Arrogance, like love, is in the eye of the beholder.
True for Housing New Zealand.
I'm sure many state house tenants have felt the government-owned corporation has been heavy-handed with them over the years.
Especially in the 1990s when the National government of the day directed the state house provider to make a profit.
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"How do we do that?" the state bureaucrats asked. "Aren't we meant to be supplying cheap housing for New Zealanders - where's the profit in doing that?"
"Well," said the National government, "there are two ways you can do that, up your rents to market rates, and sell houses."
And so the once benign public provider of affordable housing for working-class New Zealanders (and a boon for Fletcher Building amongst others) was turned into an arrogant landlord trying to squeeze profits out of the country's poorest citizens.
Thirty-one thousand state houses were sold. Long term tenants were forced out of their homes, and a general air of corporate superiority was the operating norm.
And now Housing New Zealand, under this government, is being directed to refashion itself again. "Build for the people," they've been told.
Labour's Housing Minister Phil Twyford wants at least 1000 new state houses built each year. Two thousand would be better. And no more selling of state houses.
That's quite a transformation. Staff at Housing New Zealand probably haven't looked at so many building plans and land suitability reports for a long time.
They can perhaps be forgiven for not getting the public relations side of things right when it came to the Pūriri Park site in one of Whāngarei's more leafy suburbs.
Some residents of Māunu (not all) are worried about the loss of green space, and the effect on their neighbourhood and property values if upwards of 40 state houses were built on 32,730sq m of land.
Hence accusations that Housing New Zealand is acting arrogantly. A view which Whangārei MP Shane Reti (he of the party that did nothing about the housing crisis for nine years) is only too willing to promote.
If you're desperate for a home and can't afford the spiking rent prices, you might not think Housing New Zealand was acting arrogantly at all, but decisively pursuing the job the government has instructed it to do: increasing the supply of affordable housing.
As I say, arrogance can be in the eye of the beholder.
Having let the problem go on for so long, to make housing even remotely affordable to average income New Zealanders is going to require measures which will be unpopular with some.
Yet something has to be done. A recent survey by an international research company found that 40 per cent of us were most concerned about the cost and lack of supply of housing.
Letters to this paper and comments on Facebook have sadly conveyed how desperate the situation is in Whangārei.
Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for the housing crisis; it's a multifaceted problem requiring multifaceted solutions.
But the more voices that say, "Yes, in my backyard," the sooner we'll be making steps towards getting on top of the problem. Let's hear those voices.