Friday, July 07, 2017


Housing New Zealand waiting list quadruples in Palmerston North, Stuff, 5 May 2017:

The waiting list for Palmerston North's state homes has quadrupled for the second year in a row.

There were 193 applications on the Housing New Zealand waiting list in March. A year ago it was 44, and two years ago there were only 10.

Manawatu Tenants' Union co-ordinator Kevin Reilly said the union was dealing with people struggling just to get a roof over their heads.

For the past few years, the cost of living – the amount needed to cover essentials such as food, rent, and electricity – had increased faster than incomes, he said.

Almost 40% of Manawatu schools report operating deficits, Manawatu Standard, 25 June 2017:
Almost 40 per cent of Manawatu schools outspent their income during 2015, data shows.

The figures back up what many principals are saying – schools are struggling to make ends meet with current funding, Central District Secondary Principals' Association chairman Peter Brooks said.

'Cruel' ministry rejects Canterbury's 'urgent' mental health funding plea, Stuff, July 4 2017:
The Government has rejected an "urgent" request for millions of dollars of additional mental health funding for Canterbury.

A Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) member has labelled the rejection "brutal, cruel, unfair and wrong" and warns mental health staff are under such pressure that "we're heading towards a service failure".

CDHB chief executive David Meates told the Ministry of Health in March about a proposal to request "urgent additional mental health funding of $7.2 million to address increasing demand", documents obtained by Stuff reveal.

Director general of health Chai Chuah responded in a letter to CDHB acting chair Mark Solomon that such a proposal for additional funding was "inappropriate" as it was the responsibility of the board to ensure the provision of services for its resident population.

Govt surplus beats expectations, Radio New Zealand, 6 July 2017:
A higher tax take and lower spending has helped boost the government's coffers.

Excluding investment gains and losses, the operating surplus stood at $4.49 billion for the 11 months to May, compared with the $2.9bn surplus that had been forecast.


Expenses came in below expectations, at $69.3bn.

[Emphasis added]

So, the government apparently is rolling in money, while health, education, and state housing are all chronicly underfunded. This isn't a "surplus" - or if it is, its the "surplus" you have when you haven't paid for rent or food and are putting off that visit to the doctor. In other words, not a surplus at all. In reality, our government is deeply in debt: a social, infrastructural, and health debt, accumulated over thirty years of NeoLiberalism. But because that misery is not counted on the government's books, it doesn't exist in government thinking, and so it's "yay, tax cuts", rather than "we need to fix this".

This is simply not sane. Our government is like a drunk, ignoring basic costs in order to feel rich and splurge on its mates. And that is not "good economic management".