Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Mike's Minute: Will housing sink the government?


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.


Phil said...

The standard Left rebuttal is that this problem was caused by the last National Government. 5 minutes on Google highlights a social housing waiting list of around 12,000 in 2007, 6,000 in 2017 and 23,000 in 2021. This problem is the result of the policies of the current government.
In defence of Marama Davidson, she has no power whatsoever in that role. We have seen how Labour makes up policy off the hoof on any given day. I believe they get up in the morning and decide to make a big spending pledge to create a good headline that day. We aren't far off a form of anarchic governance.

DeeM said...

I don't care what sinks this government just as long as something does by the next election. We need to ensure that the NZS Titanic goes down with all hands - no survivors. Especially Captain Ardern, First Mate Robertson and Cultural Officer Mahuta.
Nanaia will doubtless summon a taniwha to save them, or maybe ask the Chinese to lend them a dragon or two. Has she been watching too many Narnia movies or binge-watching Game of Thrones? I never thought much of Winston Peters but at least he never uttered crap like she does as Foreign Minister.
Good to see our wonderful MSM giving full and balanced coverage to this - yeah right! We have to rely on the international news agencies to tell us what's happening in our own country.
I knew things were bad but I dread to think what else this bunch of muppets are going to do in the next two and a half years of outright power.