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Shanty Town To Publicise Council Housing Meeting

Mock Shanty Town To Publicise Council Housing Meeting

13 May 2002

A mock shanty town will be built in Aotea Square from mid morning Wednesday 15th May to advertise a major public meeting in the evening on the proposed sales of all Auckland City's public housing stock. The meeting, at 7.30pm at Aotea Methodist Mission, 370 Queen Street, is being organised by the Council Housing Action Group (CHAG), in their campaign to stop this shocking and heartless decision by Auckland City Council.

Members of the public at the meeting, and those visiting the shanty town during the day, will be encouraged to put in submissions to the Council's draft annual plan consultation calling for an end to the sales proposals.

Speakers include:

John Tamihere MP - urban iwi perspective

David Hay, Deputy Mayor, Auckland City Council

Dr Bruce Hucker, Auckland City Councillor

Maree Todd, President, National Association of Gerontology - implications on older persons health

Audrey Evans, Secretary, Grey Power (Auckland)

Maureen Alexander, Pensioner Action Group

Peter Cross, Council Housing Action Group

The meeting will also express disquiet about the impending 65% rent increase for the Council's pensioner tenants. Following a successful meeting last Friday in Blockhouse Bay with 50 pensioner tenants the pensioner action group is concerned that pensioners are being intimidated into signing agreements with WINZ for accommodation supplement. This will result in many tenants paying nearly 30% of their low income on rent, and for some, even more. "The government has recognised that 25% of one's income is a fair amount to pay," says Maureen Alexander, of the pension action group. "On our tight budgets we cannot afford to pay any more. Pensioners should not be intimidated, and should ask for time to fully understand the implications of the situation. This is not how Council should treat its older citizens."


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