Thank you Mr Muldoon
I never ever though I would even thank a national politician, My family especially my dad were always Labour supporter. My mother wouldn’t vote for National Continuance in the Licencing poll because she thought it was a vote for national. Things do change though, my mother is now a fervent John Key supporter. We had a national government when I met Marty and it wasn’t going to change for a couple of years. But I have to admit, Rob Muldoon changed our lives.
When Marty and his ex separated, they made an agreement through their lawyers. She would get the house and he wouldn’t have to pay child support. It meant that the children would stay in the house and Marty would be financially free to start again. It is something that couldn’t happen today but then all kind of agreement were made. This was sorted way back in May 1980, long before I had a state house. he had no idea how significant that decision would be.
In early 1981 I got a letter from the government. They were selling state houses to current tenants. They were offering to sell us the house in Henderson Crescent at a really low price. We never thought we would ever be able to afford a house. It seemed too good to be true. But it happened all over the country, people like us on low incomes where able to climb on to the property ladder.
The letter said any new owners could not have sold a house in the last five years. We sought legal advice.Our lawyer said Marty hadn’t technically sold a house, he had given one away and so it didn’t count. We applied to buy it and waited. And waited. With everything else going on, me being pregnant and Jenni unhappy we really didn’t need the stress. And of course we were still waiting for the new bathroom.
We had to find $2000 for a deposit. That was a huge amount of money for us. Marty sold his beloved Holden HQ station wagon and his black powder pistol. We were able to cash in Suzanne’s family benefit. Somehow, we managed to get enough.
Then all the state houses in the street were insulated, except ours. That seemed promising. Then we got a rates demand. We didn’t officially find out about the deal for a while later and we didn’t sign the papers until I was in the annex with a day old baby.
It wasn’t the best in the street, it was going to be too small if the new baby was a boy and it still didn’t get enough sun. But it was ours, it was a step up. And so I say Thank you Mr Muldoon.
Who would have thought that a Labour stalwart like me would ever thank a national politician.
© Barbara Hart 2014