Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.

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  • James Littlewood*,

    Going back to housing for a moment. Tolley said to Campbell this evening that while, yes, MSD's clients have an accumulated debt of $470 (17? Or 70?) million bucks, they're recovering 300 million bucks a year.

    Two things. If there's any truth in that at all:

    1. They're obviously still "lending" more than they're recouping, because the debt is getting bigger, and

    2. The "recovery" is presumably achieved by cutting the borrowing beneficiary's benefit. Which leaves them even less able to afford housing in the first place.

    Wow. Just, it's really staggering ...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Katita,

    Carebnb

    Genius

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Katita,

    The “recovery” is presumably achieved by cutting the borrowing beneficiary’s benefit. Which leaves them even less able to afford housing in the first place.

    Wow. Just, it’s really staggering …

    It's not just staggering, it's criminal. Not only are our social agencies driving people in need further into poverty. They are squandering our tax dollars to do it. FFS, how does 'loaning' money to pay $1200+ a week to a motelier make any kind of sense, fiscal or otherwise?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    From the quality of leadership on display, one has to ask:
    Are we currently being led by the lead-poisoned generation?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1940 posts Report Reply

  • MargaretB, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    You can only get 2 food grants of $100 in any 6 month period - I think... It helps but doesn't go far...

    Northland • Since May 2016 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • MargaretB,

    One thing that's really bothering me about this is how much these hotels/motels/boarding houses are getting away with charging. The rates being quoted in the media seem much higher than you would expect to pay for such accommodation. Are they inflating the prices because they know they're onto a sure thing? I was talking to someone a couple of weeks ago who was living in an unsafe environment and was initially told by WINZ to go find a motel and they would put her in it for a week and would pay up to $400. She found one, moved some stuff in, went back to WINZ (same day) and was told the person she'd spoken to earlier wasn't authorised to approve the accommodation and they would only put her up for the night. She ended up back in her old place and now has a temporary boarding situation while she keeps looking. The system's a shambles...

    Northland • Since May 2016 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to ,

    Does anyone know what the list of specific chemicals are ; the nasty ones that can permeate houses to make them uninhabitable?

    Some comments here from toxicologists:

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to ,

    Does anyone know what the list of specific chemicals are ; the nasty ones that can permeate houses to make them uninhabitable?

    Have a look at the detailed Ministry of Health guidelines linked in the original post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Besides of the concerns about meths pollution, I suggest people check the rentals on offer in Auckland, that is on Trade Me, where living down south is not much cheaper than in many inner and not so inner suburbs of Central Auckland:

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/browse/categoryattributesearchresults.aspx?134=1&135=8&136=32,269&153=&132=FLAT&59=0&59=0&122=0&122=0&29=&123=0&123=0&search=1&sidebar=1&cid=5748&rptpath=350-5748-

    And there is stuff all on offer, really, with over 34,000 people moving into Auckland each year, that is apparently just from immigration.

    This is a catastrophe, I am actually surprised there are not more homeless people in Auckland, really surprised. And unless you have a stable job and income and references, there is NO place to rent! John Key and his government have been criminally negligent, letting it come to this.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Apparently there might be hundreds of thousands of properties used as meth labs in New Zealand!

    Have they updated their website RB? I see it saying it will be in the tens of thousands

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marc C,

    This is a catastrophe, I am actually surprised there are not more homeless people in Auckland, really surprised. And unless you have a stable job and income and references, there is NO place to rent!

    In South Auckland in particular, overcrowded houses are becoming the norm. I was talking to our Media Take researcher and he said he knew of a house where 29 people are living.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew C,

    Have they updated their website RB? I see it saying it will be in the tens of thousands

    No, their graphic still punts for "??,000 to ???,000". Helpful approximation, innit?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    So the TLDR is that:
    1. No one knows for sure, because no one has studied it, and it's unlikely that a controlled study could be conducted
    2. Given that, the overall impression of the scientists is that the risk is minimal.

    Minimal being an unspecified very small amount.

    I'm just getting my head around how small an amount 0.5 micrograms is. One two millionth of a gram.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    The whole thing is nonsense.

    I live in a house that was recently painted. Thus, solvents. There will be detectable levels of solvents in the house from that, cleaning products, and various other things which could cause serious health effects in sufficient quantity. Don't huff paint, kids. But it's not actually dangerous.

    In the meanwhile, if you get a supremely sensitive test for some bullshit thing that politicians have to be seen to be doing something about, the state gives you tens of thousands of dollars to strip a perfectly good house down and rebuild the insides. Which keeps it empty for a couple years, so the state can sell it on account of it never being occupied.

    You can't live in because it needs "repairs" forever, and because no one's been living in it after they do it up, they sell it and count the jump over the old book price as a profit.

    Contractor: Easy money.
    The State: Oops, asset sales, LOL.
    Poor people: GST went up, so yeah.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to BenWilson,

    So the TLDR is that:
    1. No one knows for sure, because no one has studied it, and it’s unlikely that a controlled study could be conducted
    2. Given that, the overall impression of the scientists is that the risk is minimal.

    Not exactly. It's important to differentiate between houses where meth was smoked to houses that were meth labs (as Russell said in the original post). In the first case, the expert opinion seems to be that health risks are minimal; in the second case, health risks are very substantial, hence the MoH's remediation guidelines. There's a lot of detail in these guidelines about hazard identification from the various substances, exposure pathways, human health risk assessment and so on.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • phplad, in reply to linger,

    More likely mercury, destabilised dopamine, low empathy.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • phplad,

    Was listening to TalkBack the other night, there was a fellow who rang in , builder, repairs all of the state houses in new plymouth, usually between tenants .
    He said the following:
    *Most damage done by younger recipients
    *P damaged houses are very rare ( i think he said 3 last year) and when one is damaged they usually just fix it with a coat of paint and carpets, they don't replace GiB etc.
    * many houses are empty and being prepared for sale.

    I guess Auckland might be a different story but to me it seems that its an easy story to sell a hard line on lower socioeconomics, they're all on p.
    Seems like that's simply a fabrication, at least in new Plymouth

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • phplad,

    Last year, there were 31,791 referrals for drug testable positions nationwide and just 55 sanctions for failing a drug test, according to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) figures. - See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/05/18/why-media-are-so-surprised-by-housing-crisis-poverty/

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Not exactly.

    Well, no, I was only talking about the cases of “contamination by users”. But yes, with those qualifications, that was my TLDR. In the other kind of contamination, the meth residue itself would hardly seem to be the issue. It’s the fact that highly concentrated and toxic chemicals of all kinds have been used in there in large quantities. It would be equally bad if the house had been used to make a perfectly legal substance with no side effects, but with the same kinds of chemicals in the production.

    BTW, meth is very seldom smoked. It’s usually vaporized, if it’s not ingested by eating/drinking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to BenWilson,

    In the other kind of contamination, the meth residue itself would hardly seem to be the issue. It’s the fact that highly concentrated and toxic chemicals of all kinds have been used in there in large quantities.

    Actually the guidelines suggest that the meth residue is very much the issue in the longer term:

    Overseas studies indicate that the methamphetamine cooking process can release as much as 5,500 µg/m3 of methamphetamine into the air and deposit as much as 16,000 µg/100cm2 onto surfaces (Martyny et al 2004a). There are concerns that residual methamphetamine generated during the manufacturing process may indeed pose a risk to human health and render the property unsafe for human occupation until it has been decontaminated.

    There's no doubt that the various flammable, corrosive, explosive etc chemicals used in the manufacture pose immediate hazards - most of these folks don't exactly have chemistry degrees. Apparently in the USA, one in five labs are discovered because of an explosion.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    There’s no doubt that the various flammable, corrosive, explosive etc chemicals used in the manufacture pose immediate hazards

    Yes, I'm pretty much saying that those are real and known hazards. The possibility of getting some meth on you, when it doesn't actually kill people who directly ingest it straight into their lungs in high concentrated doses, seems to be a lot less than known chances of various toxic manufacturing chemicals killing you directly. Not that the meth is a healthy thing, of course.

    most of these folks don’t exactly have chemistry degrees

    What? Breaking Bad wasn't true?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Crazy continues - as Key just makes shit up again...

    The Salvation Army has confronted the Government about giving incorrect statements on visiting homeless people.
    Prime Minister John Key said the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) had teamed up with the Salvation Army to engage with homeless people, of which the Salvation Army denies.
    A spokesperson for Key said the comments were based on the advice given to him at the time.
    Key had said on Thursday "MSD and the Sallies went around and knocked on eight cars that they could find.
    "All eight of those people refused to take support either from Sallies or from MSD."

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/80725620/salvation-army-msd-homeless-visits-didnt-happen-and-the-pms-wrong
    I heard him say this on the radio (or tv), and I thought that sounds 'convenient' - he just loves involving the Salvation Army without ever consulting them, perhaps he thinks they'll be too nice to correct him - not any more John!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    "Homelessness accelerates between censuses"

    http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago613529.html

    "At least one in every 100 New Zealanders were homeless at the latest census in 2013, compared with 1 in 120 in 2006, and 1 in 130 in 2001, say University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers."



    I wonder whether John Key can quote another scientist that may give him and his government a better report and that he can use then to dismiss this study.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Herald's tame Labour basher Bazza Soper weighs in again (sigh):
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11650077
    You'd think after being an 'alleged' journalist/writer' for this long that he'd know the difference between 'sewage' and 'sewerage' - especially as a Parliamentary 'reporter'...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    There's another HNZ chemical-contamination story in this morning's Taranaki Daily News, except as yet nobody seems to know what the chemical is. It's good to see, at least, that HNZ didn't use that as an excuse to do nothing or worse in this case.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

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