Kiwibuild and housing in the modern capitalist economy

February 1, 2013

kiwibuild construction

Joel Cosgrove

At their most recent conference Labour leader David Shearer, under immense pressure from both inside and outside the Labour Party, announced a keynote policy which promises 100,000 new homes to be built over the ten years following a Labour Party electoral victory in 2014.

The response to date, with a few exceptions, has been divided according to two positions. The first is that Labour’s policy is a rebirth or reaffirmation of the principles of the first Labour government. The second position is that Labour is simply announcing an unaffordable election bribe, and that the policy is simply middle-class welfare and an example of big government. Both positions are analytically superficial.

In a New Zealand Herald DigiPoll survey released on January 10, over 70% of respondents approved of Labour’s promise to enter the housing market to build 100,000 low-cost homes over the next 10 years, with only 26 per cent disapproving.

This is portrayed as being a return to old-Labour values, a line in the sand ideologically with the National Party. However, below that hark back to the past, much of what Labour has presented is more aligned to a modern neoliberal perspective than a social democratic framework from the past.  Read the rest of this entry »


Housing protest videos (Wellington, Aotearoa/NZ)

November 8, 2012

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A small victory in the battle for Glen Innes

November 6, 2012

In mid-October, for the first week in several months there were no state houses removed from Glen Innes . House removal companies and police backed off after intense protest activity which culminated in the arrest of seven protestors including MANA movement Leader Hone Harawira. “This is a small victory in the battle of Glen Innes” said MANA Vice President John Minto in a press release.

“It’s also an opportunity for the Minister of Housing to intervene and agree to a moratorium on further removals so the community can be engaged in discussion about the proposed redevelopments. We are pleased that along with MANA, Labour and the Greens also agree to this approach. It’s common sense given that even National list MP and former Glen Innes pastor Alfred Ngaro agrees no proper process of consultation with the community was carried out before the first state houses were removed.”

“The government wants to ‘redevelop’ Glen Innes, not for the people who live there but for wealthier families from other areas, the poor are to be shifted out to South Auckland or into high rise state housing in GI which on past experience will look like a slum in five years” said Minto.
The protests are being led by the Tamaki Housing Action Group and supported by MANA, who will also be supporting the Housing Crisis National Day of Action tomorrow which will include a march on parliament and a petition demanding affordable housing for all people


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