Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt stated last week, “many renters are having to make trade-offs between their fundamental human rights, such as the right to adequate food and the right to a decent home. A home is first and foremost a fundamental human right and not an investment,” he repeated. This garbage is fairy tale nonsense.
He continued on…referring to a non-existent country he called Aotearoa NZ, Hunt claimed it’s in breach of a “legally binding international human rights obligation.” What this agreement was he didn’t advise, but probably he was referring to the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That was simply a wish list of perceived desirable aspirations and as such worthy.
My complaint is the word “Rights.” Saying someone has a human right to something implies that someone or something else has an obligation to provide it and therein lies the problem.
For there always has been and doubtless always with be, a sector of society expecting the rest of us to provide these things for them with no effort from themselves. It’s dangerous territory.
Plainly they have no such meaningful right to these things failing which there wouldn’t be complaints about their absence.
On rental housing Hunt called for price controls. Ignoring the well proven reality that rent controls always lead to shortages, Hunt instead quoted Ireland’s favourable statistics re housing.
What he failed to mention and in fairness probably didn’t know, is Ireland is, God only knows why, the leading property developer nation in the world. As an aside, that reality supports a burgeoning bankruptcy business, a standard denouement for all property developers.
For example, with the collapse of communism 3 decades back, Irish developers were first in to Eastern Europe building modern hotels, offices and apartments.
At the time we subscribed to a specialist Eastern European commercial property magazine and I well recall one cover story of a major Irish developer in Eastern Europe. It’s theme being why he was pulling stumps. In his words, he had the choice of living in the west or dying in the east, specifically of alcohol poisoning. As he explained it was culturally impossible to do even the smallest deal without a full day’s vodka consumption with the other party. As his company was huge, deals were being done in vast numbers and he was engaged in full-time drinking.
The one characteristic common to all developers is excess. Thus when the 2008 financial crash occurred, numerous Irish developers went bankrupt, leaving in their wake thousands of unsold homes, unsold because they grossly exceeded the market demand. It’s that reality that explains the country’s current happy housing situation.
The Human Rights Commission should be scrapped, at least in name. There’s certainly a need for bodies to uphold people’s legal rights but I’d have thought that’s pretty well covered already.
Meanwhile with nigh on 100 employees writing nonsense reports and such-like, the cost to the tax-payer is immense. The only positive aspect of this is circa $500,000pa. of this waste goes to me in rental, the Commission being in one of my company’s buildings. Perhaps there’s a justice-dispensing God after all.