One of the government’s own ministers has condemned some emergency housing as “inhumane”, while taking aim at a system allowing moteliers to turn a quick buck at the expense of safety and a decent place to live.
Those at the coalface say there’s not enough oversight, with families mixed in with gang members and many places rife with crime and violence.
Green Party co-leader and Associate Housing Minister Marama Davidson said some were living in “inhumane, undignified situations” and the way money was handed out to motels and other providers – with no strings attached – was “unacceptable”.
Putting aside whether or not Davidson is correct, Ardern should sack her for her comments.
Davidson is the Associate Minister for Housing with specific responsibility for homelessness (which emergency housing is a response to). She speaks for the Government on these issues, and has labelled her own Government’s record and policy as inhumane.
Her actual delegation includes:
Responsibility for operational policy relating to transitional housing
Now Davidson is correct the status quo is not satisfactory. But this is the Minister who has not taken a single paper to Cabinet since she became a Minister. Her job is to persuade her colleagues to change policy, not to label her own Government as inhumane.
Ardern doesn’t need the votes of the Greens. If ministerial responsibility means anything, she should sack Davidson.