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”
Our Beehive Bulletin …
While Housing Minister Megan Woods was being grilled at Question Time in Parliament about the government’s performance in her portfolio domain, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito Williams Sio, was announcing new initiatives to provide housing.
Attorney-General David Parker, meanwhile, was announcing the appointments of three new District Court Judges, all of them in the Auckland region.
The appointees are
Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland – appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Auckland.
Nick Webby, lawyer of Auckland – appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Manukau.
Ophir Cassidy, a lawyer of Auckland – appointed as a District Court Judge to the Waitakere District Court with a general jurisdiction warrant to sit as Youth Court Judge and to lead the Rangatahi Courts at both Hoani Waititi and Orakei Marae.
The housing announcement for Pacific people from Sio includes: Continue reading “Figures flow when Woods answers questions about housing and govt targets – and look, they show a hefty rise in the waiting list”
As Minister of Housing, she is acutely aware of how decades of under-investment in infrastructure and the building of affordable homes has led us to where we are today, Megan Woods said yesterday.
Great. But what is being done about it?
Plenty – but nothing that hasn’t been announced already, it seems.
At least, not according to the speech which Woods delivered to the InfrastructureNZ conference.
Woods ticked off a list of programmes already under way and legislation already passed, and she reiterated the Government’s intention to replace the Resource Management Act. But an audience of infrastructure buffs hoping to be the first to hear of new initiatives would have been disappointed.
Woods’ speech was among the new posts on the Beehive website, since we last checked.
Among the others: Continue reading “Woods sticks to her script (a list of what the government has done) after economist rails about housing”
It wasn’t the best of days for Megan Woods to be braying about the latest residential building statistics.
Her press statement from the Beehive was vying for public attention with an RNZ report – which the NZ Herald carried on its website this morning – drawing attention to a claim about the country’s housing crisis becoming “housing chaos”.
The claim came from an emergency housing provider, Monte Cecilia Housing Trust chief executive Bernie Smith, who said his organisation should never have been allowed to grow so big over the years.
“In 2016, we had 30 properties today we’ve got 400 properties, we’ve got 300 families waiting for a home and it just saddens me, particularly when children are involved,” he said.
The public housing register had more than tripled from 5844 in September 2017 to 19,438 in July 2020.
Smith said families were spending between 60 and 80 per cent of their household incomes on rent, forcing many out of the private rental market.
“When Labour was wanting to be elected and they called it a crisis, we called it a crisis, but it has gone beyond the crisis,” he said. Continue reading “Housing Minister is chuffed about latest building stats – but “housing chaos” grabbed the headlines”
Our daily check with the Beehive website revealed nothing new until this afternoon, and then we found just one new announcement.
It came from – guess who?
Yep. Shane Jones was again demonstrating his munificence, providing $7.78 million for the Ruapehu District Council to “jump-start” its Housing Options programme.
But a statement with much greater national significance had been made by Housing Minister Megan Woods and despatched to the Point of Order email intray.
Woods advised us the government is reducing its reliance on private security guards and increasing its use of Defence Force personnel, especially in the highest risk facilities, to fortify the Managed Isolation and Quarantine System and maritime border and further bolster (we hope) protections against community COVID-19 spread.
The defence personnel will staff higher-risk security areas such as entry and exit points and public areas.
But the private sector isn’t being forsaken. Woods said:
Continue reading “Fingers crossed about the border being made Covid-tight but let’s salute the further assault on Taumurunui’s housing shortage”
An epic failure, or just “missteps” in NZ’s border controls? The painful discovery of a lack of rigorous testing in the quarantine regime against Covid-19 has enabled media columnists to rail against one of the more spectacular bureaucratic blunders of the modern era.
In answer to our question, the columnists have been virtually unanimous it was the former although the NZ Herald, more kindly, in its editorial judged them to be just missteps.
Opposition politicians, too, were not slow to join the contest: ACT’s David Seymour led the way, labelling it the “Dad’s Army routine at the border”.
Whether it has taken the gloss off Jacinda Ardern’s political leadership is another question. Most of the critics distributed the blame more widely, pointing the finger at Health Minister David Clark or the Director-general of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield (lauded previously as “saintly”), and even to those supposedly tasked, as one columnist said, with carrying out the restrictions within the quarantine protocol. Continue reading “While Megan Woods plugs leaks in the quarantine system, we may wonder who is delivering the transformation promised in 2017”
Latest from the Beehive
Housing Minister Megan Woods has vowed “robust systems” will be put in place to ensure the managed isolation and quarantine of returning New Zealanders, RNZ reports. And there will be consequences for people who break those rules.
Robust systems will be put in place? But none other than the PM had led us to believe we already had them.
Correction. She led us to believe the systems were rigorous.
On April 19, discussing what was being considered by the government before a decision was made next day on whether to extend the level 4 lockdown, Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand’s quarantine and border measures were thought to be “absolutely” sufficient to move into level 3.
“They’re very, very rigorous. We have currently 1601 individuals who are in facilities managed by the government,” she said.
Woods now was appearing at a media briefing and promising a robust system after the PM gave her Ministerial responsibility for Managed Isolation and Quarantine and appointed Air Commodore Darryn Webb as Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine.
The politically embarrassing reason for those appointments was the exposure of serious weaknesses which made the system somewhat less than rigorous. Continue reading “NZ’s border systems were “rigorous” (until two infected women exposed their flaws) – now they are being made “robust””
When Energy Minister Megan Woods announced in February the government was taking action which would lead to lower petrol prices, she probably didn’t envisage the outcomes delivered to the fuel market by the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Z Energy which has 45% of the market has just announced a loss of $88m for the year.
So the government which has argued since being elected that motorists were being “fleeced” and blamed the petrol resellers for their high margins now has a different problem on its hands.
Instead of the huge revenue flows it extracted from motorists for the various taxes it imposed on petrol (which sent prices soaring) it has a big hole opening in the National Land Transport Fund. The government may now have to find other means of funding transport projects either under way or planned. Continue reading “Critics of the oil industry should be careful about what they wish should happen to it”
The Point of Order Trough Monitor has alerted us to a new trough, except our monitor obviously needs fine tuning because the trough is not quite as new as it seemed at first blush.
By the time it was announced yesterday by Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, the fund had been up and going for several weeks and its administrators had been distributing generous servings from it.
It’s the COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund, aimed at the fast development of new products and services that could help to detect, diagnose, treat or prevent COVID-19, by supporting research and development, prototyping and pre-production activities.
But the puzzling aspect of the Minister’s statement is its acknowledgement that: Continue reading “Science Minister draws attention to a new trough (which now has more money in it than at the time of its establishment in March)”
The Taxpayers Union promptly picked up on the spending of millions of dollars of public money, almost beating the Point of Order Trough Monitor to sound an alert.
The union focussed on just one of four projects to be funded from a trough labelled “Strategic Science Investment Fund”. This project – to receive $13 million of taxpayers’ money – aims to teach Siri to speak Te Reo.
Siri (Wikepedia explains) is a virtual assistant that is part of Apple Inc.’s iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS and audioOS operating systems.
Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Wood made special mention of Siri in her press statement.
The Taxpayers Union, however, challenged the wisdom of this spending in a press statement headed $13 million teaching Siri to use Te Reo is an IT boondoggle.
A boondoggle (for those unfamiliar with the expression) is a project that is considered a waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations. Continue reading “$13m granted to teach Siri to speak Te Reo – but some of it will be directed to the British and US boffins whose help is needed”