The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA), a trade union representing and supporting workers across New Zealand, is urging the government to urgently rethink its response to the housing crisis.
The government introduced reforms and ways to address the housing crisis in New Zealand earlier this year. However, the PSA believes that funding and implementing an integrated approach to housing, community, and infrastructure would better address the issues.
The trade union said significant investment is needed, but if the government does not take an integrated approach now, the cost would be passed on to future generations.
“We have over 80,000 members who work in every single community in Aotearoa New Zealand. They know exactly what it will take to build a healthy and thriving society. Affordable housing is fundamental to our quality of life. All New Zealanders should have secure, warm, dry, energy-efficient housing. No questions,” said PSA president Benedict Ferguson.
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Ferguson explained that the government needs a plan for communities without relying on the sale of Crown land into private ownership to fund state housing.
“Homes for whānau should not be at the expense of future Treaty settlements,” he added. “We need to agree, once and for all, that public/private partnerships do not work. Mahi this important must be funded directly by the government.
“And finally, we need an integrated approach to housing. We need to build communities, not just homes, and they must be properly supported by internet connections, social services, libraries, pools, public transport, water and waste pipes, and all the other things that turn houses into homes and suburbs into communities.”