Public inquiry into homelessness

Media release from Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party


 

Public invited to have say on homelessness

People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry.

This inquiry was launched after National MPs turned down Opposition requests for a Parliamentary select committee inquiry into the issue.

Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says many New Zealanders are shocked and saddened by the number of families being forced to live in cars and garages this winter.

“We want to hear from those families and the agencies working with them about the best ways to support them and reduce the reasons they lose their homes in the first place.”

Green Party Social Housing spokesperson Marama Davidson says homelessness is not confined to those who sleep rough on the streets.

“There are many, many families who have no choice but to sleep in overcrowded garages, or in their cars. It hasn’t always been this way in New Zealand, and it doesn’t have to continue like this.”

Māori Party Co-Leader Marama Fox says this issue is too important to use as a political football.

“Homelessness is a blight on our society and we need to work together to find enduring solutions. This is a valuable opportunity for us to hear more from whānau, experts and those most impacted.”

Submissions will initially be heard at four locations: Te Puea Marae in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch between the end of August and early September.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

1. Consider whether the official definition of homelessness needs updating, and recommend accordingly.

2. Assess the evidence on the current scale of homelessness, whether it is changing and how, and what the causes of that change might be.

3. Evaluate possible policy responses to homelessness, including international best practice, and recommend accordingly.

4. Consider how homelessness is experienced by different groups in society and evaluate policy responses that respond to that experience. For example, Maori experience of homelessness and Maori-led initiatives to respond

5. Hear public submissions and expert evidence, particularly from those directly affected by homelessness and their advocates, and issue a written report.

Submissions open Monday and will close on Friday, 12 August and can be sent to: Homelessnessinquiry@parliament.govt.nz

Submissions can also be made through the Labour and Green Party websites from next week.


A useful inquiry or futile political grandstanding?

Leave a comment

61 Comments

  1. Perhaps we may get a feel for the actual size of the problem, although I suspect we may be the victims of a deliberate attempt to fudge the figures. I have yet to find an authoritative source which defines the extent of unsatisfied demand for housing, that at least would give us some facts to hang our hats on. I note that in the last 10 years there has been less houses built as a whole than the long term 20 plus year average. Statistics NZ in their most recent figures have today blown the whistle on the claims that the shortfall is caused by immigration numbers being excessive in recent times. But, just because someone wants to buy a house, does not mean that person should be counted as being in need of housing? Or have I got that wrong? What worries me is that Labour is broke, so it is reduced to appealing for bad/hard luck stories of whatever type so they can beat up the Government on it. Instead, we should be reading about how Labour will change things for the better without once again dumping on the taxpayers. They have a huge credibility gap because they can’t manage their own finances in such a way that gives credibility to their claims of being a genuine authentic Government in waiting. I look forward to being persuaded otherwise,

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  15th July 2016

      you have definately…got it…wrong!

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  15th July 2016

        You have definitely spelt that wrong.

        The numbers change according to who’s saying it.

        I don’t think that it’s ideal to live in a garage, of course, even a double one, but it’s a roof over your head. This isn’t being homeless in the true sense. I have heard from people who are involved with street people that many of them won’t live in houses as they like the freedom, and it’s hard to persuade some to come into ‘shelters’. That’s their choice. One can’t force someone to take help.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th July 2016

    Hypocrisy so blatant as to be hilarious: “Māori Party Co-Leader Marama Fox says this issue is too important to use as a political football.”

    Reply
  3. David

     /  15th July 2016

    I would suggest if CYFs started doing their job and removed children from parents who think its ok to bring them up living in a car might get some motivated. There was seriously two parents with 4 children living in a van and had their story told by the Herald, they turned down a state house that was too far away, the Dad was studying after giving up work, they moved from Christchurch where they had jobs and a house.
    Homelesness is not caused by a 600k house in Auckland now being worth 900k i would suggest. The opposition are woeful and have nothing to offer.

    Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  15th July 2016

    is it right..that 1 person owns 30 or 40 houses,and yet so many people do not have a home to live in?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2016

      Is it right that so many more people live in houses that they don’t lift a finger to maintain and are subsidised by the taxpayer to do so?

      Reply
    • David

       /  15th July 2016

      yes, just as its fine to own two or a hundred houses or a boat or a wine collection or whatever. Is it right that the taxpayers can stop someone on the DPB having more children, is it right that the taxpayer provides a state house to someone who has broken the law.
      if a homeless person can dictate how many houses someone is allowed can the demands be reciprocated on the homeless person.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  15th July 2016

        Its not a question aimed solely at the homeless or home owners.It is a question of the morality of the society we are or want to be.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  15th July 2016

          If I had won the $40,000,000 and spent it on 100 houses, isn’t that my business ? It’s people’s own business what they spend their money on, but if they spend it stupidly and expect the rest of us to bail them out, then it’s ours.

          What’s immoral about owning houses and providing homes for other people ?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  15th July 2016

            No, people would want to know where you bought 100 houses for only….$40,000,000.

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  15th July 2016

            why do the taxpayers have to indemnify banks then ?

            Reply
            • David

               /  15th July 2016

              no banks in NZ are indemnified by the taxpayer. we have never privatised profits and socialised losses

        • David

           /  15th July 2016

          Who,s morality do you refer too. Mine says there are obligations on the people who accept my very hard worked for tax dollars, we chose to delay having children until we were able to afford to but it seems I am to feel bad for a solo Mum with 7 children to various fathers and I would quite like that explained to me

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  15th July 2016

            ‘no banks in NZ are indemnified by the taxpayer. we have never privatised profits and socialised losses’

            you have obviously never heard of Sth Cant Finance or the Open Bank Resolution.Why does that not surprise…me!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              He’s asked a straightforward & reasonable question. Where’s your straightforward & reasonable answer?

            • alloytoo

               /  15th July 2016

              @ Blazer

              All guarantees ended in December 2011.

    • alloytoo

       /  15th July 2016

      It seems worth saying that owning more than one house does not necessarily mean that someone is deprived of a home. Indeed quite the opposite.

      Reply
      • Exactly. Many people wouldn’t have anywhere to live if it wasn’t for property owners that rent out their houses.

        I have relied on landlords quite a few times.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  15th July 2016

          supposedly over 30,000 empty houses in Auckland.Are the owners of these properties depriving anyone of a place to live.And while you’re there,who believes that its acceptable that a houses value in Auckland increases more in a week than the average salary that people work 40 hrs to earn…..people trying to save money are wasting…their..time!

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2016

            You silly man, Blazer. It’s been pointed out to you many times that at that rate the proportion of empty homes in Auckland is lower than usual and lower than many other cities in NZ. At any one census time this proportion of homes are empty because they are being renovated, a diseased estate is waiting to sell them, the owners are on vacation or a temporarily away, they are beach holiday houses or rentals, etc.

            http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.com/2015/04/empty-houses.html

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  15th July 2016

              from your own link…fool…

              ‘Who owns them and why no one lives there is information that’s not readily apparent’….the old ‘we don’t have the data’…line.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th July 2016

              Drivel. We do have data. It shows that the ratio of empty homes in Auckland is lower than usual and lower than other places. Even an idiot should then be able to work out that investors are not buying houses and leaving them empty thus causing the house shortage. Obviously either you don’t possess even an idiot level of logic or you are simply dishonest.

            • Blazer

               /  17th July 2016

              an idiots logic….’It shows that the ratio of empty homes in Auckland is lower than usual and lower than other places. ‘…lower than usual and lower than OTHER PLACES!!!Get a job.

      • Blazer

         /  15th July 2016

        @alleytoo…so the OBR is not current…is that your position?

        Reply
        • alloytoo

           /  15th July 2016

          The scheme under which South Canterbury Finance was Guaranteed was initiated by the previous Labour government ended in 2011.

          OBR is completely different, it’s not a blanket guarantee for all depositors, it’s a process which the government may choose to invoke, primarily with the intent of keeping the banking system functional and the guarantee is only put in place after the bank is placed in statutory management and only after depositors have already suffered a potential loss of a portion of their deposits.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  17th July 2016

            you do the ‘twist’ quite well…so the scheme was ‘initiated ‘ by the prior Lab govt,so what,the Nats bailed them with interest as well!The OBR is a guarantee,’blanket’ or not….you were wrong ,stop twisting and just admit it.

            Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  15th July 2016

    does every NZ citizen deserve food ,shelter and security?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2016

      No. A few deserve a bullet. Quite a lot deserve a kick up the backside. But all of them get food, shelter and the protection of the law if they want or will accept it.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  15th July 2016

        Like shooting fish in a barrell

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th July 2016

          What do you mean?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th July 2016

            He means answering Blazer is like shooting fish in a barrel. Though I think it is more like flushing the loo.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              Why?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2016

              That’s what my three-year old used to keep saying. You can keep it up for a satisfyingly long sequence so I’ll just say “Because he wants to”.

            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              No I mean, I can understand your points – I can extrapolate the first sentence to assume, in answer to Blazer’s simple enough question, that you mean, like me you are not averse to the death penalty for serious offenders. For the second, that you consider some people are dole bludgers who are not prepared to get off their bums & find paid work when they possibly could.

              Then you go on to point out that nevertheless you consider that our society still looks after them all & ensures that all of them can get food, shelter and the protection of the law if they want or will accept it.

              Those are points worthy of discussion.

              What’s iceberg’s added to anything? Or, for that matter, your flushing the loo remark, which frankly I think is beneath you.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2016

              No, I don’t support the death penalty because although some offenders certainly warrant it I do not believe we can identify them with enough certainty and without error.

              There are plenty of people who need a wake up call ethically and lifestyle-wise and I don’t equate them with beneficiaries.

              Finally, Blazer frequently talks crap which sadly but definitely needs flushing away. Not specifically this time.

            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              No, I don’t support the death penalty because although some offenders certainly warrant it I do not believe we can identify them with enough certainty and without error.

              I only advocate for a very select small group who are and will always be a danger to anyone around them, and I think they are identifiable – but it would need need 2 out of 3 psychiatrists to agree, and Judicary J to agree. A debate for another day though – if ever.

        • Gezza

           /  15th July 2016

          There are plenty of people who need a wake up call ethically and lifestyle-wise and I don’t equate them with beneficiaries.

          I probably agree with you there – the world doesn’t owe anyone a living who can get out & earn it.

          Reply
    • David

       /  15th July 2016

      We deserve far more than that; we should all have a right to live in mansions!

      The living wage is not enough, we want the right to a ‘party like a rock star wage’ and we demand it now!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th July 2016

        Who’s demanding the “right to live in mansions” & to “party like rock star” wages?

        Reply
        • David

           /  15th July 2016

          Hey, if you demand a right, you may as well make it one worth demanding…..

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th July 2016

            I can’t see that any of them are demanding that right. Show me where someone is?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  15th July 2016

              you have a lot of faith in psychiatrists…!Why?

            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              I’d have killed myself decades ago except I found a good one.

              What’s your problem with them? And why are you raising this issue from this comment? WTF’s my comment about nobody demanding the right to live in a mansion or to have a rock star salary got to do with that issue?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th July 2016

              Time to flush, Gezza.

            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              I think you’re right. Look at the bloody shambles the comments on this post have turned into.

            • Gezza

               /  15th July 2016

              It’s not even worth staying in it. Half of it looks like bloody graffiti.
              I’m outa this one.

    • PDB

       /  15th July 2016

      Blazer: “does every NZ citizen deserve food ,shelter and security?”

      Yes, hence why so many people are in prison.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th July 2016

        That’s an odd one. Are you saying those that haven’t got food,shelter and security should be in prison?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  15th July 2016

          I don’t believe that everyone ‘deserves’ food, shelter and security. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege to be given it if one cannot or does not earn it.

          It is certainly NOT someone’s right to be fussy about the accommodation provided by the taxpayer because it’s not in their chosen suburb or everyone can’t have their own bedroom. It would be their right to be fussy if they were having a house built and paying for it, of course.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th July 2016

            Yeah but do you think those that haven’t got those things should be in prison? That’s what PDB seems to be saying?

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  15th July 2016

            Well Kitty perhaps you can explain why children don’t deserve those things .

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th July 2016

          I never downtick anybody for honest opinion that’s not insulting someone.

          Reply
  6. I always downtick personal insults. Its in my makeup?

    Reply
  7. You know I have already given a link to a report that has the blessing of the Statistics Department about the extent of homelessness in New Zealand published in March 2016. If you compare the figures in that link with the current levels of homes for sale and rent in New Zealand, you will rapidly realise that the housing stock available in New Zealand far exceeds the numbers of Homeless. So according to Economics 101 supply exceeds demand, ergo price will go down. The real problem is the gap in expectations. The young want everything now, and genuinely believe their is a big bag of gold owned by the Gubbermint which is available to lash out with social welfare spending to meet all demands. We all know that is meaningless crap, and it is the taxpayers who own the money, and have the right to vote for priorities of spending. Where is the fairness in giving a new generation a handout to get started in their own homes? Why can’t they do what we all have done and learn the disciplines of saving, investing and hard work? Or are we all destined to live in the back of our small number of entrepreneurs? Get a life people and don’t accept the bland statements of pollies and MSM affected academics!

    Reply
    • There is not Their is!!

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  16th July 2016

      ‘ So according to Economics 101 supply exceeds demand, ergo price will go down. The real problem is the gap in expectations.’…..you must be the only person in NZ who believes this Colonel.

      Reply
      • @ Beejay – ” … the housing stock available in New Zealand far exceeds the numbers of Homeless.”

        Isn’t there a single Real Estate ‘golden rule’ above-and-beyond even the presumptions, delusional binary mathematics and extrapolated mythology of Economics 101?

        Yes, there is, it’s called “location, location, location”.

        It was Rogernomics and the great neoliberal myth beginning 32-odd years ago [here] that heralded in the “ME” generation, so if “the young want everything now” they have been well educated (euphemism for ‘trained’, conditioned or brainwashed) and are indeed living up to their parents and in some cases grandparents expectations … They are good, desirable, ‘demanding’ consumers …

        Reply
  8. Mark Davis

     /  17th July 2016

    We recently spoke with neighbours who were given notice to vacant their rental property by their real estate agent as the property was sold they had been given two week notice without any assistance from the real estate agents to find then another house. Another scenario. Two young ladies have been given 21 days to vacant their rental flat in whakatane again with no help at all from the real estate. My problem is this, why do real estates rent out properties and not have any responsibity to assure their tenants are looked after, i can understand the short term leases system but surely their should be some consistency on the real estate part. Real estate agencies should not be use as an avenue for providing rental properties because it seem they are using the system for a quick fix income on those less fortunate. Im disappointed with the government fot not doing anything to rectify this shamble. There are other cases i know of that are familiar and are family members, the two young ladies is my daughter and my niece, they both work 7 days a week for next to nothing working as cleaners, i am taking them both in which mean quitting their job, im angry and fed up with how things are quickly escalating in nz and like us a lot of people are starting to open their eyes and see what this government is really all about, ” themselves! “

    Reply

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