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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news