This is what happens when identity politics matters more to a Minister than the issue:
A tweet by Greens co-leader Marama Davidson, accusing National MP Nicola Willis of using “racist and classist undertones” when discussing emergency accommodation, led to a showdown in Parliament.
It began with Willis asking Davidson about the Government’s Homelessness Action Plan and how she aimed to reduce the ballooning use of emergency accommodation such as motels, as Associate Housing Minister responsible for homelessness. . .
Willis asked Davidson if she was accusing New Zealanders who raise concerns about their safety in relation to increased numbers of people in emergency accommodation as being racist.
“I am accusing a member, a National member of this House, of attempting to stigmatise a group of people with little access to power and resourcing, of attempting to whip up stigmatising and dehumanising narratives around groups of people who need our support, around groups of people who need us to address the systemic causes of crime,” Davidson responded.
“Yes, I am accusing a National member of raising that dehumanising narrative.” . .
The only one to mention race or class was Davidson who in doing so let her focus on identity politics blind her to the issue – that central Wellington streets are not safe and that the use of motels for emergency accommodation is part of the problem.
And it’s a multi-million dollar problem.’
Newshub can reveal the multimillion-dollar extent of the Government’s emergency motel bill and just how much Kiwis are forking out to some of the top earners.
One motel made $6 million off the Government last year, charging much more for rooms than it normally would.
In the three months to December 2017, the Government spent $6.6 million on motels. By the following year it more than tripled and just keeps growing. . .
A problem that ought to be Davidson’s focus, instead of which she’s doing what?
Sepuloni could ask the Associate Minister of Housing with responsibility for homelessness, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, to shoulder the load.
But in the five months that she’s been a minister, Davidson hasn’t taken a paper to Cabinet committee or issued a press release.
“Not yet,” she said, adding that she’s been engaging with the community.
Newshub checked Davidson’s latest ministerial diary. In January there were just two housing entries – a couple of interviews.
She walked away when pressed on what work she’s been doing in housing.
If she stopped blinding herself width identity politics she might be able to see, and do something about the real and related issues of unsafe streets and homelessness.