We’re in 2015 and the prob­lems in the rental mar­ket are the same as they were in the 1990s. Un­af­ford­able rents are still the re­al­ity for many New Zealand house­holds, yet the an­swer from land­lords seems to be ‘in­crease the rent and let the ac­com­mo­da­tion sup­ple­ment meet the short­fall’.

The Manawatu Ten­ants Union has no­ticed a spike in ten­ants hav­ing to de­cide whether to pay their rent or the power bill. High rents and high power bills con­tinue to im­pov­er­ish New Zealand house­holds.

We live in a coun­try where the qual­ity of life is de­ter­mined by one’s in­come, not by fair­ness. At one time New Zealand had a rep­u­ta­tion for a qual­ity of life to be proud of, which has been eroded over the past 30 years.

The pol­i­tics of the public good is the way for­ward.

Kevin Reilly, Manawatu Ten­ants Union

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