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

Werewolf: John Pilger, And Making War On China

In July, the New Zealand Defence Force is scheduled to join the latest round of Talisman Sabre, a huge training exercise that Australia carries out biennially in conjunction with all four arms of the US military.

Last time around in 2015, New Zealand contributed 650 personnel, 45 vehicles and two of our $NZ771 million dollar fleet of NH90 helicopters to this regional war game.

What’s weird is that Talisman Sabre is actually a rehearsal for an assault on China and its ability to defend itself. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite. More>>

ALSO:

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news