Homelessness : watching Al Jazeera on New Zealand

mischa-richter-dog-next-to-man-watching-tv-[New Yorker - condenast]Mischa Richter – The New Yorker

Received from Peter Attwooll
Friday, 5 August 2016 5:49 p.m.

Today, sitting in a comfortable lounge with the fire on, and watching TV, I turned on Al Jazeera. Lo and behold, a report came up about homelessness in New Zealand. Wow, I thought. The World looks out at what is happening here in this little country, deep in the South Pacific.

The report was on homelessness in NZ. They interviewed a large, Islander family living in a decrepit garage in Auckland. They also interviewed Bernard Hickey, Economic Commentator.

The report commented on the large homeless problem in NZ, the number up to 40,000 (from memory). Paula Bennett refused to respond to repeated calls for an interview.

The government did, what all governments do, and provided a solution for THIS family in order to avoid the immediate embarrassment and look like they are doing something.
Cynical, eh?

John Key and his National Government have got a lot to answer for. Equally, the Opposition parties have also got to provide viable solutions to bring greater equity to this country and help homeless people to get off the streets.

Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 4, 2016
Homeless in New Zealand – thousands living in garages and cars
Once a pioneer of the social welfare state, New Zealand now has over 40,000 people who are homeless, forced to live in their cars and in garages as a result of rapid house price and rent rises and a shortage of social housing. Al Jazeera correspondent Tarek Bazley visits South Auckland and meets two families – one with six children living in a derelict garage, the other who lived with three teenagers for months in their car – and charts the country’s fall from and egalitarian society to one with deep divisions of wealth.

Subscribe to our channel http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe
Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

homelessness_banner - Human Rights Commission [hrc.co.nz] 1homelessness via hrc.co.nz

Human Rights Commission
The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Al Jazeera, also known as JSC, is a Doha-based state-funded broadcaster owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar.

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Heritage, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

18 responses to “Homelessness : watching Al Jazeera on New Zealand

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Attempting to house everyone in Auckland is doomed to failure. Even govt seems to have the idea that everyone who wants to live in Auckland should do so, the only problem (now that they’ve at last acknowledged there’s a problem) is inadequate housing.
    Don’t all Highly Desirable Places have the same problem? At some point some people notice that if they move to HDP they will have to live in a cardboard box and spend as much time commuting between it and work as they spend at work, and the smart ones decide to live elsewhere.
    “Auckland is where the jobs are.”
    Government could ease the demand for housing by moving government departments and agencies to other centres.
    It could allow immigrants only if they contract to live elsewhere than Auckland for 4 years, and do not buy property in Auckland for the same period.
    House the people currently living in garages and others will come who are prepared to tolerate living in a garage for the sake of living in Auckland, dreaming of the time they get a proper house too – freeing up the garage for the next hopefuls.

    Auckland cannot feed itself. It gets gridlock on a good day. Imagine a quake – the Alpine Fault is about due – or tsunami. Natural disaster, epidemic.
    Extending the sprawl, even high-rising sprawl, over even more land is a recipe for Unsustainability on a grand scale.
    We’ve been stupid here, or rather we’ve been victims of stupidity + cupidity, growing suburbs on first class soils that should be able to produce a fair amount of Dunedin’s food were it not for bad planning and permit granting, prioritising private profits over community survival.

    Spread the risks, spread the progress, spread the wellbeing, spread the opportunities. Those are the ways to deal with out-of-control Auckland housing and traffic. Don’t solve them there, give the users of them good reasons to live elsewhere and take the pressure off. Aim for a thriving sustainable New Zealand, not a Mr Creosote city and the rest, a near-forgotten number of square kilometers of “yeah-nah whatever who cares”.

    • ab

      Absolutely. Don’t forget Mr Creosote explodes after having one last proffered choc slice, “it’s wafer thin”.
      There’s nowt queer as folk.
      This nation makes overseas news for inclining to Third World conditions, with a leader tantalised by hair, and infantile, sexually maniacal pro rugby players who wreck their own brand.

  2. Gurglars

    The first move to lessen the Auckland syndrome is simple. Cut the number of times we broadcast the weather. With three weather reports on every news telecast, people actually believe that the weather is more important than a number of other salient factors. In New Zealand the temperature variation is minimal. To place it into perspective New York can be -40, London -20 and one never hears people complaining about weather or justifying moving somewhere else because of it. I have been in Florida in January with a hoar frost and -11!

    So why have we let the weather dictate our choice of abode?

    In my opinion it was a planned move by Aucklanders and even Wellingtonians to attract our personnel and businesses. They had no other reason for persons to move from Dunedin or else attract people to their cities. Dunedin had the majority of the gold, more attractive surroundings more settled weather (it rains in Auckland every day and the winds in Wellington are unbearable) Dunedin was the centre of all major New Zealand businesses, banks, insurance companies, stock firms and so on.

    The biggest problem was that Dunedin did not have the skilled sales people to promote her assets and nothing has changed. Salesmen are suspected in Dunedin of necromancia, the town even had its temperature gauge in the coldest place in Dunedin until two years ago. We tried to promote items unattractive to any other person. In short we have been badly managed and promoted since 1870.

    Now instead of having home grown intellect to run our assets we import persons of doubtful ability from parts unknown at ridiculous cost. I include Carole Heatley, Grady Cameron, the former head of the museum and many others in that class.

    With a very well regarded University in town, why would we not employ intelligent ex Otago graduates with a Scottish attitude to salary and a stake in the place. And that goes for the DCC CEO and the head of Delta also.

    • Elizabeth

      There’s something perfect about a subtropical night in Auckland…. LOVE YOU AKL

    • Peter

      Gurglers. The Tyranny of Distance with Dunedin near the bottom of the South Island and with a low population base also dictates a long historical problem of attracting more people down here.
      People also go where the jobs are more plentiful.
      Certainly the weather perception does not help.

  3. Callum

    New Zealand is so Aucklandcentric these days.

    Most of the media and media personalities are all based in Auckland. A lot of what we watch on TV pretty much reflects Auckland even TV dramas.

    I myself recently moved up to Auckland from Christchurch, because of the jobs. Also living in the South Island and being brought up in Dunedin and Christchurch did not feel new to me. It just felt like a small town and felt like I knew everyone and that nothing really changed. I haven’t been down to Dunedin at all lately, but I have heard of amazing changes down there.

    I applied for a lot jobs in Auckland and Christchurch and most of the employers who called ASAP were from Auckland. So I decided to move there two weeks ago when I was told to come up for an assessment.

    I definitely agree with the above comment that services, jobs, etc need to be spread out and not bombarded in one city.

    I have watched Al Jazeera a few times and it is definitely great to see news from NZ on it!

    Something really needs to be done about the homelessness, and I don’t believe politics can sort it out.

    My cousin who lives in Auckland mentioned that he knows of PI and Maori who have moved from South Auckland to Pokeno, Pukekohe, Huntly, Tauraunga, and Hamilton.

    Another cousin of mine said that his dad’s family are living with them, because they have been living in their car for days.

    I found an interesting photo by the way……….

  4. Elizabeth

    Callum, maybe sooner than later. Slum city.
    The harbour and beaches still enviable (says former resident of Takapuna Northshore house built closest to the High Tide mark, by the wealthy O’Neill family as a weekend guest house long before the Harbour Bridge went in…. deep swimming and diving off rocks at one end of the site and private hunk of gentle rock and sand beach at the other. Bliss in all its major forms – only a 15 min bus ride to Auckland CBD via bus lane or longer groovy coastal walk to Devonport jetty to use ferry). *sigh

    • ab

      Well, he’s Callum, and not at all ‘Callus’. Everything is zing in Ak. This enlivens the mind. Street smarts, self defence Downtown, physically or by staring until they fall over. ‘Pebbles’, Auckland’s fey answer to Holden Caulfield, the Early Bird Always On Time Café, and a woman who once shot at Barry Crump. She has passed on.

  5. Gurglars

    The tyranny of Distance and the size of the city are excuses that don’t wash anywhere else in the world. Aberdeen is not a large city, it has manufacturing, and it is colder and a bloody long way from anywhere. Attracting key staff here would be a lot better if businesses had a head start here in the form of rates and tax relief, priority subsidised access to University testing and knowledge and a progressive well run city administration intent upon minimising costs and maximising output. 2GP and other bureaucratic stoppers just make the transition to Dunedin less attractive. In my halcyon days I was able to complete six to ten tasks in a day an impossibility in a major city, but it required flexible parking and an in-out mentality, not a pedestrian mall. Dunedinites used to boast of going home for lunch, an attractive advantage given that you can’t cross the road in Auckland in that time and the silly fools at the DCC took away that advantage by placing thousands of bureaucratic stoppers (traffic lights) designed to make Dunedin more like Auckland and less attractive. Why do we have a traffic report each morning? With 120,000 people and many older persons and unemployed and half of the University biking to work (anecdotally) we should take pride in NOT having to report traffic,

  6. Peter

    The latest Listener looks at the housing crisis in NZ. Such a good weekly magazine.
    It seems the housing crisis is going to be a negative legacy of the Key Government once it is finally gone. Much like the infamous electricity reforms of Max Bradford under a previous National Government.
    To be fair though all governments have negative legacies. As well as positive.

  7. Elizabeth

    Thu, 18 Aug 2016
    ODT: Driveway living forced by rent crisis
    Auckland’s rent crisis is forcing would-be tenants to seek driveways and front yards as dwelling options. Advertisements are being placed at supermarkets by people wanting to live in cars seeking “driveway and shower” arrangements. One man posted a notice in an Albany supermarket seeking “a driveway for a man and his car”.

  8. Elizabeth

    Research shows homelessness, or severe housing deprivation, in Dunedin has climbed by 70%, from 405 in 2001 to 687 in 2013.

    Thu, 25 Aug 2016
    ODT: Homelessness rising in Dunedin
    The Government has been accused of avoiding its responsibilities after research showed homelessness rates in Dunedin have increased by 70% since 2001. This comes as Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett last night said she did not read the University of Otago, Wellington, research because of “inaccurate” statements made by one of its authors in an accompanying media release.

  9. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain – 26 Aug 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s