In the early 1990s the government introduced a policy in which state housing tenants, many of whom were Māori, were to pay full market rents. The measure was intended to provide greater choice in the housing market; if state housing tenants could not afford their rent they could choose to move to more affordable housing. But such housing was rarely available. In the end the only way many state tenants could afford market rents was to take in boarders, which in some cases led to overcrowding, domestic violence and sickness. This 1998 cartoon satirises the idea that the government’s policy had delivered greater choice to state housing tenants.
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