Housing New Zealand not being restructured – for now

Yesterday it was announced that working income families would get a boost in their wages.To Labour this is a chance for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to stamp her mark on a particular topic currently quite relevant in New Zealand as students take off for their summer holidays.

To National it is the breaking of an election promise, according to Stuff writer, Henry Cooke – who  notes shortly further down that Labour had acknowledged that H.N.Z. had made positive moves in the right direction. To Labour it is a sensible but necessary readjustment, something that could have happened with less fanfare, bar for actually seeing on Stuff that this had actually happened.

As far as I am concerned, Housing New Zealand has one job and one job only: to manage the state housing assets in New Zealand. Fair enough, but if we include the other tasks that it was set, the role of H.N.Z. becomes significantly bigger than many think.

It is responsible for 64,000 properties across New Zealand.

I believe it is a state asset that must be 100% N.Z. owned.  Few S.O.E.’s are on this list of ones that must be exclusively New Zealand owned. It should reflect the importance local managers knowing local conditions that non locals will probably not care about, or view as artificial. Rental property companies want to establish a market here – or participate in an existing one – they are welcome to do so, but the house at the end of the day is only for sale to someone who has permanent residency at the minimum.

Of Housing New Zealand stock, none should be for sale to anyone in the first instance. If it is inhabitable whilst complying with the standard of care expected by New Zealand law the most desirable occupant shall be sought.It should not be sold to a foreigner first unless there is a demonstrable improbability of a New Zealander to buy it.

With a hopefully developing waiting list this change in tact will acknowledge the long suffering users of their campers. Some will find it too hard and keep trying to develop alternative solutions – whatever makes for the best reading over the next several days. But for me it is clear. The market failed vulnerable human beings just when they could least afford it.

Which is why I am pleased to see that:

  1. Labour have acknowledged a change in direction from Housing New Zealand
  2. Labour understand that rural communities need support to by their supporting of Housing New Zealand.


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