Labour’s housing plan

Although the Media party are selling it as Labour policy, Labour themselves only call it a plan.


Which is just as well, because a Policy it is not. It is at best a statement of intent, with absolutely no detail as to how it is to be achieved. Here are the broad strokes that are to get people excited about Labour having it all under control:

  • Provide an extra $60 million over four years for emergency accommodation
  • That would deliver 1400 beds or 5100 places a year, bringing total emergency housing to 8100 with 2200 beds at any given time
  • It says the policy is part of a much larger plan to launch “a massive state-backed affordable house building programme”.
  • Labour says people are typically homeless for a few months
  • It believes the new supply of emergency housing will be enough, over time, to support the homeless population into permanent housing.

For those who follow politics closely, you’ll be amused to know Labour have called this -repeatedly – their comprehensive housing plan. 


Putting aside the veracity of the actual people in need of emergency “beds”, matters aren’t helped when the Media party whip up hysteria by turning 4200 New Zealanders into… 40,000!


Oh, and Isobel turned the plan into a policy.

But, as it is a plan, and not a policy, the detail is so light you might as well call it non-existent.

This leads to tough questions, such as…

Where do you put 1400 beds? You can’t put them in a car park or vacant lot. Are there empty buildings that can accommodate 1400 beds? Do these buildings have parking, ablutions and are they up to health and safety code? Do they have sprinklers?

Of the $15m a year for four years, how much is capital cost to set things up, and how much is going towards running costs? Who owns it? Who administers this? Who sorts out the dramas? Who cleans the sheets? Who replaces stolen pillows?

In fact, who’s doing all of this for 1400 beds?

$15m per year for 1400 beds is $10,714 per bed for the first year. Can someone break that down please? How much is being spent on making the bed a reality, and then how much is spent on operating that bed?

Why, once the 1400 beds are put in place, is the cost of operating those beds $15m for subsequent years? Surely there is a lesser cost once the set-up has been paid for?

How much privacy and dignity are these beds going to provide? Is it going to be a bed per room? Two bunk beds per room? Will there need to be segregation for men, women, children, drunks, families and drug addicts?

What about security?

How long is it going to take to actually make 1400 beds, and the required floors, walls, roofs, common areas, showers, toilets and parking available? How long will it take to hire, train and roster the staff to administer, repair, maintain and provide service and support?

Thank goodness it’s only a plan, because if it was a policy it would definitely be yet another Labour announcement that would be dead in the water within a week of being announced, and never to be heard of again.

But not this time, because Labour are clearly not serious. It’s just a plan.


– various


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  • R&BAvenger

    The elephant in the room is that the majority of ‘homeless are either; homeless by choice, as a result of poor choices they have made, they have unpaid rental arrears or a poor rental record, other debts putting pressure on rental they can afford, choosing to live in Auckland, kicked out of state rental due to arrears/P habit/damage.

    What have I missed?

    • Second time around

      People living with parents, relatives or friends are regarded as homeless for the purposes of the Census. That is where the 40000 figure comes from. I am looking forward to Angry Andy wrenching anyone living with an aged relative and forcing them into one of his homeless shelters..

      • kayaker

        We’re possibly going to be homeless soon. When we sell our house and before we can find another one. Or if we just stick the money under our mattress and sponge off friends and family for awhile we could be homeless for a bit longer. Either way, it would be our choice…

        • IKIDUNOT

          I heard Angry Andy has a few spare rooms and is looking for some boarders….

    • Tinia

      Mental illness. There are few beds for the mentally-ill, I think thanks to labour who closed a lot of the residential facilities?

      I lot of the lags in Auckland are crazy trust me.

      The other is alcoholism. A lot of them in Auckland are alcoholics.

      There are already free beds, food and clothes in Auckland. You won’t find a single homeless person in Auckland who has no other choice but to live on the street. Even the ones who have burned bridges with family etc would be helped into Housing if they wanted to.

      One solution in my opinion is to stop making it so easy to live on the streets. No more free beds, clothes, food, welfare. And people need to stop giving them money!!

      Anyway, maybe Mr Little put a couple of the worst ones up at his place and let’s see how that works out.

    • localnews

      yes, Andrew presumably is going to let them damage and contaminate his houses without consequences.
      Dont we have 1000 p contaminated state houses? There is more than 1400 beds that are unavailable due to the actions of the tenants
      Hope I didnt make that figure up

  • sheppy

    At last the climax of the latest labour / media party beatup has arrived. Simply elect Angry, the new messiah and all of societies problems will evaporate in a cloud of somebody else’s money.
    Maybe the media party would care to tell us what happens to this Utopian dream once the mass P cook up starts, will they for example have a standby set of empty accommodation and an emergency fast decontamination crew on standby?
    For that matter will any homeless pets, that can’t be parted with, have their own dorms?

    • OneTrack

      That’s just crazy neolib talk. Of course they will be free. Because that would be “fair”(tm).

  • Toby

    This ‘plan’ shows the fundamental difference between Labour and National.

    Labours solution to people not having enough money to be able to afford a house to live in, is to build them a nice state owned house so at least they can be poor in a nice house.

    Nationals approach is to work on long term solutions so that people are not poor in the first place (Health, Education, Jobs).
    Building more emergency housing is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

  • Bob Dazzler

    Show me the money, show me the building consents, show me zoned land, show me the building companies sitting on their hands waiting for a ” building job”, show me the tenants who are genuinely “homeless” as pointed out by R&BAvenger. Nothing will change because we cannot compel people to chance their behaviours.

  • Sally

    Labour’s housing plan is perfect for the lazy. if someone is struggling to keep roof over their head under Labour it will be so easy to give up trying.
    How long it will take for the free housing for a few weeks move on to free housing for a year and then forever.

    Labour have be bleating on the homeless forever. This from the Grey River Argus October 1920.

    Read the article and subject Little with Fraser, Wellington with Auckland and it is all the same, same, same.
    Obviously they yet to solve it after 100 years but Little is going to do in 1 year once he is PM.

  • JustanObserver

    Fancy that …

    “Despite its robust economic growth, Sweden is facing a housing shortage that affects rich and poor alike.
    Immigrants are sometimes living five to a room and employees in the booming tech sector are also struggling to find suitable accommodation.
    A housing shortage has sharply pushed up property prices in Sweden as well as in Norway – as it has in Australia”

    Sound familiar ?

    here’s the link

  • dab

    And (according to Newshub and still up on their website a few min ago) we have “40,000 thousand kiwis” sleeping rough.

    Aside from the fact that there is an obvious distinction between those classed as technically homeless and those actually sleeping rough, Newshub says 40 million per above.

    Oh for some decent proof reading…

    Edit – sorry my maths is out too, they state 40 million!!

  • Oskar

    If just counting beds then the Japanese solution would be the answer
    The article does note that in Japan these are used by temporary workers who have lost their jobs.
    However I am sure the homeless in NZ would prefer something larger

  • spanishbride

    In my inbox today… a comprehensive e-mail ( snigger )

    • Sally

      Obviously not expecting a big turnout. The event is to be held at the New Lynn Community Centre, the main room holds a max of 300 people. Auckland Council charge $39 a head to hire the venue, they will be hoping not too many turn up.

      • one for the road

        Regardless it is $39 per Hour to hire

        • Sally

          Thanks for the correction, read it wrong. Now it just shows they are cheapskates.

        • sheppy

          You mean Lenny isn’t going to waive the fee as its being rented to his preferred fee, and the housing shortage is largely courtesy of his councils policies?

      • kayaker

        New Lynn. Maybe that’s because it’s the electorate of their most popular MP??

    • kayaker

      I wonder if those infantile Labour MPs who’ve been all over Twitter in the last few days bragging about their drinking games everytime National mentions the word ‘comprehensive’, will be doing the same to Angry? Behind his back. The bit where the knives are.

  • one for the road

    My calendar shows we have at least 15 months before an election, so what is with Labour now rolling out this plan, mandate, dream?? It will be old news and worth nothing in 12 mths time…..

    • sonovaMin

      This looks like Little’s one last chance to get movement in the polls.
      If nothing happens I suspect he will be toast contrary to the official position of him being there no matter what.

  • shykiwibloke

    If we take the figures at face value – it would appear there are more homeless people than Andy has supporters. Perhaps that is why he is so excited?

  • Sceptical Harry

    There as always (and always will be) poor umongst us. Homelessness isn’t the result of escalating housing costs. Until we see statistical proof (actual verifiable counts and names of people year by year not living in a home) the whole notion of homelessness is nothing more than a desperado political stunt.

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    Just like there Guaranteed Minimum Income “plan” where is the money going to come from, they have these wonderful ideas which look good on paper and are great points for academic discussion, but in the real world of government, they have to be paid for. So how – are they going to raise taxes?, borrow more?, raise more levies? – who knows but until they can do proper costings this is all a bit “pie in the sky”

  • Andy111A

    Don’t forget the toilets for all the different special needs & genders

  • grepal

    5100 places?
    Isn’t that about the extra number of refugees Labour said they wanted to bring in?
    At least they will have some places to stay.

  • Wheninrome

    Who is going to force the homeless into these beds, some prefer to sleep rough or so they see. Who is going to wash the bed linen and remake the beds, cause the recipients won’t.