Monday, April 28, 2014

National's New Zealand

Welcome to National's New Zealand, where the poor live in tents:

Blankets and body heat. Huddled together in a freezing tent as rain batters their makeshift home is how one Christchurch family has spent two months trying to keep warm.

The family of five has just weathered its third storm in a tent pitched at the Spencer Beach Holiday Park.

Taurua Houia, his wife and their three children are one of 270 priority A applicants on the Housing New Zealand waiting list. They have been priority A for three weeks, despite being assessed in February.

People living in tents is what Housing New Zealand exists to prevent. And if people are living like that for months after being assessed, then Housing NZ clearly is not doing its job properly. As for why, this probably has something to do with it:
Labour has accused the Government of using Housing NZ as a "cash cow" by demanding dividends of almost $500 million.

Housing spokesman Phil Twyford points to seven letters, obtained under the Official Information Act, in which ministers "repeatedly pressured" HNZ for the returns.

He says they have taken out $216m since the election in 2008, and have budgeted for a further $252m in the next three years. Twyford claims HNZ told the Government it would fund the dividend using some of a post-Canterbury earthquake insurance payout of $320m.

Yes, National is pillaging our state housing provider during a housing crisis - and people in need are paying the price. Our government really are heartless monsters.