The Dim-Post

June 16, 2016

We have always lived in the Beehive

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:03 am
  1. The government’s original plan for social housing at the beginning of its term was to privatise it and pay ‘community providers’ to deliver ‘housing services’ to beneficiaries and low income families. There doesn’t seem to be any particular problem here that needed fixing – just the usual ideological gibberish about minimising the role of the state.
  2. That didn’t work, because none of the viable community groups wanted anything to do with the policy.
  3. But the government went ahead with a fire sale of state houses anyway, paying an investment banker $1.6 million to advise it on the sales, while the same banker also advised the purchasers of the houses, which were sold at below the ratable value in the middle of the housing boom, because this government is so fiscally prudent and economically credible.
  4. This has led to a homeless crisis, and stories about families living in cars and vans and so community groups like Te Puea Marae have stepped in to help. They are, understandably, furious at the government for dumping struggling families on the street for basically no reason, so they’ve been publicly critical.
  5. And because governments tend to get locked into a silo mentality, especially this late in their tenure, they’re now conducting smear campaigns against the community providers who are looking after the families that the government’s policy choices have made homeless. And I don’t doubt for a second that they think they’re ‘the good guys’, and that this was the right thing to do.

 

 

43 Comments »

  1. A good summary. Step 3 to 4, though. The Government’s decisions will have contributed to homelessness – (1) selling houses and not buying at least as many, (2) those houses bought not being to a standard where people are allowed to live in them (see Whanganui), (3) and in areas people don’t actually want live (also see Whanganui) – rather than ‘led to a homelessness crisis’.

    There would likely have been a lot more homeless people even without those policies (fewer than with those policies), and that the Government wasn’t making *more* houses available after big recession is appalling.

    Comment by Sam Warburton (@Economissive) — June 16, 2016 @ 8:51 am

  2. I know, it’s gross. The government’s behaviour bears a shocking resemblance to that of the PPTA over the secondary school in Kamo that tried to help a charter school with its science teaching and got heavier by the PPTA for its trouble. Bennet seems a natural fit for the national secretary’s job at the PPTA if she needs a new place to work. It’s the first time she’s been put under pressure in 8 years – almost none of it by other MPs though – and is not handling it well. The various housing pressure groups are packaging stories very well for the media.

    Comment by Tinakori — June 16, 2016 @ 9:09 am

  3. Auckland has one of the slowest building rate in the Australasia, has been governed poorly and made rentiers ever richer. Auckland has the slowest building rate of apartments in living memory, because its core policy of restricting land to Auckland City is jacking up construction costs and encouraging land speculation. We are looking down the barrel of a multi-decade housing shortage in Auckland, when at the same time and in the same conditions there is a construction boom going on every where except Auckland.

    And because councils tend to get locked into a silo mentality, especially this late in their tenure, they’re now conducting smear campaigns against the government who are looking after the families that the council’s policy choices have made homeless. And I don’t doubt for a second that they think they’re ‘the good guys’, and that this was the right thing to do.

    Comment by unaha-closp — June 16, 2016 @ 9:26 am

  4. “..because governments tend to get locked into a silo mentality, especially this late in their tenure, they’re now conducting smear campaigns against the community providers”

    The government – indeed Bennett herself – has form for this sort of behaviour. It’s gone on in one form or another for all of its tenure, as far as I can see.

    Tinakori: I’ve never been a teacher, but can understand why the PPTA acted as it did over that charter school. State schools – especially low-decile schools – are scrabbling for cash to run their operations, while the government pours money into charter schools. If they’re getting so much funding, let them pay for their own staff, rather than trying to leech off under-funded local state schools..

    Comment by D'Esterre — June 16, 2016 @ 9:27 am

  5. Strange no-one has mentioned the leaking to WhaleOil by government …..yet.

    Comment by Stephanie — June 16, 2016 @ 9:52 am

  6. Well, D”Esterre, helping the charter school didn’t seem to be a problem for the state school in question doubt as a neighbourly gesture, something that I and sure you agree would is not confined to the rich.

    My point was that the govt in the form of Paula Bennet and the PPTA both seem to have a “we own this place” attitude to their various positions in the political and education system respectively. In Bennett’s case she is a bit like a rugby player committing the sin of running upright into opposition. It doesn’t work very well. To use Rob Hosking’s analogy, some parts of the government have, like the Kakapo, lived in a world without effective predators for a bit too long. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can adjust or will die.

    Comment by Tinakori — June 16, 2016 @ 9:57 am

  7. I think there are two logical errors in your post:

    1. I don’t see that point 4 follows from 1-3.

    2. More importantly, I didn’t hear any public criticism of the government from the marae leader. In fact, he seemed very complimentary of Bennett’s support for his initiative. So your suggestion the smearing was caused by anything he did is, I think, wrong. The reason you are looking for to explain the smear can be found in The Scorpion and the Frog.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — June 16, 2016 @ 10:06 am

  8. This government’s housing madness is of the usual neoliberal ideological kind, the apparent madness having a method as described here by John Armstrong in a blogpost that deserves a wider audience: https://armstrongonpolitics.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/home-is-where-the-heart-is/

    The take out quote “…National has become trapped in its own dogma. Like some kind of mad scientist, Bill English is still conducting his experiment of trying to create a market whereby privately-owned or run housing organisations would compete against one another to be providers of what is now termed as “social housing”…”

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 16, 2016 @ 11:16 am

  9. More importantly, I didn’t hear any public criticism of the government from the marae leader.

    I’m reading that as an indication of just how feeble-mindedly flakey Bennett really is. The fact that she’s been touted as Key’s heir apparent should have all the cockpit alarms running full blast.

    Comment by Joe W — June 16, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

  10. More importantly, I didn’t hear any public criticism of the government from the marae leader.

    You don’t think the news stories about the marae helping people the government won’t is making the government look bad? Maybe you should take another look.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 16, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

  11. I have to hand it to you Danyl, you know your audience. The old ladies went from housing to charter schools in two comments.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 16, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

  12. Not to mention a tiresome, sneering “old Ladies” / “handbag” comment from yourself by #11, eh Robert?
    All we need now is Clunking Fist to wank on about global warming and we’ll have a trifecta.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 16, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

  13. “You don’t think the news stories about the marae helping people the government won’t is making the government look bad”

    It may have made the government look bad, but the guy himself went out of his way not to criticise the government and, to the contrary, praised Bennett. Which is why I refer you to The Scorpion and the Frog.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — June 16, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

  14. Keep swinging that handbag @GregorW. Nothing like making my point for me.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 16, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

  15. AFAIK The charter school is funded for more children than they teach and at a higher rate than the local school so they should be putting their hands in their own pockets to pay for the things they need rather than bludge off the state school and, essentially take resources away from the kids in the state school.

    Charter Schools gets to keep the profits they make so it’s to their advantage to try to free ride on other people’s good will.

    Comment by mjpledger — June 16, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

  16. Tinakori is one hell of a long winded wit …

    Beautiful satire to compare state schools ‘meanness’ to the nats war on the poor….. state schools are causing record numbers of New Zealanders to face housing poverty after all ……..

    Mathew Hooten, once, to my shame, had me sucked in that he actually gave a fuck about domestic violence, abused kids etc etc etc.

    Then In Dirty Politics we learn he got given a literal ‘booze bus’ by our local piss pushers …/.. and Mr”gosh I really really care about domestic violence” got to drive around in this booze bus attacking Labor….

    Your a fraud Hooten ….. the nats dirty politics operation to protect alcohol profits when they pissed all over the law commision report and recommendations in our 2012 Alcohol law reviews can probably be counted in 10s of thousands of extra abused children and woman by now…..

    The nat attack dogs including Peter Dunne were smearing health experts who wanted to lower Alcohol ABUSE … Its playing out in court for whalesoil now

    But you’ve more than played your part in support of this piss drinkers paradise where wife beating and child abuse rates remain ‘stubbornly’ and mysteriously fucken high.

    The police are overwhelmed with domestic violence….. and all other areas of policing are suffering for this.

    You might as well have be punching a few of them yourself Hooten …..

    And you’ll never con me again …..

    Comment by reason — June 16, 2016 @ 4:34 pm

  17. Have you considered changing your pseudonym? It’s wildly inappropriate.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 16, 2016 @ 4:37 pm

  18. Chin up Robert, I’m only joshing you.
    To paraphrase / bastardise Churchill, tomorrow I might stop swinging my handbag, but only you can chose not to be a dick.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 16, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

  19. @Hooton “I refer you to The Scorpion and the Frog”

    You mean it is simply Bennett’s nature to act in ways that are unfit for a holder of public office? That does seem to be true.

    Comment by RJL — June 16, 2016 @ 6:07 pm

  20. “old ladies” and swinging handbags.
    In the context those comments were made, they don’t appear to be meant as complimentary.
    As a handbag carrying, 50+ woman, I’m calling out those who made them as sexist pricks.

    Comment by Corokia — June 16, 2016 @ 7:13 pm

  21. @Corokia the context is what best represents dim post commenters (aka t-shirt thread) and my mental image of people commenting here is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i25gZXQF2w . If you don’t like the old ladies, there’s always the keep left signs.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 16, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

  22. No worries, Bob. The members of the Tinakori Rd Old Ladies Auxillary are just happy to have got under your skin. We’re the up market version of Danyl’s Aro Valley.

    Comment by Tinakori — June 16, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

  23. You mean it is simply Bennett’s nature to act in ways that are unfit for a holder of public office?

    That was what I took from the “scorpion and frog” reference too – it’s just in Bennett’s nature to leak private info to the media to try and smear people who are making her look bad.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 16, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

  24. @Tinakori no one here gets under my skin. Mostly amuse, sometimes bewilder, and occasionally wonder if someone needs to backtrace the commenter’s IP so they can be brought to the attention of their local community mental health team.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 16, 2016 @ 9:12 pm

  25. Mentally well Robert, just tired of sexist comments. Its so ingrained in some men, you don’t see it. Usually I ignore it, today it pissed me off.
    Expecting this to be followed up by the usual, ‘you’ve got no sense of humour’ response.
    Whatever.

    Comment by Corokia — June 16, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

  26. @24
    You’re not above, just another part of the circus, but a little politeness goes a long way.
    May I recommend Anne Manne’s The Life of I?

    Comment by paritutu — June 17, 2016 @ 8:34 am

  27. @paritutu oh obviously to paraphrase Lucinda Williams you can’t play in the mud without getting dirty. Interesting title. There’s also a new kind of communal narcissism developing. Look at the reactions to suggestions that people move to where there is available housing. Generations prior to the baby boomers considered this logical and did it all the time, and now apparently the mere suggestions is an imposition on our basic rights.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 17, 2016 @ 9:24 am

  28. @Robert Singers – it’s starting to happen again. Auckland’s retarded construction rate means Tauranga and Hamilton and Christchurch will benefit from increased inflow of first workers and then as they grow economies of agglomeration will kick in. I used to think Auckland was going to be an urban centre, but our council have killed that and decided mega sprawl is our future. Mega sprawl is expensive and slow, Auckland have the worst construction rates, and we are looking at housing shortages and rent rises till after 2030.

    Comment by unaha-closp — June 17, 2016 @ 9:55 am

  29. Auckland’s retarded construction rate means Tauranga and Hamilton and Christchurch will benefit from increased inflow of first workers and then as they grow economies of agglomeration will kick in.

    In the long term this is probably a good thing.
    To me, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to have 35% of population and GNP in one city.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 17, 2016 @ 10:54 am

  30. To me, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to have 35% of population and GNP in one city.

    Seems to work OK for other countries.
    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.URB.LCTY.UR.ZS?order=wbapi_data_value_2015+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-last&sort=desc

    Comment by Phil — June 17, 2016 @ 11:24 am

  31. Generations prior to the baby boomers considered this logical and did it all the time, and now apparently the mere suggestions is an imposition on our basic rights.

    Or not – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884282.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 17, 2016 @ 11:52 am

  32. @Andrew, firstly I was talking about the public response to the suggestions that people move where there are houses, and secondly the article you link to seems to be discussing the drain away from the regions to places such Auckland, that a) creates the resource constraints in the cities, and b) creates nonviable zombie towns. So not to sure what your point actually is, perhaps you can expand a bit?

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 17, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

  33. My point was that your (apparent) claim that we used to move around a lot but just don’t anymore (indeed, regard suggestions that people do so as being “an imposition on our basic rights”) seems contrary to the data.

    Further, maybe you could reflect on your comment about “nonviable zombie towns” and how that development might feed into peoples’ reluctance to leave major urban areas (where housing is scarce) for places “where there is available housing” (but little in terms of employment opportunities, educational advancement and family/friendship support networks)

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 17, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

  34. @Andrew I didn’t claim we don’t still move about a lot. I’m talking about public commentary to suggestions people move to where housing is not the reality of internal migration. You seem a bit slow today, perhaps you need to knock off early and go and have a quiet pint. I’ve always found tonic a remarkable civilized bar to spend an afternoon in when visiting Duners.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 17, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

  35. @Robert,

    Thanks for that helpful suggestion. However, your point remains a bit opaque. People are dismissive of the “move to where the housing is” argument not because of claimed “impositions on our basic rights”, but rather because of the reasons that you yourself identify as driving the existing extensive internal migration trends. So it’s not that people are anti-moving per se>/i> (we know this, because lots and lots of us do it), but rather the simplistic argument “if you want a house, why not go where there is one” is … simplistic.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 17, 2016 @ 2:59 pm

  36. Ok @Andrew to recap/recompile/clarify. Paritutu suggested a book about [personal] narcissism. I said thanks that looks interesting and by the way we seem to have a new type of communal narcissism developing as well. I’ve heard a number of interviews and vox pops about the housing crisis that are more focused on people’s individual gratification and defending the supremacy of gratification than discussing the cause of the situation (http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/internal-migration/reasons-for-moving-within-between-regions.aspx) or what are potential resolutions. Even Te Puea Marae doing something pragmatic about the problem is being spun into a soap opera around the egos of a cast of characters rather than the marae’s good work and how people can help.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 17, 2016 @ 3:35 pm

  37. Well, Robert, I’d suggest that there’s so much being said by so many people on the housing issue that you can pretty much hear whatever you want to hear, to suit the purpose you want to further. Anyway, go have your drink now.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 17, 2016 @ 3:54 pm

  38. My dear Andrew can we infer from your words that you think that there is someone posting here who doesn’t frame the ongoing discourse to suit their own preferred underlying narrative? You must tell us who so we can light our brands and shake our pitchforks and chase away the monster.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 17, 2016 @ 6:23 pm

  39. “Even Te Puea Marae doing something pragmatic about the problem is being spun into a soap opera around the egos of a cast of characters rather than the marae’s good work and how people can help.”
    What have I missed?
    Other than Paula Bennett’s staff member contacting a journalist to make sure everyone now knows the chairman is under police investigation, the plot seems a bit thin.

    Comment by Corokia — June 17, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

  40. RS, let’s leave the cheap housing in the middle of nowhere to the retired. Those of us raising families want jobs, foremost. And, outside of the NZ Transport Agency, no one is creating jobs faster than Auckland. Hence the desire to head there. It’s a bit of shame when local body politics, and the capture thereof by the agenda 21 groups (cyclists, greens, town-planning fetishists, etc), plus (allegedly) a healthy dose of Nimbyism, restrict the market’s ability to respond by providing the housing that’s required.

    (Global Warming is causing the housing crisis, natch: there’s a correlation between temperatures (before the pause, anyway) and the number of homeless. And I don’t know why ya’all you care about the housing crisis so much when 97% of New World Leaders say that cAGW is the Biggest Issue facing the world at the moment…. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 18, 2016 @ 10:36 am

  41. “New Zealand was found to be the most mobile country in the world, followed by the United States, Syria and Finland.”

    I wonder, in working out how NZers move around, they have allowed or corrected for the Kiwi OE?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 18, 2016 @ 10:38 am

  42. It’s a bit of shame when local body politics, and the capture thereof by the agenda 21 groups (cyclists, greens, town-planning fetishists, etc), plus (allegedly) a healthy dose of Nimbyism, restrict the market’s ability to respond by providing the housing that’s required.

    Auckland might have many problems, but capture by a green agenda is not one of them.

    Auckland Council is implementing the largest sprawl pro-auto-commute plan this country has ever seen. It is committed to developing massive sprawl in places where public transport and cycling are absolutely not viable – Warkworth, Kumeu, Silverdale, Pukekohe.

    Auckland Council is responsible for slashing land supply to Auckland City and thus jacking up construction costs beyond the realms of possibility. It is responsible for Auckland having the worst apartment construction to house build rate ratio in almost* the entire Western world.

    Even the Green Party is opposed to the pollution inducing, home wrecking, rentier friendly, RUB idiocy of Auckland Council.

    * I can’t find any place worse.

    Comment by unaha-closp — June 20, 2016 @ 9:08 am

  43. @ Phil #30 – I wrote a response earlier but WordPress kept eating it.

    The gist of it was though that having 35% of your population in one city might work if you are an advanced city-state on China’s doorstep or a petro-despotism, but other than that (with a few notable exceptions) most other country on that list until you get to the 25% mark are developing world economies with capital cities that are packed out with slums.

    Not sure the latter is what Auckland is aiming for in the ‘liveability’ stakes.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 20, 2016 @ 2:28 pm


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