New Zealand Report: Selwyn Manning joins FiveAA’s breakfast team Jane Reilly, Dave Penberthy and Mark Aiston to deliver New Zealand Report. This week: Maori Party Accuses Government of being Slum-Landlord + Complaint Against Witch-Doctor Ads – Recorded live on 28/08/15. Opening video image: Mouldy State Houses – Image courtesy of Lauren Baker Radio New Zealand.
The co-leader of the Maori Party has delivered a stinging attack on the National-led Government, criticising it as a “slum landlord”.
Marama Fox – whose political party actually props up the Government with a confidence and supply agreement – said Thursday that until the Government brings its state housing stock up to liveable standards it is “the biggest slumlords of this country”.
A recent study of state houses found over 95 per cent of state owned homes would fail a warrant of fitness.
The findings back up news of a surge in hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses that have driven even large hospitals, like Auckland City Hospital, to operate beyond capacity.
A pattern has been in evidence where children and the elderly living in state houses have fallen ill due to damp, drafty, mouldy, and at times toxic living conditions.
Last year the coroner found the death of an Auckland toddler, Emma-Lita Bourne, was “entirely possible” that the cold, damp, state house where her family lived had contributed to her death.
And UNICEF’s Deborah Morris Travers – who was once our youngest ever government minister as Minister of Youth Affairs in the National-New Zealand First coalition between 1996-99 – said yesterday: “With outgoings for rental housing costs at a historic high, families up and down the country are struggling to provide even minimum shelter to their children.”
She added: “Likewise, when housing is of such poor quality that it makes children sick, it breaches their right to the highest attainable standard of health.”
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said: “The standard of rental housing in this country is appalling and our children are getting sick, and we cannot afford to let that happen.”
However, the Prime Minister John Key said in Parliament on Wednesday that the Government had insulated 280,000 homes, 48,000 of which were state houses. He added that the Government had spent $30m providing heating and housing, and was spending $300m a year maintaining homes.
The politics of this issue suggests the Government is attempting to avoid state houses becoming subject to a warrant of fitness. It appears committed to minimising maintenance costs prior to offloading thousands more state homes onto private ‘social housing’ providers.
A complaint has been laid with the Advertising Standards Authority after it was revealed “witch doctors” healers and astrologers had been charging fortune seekers thousands of dollars for promises of prosperity and a fabulous love-life!
It may surprise few to know, nothing tangible resulted from the promises.
A former Fijian newspaper publisher, Ranjit Singh, has laid a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over the ads placed in the Indian Newslink newspaper, the Fairfax-owned Manukau Courier, and on Apna TV.
According to Mr Singh the adverts claimed to provide lifelong protection and even a solution to Lucky Lotto!
Unfortunately it does sound too good to be true.