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Will New Zealand social housing soon subsidise Australian social housing?

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, June 29th, 2015 - 58 comments
Categories: assets, class war, housing, john key, national, national/act government, privatisation - Tags:

john-key1

John Key was on Radio New Zealand this morning talking about the sale of social housing to Australian Social Housing provider Horizon Housing.  Vague John as opposed to Definite John (“it is all Labour’s fault and here is the conclusive proof” or “Labour does it too“) showed up.

The interview was excrutiating.  The audio is below.

here

Key gave away very few details about the proposal and it is probably fair to say he knows very few details.  He did say that Horizon Housing was an Australian based charity.  Espiner asked him how it would help low income New Zealanders if an Australian entity owned the houses.  Key thought the nationality did not matter, just that they were community housing providers.  The freed up capital can then be used in areas where there is a shortage of housing.

Espiner then asked a relevant question.  The justification for the sale is that the Government does not have the expertise or local knowledge to provide social housing properly so why go to a foreign entity?  Key fluffed around and said that he did not know a tremendous amount about Horizon Homes or all of the details.  You would expect him to be appraised of this sort of information before deciding to sell hundreds of state homes to a foreign entity.

I could not figure from what he said if Key supported the proposal or not.  This is astounding in that we are talking about hundreds of houses potentially sold and hundreds of families potentially affected.  And Espiner is right, National’s latest move is desperate.  The Salvation Army will not touch the proposal, Iwi will but only if the houses are gifted to them, and other local organisations are hardly queuing at the door seeking involvement.

The proposal has many fishhooks in it.

For instance Horizon Homes is a registered company with not for profit charity status in Australia. The situation in New Zealand, and presumably in Australia is that charitable work should be conducted in the country. I am no expert on Australian Charities law but this document from the Australian Government Taxation Office suggests that an Australian based entity “must pursue its objectives and incur its expenditure principally in Australia”.  While there would be nothing wrong with the purchase of property overseas without a local charity being established there Horizon Homes could otherwise have some issues if it wanted to reinvest profits made into New Zealand.  All that may happen is that New Zealand social housing underwrites the cost of Australian social housing.

Besides the whole idea is bizarre.  What are we going to do next?  Invite Australia’s Department of Social Services to look after beneficiaries on the basis that the more this Government gets out of the provision of social services the better?

Like Nick Smith’s Auckland housing police this proposal has a feeling that it has been thrown together with little thought about how feasible it is, what needs to be in place to make it work, or what happens if it fails.  It is a case of doctrinaire politics succeeding over proper management and a perfect example of why National does not deserve to be in control of the Government.  It seeks to divest itself of social responsibilities not because generally these will be better met by other entities, but because it is that lacking in skills or compassion that it does not know what to do.

58 comments on “Will New Zealand social housing soon subsidise Australian social housing? ”

  1. gangnam style 1

    “I don’t know too much about them” but its a good idea…

    • Rob 1.1

      Yeah right
      I’ll have that Tui now

    • Keith 1.2

      Translated, I’ll have a dollar each way, sniff the wind, typical insincere, self serving reaction.

      This is THE worst yet from a long list of stupid ideas to make a quick buck from Nationals insane policy laboratory.

      Walk away from the entire reason a government exists, to put ALL of its citizens first and hand over responsibility to some “thing” that Key knows nothing about. What a clown!

      • David H 1.2.1

        And when it all goes wrong they’ll just Blame Labour for the problem, as usual.

  2. Macro 2

    National don’t give a toss about social justice. They are completely lacking in any social empathy or compassion, haven’t the faintest idea of the harm they do to thousands of New Zealanders. Their only interest lies in lining the pockets of the few. They are a National disgrace, and the quicker they are booted out never to come back – the better. Key’s “interview” this morning was just an embarrassment. Clearly he gives not a “s**t” about those who are “the undeserving poor”, and has completely turned his back on his past. Were he to actually care about this matter, he would have been far more informed. He gave the distinct impression of “Oh god! what are they going on about now – it’s monday morning – what are the markets doing?”
    Had he any insight as to the dangers and fishhooks in this proposal he would not have allowed it to get past first base. A complete waste of space as a Prime Minister. And the sheeple vote for him? It makes me sad to be a NZer.

    • linda 2.1

      once national leaves office there needs to be a royal commission to weed out corruption perjury and treason and bring charges against the whole festering lot i have no problem with witch hunt i want revenge

  3. Sable 3

    The unemployed might be better off under Australia’s social services than this bunch of callous clowns.

    As it stands its only a matter of time until this nation is bankrupt and we are on our knees begging the Australian’s to take us on as a state.

  4. Marvellous Bearded Git 4

    Key says selling the state houses to OZ:

    “frees up capital”
    =It’s a sell-off to balance the books.

    “the provision of social housing, there is some money in that but they would have to be satisfied themselves that they could add value, it’s not the most lucrative thing in the world”
    =Horizon will only buy the houses at below market price that is sure to make them money; it’s a fire-sale.

    “our core objective is that there are more social houses, we are certainly going to fulfill that”
    =selling off state houses overseas will increase the number of social houses. Yeah, right.

    “quite what their interest in NZ would be I don’t know”
    =Horizon would have no interest at all in NZ unless the houses are sold to them at well below-market prices.

    The whole thing stinks.

  5. wyndham 5

    Anyone remember Key rabbiting on about Kiwis “not being tenants in their own land”?
    Where,Oh where is the Labour Party? So much ammunition: McCully’s sheep bribe, Smith’s housing mess, power prices, Mobie spending etc.

    • maui 5.1

      Don’t want to come across as being too angry do they ;). Might frighten the sheep.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I’m coming more and more to the view they are being ignored by the MSM. If so, you have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Little, and some of his shadow ministers, have made some strong statements lately but they rarely make the newspapers (or they’re tucked away in a corner somewhere) and the TV stations are completely ignoring them.

        My own suspicion is their respective ‘owners’ have made clear to the journos and reporters (perhaps through their boards and CEOs) which side their bread is buttered, and woe betide them if they fail to conform – see John Campbell and company.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.1

          David Shearer’s condemnation of milk prices was reported early on Morning Report yesterday and then made to look stupid by two experts using data/stats to show milk hasn’t gone up in price since 2010.

          • te reo putake 5.1.1.1.1

            Not so, Tracey. Don’t know who the ‘experts’ were, but Shearer is still doing well on the issue: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11473094

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Listen to the clip TRP (if it is available), it was clearly designed to make him look foolish. I didn’t say he was stupid, or is stupid, but the placement and choose of statements by the two experts that followed his criticism. For example, when I heard later news clips and then watched the news I thought, following that juxtapositioning, he and LP would be made to look foolish, but other media framed it differently and the complaint had traction by 6pm news… in a positive way for LP, I mean.

              • Ergo Robertina

                I think it’s reasonable to include comment about the 15% GST – and I really don’t care if that doesn’t cast Labour in a positive light.
                However I wouldn’t have wasted that slot debunking some half-baked Labour press release when there’s a broader context in respect of how we get rorted in this country.

                • Tracey

                  I guess my observation as that some effort was made to locate the two experts and choose those sound bites and to have them follow Shearer in the story. Someone deliberately framed it to make it go away (in my opinion) or just copy and pasted 3 press releases…

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Here it is TRP

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/277414/inflated-milk-price-claim-rejected

              Interesting observation about how few/low taxes we pay, goes against the mantra this government and ACT shove down our throats directly and through their paid offshoots (taxpayers “Union”)

              • Cheers, Tracey. I see what you mean. Happily, what Shearer is saying rings true for consumers, so despite the carping by the ‘experts’, it still resonates.

            • David H 5.1.1.1.1.3

              Another Case of Key’s I’ll get other experts to say your experts are wrong.

  6. maui 6

    When selling our state houses off to an australian company falls through, we can always offer them up to martians..

  7. G C Cameron 7

    Sounds like this Australian “outfit” is the only one who want this rotten, rundown, real-estate.

    I’m a renter who’s just moved house. The house I moved from was shocking. I left after about 4 months. It’s so good just walking away, (due to the shocking conditions I was able to brake the lease). The Government will feel much better once they’re free from these rotten homes.

    Is it really that helpful putting people in these death-taps of homes (state houses)? I’m not suggesting we throw people out on the street. However maybe the government it’s focus to developing better housing outcomes for people is a more fruitful approach?

    My above comments are divisive I’m sure. I’m somewhat ignorant on the Social Housing issues.

    As a renter paying hundreds of dollars a week, I don’t know where my sympathies should ends. I know a mother with 2 children living in a BRAND NEW 2-bedroom Town House for $95 a week (through a social housing provider). I pay $330 for a unit which isn’t as nice as her Town House – It Makes You Think. This is an awesome housing outcome though – for both her and her children.

    • Gangnam Style 7.1

      “I’m somewhat ignorant on the Social Housing issues. ” -self evident.

      • G C Cameron 7.1.1

        At least I’m trying to form an opinion. I hope other commentators are more enlightening.

        • Keith 7.1.1.1

          If National wanted, because after all they are the government, they could easily ensure that these “death traps” were fixed. After all the John Key myths and legends book says he could make himself hundreds of millions all by himself (forget the modest $50 million).

          Given he is SO clever why can’t he and his fellow millionaires in National run Housing NZ properly?
          Because they want it exactly that way!

          • G C Cameron 7.1.1.1.1

            Why do you think they want it that way Keith? I’m not paid to be a Social Housing Analyst and I’m not going to spend hours/days pouring over the statistics, comparing and contrasting, etc.

            It would be nice to have some in-depth, factual information about what’s really going on here. I want my fellow New Zealanders to have opportunities and good housing. If these house can be fixed and insulated awesome – do it. If new houses need to be built – do it.

            I just finished watching The Hollow Men – some of these National Politian’s are shocking and certainly geniuses, as you sarcastically pointed out. Perhaps John Key should change his name to ‘Iron Rand’ – privatisation is certainly becoming his thing.

            • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1.1

              They might want it that way because they are thinking like businesspeople running a business. That means they look at the spreadsheets and the bottom line. They get money in for offloading the homes AND lose ongoing cost of maintenance/admin/management. They see it as a win-win because they are not really factoring in the notion of the Government having a social obligation equal to a financial one.

              Ultimately they want smaller and smaller government which means more and more money and power vested in big companies and rich folks who can get the ear of the politicians. We’ve seen how quickly they hand out our money to some of the very same people who want government out of business…

              Warners (offshore)
              Rio Tinto (offshore)
              SCF foreign investors NOT covered by the guarantee scheme
              Extending the guarantee scheme to SCF despite strong warnings from Treasury

              and so on.

            • gnomic 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Dictionary police here. i think the word you want is ‘poring’ rather than ‘pouring’. Idle of course to struggle against the erosion of English.

              “With no leaders to follow people follow idiots.” Courtesy of K-Dog on the Clusterfuck blog this week.

              I may have to stop calling the right hon a smirking weasel. At least weasels have a useful function in nature when in their native habitat. Can one say the say for the regime mock leader?

    • Tracey 7.2

      “the government it’s focus to developing better housing outcomes for people is a more fruitful approach?”

      I agree. Government also has an obligation to lead by example and the state of some of the housing stock is appalling. Yes, we have to find the money to pay to upgrade…

      Let’s start with 27m currently being spent on some people going around the nation attending meetings where the panel outnumbers those attending to discuss a flag change we didnt know we wanted and no one I have spoken to of any ideological persuasion thinks is worth 27m.

    • Tracey 7.3

      Last night for my sins I was watching Homes Under the Hammer. One of the people who bought at auction were representing a charity which owns 1000 properties.

      They work out what rent they can charge for the house, cost of managing/maintaining, sale fees and that is what they can pay.

      They secured this particular 4 bedroom home. It only needed cosmetic fixing and some bits and pieces. Well heated, fully working and certificated appliances.

      They then rent it for 270 STG per month. The real estate agents valued the rent obtainable on the open market at 400 to 425 per month,. They had 300 families on their waiting list.

      Why couldn’t our government have gifted or leased (peppercorn) to Sallies and iwi on the same kind of basis. They then charge a rent on the same basis as above, and their management costs are monitored y the Crown to ensure no rorting.

      The homes would stay on the books as assets of the country but the responsibility/management/admin passes to those on the ground.

      • Keith 7.3.1

        Our government does not have to give away or sell any state houses. period!

        The State Housing system run properly by government with passion can be a world leader, again. We do not need to go back to the time where charities ran social housing whereby a tenant needed to be of a particular religion or whatever the flavour of the month was. My parents went through that hell with rat infested church housing.

        It’s only because English has a warped ideology and can only semi balance the books by selling things and that the rest of the rich men that make up National couldn’t give a shit about their fellow Kiwi’s are even having this conversation.

        • Tracey 7.3.1.1

          I agree Keith but was addressing why they might be doing it, cos it is not about the implementation of the social aspect of their jobs as parliamentarians.

      • G C Cameron 7.3.2

        Thanks Tracey, your comments are really thought provoking and interesting. Keep up the good work 🙂

  8. Robert 8

    this pm is nothing short of an arse sniffing parasite. and any that keep defending him and his ilk are like wise!
    i hope you all rot in hell and i fuckin mean that!
    absolutely astonished at what this blue retentive lot are getting away with.

    • gnomic 8.1

      Not sure I am happy to say about the weasel’s relationship with the rear end and its olfactory characteristics, but we do know he likes getting a grip on a ponytail. While minded by thugs. He is by definition a parasite as a financier.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    We should be thankful McCully isn’t managing the social housing debacle – he’d pay the Aussies to take the houses away, and then pay them again to circumvent legal action, and then 75% of the houses would be allowed to collapse. Which he would then claim was all Labour’s fault.

  10. Robert 10

    not happy about m cully at any capacity, i once worked on his Bach type house ie mansion in northland and totally over the top the trougher! but he did let me thru his property edge to fish in my once fav spot but not anymore.
    he is one waste of skin, but i can’t blame him i suppose as most nats have waste of skin parents

  11. Robert 11

    i have calmed some what, this is not the site or the way,but just so frustrated at this blindness as to what is happened and continued to happen in NZ.
    time things change!

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      +100

    • Tracey 11.2

      you have to express your frustration in the best (non harmful) way you can.

      • Stuart Munro 11.2.1

        In this case that might include writing to Horizon in Aussie, and asking them not to participate in the theft of our state assets. Bill is a menkurt slave to extreme right neo-liberal orthodoxy, but Horizon are a reputable charity, they might listen.

  12. Incognito 13

    Is there a lawyer in the house?

    ”The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) assesses applications from overseas investors seeking to invest in sensitive New Zealand assets – being ‘sensitive’ land, high value businesses (worth more than $100 million) and fishing quota. People who are not New Zealand citizens or who do not ordinarily reside in New Zealand must apply for consent to invest in these assets. That requirement also applies to overseas owned or controlled companies, other incorporated or unincorporated bodies, such as partnerships or joint ventures, and trusts, as well as associates of overseas investors (who may be New Zealanders).”

  13. tc 14

    Key knows exactly what he’s doing, transferring more wealth to private hands.

    He may befuddle the details and cloud the issue as much as he can but the results always the same and no token RNZ interview will change that.

  14. Markm 15

    It would seem that Australians will be subsidising us but that won’t fit your narrative will it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      It would seem to whom? An innumerate right wing toady? Someone who can’t actually construct an argument? Do tell.

    • Tracey 15.2

      Surely they have factored in the ability to at least break even including management/maintenance and admin?

      Do you know how the Aussies can make it work but no one in NZ will?

      It worries me that no one (including investors) can find a way to make this work. It makes me worry that investors won’t be able to make the mental illness recruitment drive work either?

  15. Save NZ 16

    Which Dante’s circle of Hell with John Key find himself,

    Forth circle, Greed?
    Eighth circle, Fraud?
    Ninth circle Treachery?

    Maybe all three?

    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      Fraud would be my guess – interesting that the circles are named after Jim Bolger.

  16. Missy6 17

    – a $25m flag-change that only our PM wants!
    – Intention to invalidate our Constitution/Treaty of Waitangi – our Sovereignty for Corporate governance …
    – TPPA/TTIP!
    – Proposed state house selloffs to Australia!
    – Denial/disregard for poverty-stricken children and families!
    – Deliberate manipulation of Auckland housing prices (UP) and availability (DOWN) – migration/foreign propaganda
    – Disregard for NZ oceans/ecosystems – Statoil drilling, overfishing etc.!
    – Disregard for Maui dolphin – Statoil drilling, overfishing etc.!
    – Sending our military East without the nation’s approval!
    – Selling national assets!
    – No support from government re. months of Novopay chaos!
    – No support for Western Papua, regardless of public support!

    Aye – this is fckng BS – all the time, every day – all around the World, and yes it’s tiresome because that’s what is intended! To overwhelm and exhaust us all with corruption/crime/pollution/war – threat after threat, assault after assault – week after week, until we’ve all heard so much about this corruption/conspiracy talk that people just stop giving a shit about Life, Freedom, Truth… Yep, Corruption will just carry on doing whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want to – more oppression, more pollution, poison, war, murder and bullshit – Getting the picture? …

    NEW ZEALAND NEED TO TELL JOHN KEY TO GET THE FUCK OUT!!!

    THESE ARE NEW ZEALAND HOUSES – HOMES FOR KIWIS, NOT BUSINESS INTERESTS FOR NZ POLITICIANS AND AUSTRALIAN INTERESTS. AUSTRALIA CAN STAY THE FUCK OUT OF NZ MATTERS – THIS IS NOT AUSTRALIA’S CONCERN … GTFO AUSTRALIA AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF PARLIAMENT JOHN KEY AND THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT!!

    How long are you prepared to tolerate it, because unless Humanity get off our arses – determine to Act and confront causes (corrupt leadership) directly then fuck-it all – WHAT IS THE POINT GUYS?

    New Zealanders – If you SEE what’s happening here, and if you care, then we’re equal, we’re one and we need to start pulling together re. our Government agenda, their disregard for the opinion of New Zealanders regarding the needs of the nation, and government corruption and accountability!! …

    Pakeha, Maori, Polynesian, Indian, immigrants – poverty-stricken, welfare beneficiaries, unemployed, sick, students, elderly, gang members, religious peoples – spiritual peoples, athiests, CEO’s, mailroom staff – New Zealanders – Everyone who cares, everyone who’s fed-up – IT AFFECTS US ALL! WE NEED TO START PULLING TOGETHER.

    … If you want to live in a nation/World where people care – where it matters how Humanity/All People and our planet/Earthlife are treated, and if having zero-tolerance for corrupt [people] like our elitist National Government who think they own OUR PLANET and everyone on it, is important to you then OUR NATION, OUR HOME IS THE PLACE TO START CHANGING THINGS – INCLUDING OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE KNOWN …

    These people[original word deleted TRP] ARE NOT SERVING OUR NATION, AND THEY’RE SURE AS FUCK NOT SERVING, OR WANTING TO HEAR WHAT NEW ZEALANDERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT! Our Government – NZ’s highest paid public servants are behaving like entitled, elitist clowns – as if they are untouchable … they don’t care that their self-interests and corruption are obvious, and they behave as though New Zealanders wanting to live fair, natural, peace-filled lives are a fucking joke, and laugh in our faces because no-one’s doing anything about it!!

    Please network and start encouraging people to speak up and get together!!! If our government intends to shut down those who speak for and represent the needs of people (John Campbell), and then laugh in our faces because we cannot have our say via NZ media, then NZ needs to take the initiative, create our own media, put it on paper, post it all over the internet and pin it EVERYWHERE!!! Think of ways of voicing your dissatisfaction and RUB OUR GOVERNMENT’S FACES in IT – billboards, lamp-posts, shop windows …

    It’s time to consider getting Sovereign guys, and for those who call Aotearoa home, and who care to unite!! … If we keep sitting still and taking this shit, nothing will change and corrupt [people] like Key and his National minions will never be brought to account …

    You either want to fight for and defend what’s right and good for everybody, or you consent and sucuumb to being divided and beaten down by arrogant scum like this Arsehat above, from one week to the next …

    It’s NOT OK – Get pissed, and spread the word. WE DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS NZ …

    [Great comment, Missy6! But please keep the gender based swearing and the SHOUTING to a minimum, please. TRP]

  17. gnomic 18

    English reckons he will sell state houses to anyone as long as they can improve the lives of the tenants. Surely a person as mendacious as this should not have any role in running a country, even one as small and backward as NZ.

    But these scum don’t even bother to try and make sense any more. They have headed off into the Cheney/Rove zone and are making up their own reality.

    Maybe they just don’t care as soon they will be able to declare a state of extraordinary emergency and do whatever the hell they like, after the world financial system collapses. And since we are all threatened by some swarthy Moorish terrorists who want to behead us. Better even than communism as the threat from without.

    Anyone heard of the Tamaki Revelopment Company?

    http://www.tamakitrc.co.nz/

    Farewell then 2,800 state houses.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68152582/Government-offloads-2800-state-houses-to-Auckland-development-company

    Ask yourself, would you buy a used car from Bill English? You don’t even have to ask in the case of Nick Smith. Answer is no by the way in case you were wondering.

  18. geraldine molloy 19

    Interesting!

  19. Georgecom 20

    the governments approach to social housing is a complete crock. what a bloody debacle. State houses in areas where there is no demand, sure, sell off the surplus whilst retaining enough to service the populous. Reinvest the money building new state houses. Ensure existing homes are in at least a basic state of fitness to live in.

    I have no issue with the state selling off some surplus land in Auckland for new homes, where it owns it, where the land is fit for homes and where local Iwi have been involved in the decision.A % can be HNZ homes.

    Selling existing homes to charities seemed just dumb to me. No extra social houses are being created. Selling to Australian entities? An admission from Ket et al that the policy is a bloody shambles.

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