Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Crowded houses

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  • llew40, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You may well be right, and it may have been the same house, but, media editorial bias or interests aside, surely its the job of the Labour Party support/comms team to ensure that any media photo ops match the pitch they have given?. Who is managing this stuff?. Frustratingly, it feels like another entirely avoidable own goal that feeds a pre-existing narrative.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to llew40,

    You may well be right, and it may have been the same house, but, media editorial bias or interests aside, surely its the job of the Labour Party support/comms team to ensure that any media photo ops match the pitch they have given?.

    Yes, I agree and sort of said that in the post.

    But the willingness of other journalists to accept the the word of someone whose name they didn't even get that there was nothing to see here and the house wasn't overcrowded was a bit odd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to llew40,

    surely its the job of the Labour Party support/comms team to ensure that any media photo ops match the pitch they have given?

    This. It's a lovely demonstration of the gentle art of letting the Government off the hook.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A tweet from Max Rashbrooke today:

    20,000 fewer state houses (per capita) than in 1991. 34,000 ppl in severe housing deprivation who need c.20,000 homes. You do the maths.

    Response from Grant Robertson:

    and they are more difficult build/obtain than sell. Nats sold 13,000 odd in 90s, we built/obtained 10,000ish in next nine yrs

    Max estimates that the current work will get us to about where we were in 2008 by 2018. So that's something.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Yes, I agree and sort of said that in the post.

    Sorry just reread your comment - just a little frustrated at what seems to me like a lack of accuracy in the way Labour are operating at the moment (possibly related to lack of funds and resources), and also what seems to be a lack of strategic coherence or discipline or consistency.

    Are they for the Unitary Plan or not, are they for intensification or not, do they really want to abolish urban growth limits, do they want to stick with their approach to foreign speculators in the Auckland housing market. How many passing cars can be barked at, at once? (sigh)

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Listening to John Campbell talking to someone in rudimentary WINZ 'emergency housing' - which is costing $190 a night that they have to pay back - how is that helping?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm afraid I've missed much media around this. One thing that's confused me over John Campbell's reporting yesterday and tonight, though, is why people are reportedly being charged absurd amounts for emergency accommodation.... then "loaned" thousands of dollars to cover its use for a matter of days, then being required to pay it back, when they're supposedly already eligible for social housing.

    Is this seemingly ridiculous thing of further indebting poor people, apparently due to HNZ's own inability to house them, because WINZ itself isn't a housing provider and doesn't have any legal mechanism to directly pay for emergency accommodation to which they're probably already entitled? Or is it more about politics?

    Oh, the bureaucracy!

    [Edit: Oops. This was meant to be a reply to the OP. Not to that specific comment.]

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Also, what are the main reasons for WINZ and Housing New Zealand being separate agencies?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to izogi,

    Housing NZ is run as a business, and pays a dividend to the government. They haven't yet found a way to get dividends from WINZ.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 484 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to izogi,

    One thing that’s confused me over John Campbell’s reporting yesterday and tonight, though, is why people are reportedly being charged absurd amounts for emergency accommodation…. then “loaned” thousands of dollars to cover its use for a matter of days, then being required to pay it back, when they’re supposedly already eligible for social housing.

    Its called a money-go round! On this fairground attraction you can feast on the illusion that everyone is making money and it will last forever WWWeeeeeeeee!

    Except the people being screwed over of course... but they will never be able to afford to play this game anyway cause they're, yes you guessed correctly, POOR
    WOOHOO!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Emma Hart,

    My daughter spent the morning helping a young man get some photo ID. You can't seem to get photo ID without photo ID to prove it is you. It is extraordinarily difficult for people without a passport, drivers' licence or other identifying certification. And the next step is to produce an official letter with your name and address printed on it.

    I do wish those people who have never been to Work and Income would go with some young, disabled or homeless person to see how hard it can all be. Starting with getting an appointment.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Larry Williams only sounds insane because you forgot he is the straight guy to Leighton Smith, who is about as crazy as it gets before you need medication.

    It is Newstalk ZB koolaid they drink every day you know.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Conclusion: Lee's a sellout and Smith is a raging hypocrite.

    And water's wet.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Larry Williams only sounds insane because you forgot he is the straight guy to Leighton Smith, who is about as crazy as it gets before you need medication.

    Leighton Smith used to be someone worth listening to, a long time ago now. I'm not unconvinced they're screwing with his meds just to up the ratings.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Quoted from above: "What made it worse was that in her interview Paula Bennett did find someone to blame: existing state house tenants.

    "We've had decades of people thinking it's a home for life," she said.

    So people who aren't rushing to leave their fixed rents in favour of a private rental market that's getting out of control are the villains? That was a low thing for the Minister for Social Housing to say."

    I have been following all these reports with some great interest. A few years back I helped someone into a Housing NZ home, that was before the Nat led government actually changed the settings and rules for being entitled to get into a Housing NZ home, by basically throwing all those on the earlier category C and D priority lists off the list of people considered for state or social housing support. And of the remaining categories A and B, those that were not meeting the now only true high priority and access enabling category A, that means category B persons, are simply "assisted" to find housing on the private market.

    Thousands were thus quietly thrown off a list, or remained on an "obsolete" list, that nobody even looks at anymore. I was myself category C, so no chance for any Housing NZ home, hence putting up with private rental.

    The person I helped faced an extremely difficult uphill battle then, and as I have learned, it is much, much worse now, near impossible to get into any Housing NZ home.

    That accommodation supplement paid by WINZ for people in private rentals is a max of $ 145 per week for Auckland and lower for Wellington and other regions. It never covers more than half or even just a third of actual rental costs. It has not been inflation adjusted for donkey's years. When the bastards at the top talk about increasing benefits each year, that is inflation adjustments, they only talk about the main benefit, that is just over $ 200 per week for a Jobseeker benefit, which is adjusted. Most need accommodation supplement, temporary additional support, perhaps disability allowance and special needs grants to make ends meet.

    So all the additional supports have, perhaps with the exception of the disability allowance, NOT been increased for years, they are not inflation adjusted. The annual increase for most is just a few dollars, and as there are other thresholds for maximum entitlements, some do after the inflation adjustment for the main benefit suddenly find the disability allowance being cut by a few dollars, as the adjustment put them above that secret "threshold". That is what goes on, and with special needs for say dental treatment, you only get $ 300 maximum per annum that is not recoverable, anything costing more is repayable, from a very basic benefit, that is meant to cover your very, very basic needs as it is.

    I am not surprised that many do at present have to repay the costs for emergency housing in motels and so. The system has been so designed that being on a benefit is only meant to be "temporary". That stuffs up most that are sick and disabled, because when they have their own clothes, furniture, and so, it will get used, get old, break down and needs replacement, which again can only be done by way of special needs grants, which are then repayable, thus WINZ are actually themselves pushing people into debt.

    This is what goes on, has been going on for years, and thanks so much for John Campbell today, to show us more of the crimes committed by a shit government, a criminal government, that does not care, and whose Minister's words are either blatant lies or hollow nonsensical, alienated lecturing and misinformation.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304200/eight-week-old-baby-among-hundreds-homeless
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/304202/hnz-homes-sitting-idle-for-years

    And today's announcement by Phil Twyford, that Labour wants Auckland Council to get rid of the Metropolitan Urban Limit, which under the new Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is anyway supposed to be replaced by a Rural Urban Boundary, shows that not only the government is running out of answers and sensible solution, the opposition has joined the government is flip floping and rushed, panicked actions and decisions, basically admitting, they have lost control of it all.

    While all this goes wild, nobody dares to challenge the government, to put immigration on hold, by upping the requirements under the points system, or other measures, and by only letting urgently needed, skilled people in, that have qualifications on the priority skills list. The elephant in the room is ignored, and Auckland will prepare for more sprawl plus intensification, welcome New Zealand's version of "Los Angeles Plus 2016".

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    a very basic benefit, that is meant to cover your very, very basic needs

    the really obscene thing is that it was deliberately cut *below* that level by Ruthless Richardson, then not fixed for the nine years Labour were subsequently in government. Shame on both their houses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to llew40,

    are they for intensification or not, do they really want to abolish urban growth limits

    Twyford has apparently been telling a public event this eve that his answer is yes to both.

    The strategic geniuses that surround him seem utterly ignorant about what will happen when they join the govt in threatening to overrule council to enforce sprawl. No timid councillor seeking re-election in the face of vociferous nimbys will risk their ire by insisting on density. It will then be *central* government's fault that the resulting expensive sprawl has to be paid for by the public.

    Which is great if you are a construction company or a financier clipping the ticket. Check out who rejoiced at the news.

    For anyone who wants to live in a thriving world city, it's not so flash. Wave goodbye to the talented young people who could have made this country's future brighter for real. Thanks a bunch, stupid old folk on all sides. You really do not deserve to be in positions of power.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Paula Bennett, pulling the wool over our eyes and faces:

    "Emergency housing beds gave 'false hope"

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11640573

    The Budget 2016 will have to be carefully dissected by the opposition, as it will again show, that most will be nothing more than rearranging the deck-chairs, by robbing Peter to pay Paul, and things like that.

    Sadly most MSM are too busy with the snippets thrown around in the 24 hour news cycle, and the need to present endless click bait, the NZ Herald website and its contents have never been worse when it comes to quality, I just noticed with disgust.

    Where will it all end, a dictatorship, where those at the top that pull the strings can manipulate all into such degrees of stupidity, ignorance and indifference, that society needs to collapse first, before we get a change of government?

    The fact that probably not dozens but hundreds sleep in cars, in sheds or even in the open, not able to afford accommodation, that is a scandal, but what would have once led to protests and public rage, seems to go on much unnoticed, until someone suddenly stumbles over it, and thinks, hmm, this is not quite right, is it?

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    So long as rich people are making money the Key government is happy, and any solution that would restrict such money making is absolutely out of the question. Moreover, their ideal is that people should be able to make money while contributing hardly anything of real value, simply by being clever traders. When you accept that this is their mindset, their policies actually make a kind of warped sense. The problem is, of course, that it's extremely hard for rich people to get even richer while solving the very real problems encountered by desperately poor people. It it were easy to find such solutions then we would no longer have poverty in New Zealand, everyone would be in clean, dry & comfortable accommodation, and we would have a society where everyone really did have a chance to succeed, irrespective of their circumstances at birth.

    Social housing funded by a capital gains tax and higher taxes on the rich (with no loopholes) would do so much good.

    How bad does it have to get before the wider electorate is disgusted enough to turf out the crazies in the government benches?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Alsop,

    Russell, I'd like to see you write something on this from the perspective of (un)ethical investing by rental property owners (which must be a reasonable chunk of the demand). What is the societal value generation from owning rental property? It has no productive purpose in terms of new (or better) products or services (even domestically before foregone export earnings are factored in). How will these people feel in their retirement rockers knowing they just feathered their own nest now to the detriment of others more needy in the community (both now and future generations) - the wealth transfers (as distinct from wealth generation for NZ) in this sorry saga re huge. Property may be a lucrative investment, but it is ultimately a choice as to whether - all options considered - it is an ethical best. Ethical investment - think sweat-shops, carbon-intensity, rainforests and drug-taking sport-'stars' - is a big global issue: is anyone talking about it in Auckland with respect to their fellow citizens?

    Wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Euan Mason,

    How bad does it have to get before the wider electorate is disgusted enough to turf out the crazies in the government benches?

    We need a credible alternative.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    I am not surprised that many do at present have to repay the costs for emergency housing in motels and so.

    A lot of people have been saying they had no idea.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to llew40,

    surely its the job of the Labour Party support/comms team to ensure that any media photo ops match the pitch they have given?. Who is managing this stuff?

    That there's a newly created vacancy for the position could have something to do with it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Sacha,

    Those that would apply for such temporary emergency accommodation must surely have been told, but of course, when they face the reality of otherwise having to sleep in the rain and cold, what "choice" would they have, so sign at the bottom, and the contract is done.

    I am sure that most in the public, most voters and potential voters, who would never be faced with such emergencies, would not have a clue this was going on.

    That is why more should perhaps end up facing the same, so they "learn".

    I could survive a housing bubble burst and economic crash, I have learned to live the tough life, which perhaps some pampered middle class people in warm and insulated homes may need to get used to not too far in the future.

    When the jobs go, the economy tanks or worse, when it all comes crashing down, the consequences will be dire for many. But as usual, most will fend for themselves, and fight for survival, the pecking order will be maintained and the status quo will somehow be maintained, even if this necessitates the army needing to be called in to ensure "order".

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It seems a bit like another one leaving a potentially sinking ship, I fear.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

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