Prime Minister plays with red herrings while children sleep in cars


The housing catastrophe (Salvation Army description) for tenants and families on low incomes has been thrown into sharp relief by the appalling statistics that more than 200 children are now living in cars because there are not enough state houses.

Under the Labour government this number has gone from 51 at the end of 2017, to 228 in June this year. Similarly, the number of people living in tents has also climbed from 21 at the end of 2017 to 84 in June this year.

When confronted with these shocking figures of families and children still going backwards after five years of Labour governments the Prime Minister told TV1 News last night it was

“not acceptable for any family or individual to be living in a car which is why we’ve put so much effort into having built now over 10,000 public housing spaces, we’ve quadrupled the number of transitional homes, we’ve bought more public houses than anyone since the 1970s”.

“What you’re seeing in the data is we still have people who are coming to the Government to seek housing support… It’s then our job to get them into permanent housing.”

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Ardern said in 2017 there was not an accurate picture of people living in crisis.

“At that time not everyone could receive the emergency housing special needs grant, not everyone could make it onto a public housing waitlist and not everyone was moving into permanent housing. We now have a situation where we have a much more accurate picture of the need that exists.”

Can you spot any red herrings there? Here are a few to start with

Labour may have built 10,000 state houses in the last five years BUT it has demolished thousands in the process. (In fact the government demolished more state houses than it built in six months of last year!)

Overall there has been a net increase in state houses of only 5,556 between September 2017 – when Labour came to power – and March 2022. Kainga Ora figures show

Total state housing stock at September 2017:      = 63,209

Total state housing stock at June 2022:                   = 68,765

So much for the 10,000 built in 5 years. (Incidentally the first Labour government, faced with a housing crisis, built 10,000 houses per year in the later 1930s!)

This 1,110 extra state houses being provided each year by Labour (5,556 over five years) is for a state house waiting list which has risen to a staggering 26,664 at June 2022.

Check out the graph. There were just over 5,000 on the state house waiting list when Labour came to power in late 2017 – now there are 26,664! And Labour is providing just an extra 1,110 per year.

On this basis some desperate families will be waiting till 2048 to get a state house.

And despite what the PM implies, the criteria for getting on to the state house waiting list has not changed since Labour came to government. It’s the same criteria as National used.

The reason the government is demolishing so many state house each year is partly to replace houses that are past their use-by-date but more importantly it is so the government can sell vast swathes of land to private property developers and then use the proceeds to fund state house building rather than put up any money itself. In fact Labour is in the middle of the biggest privatisation of state assets – crown land – since the 1980s.

The country needs an industrial-scale state house building programme but Labour is selling crown land that could enable this and seems determined to keep state housing at just 3.6% of total housing stock (it was 5.4% in 1990)

And for those that might think all this ignores government support of the many small social housing providers, it doesn’t. Government policy remains to provide just an extra 1600 IRRS (Income-related Rental subsidies) per year to cover both state and social housing providers – for a waiting list of close to 27,000.

Labour just doesn’t care. If you think they do care about housing for those on low incomes – show me the evidence!

So now the PM says that finally after five years of Labour

We now have a situation where we have a much more accurate picture of the need that exists.”

Too pathetic for words.

And too sad for the children who will be sleeping in a car in your city tonight.


  1. Natzos won’t be building adequate numbers of state houses either-it is the neo liberal way-and will not change until thousands of people get politically organised, campaign, and occupy empty residential & commercial property.

    That won’t happen the usual suspects may say, and if the extent of your ‘political activity’ is moaning on blogs then you are prob right! But many are till active in community affairs, like the late Ricky Houghton in Kaitaia whose He Korowai Trust actually housed hundreds in little groups of relocated and newly built dwellings. of people some of whom state agencies would not touch. Papa Kainga family based self builds are increasing.

    Flat pack modular housing is available, tiny houses for individual homeless, a stock of emergency housing in every town, take over more golf courses and race courses and odd shaped Linz sections-could all be done. But the neo libs support private capital developers over public works all day everyday-it is a political problem as much as a housing problem.

    • You are saying we should keep the Do Nothing Laborites cause the Do Nothing Nationalistas are the same?
      Cause that is what this is about, L doing nothing.

    • Does it just have to be empty residential and commercial property, Tiger Mountain? Go full soviet – what about unused bedrooms in occupied houses? Have you got one? You bang about this idea of yours all the time – why wait to get organised. Just find some homeless person and escort them along to an empty house and brake in and occupy with them….

  2. I always thought it was particularly insidious of St Jacinda, Woods and Twyford to be allowed to spout the total of state houses built, without subtracting the amount demolished also.
    A decent media would be all over this and pulling up any MP/PM who quoted the incorrect total, but I guess the 55mil payout to media allows for gagging and actual journalism it seems isn’t allowed.
    Looks like her Monday zoom meetings with the MSM editors, and being the paymaster,to the same ones at the meetings has paid off, so far.

  3. Labour does not care, because Labour without the poor, the homeless and the cast outs has no voters base.

  4. No one, or not enough, people care. That’s why we won’t introduce a CGT . The PM absolutely sold out for votes. Tax free gain on property and ridiculous rent increases from private citizens who are providing “a service” who are happy to keep hiking rents ( and don’t give me some rubbish about interest rates going up this has been happening for ages) and scream when attempts are taken to make properties liveable, are how we roll. Ultimately both main parties are a reflection of too many eligible voters on this issue. As Martyn has pointed out Labour are the same as National in terms of state owned housing as a percentage of housing stock.

    • Unfortunately it’s a complex problem to fix.
      CGT is constantly spouted as the answer, without a scrap of proof it will help. In fact there is plenty of evidence to show it won’t help, in fact it will just increase costs and make it worse.

      Can one of you CGT proponents please paste some links, provide and half credible evidence?
      Show me countries who have introduced it and the result was house prices falling, higher home ownership for the low to middle income sector of society?
      Reduced rents for those forced to rent.

  5. How many of the state houses that were demolished were being lived in? While the eligibility to get on the list for a state house may have stayed the same you neglect to mention the increase in rental rates for private rentals. I am not pretending that the system is anywhere close to perfect but unless you can get enough voters to support leaders who want to bring the change you are basically just p….ing into the wind.
    I know there have been instances where existing state tenants were displaced to allow new units to be built but I have no idea how common that was.

  6. different issue different country but in the UK public opinion seems to be swinging behind the re-nationalisation of many public services….time to take note jacinda

  7. Why do we endlessly end up with a debate in here about whether the Nats would do better. Frankly I don ‘t either of them to be in power, they are shits, neither of them care about the dispossessed those at the bottom of the heap. Labour was meant to be a party for the working class, it hasn’t been for years and years and years. Both parties follow the same mantra – the market the market the market.

    I don’t care who gets in frankly I know if it is the Nats then thousands, who voted for labour, will come out on the streets. There is so little between them. Labour aren’t prepared to put taxes up to any significant number for the richest.

    When the Nats were last in power they changed the rules around being able to get a state house and cut the number on the waiting list considerably. Labour were outraged!!!! Did Labour on coming to office backtrack the Nats changes to the waiting list. Of course not!

    Labour squeal at any change when in opposition but they never ever back track on the oppositions legislation.

    I may be a cynic but I hate them all. I am looking to the te pati Maori for the next election.

    • While I see your point I would say minimum, and other wage, increases are one point of difference for those in work. Also National means Act and I can’t see 7bil in spending cuts working out well. David Seymour is NZ’s answer to Margret Thatcher.

  8. Jesus! The creepy, weasel-people are out of their nests and in full force today. The blood and tears of the homeless and hungry young are certainly enticing tit bits aye boys.
    The subject the weasel-people above won’t broach is the fact that neoliberalism is still embedded in our flesh and bloated on free money while we normal people continue to starve and struggle.
    Neoliberalism or as I prefer to call it, fascist capitalism , is deep within our democracy now after more than 38 years of creating about itself an impenetrable wall of lies and thick skin.
    National, Labour, ACT, The Green’s, NZ First and The Maori Party are the same thing, They’re different heads of the same parasite. The parasite that’s known as rogernomics aka neoliberalism.
    A brief Segway: ol’ bobby jones. Big Bad Bubba Jones. Nu Zillinds latest billionaire.
    Read this. (Not for you Right Zingers. You can’t read much more than comics and porn so you can sit this one out. Sorry too, there’s no pictures.)
    “Jones formed the short-lived libertarian New Zealand Party in 1983, just before Robert Muldoon’s snap 1984 election. Jones explicitly stated his disgust that the supposedly pro-free-enterprise New Zealand National Party had implemented socialist policies like price and wage freezes, and a top tax rate of 66%. His party acted as a spoiler, helping to deliver the government to the New Zealand Labour Party. Then the party implemented free market reforms under Finance Minister Roger Douglas (hence Rogernomics). When the election was over, Jones disbanded the party, seeing that Labour had implemented many of his policies. He and Muldoon had a legal feud, where Muldoon unsuccessfully sued Jones for defamation. But Jones had great respect for Muldoon in other areas. Jones even chaired the farewell dinner on the occasion of Muldoon’s retirement from Parliament.[7]”
    Our entire politics from the early 1980’s to today was, and still is, a scam. All of it.
    The Natzo’s run a tag team farce with Labour while the teeth, hair and chromium scalps glitter and glisten in racing heart perversions as they trample over the beds of kids in park and cars. Meanwhile, we try to work it out by using an outdated method of morals and reason while beseeching the Gangsters using logic and empathy. Forget about it. To them, this is a sport. To them it’s a frisson to get pissed in the bath tub with. You forget that. You can’t reason with psychopaths, and narcissistic sociopaths. What about that, don’t you comprehend? And every time you make a decent argument for our outrage, our outrage fizzles out and they, get stronger and ever more confident. They’re so strong now that not even voting, protesting or marching will defeat the bastards.
    They only way to kill them off, like the rats they are, is to starve them out and how do you do that? You go to where the money is. To our primary industry. Yes. Tourism. Once the last camper van is over-turned the neoliberal fascists will wither and die laughing. That, was a joke BTW.
    Go and get our farmers [money] onside @ JM. Go on. You can do it, because if you, or someone like you, doesn’t, we’re all fucked.
    I’ve just bought a fantastic book titled ‘Press Pass’ by Geoff Dale. In it, there’s an image of roger douglas that I’d been looking for, for years now. On page 100 there’s an image of roger douglas smiling away while surrounded by his large pigs jammed in to awful cages with barely enough room to lie down.
    That dreadful sub-human is the very architect of modern Aotearoa / New Zealand, where kids sleep in cars and the homeless where they can while four foreign owned bankers take billions of dollars in net profits annually out of our economy. Everything is wrong with that and nothing’s being done about it by any and all of our politicians so it’s to us. All we need is a leader.
    I proposed years ago that [we] hire an actor to lobby our primary industry into joining forces with the public in general then to starve out the deviant scum in the middle. No disrespect to actual scum.

    • You’re brilliantly expressive about reality but as per the lateral you lose your way. I just called Labour ‘Douglasites’. To be marked with that nitwit’s name. Whereas the Labour before him was founded on the self-sacrifice of Savage.

    • ” I will not raise GST” was a classic vote winner as was “we will close the wage gap with Australia” all designed to win but not be fulfilled.

      Honest John and fraudulent Bill.

      • we will build houses……hundred thousand houses…….
        but not under this term, the next or any other. Vote Labour, cause we do fuck all all day long!

        • Hey Brat, you had a point, then came that last sentence, you are yet another sloganeer wirth no answers.

          • Yes RB you have described them accurately which wasn’t difficult.
            Duped are the children of New Zealand used as puppets to win elections.
            A disgrace.

      • I will end homelessness I will end child poverty I will get children out of sleeping in cars.
        Who said that?
        The media reported on it daily.
        So it must be untrue the number of children sleeping in cars has ballooned out of control.

  9. “We now have a situation where we have a much more accurate picture of the need that exists.”

    Yip, yip, that’s it.

  10. The welfare expert advisory group made 24 recommendations, Labour has sat on all of them as if doing the review was all they intended doing.
    Are Labour even left wing anymore?

  11. I had a builder friend who specialized in buying old state houses and doing them up if possible .He said they were all built by excellent tradesmen especially after the war and used good timber .The main problem was many of the houses were poorly maintained by iether te ant or owner (the State). This sad state of affairs was under both Labour and z National governments.
    The last few years have seen many homes wreaked by unruly tenants with none being booted out and in some cases the good tenant next door is the one told to move.
    State houses are a great idea but better protection of the asset needs to be enforced

  12. I called her Jacinda Kardashian at the outset, and got screamed down by those infected with the star dust.
    It was obvious she’s a lightweight without the ability or motivation to get things done, particularly without the heavy hitters behind her, to support her and make things happen. Perhaps with a strong team, more would have been possible.

    Then there’s thiis whole Sharma fiasco, it’s a shocker, the hypocrisy makes me sick.
    The feeble paid media, where are the sound bites of Jacinda’s support of “me too” and other similar public sector criticism? Yet when it’s clearly going on her own kitchen, look the other way, nothing to see here.

    Then there’s the absolute ultimate in hypocrisy around the OIA coaching. From “the most open & transparent govt” those fuckwits at the paid up media make me sick. Where are the cartoons pillaring the lies?
    Guess that’s what a few million buys.
    And the media wonder why their public trust levels are up there with lawyers and politicians.

  13. Unfortunately the government is oblivious to the impact of poverty and homelessness, or they would address it realistically. The personal and societal and health impacts are beyond their ken, and their refusal to heed expert opinion suggests a callous mindset which sweet words or furrowed brows don’t temper. At this stage Social Welfare Minister Children’s Commissioner hater Sepuloni should be tendering her resignation as an abject failure, and the Minister for Children Davis should too, if he can keep off the phone for long enough.

  14. Hey’_ more than 200 children sleeping in cars’……Houston, we have a problem!!!
    “By the end of this decade more than 50% of monthly vehicle sales in New Zealand need to be electric in order to meet our emissions reductions targets.” so says eeca:
    Well newsflash – EV’s are powered by lithium-ion batteries which under certain conditions, like too little charge, too much charge, etc. will spontaneously combust.
    Recently deceased Anne Heche, may she rest in peace, burned in her electric mini cooper for over an hour whilst rescuers fought to get her out. (Apparently, there are major problems with grounding one of those suckers before jaws of life can be deployed safely.) She is not the first to perish so violently. The safety/conflict issue over massive lithium-ion battery production has hardly been looked at.
    Are we really such fools as to imagine children sleeping in cars, unless they’re a ’60’s model station wagon built to last forever, are not at HUGE RISK?
    Ask yourself, where would you feel safest, a) or b)?
    a) Mr HQ :
    b) Mr Leaf :

  15. gin they don’t ‘spontaneously combust’, as you point out charging issues are usually to blame…I’m a vaper and heard this same bullshit years ago ‘oh e-cigs explode’ well I took the trouble to look into it all the cases were user failure, normally the wrong charger being used or terminals being shorted on ‘uncased’ batts in someones pocket…funny how we don’t hear those stories anymore innit?

    ps just to be on the safe side all my vape batts have a chip that prevents over under charging, makes em about a mm longer, sometimes a mod might need some fettling to fit…but worth the safety in my book.

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