in society, besides, it’s the kiwi way!

    as an aside i wonder how many mps (of all stripes) have a property portfoloio.

    if you have more than your fair share then someone else must go without.

  6. Keith 6

    Isn’t it is so very, very obvious….

    Unwritten National Party policy. Intentionally run the state housing system down, have whole streets looking worse than any ghetto ever has and there are, then cue the minister to throw his/her hands in the air and declare there has to be a better way than this. Cue Bill English to nod sagely on. Cue John Key slurring and making shit up telling us, but wait, there is a better way!

    I know, what we need is Serco (or any similar parasitic organisation) running state housing, private public partnerships, blah blah blah. Then in a parallel phase go into hyperdrive selling them and the land off to balance the deficit or at least vaguely try to.

    Go the National Party, you selfish useless pricks!

  7. DH 7

    This is one for people to keep an eye on, watch how fast these houses sell and how cheap many of them are especially in the high-demand areas….

    I’d like to know that all the buyers are genuine first home buyers and are actually living in them for the required period if at all.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
      Floor area 87m2
      Land area 386m2
      and 1/4 share of 281m2

      Obviously its not a tenant living in here.

    • Naki man 7.2

      Plenty of opportunities for people who want to buy their first home then.

      I bought one of these houses about 15 years ago for 19k.
      I put a log fire in it and painted and wall papered it. Its very hard to get decent tenants in these types of houses. After 18 months of tenants with gambling or drug and alcohol issues I sold it for about what it owed me.
      If I hadn’t of done all the work myself including selling the house then I would have lost money on it.
      There is a reason these houses are cheap, they are crappy old houses.

      • Tracey 7.2.1

        Things going well in Taranaki today? Another cyclic slow down on its way< Surprised everyone doesn't have a perpetual headache down there from the yo-yo nature of the economy

        • Naki man

          Not sure I don’t live in Taranaki now.Its not quite that bad depending on what you do for a living. I had plenty of work when I was self employed.

          • Tracey

            really? It depends on what you do for a living? Wow, imagine that…

            so as long as you aren’t int he energy or diary industries down there, and anything that feeds off them, you’ll be fine. Phew.

      • Majic Mike 7.2.2

        State houses are not crappy may old but all the state houses I have worked on are extremely well built .
        It their internal layout and location that is the problem.
        I am in favour of selling off some of these state houses to low income Tennant’s.
        So long as the money raised is used to build New Houses in Areas of high need.

  8. Lefty 8

    The mad structure where entities established for the public good were corporatized and expected to give a monetary return on investment was introduced by Labour.
    They have no right to bleat about what National is doing unless they will commit to dismantling the whole rotten SOE system and return to funding government controlled organisations to carry out common good projects and measuring the success of these organisations by whether they meet their common good goals, not on the rate of return on capital invested.
    Not much chance of that with the current crop of technocrats in Labour and the Greens I think.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      You are right about that.
      Bizarre that HCNZ pays income tax of around $90 mill as well as the dividend of $100 mill, when if it was structured as a NGO it would be as non profit, non income tax paying entity.

  9. McFlock 9

    In the 1980s tories (lab4) generally upgraded the assets just prior to sale – in particular telecom. But that meant they were selling top-notch assets.

    Now they have the aspect of the spider about it – they take a healthy organism, inject venom that dissolves it from the inside, suck all nutritional worth out of it, and then say “oh look it’s dead, this is proof the state can’t run it, we need to privatise it to bring it back to life”.

    • Lefty 9.1

      In the 1980s top notch assets that had just been upgraded were sold at fire sale prices. Now assets that have been neglected and sucked dry are being sold at fire sale prices.
      The same people benefit and the rest of us lose whichever way it is done.

      • Naki man 9.1.1

        “Now assets that have been neglected and sucked dry are being sold at fire sale prices.
        The same people benefit and the rest of us lose whichever way it is done”

        I am guessing you have never bought or owned any of these state houses and that you have no experience or knowledge of what you are talking about.
        If you think they are such a bargain I suggest you buy as many as you can.

        • greywarshark

          I don’t think you are a major housing provider. They would be negotiating for as cheap as they could buy and it may be that the luckless gummint will just be willing to sell them for not very much en masse. Though individuals buying a few would be charged more.

  10. fisiani 10

    Housing is a right is as nonsensical as work is a right. Human rights are fairly basic . Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    Every so called right has a corresponding duty. No one has a duty to provide a house or a job. Next there will be cries of it has to be a two bedroom house. It has to have a shower. It has to have a garden. are these also to be called rights. The sloppiness of the Left on this issue shows a lack of understanding about what a right actually is. You should be entitled to build a house, rent a house or buy a house. No one has a duty to give you a house.
    People who are pensioners who live in the same 4 bedroom house where they brought up a family of five do not have a right to occupy the same house when a family is in need. National are finally basing housing around need and not pandering to emotion. They have a massive house building programme underway and these houses will be filled by those in need. Even people with a Chinese sounding name will be able to get a state house under National.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Every so called right has a corresponding duty.

      Nope. If you only get a “right” in exchange for a “duty” fulfilled, then it’s not a “right”. It’s “payment”.

      Life requires food, shelter, clothing, water. Life is a right. Therefore those essentials are rights, because without them one would be denied life, a right. Rights, being social constructs, are provided by society. Collectively, we are all responsible to ensure that someone has, or has the means to provide themselves with, all the essentials of life.

      Therefore society DOES have a duty to provide one with shelter – whether this involves giving you a house, or merely renting it at a rate you can afford, is up to that society. But the requirement is for society to give you that shelter for as long as you need it.

      There are other rights for people living in a society: freedom of communication, freedom of expression, entitlement to dignity.

      Yes, we also have duties. To obey the law, for example. But if we fail in those duties, we do not lose our rights. We lose some rights like freedom of movement or association if we demonstrate that exercising those rights harms society (e.g. prison, restraining orders). But it’s a very tory perspective to assume that “rights” have to be earned by fulfilling duties, rather than existing as of right.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      You have a right to comment here – that is a major breakthrough for you. Even if you didn’t have a house you would also be able to comment here. Though if you didn’t have a secure place to keep your computer, not so easy. But you usually have a right to go to the library and get a booking to use theirs.

      Modern countries have tried to provide better conditions such as housing for citizens along with all the other gew gaws that go with being a developed nation. Which always meant something positive. Now we wonder if we’re developing into a nation that doesn’t provide rights for basic needs like living space of a secure and warm kind.

    • Tracey 10.3

      “The human right to adequate housing is recognised in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in multiple international human rights treaties that New Zealand has ratified including the 1965 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social
      and Cultural Rights, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
      Discrimination Against Women, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, and
      the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Many of these
      treaties incorporate the right to housing into the right to an adequate standard of living.Other treaties refer to specific aspects of the right to housing such as the right to privacy.”

      So “OOPS” fisiani there is actually a legal obligation on the NZ state to provide adequate housing.

      This is right up there with your prediction of a psychological tsunami a few months ago drowning the left in the glow of the right when the nzd reached parity with AUD. Wrong you were, twice. Now again.

      • fisiani 10.3.1

        As a State party to the international human
        rights treaties that protect the human right
        to adequate housing, the New Zealand
        Government (both local and central) has a
        duty to respect, protect and fulfil this right.
        The Government is not required under its
        human rights obligations to build housing
        for anyone or to own houses. Its duty is to
        ensure that all people in New Zealand enjoy
        their human right to adequate housing. It
        must do that or it will be in breach of its

        From the document you kindly quoted.

    • Pat 10.4

      ‘National are finally basing housing around need and not pandering to emotion. They have a massive house building programme underway and these houses will be filled by those in need.”…….satire is your specialty isnt it!

    • Tracey 10.5

      so you are both right and wrong. Feel better? Or still wet from your imaginary psychological tsunami?

      you wrote

      “They have a massive house building programme underway”

      By massive do you mean the 60 houses they negotiated land for from Ngati Whatua, after the later threatened legal action?

      large and heavy or solid.
      “a massive rampart of stone”
      synonyms: huge, enormous, gigantic, very big, very large, great, giant, colossal, mammoth, vast, immense, tremendous, mighty, stupendous, monumental, epic, prodigious, mountainous, monstrous, titanic, towering, elephantine, king-sized, king-size, gargantuan, Herculean, Brobdingnagian, substantial, extensive, hefty, bulky, weighty, heavy, gross; More
      exceptionally large.
      “massive crowds are expected”

    • Majic Mike 10.6

      Fisi parliamentary press release unedited directly from Nick Smith via Crosby Textor.

    • Majic Mike 10.7

      So your Prime Minister John Key would have been thrown out on the street under your regime never given the chance to achieve.
      Fisi you are not following your handlers orders.
      You are supposed to say Nick Smith is the best housing minister this country has ever had blah blahblajh.

  11. greywarshark 11

    James Shaw Phil Twyford on Nats dividend.

    Blinglish this morning – the bit I have noted quickly is about 3 mins of 6 min piece.
    All sounds pretty much black ice stuff. (The sort you slide over before seeing exactly what it is.)
    Blinglish said something like –

    There is a long running issue because of the politics of state housing ..
    We are stuck with housing resulting from the demographics and politics of the 1960s and 1970s.
    To be fair to Housing NZ they are dealing with older stock of houses.
    There are major changes so that we are not always on the back foot reacting
    to people who are in houses which are not appropriate for them.

    Sounds like a lot of flannel to me. The older state houses have been regarded as well built and very desirable residences. The slightly newer ones have just not been properly maintained, or managed appropriately. So older houses, while a drag needing painting and electricity and water pipes renewed, may be better built with better materials than newer ones.

    The gummint is not concerned about providing housing appropriate for the tenants because they complain when tenants turn down houses they don’t think appropriate for them.

    William English is like many in gummints, strong on general reasons why something is being done, but weak on any examples or real anecdotes (apart from – a number of people have said, one woman… I am approached regularly etc etc.)

    So what is not appropriate that the gummint things should be available in housing?
    How will the major changes alter that?
    Have they any tenant friendly ways of encouraging people to look after their houses better?
    Have they encouraged people to ring up and advise them when there is a problem?
    If there isn’t a response within 7 days, do they encourage them to ring another special response number?
    Do they look for the most reliable tenant in the street, and with their agreement and for a small emolument, designate them as a go to person about housing repairs needed so that there is one informed person about the matter who rings?

    • Tracey 11.1

      So is it Labour’s fault. Or not?

    • Naki man 11.2

      ” The older state houses have been regarded as well built and very desirable residences”

      There is nothing desirable about asbestos clad houses with no insulation in the walls or building paper under the old porous concrete roofing tiles.

      • greywarshark 11.2.1

        How many are there of those you mention” And when were they built? Does anyone follow the stats for NZ Housing and know how many of the good old state houses that private buyers have raved about are left. And are the asbestos sided ones just old wartime places put up at Bell Block or such?

  12. keyman 12

    the countries books must be in a hell of a state

  13. NickS 13

    Not surprising that National have become slum landlords.

  14. millsy 14

    This dividend is an illusion.

    It is merely figures on a balance sheet, voodoo accounting.

    I rent a state house — Market rent is 250, I pay 50.the government ‘pays’ housing NZ $200 of that rent, and I pay 50, then the money goes back to the government….oh my head just exploded, WTF’s everywhere.

    Public Finance Act and State Sector Act 101.

    And they accuse us of thinking that fairies print money.

  15. Smilin 15

    National, theft as a servant, leaving the country’s state housing to wrack and ruin.

  16. Smilin 16

    National, theft as a servant, leaving the country’s state housing to wrack and ruin.

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Can we PLEASE not buy into the current spin of merging the term STATE housing into SOCIAL housing?

    SOCIAL housing is PRIVATE.

    STATE housing is PUBLIC.

    There is no electoral mandate for the privatisation of STATE housing through SOCIAL housing.

    Penny Bright

  18. Alex Stone 18

    “Housing New Zealand has sufficient cash to invest in new houses and at the level that we’ve specified, and to do its maintenance programmes,” he (Bill English) said.

    He also directly contradicted himself, saying that the maintenance checks were many months apart, and that many tenants were unable to report faults.

    So if there’s enough money to do the job better, how hard would it be to schedule maintenance checks at shorter intervals? If this saves the preventable death of just one child (who’s parents may not have the wherewithal to report faults), that would surely be an improvement.

    The heartlessness of the government staggers me.

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