Access to finance is a major impediment for the amazing groups involved in community housing. There have been two significant moves in the past few months where new ethical funds have moved into community housing. One is ACC has invested in CERO housing in Auckland and they will be building 100 new units for community housing in the next year.
The second is a KiwiSaver company, Generate, has invested $15m in a bond to enable the Salvation Army to build 115 units in Auckland.
Last night, in her wonderful acceptance speech, Jacinda Ardern said that the state would be investing in “more state houses”. This is a big mistake, as it’s only part of the solution, and must be challenged.
A view on conventional thinking and a message to our Business sector:
From an article by Rod Oram https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/rod-oram-businesses-incoherent-view-of-the-future
In the article Rod quoted Martin Wolf from the Financial Times:
“We are living in an era of multiple crises: Covid-19; a crisis of economic disappointment; a crisis of democratic legitimacy; a crisis of the global commons; a crisis of international relations; and a crisis of global governance. We do not know how to deal with all of these. This is partly because it is hard to develop the needed ideas for reform. Yet it is far more because politics cannot deliver the necessary changes.”
So wrote Martin Wolf, chief economics columnist of the Financial Times in July. As a leading neoliberal 30 years ago, admired by Roger Kerr, the chief executive of the NZ Business Roundtable in its heyday, Wolf used to apply a simple, narrow ideology to solve the problems of the world. But over the decades since as he’s grappled with the great complexities of economics, politics and life in general his analysis and remedies have become deeply grounded in principles, values and practicality that serve all.
As for the opportunity for change, “Covid-19 has already triggered major shifts in individual behaviours, social practices, beliefs, the role of the government in the economy, and relationships between nations and international institutions. These shifts have occurred on remarkably rapid timescales,” wrote the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University in its May report on what types of infrastructure projects are best to pursue when building back better.
“You can do them quickly, many of them are labour intensive, and many of them have big multipliers,” wrote Nick Stern, one of the report’s authors.
Then he wrote:
But NZ business lobby groups are devoid of vision or mission in their briefings for the in-coming government. They express no view on how radically the world is changing and what opportunities they might pursue to benefit them and society. As you read these dispiriting documents, you’d think business was magnificently immune to the virus and unchanged by it.
Where they mention the virus at all, it is only briefly and in the context of what they need short term. Yes, of course, they have to have a growing flow of skilled people across a health-controlled border, for example. But are they for business as usual or for some new and greater opportunity?
Instead, their astonishingly brief briefings only reiterate old themes – such as more skills, greater productivity – and narrow old policy prescriptions for how those might be achieved.
Worse, there are glaring contradictions within and between the briefings, even though many companies are members of one or more of the three main business lobbying organisations.
It really is interesting, as a family running two small businesses, that the business lobby groups seem to walk right past those of us the employers of vast numbers of NZers. It’s almost as if we are too small to worry about. We are “collateral damage” if we fail. We become fodder when we fail for their arguments. Until then we might as well not exist.
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