If ever we needed any proof of the stupidity of this Government, which by the way we don’t, it was Steven Joyce’s article in last Saturday’s Weekend Herald. His article was on the subject of the housing crisis and this Government’s complete lack of ideas on how to tackle it. It was headlined appropriately “Not enough homes – and not enough ideas” but now reads “Why this Govt won’t fix the housing shortage.”
Steven says the most visible problem is the rapidly inflating house prices. He says the noises ministers made about that one fall squarely into the public handwringing “and must be seen to be doing something while not doing very much” categories.
The other issue is the large and growing shortage of social housing. He points out that this has been with us for some time but has grown alarmingly under the current administration. Steven outlined what the previous National Government did from putting a rocket under Housing New Zealand (you can’t do that when those employees are part of your core vote) to investing heavily in more emergency and transitional housing places and in new concepts like Housing First. This aimed to reduce people’s need for Social Housing.
He says the most innovative idea of the time was to tackle the shortage head on by recruiting and nurturing more non-government housing providers. Steven says the new Government, wedded to the view that the only real social house is a state-owned house, pulled the pin on community housing providers and went back to the old way of doing things.
He points out the lie that this Government persists with by condemning National for selling off state houses when it knows the true story was about enlisting non-government providers to expand social housing provision.
Steven says the problem Ministers have now created for themselves is they have no other new ideas for solving the rapidly worsening social housing problem. He says somewhat ironically given their relative youth, they have once again harked back to an unsuccessful old-fashioned top-down, capital-constrained approach and closed their minds to new ideas. Their entire strategy now appears solely to make Housing New Zealand go faster. Decades of evidence proves that won’t work, Steven concludes.
This really highlights the problem with this Government and indeed pretty much all left-wing governments around the world. Everything they do is ideologically based and driven. Don the cloth cap and sing The Red Flag. Age has nothing to do with it. Even if it did you can’t expect a bunch of largely young community workers entering politics to understand the intricacies of the housing market be it state houses or otherwise. They no doubt enter their offices every day and bow down to Mickey Savage and think his idea of a state house is the only one there is.
Take transport. In the same paper was an article on the traffic chaos daily around Kumeu and Huapai. Thirty-six thousand vehicles a day pass through there. Why is this not being addressed with a rail service? No, the priorities are a tram up Dominion Road, snail rail from Hamilton to Auckland and cycle lanes, all of which are a complete waste of money.
These are idiotic ideas driven, not by proper business cases, but by ideology. Dominion Road is adequately served with double-decker buses. No one in their right mind is going to spend five hours a day commuting from A to B and Auckland’s topography doesn’t lend itself to a bicycle commute. Incidentally, I saw the snail train mothballed in Hamilton at the weekend.
Take education. Charter schools are the enemy of the teachers’ unions so they must be dispensed with. Again, mustn’t upset the core vote. Never mind that they were improving children’s educational abilities, that doesn’t come into it. They too must be made to don the cloth cap and sing The Red Flag. As for health, what a godsend Covid was in this regard. Lockdowns are a great way to bring the team of five million (comrades) into line. Take welfare. The idea is to get them on welfare, not off, thereby expanding your core voter base.
This is how Jacinda has seen it for quite some time comrades. It’s very much about socialism over capitalism. Hence we must have, where possible, more taxes, less free speech, votes for prisoners and anything else that resembles taking away a person’s freedoms.
Don the cloth cap and sing The Red Flag comrades!!
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