I just wonder if it might not be the complete and utter failure around emergency housing, social housing, or just housing in general that has finally got a bunch of the more apathetic among us sitting upright and paying attention at last.
The waiting list is at record levels, of course, and has been growing for the past several years. We are now spending $1 million a day on this mess with no sign it's getting any better.
This, after all, was the party that lambasted the last government and said they had answers. And they said motels were not an acceptable solution.
This week it appears, to some degree, to have come to a head.
Marama Davidson, one of the government's own, has told a sad and simple truth.
The state of things is simply unacceptable. Not just for those stuck in motels, but for those having to deal with them, whether it's neighbours, neighbourhoods, or towns. Places like Rotorua, parts of Auckland, and certainly Wellington are out of control in terms of behaviour and criminal activity.
National's Nicola Willis is right when she says the government are ducking for cover. Because once you’ve conducted the obligatory review, thrown someone else's money at it and still have a problem, that's all they can do.
There is waste, given the cost some of the rooms are renting for. There is scandal, given the amount some motel owners are raking in. The Police have questions to answer around their monitoring of behaviour.
There are reputational issues for towns and cities, and issues people haven't seemingly wanted to deal with for fear of offending someone.
But what's without doubt is this is a full-blown scandal. We don't have a million a day, and even if we did it would still be a waste.
Numbers don’t lie. Whether it's the record queue, the record number of rooms, the record length of time some are stuck in these places, or the record bill,
When your own government Minister, as in Davidson is calling out their own record, it's time for the bulk of us to drop the apathy and start holding a few people to account.
If you have just started to get exercised with this mess, wait until you delve into the other stuff. There is quite the growing list and it'll make your eyes water.
Covid and closing the border has given this lot a free ride for too long. Housing might just be the turning of the accountability tide.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.
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