Rodney Hide on who is reponsible for the so-called homeless

Rodney Hide’s column in NBR is on the so-called homeless and the dodgy and wonky statistics used to support claims of increasing homelessness in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a problem but it isn’t homelessness.

It began with Labour calling on TV to highlight the plight of the homeless and producing a total dud.

Labour promised the cameras 17 poor people, with some living in a tent on a front lawn. Instead, an industrious homeowner was busy renovating and using the tent for furniture and materials. His only upset was the journos arriving to film, gawk and gasp at his promised plight.

Labour have been collecting hard luck stories to pimp to the media and that was one they never did the research on. They are doing the same thing with Police.

Next was the shock-horror headline of one-in-a-hundred homeless Kiwis. This was a University of Otago study produced by running the census data through an algorithm. The results don’t pass the “let’s-think-about-this-for-a-minute” test. One percent of Kiwis homeless. Really?

Turns out the five of us spent 2014 homeless and didn’t even know. That year we were “LAMAH” – meaning we were suffering a “Lack of Access to Minimally Adequate Housing.”

We were in very temporary accommodation (tick), our usual address (tick), our income was below the Jensen Equivalised Annual (gross) Family income (tick), we were severely overcrowded, suffering first a two-bedroom, then a three-bedroom deficit once wee boy was born (tick, tick).   

Despite our deprivation, Otago’s algorithm would knock us out because we didn’t take the benefit.

I must confess I was never happier and none of the family suffered the infectious diseases supposedly rampant in such overcrowding. We lived the best we have ever lived all in rude good health.

Even if you are poor and have lots of people living in your house doesn’t mean you have to live like a pig. All this moaning about mould and dampness can be sheeted home to poor and pathetic housekeeping skills.

Next there were actual stories of the homeless.

There was the homeless mother-of-eight reduced to living in motels racking up a $100,000 Work and Income debt. She had been evicted from three state homes because of P use. She said the resulting stigma meant she and her partner could not get work and could not get accommodation but she did manage to bear two children while “homeless.”

The next reported case was the mum and dad with six children living in a van. They got into debt, didn’t pay their rent and got evicted. The eviction made dad angry so he argued with his boss only to find himself “let go.”

They decided to make the best of it with dad enrolling at the polytech with mum working fulltime while still claiming a full benefit because she mistakenly feared she would be stood down for 13 weeks once her temporary job ends.

They were offered a state house but refused because Pukekohe isn’t for them. They prefer their van in Mangere.

Reflect on the eight children, the P, the debt, the six children, the arguments with the boss, the welfare rip-off, the decision to study and the van over the house.

The political-media complex makes government responsible for all the obvious consequences of all of that. It never expects, and certainly never demands the merest modicum of personal responsibility.

There’s the problem.

Rodney is dead right. more than 50 years of rampant socialism and welfarism has robbed people of their individual responsibility. If the government provides all then the government is to blame for their poor and often utterly stupid life choices. Take the massive families of 6 or more children. Poverty didn’t come calling on them, they invited it into their home when they refused the cheaper option of contraception.

No one in the media ever bothers to ask or to explain how can it be the government’s fault they flipped it up for eight kids and didn’t pay their rent and smoked P in a house.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.