Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hone Harawira's latest ---well, what was it?

I do my best to try to see Hone Harawira as a sane and passionate politician and defender of the Rights of his people (and others now that he has tried to widen the base of the Mana party). He has sort of softened some of his actions of late and apart from the odd outburst or two, he has gone along with most of the traditions of Parliament.
I am not at all sure what he was trying to achieve by sitting in his car last night, ‘listening to music,’ while supporting the rights of the residents of State Homes in Glenn Innes to stay put. I would have thought that he would have been a bit more ‘vocal’ and put himself a little more to the front of the action. Maybe he was tired.
Either way, he became the target of police action and his front window was broken and he was arrested--- what for? Was his car obstructing the work of those wishing to ‘move the house?’ I don’t know why he just didn't get out and lambast the people and police who were intent on taking the house away.
I would like to know about what is driving Hone’s and others’ actions. My understanding is that Housing NZ is completely changing the area where the homes are being removed from. It is pretty obvious that the area is going ‘upmarket,’ and that the former residents are being moved on. That their community is being torn apart is an accurate description of the actions of Housing NZ. What I don’t know is what plans are being made to re-house the residents? This is where I may lose some friends about what I say next.
Many of us have to move form time to time, for a variety of reasons. It can be for work, for financial (like we can’t afford the rent or mortgage) and for a myriad of other factors. Some would say—‘get on with your lives like the rest of us do.’ The underlying reasoning here is that—why should one sector of society (i.e. State House residents) be able to expect preferential treatment?). I feel for the residents and acknowledge that some of the residents do not have as many choices available to them as most of the rest of us do. I also ask the perennial question—‘Do State House residents have the right to expect that they will be housed for life, in the same house, or should they have to take the same choices we all make as life changes and socio/economic considerations change around them. For example; the needs of other people to have the same access to State homes and therefore a juggling of that resource to accommodate these new residents, must be taken into account.  
So, the answers are not simple. What Hone was really doing, only he knows?
I do have  a nasty taste in my craw though about the 'profiteering' that is driving this.' The land these homes are on is 'gold' to developers. Perhaps they should pay for the new homes that the residents will need. They would still make a profit and the residents would be housed. OK, so the world doesn't work like that!

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