Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


A night shelter is not a home Nick Smith

Jacinda
ARDERN
Social Development Spokesperson
4 July 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
A night shelter is not a home Nick Smith
The Minister of Housing today dismissed the official definition of homelessness, further fuelling concerns that he is trivialising the breadth of the problem, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Night shelters and refuges across the country provide up to 850 beds on any given day.

“According to Nick Smith anyone using one of those beds has a ‘a roof over their head’, so should not be categorised as homeless.

“Based on that, a family living in a garage, a couch surfer having to doss down in a mate’s lounge, or someone temporarily living in a boarding house because they have no permanent home, won’t be counted by the Minister or his department as being homeless either.

“This completely contradicts his Government’s own official definition of homelessness as set out by Statistics New Zealand. That suggests that either the Minister doesn’t know what it is, or he is deliberating trying to narrow down the problem. Either way, it is a frightening response.

“In Parliament today Mr Smith also tried to argue that defining ‘homeless’ was somehow ‘esoteric’. It might be for him, but for anyone else it’s pretty simple. Sleeping rough is not the only form of homelessness. Ask the person sleeping at a night shelter whether they feel like they have a home?

“Of course how we define the problem matters - especially given it determines whether Housing New Zealand prioritises someone for housing or not - which is perhaps why Mr Smith is trying to dismiss it.

“He also can’t seem to get to grips with the fact Housing New Zealand, by its own definition, houses on average just 250 ‘homeless’ people each year. On the other hand a service provider in one city had more than 200 new homeless clients through its doors last year and another,130.

“It is clear the Government has no strategy to deal with the complex social issue of homelessness.

“Still, it's no wonder with a minister who has such a narrow and ill-informed view of it.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news