Madness: Wellington mayoral candidate wants you to host P addicts, drunks and violent homeless

It really is the silly season at the moment. All sorts of ratbags and deadbeats are vying for votes and also coming up with insane and dopey ideas.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the left-wing with dopey ideas.

One of Wellington’s mayoral candidates wants to help people make their spare rooms available to those in the city without homes of their own.

Jo Coughlan said she would consider putting up a person who was homeless in her own spare room if it would help.

Her suggestion came as the Wellington City Council received an update on its strategies to approach homelessness and begging.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if interested citizens could perhaps sign up to host a homeless person, particularly a person in transition,” Ms Coughlan said.  

“Often they only require some help for a short period of time and I think a lot of Wellingtonians are very caring and compassionate people – they want to be inclusive and they want to help but they don’t always know how.”

Ms Coughlan said she was not sure of the details, but suggested using social media or an app to “host the homeless”.

She suggested she would be willing to show people how it was done.

“Potentially, yeah, depending on what the circumstances are, I would consider [it],” she said.

Only potentially? Not a real policy then…this is known as virtue signaling or concern trolling. They say supposedly meaningful things hoping people will look positively on them for the statements. Unfortunately, the statements are as meaningful as retweets or Facebook likes.

“There’s all sorts of different cases … if someone’s just requiring some support for a few days, that might be appropriate. That might be something that would suit someone.”

Although the council has been working on a homelessness strategy since 2003 the problem has only grown – about 50 to 55 people sleep rough in Wellington most days, and another 35 beg.

The council’s latest strategy, Te Mahana, has the ambitious goal of ending street homelessness by 2018.

Ask the Chinese how to clear out beggars and street sleepers. For the recent g20 summit they moved whole neighbourhoods.


– RadioNZ

  • metalnwood

    ‘Ms Coughlan said she was not sure of the details, but suggested using social media or an app to “host the homeless”.’

    Steve Jobs was right, there would be an ‘app for everything’

    Obviously it would be a huge fail following the first few crimes that would result from this. Not enough fingers to quickly count how many things could go wrong.

  • hookerphil

    “I would consider [it],” she said.” Don’t just consider it dearie, Just Do It.
    Even better, don’t tell everyone what saint you are, or considering to be.

  • Ginny

    She means, while she ‘considers’ it, she is hoping that others will take all the homeless so she doesn’t have to.

  • oldmanNZ

    Like merkles “refugees are welcome”

    Let these people in ypur own home, sounds like a great idea, so they know whatvits really like before we open our borders.

    Yes, go on ms Coughlan, do it.

    Put it on social media, i sure the homeless is browsing facebook all day at home.

  • Usaywot

    I await with interests further reports on this mad woman’s noble acts. Bet she never, ever has a homeless person in her spare room. I can tell you right now I sure as eggs won’t.

  • Neil

    Imagine the blanket man in your bedroom!

  • Sally

    How many of us who invited people to stay because they are between houses or relationship breakdown or travelling and then have them outstay their welcome and are had to get rid? No matter how decent they are, people take advantage of kindness.
    This would be 10 x worse.

    • Shalice

      We had relatives once. “Taking advantage” does not even begin to cover it! Not on speaking terms, still fighting off debt collectors looking for them at our address and still get random demands for money from the relatives who treated us and our property terribly.

  • Nige.

    I can’t wait for the update on the candidate, where he has managed to succeed where thousands of people have failed in the past.

  • peterwn

    In fairness to Jo I think she was referring to ordinary people (as distinct from those with ‘problems’) who find it difficult to find accommodation in Wellington. Tertiary and international secondary students would be one example – many families host them and it could be beneficial to the City and all if more people could (we have had a number over the years. In years gone by taking in ‘boarders’ was a common way of supplementing incomes even though the ’20 watt’ landladies (the maximum size of light bulb you were allowed in your room) were the butt of many jokes.

    It does highlight the issues of those who have previously ‘soiled their nests’. Perhaps Jo could negotiate with Corrections to make the old Mt Crawford prison available as ‘last chance’ accommodation.

    • Usaywot

      It is the responsibility of the education facility International students are enrolled at to ensure they have suitable accommodation, so, no, they should never be in a position of being homeless. The educational facility has a code of practice it must adhere to.

      • peterwn

        Yes. I take Jo’s comment as meaning opening up accommodation options for those wanting to live, work or study in Wellington rather than merely referring to the hard-core ‘homeless’. We have has secondary homestays over the years – a German girl we had is now doing postgrad studies at Yale.

  • Minnie Mouse

    You know what they say – “Visitors are like fish, the go off within 3 days”. So, no, I have no intentions of putting up my hand to accommodate the homeless, hopeless, helpless. Call me a hard tart – I don’t care. As polling day looms in Wellington, expect to see more whacky ideas rolled out.

  • Wheninrome

    Mark lyons tried that in epsom, trouble is they took over the house and it seemed to get burnt down. Mind you there might have been other issues at play here. But you can never be too careful. Poor old Annete King had paying guests that ended up as a bit of a problem for her.
    Even Air B &B isnt without its problems. Perhaps those in need behave better.

  • Wheninrome

    Has she put her address out there, andy could give them a free ride in his government provided car to save the bus fare, otherwise they would be begging on the street for the fare.

  • Huia

    Sorry Jo, that idea is going to go down like a cup of cold sick.
    We worked hard for what we have and I have no intention of putting that at risk.
    I believe your intentions are good but I would not invite any of them into my home.
    I might buy a skinny one a cup of coffee and a sandwich but not take him/her into my home.
    A variety of drug and alcohol abuse is rife amongst the homeless, as is mental illness, I have no experience in handling those problems and would not put myself in danger.
    Had a very large fat bloke get stroppy with me in Auckland because I wouldn’t buy him food, he was twice my size and I am no shrinking violet. I did suggest if he put as much effort into a job that he was putting into scamming people he might be in a better situation.
    I then learned a lot of new swear words and phrases.

  • Hard1

    If they are not willing to behave to the level required by the Wellington City Mission, which is the last stop, then leave them on the street.

    • STAG

      We’re all animals, some people just glory in it. Behave like one and you’ll get treated like one.

  • Eiselmann

    Good on you Jo , you do it first, prove it can be done, I’m sure we could find a violent drug addict for you to hug and feed….nothing could possibly go wrong with your plan

    • shykiwibloke

      Why stop at one? I’m sure she would be sufficiently generous to put two sets of bunks in her spare room = four drunks and druggies with a permanent rent free home with her!

    • Shalice

      Yes, lead by example. I’m still waiting for Clooney to host the refugees he met over with Merkel in his multiple mansions. Not yet.

  • shykiwibloke

    All the more reason to be like us and live permanently in a Caravan. No guests or visiting family issues. Change scenery on a whim. Would scare any lefty council if sufficient numbers of us lived like this – they attempt a mad policy and we all move overnight!

  • spanishbride

    I read two articles this year where two different caring Liberals in Europe hosted a male refugee and got murdered for their thoughtfulness

  • Whitey

    I had my doubts about Jo from the start. This confirms my suspicion that she’s not quite mayor material.

    Not only will I not host a homeless person but, and I realize some people will think this is a horrible callous thing for me to say, I wouldn’t be very happy if my neighbours hosted homeless people either. Knowing my neighbours it’s highly unlikely, but you see what I’m saying. Fact is, there’s a reason they’re homeless.

  • Doc45

    The suggestion is pretty silly obviously. However the problem does not go away and there seem to be more and more lying around Queen St than ever before. The concern I have is that some of these people have a psychiatric problem that needs proper attention. The “normalising” of the mentally disturbed is not working and when the same people get access to drugs the problems are accentuated. I cant be bothered with people deliberately choosing to live on the street when they do not need to but those with mental issues deserve much better.

  • Duchess of Pork

    And this time last year Benedict Cumberbatch, Bob Geldof, Jude Law, J.K. Rowling, Keira Knightly, Nicola Sturgeon, Martin Freeman, Charlotte Church et el trumpeted they were opening their homes to desperate refugees fleeing from war-torn lands. It was all whispers in the wind though Jo, the follow through was a no-go.

  • Hailstormers

    I think we all should house a homeless person at some point. Thank God I don’t live in North Korea.

  • kayaker

    “Wouldn’t it be amazing if interested citizens…” -Jo Coughlan

    Indeed! “Wouldn’t it be amazing if interested parties and politicians like Meteria Turei in her castle, Andrew Little, Grant Robertson, Kelvin whathisname, Phil Twyford, David Cunliffe in his Herne Bay doer upper, Catherine Delahunty, James PWC Shaw, Megan Woods, young Jacinda, all of Young Labour NZ, Marama Pollyanna Davidson, all the Greens, all the Labours, Annette the experienced landlady, Ruth Dyson, that nasty Sue Moroney in her beachhouse/s, Winnie could share a dram or two in any of his various abodes, that Labour guy who reads smut in Parliament…

    … could all sign up to host a homeless person” Of course, it would depend on the circumstances. Potentially.

  • JLS

    Simply lunacy which we have been warned about for generations even in fairytales and fables such as Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. How naive and blind we have become in the safe west.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Beds for Beggar’s could work. Get a 10% rates reduction on proof of participation. Great scheme.
    There must come a point if as we hear from Labour that homeownership is in decline that the current rating of those RP’s who pay for everything is replaced with a citizen tax. It has merit since if you need growth the citizen tax can be set low. If you need to reduce numbers then the citizen tax can be set at a high level to deter drifters.
    Beneficiaries could be enticed to locations where opportunities abound with a CT exemption or reduction.
    The pilot scheme could start in Auckland since it is the biggest city with higher levels of wastage and wasters. Why not try that on Mr Goof?

  • WBC

    Unless she does this prior to the election it means nothing. If she really wants to see what it is like she needs to try it, anything else is just an admission that she doesn’t really want to know what it would be like.