FROM DATELINE … What has Robbed New Zealanders of the Dream?



Season 2020 Episode 5  — What Happened To The New Zealand Dream?


New Zealand is in the grip of a housing crisis. Dateline meets the struggling families living in one of the world’s most unaffordable cities, and the man helping the homeless become home owners.


HOW has New Zealand a progressive egalitarian place where left leaning Australians looked across the Tasman with envy … with a young feminist Leader with a social conscience who came to power promising kindness and compassion … so you might be surprised to learn that inequality is rife.

WHAT is impeding the Adern Government from fulfilling their promises?

The average house in Auckland now costs over a Million, and the average rent is almost $600 a week

The New Zealand Housing Crisis is pushing those most vulnerable into a desperate situation.

The fallout from the CoronaVirus Pandemic only worsens the situation.

With a leader who talked about compassion which is now only rhetoric when on the ground there are families seeking emergency care from New Zealand’s welfare system.

The team are on the frontline of the Housing Crisis – a volunteer organisation operating in Auckland for 10 years now.

The majority of the people they work with have been squeezed out of the rental market; they can barely afford the weekly rent or maybe homeless!

Auckland has become one of the most unaffordable cities in the World ranked behind Sydney and Melbourne.

Families like these (as shown) can’t afford to buy food! On the minimum wage housing costs 70% of their income. When prompted by the Advocate they reply that after paying for rent and bills they only have $100 a week left.

People on benefits can get an emergency grant but these need to be repaid creating a debt trap!

The worker interviewed has had personal experience of homelessness! She said:

‘I have been homeless in the past; stayed in my car for two weeks until I got into a boarding house.’ She was asked what was that like and replied:’It didn’t feel good; it wasn’t a safe environment to be in being homeless. It’s not a safe place to be at all.’

Vulnerable families are struggling to keep a roof over their head with thousands of households on the waiting list for public housing. With 8000 homeless going without a safe place to call home!

Yesterday this man was facing a night on the streets. AAAP helped him access emergency housing.

The government has just agreed to increase benefits by $25 a week as part of its Covid 19 support package but last year it ignored an expert report recommending the benefit be increased by almost 50%.

Thousands of people are homeless. One of Labor’s policies is fixing the Housing Crisis. To build 100,000 homes over 10 years; the government promised affordable housing.

But there were problems from the start.

The government fulfilled their promise *** by stopping foreigners from buying existing homes.

70% of the homeless population live in overcroweded houses. They are called the invisible homeless people camping out or living rooms of relatives ***

Eight people squeezed into a small public house with mum and dad forced to sleep in the lounge.

During the CoronaVirus Pandemic overcrowding will pose a serious risk to public health. There is little hope of a short term fix.

These people have been on a waiting list for a bigger home for three years. One of the boys has a dream to own a house. He said ‘it would feel like you could bring your family over if you want. You don’t have to hide – this is your own property you own that you can do it.’

But home ownership has been declining in New Zealand for years. Where the Landlord is King.

An investor/landlord was interviewed; his plan is to buy a house each year so that he has sufficient income to do what he wants. He said any successful landlord does not get rid of a tenant unless he has a really good reason.

He then indicated the homes that he owns; five homes on the one block.

He wants to make a good living off the rental income; he does everything himself. (maintenance)

His tenants stay a lot longer than they used to with less options probably more difficult for them to find another property.

One of his tenants said she used to rent a garage for $450 a week to live in before moving to this house. ‘We were desperate at the time – nobody would take us on; that was about a year ago; stayed there for

about two years.

Four living in a garage must have been cold in Winter? She described every time it rained water would come through.

In response to the CoronaVirus the government has announced a rent freeze but before the Pandemic some landlords were taking advantage of the Housing Crisis.

But ‘Peter’ has a Plan to help tenants gain more rental security offering a ten year lease.

It is giving tenants the room to do what they want to do with their home.

The landlord would provide the shell of the building; the tenants would rent the property and provide their own flooring, light fittings etc; the model in place in Germany and Scandinavia.

He said ‘that is an option I would like to see and I think it would make a difference to the housing market. My tenants are secure now …. when I die they are going to be looking for a new home, but there is little political ….

for any significant reforms to the housing market.’

The winners are the people already on the property ladder. For young people the crisis will play out for years to come!

New Zealanders without home ownership – it is seen as something that makes you an adult. When you don’t you have a sense of being disconnected; of not achieving of being a failure.

The man who mortgaged his own home to find a unique solution for families ….

New Zealand housing ciris

moving here for affordable housing … a … town in one of the country’s most depressed regions and ……………………….where 60% moved in the rural areas and moved out of the cities.

The reversal of the 60s urban drift where60% moved to the rural areas and moved out of the cities

The reversal in the 2000s now plroviding rentals available so many of the families are living in makeshift cabins, buses …. to living in overcrowded conditions.

This is the gateway into property….

The Maori community leader mortgaged his own house to buy this land in the hope to give the community a new lease on life.

He then found abandoned derelict public houses in Auckland and trucked them up here, and created a little suburb where there were farmlands. They had been sitting in Auckland ***


Ricky has an unconventional plan for addressing the housing crisis.

The first step involves ………….. homes and making them habitable again.

Ricky said: ‘You have to be able to see the goodness in everything.’

Oodoo got a house from the Trust. …

he has given us a home; put a roof over our heads, and I’m very grateful for that.

The second step of Ricky’s Plan involves housing families but it’s about more than just putting the roof over their heads.

Ultimately the ….. is to take people who are homeless turn them into home owners over 14 years.

Families pay $275 a week

Most of which goes to paying 160

cost of ….

turns around a historic decline in Maori home ownership from …..

dependence yhousing in ….

We were living from house to house with out suitcases Leon and OOdoo originally from Papua New Guinea tried making it in Australia but came back when it didn’t work out.

When they returned there was a lack of rentals …. with two kids in toe.

Nobody wanted to rent to a couple with two and three children. They appolied for social accommodation that links

NGO and she put us down on a waiting list and asked us what we were going to do if we didn’t have anywhere to go, and I told her we would go and live in a tent with our kids =.

They were provided emergency accommodation, and the opportunity to join the home ownership program

WHAT it appears this excellent program has not considered … sadly it looks like because the Ardern Government has not been able to honour all its promises, and may not be returned … that New Zealanders may well return a conservative Government that helped create this predicament in the first place with their policies!

It was during their term that the visa holder money launderers bought up New Zealand domestic housing, and house prices consequently escalated with the high competition