Homelessness is a blight on our nation's honour and on our reputation as a developed and egalitarian society living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in supposed harmony.
A country that punches above its weight in just about all facets of life in the international stage.
We educate brilliant scientists, have absolutely world-beating athletes, and can hold our heads high in the arts and movie industry.
We produce people wanted around the world for their "can-do" easy-going, sensible natures coupled with great skills in all matters.
We even have our own rocket industry.
Our history is littered with great achievers including a couple of Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Looking from the outside the opinion is that we are a pretty great little country.
But then, why can we not address the developed world's worst homelessness statistics?
Why can we not build huge numbers of social housing as has been done from the time the first Labour Government hit Parliament in 1935 through to the mid-1970s when the large-scale building scheme seemed to stutter to an end?
Both Labour and National made this scheme happen, National in 1950 actually introducing a rent-to-buy scheme which overnight made thousands of New Zealanders homeowners, buying the state housing they were living in.
We did not have any reported homelessness except for the few street people in the big cities who chose that way of life with the wonderful support of the Salvation Army night shelters.
It is reported by the Borgen Project, an American group committed to addressing world poverty, that approximately 1 per cent of New Zealanders are homeless, not by choice but due to circumstances.
New Zealand has the highest rate of homelessness in the 35 countries of the OECD according to the group. If that's true that is indeed shameful.
The definition of "homelessness" is broader in New Zealand than in some other countries but it is still something I, as a New Zealander, feel shame about.
In years past most homeless chose the lifestyle. That is now not the case.
Decent working people, children, older folk, are now on the housing scrap-heap in this country.
Successive government policies and lack of foresight have made this happen.
Neither Labour nor National has anything much to crow about.
National seemed to have a policy of selling outdated and difficult to maintain social housing but not rebuilding.
Giant swathes of green grass in state housing suburbs testified to this fact up until recent years when Labour seems to be replacing the older homes with high-density housing.
Labour was in power for the nine years from 1999 to 2008, a time of great change and prosperity in New Zealand for some.
Did they not see the housing crisis emerging with house prices?
Even then, beginning the slow but steady climb out of the reach of working young people.
National adopted a "hands-off" policy, letting the market dictate access to decent housing when they were in power.
Homeowners, me included, did not mind.
Our main, and mostly only, asset, was increasing in value nicely, thank you.
Meanwhile, rents were also climbing out of the reach of many people.
Labour arrives in Government promising a kinder but transformational administration.
They did start to increase the social housing stock but not fast enough to stem the flow of homeless people sleeping in cars or bunking down with put-upon family.
Applications for social housing increased by 47 per cent between 2019 and 2020.
Rents by then were out of control as was the price of a first home for most young New Zealanders, especially in the main centres.
Covid-19 strikes and the Government, with a great deal of compassion but also a great deal of money, decided to house the homeless in motels.
The Government is currently funding 1600 motel units around New Zealand for homeless people to live in, forecasting a cost of more than $100 million through the pandemic.
This does not include the funding already in place for people living in motels prior to the pandemic.
At the time the pandemic struck New Zealand it took an average of 213 days for an applicant for social housing to be housed decently.
It has not improved since - in fact, it is worsening.
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services advises that there are 682,500 people living in poverty in New Zealand, 220,000 of them children.
Many of these have housing difficulties, either already on the family or motel roundabout or simply using most of their financial resources to pay rent.
Simple answers are just to build more houses and increase benefits and wages so people can actually live with some respect until their life circumstances improve.
So what is the problem? Is it just Government inertia due to Covid-19?