Paula Bennett announces plan to offer $5,000 to homeless Aucklanders and state house tenants to leave Auckland live in provinces; policy developed in recent days; Govt accused of flailing and making policy on the run

Paula Bennett announces plan to offer $5,000 to homeless Aucklanders and state house tenants to leave Auckland live in provinces; policy developed in recent days; Govt accused of flailing and making policy on the run
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett talking to reporters in Parliament on May 25, 2016. Photo by Lynn Grieveson for Hive News.

By Bernard Hickey

In another sign Auckland's housing crisis is dominating the political and economic agenda, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has announced a plan to offer 150 families who were homeless or in state houses in Auckland up to NZ$5,000 each to move to provincial cities and towns with empty state houses and private rentals.

Bennett told reporters in Parliament the plan would cost around NZ$750,000 and had been developed and refined in recent days by officials in response to reports of people living in cars and garages. Bennett admitted yesterday that homeless families in Auckland faced a "crisis", although she stopped short of saying the Auckland housing market was in crisis in its entirety.

"I would say to those that are homeless that there is a chance that they could get a house in days if they were willing to look outside of Auckland," she said.

Bennett said the grant would be targeted mostly at those already in state houses, but would also be available to those that were homeless, and would be for both empty state houses and private rentals in other cities and towns. The offer was a voluntary one, she said, adding there were spare state houses in Whanganui, Gisborne, Hamilton, Ngaruawahia and Huntly.

She said the Government would also accelerate plans for special needs grants for those people paying to stay in motels because there were insufficient state houses. Currently people staying in motels are incurring debts of tens of thousands of dollars to WINZ. Earlier this month, Bennett announced a one week grant for motel costs from early September, but the plan would be brought forward to July, she said today.

"The relocating out of Auckland, that is one that I have thought of in the last week as well. We've been doing the long term work on those currently in state houses. But I would say to people that are homeless that there is a chance that they could get a house within days if they were willing to look outside Auckland, and certainly we have been doing a bit of analysis both on empty Housing New Zealand houses and private rentals that are available that, alongside the accommodation supplement, makes it cheap," she said.

"The five grand is more for those that are currently in social housing and relocating - but, yes, we might do some sort of financial assistance if that is what's needed and in some cases it could be Huntly or Ngaruawahia, we've got some houses available in Hamilton, then further afield in Whanganui. Gisborne has got some empty houses. I understand some people have got kids in school and need to be in Auckland so I am not talking about them. But for others we are just opening up the choice and it's voluntary, for some they may not necessarily need to be in Auckland and there are opportunities in other parts of the country."

She said Work and Income (WINZ) was also setting up 'flying squads' to work with homeless people in cars and vans to ensure they were receiving support and were on the social housing register.

Finance Minister and Housing NZ Corp Minister Bill English later said he was unaware of the announcement.

"I'm not responsible for every dollar," he said.  "The minister has a fair bit of discretion about how the appropriations work with respect to social housing."

Bennett said Auckland's state houses were 97% full, with the remaining 3% generally empty because of P contamination.

"Also, just looking at private rentals, I was doing a TradeMe search this morning on private rentals then looking at what the accommodation supplement could be and that looks quite affordable as well," she said.

Bennett said she had been looking the policy of relocating state house tenants out of Auckland for months, but had come up with the idea of offering the relocation payment to homeless people in recent days.

"It's not something that's been rushed. It's certainly something that's been concerted work, but there's no doubt about it that in the last few days I think we just, certainly from the media putting the attention on it and you are seeing people that are living in those sort of circumstances, I just want to do whatever we can and I think this is a way for me to get the message out to them that there is help available," she said.

"There is a range of places that are available as far as Housing New Zealand is concerned, for example, in Lower Hutt there's 18 that are ready to let, Palmerston North 15, Porirua 5, Gisborne 4, Rotorua 5."

"For some people (and I by no means think everyone) there will be situations where actually moving to a town where there are really good support services, where it's more affordable and some of them might even be looking to moving back to where their family are. I just want to open those sort of opportunities," she said of homeless people with complex problems. 

Opposition reaction

Green Co-Leader Metiria Turei said the latest plan showed the Government was flailing around.

“Paula Bennett has clearly just woken up to the fact that New Zealanders don’t want the Government to stand by and watch while thousands of Kiwi families live in cars, overcrowded garages, and on the streets,” Turei said.

“While moving out of Auckland might work for some people without a home, it’s not going to be practicably possible for many of them, and we’re still going to have thousands of people living in garages, cars and on the streets," she said.

“This is another short-term housing half-measure from the Government, done more for appearance than for effect. The obvious solution to our housing emergency is not to ship people out of Auckland to find a home; it’s for the Government to build more state houses in Auckland."

Labour Leader Andrew Little said described the proposal as "scrambled policy made on the hoof" from a Government that was out of touch.

"Having let the housing crisis spiral out of control, the Government’s three housing Ministers are now in damage control mode as the consequences of their failures come home to roost," Little said.

“It is just not a credible policy to provide cash incentives for homeless people to ship them out of town. When will this increasingly out of touch Government realise that the obvious thing to do in a housing crisis is to build more houses?," he said.

(Updated with more reaction, details, new picture)

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the budget of this policy - 750K - is less than the price 1 house in Auckland. I think it won't make much difference

and add in the welfare payments, some of the people in cars are working so we shift them and now have to pay for them to be out of work

Investors will be happy to take they jobs I guess

This why Key CANNOT admit to a crises or admit to issues with foreign buyers with our housing. We risk trade deals if we make any manoeuvre to prevent foreign buyers from picking up a bit of kiwi land. See http://www.interest.co.nz/property/78005/mfat-says-tpp-effectively-preve...
We have sold our sovereignty for global trade and we can't do a damn thing about it. They fv(+ us.

If anyone's lived in the UK, then you would know they tried the same thing there by relocating families to the south coast - Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings etc from London council estates.

The fact of the matter is the UK destroyed it's very being by allowing mass immigration where the infrastructure could not cope with demand. House, schools, hospitals and transport.
After 20 or so years they slammed on the breaks and perhaps is the reason for a proposed BREXIT - they've reached tipping point.

New Zealand is "little Britain' with it's idea regardless of govt of growing it's population exponentially. The current govt does not have a plan other than seeing $$$$$$$ in foreign investment to keep the numbers looking good for GDP and GNP.

If we removed foreign investment in houses, land and consumables then our stats would look fairly shite. Homeowners would not have so much equity to borrow against (and spend) or be in a position to sell and borrow more for a nice home in the suburbs.

We as a country produce very little to support the very things our taxes are meant for so we rely on foreign investment. ie overseas students to pay $20k to study to prop up our tertiary institutions.

There is no turning back now, we simply can't afford it.

The poor buggers at the bottom have to lump it - whether it's 5k or 50k the societal problems will continue to exist and grow exponentially as we try to put fires out all over our cities and provinces.

The UK allowed mass immigration?
.
I think that was just a (deserved) hangover from its worldwide empire. You know: you invade and plunder enough countries, and leave them in a sorry state by the time you pull out, you should be obliged to look after their citizens, somehow.
I don't feel sorry for England, at all.
.
But you are quite right in that NZ has long idealsed England (and yes, I'm not referrg to 'UK' on purpose) as something to aspire to.
.
We as a country earned our keep until Britain joined the EU. We wouldn't need a huge amount foreign investment if we learned not to be so wasteful and greedy.
.
And the poor buggers at the bottom outnumber those at the top - history has a habit of repeating itself. The very rich never stay in charge for long if the poor buggers are hungry.

There's homeless people in Hamilton already.Why aren't they getting the empty state houses?

There has been a tonne of work done by The People's Project in Hamilton to re-home homeless people. Many of the people on the streets at night are not in fact homeless, but beggars, which of course is still a problem, but not a housing problem.

So all the ones you define as beggars are not homeless? Just wondering.

Yes. Those who beg are not necessarily homeless. They do it for many reasons. The People's Project website has some good information. What I am saying to the original poster is that Hamilton has a problem with beggars, but that is not a housing problem, which is why Hamilton may have spare Housing NZ properties available.

Reading the headline I thought it was a stupid idea but reading the whole article RELOCATING HOMELESS PEOPLE IN EMPTY STATE HOUSES IN THE PROVINCES makes sense. The homeless don't have to take the offer but it beats being on the streets in my opinion

...it makes no sense. What you are seeing is those who are the least desirable as tenants getting the 'boot' first. As the madnes continues the next least desirable tenants wil be booted. Eventually you and I will be next in line........unless you are a foreign investor with buckets of money.

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The crisis is all of the governments making. It can easily turn off the immigration tap at any time to reduce the inflow of people into NZ (mainly Auckland) in the short term and bring it back to a level that is manageable.
Yes the RMA needs fixing and land supply loosened up, but that is a longer term solution.
It is pure Government incompetence that it has come to this. Key and Smith need to go. We have a 3rd world government in a first world country.

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...totally agree...bad politicians caused the crisis, reduce demand to fix short term, and supply long term. But need to fix politicians first.

This why Key CANNOT admit to a crises or admit to issues with foreign buyers with our housing. We risk trade deals if we make any manoeuvre to prevent foreign buyers from picking up a bit of kiwi land. See http://www.interest.co.nz/property/78005/mfat-says-tpp-effectively-preve...
We have sold our sovereignty for global trade and we can't do a damn thing about it. They fv(+ us.

This would have to be backed up with a robust register of those who take up the offer so that they are not eligible for assistance within the Auckland region if they return within a specified timeframe, say 18 months. Also that multiple individuals from 1 property don't sign up or only some go leaving others behind so they can return immediately.

Better still, If the 5K is given as a form of incentivised rent discount for example after 6 months, every second week free until used up.

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https://croakingcassandra.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/fabian-society-spe...

Re Kiwi Overseas' comment above: The crisis is all of the governments making. It can easily turn off the immigration tap at any time to reduce the inflow of people into NZ (mainly Auckland) in the short term and bring it back to a level that is manageable.

For a detailed analysis of why this remedy is so important for our future, read Michael Reddell's amazing speech

https://croakingcassandra.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/fabian-society-spe...

Very good article. Thanks.

Thank You Plan B.
Brilliant, clear thinking analysis from Michael Riddell, are any of our politicians even really thinking about these issues?

good article...but we are merely a stepping stone Oz...

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Is it just me or do we seem to be moving closer to "The Hunger Games" each and every day...

Yep, just you...

I'm agree. Where to get this 5K ? Currently I'm renting, but I don't have home, I don't own home.

The govt. have evicted me from my home so I'm technically homeless. Do I qualify for this $5000?

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So the government is now paying Kiwis to get out of Auckland to accommodate overseas investors and immigrants. Where do the governments priorities lie. If the homeless camped outside John Keys mansion at 107 St Stephens Ave Parnell, they may be offered more. The trouble with chasing them to the provinces is that the Auckland landlords are spreading their interests there also and causing the same sort of mayhem, so eventually they will have the same sorts of problems. Really just kicking the can down the street. The government seem desperate to do anything other than address the basic causes of the problem. Their statements and actions have the appearance that they are panicking. I think the heart of it is that if they do anything to fix the problems, the ponzie scheme will collapse, so they continue to do nothing effective and hope. However collapse is now inevitable and the longer they leave it the worse it will be. I suspect that the housing issue will eventually be John Key's epitaph. If he had any sense he would resign now on the basis of something like family pressures, not wanting stand for a 4th term and resigning now would allow his replacement time to establish themselves before the next election.

The collectors

How it's done and who's doing it

Property records showed the house was owned by Xiaohong Wang who is also listed as owning a number of Auckland properties spread throughout Henderson, Blockhouse Bay, Unsworth Heights, Whakatane, West Harbour, Orewa and Torbay. The owner is also listed as having houses in Dunedin and Hamilton East.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1164...

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Totally agreed. Now have you guys ever imagined that China dumps cheap goods around the world and kill those countries manufacturing industries and jobs. Then with that same money their citizens buy houses in western countries and make housing unaffordable to its citizens. How dumb can it get? I have nothing against nz born Chinese or permanent residents but it's not fair when
1. Overseas buyer outbid a local.
2. A young person in their early 20s buying million dollar house. What's the source of that money.
3. Making few hundred thousand dollars TAX FREE when ordinary people are not even spared a dollar by IRD.
4. Government denying the problem.

Question - does it go both ways? Can I buy a house in China? Not that I want to.
And there in lies the sick joke. Its mainly one way in favour of China

It is an obvious attempt to sanitise the "supercity". Next will be long term unemployed, and following on closely, disabled, mental health patients, parolees, DPB mums and dads, ...move them all out to to cheaper places, with lower servicing fosts,make way for productive tax payers. A very fascist agenda?

Silly me. I was sure they would have worked out that with a net population gain there must be empty seats on many returning aircraft. I was sure they would have utilised these empty seats by offering free one way tickets out of NZ to the homeless.

I love New Zealand. A country where "the needy" get their rent paid by the government AND get 5k to relocate out of Auckland City. If the Auckland city 'state houses' will be sold on the free market then for the price of every one of those houses sold the government might be able to build another two on the outskirts of the city or three in the provinces and thus help alleviate the housing constrains in Auckland. I am happy when my tax money is being spent wisely!

I wonder if they relocate to Great Barrier, Huntly etc or Pacific Islands do they get the 5k and what if the sneak back into Auckland in the middle of the night after 5k all spent? A dumb idea and a waste of money.

Wow, this really is "significant"...........in regard to it being a blatant and pathetic attempt at bribery! Seriously! Is THIS the best they can come up with?
How far does $5 grand get anyone who's homeless?

Build some god damn houses!

Christ almight Justice. Build some houses? What a revolutionary idea.
The govt needs to be building a shitload of houses
But it won't.
Because it believes in 'The Market'...
Just as flawed as the left wingers who think there isn't an important place for the market...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could kick stupid inflexible quasi-religious ideologies into the long grass and do something practical? Need houses that people can both a) live in; and b) afford. How to extricate ourselves from this impossible conundrum? How? HOW???

Kakapo - exactly.
'Pure' Ideologies on both sides of the political spectrum are killers.
The good news, I think, is that Labour is hitting the right space on housing - critical places for BOTH intervention and the market.
Beyond ideology, I see no good reasons why the Nats should not be building a lot more houses. The problem is, they are getting close to ideological purists on 'The Market'.....I bet if 'The Market' collapses and banks go bust they will be the first in there propping their best buddies the banks up...free market, huh??

they would rather pay 2 billion per year to investors than build houses with the same money and reduce the long term cost
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: , $2.4 billion on Working for Families, $1.2 billion on the accommodation supplement, $800 million on income-related rents,
Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is important to understand that any initiatives come on top of $2 billion that was spent this financial year—over $2 billion—to support 300,000 people on the accommodation supplement and 60,000 households on income-related rent.

You seen this Fritz?

Apparently JK thinks there is no issue.

https://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/31690445/auckland-described-as-a-speculators...

Breaking News, NZ now has it's own refugee camp location to be decided

Ship them off to the provinces... I think its awful. Away from connections. There should be hostel type options in Auckland

Ship them off to the provinces... I think its awful. Away from connections. There should be hostel type options in Auckland

Watch the news spread, move to NZ make yourself homeless and get 5k enjoy a short holiday then bugger off again.

NEWSFLASH

Paula Bennett on TV One News tonight
It's not $5000 - It's UP to $5000

Try getting a quote from a removalist to shift a house-lot from Auckland to Whanganui
Might not be much change from that UP to $5000

They are all ready packed 2 guys, ready to roll (living in cars)

Some probably living in packaging!

It puzzles me why people prefer to sleep in their car in Ak when there are empty state homes in other cities. Surely they should have been told this ages ago? Or is it more to do with lack of initiative on the car dwellers part? If so, why the $5 grand payment?

Anybody living in a car who has a job (and by all reports that applies to quite a few) is well and truly trapped. Job's in Auckland, where rent is unaffordable. Places where the rent is affordable don't have jobs. Can't quit the job because of stand-down period for benefit. There's no way out of that without extremely good luck or intervention.

Sorry I'm not buying that. Anyone working can afford rent, you do what they were doing in London 30 years ago, fit 10 people into a flat. The longest stayers get the beds but others are sleeping in the hallway, beats a car any day of the week. No these people also have drug and alcohol problems and the money is going elsewhere like on smokes. You cannot tell me you cannot find $120 a week if your working. Take a look at trade-me there is currently just over 400 listings for flatmates in Auckland for less than $150 a week and you get your own bedroom.

No NZ landlord I know or have ever met would allow 'sub letting' or up to 10 in one house! Get real. I lived in the UK for 7 years, we never even met the owner, never had inspections etc and that is not the case here.

You should get out more, they are even living in the garages now, whole families. Auckland is now a basket case. The problem is easily solved, shutoff the immigration, Auckland is FULL, thanks for coming.

I can't believe NO ONE has a modular home idea/design to put onto some land that the Government can very quickly acquisition. And it need not be "land" either. Build a huge marina complex of floating homes!

C'mon! This is an opportunity just waiting for some good ideas and initiative IF....IF they will let it happen. That's the real problem isnt it? Denial there is a problem, and everyone sitting on the hands incase anything tangible that can happen quickly suddenly kills the speculation game they are all profiting from.

Good ideas? Embraced by govt? Gotta be kidding.
I've gone to bureaucrats with all sorts of ideas, most if not all which were good (in my humble opinion) and doable, then things just get lost in the system and got put into the 'too hard basket'.
Speaking of basket (cases), MBIE is bloody awful - a bureaucratic monstrosity!
Bureaucracy is the enemy of good ideas!

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of good ideas!"

Man, aint that the truth.

Good plan, I say. They'll probably park up their cars for good.
I have moved cities 6 or 7 times, but that was just for a job. I didn't realise it was such a terrible thing to have to do until now.
I completely agree Uninterested. If I was sleeping in a car, I'd have figured out that moving was a good idea a long time ago,,and what the heck are we doing owning state houses worth millions?

Im scary from things that may happen

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Ming_Qu_and_Ying_Wu

Our goverment must really do something about it

If you are a gypsy living in a house truck are you called a homeless elite freedom camper?Start off in a car then upgrade to a van with a heater, then upgrade to a bus or a truck with a cattle waste hose.

I don't think the Labour Party can argue against this one as under there last term they wanted to move the unemployed to the provinces.

So, they can't move back to Auckland ? For how many years ?

No chance to return, as investor will soon buy all housing stocks , we all be renters or runners or few rich

Serfdom here we come!

Its not the concept that gets me as I think its far preferable to have homeless people getting access to housing, and Auckland clearly cannot provide that in the foreseeable future.

What gets me is the breath-taking cynicism of this move. Paula Bennett was warned about the magnitude of this crisis in a report by her own ministry last June. Until the TV3 report revealed the extent of the issue and the ensuing public outcry, and resultant poll last night, her action had been SFA. All of the sudden there is action stations and ambulances are screaming towards cliff bottoms.

Not sure if its cynicism or incompetency?

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This govt are totally out of touch with issues on the ground. This term they have become arrogant, complacent and lazy. Par for the course

This term? I'd argue they have been this way the whole time they have been in govt but its only now people are waking up to the fact. I'm yet to see anyone put their hand up and say, "I voted for these idiots so I am also an idiot".

Um...how did the $3K incentive for unemployed people to move to CHC during the rebuild work out? Anyone know? We do have a recent precedent here.

And on a more Kafka-esque note, someone pointed out tonight that anyone who had employment and took up the offer would have their application for unemployment benefit in their new location denied by WINZ for voluntary unemployment.

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This term Key is showing his true colours... He did a great job earlier conning everyone that he was an 'everyman'

$5k gone in 2 seconds if paid in full to pay off debts (hence why no house)...I like the idea it is given as a weekly supplement off rent once you move into your house which would give your 4-6 months rent free while you move...step in the right direction

Trailer parks would house tens of thousands. In the US 6% of the population lives in a trailer park, 20 million people. Warren Buffet is invested in this sector, so with the right policy enablement this could be a huge growth sector for investors. Nothing wrong with them, for those genuinely in need.

This government is incompetent in this space, having wilfully done next to nothing about the growing housing crisis except promote SHA supply-side measures. Now that something very nasty is hitting the fan, ie 76% of public opinion against them on their mishandling of the issue, they are suddenly taking some token DEMAND-SIDE measures and shipping out a minute number of people to the provinces. The elephant in the room is the open-tap record ongoing immigration flood - just how much longer is the public going to let National get away with this inexplicable failure to act?

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How much for National to leave the country? I' ll start a whip round.

$5,000 is a cheap option when compared with this nonsense:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11643936

Scrap all benefits and accommodation supplements to stop the losers breeding. If that doesn't work throw them in jail for having children that they cannot support.

The time for a bit of "tough-love" is long overdue.

I'm all for scrapping those particular benefits and the ones Paula herself exploited.

You realise it costs $100k a year to keep someone locked up?

Fail to see why the taxpayer should subsidise expensive Auckland housing to the benefit of investors/speculators.
To be able to live in Auckland is not a basic human right; it is a right to be earned.
Your life won't be over if you do not live in Dorkland.

My wife, who is foreign born, seemed enraged by the idea of giving 5k to these people. She probably doesn't have a good grasp of the machinations of NZ politics. After all it is just a 750k budget and "up to" 5k each. I reckon most immigrant folk will have a similar attitude - thinking it will be all gone on P and booze in less than a week.

I was astonished that there are empty houses in numerous places around NZ. This is what the government should be highlighting. NZers wake up! Just down the road from Auckland there are empty houses waiting for those people living on the streets. This is madness. There is no "crisis" as far as the lower echelons are concerned. These people will always be living hand to mouth, no matter how cheap housing is, and are mostly the poor, as Jesus said, they will be forever with us. SO STOP USING THEM AS A POLITICAL FOOTBALL.

The so called crisis is the increasing difficulty of FHBs to get a house in Auckland. But that too is hardly a crisis as there are plenty of other places in NZ. It is not a crisis to be some short distance away from friends and family, merely inconvenient but people move to the other side of the planet seeking work every day with no problem - indeed it is regarded as an adventure. Kiwis want to the big OE, well, guess what? People want to come here too.

The crisis may well be that NZ is changing from the egalitarian paradise it once was. But the consensus of opinion was that those old days were full of white male patriarchy, drunkenness, wife beating and narrow mindedness that we are well rid of. So we have to move on. (Note: I don't actually think that but most other people do)

So things change, that is good. Let's pay for these people to leave Auckland. Auckland is changing into a global super-city and major global network hub. Auckland is no longer the place for the poor and wretched. Super-cities are no longer the Victorian places of chimney sweeps or work houses for the poor and actually need dynamic and hard working folk who have aptitude and energy. Importantly, they will also be domiciles for the global wealthy. Anyway, anyone with just a small amount of energy and attitude can still make a go of it in the provinces and live a good life. They tell me it is quite hard to find people to work in the agricultural industries.

Zac, have you ever actually lived here? This country has barely any real public transport, and the places that have ' cheaper' housing for FHB also come with a catch. NO jobs that pay enough to fund the mortgage which is why so many flocked to Auckland all those years ago. I've lived and worked all over the world but having an income in those places was not the problem. Bit different here. And the other point I would make to you is one of the reasons Auckland attracts so much property speculation. It's not about desirability, it's about being a great place to flog off another house to make a buck or rent one out to people have either live off benefits or actually unlike the landlord......have a real job.

I reckon most landlords have real jobs. You don't need public transport when you have cheap Japanese imports. You could fund a house in Tokoroa on a very low income.
As I have said repeatedly Auckland attracts buyers because it is the premier city of a British country that has existing ethnic infrastructure and is rather beautiful. It is real estate gold for people from Asia and increasingly Europe. Real estate value is all about perception and practicality. Jobs, education, English speaking, British tradition, law & order, local communities, a large pool of tenants - it's all in Auckland

And I will ask again. Have you actually ever lived and worked here? If so...outside of Auckland? I ask because you just come across sometimes as a clueless foreigner who has found an internet comment board to try and sell his latest trendy religious/spiritual beliefs or whatever you want to call them

Auckland is not and never will be a "global super-city". It's a little pimple on the arse of the world. To have these problems is quite frankly embarrassing and demonstrates utter incompetence and neglect by kiwi policymakers.

There are hundreds of cities in the world larger than Auckland. With functioning transport networks and more affordable housing. These problems are not a sign of success as some idiots might claim, they are sign of failure.

Auckland already is a global super-city. Auckland is not the place for you xeinaga. We don't want people with bad attitudes like yours!

It really isn't. If you honestly believe that do yourself a favour and travel more.

That's a real shame. Engineers are valued most places in the world. The low tolerance for bullshit is easy to confuse with a bad attitude.

You said about Auckland, "It's a little pimple on the arse of the world".

Hard to take you seriously when it obviously is not.

..pimple on the arse of Nz perhaps?

Shall I indulge the troll and spell it out?

It's a relatively small city, even smaller than Brisbane or Perth, but a touch bigger than Adelaide... and its lives down at bottom of the back side of the world.

Don't be offended it's not an insult. Aside from the traffic it's a nice place.

Strange, they don't mention Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide in the following list.

The Best Cities to Live in the World 2015

You had better email Mercer and tell them your opinion......

For goodness sake Zachary stop winding up the people that visit here......We all know that the British have always had a reputation in sending people away why would it change in the 21st century!!

People in Auckland that have done well in property have done so because of their timing in the market......assisted by the ACC who are nothing but arrogant failures......if they can't organise enough land for housing why the hell would anyone trust them with building a global city???

The woman with eight kids should have them taken off her and placed in care where they stand a chance!!!! I mean, come on, what chance do they have??? They will grow up and become like their mother having multiple children of their own, because they know no better, and so on and so on..... The whole situation just mushrooms and society has to pick up the pieces. I'm sure she is having so many kids just because she can!!!!!! Grrrrrrr.........

What is it about the kiwi mindset that gets such enjoyment from braindead scapegoating of the poor. So quick to jump on the judgement bandwagon about somebody having too many kids, or that there will always be poor people. The bludgers! They aren't working hard enough.

FFS. It's a lame distraction from the real issues at hand. Auckland has an enormous problem that is ruinous at all levels of the society. It's not a force of nature, its a man-made problem and the people who have allowed this to happen should be made accountable.

You are just using these people as a club - shame on you!
Most sensible people know the reality of the situation. We are not going communist - we know how that ends up. There is a place for poor people and it is not in Elysium.

Ends up like the People's Republic of China? Ghastly place isn't it.

Not sure what you mean. Literal or sarcastic, who knows? Just another nonsensical comment I suppose.

Already forgotten you had switched over to ranting about communism, like err communist China?

You might want to up the medication.

Please advise if you think China is a ghastly place or not. It is not clear by your comment. China is communist in name only and in reality has adopted the policies of the pre-revolutionary Nationalists. It all changed after Deng Xiaopeng so your comment doesn't make sense.

It is pointless commenting about medication - it just weakens your arguments which are already flimsy and easily disproven. Hardly worth my time tbh. Why do you even worry about a little place like Auckland. Why not go and live somewhere nice like Caracas?

NZ is probably one of the most right wing countries in the world. Certainly further to the right than Aus, where unions are still strong and there is a palpable sense of social justice still around.

Why is it? Is a large proportion of the population bigots? Is it our isolation?

So what you are saying is there is still hope for New Zealand?
The Left is so last century. The Right are the cool kids now.

Auckland not a pimple, more like a boil and needs to be lanced
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11645093

There was a delay on the motorway because of a crash. This is your argument? Seriously?

Please don't start me up Zachy boy...we all know your a Mike Hoskin in drag. Go for a walk and stop dribbling on the key board.

No good arguments then?

The people were sold a myth during the neoliberal reforms of the late 80's and brought it hook line and sinker. Doesn't help that it's been drummed into people for the last 30 odd years now by the powers that be.

Being Australian I disagree with that. NZ is more left-wing than Australia in most areas. National in NZ would be similar to the Democrats in the U.S. while Labour would be considered a far-left party in the U.S.

Even Labor in Australia is more closer to the centre than Labour in New Zealand is.

The only area where NZ is more right-wing than Australia on is the annual refugee quota size which hasn't been increased in almost 30 years. New Zealand would be taking in 3,000 refugees annually if it was equal per capita to Australia.

Unions are strong in Australia but it doesn't mean they aren't free of corruption within them.

You are totally right Crow22Darkness. Most commenters here just make stuff up that matches their biases. NZ more right wing than Oz? Seriously?

I think our isolation. Many can't see how cosy our government has gotten with local corporations and the domestic protectionism that is all about fleecing the local consumers, along with assisting duopoly and monopoly control that basically spells out a form of corporate feudalism heading toward an insidious form of fascism. One Example: rather than a government encouraging Solar PV and consumers to not burden the grid infrastructure....they allow the power companies that they take a dividend(plus taxes) from to make up rules as they go to continue fleecing people who may display even the slightest hint of becoming 'independent' by utilizing the price and technological advancements that allow one to do so.

They 'knee cap' us back onto dependence or taxation for having initiative!

You do realise that there is a big stream of Aucklanders abandoning the place without WINZ assistance. Big numbers for years now. The $5K scheme is just to help those who are not as organised as the rest.

Maybe the reason NZ has not increased the refugee quota is we are saving the cash ie; 5k to look after NZ own refugees.

Thinking about the $5000 token - in one view - has a slight tinge of ethnic-cleansing about it

yes it does...I had that thought as soon as I heard about it yesterday

social cleansing.

Great post Plan B

for those that missed it
For a detailed analysis of why this remedy is so important for our future, read Michael Reddell's amazing speech
https://croakingcassandra.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/fabian-society-spe...
refer above if this link doesn't work.

extracts:
It has been said that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting a different result. That’s my story about New Zealand policymakers, dating back many
decades.
Even cyclically, the economy isn’t doing particularly well - headline GDP numbers look okay, but per
capita growth has been pretty feeble. Inflation has been persistently undershooting the Reserve
Bank’s target range - which matters because it means many people have been left unnecessarily
unemployed. And there isn’t very much on the horizon to suggest things are about to change. Dairy
prices aren’t rebounding materially any time soon, risks abound in the rest of the world (notably
China), the impetus (boost to demand) from the Christchurch repair process has passed, and
whatever you think of the economics or politics of the immigration surge (we’ll come back to that) it
isn’t likely to get any bigger than it is now. In 1936, we
had the third highest per capita incomes in the world - for all the awfulness of the Great Depression
for many, we emerged just a little behind the US, Switzerland and the UK. Now we are 29th

I often tell this story along the lines of “the only countries that have done worse than us over the
decades have been the likes of Argentina and Uruguay”, but actually in the last 20 years or so even
Uruguay has been lifting its relative performance. We haven’t.

Big Auckland isn’t an outcome of great
outward-looking economic opportunities, but of a central planners’ hubris.
So what should we do instead? I’ve argued for a much smaller immigration programme, and one
that seriously targets only the very ablest people (on top of whatever humanitarian refugee quota
we want to take) - not lots of retail managers, café or restaurant managers, or rest home nurses
(the local labour market will take care of any individual “skill shortages”). Cutting the residence
programme target to, say, 10000 to 15000 per annum would, I gather, put our inflows about on a
par (per capita) with those of the United States, which takes perhaps 1 million migrants a year

I appreciate National (at the end of the day, most rational people, lets wait and see, no crisis here) actually looking outside the box but this smacks of financial apartheid. Sorry - Fail.

Winston gets Key with the beauty of one of his own quotes

https://nz.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/31697578/winston-peters-shames-joh...

ouch.

Next steps, landlords who provide the valuable social service of putting a roof over the head to those who can't afford to buy a house now trying to figure out how to bid the value of second hand cars out of the reach of homeless people so they can rent them out too. The ultimate would be to somehow get their hands on the $5k or part of it by relocating these tenanted cars out of Auckland somehow.....

Excellent idea hamis, we can introduce neg gearing on car loans, crank up purchase costs, and reduce supply...then rent them back to homeless. Genius!

You can do that with motorhomes and boats as well. Eventually we'd reach critical mass like Iceland.

So move out where there would seem to be little chance of getting employment? Didnt the Govn stop "bludgers" moving to areas with no work?

Now we are going to pay them $5k to, um go where there is no work?