National’s blatant lies on Housing NZ dividends – The truth uncovered!

By   /   September 13, 2015  /   40 Comments

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Recent statements by Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, Building and Housing Minister, Nick Smith, and Prime Minister John Key, have been shown to be deceptively misleading – and in many instances, outright lies.

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cold and damp houses - newspaper magazine front pages

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Recent statements by Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett,  Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English,  Building and Housing Minister, Nick Smith, and Prime Minister John Key, have been shown to be deceptively misleading – and in many instances, outright lies.

Their public utterances have been revealed  to be untrue after this blogger discovered a statement from Housing NZ, buried deep within one of their Annual Reports.

#1 – Nick Smith

On 25 April 2014, Building and Housing Minister, Nick Smith, was indignant when he rejected a claim by the Labour Party that National was planning to siphon off  Christchurch earthquake insurance payouts to Housing NZ as government dividends.

As Radio NZ reported;

Papers obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal plans to delay maintenance and redirect Canterbury quake insurance payouts to meet the Government’s demands for increased returns from state housing.

Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says Housing New Zealand has agreed to pay higher dividends to the Government by using some of its $320 million insurance payment and putting off repairs and maintenance.

Mr Twyford says the Government is robbing Housing New Zealand in Canterbury to fund dividends going into the Crown account. He says Housing Minister Nick Smith needs to explain why money that should have gone into the rebuild has gone into Government coffers instead.

But Housing Minister Nick Smith says it’s not a case of earmarking any particular income towards the dividend, but it’s not true to say it will come from the insurance payout.

He says insurance proceeds are going towards capital expenditure, including 2000 new houses, which will be under construction by the end of 2015.

Dr Smith says Housing New Zealand has always been expected to return a dividend to the Crown, including under the previous Labour-led Government. This comes from normal operating revenue, including rent and rent subsidies from the Government.

Housing New Zealand’s latest statement of intent shows $308 million in insurance money earmarked for capital expenditure this financial year.

#2 – Bill English

Barely five months later, Housing NZ announced a dividend of $118 million to be paid to the government for financial year – the largest since 2009-10;

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.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the idea the Government was continuing to make money off State housing when children were getting sick from living in those houses was unacceptable.

He said the Crown must rule out taking a dividend until all Housing New Zealand stock was up to standard.

“Given that Housing New Zealand homes are actually killing their residents, I think it makes no sense for there to be any dividend at all.

“Everything that they get should be ploughed back into making sure that their homes are safe.”

Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English justified the massive  dividend with the extraordinary statement;

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

The cash-grab by National had been hinted earlier, on 24 March, when Bill English signalled that maintenance on HNZ properties would be deferred;

Mr English says the lack of maintenance on state houses is concerning and that in the long run the government will need to invest the $1.2 billion dollars in state houses to get them up to scratch.

However, he says that won’t all happen this year.

When asked why Housing New Zealand had not spent as much money as it should have on maintenance, Mr English put the blame partly on the previous Labour government saying they had chosen to build new state houses rather than fix up old ones.

Yet, that quiet admission did not stop both Paula Bennett and Bill English from repeating their ‘spin’ that Housing NZ had sufficient cash for necessary maintenance of their housing stock;

Bill English  – 5 June 2015

“They’ve done a very large scale programme – insulated every house that it can, which is 48,000 houses over the last four or five years.

It’s got to deal with the same limitations of process as everybody else, it’s got to get consents, it’s got to find a workforce, but it’s not short of money to do the job.”

#3 – Paula Bennett

Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Housing – 12 June 2015

@ 4.28

“What I will say is that it’s not, um, not a money problem. So there is enough money there for us to get that stock up.”

@ 5.42

“It’s not actually about the money. The money is there to be spent on the maintenance.”

Bill English – 8 September 2015

“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.”

Bill English – 9 September 2015

@ 2.36

“The constraint on repairs isn’t cash. They have enough money to do the jobs that they need to do.”

@ 4.28

“With respect to the maintenance. Ah, yes, if any tenant lets Housing NZ azbout any, what they call urgent maintenance needs, and they got 125,000 of those notifications, ah, in the last year or two, ah, then Housing NZ has the cash to act on those…”

@ 6.11

“In fact, our main challenge there is not [a] lack of money…”

@ 6.35

“So the constraint isn’t cash, it’s a lack of houses.”

All of which was  revealed to be dishonest spin by these two Ministers, when this statement was discovered from Housing NZ’s 2013/14 Annual Report;

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housing nz annual report 2013-14 maintenance cutbacks

The responsive repairs programme, which includes work on vacant properties, is dependent on demand, which was higher than expected in 2013/14. Consequently, the budget was overspent due to higher volumes of work orders. The average cost per work order was also higher as a result of more comprehensive repairs and upgrades being carried out on vacant properties. To mitigate this overspend, we deliberately reduced the planned maintenance programme, which decreased the percentage of maintenance spend on planned activity.” – [p28]

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Perhaps English and Bennett forgot – or did not realise – that Housing NZ would disclose the true nature of their lack of funds for on-going maintenance of their increasingly dilapidated properties.

#4 – John Key

Perhaps English and Bennett both hoped that the media and public would buy their #1 deflection – that it was all a problem left over from the previous Labour government. Even our esteemed Dear Leader repeated the same spin in Parliament on 26 August this year;

“But what I can say is that this Government is proud of the fact that it is spending $300 million a year improving the mess we inherited from Labour. Its own house was never in order. It is not in order at the moment. No wonder we inherited-“

“It would be easier to take the member seriously if what Labour did when in Government was actually maintain the houses. But, in fact, not only did it not do that, it let them run down … It is a joke for the Labour Party members to come here and talk about this. They ran the housing stock down. They should hang their heads in shame—that is what they should do.”

“Where is the moral compass of an Opposition that just failed to upgrade and maintain houses? They were a mess under the Labour Government. They were a disgrace, and this Government has actually had to fix them up. It is the same old story all the time with Labour: hopeless in Government; roaring like lions in Opposition.”

“I am advised by the Minister responsible for HNZC that the previous Labour Government suspended the maintenance on those properties to build more properties. Labour let those houses run down, it let those tenants get sick, and now in Opposition it wants to pass the buck to someone else. It is a disgrace, Mr Little. It is a disgrace.”

In that one exchange, Key repeated the Blame Labour mantra four times.

During the 9 September interview on Radio NZ’s ‘Checkpoint‘ with Bill English, Guyon Espiner voiced his obvious disgust/weariness at that hoary old excuse;

“Ok, I think after seven or eight years we’ve had enough of you blaming the [previous] Labour government.”

Bennett and English did the same throughout various Radio NZ and television interviews.

At one point during the  9 September Radio NZ interview, English even  blamed tenants for the state of their run-down homes;

English: “And generally the reason a repair or an upgrade doesn’t happen is because they don’t –  is because they need to be told it’s needed, ah, they’re not in every house every week  but when, y’know as I said -“

Espiner: “So hang on, it’s the tenant’s fault, for not telling them, is it?”

Key used that blame-gaming on 26 August, in Parliament,  during his previously mentioned blame-game session;

“But also I will say that my mother took absolute pride in making sure that she kept the house clean, tidy, and ventilated.”

So, according to Key, English, and Bennett, the poor state of Housing NZ properties is due to;

  1. The previous Labour Government
  2. Tenants

Nothing to do with $664 million in dividends siphoned off by National to fund reduced tax revenue post-2009/10 tax cuts, which led to National demanding bigger and bigger dividends from SOEs such as Solid Energy; state-owned power companies, and social services such as Housing NZ.

If ever there was a clearer picture of transferring wealth from low-income New Zealanders to the top 10% of income earners and “high net worth” (ie; filthy rich) individuals – it is the financial gutting of Housing NZ.

Despite claims that Housing NZ has “the money is there to be spent on the maintenance” – the facts prove otherwise. Housing NZ’s own statement condemns two ministers and the Prime Minister as manipulative liars;

“To mitigate this overspend, we deliberately reduced the planned maintenance programme, which decreased the percentage of maintenance spend on planned activity.”

# 5 – Nick Smith (again)

Perhaps the most tragic result of National’s cash-grab was the death of two-year old Emma-Lita Bourne, who died in a grotty, damp, cold State house. The death was preventable, as the Coroner, Brandt Shortland ,reported;

The coroner’s report into the toddler’s death, which was released on Thursday, says the poor condition of the state house in the South Auckland suburb of Otara was a contributing factor to Emma-Lita’s death.

[…]

“I am of the view the condition of the house at the time being cold and damp during the winter months was a contributing factor to Emma-Lita’s health status.”

Building and Housing Minister* Nick Smith, expressed his version of human empathy with this callous observation of the little girl’s short life;

“People dying in winter of pneumonia and other illnesses is not new.”

Three lying ministers and an emotionless psychopath/automaton.

This is what we have for a government.

It also offers a third option for National’s blame-gaming spin when challenged on their failures;

  • The previous Labour Government
  • Tenants
  • Winter illnesses

No doubt National will come up with other excuses and others to point a finger at. This is, after all, the party of personal responsibility.

#6 – Memo to Mainstream Media

In the meantime,

Memo to Mainstream Media:

Next time English, Bennett, or Key claim that Housing NZ has sufficient money, after dividends are extracted, to carry out maintenance please ask them why HNZ stated in their 2013/14 Annual Report;

“To mitigate this overspend, we deliberately reduced the planned maintenance programme, which decreased the percentage of maintenance spend on planned activity.”

Because we’d really like to know.

* National has not one, but three ministers for housing portfolios. And they still can’t get it right.

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Addendum1 – Housing NZ dividends under National

HNZ Annual Report 2009-10 – $132 million   (p86)

HNZ Annual Report 2010-11 – $71 million   (p66)

HNZ Annual Report 2011-12 – $68 million   (p57)

HNZ Annual Report 2012-13 – $77 million   (p47)

HNZ Annual Report 2013-14 – $90 million –  (p37)

HNZ Annual Report 2014-15 – $108 million –  (p33)

HNZ Statement of Performance Expectations 2015/16 – $118 million – (p12)

Total: $664 million (over seven years)

Addendum2 – Housing NZ dividends under Labour

Annual Report 2001/02 – $9 million (p51)

Annual Report 2002/03 – $3 million (p55)

Annual Report 2003/04 – $176 million (p50)

Annual Report 2004/05 – $44 million (p42)

Annual Report 2005/06 – $14 million (p71)

Annual Report 2006/07 – $20 million (p54)

Annual Report 2007/08 – $13 million (p51)

Annual Report 2008/09 – $2 million (p71)

Total: $281 million (over 8 years – no figures found for ’00-’01 period)

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1-in-10health

Source: Shelter.org.uk

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References

Radio NZ: Housing NZ not cash cow – minister

Radio NZ: Housing NZ to pay Crown $118m dividend

Radio NZ: Morning Report – English defends $118M Housing NZ dividend (alt. link)

Radio NZ: Housing NZ to pay Crown $118m dividend – audio (alt. link)

Housing NZ: Annual Report 2009-10 (p86)

Radio NZ: State housing criticism valid, says English

TVNZ News: English concerned by State House deferred maintenance bill

Radio NZ: The state of state housing (alt. link)

Parliament: 2. Housing New Zealand Corporation, Minister – Confidence

Fairfax media:Damp state house played part in toddler’s death

National Party: About Personal Responsibility

Previous related blogposts

Government Minister sees history repeat – responsible for death

Housing Minister Paula Bennett continues National’s spin on rundown State Houses

Letter to the Editor – How many more children must die, Mr Key?!

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #1

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Theres always a market solution - housing nz - bill english

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= fs =

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40 Comments

  1. XRAY says:

    Excellent post Frank but just look at it. Look at the sick game they play.

    First the hidden problem, that is sucking money out of Housing NZ to cover tax cuts.

    Then, months and months ago when Phil Twyford uncovers the problem the lying begins. The confusing explanations that give you a headache trying to work out what they are saying, I.E. Nick Smiths initial explanation. Time is bought.

    Then when pushed sometime later English lies and says moneys not an issue. More time is gained and the issue is fading away.

    Then with more pushing later we get the joint minister singing from the same song sheet routine.

    Then we get a change of direction and Labour is blamed.Cheers Dave Farrar and Curia!

    Then when this bloody annoying issue still won’t go away the King Rat himself, John Key, chips in with the script “Blame it all on Labour”. The time honoured tactic backed by none other than Adolf Hitler, the routine of saying it over and over and repeating the lie makes it more honest.

    By then months have passed and even those who vote in this country and are remotely interested give up caring. For the rest, the entrenched National voter the attitude is “Losers in state houses who smoke, drink, live off takeaways and who can’t even clean the houses we give them”.

    The diffusion, the pure bullshit and the confusion has killed the issue as much as it is killing state house tenants.

    But in the end the problem with state housing rests firmly at the feet of our government. National see the state housing stock and land as a money maker, something to flog off and in all likelihood to their well connected mates. Of course they could do the right thing, they could help those in need like a government should but the real truth is they don’t give a fuck about people in need. And so I wonder in those quiet moments given what they are doing even they must struggle to live with themselves. Is it in a bottle perhaps??

    • Summed it up nicely, Xray.

      I think you’ve sussed how National deflects and prevaricates,buying time, until the media focuses on something else.

      Unfortunately, it will take another death to bring this back into the public’s attention.

      • Joanna P says:

        It calls to mind the documentary “Merchants of Doubt” in the recent film festival, which exposes the very same tactic by the tobacco lobby (and others) … anything to gain time so they can take more profit before truth can out.

        I also wish to join the chorus of thanks for the work you do … impressive.

      • Flying Gabriel says:

        They have absolutely no trouble living with themselves. Don’t ever make the mistake of appealing to conscience, they’ll eat it up and spit it in a can. Working class NZ is as faceless as Bangladeshi sweat shop slaves. Welcome to globalism.

  2. Steve King says:

    Brilliant, Frank. Thanks for your hard work on this. There is enough information there to generate some serious questions either from the media or in the house. Aint holding my breath, though.

    • Thanks, Steve. It was a bit of a mission, wading through fifteen years of Annual Reports. I think I know more about these things than I really wanted to.

      It’s now up to the MSM what use they make of the data – but I think there is enough there to take certain government ministers to task for the mis-information they’ve been willfully spreading to the media and public.

    • The other Tony Blair says:

      I agree, Steve, Frank always delivers the goods, which I note seriously upsets a whoole bunch of righties. They get their knickers in a twist over his findings.

      In this case, Frank has found English and his crony ministers to be lying over funding for maintaining state houses.

      It’s a shame that the MSM have not picked up on this.

  3. Ross Clark says:

    I can’t recall exact words, but months back, after a meeting of the Govt Finance Committee, National stated that Reserve Bank did not believe there was an Auckland housing bubble – but listening to the Radio podcaste, what the RB actually said was that we don’t use those words but Auckland’s housing market was at risk.

  4. mary_a says:

    Excellent work Frank. Many thanks.

    However, I ask why isn’t msm reporting this, as it’s of public interest? If one alternative news site blogger (Frank) is able to source this information, then surely any credible msm journalist is able to do the same and report and publish the same!

    But I suppose the difficulty is clearing it with FJK!

    • Thank you Ross and Mary.

      Mary – You make a valid point, which has prompted me to email various MSM to have a look at what I’ve found and reported here.

      Ross – My suspicion is that government ministers would do a “Muldoon” on Treasury if they dared report the real extent of seriousness regarding Auckland’s housing bubble. So they couch it quasi-diplomat-speak; “at risk” .

  5. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Excellent, if awful work Frank. Nicely supported by facts which I just know the rightists hate.

    There is one thing that has been alluded to in your blog and in a few of the posts, that really needs to be made clearer…

    -The role of the mainstream media in aiding and abetting this cover up/obfuscation efforts of these crims.-

    Everything you have done to retrieve the information and compare apples, pears and whatever else, is what a person called a journalist would normally do. In this case not especially difficult merely requiring some seriously dogged keeping at it. Why haven’t they?

    They love the idea of a scoop or an edge over their competition but they never seem to be able to manage it IF IT INVOLVES GOVERNMENT MINISTERS.

    They are seriously at risk of being seen as government collaborators simply by dint of NOT doing what they are supposed to do.

    I can’t imagine the media in the UK or USA missing an opportunity such as this is…

    And you wonder why I don’t read your stupid Herald or our stupid Press or watch the stupid TV newses (?). Even RNZ hasn’t dug into this one.

    I’m not denigrating or belittling Frank’s work which is important and valuable, but why does an obscure left wing blog have to do the work that our mainstream media should be doing? What is wrong with you all?

    I really hope you lot appreciate what a bunch of unremitting assets you have in this blog and especially with a true journalist who actually isn’t really a journalist, Frank Macskasy.

    • JS – that last sentence almost got me blushing…!

      Thanks. And yes, I kinda wonder myself sometimes (often!) why I’m finding stuff that MSM journos are paid to uncover…

  6. Kim dandy says:

    National telling porkies – surely not!
    Thanks Frank – good to see there are still a few people out there gathering the true facts. Not that the general public will ever hear a whisper of this on MSM. Shame on them.

    • Cheers, Kim.

      It’ll be interesting if anyone in the MSM does pick up on what I’ve found… (Hell, they don’t even have to attribute to me – they can claim full credit for all I care. As long as the information gets out.)

  7. Lloyd Jordan says:

    The very notion that any dividend should be paid is disgusting in light of the fiasco HNZ properties are in, HNZ was designed to be self funding and not a cash cow, all income should first go to maintenance then to extra dwellings, only when HNZ has reached saturation point of dwellings for those that need them should the building be scaled back.

    • You would think that would make sense, wouldn’t it Lloyd?

      Unfortunately for Housing NZ tenants (and those on waiting lists), after the ’09 and ’10 taxcuts, English was desperate to re-build his tax-revenue base. He raided school-children’s bank accounts and raised prescription charges – scraping through the very bottom of the tax-barrel.

      He had promised surpluses in the ’14/’15 – and they failed to eventuate.

      Now the promise has been pushed back to ’15/’16, and National credibility as a “prudent fiscal manager” hangs on that one single KPI.

      Extracting huge dividends from Solid Energy (which contributed to it’s demise) and Housing NZ (which has contributed to cutting back on maintenance) has been English’s few remaining sources of revenue.

      (How they can expect to finance mooted tax-cuts post-2017 beggars understanding. And is frightening in it’s implications.)

      Despite the crocodile tears from the likes of Bennett and Key, this is a government that will literally do whatever it takes to achieve their mono-maniacal goal of a surplus.

      Even if young children perish in the process.

      And I chose my previous eight words deliberately.

  8. Winnie says:

    Every single one of these mongrels begins with C and ends with T.

  9. Winnie says:

    C-o-r-r-u-p-t …just in case you were wondering

      • cleangreen says:

        100000% Frank a brilliant piece,

        You excelled yourself there.

        Bull$English/Shonkey are two of the most unworthy evil liars in Government amongst a cesspool of rot that is rapidly destroying our democracy as we speak.

        How they can look their young family members in the eye and say they are securing their future is a bald face lie.

        Best they go quickly and leave the mess for us to clean up.

  10. Fern says:

    Thanks for this, Frank. Terrific work!
    Of course, if the value of improved health and welfare could be shown on a balance sheet, the govt’s return from decent housing would be apparent in savings elsewhere.

    • Thanks, Fern.

      Of course, when considering balance sheets, National usually only looks short term, and in dollar terms.

      I’ve noticed that the only time they announce long-term goals is when they are putting off various policies such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  11. *** UP DATE ***

    To assist the Media, I have emailed them a link to this story. It may help them pick up on it, and perhaps use resources I am not privy to;

    from: Frank Macskasy
    to: Nine To Noon RNZ – ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz,
    Morning Report – morningreport@radionz.co.nz,
    Dominion Post – editor@dompost.co.nz,
    NZ Herald – editor@herald.co.nz,
    Breakfast TV – breakfast@tvnz.co.nz,
    TV3 News – News@tv3.co.nz,
    TV1 News – news@tvnz.co.nz,
    Otago Daily Times – odt.editor@alliedpress.co.nz,
    Checkpoint – checkpoint@radionz.co.nz,
    Kim Hill – saturday@radionz.co.nz

    date: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    subject: Housing NZ dividends – Ministerial porkies and a curious statement in a HNZ Annual Report

    Kia ora,

    This may be of use to your Housing or Political journalist;

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/09/13/nationals-blatant-lies-on-housing-nz-dividends-the-truth-uncovered/

    It appears that various Ministers (and the Prime Minister) have been economical with the true state of affairs with Housing NZ.

    Feel free to use the information I have found to further your own investigations.

    Happy to be of service,

    -Frank Macskasy
    Blogger

    • Winnie says:

      Nice move sending the MSM this Frank.

      However, the MSM are mainly paid lackies of the current administration, prostitutes to politicians.

      You can lead the ‘(w)hores’ to water, but you cannot make them think.

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      Yes! Good move Frank.

      The really telling point will be how many pick it up and run with it IF ANY.

  12. Jack Ramaka says:

    National see the sale of State Houses as potential cash flow to pay the interest bill on the $105 Billion borrowings from the US Bankers taken out under National.

  13. Jack Ramaka says:

    Mickey Savage would be turning in his grave!!!!

  14. Mike the Lefty says:

    National telling lies again? my my! how unusual! That is so normal that it won’t send a “must investigate” alert to our MSM journalists. They only investigate “news” you know. News is by definition, well……new! Something that happens all the time isn’t new therefore it isn’t news and it isn’t worthy of investigation.
    It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as Key, English, Bennett, Joyce, Bridges, etc. believe it to be true, well that means it has to be true and to question otherwise is just not on chaps!. Such is the damage this National government has done to our political system.

  15. Kim dandy says:

    I hope someone in the MSM follows this up – but again sadly it maybe a case of ‘ oh look over there, Richie has dropped the ball again’ scenario.
    I know the rugby World Cup is coming up but does that mean the NZ Herald has to turn into the ‘rugby news’ with token pics of Key.
    You are hard against Frank, but good luck all the same.

  16. ALH84001 says:

    Excellent research Frank!! This has got to put a cat amongst the pigeons!!

  17. Peter Edmunds says:

    Excellent work Frank, journalism as it should be done.

    You also showed an additional, second-intention method for gerrymandering the tax take:

    “Housing New Zealand has always been expected to return a dividend to the Crown, [this] comes from normal operating revenue, including rent and rent subsidies from the Government.”

    Just rephrasing that slightly, the dividend paid to the government comes from the subsidies paid by the government.

    So the subsidy isn’t a subsidy at all because the money just goes round in a circle while administrative fees are carved off it. Then, presumably, further taxes are needed to cover the administrative fees.

    And the bureaucracy’s administrators handling the subsidy are paid from the tax take, not to do productive work, which is probably what taxes should be used for, but instead to do work that is an utterly useless, unproductive loop.

    -sighs-

  18. cleangreen says:

    Well done frank sending the article to MSM.

    It will be good if you can later highlight which MSM covered your excellent research mate.

  19. S_Downs05 says:

    Thank you Frank for your post.
    I agree that the government has spent far too much time going round in circles and diverting from the real issue here and has failed to disclose the true nature of Housing New Zealand funding. In return the government has clearly been caught in their web of untruths and lies.
    Funding towards the maintenance of state-owned housing is fundamental in ensuring that the government provides those in need with safe and healthy homes, while still sustaining a long-term government investment.
    Maintenance of these properties is essential to uphold healthy and acceptable living standards. The government should allocate more funding towards full and regular maintenance of these homes.
    If it is acceptable by the government to implement policies for landlords to ensure their properties meet a warrant of fitness, then why is the government not being more focused on ensuring state-owned property is up to these standards?
    In my opinion, some state-owned houses are well-below what is deemed to be liveable. They lack insulation; are subject to harmful substances such as mould and mildew; poor plumbing, just to name a few. Although I understand that Housing New Zealand is doing their best to get these houses up to liveable standards, but without the appropriate funding they lack the resources to do so.
    Deaths of Housing New Zealand tenants, especially children, should be a wake-up call to the government to raise funding, even if it means forking out $1.2billion dollars in maintenance.
    In addition, putting the blame of the condition of state-owned property on tenants and on the previous government is not only unfair and shows that the government is not being efficient. The government needs to look at the bigger picture, state-owned housing is their responsibility, their investment. If you’re not going to put effort in to looking after your interests, then that’s your problem and a waste of tax payer’s money.
    What the government needs to do is to allocate more funding towards maintaining these properties, not the miniscule amount they currently getting. They are wasting not only our tax payer’s money but also endangering the lives of many New Zealanders.

    • Johnson_lita says:

      Very much valid point there my friend! New Zealand government has lacked so much in catering for the safety and health of its citizen. I come from a large family background and growing up we went through 4 different houses within the previous 2-3 years of our lives. I remember the second house we lived in was a 2 bedroom house and there were 8 of us. After a year almost 2 of pushing and providing them with the requested information we finally got a bigger house that seemingly fit for a living standard. Perhaps you can say we were privilege enough to find a house within short period of time compared to families who have been dealing with the same issue for many years. However, as you mentioned ‘deaths of housing nz tenants should be a wake up call to the government’ although I can agree absolutely that this is their responsibility I must inform that although housing nz’s roles is to provide a home, there are also number of agencies involved which helps support the well-being of housings tenants.

      • S_Downs05 says:

        Thank you for your reply.
        Although I understand there are other agencies in play, the big issue is more so is how the government is treating Housing New Zealand by cutting funding and consequently preventing HNZ from allocating proper resources. Then lying to the public and saying that HNZ has enough funding for resources to maintain these properties.
        It’s a lie. Half of these houses even in the high demand housing areas like Auckland are not liveable, have no insulation, and tenants are subjected to serious health problems.
        To make things worse these go unattended, only half jobs or jobs deemed extremely important are actually done, because HNZ lacks the funding to complete these.
        All because the government is not being truthful and honest about the money allocated for these services and putting “dividends” back into their pockets.
        Here we are putting the blame on HNZ, while it’s the government doing the dirty. Well now that cats out of the bag we can fight for what should be done.

  20. Leonie says:

    Take care Frank. You are being targeted by right-wing activists.


 
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