Right to home abandoned: author

Jul 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: Hot Topics, Latest News
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Author and social commentator Gordon McLauchlan brought his acute wit and humour to Tamahere today, enthralling his audience with a life’s worth of observations.

Author Gordon McLauchlan with Green Party Waikato candidate Philippa Stevenson in discussion at Tamahere


Over his lifetime, he’d seen some dramatic and desirable advances in human rights from campaigns against homophobia, racism and patronising anti-feminism, he told an audience of around 45 in the St Stephen’s Tamahere hall.

“But in that same time I’ve also seen the abandonment of the human right for people to have a decent home and an adequate income,” McLauchlan said.

Home ownership was once a fundamental right endorsed by the National Party but had now been abandoned by both the major parties, he said.

“That’s not progress, it’s regression to the 19th century.”

McLauchlan was in Tamahere at the invitation of Green Party candidate for Waikato Philippa Stevenson, who led the discussion between McLauchlan and the audience in a lively question and answer session.

“Argument around the world focuses on globalisation on the one hand and protectionism on the other, on immigration on one hand and closed borders on the other,” McLauchlan said in response to a question on his view of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement or TPPA.

“There are a lot of positions between these extremes and I think the Greens take some of these common sense positions,” he said.

“Also we have 4.6 million people and 3.6 million tourists pouring into the country. We have to take policy positions, in my opinion, that protect and preserve our environment. In some other countries where tourism is overwhelming it damages the environment and angers local people.”

Stevenson asked McLauchlan to draw on his years of experience in writing on farming issues to evaluate the Green Party’s agricultural and rural affairs policy.

There were two things that he considered most important about the policy, McLauchlan said.

“The inducements towards a sustainable agrarian economy, and towards repopulating our declining towns.

“I’ve seen factory farming in the United States and it hollows out the countryside and results in people cramming into cities, mostly unemployed or in low-wage jobs.”

McLauchlan, author of several bestselling books over six decades, including The Farming of New Zealand and The Passionless People said he still considered New Zealanders to be passionless.

“That’s why we have all these three-term governments. People don’t get angry at inequality, they just get bored every nine years by the same old ministerial faces,” he said.

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