Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This should not happen in New Zealand

Welcome to National's New Zealand, where people are being forced to live in tents because HousingNZ doesn't give a shit about them:

Housing New Zealand has apologised to a family of seven who lived in a tent for five weeks as they waited for a house to become available in Tauranga.

The family, including five children aged from 2 to 11, have been living in a two-bedroom tent next to the Wairoa River, just outside Bethlehem, since December 13. They have had to use the public toilets across the bridge and bathe in the river.

Housing New Zealand yesterday offered them a home after Maori MP Te Ururoa Flavell intervened.

Housing New Zealand exists to stop this from happening. But they cared so little about their job that they didn't even visit this family in desperate need for seven weeks, and only got involved when an MP kicked their arse about it. Heads need to roll for that failure. But beyond that, Housing New Zealand needs to be properly resourced so it can actually do its job. National has gutted the state housing system, reducing it to providing crisis housing (to avoid bad PR about waiting lists) - and as we've seen above, even that doesn't work. We need Housing NZ to return to its core job of ensuring that every kiwi has a roof over their heads - and we need it to be funded to do that job.