Universal access to state housing?

There were protests outside the National Party’s northern regional convention in Auckland in the weekend, making a number of demands.

Newshub: Protesters square up to police outside National Party conference

Around 50 Auckland Action Against Poverty representatives squared up to police in Mt Wellington, demanding a living wage and universal access to state housing.

One of the protesters was reportedly arrested for trespassing after running past police and trying to enter the Waipuna Conference Centre.

Group spokeswoman Vanessa Cole told Fairfax the protest was timed with Mother’s Day to acknowledge sole mothers, who “face economic punishment from Work and Income”.

Cole said unemployed people and low-waged workers are facing “crisis”.

Universal access to state housing was also mentioned in other reports, but ODT (from NZME) have a different description in Protests at National Party conference:

Spokeswoman Vanessa Cole said the group was calling for three key systemic changes to alleviate poverty – the mass building of state housing, a living income for everyone, and the end of penalties against beneficiaries.

Here  they describe it as “the mass building of state housing”.

On their website Auckland Action Against Poverty (which features Sue Bradford) they say:


We have many ideas about solutions to unemployment, poverty and a broken, punitive welfare system, including a government commitment to the creation of decent jobs for unemployed people, total reform of welfare, a major state housing programme and the eventual introduction of a progressive UBI (universal basic income).

AAAP calls on political parties, unions, church and community organisations to join us in 3 key demands:

  • Lift benefits to levels people can live on
  • Overturn National’s welfare reforms; treat people with respect & dignity, not intimidation & punishment
  • Require government to ensure that  everyone has access to secure, healthy & affordable housing.

‘Universal state housing’ isn’t mentioned as far as I can see on their website.

In a press release promoting the weekend’s protests: Mother’s Day protest to grill Bill

“On Mother’s Day it is important to speak out against the economic punishment of sole mothers who face hardship and discrimination under our welfare system,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for AAAP.

“AAAP will be demanding the mass build of state housing, a livable income for all and the end of sanctions imposed on beneficiaries.

“People should not have to choose between basic necessities. All people should be entitled to state housing and a livable income.

Not quite ‘universal access’, but that states “all people should be entitled to state housing” as well as a “living income”.

It’s good to aspire to everyone having good housing and good incomes but that’s going much further than is ever likely to happen – or if the Greens get to  run Government is unlikely to be affordable for long.

Leave a comment


  1. Blazer

     /  15th May 2017

    houses are for people to live in,shelter,refuge a home to raise children.Today they are a ‘vehicle’ to accumulate wealth condoned by successive govts.

    • Further, they provide warmth, safety, security, somewhere to rest – all things that are basic needs from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s premise is that it is hard for someone to focus on become a productive, creative, fulfilled and loving individual when the basic needs are not met.

      • David

         /  15th May 2017

        Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has sex at the same level as breathing and food. As this is a basic need, the state should provide this as well.

      • @ Clone278 – “Maslow’s premise is that it is hard for someone to focus on becoming a productive, creative, fulfilled and loving individual when their basic needs are not met.”

        Milton Friedman (et al), on the other hand, inverted this concept and pushed the idea that keeping people focused on fulfilling their basic needs through ‘productivity & efficiency’ – measured only in financial terms – in fiercesome individual competition with one another – will prevent people becoming creative, fulfilled and loving individuals – where loving also implies individual and communal altruism.

        This keeps them just adequately ‘productive’ – busy satisfying “instincts and desires” including many fabricated ‘wants’ and addictions – to maintain the restricted focus in a kind of ‘closed loop’ … The initial lubricant and glue of this nefarious concept was “trickle down” …

        The problem with individual and communal altruism is that it inevitably leads in the direction of social democracy – what Righties derogatively call ‘socialism’ – which involves a level of communal responsibility … the financial measure of which is taxation …

        This new paradigm, or neoliberalism, had to benefit some elite group in society or else our ruling elite would never have bought it and worked so hard to sell it to us, right?

        Thankfully, the level of individual and communal altruism – the latter being only a function of the former – remained high enough – possibly because it is partly ‘genetic’ in human beings – a survival mechanism – for neoliberalism and its ultimate expression – anarcho-capitalism – to require some considerable amelioration … but not if Roger Douglas had had his way …

      • Conspiratoor

         /  15th May 2017

        Or as I prefer to think, the converse, where a need ceases to motivate when that need is met. I receive a 20% increase in my remuneration. Do I work any harder?

  2. I know there is a general resentment in the country against the state because they seem to spend a huge amount of money with not much result but they are in a unique position to ameliorate the housing and housing infrastructure situation. For one, they can borrow money at a lower rate than any private institution or individual. Secondly, they can create money via the reserve bank and many countries around the world are using this strategy to buttress their over-indebted economies. Our model, where the government lauds themselves over how little debt they accumulate while pushing the burden onto the private sector will likely be self-defeating in the long run because we all know what happens when the private finance sector collapses in a heap. That’s right, they get bailed out by the state…

    • David

       /  15th May 2017

      Of course, printing money to build houses won’t create a shit-ton of inflation, no way that will happen…..

      • Blazer

         /  15th May 2017

        NOT PRINTING IT seems to have accelerated housing inflation,so nothing much to….lose!

    • @ Clone278 – “they [government] seem to spend a huge amount of money with not much result”

      Please don’t feed the Righties …

      Let’s start a list of all the “not much” our goverment provides … [I rest my case] …

      What the government doesn’t provide is some form of free treatment for a lot of people’s GENERAL RESENTMENT …

      • It’s a contradiction in terms really, isn’t it?

        “a general resentment in the country against the state”, despite the general populace having elected the government of that state …

        “Something rotten in the State of De … Democracy”

        What could it be, this “general resentment”?

  3. Trevors_elbow

     /  15th May 2017

    Statist, Marxists and Anarchists all of 50 of them in a city of what 1.5 million people….. the Masses have spoken. What an utter joke. Did Sues rent a mob try to assault anyone this time?

  1. Universal access to state housing? – NZ Conservative Coalition

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