Labour’s call for a Civil Defence “national state of emergency” on the housing crisis is insensitive and idiotic.
That’s because under the current law there has only ever been one other national state of emergency – for the Christchurch earthquake.
Yes, Civil Defence says the only time New Zealand has ever made the official declaration under current legislation was the deadly February earthquake. The one that killed 185 people. The one that broke Christchurch.
And now Labour’s housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, wants to use Civil Defence Emergency Management Act (CDEM) 2002 to declare one over the housing crisis – “a homelessness state of emergency”.
A look at the history books doesn’t help Twyford much either – there was a state of emergency declared for the 1951 waterfront dispute when the army and navy were called in when Prime Minister Sid Holland thought New Zealand was “at war”.
In my opinion, trying to elevate homelessness to the levels of Christchurch as an emergency is both insensitive and idiotic.
Twyford’s call is insensitive when you think about all the people who lost loved ones in what was a true natural disaster.
And it is idiotic to think that putting Civil Defence on alert would help fix the housing issues.
Labour often manage to be either insensitive or idiotic, but it is more rare for them to manage both at the same time.