KiwiSaver cash is to be kept away from oil and gas industries and tourists are to be kept apart from homeless people housed in motels

A gush of statements and speeches from the Beehive ranges in significance from Damien O’Connor’s trip to London and Brussels to press on with free trade negotiations to  Chris Hipkins dealing with the way schools are organised in Harewa.

Changes to the Kiwisaver scheme include measures to discourage or disallow us from trying to make a buck from the oil and gas industries.

Oh – and change is in the offing in Rotorua for homeless people who are given emergency housing in motels.   One of the consequences will be to separate these motel dwellers from the tourists.

Then there’s a major change for the tertiary education sector – six new Workforce Development Councils have been formally established with an interesting guarantee from Education Minister Hipkins – he said they will “ensure” people graduate with the right skills at the right time to address skill shortages.

Let’s see …  Continue reading “KiwiSaver cash is to be kept away from oil and gas industries and tourists are to be kept apart from homeless people housed in motels”

Nats flush Minister of Motels into the open at Question Time but ACT have yet to flush out figures they seek on new houses

The headline on a press statement from ACT – Megan Woods In Hiding On Housing – suggested the Minister of Housing had gone to ground somewhere. It quickly became apparent she hadn’t .

The press statement was posted on Scoop at 1:38 pm.  Before long, Woods was in the House answering questions about her housing portfolio, albeit from National, not ACT, and about the numbers of people being housed in motels rather than about the numbers of new houses forecast to be built this year.

The replies provided material for a press statement from the Nats later in the day, to highlight figures showing more than $1 million of taxpayer money is being spent each day on motels for emergency housing. 

Maybe there’s a case for Woods becoming Minister of Motels.   

According to the Nats’ press statement the Government spent $82.5 million, or $917,000 a day, in the past quarter on emergency housing grants for people to live in motels and similar accommodation. This is on top of the $155,000 a day the Government is spending on motels for transitional housing purposes.

This is a more than ten-fold increase on what was being spent on emergency housing when Labour came into office, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says. Continue reading “Nats flush Minister of Motels into the open at Question Time but ACT have yet to flush out figures they seek on new houses”

How taxpayers are pumping millions into the motel business to provide emergency housing

Blogger Lindsay Mitchell has used the Official Information Act to flush out data on emergency housing from the Ministry for Social Development.

The results have been posted under the heading Motel charges premium for emergency housing.

At long last MSD has updated OIA requests, Mitchell writes. Responses up to November 2019 are on-line

“ … and always make for interesting reading. For instance payments made to the Olive Tree Motel for emergency housing.”

Clients are granted an amount which is paid directly to the motel, Mitchell explains.

In the June 2019 quarter the motel was receiving $265 a night.

But nightly charges per unit range from $145 to $165 according to their website. Charges reduce for longer stays.

The response to another request reveals that over 600 accommodation providers  received emergency grants in the June 2019 quarter. Continue reading “How taxpayers are pumping millions into the motel business to provide emergency housing”