Tamaki gentrification comes to East Porirua?


Labour’s Kiwibuild is just like greek yogurt and sea salt  – for the children of the middle classes

The government’s announcement today of a major regeneration project for East Porirua has all the hallmarks of Auckland’s Tamaki tragedy whereby low-income residents and families are being displaced from Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure as these suburbs are gentrified for the middle class.

The previous Labour government, which began the Tamaki transformation, made almost identical promises to Tamaki in 2008 that they are making to East Porirua today.

The winners in Tamaki have been property developers and the middle class. Nothing we can see indicates anything different for East Porirua.

The announcement of a mere 150 extra state houses “added to the public housing stock elsewhere in Porirua” appears to be an attempt at a reassuring sop to the locals.

The housing crisis across New Zealand is sharpest for low-income tenants and families and yet the focus of this development is the use of large swathes of state housing land to build Kiwibuild homes for the children of the middle class.

With 41,000 tenants and families across New Zealand facing severe housing need the Labour government approach is to support the middle class and to side-line those struggling with impossible private sector rents.

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Yesterday’s announcement is a bad omen for the existing tenants and families in East Porirua.


  1. Dont worry about Pt England John. If we take it as part of our settlement, we’re going to use the whenua to grow & produce medicinal marijuana. The 12 hectares is a swamp. No good to build housing on. It needs $54m of drainage work done on it before it would be suitable for housing.
    My Dumb cousins who negotiated this deal didnt read the fine print or do any due-diligence before signing up.
    The Pt England legislation is basically a confiscation Act, very similar to the old Ministry of Works Act. It allows the Crown to confiscate public land, reserves, parks ect …. and remove any protection(s) that whenua has in place. Stoner Twyford pushed that through!

  2. And since June there have been six suspected suicides in East Porirua.
    Five of the sadly departed were aged under 30, all recent school leavers.
    Another young recent death occurred in a car crash.

    This is an overwhelming tragedy for the whole community, and for all of us.

    The only good thing is that we no longer have privileged Bill English disparaging young NZ men and writing them off as hopeless and useless.I have worked with young guys from the East Porirua community, they were good men, and I feel a huge grief and anger that they are killing themselves before their lives have barely started.

  3. Your usual sharp insights. My daughter & partner got a mortgage on a $15,000 deposit by hiring a broker to persuade the bank – on the basis of high-ish incomes they got their house. The first kiwi build couple & many other potential buyers would have similar options. Who is Twyford & Co. kidding?

  4. Yes, exactly @ JM.
    Adern’s Labour are driven, perhaps, by good intentions, one would desperately hope, but she and they have either no imagination to steer the country back to the old vector, or no guts to do what must be done.
    The old vector was the one the Old Labour Government derailed, sold off, swindled and lied about which hatched the most ghastly private and political cuckoo’s we’ve ever seen who promptly kicked the country’s little chickens out of their nests.
    This new Labour Party really does need to bark its knuckles on those fuckers who created the shameful and impoverished Kiwi subclass who, historically did the dirty work, the hard work and built those same infrastructures the Old Labour swindled away. That, needs to be addressed. Adern’s Labour is trying to do what’s best but they’re hobbled by the spectre of the Old Labour being dragged into the lime light which, indeed, might well start the violent uprisings @ CASTRO keeps writing about here. When the Clouded Minds people finally realise what the Old Labour swine did to them… When that penny finally drops. The shit will certainly hit the fan and what modern Labour government wants to open that particular can of worms to ignite that fire storm? So, pandering to the financially iffy Pink n Cleaners is a safe and soft option until change is gently achieved. I say fuck that! Drop an atom bomb on the Old Labour fuckers! And we should then go door knocking the bent rich fucks who made $-billions from our stuff and things and get our fucking money back!

    ( ‘ Pink N Cleaners was a name given to humans by Bogeypersons. Raymond Briggs’ Fungus The Bogeyman’ anyone? Fabulous kids book.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus_the_Bogeyman )

  5. Looking at the kind of ‘homes’ being built in Tamaki and other places, they will possibly not even last for a generation, due to poor quality materials, shoddy workmanship and so forth. Let us not forget, Auckland Council inspectors found about a third of all work done as lacking and not meeting standards.

    The leaky building crisis was just the beginning, these kinds of structures are crap:

    Yet they are sold for a fortune, hardly affordable.

    Stuff all on state housing:

  6. The poor and homeless will make NO headway until they get some political clout. NZ politics works solely on self-interest.

  7. Nicely put John.
    Of all the commentators I read here and elsewhere you make the most sense, and show a true ability to keep your feet on the ground and see things for what they are.
    To be applauded in today’s world.

  8. No comment update for something close to 24 hours, wow, Jacindamania and the PM’s charm seem to silence all critics now.

  9. Reflecting on your excellent blog John. I grew up in Taita, a big state housing suburb in the Hutt Valley. When I went to Tamaki it felt like the same community spirit. There seems to be an assumption from Twyford & mates that gentrifying parts of working class suburbs (used to be called pepper potting) with middle class owners is a good thing. It might be, it might not, but don’t assume a working class suburb is a bad thing.

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