Default Dialogue

No doubt you’ve noted recent moves to remove state house tenants from Auckland properties.

David Farrar turns in a small and perfectly formed take on things:

There will always be a limit to the number of state houses available at any time. Hence, one should try and help as many low income families as you can, by making sure that the family size and the house size are aligned.

Some tenants are no longer poor, and are paying market rents. It makes total sense for them to find a private sector landlord, and let a low income family get the benefit of a state house.

Pithy common sense.

I’m being serious here, I think David writes very well. And I’m an open admirer of David’s leveraging off his blog to create a small media empire and ubiquitousness as the go-to political pundit. Take a look at the Herald, at Stuff. Or even that bastion of free-market thought, RadioNZ National.

If you want to deconstruct his post further with me, then go look at the original again. DPF simply tells us what a statehouse is; what purpose within the welfare state it serves. I’m pointing out the obvious here but bear with me.

What other alternative narrative is out there? I’d love to read a different explanation of things. Why do we have state houses, who uses them and why? Hey, I’m just fishing here.

The reason I’m interested is that some point someone must have known the answers to these questions. It must once have been a good idea for leaders to stage photo opps like this:

Contemporaries within the Labour Party are clearly uncomfortable with this mantle from the past. Why else when you go to Red Alert do you find that only 5 posts have appeared that are tagged Housing NZ, none of which communicate to much to anyone anything about Labour’s attitude towards social housing.

So what does Red Alert write about? Sadly, David Farrar is as always ubiquitous.

Snark aside, I simply don’t understand why Labour doesn’t talk to the electorate about housing.

It’s not like housing is critical to health, education and societal wellbeing, and it’s not like our current housing stock registers on the scale somewhere between appalling and Dickensian. It’s not like the chattering middle classes aren’t interested in housing; “Someone recently suggested to me that a typical Listener cover story nowadays would run something along the lines of “Is Your House Making You Fat?””.

Maybe this is just a consequence of a GenX/Y upbringing. I missed the boat on the Mickey Savage. But listen the voices around us. Labour isn’t helping to challenge the default dialogue on the issue, and I’m not sure why. Surely housing is important?


2 responses to “Default Dialogue

  1. If the question involves ‘making sure that the family size and the house size are aligned.’ then and the answer must be ………’to find a private sector landlord’
    Really? No suggestion of a range of low cost rentals to cover the spectrum of family sizes and needs? State provided of course.
    No, DPF’s ‘well-written’ piece simply shills for the state subsidy of private sector capitalists. A bit like WFF really.

    So everyone gets a payrise when the kids leave home?

  2. Ignore that last bit. It dropped below the horizon and vanished during composition….or, as I nearly wrote, compostedition.

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