Nats: Govt 'ducking for cover' over emergency housing

Marama Davidson (right) says some living in emergency housing are facing "inhumane, undignified...
Marama Davidson (right) says some living in emergency housing are facing "inhumane, undignified situations" but National MP Nicola Willis says as associate housing minister it is Davidson's job to fix it. Photos: RNZ

The National Party says it is good to see Green MP and government minister Marama Davidson come to the party and condemn conditions in some emergency housing - "better late than never".

As Associate Housing Minister, Davidson has responsibility for the Homelessness Action Plan; her ministerial colleagues Carmel Sepuloni and Megan Woods also have responsibilities for short term housing through their Social Development and Housing portfolios respectively.

They are being accused of "ducking for cover" by National's Nicola Willis, who says someone needs "to stand up, front up, take responsibility and ensure that a plan is in place".

Those at the coalface says there is not enough oversight with families mixed in with gang members and many places rife with crime and violence. Furthermore, demand and the cost continue to increase, with no sign of that abating any time soon.

Davidson says some are living in "inhumane, undignified situations" and the way money's handed out to motels and other providers - with no strings attached - is "unacceptable".

The minister must now "take responsibility for fixing it", Willis says.

"It's not enough to identify a problem. Her job is to ensure that people are safe and that the taxpayer is getting good value for money.

"She's been a minister for several months ... New Zealanders don't want her to commentate on the state of affairs, they want her to take action to resolve it," she says.

Last month the two were at loggerheads after Willis said she no longer felt safe in central Wellington, citing an increase in emergency housing and a greater gang presence.

Davidson shot back saying those raising concerns about emergency housing should be "mindful of the racist and classist undertones".

It was "disappointing" the minister used her questioning about the safety of emergency housing to launch a personal attack, Willis says.

"I have been speaking about a genuine concern for many weeks now and only now is the minister fronting up and acknowledging that this is a proper issue that requires ministerial accountability.

"Better late than never, but now I want to see some action," Willis says.

At the time Davidson made the comments she told reporters the National MP "absolutely has an ongoing habit of framing brown and/or poor people as the problem," while her own focus was on providing more transitional and secure housing.

Comments

And the homeless situation was created by whom?

GM asks -- "And the homeless situation was created by whom?" Well the true answer is the Governments of the last two decades, you can not directly blame any one Govt.

"Davidson shot back saying those raising concerns about emergency housing should be "mindful of the racist and classist undertones". Ah yes, when you haven't got any answers bring out the race card, eh.

The National Party says -
'come to the party'
"better late than never",
"ducking for cover"
"take responsibility for fixing it",
Well those questions seem to sum up 9 years of National.

2008 Key run on a latform of housing crises

2008 to 2017 Nats deny a housing crises exists and sell off 1000s of stat houses while refusing to guarantee the proceeds would be reinvested in housing .

2017 -
Labour tries to include private sector in their housing plans via kiwibuild and finds out they aren't interested in fixing the problem and still manages to build more houses in 3 year that National did in 9.
At the same time via HNZ they have not only eliminated the deficit that National left in state housing but are already around 2000 to the positive with another approximately 2500 under contract plus the additional transitional housing built and under contract plus massively increasing funding for emergency housing.

While not everything has been perfect , even their 'failure' is still far better than Nationals effort .

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