Friday 2 August 2019


Emily Brookes' piece on the tragic Carla Neems case lets Nathan Wallis wander all over the place, including here:
Wallis stressed that no blame should be placed on Neems' parents for her death - "the last thing they need is a bloody coroner's report saying it was kind of their fault" -   and said they were victims of a society "that doesn't value children very much and is all run by the Business Round Table."

"We've created an economic situation where it's impossible to buy a house in New Zealand without having two parents go to work," he said. "Then how on earth are we expected to have someone there to walk (kids) to school every morning and pick them up every afternoon? It's an impossible situation for people."
I didn't know Roger Kerr well; he was the Business Roundtable. I met him once or twice, and had email correspondence a half-dozen times. He taught me to write my first OIA request, back when I was an academic.

But I do know that one of his last submissions, if not his last submission, before he died in October of 2011 was to the Productivity Commission's inquiry on housing costs, in August 2011. He would have been near the end of his battle with melanoma.

He there stressed the importance of getting the regulatory settings right so that more housing could be built, because housing affordability matters.

The emphasis on fixing housing has continued with the New Zealand Initiative, successor organisation to both the former Institute and the former Roundtable.

A clearer-thinking Wallis might have wished that the Business Roundtable's warnings on zoning and urban planning impediments to housing affordability, way back in 2011, had been paid some heed.

It's a pretty sad article all 'round.

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