Saturday, June 22, 2019

Bob Edlin: What's happened to NZ's housing crisis?

The absence of emotive media reports and silence from the lobbyists does not mean the housing “crisis” has been fixed

So what happened to New Zealand’s housing “crisis”? Was it real, or just another imagined but emotive issue akin to “peak oil”, the fetish of the Green Party back at the turn of the century which was accompanied by grim forebodings that the world would run out of oil by 2006?

Surely it was not just a figment of our – or the public’s – imagination! After all, the media for months carried nightly images of the hundreds of homeless on the streets, people living in garages or – if they were lucky – people being accommodated at state expense in motels.

That was in the run-up to the general election.

Curiously the lobbyists who were so active at that time are now relatively muted, although there is an occasional flashback to the homeless on the streets of central Auckland. And those kind-hearted people supplying meals to the hungry are still visible in the poorer areas of both Auckland and Wellington.

Labour, let’s not forget, came to office with well-canvassed policy to solve the housing “crisis”.

Because housing and the homeless are no longer being highlighted in the mainstream media, a visitor to NZ might conclude there is no longer a housing problem because the government has succeeded with its plans.

If only.

Far from being any kind of solution, the grand KiwiBuild scheme has been such a failure that even Phil Twyford, the Housing Minister who championed it for so long, has lost his ebullience in defending it.

There are even some unkind critics who say Twyford should be sacked for his performance on it (Point of Order doesn’t think there is any more than a remote chance of that, with PM Jacinda Ardern’s compassion welling up to save him).

Critics have been finger-pointing at the government over the KiwiBuild fiasco. According to the goals set by Labour when its policy was sold to voters, there should be 1000 homes built by the end of the month.

At the time of writing, there are still almost 900 to go.

Not surprisingly, the government has been talking of a “reset” of the entire housing policy. That doesn’t sound as if there are any quick fixes in sight for those who might have been at the sharp end of the housing “crisis”.

But perhaps the good news for unhoused New Zealanders is that Twyford is so busy working on Cabinet papers he cannot attend a talkfest on KiwiBuild. This led to National’s Judith Collins suggesting Twyford “is trying to reshuffle himself out of the housing portfolio”.

The question is whether ministers in the current coalition have learnt anything from the KiwiBuild fiasco.

We suggest, for example, that if you’ve discovered a “crisis” burning within the economy, you should make sure you have the means and the know-how to extinguish it in a hurry.

Bob Edlin is a veteran journalist and editor for the Point of Order blog HERE.


Brian said...

So long as we have a media that places emotive social rubbish before reality news, the better for this Government’s re-election.
The Housing debacle shows the very poor judgement available in the Labour Party; it also exposes their ideology that the State rules supreme.
Right wing parties have relied too long that the Marxism cloth cap image has sent Socialism into opposition time and time again. No more, times have changed.
The Blairites attempted to rectify this thinking but Communistic demands of obedience to the party line always wins. Socialism thinking is still that the State should solve all unemployment, industrial and commercial ventures; was once a reoccurring nightmare to holding electoral power.
The problem lies with the obvious fact that Government’s bureaucracy can never come close to understanding economical and business reality. That is why this new Socialism has turned to the method of overthrowing Western Civilisation by subversion, educational indoctrination, and Media control.
Armed with a change in direction, we see the promotion of fear and hypocrisy of so-called human effects on climate change. No matter that science disagrees.
Since the Berlin Wall came down, a part of the Communist Empire realised that a military option was counter-productive, and financially damaging. Instead they have turned to undermining of the West by promoting activist minority methods, which has now be well underway for decades.
We have seen in N.Z., a similar ultra fascination with Maori perennial dubious financial claims and an alteration to the Waitangi Treaty. Alongside more Greenpeace Climate fear mongering activists, Animal Rights etc.
We need to look further into the socialist agenda; which is in hand and glove with the policies of the United Nations. We can but hope that another term in the White House by President Trump, will see the USA pull its major funding from the U.N. Until that organisation removes its leftish bureaucracy and curriculum.
Will our P.M.’s (Catch phrase “Gotta be first before all others policy”) in a future Green/Socialist Government with its true Marxist principals? This has seen New Zealand well down the pathway to becoming the first Western Nation to surrender what is left of our sovereignty, and embrace a U.N. World Marxist Government?
“Written before our new Hate Speech Law comes into operation”!!!!!!

mike said...

well said Brian.

WayneG said...

Interesting article in latest economist comparing california's high cost housing and homelessness to Texas with less problems - drivers are california's regulations, land restictions (nimby's often) and higher taxes.

Allan said...

Well stated Bob, but what a brilliant reply from Brian. Could I suggest that Brian be given article space of his own sometime..