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Homes for women and Refuges for men

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 10:58 am Thu 7th August 2014

The current election campaign may not be offering much in the way of policy for men, but it has brought a few more commenters to this site and some interesting posts from new authors – which is great – we need to be our own media sometimes, it is the only way some of these stories will be told.

The more participants we have, the more ideas that float around (even if we don’t all agree with each other) the more we think about the issues that face men in this country, at this time and in the future.

While some of us might be getting a bit long in the tooth to be much more than grumpy old men, it is good to see younger guys continuing the good fight. It’s been a long fight; decades of effort in fact.

Times are a-changing still.

Sometimes important information gets lost in the comments – like this comment from Phil Watts:

As well as Dominic’s and my page NZ Men Fed Up With Family Court(greedy/corrupt Lawyer/Judges) I am starting to set up a NZ wide Men’s Refuge starting in Wellington Region.
Ideas and men’s stories wanted please: [email protected]

There have been attempts at refuges for men over the years, it’s not easy to get these things up and running, but the ones we are referring to here are refuges that deal with men ejected from their homes after domestic disputes or relationship break-down.

We have had refuges for men for many years but they are not so obvious and provide a place for men mainly suffering from addiction or their rejection of society. Organisations like The Sallies (The Salvation Army) for example, have been instrumental in providing major facilities and housing thousands of men over the years.

They are not the only charitable organisation that operates in this manner.

If it weren’t for these organisations we would be seeing truckloads of men on the street and male suicide would be much higher; as bad as ours is, internationally it is comparatively low.

Worse is to come – men have not weathered the storm of feminist-aggression well over the recent decades and now larger numbers of those affected will be nearing old age.

The numbers of older men beaten down by the system, robbed of their financial integrity, their homes, their opportunities in life and their retirement options, will increase substantially.

Retirement will become a gendered exercise where women will be a privileged class, but no doubt there will be mandatory patience-management programmes for those not already dealing with WINZ, perhaps even a free pack of cards.

For thousands of men, who are left with little more than the street as an accommodation option, there will be thousands of women living alone in their court acquired houses. It will be easy for the system to provide gendered benefits disguised as being available to all.

The pressure will go on our charitable organisations to cope with the increasing numbers of homeless and down trodden men who have lost contact with the children they were once a father to.

Just how visible this becomes is yet to be seen, and how refuges might change is yet to be decided.

The reality will be though, that for many men, retirement will be a refuge of some sort for a home.

Related post: Cold comfort for the working man.


  1. Dear Phil, this is a really good idea. It also will probably involve a lot of difficulties too, as Downunder has pointed out carefully.

    Paul Catton has run a refuge service, up until about one year ago. Warren Heap set up a refuge in Manurewa, that I think closed about 2006. Jim Bagnall and Bevin Berg were fellow trustees and could also offer suggestions, to help make it work and to help protect yourself.

    Best wishes, for as Downunder says above, many men are in marginalised situations and increasingly so.

    Although I have previously offered to help, by subsidising the cost of noose rope for rational suicides, I have recently decided to try to aim higher.

    Men’s Centre Suicide Bomber Squadrons will now offer a “suicide and escape” service. This will assist men to leave behind a socially acceptable suicide, suitable to meet their family’s needs and transport the suicided man to a new and workable life, possibly in NZ or overseas. If the ex-wife needs a visible body, one will be provided by taking a similar sized member of the unloved ratbag profession, to satisfy her needs.

    Lets be positive about all of this.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 7th August 2014 @ 2:13 pm

  2. If there is a fundamental difference between Paul Catton’s refuge and the Separated Father’s Support Trust it would be the funding sources.

    Paul Catton’s refuge as far as I am aware was totally privately funded, whereas the SFST had a constant struggle to beat the gatekeepers, first for initial funding, and then continuing annual funding.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 7th August 2014 @ 2:51 pm

  3. It takes very dedicated people to change society. When you separate feminists from feminism, on the ground, you get WOMEN – amazing women. Likewise, the handful of men protesting, etc over the years are amazing men. (I feel very fortunate that I’ve witnessed your actions)

    I am very impressed at the progress. There’s 1000’s of men in all different fields under the MM umbrella and with resources and knowing what each does, things are exploding already. You can see the explosion online too (duh) and just the fact a political party comes to you asking what policies you want, tells a story. 🙂

    I am hoping single parents can do what men have done and I’m working on it with a few other single parents. You could say we have a Kerry, Bevan, Axe murderer, lol, John, Jim, etc, and a few other men who do important things.

    ………… On another note:

    I don’t know whether any of you will actually retire. It’s not easy to walk away from this kind of thing, IMO. But in saying that, what a great way to retire. “In my day, sonnie, it was tough. We didn’t have all the services you do”, says our retirees.

    But, yeah, for sure, I agree it’s good to see the younger generations get involved in men’s issues for if they don’t …. well, it’s never ending. As soon as one side lets their guard down, the not-so-good people on the other side will take over, IMO. It would be nice to think older people pass down only good stuff, but they don’t, for reasons.

    Comment by julie — Sat 9th August 2014 @ 11:09 am

  4. Well done. We need more of these with these special powers given to the biased cops which always tell male to leave the house even when the female is the offender by intimidation and attack.

    Comment by Kumar — Mon 11th August 2014 @ 1:52 pm

  5. 59 unemployed and living in a van

    A series of events, including a change in domestic circumstances, have forced him to live in a van.

    “I can’t do anything else while I am only getting $214 a week,” said Martin, who is also battling a number of health issues.

    “I can’t go forward.”

    Martin said because he was classed as living in a car by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) he was told he is not as urgent as another “20 odd people on waiting lists”.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 16th August 2014 @ 1:00 pm

  6. I have copied this comment from the post Genocide of Fathers which is not my post so I cannot transfer the links.

    Downunder #20

    What you shared was good, IMO. It highlights the attitude that the cities are better equipped for homelessness. (which the are but that in itself shows problems, IMO)

    The groups dealing with the homeless know what the problems are and hopefully cover some men think it’s safer on the street than in a home with a few to many strangers that suck them dry on benefit day, steal their shoes, etc, beat them up and have mental health problems, anger issues, alcohol and drug addiction, etc. (my view)

    I read a research paper that named every place the homeless can stay in Auckland and they said there was between 180 – 190 beds left over each night if every homeless person was provided shelter. I wish I could find it. So far, I found:

    New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness

    Auckland Homeless Taskforce

    The Court of New Beginnings (we have drug & alcohol court and family violence court also in Auckland)

    Thing is, most small groups get men in need contacting them for one thing or another (I had a father who was still with his partner – she wanted him out and to end the relationship while he wanted to work through the problems. She was being a horrible bitch because she couldn’t be nice to him else he will think she wants to work it out. Catch 22. (is that the saying?)

    I didn’t know where to refer him and all groups I asked said, “If you find out, please let us know”. I think there needs to be a database available online or a men’s helpline with the information. How can we stop domestic violence? How can we stop addiction and slips while in recovery? How can we house men thrown out because the relationship ended? And more.

    Below is a new facility and idea. There must be lots of these popping up to help with the problem. There sure is alot of homes popping up for men leaving prison and then the refuges so men can leave the home.

    Night shelter to Tauranga’s homeless men (only 20 beds, can sleep 40)

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 11:47 am

  7. This is the link that Julie provided in the Genocide of Males post comment this is sad.

    It relates to the recent Ashburton Winz Homicide by local homeless man Russell John Tully.

    People living rough while looking for long term housing solutions need to stick in one place and get assessed, says Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew.

    Mrs Goodhew said she often heard of single males seeking accommodation but there was difficulty finding long term solutions. Many ended up temporarily in camping grounds.

    “They do need to stick in one place and get themselves assessed as being a serious housing need and stick around until something comes up,” she said.

    “I’m not saying they should be sleeping in their cars, but they should be exploring all options.”

    The last paragraph is a comment from Tulley in an interview prior to the shootings.

    Mr Tully said people kept telling him to move to the city – either Timaru or Christchurch – where accommodation might be easier to find, but he wanted to be in Ashburton.

    If you look at the story I posted above it is about homeless men in Timaru. He would have been no better off there.

    It also points out that a homeless man having a vehicle to live in makes you considerably lower on the priority list.

    Tulley had recently sold his vehicle.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 12:08 pm

  8. There was obviously a visible problem in South Canterbury, with recent interviews of men in both Timaru and Ashburton.

    Is this an isolated area of the country that is seeing increased homelessless for men?

    I would think that it is an issue across most of rural New Zealand not just this isolated area.

    Also much more visible in rural areas than it would be in the 5 main centres.

    How many homeless men are there across the country?

    But it also strikes me that there could be an increase in homelessness in the areas surrounding Christchurch post earthquake, causing increased difficulty for men finding accomodation – they’re always going to be at the bottom of the waiting list.

    If that is the case, the suggestion that men move to cities like Christchurch and Timaru is not a practical solution.

    If this is an issue that is worse in Canterbury it is likely caused by migration from Christchurch to smaller centres like Timaru and Ashburton, putting pressure on exisitng accomodation.

    If that is the case are we seeing a good response to the issue or a head in the sand, unresearched response shown in the comment above from their local MP?

    If men don’t matter sooner or latter someone’s going to take that badly.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 12:54 pm

  9. All Canterbury WINZ sites shut down.

    All Canterbury Work and Income sites have been closed after a verbal threat was made against staff in Christchurch.

    The Ministry of Social Development issued a statement this morning saying all offices in Canterbury had been closed as a precaution.

    The offices would remain closed until further notice.

    MSD referred queries about the Christchurch threat to police.

    A police southern communications spokesperson said police would not be commenting on the matter at this time.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  10. Isn’t it interesting that the government can provide funding for female housing.’Womens Refuge’
    But thinks that the footpath, tents, and hardly or not warrantable cars is OK for men.

    Paula Benefit should be prosecuted for being a human rights violator.

    Where’s the human rights commission on this one.

    Oh that’s right. They are proven man hating bigots and should be in prison themselves.

    Come on police. MAN UP, COWARDS

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  11. Article 25 UN Human Rights

    “¢(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    “¢(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  12. How difficult is it to purchase a paddock next to a town.
    Then build a pile of 1 bedroom houses for the poor.
    They could be built for less than $40000 each.

    There is also heaps of free labour. Men in prisons, presently rotting away.
    Maybe John while he is dying can help build a house he never got.

    Why not. The logic is simple. Its far cheaper for the taxpayer.
    The government doesn’t want all there landlord mates to lose there captured and wroughted market.
    That’s right. The politicians are the landlords.
    Or is it Bank profits.

    Shame on the corrupt government you will help vote in.
    That’s Labour, or National.
    You cant win.
    Unless you prosecute them, and expose them.

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 7:42 pm

  13. PS: Think all that Judith Collins stuff is a lie yet.

    Ask yourself about all those finance companies, and the billions of lost money.

    Who’s got the money now?

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Wed 3rd September 2014 @ 7:49 pm

  14. @Phil Watts

    This may be of interest to you. It is an article about building a refuge in Christchurch’s Eastern suburbs.

    If it gets of the ground it could provide an interesting blue print for the refuges for men we’ll need in the not too distant future.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 7:28 am

  15. I don’t think the promoters of this refuge live in the real world.

    “it would cost $6000 to build each unit”

    Comment by JohnPotter — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 10:25 am

  16. 10 square meters,
    Sounds even smaller than a prison cell. Still no double or triple bunking and maybe they provide a key to the tenant.
    We need to be very careful that we don’t have refuges for men be some kind of norm for men to be expelled to once their only usefulness has become as payer of Child Support Tax. The concept of Family home for mum and kids while Dad is sent to refuge is a very dangerous idea in my thinking.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 10:37 am

  17. This treatment of men is already the norm.

    We now have men living on reduced pensions due to child support deductions. Fathers living on reduced unemployent beneifts due to child support deductions – it’s more obvious in Canterbury.

    To me it is only a matter of visibility – once the numbers increase – and I think that will happen quite rapidly (something I suggested 10 years ago but I seem to have been alone in that thinking since and apparently still am) and we (men) will be unprepared for this and the State will not be overly concerned; men are expected to look after themselves.

    Also factor in the unemployment. It took a generation to recover from the second world war, post that era we have not seen global unemployment as high as it is now. We have been somewhat insulated from GFC, but once the gloss wears off the ‘Rock Star’ economy and higher unemployment kicks in, there will be plenty of women opting for the DPB.

    Historically we’ve been through hostel periods before, that’s how much of New Zealand was developed, and how we coped with the pre-war depression.

    When it comes to cost at $6,000 per unit (10 square metres fits nicely with whole sheets of gib) I would suggest that is only a bare room, with all the facilities being communal.

    It’s not pretty, but that’s the price of feminism.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 11:33 am

  18. They should invest about $40000 for self contained one bedroom units.

    $40000 at 5% interest equals $2000 plus $400 capital equals $2400

    Or $200 per month equals cheap rent. Or first home.

    Then at least the crown can have something to steal later.

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 5:39 pm

  19. A small family could have two bedroom ones

    For $100 per week

    Then they could buy a flash house later.

    Or improve the one they have, like a flash garden. Fruit trees.

    Poverty is the choice of business, the captured market gives all it has to survive.
    It should treat people as their best friends.

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 6:24 pm

  20. Hi. I’m 18. I’d like to buy a house – say 6 bedroom, 320 sq metres, on the waterfront in Parnell.
    Oh – I earn $28,000; so can afford 30% of my income in repayments – say $8,400 a year or $666 a month, or $160 a week in repayments. I’d like to buy a house worth say $1,000,000; I have $15000 saved up for a deposit.

    Gee, houses are too expensive. The government has to bring prices down ….

    Comment by OMG! You're )*&^()&(90) — Thu 11th September 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  21. More fallout from Ashburton:

    Carol Margaret Orsbourn, in her 40s, was found dead at her Rolleston home on September 7, less than a week after Russell John Tully allegedly shot dead Peggy Noble and Leigh Cleveland at the Ashburton Work and Income office.

    Her death is being treated as a suspected suicide and has been referred to the coroner.

    Orsbourn was the executive assistant to the Work and Income Canterbury regional director, based in Christchurch.

    Sources close to the Ministry of Social Development have confirmed that Orsbourn had several dealings with Tully after his case was referred to the Canterbury regional office.

    Tully was homeless and wanted an accommodation supplement, but his application was declined.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 25th September 2014 @ 7:15 am

  22. Another WINZ incident:

    A Work and Income office in Thames has closed for the day after a man threatened staff there.

    Hamilton police sergeant Pete Simpson said the man, who was known to staff, made numerous threats, as well as saying: “that’s why WINZ staff get shot.

    No one was physically hurt at the Pollen St office in the incident, which happened at 9.20 this morning.

    Police were making attempts to locate the man, Simpson said.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 17th October 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  23. Working often with beneficiaries, they often report feeling poorly treated by WINZ staff. They are often not informed of all entitlements and they say some staff behave as if the beneficiary should feel guilty for needing a benefit. Like IRD, WINZ has become increasingly formal and faceless, such that beneficiaries need to make an appointment to speak with someone so that urgent concerns cannot be addressed, and staff are not qualified to work supportively and empathetically with people who are often in serious need or distress.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Fri 17th October 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  24. A 60-year-old Blenheim man has been charged with arson and burglary after a van ram-raided through the doors of Blenheim’s Work and Income office this morning (Xmas Day)before the driver doused fuel around the building.

    The man is in custody and will appear in the Blenheim District Court tomorrow.

    Will there be a statement from WINZ?

    The occupant of the van looked to have been living in the van or had been camping. The rear of the vehicle had a gas canister, sleeping bag, pillow and a chilly bin.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 25th December 2014 @ 11:32 am

  25. The Sallies are on to it:

    The organisation has released new research estimating that by 2030, 200,000 retirement-aged won’t own a house and will be unable to afford rent.

    The Salvation Army will be seeing first hand now, what will be a growing problem for manly men, in the near future, in New Zealand. Good on them for getting their heads around the reality of the situation.

    The political solution, of course, won’t be to fix the problem, but how best to bury it.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 1st December 2015 @ 8:56 am

  26. Interesting that we have returned to the same discussion we had this time last election.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 1st September 2017 @ 12:29 am

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