GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Not one more eviction

There is a war going on.

The rich and their cronies in the media have united against New Zealand families to trample them into greater poverty and homelessness.

At the spearhead of this latest assault on New Zealand families, is a propaganda campaign being waged to demonise renters, espeially state house tenants.

The purpose of this campaign is to continue, and even accelerate, the dismantling and privatisation of the state housing system, to push more families into the already overcrowded private housing market, to benefit the private landlords, developers, housing speculators and banksters who benefit from inflated private housing costs..

At the forefront of this vicious propaganda campaign is the New Zealand Herald.

The New Zealand Herald is appalled, that since the election of the Ardern administration, in 2017 there have ‘only’ been three evictions from state housing.

I am appalled that there has been that many, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

The Herald and their right wing backers want to see many more state house tenants evicted onto the streets.

Make no mistake the motive of this propaganda war against state house.tenants, is the dismantling and privatisatioon of the state housing system. The NZ Herald are softening  us up to accept the eviction of state house tenants onto the streets.

To justify eviction of families onto the street by private landlords, hi-lighting of extreme cases is not a new tactic.

What is new, is this time the government is the landlord and state tenants are the target.

When the state house system was at its peak of operation, troublesome tenants could be transfered to another state house, possibly in another suburb, or even town.

After decades of mass sell offs and giveaways of state housing stock, to the benefit of private landlords and developers, the state housing system no longer has the capacity it once had to cope with troubled families.

The wholesale clearance of previous state house suburbs, in Glen Innes, Pamure, Mt. Roskill, Orakei, and the gentrification of these areas, have seen privileged private home owners pitted against the remaining pockets of state house tenants.

To those private home owners who have benefited from the sell off and demolition of state houses so that you can move in to buy or build in previouos state housing areas, And who believe the Herald’s lies that State Housing tenants are “privileged”. You are the ones who are privileged not us.
And we were here first. If you can’t live with us, some of us, with problems and life experiences you will never understand, Don’t buy or build in our areas. If you have already bought or built where a state house once stood. You don’t have my sympathy for the troubles you are having.

The right wing propaganda campaign hi-liting troublesome state tenants is to soffen us up to the eviction state house families, onto the streets, to accelerate the gentrification of our inner city areas, of Glenn Innes, Mt Rosill, Pamure, Orakei.

If you choose to buy in a low decile area, where state and run down private rental house low iincome families, many who have suffered decades of insecurity and systemic abuse, it comes with the territory.
Do not expect them to move out onto the street, when you have the ability and economic privilege of choosing where you live. These families have no other choices.

Disclaimer: Pat O’Dea is the son of the late noted state house advocate for state house tenants James O’Dea. Pat O’Dea grew up in a state house, but currently rents from a private landlord in a low decile South Auckland neighborhood with state house neighbors some of whom display the same sort of behaviours that the Herald is trying to use to smear all state tenants. We live with them and help them where we can. But we don’t think we are better than them. because we rent privately. Yes we have suffered some of the same incidents hi lited by the Herald, but they have been isolated and infrequent, we don;t escalate or continue these disputes. It doesnt mean we are door mats either. I admit to having to on occasion having to call the police or ambulance after witnessing some of the incidents of domestic abuse or violence.And even on one occasion being the victim of it..I don’t demand that my neighors move out so that the developers can move in.

Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.

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