Guest Post on State Housing by Frances Denz

Poverty is not forever in this country of opportunity – it only happens if it is encouraged by ideology

If there is one thing that unfailingly makes me angry it is the belief system that the poor and disadvantaged cannot or will not ever change and will never improve their world.  That they are destined to always being poor.

This attitude surfaced again today when the Opposition attacked the Government’s new housing policy saying that it was unfair to those who would never be able to be independent of the State, who would need State housing for the rest of their life.

First I must say that I do know what I am talking about.  I have been destitute, had little formal education, but I consider myself an educated woman as I took it upon myself to learn and change my life.  I spent a number of years on an invalids benefit.  I have also worked in the field of the severely disabled and disadvantaged for the last thirty years, assisting them achieve the maximum independence possible.  I have written and had published four books on the topic. 

To assume that those in State houses will never be capable of independent living is not only a patronizing assumption, it is devastating to both the individual and society.  And it is a scandal that a political party campaigns on this assumption.

Many of us need support at some stage of our life.  And that assistance is part of what makes us a humane society.  To keep people in poverty by dint of expectations and power does not make us a humane society to be proud of.  It is a shameful approach.

I was interested in the Salvation Army gentleman stating that by making the house a temporary abode there would be loss of leaders in the community, presumably when the more successful left.  Surely there is the opportunity for the Sallies to do leadership training in the community so that doesn’t happen?  We must train and educate people so they can leave their ghettos, and to give them hope and aspirations for a better life.

Do not condemn people to a life of poverty for ideological and political power reasons.  With hope, aspirations and the opportunity to learn the skills of success, people can achieve magic.  I know, as my clients have amply demonstrated that.  And I haven’t done to badly myself after an unpromising start!

Frances Denz MNZM

Frances has been instrumental in helping entrrpeneurs establish more than 4000 businesses since 1986. She is an authority on business start-ups and regional economic development and is a keynote speaker at conferences internationally. Frances is the co-founder of Stellaris Ltd and specialises in the small business and government sectors.
In 2013 Frances was honoured by the Queen with Membership of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM) for services to business.

As a Maori woman of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Tainui descent, Frances has worked with many Maori organisations to establish expertise in self-employment. Frances has special interests in the health and horticulture industries. 
She was  the founding chair of the Womens Loan Fund.

Frances is the author of Hope and Rehabilitation, Able to do Business and Women at the Top. She is passionate about encouraging small businesses to establish good governance and management in order to develop into very successful businesses.

 


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  • phronesis

    Voting labour is not forever in this country of opportunity – it only happens if it is encouraged by ideology.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      Encouraged by ideologues with mouthpieces and public platforms operating under a guise of objectivity, you mean?

  • Col

    Yea I m sure we have all been down on our luck as I have, from money wasn’t a problem, to wondering where it will come from. I have always said put someone down and they will believe you as in the case of Radio Live, I m sure since Willy and his mate have gone the Maori unemployment has dropped.

    • notjaffa

      Put someone down and they will believe you? sure, but also tell someone they have been put down and oppressed by an evil majority, who now owe you compensation, and not one of them will ever disagree.

      • Hazards001

        True Dat Cuz!

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    I too listened to the Sally guy going on about the possible loss of community leadership. Does this really happen in Godzone? I know it was true in the poorer communities in South Africa where I was working, but here in NZ? There sure is no community leadership in my street, but then this is not a poorer neighbourhood.

    • Ronnie Chow

      The Salvation Army feed off the poor and have become very wealthy from it .

      • Euan Ross-Taylor

        Certainly not my experience Ronnie.

      • blokeintakapuna

        Did you mean “feed the poor” ?

        • Ronnie Chow

          Not at all . They are a business with over half a billion dollars in income and assets . They are missionary’s on a mission .

      • Ronnie Chow

        Total income and assets reported by the ten largest charities registered as a group :

        Roman Catholic Diocese of Auckland Group Auckland 793,110,000

        Ngai Tahu Charitable Group Christchurch 762,031,000

        The Salvation Army New Zealand Group Wellington 546,169,000

        Seventh Day Adventist Church in New Zealand 1 NSW 251,634,000

        The Selwyn Foundation Group Auckland 250,489,000

        Roman Catholic Bishop Of The Diocese Of

        Hamilton Group

        Hamilton 228,624,000

        Rotorua Trust Group Rotorua 165,400,000

        Sisters of Mercy Ministries New Zealand Auckland 133,045,754

        St George’s Hospital Group Christchurch 129,003,962

        Waiapu Anglican Aged Care Group Napier 110,739,689

        Grand Total 3,370,246,405

        • Ronnie Chow

          Ten largest charities by total income and assets combined

          Name income and assets $

          The University of Auckland 2,311,415,000

          St John Of God Health Care Incorporated 1,999,809,781

          University of Otago 1,769,793,000

          Massey University 1,461,459,000

          University Of Waikato 588,795,000

          The Priory In New Zealand of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem 506,549,000

          Dilworth Trust Board 423,367,000

          Tutira War Memorial Church Board 400,081,889

          The Roman Catholic Archdiocese Of Wellington 356,570,000

          Tainui Group Holdings Limited 328,994,000

          Grand Total 10,146,833,670

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      What does community leadership even mean? If some wanker down the street came and knocked on my door and started calling himself a leader, I’d tell him that he’s been out of school for a long time and should embrace his freedom to live his life as he pleases and leave the rest of us alone.
      I hate these empty terms that over-rated people use for self-aggrandizement.
      Lead, follow, or get out of the way? I’d prefer the last choice, but if some douches start implying the first two as the only options in life, I’ve no other choice but to obstruct :-)

  • Hazards001

    Couldn’t agree more. Grew up in abject poverty, Mother a widow with 3 boys aged 8-3 yrs old. No family and no support.
    Taught her sons the value of hard work and using your head.
    None of us has a Uni education (or a completed high school one come to that!), all of us do OK.

    None are filthy rich but hard working and respected in our industries. We’ve all owned a business at one time or another and one has just started another.

    I resent bitterly the people that get to live in a state house for life when my mother battled to keep our home on a widows pension which paid LESS than the single persons unemployment benefit in those days until we were old enough to fend for ourselves.

    That was when the eldest was 10 and the youngest could go to school. Then she did whatever she could to earn a few bucks. We had nothing and went to school in shoes with holes in the soles of the feet stuffed with newspaper.
    I support the benefit as a hand up. I even support temporary housing.

    But I’m fucked if I’m EVER going to support the fact that there are useless lazy bludging cunts in this society that feel they are entitled to live in a house provided by me and mine for the rest of their miserable woe begotten fucking lives!

    And if fucking Meg and the other lefty cunts want to attack this statement they can go for their miserable fucking lives.
    The state housing for life issue is one that has always burned me up!

    • Pissedoffyouth

      I agree 100% with you hazards, it should be a hand up not a hand out.

      • Dave

        State housing too, here is your statehouse, its at 50% of private rental, this goes up by 25% per year, and will increase every year for 10 years, plus CPI. You need to organize your life and finances to manage the increase and GET OUT within three years.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Stridently written . It has been well proved that monetary and material aid in any form does not make life better .
      Aiding people by teaching techniques etc does work .

    • blokeintakapuna

      Comment of the day… probably the week too.

      • Hazards001

        TY. I’m not sure you’re allowed to use as many four letter words as I tend to when I make my point and be a comment of the day though?

    • Dave

      Go Hazards, admiration for your attitude and achievements. A fair few have come through the school of hard knocks, but one day, one day, its time to say, Right, time for me to take responsibility and make it happen.

      For me, a few of my rich mates were gifted nice cars from their parents, I wanted one but had to work to get it, so two jobs and almost ZERO spending for 6 months meant I could afford an amazing Cortina – dont laugh, it was fast. Never looked back from that lesson.

      • Hazards001

        My first car. MK111 Cortina. 2l blue, beige vinyl roof mag wheels. I worked and saved so hard for that car. Left home at 15 and went farming. I earned less then the sickness benefit (had a mate that was on it and compared notes) but did get food and board.
        Gave my mum what I could and bought the car as it was a condition of employment. Cockies didn’t want teenage boys that were stranded in the middle of no where. I saved the deposit in 10 weeks and paid it off in 18 months.

        I’m not bitter and twisted about my life. I’m bitter and twisted when it comes to people that claim “Lifes NOT fair!” Well no fucking shit..I know it’s not!
        Fuck ’em whinging bastards!

      • Sponge

        Off topic but have you ever heard the TRB song “I wish I had a grey Cortina”? 70’s classic

    • john Doe

      Gold plus.

  • cows4me

    Will said Madam but I suspect you would be preaching to the converted here. There are those that will need state support all their lives but the a large proportion of the “poor” are those that have become conditioned to take and expect it to be so for their entire lives. It’s their attitudes that are poor.

  • blokeintakapuna

    Thank you Frances. Exceptionally well written letter. Please write more often on here…

  • blokeintakapuna

    When L&G are bereft of any credible, progressive policies – this is all they have to resort to. They can’t compete against National policy for policy – they don’t have the ability to create effective, fully-costed policies – so they have to resort to an entirely orchestrated, ideologically driven campaign of keeping the most vulnerable disadvantaged – so they jump the quickest to receive the election bribes.
    Scandalous indeed!

  • john Doe

    There is no right to poverty. It is given to a percentage of the population that spend the hard earned money I give them (taxes) on tobacco, booze and gambling.

  • Michael

    I’ve grown up in what could only be described as financial deprivation. What I didn’t grow up in was a deprivation of care, encouragement, and love. That’s not something that the state provides and I think it’s made the difference in my life, which could only be described as the opposite of financial deprivation.

  • Cowgirl

    Well said – that is a terrible assumption for the Opposition to make. People should always be encouraged to better their lot, and if they are not genuinely capable of it, will always receive the assistance they require. That’s fair, and that’s how it should be I think.

    • Hazards001

      Yes it is fair.

      A just and humane society should care for those that cannot care for themselves.

      There are very few I believe that would want the tradition of the aged infirm weak and elderly being left in the snow to solve the issues of the day. Of course there were societies in the past where that was the solution.

      NZ. Place that introduced a welfare system first of it’s kind. Something to be proud of.

      Intent: To help people out. To alleviate the transition from communal society to an industrial one. A laudable goal.

      People no longer had the ability to care for those that could not care for themselves. The butcher didn’t drop off some ground up low quality meat to the widow as he no longer knew she existed.

      The forester didn’t drop by to chop her wood for winter as he’d never heard of her.

      The advances of our age also put us back a step. So a leavening occurred. All good so far. I can support that too.

      Your key point is “genuinely capable” I couldn’t agree more!

  • rockape

    Why not have system were if you live in a state house 25% of the income that comes in goes to pay the rent. That way those on $100k would have a choice, subsidise the poorer or move out and free up that house for someone who cant afford private rents.

    • Hazards001

      yeah, but the 25% was top of the pops. Using your formula he’d still only be paying $480 a week. In some parts of Auckland such as St Helliers where John B earlier mentioned the bludger that protested her move I’d imagine the rent on a 3- 4 bedroom house with parking would probably be around 1k these days? Give or take?

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