Red Alert

National’s perverted idea of urban renewal

Posted by on February 14th, 2012

We need good urban development in Auckland.  The city is crying out for urban renewal, more affordable healthy homes, public transport, you name it.

But in Glen Innes where Housing NZ is redeveloping 156 of their properties the Government is breaking every rule in the book, and giving urban renewal a bad name.

At a lively public meeting in GI last night, three hapless National backbenchers (the new member for Tamaki Simon O’Connor, list member Alfred Ngaro who was a community worker in the area, and neighbouring MP Sam Lotu-Iiga) got an old fashioned bollocking from a crowd of around 300 including many Housing NZ tenants facing eviction.

At least they turned up, which is more than can be said for Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

Under his watch, National has reneged on commitments made by the Labour Government when it started the project.  They have walked away from the pledge that residents would have the right to move back into the community after the redevelopment. They have broken the promise the number of Housing NZ properties would be increased. And they dropped the community development process that was part of the original design.

Housing NZ reports the current 156 properties will be redeveloped to generate 260 new properties. Only 78 will be owned by Housing NZ. Another 39 “affordable” properties will possibly be managed by community agencies although I understand all expressions of interest were recently rejected and it is uncertain what will happen to them now. The remainder will all be sold to the highest bidders.

No wonder the dozens of GI residents who have received eviction notices were enraged at last night’s meeting and howled down O’Connor, Ngaro and Lotu-Iiga down as sell outs.

It is a disgrace what is happening in GI. National’s perverted version of urban renewal is moving poor people out, and shipping the rich in, as if low income Kiwis should not be allowed a sea view. Just as John Key stripped the state housing out of the new development in Hobsonville in his electorate.

The people of Glen Innes deserve our support.

26 Responses to “National’s perverted idea of urban renewal”

  1. Jenny says:

    As an attendee at this meeting, I thought your speech, Phil, was one of the best of the night.

    Good on you.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. WaihekeMark says:

    Are there any statistics on how long these poor families have been there, the efforts they have put in to improving and maintaining their homes, and the community they have created? How about those who have a bit of land build another dwelling and house some of these unfortunate people. Charity begins at home, right?

  3. Colonial Viper says:

    Charity begins at home, right?

    NZ’s social security system has evolved well beyond charity WM. There is no doubt however if someone receives benefits from the social security system they have a responsibility to contribute back to the community in the ways that they can.

  4. Cactus Kate says:

    Shame on them for selling properties to buy and build more in other cheaper areas and relocate resources within the Ministry.

    A real right wing government would flog off all state housing which would let the market decide their true value and allow people to buy more affordable homes with more stock in the market than there currently is.

    Bloody pink Tories. Can’t trust them.

  5. WaihekeMark says:

    CV, evolve is an interesting term to use for our Welfare System.. I put that it has increasingly devolved into a farcical and dangerous Socialist Tool that is a) denying the genuinely needy the support they deserve, b) encouraging the malignant to leech of the productive, c) penalising the family businesses and workers who have upskilled, improved, cleaned their own mould etc and d) created resentment amongst the very high taxpaying (in $ terms) wealth creators.
    In the process destroying NZ.

  6. Colonial Viper says:

    WM you can put anything you want but it seems nonsense to me.

    Until you address the drain of the big banks sucking $3B p.a. away from productive working NZers, and an elite ownership class which does the same (i.e. clipping the economic ticket on labour done by others) I don’t believe you can really speak.

    Resentment amongst wealth creators?

    You been reading too much tea party Republican nonsense. The only real wealth in this country comes from labour, smarts and natural resources. The elite ownership class don’t create wealth. They merely concentrate wealth from other workers and from the natural environment into their own hands.

    BTW as workers share of GDP continues to decline as corporate profits share increases, it becomes less economic to work at all.

  7. Whaleoil says:

    They are not “their” homes

  8. Jack Ramaka says:

    We have a Government bereft of ideas on sorting out the housing problems in Auckland.

    Land shortages, building restrictions,regulations,lack of funding and the Government’s lack of interest in housing New Zealanders.

    Soon we will have squatter camps on the outskirts of Auckland, I don’t think Key is actually concerned with the problem.

  9. Dion_makes_a_good_point says:

    There are state houses on parnell rise. Prime real estate which, if sold, could provide for many additional dwellings in a less central area.

    Why should those dwellings exist and prevent others from receiving the benefits of state housing? Surely the best thing to do would be sell state houses that are on parcels of land of a particularly high net worth and, if feasible, buy a greater number of dwellings in a less expensive area. Should state housing be available to all?

    Oh and Phil, surely as a member of Parliament you must be aware that Parliament cannot bind its successors? Stating that National reneged on commitments made by labour in the past is a completely useless comment given it adds no value but rather incense others.

    Positive should be the word for the cycle :)

  10. Colonial Viper says:

    The rich would love the chance to kick the poor out of their neighbourhoods. Poor people always bring property values down.

  11. Jack Ramaka says:

    Building costs in NZ have become prohibitive also a function of monopolies or oligopolies controlling the supply of building materials.

    GST and Council Compliance Costs add about 22-25% to the cost of building a house.

    Councils have made things so difficult to get things done with time delays and making people jump through hoops that they have stalled building activity in Auckland.

    It costs about $100k for subdivison costs on a 375 sqm section including services and development levies.

    The risk involved in getting involved in building projects is too high with the uncertainties and fickilness of Councils and Government Regulators.

    Why are building costs so high in NZ I thought the Government was looking into this. It appears we have a Government who are just going to sit on their hands and do nothing. Just like Auckland’s Transport Problems, it is easier to do nothing and blame someone else or the GFC,

    However it is not a problem for National Party supporters as they own their own homes and have benefitted from the tax cuts so housing is basically not a problem for them.

  12. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    Cactus Cates love of the free market providing all housing has worked well in Hong Kong – NOT.

    wikipedia says 31% live in public rental accommodation, with another 17% in state subsidised flats

    Without the government owned housing blocks HK would look like the favelas of Rio.

    Look in your own back yard Kactus Hexe

  13. Olwyn says:

    Indeed, GWWNZ. A family friend who was over here from Hong Kong at Christmas was startled to see that the rental for a modest suburban house in Auckland was as expensive as a large apartment in the International area of Hong Kong.

    Good on you Phil for supporting the tenants in GI. And to those who calculate that kicking people out of expensive areas will provide more state housing in cheaper areas, I remind you that not long ago GI WAS a cheaper area. You seem to think that poor people should be uprooted willy nilly, at the command of the property developer, once he has deemed this or that place “promising.”

  14. Bryce says:

    @Jack Ramaka
    Councils have been forced into these silly charges from years of central govt intervention. Remember the inspection fracas from the 90’s? It was created by govt in allowing private inspectors to do the work of councils. This forced the real cost of inspections down until councils couldn’t justify using their own inspectors anymore so they just sublet it. As a result, some of the problems highlighted by the leaky homes issue, came back to poor inspections. This has since been fixed but as a result of the leaky home fiasco inspection charges and fees are radically higher that back in the early 90’s. Also, the cost of making sure councils minimise their risk when people build have pushed up compliance rates.

  15. Bryce says:

    Good on you Phil. Get stuck into them.

  16. Tanya says:

    Good post, Phil. Totally agree. Housing is a real problem, especially affordable housing.

  17. softstarter says:

    @ Jack – “However it is not a problem for National Party supporters as they own their own homes and have benefitted from the tax cuts so housing is basically not a problem for them.” – Jack, that’s an interesting statement, where are your stats that prove this? Does that mean that people who didn’t vote Nat either don’t own homes or if they do, they didn’t benefit from the tax cut you mention? Hmmmmm.

    Has anyone looked at the Green’s policy on urban planning? Their policy around transport in New Zealand? I’m just going to copy and paste a small section (just a thought):

    There is a low level of car dependence and high levels of walking, cycling and public transport use.

    Movement and interaction is safe and easy for all.

    Cities and towns have a strong and thriving heart linked to a web of urban villages each with their own identity.

    Good housing and meaningful work is available to citizens.

    Parks and green spaces are a pervasive, cherished and protected part of the urban landscape.

    Diverse and vibrant cultures interact to create a shared identity that is more than the sum of its parts.

    Physical and cultural heritage is cherished as linking past and future.

    All citizens feel able to participate in shaping the future of the city they call home.

    Quality public spaces create a civic testimony to citizens belief in their city.

  18. True Wheel says:

    Actually Mr “Whale” 11.03pm, is wrong. To all intents and purposes once a state owned dwelling is allocated it is to be enjoyed as the tenants home, not by some other taxpayer cruising past, but the tenant, it is their home. No different to a private sector rental if you read tenancy agreements.

    Mighty Jowls statement may well be to point out the right wing political proposition that state house people are not ‘proper’ home “owners”, you know the type with a thumping great mortgage they can barely service. Some are glad not to be ‘real’ owners. Rents are too high anyway for state dwellings imo.

    More state provided housing including community models like the Greens propose would be a great asset for many NZers, but not so much fun for real estate and developers. That is why the torys detest state housing so much it affects some of their mates tills jingling. Go Phil, give people a reason to get out and vote again.

  19. Jack Ramaka says:

    The problem for the Government in Glen Innes is you have $2.0 million houses 500 metres away from State houses with great views of the Tamaki Estuary, if they remove the State House tenants they can make a truck load of money by selling the sections to property developers as there is a severe shortage of building sites in the Eastern Suburbs.

  20. Richard the First says:

    And build twice as many state houses somwhere else with money gained. Isn’t that a good idea Jack. Makes a hell of a lot of sense doesn’t it. Increases the state housing stock without too much cost to taxpayers. Sounds like sensible mamagement to me.

  21. Tracey says:

    Whale Oil – please explain in what way or ways it is not “their” home?

    The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.
    Of or relating to the place where one lives: “your home address”.
    To the place where one lives: “what time did he get home last night?”.

    Interesting world view that implies that a dwelling is only a home if it is OWNED by the occupier.

  22. Tracey says:

    Whale Oil – please explain in what way or ways it is not “their” home?

    The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.
    Of or relating to the place where one lives: “your home address”.
    To the place where one lives: “what time did he get home last night?”.

    Interesting world view that implies that a home is only a home if it is OWNED by the occupier. It all comes back to money honey!

  23. Dave says:

    @Tracey – Semantics. They don’t own the house, it may be their home, but it is definitely not their house. It is owned by the rest of us. The point is it should not be a house for ‘life’ public housing should be targeted at those in genuine need, not genuine want. Having a State house is not a ‘right’ it is a privilege that I think those who do live in, should appreciate much more than they do. Their thanks is overdue.

    @Jack, people own homes because they save for them and work hard (thats how I got mine), if you believe that tax cuts are the only reason people own homes then you’re deluded. So I suggest that working hard and saving hard is the way to go, not standing on a corner with your hand out demanding others work for you. You are, of course, the same Jack Ramaka who said “Interesting times ahead we have a First Generation New Zealander of Hungarian Jewish extraction dictating to us how it is going to be..” That is the level of Jack Ramaka’s thinking, an anti-semite and a racist and financially illiterate.

  24. Shelley says:

    State homes were originally put in throughout all suburbs including Remeura and Parnell but weren’t they intended to be included as part of a community, not forming an entire community? If the last generation had mixed both private and state homes in GI, I don’t think there would be such an out cry.

    I live in GI and I own my own home but quite frankly, I whole heartedly support the redevelopment plan. There are first home buyers who are trying to buy a home in Auckland but there’s nothing out there. It’s not developers that want these houses, it’s the average tax payer in Auckland wanting to buy a home for his or her family that isn’t a million dollars. Believe me, I didn’t to live in GI but it’s the only area I can afford. If I don’t pay my mortgage, the bank will take ownership of my home. I can’t protest, as it’s not mine. Yet state housing tenants feel they have the right to fight for ‘their’ home?!

    Sure we share the same postcode, but our values are clearly diffferent. I don’t have parties so that the entire Leybourne Cres has to lose sleep. I don’t ignore the fire bans in place and burn my rubbish despite having a weekly rubbish service available. I don’t graffiti our streets and vacant properties which end up making my suburb looking even worse and even more undesirable. I don’t put white crosses and hate signs up outside my house saying Developers kill communities, because quite frankly I think some residents of GI are doing a fantastic job killing GI all on their own.

    If you really love this community, then start looking after it and respecting your neighbours. Maybe it’s time the other side of the fence starting protesting for the sheer hell of it. I would love to sleep peacefully and walk around clean and tidy streets for a change.

  25. bbfloyd says:

    @Shell… I feel pity for you that you aren’t able to live in the manner that “suits your station in life”… Had you considered at any stage that you were actually quite able to buy a smaller house, or an apartment, in the areas you obviously see yourself as a better fit? Or is it just preferable to indulge in racist, elitist rants?

    You not only have no appreciation of the complexities inherent in how glen innes has developed, or why it was built like it was in the first place…

    It is no coincidence that most long time residents fathers(the first inhabitants of the state houses) were returned servicemen…The descendants of those men still have deep attachments to the area, and those who arrived after the first wave of immigration from the pacific, and from rural new zealand(during the Holyoake years) , do actually have great attachment to the place as well..

    If you don’t like the attitudes that your neighbours have, then stop voting for governments that use those people as scapegoats, and objects of fear, and derision…

    Or just get a dose of “real” and move away…(you may have no choice now that they know where you live… very silly.. did you not know that they can READ?)

  26. Danny says:

    I think you all need to focus on the good things. Come down and see our awesome community garden. There’s love and hope right there for GI. We have a wicked pool, library, lots of local shops (best kebabs around!) and lots of reserves near by. I know there’s negativity with the change but we have to remember we’re all whanau and we have to look after each other. You can’t choose your family, so love your neighbor as yourself. It starts from the inside brothers and sisters. I too don’t like the bad side of GI but there’s bad everywhere if you look hard enough. We have to work together, not take sides. Stop fighting everyone and let us take pride in what GI really is. Kia kaha.