MUST READ: Labour’s betrayal of low-income New Zealanders

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One of these Labour Party leaders led a government which built state houses for low-income New Zealanders who needed them. The other one is Jacinda Ardern

Earlier this year 28 organisations wrote to Housing Minister Megan Woods urging the government to adopt an industrial-scale state house building programme to meet the desperate housing needs of low-income tenants and families.

The answer we received ignored the issues we raised. Instead, it was a PR exercise to deflect criticism. At the end of the letter the minister said “Thank you for taking the time to write and share your ideas”. I can live with the patronising tone but I detest the endless spin.

On housing and welfare this Labour government couldn’t give a stuff about low-income New Zealanders. The interests of middle-class landlords trump the desperate housing needs of tens of thousands of low-income tenants and families.

Labour is determined to keep state housing at just 3.6% of the total housing stock rather than the 5.4% it was before the betrayals of the welfare state by Labour and National in the 1980s and 1990s.

This is confirmed in Labour’s housing plans – a net 2,000 additional state houses per years over the next four years for a waiting list of almost 25,000! And these state houses are being funded by Kainga Ora selling off land to private developers. Yes, you read that right!

It’s pathetic – the state house waiting list has been increasing at twice the rate Labour has been building state houses. And Labour is relaxed about that – nothing to see here says Housing Minister Megan Woods.

A campaign is being organised to force Labour’s hand. Instead of billions in handouts to businesses we demand an industrial-scale state house building programme as was undertaken by the first Labour government from 1935. That government was building 3.500 state houses per years from 1938 for a population a third of the size we have now. In todays’ terms this means the government building 10,000 extra state houses every year until every New Zealander is living in a warm, dry, affordable home.

Nothing less is acceptable!

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Here is the petition which is the first stage of this campaign: Individuals and organisations can sign it at https://www.alternativeaotearoa.nz/petition

Petition for an industrial-scale state house building programme

We, the undersigned, are calling on Aotearoa New Zealand’s parliament to affirm housing as a basic human right and insist the government adopt an industrial-scale state house building programme to end the housing crisis for citizens on low incomes. Specifically, we are asking parliament to insist on:

  1. The government acknowledging that 50% of the current state house waiting list of almost 25,000 are Māori tenants and families and provide iwi and Māori organisations the funding and resources to meet the Crown’s responsibility to provide housing under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  2. The government funding and building state houses on the same scale as the first Labour Government (1935 to 1949) to deal with the housing crisis so as to build in the short term at least another 20,000 additional state houses to raise state house provision from 3.6% of the total housing stock to its former level of 5.4%
  3. The establishment of a state-run house-building ministry (eg a Ministry of Green Works) to implement this industrial-scale state house building programme by utilising
  • lower borrowing rates and Reserve Bank credit available to the government
  • economies of scale in the purchase of housing materials
  • access to crown and local body land and properties
  • the ability to fast-track planning, design, development and infrastructure provision for the programme and providing an extensive apprenticeship training ground for the next generation of tradespeople (carpenters, joiners, drainlayers, roofers, electricians, painters and related building trades)

 

120 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not just on housing… don’t forget the low income wage suppression from mass migration… low income No Zealanders have been screwed… there will be payback… it may well not be at the ballot box, but rather through the window with a machete… pray for a Sinn Fein.

    • Business will always argue that higher wages means higher cost of products. And in N.Z., Business is like the Casino, the table always wins.

      • yeah they cry and moan at every attempt to rebalance the system for for the past 30 years I have noticed employees always lose to inflation, 2.5% raises for 3% inflation eventually you see that massive difference where you should be earning that employers are raking for themselves. Govt spouts team of 5 million only when it doesnt affect their business mates

        • Yes you can imagine my angst when for 9 years National did absolutely nothing to improve wages and failed to fund infrastructure to match inflation. All the while we were supposedly living in a rockstar economy. At least this government has supported increased in wages for nurses and teachers, lifted the minimum wage and increased benefits. Yes the increases have’n’t quite met inflation but an alternative ACT/National government would have left a hell of a lot more homeless, even more in poverty and on the dole.

        • Real (as opposed to the BS CPI of the government) has been between 10 and 20% pa for many years. Which is why real people can’t afford real assets like Gold, Platinum, Amazon Shares and, most obviously, land AKA houses.

          Real people don’t really notice the change in the first ones which is why we have this sham ‘housing crisis’ BS in the media to take people’s eyes off the real crisis: neo liberalism steals wealth from those who rely on wages to survive by constantly adding new money into the system.

      • No matter how the Natzo’s and their greedy, stunted, extra-head ACT try to patch the holes up in their sinking shit barge of lies, the truth will always seep through. Like a fart in the cinema, The Truth will always find a way out.
        ‘The enduring problem’, or, as I’ve been known to write; The Great AO/NZ Institutionalised Lie’ is a simple problem to explain at face value but is an incredibly abstract one to comprehend. Think trying to explain the workings of the manual gear box of a Fordson tractor to a chicken? I’ve tried it. All I got was a blank stare and an egg..?
        This, the contemporary Labour Party management of our democracy has been poisoned by generations of crooks, mainly National Party members, cronies and politicians to either buy-in or shut up or be shut down.
        The fundamental swindle is to simply take money from our primary industry by the crooks wedging themselves between our primary industry and their off-shore ( And not so off shore.) customers.
        Think of it this way?
        Pull up to a roadside stall and buy all the produce, fruit say, at the asking price then banning the grower from having that stall any longer thus forcing the grower to only sell to you. Once YOU have all the fruit, you can treble the price, and more, and all without lifting a finger to produce the fruit, nurture the trees, to take the risks of weather events etc. Does that sound like a fictional story? Well, it isn’t. I’ve just described the basics of the Apple and Pear Marketing board and [it] doesn’t stop there. The wool board, the meat board, the dairy board etc are all in on it.
        OK. The problem for the crafty scunt-thorpes is to ensure and enduring and institutionalised thievery the proceeds of which they just loooooove dahlings. Bought that Rolls Royce convertible I saw just recently in Queenstown I bet. Ka Ching! Aye boys?
        The LAST thing the criminal overworld would want would be for our primary industry to connect with our city people. City people? Please understand that we farmers don’t hate you. In fact, quite the opposite. Farming people? Go to the cities, smoke a joint or take an E and go to a club and rave. Try it? It’s awesome!
        And that, dear reader, is why the Labour management of our democracy is unable to spread its wings. Labour has been contaminated by lazy, greedy, crooks too. I mean…roger douglas? And his cadre of scum bags? He was Labour’s minister of finance for fucks sake?
        Labour’s fucked. It’s got itself cornered. It tried to run with the hares AND hunt with the hounds but got savaged by a stunted pig flesh pimp with a prison-pussy moustache. I dream of the day when he has to trot that thing out to save his bacon. ( He might have had it shaved off? I can’t look at [it] so I wouldn’t know.)
        Our primary industry farmers, our city living labour force and the Labour Party are a natural born force of nature and if those forces were to meld together we’d see an AO/NZ that would be almost beyond comprehension. Certainly to the homeless, the hungry kids, people living in cars and those living in poverty trying to survive on working two shit paying jobs.
        I think Jacinda Adern is a fabulous person. I think she tries her very best but I do think she needs to let boldness be her friend but perhaps even more so, she needs to court and wed we good farmer people. We’re not all the dipshits the crooks favourite lap dog media; rnz, would have people believe. Not all of us think she’s “just a pretty communist”.

        • Roger Douglas and “Rhodes Scholar ” Richard Prebble sold out labour. Poor David Lange got screwed by them.but then Roger went on to form ACT.We can see How that turned out.

    • Try not to get too excited.. It was the Key government that deliberately created the flood of low skilled immigrants, and with enthusiastic help from Rodney Hyde and John Banks created a dependence on delivering third rate education to Asian students, that left Auckland city littered with shitbox high rise dormitories that are unfit to live in.. It was the Key government that threw thousands of state house tenants out of their homes to free up the land for property developers.. This governments failings are that they aren’t doing anything meaningful to fix an untenable situation.. Never lose sight of just how much the Key government is still holding NZ hostage to his mates, and owners.. This is not making excuses for a piss poor caricature of a labour government, but to shift blame away from where it is due is to lose sight of who the enemy really is..

  2. “By February 1939 state houses were being completed at a rate of 57 per week, with the prospect of the number rising to 70 per week by the end of the year. But with 10,000 applicants already on the waiting list the completion rate fell way short of demand.”

    Worth a read
    https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/state-housing/

    There has always been an inability for the state to provide subsidised housing. Especially when the middle class wanted in on the action of a cheap state house (1950’s).

    “However, it wanted to discourage those who could afford market rents yet sought a state house to avoid doing so. These opportunists, National believed, were responsible for the blow-out of the state-housing waiting list, which now stood at 45,000.”

    State houses were never built “on an industrial scale”, The were always built “too little, too late”. The rose tinted glasses looking at history need a polarised overlay.

    Back in those days the state relied heavily on the private sector to physically build the houses. The state provided the funding and public land. How do you think Fletchers become the industry giant it is today? Started by building state houses.

    Somehow the state needs to get the private sector on board (here or overseas) to actually build the houses (flat pack kitset?). It then has the far bigger problem of making sure that the most deserving actually get to live in them.

    State housing history shows the allocation is the problem (not build). Make them cheap and desirable enough, with the ability to be a tenant for life, the waiting list will always be greater than the state, can build.

    • Agreed Gerrit but something in the order of what is proposed here is needed because this is a powderkeg for our society waiting to go off.

      Stuffing families in motels to keep our warped and ruinous housing situation just the way it is, is a massive failure upon this government and a disgraceful waste of money that could go into public housing otherwise.

      I feel for Mr Minto getting that ghastly reply from Megan Woods. Her job it appears is a fluffer in the PR dept because God knows, she’s achieved sweet FA otherwise.

      • Stuffing families in motels, the alternative National party narrative is to return them to their cars and on the street. Disgraceful waste of money or a compassionate Government? You can’t build 10,000 state houses overnight, National didn’t build any at all and is why we are in the mess we’re in today.

    • Correct, the housing issue was always here, but the government did ‘fix’ it in the 1920’s, when it opened a plant in Frankton. Producing kit-set homes, and used rail to ship it up and down the country. Catering to post WW1 returned servicemen and burgeoning urban drift. It apparently became so successful to the point private companies complained. It ceased and back came the shortage…one of the complainant came from a certain Mr Fletcher, whose company had made its name from state-housing contracts..

      • Slight correction. The factory in Frankton built kit set homes exclusively for the railways department. From inception in 1920, till it closed in 1929, it built a total of 1400 homes to be shipped by rail to railway workers villages along the rail lines. Volume wise it would not have made a dent in the 10,000 homes required to clear the state housing waiting list in 1939.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/123497539/opening-the-door-on-franktons-railway-village

        ” After World War I the department decided to establish a modern sawmill and kitset house factory at Frankton Junction, using rimu and mātai timber cut from its own central North Island forests.

        The factory eventually employed more than 60 workers and even had its own plumbing department to produce baths, sinks, pipes and spouting.

        By the time the factory closed in 1929, it had produced 1400 prefabricated houses,”

      • Lex Leo. The Brits also did this well after the WW11 bombings with an urgent need to replace homes. Some of the temporary albeit cold prefabs are still in use today, with occupants saying they’re happy living in them. Some tower blocks were unsatisfactory for several, often social reasons, and have since been demolished. Other multi- rise dwellings were and are quite liveable in; I had friends in them in Westminster, and Borough, Sth London, who were pleased to have them. I lived very happily in terraced houses in London, stayed in large old apartments in the USA which to my knowledge don’t even exist in New Zealand- but they do all over Europe, and they can provide good inner-city living, with security of tenure. Not everyone wants a quarter acre section and a rose garden.

        New Zealanders are too gutless and uncivilised to enact the sort of anti-noise laws which eg Germany has, because here the quality of life of the power elites is seldom impacted upon by the factors which can make non-rich people’s lives almost intolerable. I have never known a Green politician to address issues of noise pollution – apart from poor Marama Davidson not liking the sound of the c- word.

        Government’s seeming fixation with their own self-imposed narrow housing requirements just look like smoke and mirrors to cloak their other agendas, and to avoid addressing housing issues in a responsible way.

    • And how does that explain Glen Innes, and Point England? Thousands of houses built for the returning servicemen after WW2? If you’re going to quote party political propaganda, especially National party propaganda, how do you ever expect to be taken seriously? Simply repeating the driven that self serving politicians are apt to say for no better reason that to muddy the waters, then really, what is the point of even discussing anything? This shallow , assumptive tripe may be acceptable to those who seem to think you are saying something valid, but that just highlights just how delusional political debate has become in this shithole of a country… A shithole of a country because far too many who now try to pretend they are real “labour” people stood on their hind legs and cheered their colonial masters on, for the puny little bribes they were handed from off the top table… Sooner or later, either the Chinese, or the Americans will be using NZ as either a forward base, or a bolt hole for their elites, and there isn’t a damn thing that will stop them because its own people let it happen… People like you…

  3. The biggest problem with state houses in NZ, apart from supply of course, is the fact that no one that lives in one is moved on to a smaller one!
    A family of, say, 5 or 6 consisting of 3-4 kids and parent(s) given a 3 -4 bedroom house….fast forward 10-15yrs and the kids are now adults and parents living alone in a 3-4 bedroom house, that could be used for a new family with kids, but the state does not move the parents into a smaller house, ‘its our house, we will not move’ they cry….no, it never was ‘your’ house.
    (I know, with rent being what it is these kids will likely not have moved out, but that’s now…the reluctance to downsize the parents and free up a family home has been on going well before the house price/rental cost explosion)
    There should be a legal contract when given a state House, a signed document stating, in say 15yrs, your lease will end and you will be moved to another, smaller, house if the need is still there.
    Or is that being unfair? If you believe so, then there will ALWAYS be a family sized state housing shortage….no matter how many are built.

    • Absolutely. But didn’t the house for life edict come from Helen Clark’s government? And consider – smaller units and shared housing arrangements are not being built. Single, often elderly, women who want to house or flat share are penalised by having their pensions cut.

      • it does have to be said that as demographics and social norms change more and younger ‘singletons’ will become more and more common so the provision of ‘single units’ will become an increasing issue.

    • You wrong again im right they do reallocate people and families I was a tenant for many years. They use to do annual house checks to see what needed to be fixed but they didn’t always fix everything. Its not easy to move elderly people and families out of homes when they have lived in an area and raised all their children for many years. But national had no problem moving Maori and PI families out of parts of Auckland state homes so they could sell the land to developers. Labour are guilty of selling land and homes to but not on the same scale national have done. State housing under both governments was staffed by many racist Pakeha especially in allocations. While there are always some tenants that ruin it for others the majority of State Housing Corporation then HNZ now Kainga Ora tenants do there best to look after these properties.

  4. I’ll hand this to Labour, they give more of a stuff towards low-income people, and people in general, than National do, but this is largely where the differences between these two parties end. They otherwise both prioritize the interests of their capitalist overlords ahead of the interests of their voters, people of this country, and this issue illustrates this point nicely, unfortunately.

  5. What’s the point of building state houses if they incubate elitist money grubbers like John Key and Roger Douglas ?

    Why are renter government politicians like Marama C Davidson hostile to private home owners and dub them millionaires when they are not?

    To be cont.

    • Are these renter politicians representative proportionally of the population. Are 40-50% of MPs renters? Why not? *crickets chirping*

    • Snow White….are you saying no state houses because maybe one of the kids in one may grow up to be a conservative, a National party MP/supporter?…..now I wonder if there is a test you could administer to all state House dwelling children and boot out the ones who show a tendency to not vote left in their adult life!
      That work for you?

      • I’m right. No, of course I’m not saying that. I’ve commented elsewhere about very poor people like John A Lee, emerging from poverty determined to better the lot of others; Norman Kirk, another idealist who built his own house from bricks he made himself after biking home from work. And then there’s the others who pull the ladder up after them, and they are the one’s I do not understand, nor try to.

        There’s lots of good comments here, and there are also other long – established housing options from overseas, and some of us have experienced them, and many do provide good living, and they should be explored better than they seem to be, by successive New Zealand governments. But then I don’t know what government agendas are.

        ( Still don’t see the point though, of enticing immigrants here to get el cheapo labour knowing full well that there’s no accommodation for them and very bleak options.)

        • I agree. The options for migrant workers do appear to be too limited. The fact that New Zealand still appears as an attractive country to them in which to live and work absolutely speaks for itself about his dire their respective home countries are. It’s unfortunate all round. The government ought to make it a priority to provide cheaper housing alternatives for migrant workers.

  6. I don’t see it entirely the same way.

    The Governments appalling failing on the housing front has negative impacted people right across the board, especially middle NZ. We know several young couples including two of my children with a combined income of between 100 and 130k. Each have a deposit including Kiwisaver of around that same figure but they are all unable to buy their own home in their home city (Auckland) in their home country, (NZ). They all continue renting and paying off the mortgage of their landlord. This dynamic has created huge inequity that even blind Freddy can see. The Government has stood by and watched this situation worsen month after month and done very little apart from some near pointless perfunctory tinkering around the edges. They are obviously determined to retain the wealth distribution status quo. To my eye, that is Labour’s biggest betrayal.

    Go onto Youtube and watch old black and white documentaries about housing in NZ and how the Government of the day was determined to give all Kiwi’s a fair go on housing. There was clearly a great sense of community in a country where being a kiwi was a badge of honour. Can you imagine discussions being held back then about greed and inequity where 100 of those properties were not going to 100 young Kiwi families but to one single property investor? Kiwi’s would having been howling about this obscene inequity and putting a stop to it immediately. Fairly confident Brian Tamaki would have been submarine deck cargo also

    It’s prudent and appropriate when discussing the state of our housing to look who has been appointed Minister of housing at this all important time in our history. Phil Twyford, the invisible man who couldn’t boil an egg. When he was brutally exposed, he was replaced by the nauseating and inept Megan Woods who has scored a very well earned 0/100 in her tenure as Housing Minister. Her first goal for 2022 needs to spend less time feasting @ Bellamys courtesy of the taxpayer.

    The Government has at least increased the minimum wage, family tax credits and benefits but that appears to be something they did so they could say they’d done it. There has been talk about sorting out the obscene prices Kiwi families are paying at Supermarkets but that has also come to nothing as per usual. Anything in the too hard basket can be guaranteed to go onto the back burner until the public is appeased with some fluffy soundbites when Ardern feels the need. How can we not be cynical?

    It’s important to acknowledge one aspect here. National were far worse and will be again when they next get the opportunity.

    • don’t worry TM the LINO will shovel tons of money at ‘1st home buyers’ (admin class slang for middle class kids) because now the effects are neo-liberalism are starting to bite their voter base(well more precisely their kids) ie: the higher benefit rates for some during covid, the political class will panic as they know proletarian anger can be managed for a while but the bourgeoise make revolutions…..or we go down the road of continued impoverishment of NZers as per the usa and look forward to the inevitable rise of an NZ trump.

  7. John
    Just like any profit seeking business, Labour have made a cold-blooded calculation. Here goes:
    How many ‘middle-to-upper’ income voters are there? How many ‘no to low’ income voters are there? Can we afford to piss off the middle and still win the election? Yes?…No? Calculator comes out and there you go John, that’s the way it’s done.

      • Would those exploitative employers include those parachuted in to senior positions in the public ‘service’ here to show us (lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight) the way forward?
        My reckons in that space, going forward would also be those that made various promises of investment, and then didn’t deliver. Top of the list would be a Thiel. Somewhere along the way he seems to have changed his name from Theif to Thiel – bt what’s in a name

      • Cancel man. But if they deport those guilty of exploitation, to whom will the knighthoods and Her Majesty’s Honours go ? Even Pat the Postie is now an immigrant on a motorcycle and the nurse with the pearl earrings may be supporting a large family back in the Philippines. And what about our home- grown crooks ? Expand Parliament ?

    • WE have plenty of land for housing, and it’s already built on in the suburbs – but Kiwis hate housing over two stories high so the household density per hectare is very low.

    • If you compare the density of population here and in Europe you can see there is a lot of possibilities here in New Zealand. The other point is that of age, we will need more young working people, otherwise what are you going to do with the old, you cannot just shoot them once they are not productive. So building houses is the onlly solution. There must be examples in the world how to build cheap but good houses quickly.

        • Cancel man. No, the elderly exist to make big bucks for the very rich aged care industry, now being taken over by Indians, and to be kept officiously alive at any cost to make money for the Uber rich pharmaceutical and medical industries so that rest home day rooms can be lined with semi-vegetative oldies, who may have preferred to have had their lives draw to a more natural and peaceful close and not be cared for by somebody speaking English as a second or third language, so that the more compos mentis do not greet each new dawn with dismay that they did not pass peacefully in the night.

          They are also a convenient scapegoat for greedy disgruntled dumbo losers to point their fingers at and accuse, “This is all your fault. “.

    • indeed but that doesn’t only mean immigration, it means stop subsidising excessive breeding…it’d do more good for the planet to not have an ever increasing number of little angels carbon footprints.

        • How dare they want kids.
          Its much better for hte economy to have less kids, say 0.25 on average per young fertile couple and have us old ones live to 120.

            • yeah, cause old people want to live forever, and if no one dies, eventually we run out of space. How dare young people want kids.
              Mind, with identity politics and self id, everyone can now identify as the other sex, go on estrogen/testosterone – all paid for by the tax payer and just be chemically castrated and sterilized at a young age. Eugenics by any other name, of those with mental issues, and see… no kids. And a few more years for some old git in an old folks home who is now allowed to die, cause profit. Ahhh, the kind left. lol

              • Don’t be stupid. Old people rarely want to live forever. Many have had more interesting lives than they ever wanted, are tired, ready to sign off. Voluntary euthanasia supporters have been predominantly older people wanting ownership over how and when they choose to relinquish their current stage of existence.

                Consider volunteering in an old folks home. Speak with them. Most are relaxed about dying, except for a few overly religious scared of going to hell and usually with jolly good reason.

          • Sabine. “ ‘ Fewer’ kids, not ‘ less ‘ kids. “

            “ Less kids” is not just sloppy grammar, but it has physiological and eugenic connotations which you may mot want to know about, even if you were able to understand them.

          • it’s not about inter-generational horseshit sab, it’s about lessening our need to fuck up the planet more and more as time goes on, best contribution anyone can make is only replace yourself and no more, but even that just produces stasis.

  8. It’s almost like they need a ‘Public Works Department’!! The private sector runs on profit, a government service works at cost and provides skills. We need a specialised PWD to tackle some major infrastructure projects in this country. We need a PWD to maintain the aging infrastructure that we DO have. New homes, hospitals, rail links and roading, will all ways creep up in price- so it’s time we got ahead of the curve, as over the next 10 years our population is going to snowball.

    • indeed and secure well paid treatment as actual employees would help tradies the quintessential SMEs, not to mention the pharmac like benefits of large scale materials procurement.

  9. State houses or just houses?

    The underlying issue with the escalating price of accommodation both owned and rented is shortage of stock and that in turn is due to land of land zoned to build on. North of Auckland there are vast swathes of empty land which has no agricultural value. All it needs is Auckland Council to be forced to release a decent chunk of it for building and the problem will disappear within a decade (it’s taken nearly 40 years to get into this mess and it will take a few to get out of it). In fact this was Labour’s stated policy before they got into government – their one good idea, yet they shied away from it. I suspect because it trod on the toes of too many elitist Labour supporters in the council and those with lifestyle blocks up there.

    • I completely agree. This needs to end, the sooner the better. Mooted rent controls, the skyrocketed cost if the Accommodation Supplement, all the associated whinging, it would have been kept to a minimum had the government made good on their policy idea. The land north of Auckland ought to be rezoned and prioritised for working class families as potential house land. It would solve this problem.

  10. This Labour in name ONLY Govt is SHAMEFUL.
    I does NOT care about the working class, ONLY to stay in power. The expression ‘don’t piss up my back and tell me it’s raining’ comes to mind.
    This Govt should be shamed out of office and the country.
    But absent a REAL left wing alternative, they can keep on lying to us, collect a HUGE salary package and laugh (at us !) all the way to a UN type job. The only good news is National would be worse, but more honest about their disgust and contempt of the working class.
    More fool us. The MUGS that let them get away with this.
    Welcome to the slave plantation; Slavelandia. But with LOTS of propaganda to make us feel good about ourselves.

    • I whole heartedly agree Kevin. John and many others have been banging on about this (and rightly so) for years and getting nowhere. Labour has Zero intention of dealing with this. If they had we could have built 30,000 houses by now.

      Someone here said about Labour, at least they genuinely care about poor people unlike National. Well news flash, they dont. All of those who voted for them, many of us faithfully for 30 years who had such high hopes that finally houses would be built got a bucket of divisive identity politic shit. I have never felt more angry with a government or more betrayed. Not because I need the help (havent ever in fact) but because I believe utterly in equality, liberty and fraternity. It was at the heart of NZs values for many years and now its derided as ‘dinosaur’ thinking. Forget housing, just give us water royalties for the tribal elite and transgender high school toilets. That’s what all those poor brown, yellow, white and LGBT people really want.

    • Hmm I think a little Virus has changed the situation.lockdown cut the building trade. Material costs went up.resourse management fees add to the costs.

  11. Not often I agree with John, but I try to play the ball not the man.

    When the (on the napkin) Kiwibuild plan was envisaged, my interpretation was just that, I thought it meant a mass govt building project, possibly even modular houses, that could be mass produced quickly and efficiently at low cost. The govt was the only entity that had the money to build a vast number of homes through economies of scale, all whilst training much needed builders, plumbers and electricians. But we know now that all that was planned was a policy with a catchy name…and that’s about it. There was no actual idea or vision of what it was going to be, apart from a name. Which pretty much sums up this Labour govt.

    We already have private experts in modular houses that are building varied specced homes at various prices, why not, say for giggles sake, ask them what would be needed to mass produce their production line, and bloody do it!

    FFS it’s not that hard.

    • Agreed, so the ONLY sensible conclusion is they do NOT want to fix the problem, for reasons we are NOT ALLOWED to know.
      But keep on voting for then…….

  12. Having helped at the city mission in Chch and seeing the queue for food parcels I marvel that after the Labour government got such a large mandate at the last election they could have allowed this to happen on their watch . Imaging the headlines if National had allowed houses prices to rise so rapidly making so many wealthy while others need to beg.
    I wonder if Labour are happy to see this fear in people that worry if they vote them out and National they could change the rules and one of these groups would suffer more .

  13. I think it would be nice to return to the 5.4% housing stock ratio, and certainly, it’s overdue. The reason is because the gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably; and, additionally, the gap between the welfare class and the working class has lessened, if you consider all the entitlements such as a clothing allowance, transport allowance, accommodation supplement, the recent increase in the amount of the benefit itself, compared with workers who are earning above minimum wage but are struggling with high rent prices, high petrol prices, high electricity prices, and expensive grocery prices. When the price of a rolled pork roast goes up by $3.00 in one week which equates to a twenty percent increase, laundry powder goes up by $2.00 which is a fifty percent increase, and cheese goes up by $1.50 which is a fifteen percent increase, along with forty percent of other everyday household goods going up in cost, you know that State intervention is required.

    Rent in cities is high. The trend has been for landlords to push up rent prices to cover the cost of maintenance, like installing pink Batts, installing heat pumps, and getting the windows double glazed or the driveway tar sealed, but also for big employers in cities to restructure, either partially or to completely close. This is a dangerous trend. It has been with us since 2015, when 850 jobs were lost in this country in a single week.

    The idea to shift some of the responsibility of social housing onto religious organisations and charities, a valid one. Unfortunately, in these times, surpluses are all of a sudden diminished as the demand for emergency assistance has skyrocketed.

    There is a need there now, and I definitely feel it is an ongoing one, for the working class to be provided with affordable accommodation, and not simply the beneficiary class. In terms of affordable housing, I’m not referring to just accommodation parks.

    Then, the cost of almost everything needs to be reevaluated. State intervention would be needed in order to lower the cost of groceries. There has been extra competition in the power supply market of late, so perhaps State intervention isn’t required there.

  14. With this and other NZ governments ignoring the ‘Right’ to housing.

    There is a $2b saving this government could make by building more houses! The $2b+ accommodation subsidy paid by WINZ/MSD to private landlords!
    And then the hundreds of millions of dollars in health costs that could be saved!
    The thousands of long term, secure jobs that a massive housing construction program would bring to people too, would be a bonus considering real unemployment sits at 11.2%!!

    The thousands of local businesses will then provide more jobs for more people.

    That is a plan that is more ‘productive’ use of $57b, than just printing a massive amount of QE for an exclusive ‘Rentier’ club to profit from. A huge $400b in wealth was gamed from the $100b bazooka Robo loaded and shot at the wealthy folks only. That is $400b on non-productive putea!

    This labour government needs to get a reality check in 2023 or sooner!

  15. The woke have betrayed low income NZer’s by allowing them to be further victimised by their virtue signalling of prioritising those that harm others or compete with low income people coming to NZ, or to profit and exploit low income people coming to NZ.

    Rogernoms and woke finally agree on something!

  16. Thanks John. Allow me to comment thus; The problem with building State Housing is when National come in they sell off the best.. so the supply graph goes up when Labour are in and then down when there is a inevitable change of Govt. The answer is to use the UK model of helping Housing Associations and Co-Operatives get going from communities to develop housing for their specific needs or location. However the Govt needs to set up a agency made up of Housing Professionals to help make this happen along with low interest loans and proper audits. Self Build Co Housing is another model that needs a leg up. Give tenants a stake in their homes and they will maintain them. It needs money to get going and politicians who can deliver without a One Size Fits All approach and respect for local democracy.

    • It doesn’t really matter if National DO sell the state housing afterwards. Though I don’t think it honorable.
      Unless National bulldoze the hosing built by a TRUE Labour Govt, then they still exist and either they become a rental or a home owner lives in it.
      Then it’s a supply-demand situation. And SURELY with more supply and less demand (slow down immigration) then REAL prices have to fall.

      • easy peasey chocolate squeezy labour make it absolutely plain that when they have the opportunity they will take back those properties without compensation thus drastically reducing their attractiveness as ‘investments’….the bank will still want the mortgage paying…oh no speculators will go bust you say…well they can lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.

  17. What are the economic reasons that explain why no NZ government will increase state housing supply beyond 3.6%?
    What happens to the private rental market if you increase the supply of social housing? Demand for private rentals declines leading to a decline in the revenues available. This could lower the value of residential property in NZ and this is where it gets serious because a decline in the value of NZ property is a systemic risk to the major Australian banks who are on the hook for billions in mortgage debt.
    While no-one will say it openly Treasury and the Reserve Bank will be ensuring that housing supply is constrained to levels that maintain high values even if that means having a non-voting minority of the population go without altogether.
    Things will only change when that non-voting minority becomes a voting majority – maybe in a couple of generations as home ownership rates in NZ continue to decline.

  18. Screwed the disabled totally.
    No affordable cannabis options and no home grow, zero compassion shown.
    review on benefits, selected the least they had to do for the cheapest and let the rest rot
    now they talked up a review of the disability situation and if its anything like the past it will actually make our lives worse and its more likely to be just words on paper and alot of hand waving but fuck all action.
    They can stick voting from now on, Im fucking done with it.

  19. Saw a news report yesterday talking about the decline in the Chinese economy and said the first ones to feel it included the timber industry.
    There goes where all our timber was going and why ours is so expensive.
    This is what influence buys China, a govt eating out of its hand not willing to deal to the local issue for the benefit of international clients.
    Free trade agreement that doesnt benefit most of us.

  20. The wheels are ever so slowly starting to fall off the Cindy Wagon. It’s taken a while for people to work out, that you need more than “being kind” as a policy.

    Citizen’s, Ratepayers and Taxpayers who actually pay for everything these people dream up have already had a guts full of the “be kind” nonsense. Tipping hundreds of millions of dollars into regions based on ethnicity and race to shore up the Maori vote is going to bite them on the bum too!

    Taxpayer money should be allocated on need, that money going up north won’t do anything meaningful for the poor Maori up north, their political noisemakers will get most of it, it’s designed to ensure Labour get support in the next election! Buying votes with taxpayers money that’s not a good look at all!

  21. The wheels are ever so slowly starting to fall off the Cindy Wagon. It’s taken a while for people to work out, that you need more than “being kind” as a policy.

    Citizen’s, Ratepayers and Taxpayers who actually pay for everything these people dream up, have already had a guts full of the “be kind” nonsense. Tipping hundreds of millions of dollars into regions based on ethnicity and race to shore up the Maori vote is going to bite them on the bum too!

    Taxpayer money should be allocated on need, that money going up north won’t do anything meaningful for the poor Maori up north, their political noisemakers will get most of it, it’s designed to ensure Labour get support in the next election! Buying votes with taxpayers money that’s not a good look at all!

    • Grant that is a very racist view we pay taxes mate and we have never got our fair share. And we are getting back from all governments fuck all compared to what they stole from us.

  22. Let’s be quite honest. Nowhere in the past 4 years had Labour demonstrated the slightest hint they have plan much less the audacity to do something creative to fix this horror story.

    We have Jacindas musing on rare occasions that she wouldn’t like to see prices keep climbing.

    We have Megan Woods telling us it’s everyone else’s fault.

    We have teeny tiny tinkering.

    We are still waiting for the “market” to save the day. Or a unicorn jumping over a rainbow.

    The truth is Labour have NO plan and NO idea. It’s simply not in their current DNA to problem solve. They’re are a group of middle class school leaver politicians who don’t have a practical bone in their bodies.
    All they can do is market catch phrases and create ways to get it out of the headlines.

    They’re useless. And really, they’re part of the problem!

  23. Labour’s betrayal of low income New Zealanders was the Rogernomics government of 1984-90.
    The neo-liberals hijacked the Labour Party, driving the true Labour people out of the party, putting people like Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, David Caygill, and others into positions of power that rendered PM David Lange largely a rubberstamp.
    They were then free to inflict onto a hitherto unaware New Zealand the delights of high inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment, high national debt and foreigners carving up NZ for themselves – with nothing to show for it in the end except bulging wallets for the elite.
    I don’t think the present Labour government is anything like that.
    Their problem is excessive caution, and that has stymied most of the necessary (and sometimes) radical change which was needed after nine years of do-nothing self-satisfied National indifference.
    The things that needed to happen – a capital gains tax, big investment in state housing and measures to combat climate change have either been half-hearted watered down shlock, or haven’t happened at all.
    In short, they haven’t betrayed anyone, but their progress is so minor that it is easy to mistake it as betrayal.
    And to think they have an absolute majority in parliament but are too shit scared to actually use it.
    If National were in the same position they would have no qualms about selling the country out to the highest bidder, especially if it was China doing the bidding.

    • ike the Lefty
      Where exactly did the Labour Gang sign away our control of our country and economy? Was it when they signed up ‘open- everything’ trade treaties or before? Can we find a wormhole out of this space junk that we revolve in a featureles desert reflecting the inside of speculators’ heads?

      Are we a new dire Gyre?
      The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, otherwise known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” is considered the world’s largest accumulation of ocean plastic. It’s so massive, in fact, that researchers found it has been colonized by species — hundreds of miles away from their natural home.2/12/2021
      There’s so much plastic floating on the ocean surface, it’s …
      https://www.cbsnews.com › news › plastic-ocean-new-mar…

    • ” Their problem is excessive caution ”

      Their problem is self interest in their own financial future , personal political legacy and absolutely no courage to act as true members of the labour movement and what it used to represent and why it was formed in 1916.

      They stand and will fight for nothing except retaining the current system which benefits the property rich and the billionaire , millionaire class and if you look at most of the marketing and advertising in NZ most of it is aimed at the groups i mentioned.

      NZ really is two different alternative realities.

      You are free or you are enslaved based on your financial position and the NZLP should be prosecuted for false advertising claiming the are ” Labour ” when they are anything but.

  24. I completely agree. Shelter is a basic human right. The State should be engaged in a massive expansion of public housing. But this is a government of university “educated” identity politicians, who don’t give a flying fuck about working people. Suck it up.

  25. John – Somewhere in my paper files I have ministerial replies which are exemplary examples of how things should be done, with detailed responses, and with no patronising pr. Both are from Jonathan Coleman when he was Minister of Health. They would have been written by MoH staff, and are worth noting as I have previously noted my less than favourable opinion of the MoH, but Coleman ( or his staff ) did things properly and professionally, and I appreciated it.

    The other first class written response is from a Prebble – not the ill-tempered one- as State Services Commissioner. He replied at length to each point raised, although from memory I think that there was only one issue with which he unreservedly agreed.

    I don’t think I’ve emailed an MP, except as part of a petition, but I don’t do those now. Inboxes get swamped with mail which might be skimmed through, but recipients are forced to open and read a hard copy letter. The inadequate response which your group received may simply reflect another second-rater from the University of Waikato or some other wish-washy educational premise. It is still not nearly good enough.

  26. Appreciate a Minto intent on our internal affairs. I use the words of Sue whatshername, a great hero, 84 was an agreement to leave the neediest behind, as opposed to the social democratic consensus from 35.

  27. One thing we should remember about the large scale state housing building programme in the 1930s was that it was done almost exclusively with NZ-made products.
    The houses were, by today’s standards, draughty, damp, cold and uninsulated but there was plenty of cheap firewood around to stave off the winter cold.
    When we build houses now, apart from the timber beams just about everything is imported – mostly from Asia.
    Some of our wood is exported so that we can import it again as a finished product – like MDF.
    Apart from food products – we manufacture little in this country any more and have become very vulnerable to shortages and problems with supply from other countries.
    People demand to know why we can’t build a whole lot of houses quickly, like China does.
    The answer is that if you want to build in China you have just about everything you need either close at hand or easily obtainable, plus a huge workforce.
    Cities like Fushan (near Guangzhou) specialize in making furniture, kitchen and bathroom equipment.
    You don’t have to put in orders to some foreign country a few months ahead like we do in New Zealand. Also you are not stymied by rocketing shipping prices and import politics.
    One of the legacies of the Rogernome and succeeding National governments was that New Zealand’s manufacturing base was almost wiped out and now we are paying the price in more ways than one.
    I don’t think we could ever do a build on the scale of the original state housing development anymore.

  28. Oh! This is probably why!?

    Last week at the UN, a resolution was put up and the NZ UN dipshit voted for it by abstaining!

    “The resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices” that contribute to racism, xenophobia and intolerance…”

    So lil ole NZ is heading toward fascism and Altra Right under a Labour government ffs!

  29. While unprecedented levels of children living in poverty,homelessness at record levels unprecedented house price increases Jacinda Ardern plans wedding at American hedge fund billionaires place.
    Guests like famous pop singers.
    Disgraceful display of wealth by our caring Prime Minister.

    • Jeremy. Shh. Don’t let on about the venue or John the Hair Fetishist could turn up and torment the waitresses. They’re probably having it at the Eketahuna Salad Bar anyway: Uncle Trevor said they’ve been planting out petunias, putting in gold fish ponds, and bought up all the Boy Scouts tents. G’Ma Nancy says nothing is true.

    • Jeremy – Arden is smitten by pop singers the way that John Key was with Hollywood. When Ed Sheerhan visited New Zealand, she invited him for tea and scones, saying that she never thought he’d come – photo op with Clarke followed etc. It could all be a ploy to get kids’ votes, or it could be her level . NZ’ers hate intelligent or well educated people – National are as bad or worse, and the Greens are loonies – the quality of the pollies is a serious problem.

  30. Jeremy – I laughed when I saw that, especially with the PM being labelled a socialist and even a Marxist, but what the hell. I’m sure Lorde is a good pop singer, but not quite the same class as Kiri Te Kanawa. More and more weddings latterly have been home based, but not everybody has whanau who can fish and gather seafood, or shoot the odd deer, and grow greens and kumara. I’m confident that the wedding dress will be a silhouette along the lines of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s , or Meghan Markle’s second marital frock. No veil, and whatever the foot wear, it has to be better than Bennett’s. Golly this is exciting.

  31. I never thought that in a million years I would ever agree with John Minto. What has the world come to. I have seen personally the crap emergency and transitional housing and fobbed off by Woods to Poto Williams. All spin and no substance. Signed petition will be ignored by the most incompetent government. Recommend you read Sir Ian Taylor in the Herald like him a life long labour supporter. I wish she would remove Mickey Savages photo behind her.

  32. Jacinda is sending all the right signals to her poor needy voters: billionaire wedding venue…exclusive Lorde singing…nice one. A wedding for the working people.

      • Bert – Joke song, right ? Directing innocent people to some guy wearing too much make-up wailing insipidly about jealously ? Of whom or what ?

        I happen to take marriage seriously, and this particular wedding being comic- booked could, and should, have been handled with much greater discretion than it has been. Flinging words like jealousy around is idiotic, buys into the circus.

        • Thank You GA, hardly an event that brings up feelings of jealousy. Bile maybe.
          You need to know that Bertie is Jacinda’s number one fan and will defend her at all costs, even if she stuck a little puppy into a blender. And…he would be honoured to press the button if Jacinda asked him to.

      • Bert, why should anyone be jealous about a middle-aged woman with a child getting married at some rich guy’s house ? If you think that the poor are jealous, then I’m not sure if you have an inkling of what does pre-occupy the lives of the poor.

  33. Jeremy It isn’t all PK Jacinda’s fault that NZ is a low income swamp. The low income group didn’t mind in the past that they weren’t rich as long as they could work for wages giving discretionary spending power, to better their financial, material and cultural standing.

    We didn’t do well on all three fronts but Labour worthies were the ones to dive into the liberal trough; liberal with benefits for the in-crowd. And they are still there in power. PM Jacinda should be allowed her nice wedding. The country has to keep face, we have to fake it as is we can make it. Jacinda has earned her Big Day Out by sticking with the task – she’s our country’s own Olympics winner. Have a look at the right-wing opposition in her own ranks and the fat-cat advisors to Labour who eat flakies and pears for breakfast (populist economic absolutism rhetoric).

  34. Greywarbler. Yes, let the lady have a nice wedding, and the best of luck there. It’s not like it’s a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – the Lorde thing is a bit bitty, but the pop world and Hollywood seem to be a universal with politicians (and ex-royals) now, and the glossies like it all.

  35. The supermarket women’s mag seemed to be super-ficial, filled with stories about royals or celebrities, especially being caught with their pants down. Schadenfreude or adulation, that’s the sensational line. (PM Jacinda is a celebrity now but is still politicking away, which is the factor of interest to me – what’s the ratio of earnest responsible politician to celebrity-riding, future and upwardly mobile personal investor?)

    Looking at an old NZWW, it had some real information about a wider range of people and places. Now often fronting with Harry and Meghan who seem to be in the throes of publicity. It’s as if Harry is caught up in his mother’s time warp, caught in a cobweb while the media sucks him dry. And Meghan, lacks some needed royal reticence?

    • Gagarin. Yep, it’s a distraction that we knew was coming, but, unlike a royal wedding, it won’t line the pavements with throngs of well-wishers, or fill any coffers, and nor will the surrounding streets need to be cleared of beggars beforehand which is just as well as not everyone fancies sleeping under a bridge
      – we don’t have the marvellous old railway arches that the Brits have, in fact we have damned all railways.

      There’s one or two aspects which have seen pretentious, especially for a supposed leftie, then whoops adding a pop star to the mix drags everything back down to earth again. Lorde looks ok, and she has a nice yellow frock, and I gather that she’s rich, which is the main thing nowadays and at least she doesn’t whip all her clothes off in public. If the speeches get reported in the women’s mags, it doesn’t matter, as people only buy them for the pictures. I have to say that publishing the menu is infra dig, but in my waitressing days there was an occasion I managed to scoff a few Bluff oysters before the guests got at them… once upon a time people were deported for less than that. Everyone needs to tread carefully, it’s getting complicated.

      • it’ll fill the celebrity gossip mags and the NZ media for a few weeks so job done, though it’s a weird time to throw their last grenade…..maybe there’s worse over the horizon that we’ll need distracting from.

  36. Carrying on with theideas that a special wedding bring to mind – what about some Jacinda and hubby plus Neve coffee cups? We need to get some spin-off commerce from everything that happens, what with NZ being so lacking in home-grown business and employment these days.

    Cups to be made here of course with NZ labour. I have some Temuka ware., lovely design. And Crown Lynn, might have been spin-offs from overseas, but still our stuff. Of course that’s how Japan pulled itself up by its bootstraps (jandal-straps?) after WW2. they copied everything, re-engineered etc., got their own businesses going, and worked hard at getting markets overseas. Think Honda.* We are at a low, and need to make opportunities, they could be exported as PM Jacinda has a reputation overseas.

    * https://www.hondacarindia.com/about/honda-motor-co-founder
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Honda_Motor_Company#History
    https://www.autonationhonda104.com/honda-history.htm

  37. Is the ‘Bishop’ Tamaki going to conduct the wedding ceremony for Jacinda and whatshisname that flicks houses on State-Run TV?

    Serious question because I hear they’re going to rally the wedding!

  38. Grey Warbler. Alas, I think Temuka ware is no longer, and it sells in the Sallies as vintage collectibles. Tomato Joe the market gardener came from Temuka but he’ll be long gone now. There was Maxwell’s dairy factory there also, but they’ll have been swallowed up long ago too – they made their own cheeses. I suppose it could all make a comeback as craft cheese at twice the price with fancy packaging.

    I could have got my Samoan neighbours to provide the music, but they have a penchant for drum music, which, between you and me, has never seemed quite right for a wedding. Bill English who suddenly became a Samoan chieftain up in Auckland could have produced a boys’ choir, their choral singing can be truly stunning, but it’s more traditional folk and spiritual than pop, and I doubt that they are rich people. Some could even live in garages, but they still produce music which is a tribute to the human spirit. Is that a Kiwi sort of thing any more ? Glossie mag material ? Poor people ?

    Not Tamaki. And if he stages a rally at the wedding, then water bomb his idiotic mob, they look as if they could do with a clean up, enough is enough.

  39. No not Tamaki and his boys, and female cohorts – they will be in black won’t they. It’s an in thing amongst the public these days, once mainly for funerals so what does that say about NZ. I hope that PM Jacinda wears some pastel colour and lets her feminine sentimental side out,.

  40. Love the response to your ideas, John.

    I would like this place to take over from the neoliberal The Standard. After all, we are right. And Labour is just a media pretty picture scared of all shadow. Though learning about how to push through in some cases. Not for Maori, obviously.

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