Kitset Solutions: Imagine Housing The Homeless For $15,000 Per Unit


A MATE OF MINE sent me an e-mail. “I guess no one told Phil Twyford about Ali Baba.” I followed the link to an advertisement for kitset homes manufactured in China.  You could have one of these: completely broken down and shipped to your nearest port in a container; for approximately $NZ15,000.

The quality of the home I cannot vouch for, but that really isn’t the point, is it? If this Government had possessed the courage to, just once, think outside the square, then by now the housing crisis would be over. By negotiating a deal with the Chinese, whereby cheap kitset homes were shipped to New Zealand at a fraction of the cost of building a similar house here, the social and economic problems attributable to the lack of low-cost housing could have been tackled head-on.

The potential problems associated with the quality of these kitset homes could easily have been addressed at a government-to-government level. Given the enormous pay-off for Beijing, the durability and weatherproofness of such dwellings could be guaranteed. With the state supplying the land and installing the necessary infrastructure, whole towns could have sprung up out of the ground with astonishing speed – as they once did in the days when New Zealand still possessed a Ministry of Works.

Just think of the economic and social impact of being able to supply a warm, dry, and healthy home for every family in need of one. The satisfaction of this need would, obviously, have reduced property speculation dramatically and kept private-sector rents low. In response, investment would have been re-directed away from real estate and into more productive areas of the economy.

Welcome as these effects might be, they would pale into insignificance when compared to the improvement universal housing would bring to New Zealand’s rapidly declining social indicators.

The educational performance of New Zealand’s poorest children would improve rapidly once their parents were safely and securely housed. Nothing retards a child’s educational attainment like being forced to move frequently from house to house and school to school. The elimination of serious overcrowding would also eliminate a broad range of the physical and mental health problems generated by too many people living in too little space. Domestic violence, too, would reduce dramatically.

Solving the housing crisis would reveal to every New Zealander just how many of the country’s other problems are the direct result of widespread homelessness and unrelenting housing insecurity.

The problem, of course, is that even if this government’s first housing minister, Phil Twyford, had been made aware of the capacity of the Chinese construction industry to meet the demand for cheap public housing, he would have been confronted immediately with a whole host of obstacles.

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Obviously, New Zealand’s domestic construction industry would have screamed blue-bloody-murder at the price-depressing effects of such formidable foreign competition. The seriously disrupted relationship between local government, land-bankers and builders would, similarly, have provoked loud protests. The most ear-splitting shrieks, however, would have come from landlords. Overnight, their business model would have collapsed – along with their ability to ruthlessly immiserate their tenants by constantly ratcheting-up rents.

Owning multiple properties would no longer make commercial sense. Thousands of former rental properties would thus be put up for sale in what would very soon become a buyers’ market. What had been a crippling shortage of affordable housing would suddenly become a glut. Prices would tumble, and the dream of home-ownership for middle-class thirty-somethings would be realised.

As this cascade of consequences descended upon the New Zealand economy, homeowners would watch with mounting horror as the putative value of their houses declined precipitously. The powerful sense of well-being engendered by the seemingly unstoppable rise of house prices, sweetened by the prospect of pocketing hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in tax-free capital gains when they eventually sold-up and moved to the provinces, would evaporate in a red mist of anger and resentment.

Exposed, in all its ugly reality, would be the naked class interests bound up in the maintenance of the housing crisis. By freeing the working-poor and beneficiaries from the misery of housing insecurity and homelessness, the Deus ex machina of cheap Chinese kitset homes, purchased with cheap Chinese credit, would have produced a profound re-ordering of class relations. The 60 percent of New Zealanders who had been on the winning side of the housing crisis would not have been best pleased.

To strategic onlookers located in Washington, London and Canberra, such a sudden reversal of class fortunes, especially one made possible by the shrewd intervention of Beijing, would’ve been utterly unacceptable. As disturbing to our “allies” as it was to those on the deal’s domestic downside.

The very idea of the New Zealand working-class clasping with relief and gratitude the helping hand offered to them by a courageous Labour Government, and its Chinese Communist partners, would give New Zealand’s Five Eyes partners the screaming heebie-jeebies. In the time it takes to “make the economy scream”, Jacinda Ardern would’ve found herself walking the same path as Salvador Allende.


The problem is not that New Zealand’s housing crisis cannot be fixed, but that it is not in the unequivocal material interest of enough New Zealanders to allow it to be fixed – not even at Ali Baba’s knock-down price of $15,000 per unit.



  1. But Chris, you know full well the problem with your sound proposal: it isnt this govt’s idea, it’s yours. You know how this govt works. They will listen to none but themselves. They need to go – for the sake of NZ making progress.

    • … and National were any different?

      This government is not perfect – but it has shown it cares for NZ by putting people lives ahead of business interests during the Covid era. Sure, there is still plenty if dissonance within this government, but negotiating the pandemic is like building a plane while it is in flight – very tricky. They aren’t getting everything right but the option is more neoliberalism and austerity – I would rather try and wax a cat!

      • Bob
        Yeah, maybe National are no different. But Labour are in charge of it and promised to fix the problem. How much longer you push that line? All Labour fans sing Blur Song No2…”it’s not my prooooblem…woohoo”

      • You’re wasting your breath on this clown Bob. He most certainly isn’t the voice of reason yet is holier-than-thou on how others see things.

      • Also Bob…Jacinda was voted in on the promise to be transformational. Stew on that empty promise a bit.

        • The New Kraut


          “relating to or involving transformation or transformations”.

          I was deeply disappointed with the cannabis referendum. Many of us waited for decades for this referendum only to see it butchered by vested interest misinformation and fear mongering. Conservative and religious BS won the day with their extremely well funded campaign that amounted to an attack on our democracy. Jacinda Ardern was not to blame. The fact she pushed for the referendum was transformational. You could have lived five lifetimes and the National Party would never have permitted a Cannabis Referendum. Had the referendum been successful, the Government would have indeed been seen by many as transformational.

          The end of life referendum was transformational.

          The National Party ran a low wage economy in NZ where business profits were the only visible goal. The raising of the minimum wage went some way toward redressing the balance. This was transformational. The National Party protested about this transformational change every step of the way.

          Unfortunately, most of the good achieved via minimum wage increases has been cancelled out by the obscene inequity of our housing market. The National Party and their supporters should be the very last people in NZ critiquing the management / mismanagement of the housing market by anyone else.

          Had Ardern got the CGT over the line, we would have seen a transformational change in our housing market but unfortunately, the serious constitutional threat by Winston Peters on the back of a well funded high profile and vested interest campaign put a stop to the CGT. Can we blame Ardern for this? We could but that would lack insight.

          Context is very important. When Ardern in opposition under Andrew Little helped set out their plans there was no Covid in the picture. There was no prospect of tens of thousands of cashed up Kiwis suddenly returning from offshore etc.

          There was no unprecedented, devastating and diabolical Christchurch massacre to deal with. There was no White Island volcano eruption etc etc.

          In my opinion, Ardern has been outstanding in some areas but has failed in others. When we are filling out her report card we must include context or the report is pointless.

  2. Kitset houses. Who ever would have thought? Next there’ll be sliced bread. Hang on….

    Excellent piece.

    Labour do not want to acknowledge the housing catastrophe much less address it. I can’t recall where I read it yesterday but Grant Robertson claimed that New Zealanders do not want house prices to drop. Hence he doesn’t give a shit. Despite a recent survey that said 70+% wanted exactly that, prices to drop.

    And there in lies the problem with this government. Labour is stacked with professional politicians who know nothing else, obsessed only with poll watching. They have only one goal, to get re-elected. And as a result they have few if any bottom lines except what polls tell them to think.

    Hence the oily Jacinda monologues, to pretend they care. Thing is she is none too convincing nowadays.

    Labour want housing just the way it is and they do not care about it because the polls tell them not to worry. Voters who own homes and the wealthy vote, and a housing crisis is what they want. And Labour are happy to deliver. Why? Because they’re too stupid, too one dimensional and too privileged to see the damage it is doing. They’re insulated in their well paid jobs, ironically housed as part of the deal, and tucked away in Wellington to ever realise what lasting harm their intentional neglect is doing.

    For housing, Labour like National are simply a major part of the problem, not the solution. They need to be told that at the next election!

    • I think both parties are afraid of what it might do to our local industry , as Chris quite rightly points out, they would scream blue murder.

    • “Thing is she is none too convincing nowadays.”
      That was always going to happen. When you’re reliant almost entirely on marketing the message, people will eventually tire of it. It becomes a bit like really painful television advertising when you just want to scream at ads being thrashed to death.
      Sure there is room for giving concise clear messaging – such as in the case of COVID 19, but when people begin to detect PR spin and bullshit that’s clearly at odds with what they’re experiencing on the ground, it all becomes a bit hollow.
      I’m probably more reluctant to see JA negatively than your are @XRAY, because PR spin and message marketing is her forte, and really pretty much all she’s ever known. But it holds up only for so long.
      Stuff and things need to actually get done, and sometimes it’s better to just get the fuck on with things quietly in the background.
      I guess there’ll always be a job for her at Saatchi and Saatchi and Saatchi and Saatchi or whoever they’ve rebranded themselves as these days.
      And then of course the senior ranks in our public service. They know all the buzz words and managerialist theory – such as being ‘change agents’, and committed to reform and continuous improvement. The reality is getting them to get on with things such as implementing changes associated with the Public Service Act 2020 will be like getting an RSS Hindu to convert to Islam. If not Neoliberalism, then the 3rd Way is their religion and they appear to have had imagination bypass surgery as they move from one gig to the next. And they know they’ll never be held to account – all they need do is piss in the pockets of their responsible Ministers, not surprise them in any way that causes them embarrassment, and their career security is guaranteed. They can even break the law with impunity, as we’ve seen.

      • With Jacinda to start with, I believed what she was saying.

        A couple of years in I still wanted to believe what she was saying and that she still cared.

        Now, on that rare day she commits to anything, I take it with a grain of salt and consider it nothing more than premium Jacinda spin until facts prove otherwise.

        Quite right, this approach taken, if done to mislead, always had a use by date.

  3. 1. When a situation becomes extreme we get evolution and innovation. Good stuff.
    2. Many people are looking at kitset homes and tiny homes as an alternative. Great.
    3. We must go high tech to make them easy living and attractive-eg solar for lower power consumption.
    3. Don’t get rubbish from China. We have NZ companies who meet NZ standards.
    4. Governments are understandably scared to innovate, so maybe it needs to be driven by the people.
    5. Every town needs a site for tiny homes.
    6. Don’t leave the growth of urban areas to 90 year old market gardeners with land on the edge of towns.
    7. Three waters -excellent! They could rip green field sites up for sections as part of the plan-too easy. 1Km a day water pipes.
    The solutions are quite simple for the average kiwi. But we have a real hesitancy to change from those who are a condom on the prick of progress. Look at our legal system -hasn’t been changed in 500 years. Despite so many dodgy outcomes and those dodgy looking curly wigs!

  4. In fact Twyford was initially looking at this option and had arranged to do a deal with a Vietnamese company to deliver houses off the ship, plug in, complete with curtains. I’ve seen examples – they’re really good.
    Then reality dawned:
    > Where is the land to put them on?
    > Who builds the roads?
    > Who lays the sewers and builds the new waste water treatment plant?

    In each instance the council (and here I’m talking Auckland) told him to bugger off, because they won’t release land for building, wouldn’t give them a building permit and don’t have the budget to deliver the infrastructure.

    • I have heard similar stories, Andrew.

      What remains to be explained is why Twyford’s colleagues didn’t pick up the phone and tell Goff et al that if they didn’t co-operate with the Government, then it would legislate right over the top of them.

      That’s what Norman Kirk would have done.

      • 100% Chris! Bear in mind this was actual Labour policy right up until they were elected. A view options have passed through my mind on the topic:

        One can imagine that the existence of a large cohort of Labour voting councillors, Mayor and staff in Auckland Council had toes that couldn’t be trodden on.

        Maybe it was because literally nobody in the incoming Labour government had any experience of leadership or management so were too timid to kick backsides.

        It may be mere coincidence that both of the super city’s mayors live on lifestyle blocks outside of town, as well as a lot of the movers & shakers in this town. These people wouldn’t want the hoi polloi living across the road.

  5. What happens if in 12 months time these kitset homes start to fall apart? Who pays and does Ali Baba have a remedial repairs department. I’m sure proposals similar have been considered and dismissed with the obvious pitfalls become apparent. There is no silver bullet to this problem.

    • As I wrote in the post, Frank, the quality problem would need to be addressed at a government-to-government level.

      NZ would make it clear to the PRC that substandard product would not be acceptable. I have no doubt that Xi Jinping and his comrades, assessing the huge geopolitical pay-off from taking their Belt & Road initiative into a democratic Western nation, would make very sure that there were no embarrassing stories about Chinese kitset houses falling apart.

      Labour would have an equally large interest in making sure these “Commie kitsets” were comfortable, healthy and weatherproof.

      Sadly, our Five Eyes “partners” would have an equally large interest in making sure the project never got off the ground.

      The CIA call this sort of problem “the danger of a good example”.

    • nice tanky boy, I vape and the chinese lead that field in both innovation and quality, yes different manufacturers have different products…that’s why you do RESEARCH before purchase, if I can do it for an atomiser the govt can for kitsets….

      the days of ‘ jerry built and german tin plate rubbish(now highly collectable) jap-crap(bet you subscribed to that one huh franky?) ‘made in korea/hong kong/taiwan’ rubbish…and ‘chinese crap’ are well and truly OVER.

      get with the programme frank.

    • FTT
      Chris is on the money. Think lateral. Don’t look for obstacles. You won’t believe all the quality stuff now being made in China or Vietnam…boats, machinery, the laptop you are using, your quality jeans. Here’s how it works:
      Lets say 15k for that kit set house as is is fine, but NZ needs better specs. So make us one for say 25K or 30K or 35K using better materials and better methods. You plant a small project team (non govt!) from NZ into China to manage the project and help supervise the factories for the duration of a few years (great job!). That’s how high end boat or machinery brands do it. Now you get a more acceptable kitset house, as if built in NZ, but still for one tenth of the price it would cost here.
      Land? Easy, just apply the 3Waters principle: pretend to consult with councils (AKL) over available land, then just override council and grab it. Pay the owners fair value and there you have it. AKL council needs that kind of approach as it is totally out of control anyway.
      So Frank, where is the problem? Chris, I can only see upsides to your proposal.
      Oh oh….here come the naysayers…put your helmet on…

  6. Be interesting to add to the cost of the kitset house (NZ$ or US$ ??) the land cost, section development cost (3 waters, electricity, roads, schools, shops, etc) PLUS the consent fees local councils charge.

    Hopefully you will have a fully compliant house for around $100K.

    Which is good.

    The biggest problem I see is the land and ownership thereof. How many can you fit at Ihumatao?

    Not to many bare single sections for sale so the state is gong to have to free up land somewhere. (Or as Bomber would say nationalise the golf clubs and use the land to plonk houses on)

    Here is South Auckland we have massive state housing projects (eg. Rowandale) where some 30 state houses have been demolished and some 120 multi story units placed on their former sections. All good, but;

    No extra class rooms for Rowandale primary school, no playgrounds, no shops, no doctors, no green spaces, etc. One thing to build a whole lot of houses, quite another to create a livable village. No room for a car but because a village has not been created, each dwelling needs at least one car to access essential services. So roads get cluttered, next we have a 30K zone and speed humps the make the road “safer” slowing public transport to a crawl. Medium density housing for the poor, ghetto’s in the making?

    The kitset home is but a single item to create livable villages within the urban environment.

    • All true, Gerrit.

      But as I noted in a reply above, governments have the power to legislate obstacles out of existence.

      Also, there is real economic value in the construction of useful infrastructure – likes sewers, roads and footpaths.

      What’s really lacking in this government is vision and will.

      • make the needed infrastructure part of any development deal…the chinese are good at the infrastructure thanggggg ask any african country with new hospitals….and yup debt diplomacy is a we pay in stages through the project providing it’s debt to china problem…done and dusted..
        now about those hydro dams, light rail, hospitals and schools.

        It’s a policy that should appeal to nats a reasonably priced decent job…what could be more nat than that….and yes I’m fully aware that china is not a political paradise but our buddies in the good ol’ usa are no better…I’ll repeat that for the hard of thinking..the yanks are no better.

        let’s have a policy divorced from politics that produces what kiwis need….now that’s patriotic to me.

  7. Great stuff Chris. We live in a world of smoke and mirrors, where governments of every stripe pay lip service to the ideals of democracy, while a bought-and-paid-for media “manufactures our consent” to the Barons of Capitalism, those who really run things, having free rein. As the man said; “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.”

  8. Also:
    Hemp block house.
    I know this guy.
    Lindsay Newton.
    He got nailed ( predator priced) by carter hold harvey who nearly ruined his business.
    Making natural wool insulation.
    The reason why we can’t have cheap, alternative housing is because our AO/NZ is corrupt as fuck.
    The reason why we have homelessness and child poverty in a rich country is because our AO/NZ is corrupt as fuck.
    The reason why we’ve become a quivering few souls timidly acquiescing to a cadre of fat, pudgy right wing fascist arse holes is because AO/NZ’s corrupt as fuck.
    The Guardian.
    We few AO/NZ’ers are so psychologically brow beaten into believing that this, all of this shit, is as good as it gets while our abusers feast on our precious moments we have on our beautiful AO/NZ to build their obscene wealth.
    I’ve spent time in Auckland recently. I’ve literally watched quarter million dollar cars drive past homeless people begging for change. In AO/NZ.
    And if you’re not angry about that, you’re part of the problem.

  9. It seems obvious doesn’t it. However I would go one step further, why should grow the timber so we can sell it to China so they can sell it back to us? Why not do it ourselves?

    I imagined Kiwibuild was NZers building quick, warm modular homes. We have the timber, we have the aluminum, we have the steel, cricky we can use wool for insulation! We could have run these modular kitset building sites in small rural towns, training builders, plumbers, joiners and electricians… We’d get so good we’d export them.

    God I’m sounding like a bloody socialist! Lol

    • true BG problem is our archaic building industry isn’t up to the job, not the workers but the feudal system it can’t/won’t adapt to the scale needed..but ‘home sourcing’ of as much materials as possible is a bloody good idea.

  10. Yep sounds, great on paper but I wonder what the durability and quality is like. Then there is all the other infrastructure, in Auckland, you pay $30,000 development contribution for each household unit.

    • can it be any worse than the uninsulated draughty garden sheds we traditionally build oh I forgot with leaky roofs….regulation and govt NOT private inspector’s who are responsible for what they ‘sign off’ on.

      there y’are job done on

  11. Our Carter Holt Harvey building regulations are the major obstacle to building new homes . Not just councils with services holdups and their reluctance to release land. Being forced to use shitty crappy pine as a structural and framing timber is a large part of the problem. We have hundreds if not thousands of small woodlots with hardwood timbers, small scale milling and a massive rewrite of the building regs would go along way to facilitating the building of kit sets in NZ. Once again all too much information for this government. How many of the overpaid twats presently occupying seats in parliament have actually built a house?

    • Shona Ues I ask myself – How many have done DIY, have a family dependent on two incomes that only reach $80,000 per year with the IRD hot on their heels panting for more $s. We used to allow for travel allowance, tool allowance, and the indiividual got some consideration for costs just as a micro business person would. Some of the ‘twats’ have only worked on keyboards and in offices learning systems and ideas, often hypothetical and conjectural, rather than solid, physical, skills, right from school to polly assembly for training and teeth and circumspection inspection.

    • “Our Carter Holt Harvey building regulations ”
      Ain’t that the truth, the regulations stipulate cartel manufactured products in all but specific part and stock number. They even run the industry seminars that builders are forced to attend to keep their licences valid. Basically ‘what’s our latest product’ seminars.

  12. anti chinese racism, or more accurately fear of red neck outrage ‘the optics jacinda the optics.
    the inefficient low quality feudal NZ building industry are not up to the task..full stop…end of
    oversight by govt inspectors not private contracted ones who will pass anything to get the next gig..look at the fiasco quality wise new builds are in UK and australia….we cannot afford, literally cannot afford to let developers dictate…no one wants leaky buildings-the sequel.

    oh I dunno maybe a national organisation with bulk purchasing power and training NZ workers built into every contract…also a long term ongoing govt project would provide continuity of employment to tradies at decent pay and conditions…..

    I see a shining city on a hill…..but then the drugs wore off.

    • gagarin refers to leaky buildings- the sequel. I’m not watching, I’m waiting for the book to come out! Hah. There is an uneasy theme behind much that is done under this ‘private rules okay’ economic system that we have.

      I think there is a leitmotif of – Let’s do it reasonably well, pushing the limits of government and known trade practical laws, make an unreasonably large profit, pay off any lawsuits and then set up another company to patch up the errors and faults, and make a profit from that. Where then is the incentive to build something good and lasting? And then there is just the replacement situation, if things deteriorate fast after being made cheaply, which now comes under the heading of Business Efficiency, than there is repeat business. Or there can be a small war, locally bounded, and aid money to be handed out by beneficent nations. And so it goes.

      Every now and then there will be verity, but you have to search for its glimmer like gold. Which brings a NZ song to mind, rather a sad, contemplative one from Paul Metsers, can you take a break and listen to a genuine lay.

  13. Chris – families are only forced to move school when they move house because our school zoning laws are designed by the unions to protect teacher jobs – not for the good of the families. At South Auckland Middle School – a designated character school with no zoning – we have 3% transience. The other schools in the area average over 40%.

    • Alwyn,

      They don’t teach evolution at your schools. Plus LGBT students are bullied.

      You want the schools privatised and run by churches with teachers earning minimum wage

    • school zoning was designed by the middle class to keep shane and kylie away from the school cressida and tarquin go to…as to a two tier school system that’s what we have now ‘wake up and smell the privilege”

      • School zoning was so Shane, Kyle, Cressida and Tarquin can all go to the same school in a low decile area and hopefully create a better society than what we have now. Like it was before 1989, when schooling was a public service, not a commodity.

  14. We had plenty of social housing but National sold them saying they were not fit for purpose, earthquake prone,
    or had too many rooms or not enough, they also sold lots of state housing land to developers. All lies just so they didn’t have to house the poor or deal with them for that matter. I noted a block of flats down Petone said to be earthquake prone was rented out not long after being privately sold. I saw the new Indian landlords put a fresh coat of paint on these so called earthquake prone flats.

    • as a student I lived in a tower block in liverpool (it was rented to the poly cheap as it was considered below par, before student rents became an ‘income stream’) now I was google earthing the other day as you do, that same tower block, not a new build that actual tower block after private doors, renovation and maintenance and a caretaker are now some of the most sought after yuppie flats in the pool…wide vistas of the river and over to wales…so yeah social housing doesn’t have to be shit unless it’s a deliberate policy choice.

      ever noticed how the best cleanest bogs in the pritine condition are the ones with attendants on site..
      juzzz sayin mate juzz sayin.

  15. Remember how the Chinese built a hospital in Wuhan at the beginning of the pandemic in days. I do wonder what has happened to it.

    But seriously as an interim measure to build these kit set house would have been good. Even if they didn’t last forever……..

  16. I don’t see it as an either/or situation @ Chris. We could order a couple of thousand of these little gems, and park them up on some remote site away from the media’s gaze. Put a few of the indigent, the homeless and a few in need of quarantine to test them out.
    We’d probably need a builder or two to properly assemble them on a concrete pad that’s surreptitiously had its reinforcing steel removed to be used elsewhere – so automatically the 15k immediately becomes 30k, But …. still a win win in the battle against the housing emergency.
    AND!!!! It’d give the building Kim Ploince part of the Ministry for Everything something to do. They could concentrate on how well these dainty little modulars fit our regulations and standards rather than having to go and inspect existing slum landlords in breach of the most basic standards.

  17. Jeez, Mr T – I feel like you’ve been suckered into the idea that the ‘Housing Crisis’ is all to do with supply side economics. Old school, Chicago school.
    This crisis has very little to do with house building and a lot to do with globalism.
    NZ offshored it’s manufacturing in the 1990’s, and we have since offshored our working classes via a flourishing and corrupt migrant labour ‘market’. This ‘workforce’ provides fodder to shore up the base of the property ponzi pyramid (the 3 P’s), ensuring ever increasing demand.
    I find the idea that it is OK to use slaves in an offshore dictatorship to fabricate aerated concrete shells in which to house our local victims of this scam somewhat distasteful.
    NZ has plenty of houses – many thousands sitting empty for 95% of the year, often in very nice seaside towns.

    • maybe we could sign a contract with the US prison/industrial complex to get african american prisoners to make the kitsets for us….

      as deng zhou ping matters not if the cat is white or black as long as it catches mice
      …let’s just stop being the ‘worlds saviors’ for 1 minute and do something for actual kiwis.

  18. We have intelligent young people in this Nation because they are equipped with some tools to enhance their education, eg school books, a PC, etc. Long gone are the days where poor parents meant you had a poor education. I recall the chasm between public and private school kids of the 1990’s, and it was vast.

    With housing, my opinion here is that the primary reason why we have a housing shortage is that we have a surplus of migrants. The surplus of migrants is because we lagged behind in skills for at least five years. The other main reason for our housing shortage is that the government failed to deliver on their promise to build ten thousand homes a year for ten years.

    Albeit from some minor changes, there is no real problem with New Zealand’s education system. The same goes for the housing issues. The same for roading, one area which has seen some really desirable and steady progress over the past four years with Labour, and also during the last two Key terms in power.

    The area which is still so neglected is mental health. This is the same area which has seen increased demand over the past two years. Thankfully, we have a surplus of citizens who are willing to train as counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists. I see the importance of budget allocation here. The government ought to make the funding of mental health services, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, an urgent priority.

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