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

 


Harawira: Financial Review Debate

FINANCIAL REVIEW DEBATE

2012/13 Financial Review of the non-departmental appropriations for VOTE HOUSING

Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Member of Parliament for Tai Tokerau

Tuesday 4 March 2014

The first point I want to make about funding for affordable housing, is how woefully inadequate the Social Housing Fund allocation actually was, particularly when you consider the staggeringly high need, and secondly how little of that woefully inadequate amount was actually spent on housing and I want to highlight those figures here - $28m was actually allocated, but only $16m was spent.

How bad is that? Government takes only 2 days to decide spend $30m on Rio Tinto, but in a whole bloody year can’t spend $28m on housing for the poor?

How’s that for poor performance? They only got $28m - but through bureaucratic inefficiency they managed to only spend $16m; and they only actually delivered 165 houses! What a shambles!!!

But that’s not the worst part … the worst part is that government’s policies are leading to huge numbers of low-income families being evicted from their homes, state houses being disposed of, and large tracts of state housing land being sold off to make way for high-end housing estates because National believes that the private sector is the best place to provide for housing. Ehara tera te puru tutae noaiho!

There is nowhere in the world where the private sector provides quality, long-term, affordable housing for the poor, and it certainly isn’t happening here where thousands of families are forced to rent high-price, damp, draughty, cold flats and houses on the open market, because the state no longer wants to bother.

And those in state houses are being shunted out of them as we speak, like the family who has lived in a home in Glen Innes for the past 33 years, but are about to be evicted by HNZ this Friday as part of the sale of state properties to the private sector and the ‘redevelopment’ of the area.

HNZ say they’re evicting the family for alleged “anti-social behaviour” … isn’t it funny how a family can live in a house for 33 years without any major problems, but the minute mum speaks out against policies which have led to the eviction of friends and neighbours her family has known for decades, all of sudden her family is being evicted for “anti-social behaviour”.

Betty has lived in Glen Innes all her life; she’s a postal worker, a cleaner, an EPMU member and a regular volunteer at Glen Innes Primary School.

Late last year Betty’s sister’s family was evicted from the home where their family had lived for 54 years.

Betty herself has just come out of hospital where she underwent a procedure for breast cancer. She’s tired, she’s unwell, and now thanks to HNZ, she’s about to become homeless.

Betty’s family want to stay in their home and fight the eviction and the public are invited to support them by marching with her this Thursday, 6pm, Taniwha St, Glen Innes.

The ‘housing crisis’ in low socio-economic areas like Glen Innes, Pomare and Maraenui has actually been worsened by HNZ policies that demonise poor families and devastate communities, leaving empty houses and unsafe neighbourhoods.

And if that wasn’t enough, government is now reviewing all tenancies, and shifting the allocation of state housing from HNZ to WINZ, bringing even greater insecurity, and ever more bureaucratic harassment for low-income families.

That is not a future that any government should be seeking.

Government should instead take a positive approach to the problem, by engaging in a comprehensive programme of building 10,000 new state houses every year, for at least the next 5 years to help address the critical shortage of healthy homes for low-income families, and because building homes does more than just provide houses for people; it creates thousands of jobs in design, architecture, carpentry, cabinetmaking, painting, roofing, electrical work, plumbing, drainlaying, community infrastructure and all the related jobs that come with a strong and vibrant housing sector; and it helps build healthy families and healthy communities, because when people are working everybody benefits.

I have no doubt that a government funded home building programme would be well received by local bodies and by iwi, both of whom have a huge interest in seeing their communities engaged in meaningful work, and who would happily come to the party on consent issues and availability of land for housing development.

Mr Chairman – we do have a housing crisis, but we also have the ability to deal with it quickly and positively. All it takes is the political will to do so.

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