There's a sort of irony to this rental accommodation quandary.

A quandary for many people seeking somewhere to live ... somewhere to set up house at a cost which won't send them into the red.

Because there always seems to be a rental room for people who do bad things ... a room (okay a cell then) which comes at no cost and is effectively equipped with everything they need.

Oh, and the meals also arrive without a bill attached and not an electricity bill in sight.


And there is continuing talk about building more of these accommodation units while out in this world, on the other side of the wire so to speak, one on-line posted ad for a modest flat ends up with about 900 inquiries.

There is very definitely a shortage of houses for rent, and it's pretty much across the whole land I daresay, although Hawke's Bay seems to be pretty well at the top of the "wanted to rent" list.

It's not really surprising, given the population increase and an apparent equal increase in the number of people shifting here from other lands.

Everyone needs somewhere to shack up, and as expected, when there is a shortage of any commodity, the cost of obtaining one accordingly goes up.

There was a rather disturbing story emerge from Wellington a couple of months back about the shortage of rentals, affordable rentals, down that way.

It transpired that some landlords took a sort of auction approach ... putting a price on the rental but then opening the door for a rival rental-seeker to make a better offer.

And so on, and so on.

Until the actual rental cost ended up being about 40 per cent higher than was first posted.

All because demand had simply outstripped supply.

Turn the clocks back (nothing to do with daylight saving) 30 years and how very different things were.

You could take your pick.

So what happened?

I've no idea, but yeah, more people arriving to live here and people living longer and staying in their digs longer I guess.

So what is required is simple.

More tidy but budget-driven rental flats and units.

Finding people a roof over their heads should be a governmental and local body priority, and there are some plans in place, although the direction seems to be building homes for sale, rather than rental.

At the end of the line buying a house today is, for many, out of the question ... unless they choose to spend a decade toiling all hours to save enough to qualify for a loan which is usually well into six figures.

It's tough alright.

While driving along Munroe St the other day I glanced across the great now vacant swathe of land which for years was an impromptu car-parking area and is now earmarked for some big retail developments.

Which is fine and dandy, although I sort of figured we weren't too badly off for big retail developments around these greater parts.

You'll always find somewhere to buy what you're after, but finding somewhere to set up a rental roof over the head isn't that simple.

With some landscaping and access you'd get many, many dozens of modest houses on that great close-to-town swathe of land.

But hey, someone has to pay for it and such ideals just don't seem to get the same attention as things like sending many millions of dollars offshore for people and places we know little about.

Crikey, I don't want to sound cynical but aren't there kind of more pressing priorities to address?

And so, back to that earlier drop-in line about daylight saving.

Yep, it reared its head again last Sunday and in one sense the timing was pretty good.

For school holidays had descended so the kids have a fortnight to adjust to the change.

Not so anyone who had an early start that day, or yesterday for that matter, although as time goes on the thing called the "body clock" slowly adjusts so that by the time daylight saving is switched off next autumn we'd had got used to it ... then it all changes again.

But hey, I daresay pretty well everyone would vote for more sunshine at the end of the day rather than the start of it.

And that means more time to dash off to get some gas after discovering on the eve of lighting up one's first barbecue that the cylinder was empty.