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Rotorua a ‘ghost city’ due to emergency housing, resident says & More Latest News

 

A resident says Rotorua has grow to be a “ghost town” due to the rise in motels serving as emergency housing.

By Rayssa Almeida of rnz.co.nz

A listening to earlier than three unbiased commissioners, began on Monday and it has heard submissions from the applicant – the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development which needs to proceed working 13 motels within the metropolis as emergency housing motels – and the Rotorua Lakes Council.

On Wednesday, residents and companies had their first probability to convey their issues to the listening to.

With emotional statements, a number of residents and enterprise homeowners spoke in regards to the worry and uncertainty borne due to the quantity of emergency housing in Rotorua.

Reg Hennessy has owned a pub in Rotorua for 20 years and appeared earlier than the listening to on Wednesday.

Trevor Newbrook is the chairperson of Restore Rotorua.

He mentioned a number of residents and enterprise homeowners broke into tears after they spoke in regards to the scenario.

“I just couldn’t believe some of the things I was hearing. Some of the heartache, some of the tragic stories, some of the effects this just had in Rotorua people, it’s quite depressing.

“People had to transfer out of their homes due to threats, households have been torn aside,” he said.

The increase of emergency housing had scared away the tourists and “knocked the hell out” of the city’s hospitality sector, Hennessy said.

“We had been a vacationer city, we had been a city of pleasure, we had been a city of journey, that is our business, we’re hospitality and tourism.

“Our CBD, on any given night apart from long-weekends when we do get busy, it’s a ghost town, we got zombies walking around the streets at night.”

Hennessy mentioned avenue violence and intimidation had grow to be frequent.

“We have gangs, we have drug-dealing, you name it.”

Rolly Rolston purchased what he thought it might be his eternally dwelling 35 years in the past in Carnot Street, in Rotorua.

In April, he determined to transfer to the Tauranga suburb of Pāpāmoa, due to the threats and abuse he was receiving.

“I got called a white c*** by someone I don’t even know once, when I was only around my neighbourhood as I normally do. It’s just not acceptable.

“People are scared, intimidated. People feared for his or her security.”

Residents were not opposed to emergency housing, but the community must be consulted, Rolston said.

“Homeless individuals have the fitting to reside right here [in Rotorua] as a lot as anybody else, however in addition they have the fitting to deal with individuals with respect.”

The lobby group Restore Rotorua has about 200 members and its chairperson Trevor Newbrook also spoke at the hearing.

Newbrook said the organisation did not support people from outside Rotorua being moved into emergency housing in the city.

“Those households are high-risk, and have complicated wants and [do] not have any affiliation with Rotorua.”

It was the first time the community had had a voice in the matter, Newbrook said.

“None of us had been ever consulted earlier than emergency housing grew to become fairly a large a part of Rotorua.”

He said he got emotional in the hearing when he spoke to the commissioners about his daughter and his grandchildren, who had to move to Nelson because they felt Rotorua was no longer safe.

“We really feel we have now been sacrificed,” he said.

Restore Rotorua’s lawyer Vanessa Hamm said she was confident on the response from the hearing.

“It’s exhausting to say what the commissioner will do. Their [the residents] proof was very real, it was very coronary heart felt and constant on what they’ve been experiencing,” she said.

The submissions made by the residents should place a significant weight on the decision, Hamm said.

The commissioners, David Hill, Sheena Tepani and Greg Hill will be finishing the hearings on 1 November.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development response

Through a statement, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development said it requested a notifiable consents process to permit 13 motels/hotels to continue to operate as contracted emergency accommodation.

It said the ministry supported an open, transparent resource consent process that supports community consultation and that is why it sought public notification of consents.

The ministry regularly engages with the community, including the mayor and Rotorua Lakes Council, iwi and other community leaders, the statement said.

The ministry said it acknowledged that motels were not ideal long term housing solutions.

“Our place-based method identifies Rotorua as a precedence housing space and there’s a vital programme in Rotorua that’s regularly bringing on extra housing within the district.”

Rotorua’s massive population growth was the reason housing agencies were working intensively with the local council and iwi, and why there was a strong pipeline of new public and transitional housing underway, it said.

The ministry said it was not publicly commenting on the hearing other than presenting its evidence and responding throughout it.

Milestones to tackle homelessness met, Davidson says

Associate Housing Minister Marama Davidson said the latest progress report on the government’s plan to tackle homelessness showed milestones were being met.

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson.

Davidson said she was particularly proud that it had found 2200 places where people who were at risk of losing their tenancies could live long-term.

Six million dollars had been given to local initiatives with a strong focus on Māori, Pasifika and rangatahi who may be homeless or at risk of homelessness, she said

There were also pilot programmes in Auckland and Waikato to support people leaving acute mental health and addiction units.

Rotorua a ‘ghost town’ due to emergency housing, resident says

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