Guy Williams: When did New Zealand become selfish?
OPINION: For the majority of people in New Zealand life is going great. My life is wonderful. If I need a sausage at an affordable price, I've got an old mate who's a butcher, he's a bit mad but you can't beat his meat. When I need to funky up my bumper, that technology exists now!
Apparently there's a "Housing Crisis" and not just the one that affects rich Aucklanders. The media has been a real down buzz about the whole thing, showing us people living in garages.
It's horrible to watch. I'm not watching or listening to it, I'll switch over to Home and Away and this is probably why journalism is dying.
The government quickly solved the problem anyway; people can sleep in their cars now! Ta Da!
When the MinIster for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, downgraded the situation from a "Housing Crisis" to a "Housing Challenge" without doing anything I was so shocked that I laughed.
All I could say to myself was "Big balls Paula! Huge balls!" It was the same reaction I had when John Key said that Kiwi detainees on Christmas Island were "free... if they don't want to be in detention" to come back!
The testicular fortitude of some of our leading politicians is often extraordinary.
It doesn't matter if you call it a "Crisis" or a "Challenge", the important thing is you fix it. After changing the terminology, Bennett's next exciting move was to talk about how she was going to kick out people in state houses who are "manufacturing drugs".
This was a funny thing to say because it implied that they were previously fine with manufacturing drugs in state houses.
Blaming drugs is a false truth used by this government at least once before. I don't do a lot of research for these articles as you can tell; I'm like Mike Hosking, if he hadn't based his whole life on Hugh Grant.
John Key blamed high child poverty numbers on drugs. It was instantly disputed by the Public Health Association and the Salvation Army but the message seemed to stick.
Maybe the reason these clearly wrong statements are so comically frustrating is because they resonate with the majority of New Zealanders.
Everyone sitting in a warm home watching Seven Sharp fill time between ads for medic alert bracelets agrees there is no housing crisis round here, we're doing great!
This is one of the many reasons I hated the new flag (the main reason being that it looked like an 'achieved' in year 9 graphic design). To me it represented a New Zealand led by cold and calculating business people who think that poor people are poor because of drugs.
I grew up thinking of New Zealand as a generous country where you help out your humble mate on their DIY project and then chuck a kakapo on bbq and drink drive home.
In John Key's maiden speech to Parliament he said: "You can measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable."
It's the Kiwi way. We used to be the land of plenty, so when did we become so cold and selfish? When did we stop caring about New Zealand as a whole and become so pre-occupied with the individual?
Some would say it started 1984 with Roger Douglas and today it seems we are too focused on "economic growth". Stats often don't care that some people's quality of life is so bad they have to live in a car.
Unless they made the car themselves, in New Zealand, in which case I think the more important question is: why do they own an automobile manufacturing facility but not a house?
I think it's an interesting way to look at every "challenge" or "crisis" that faces New Zealand: child poverty, homelessness, Immigration.
It's about New Zealand culture: do we care about the individual or the country as a whole? I for one don't. I'm in it for me, this whole column has been a decoy while I race off to Bunnings to get a head start on the weekend sales. Later, suckers!