Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Even the Bad Houses are gone

Christchurch Housing Crisis – Even the Bad Houses are gone

“They don’t even have the bad housing they had before”, Christchurch City Missioner, Michael Gorman says of the people who had lived in inner-city houses destroyed as a result of Christchurch’s earthquakes.

“Landlords have used insurance payouts to do up these older houses. Who can blame them. Then they’ve raised the rent and the people who were struggling to pay before have found it impossible and had to go. Homelessness is where you see some of society’s most glaring inequalities.”

Vaughan Milner, Chief Executive Officer of Presbyterian Support (Upper South Island), agrees. “The housing issues here are staggering”, he says. “There’s just not enough affordable accommodation and it particularly affects the vulnerable who just get pushed out. Despite the huge loss of inner-city housing, replacement social housing just doesn’t seem to have been factored in.

“From a social justice perspective the redevelopment of housing areas for people should have a higher priority than big ticket items like convention centres and stadiums. It’s really a case of placing people before the central city.”

Gorman says rent in Christchurch has reached impossible levels. “Some people have to stay with their relations. But after 3 years this can wear pretty thin. People are coming to the Mission and telling us they’ve been moved on.”

As a result, he says, people are sleeping in cars, sheds, or having turnabout in hot beds. “I heard yesterday of 18 people sharing a 3 bedroom house with a single toilet.

“The Earthquake minister talks about a market solution to this crisis. But private landlords aren’t interested in poor and difficult tenants. We need an immediate and frankly enormous injection of money from government into social housing. Shelter is a human right.”

“We’re noticing that even when people can find a house social support networks have been fragmented”, Milner adds. “In the new subdivisions new social infrastructure needs to be established. Unless we pay attention to this now, as a community, there will be problems ahead as a result of social isolation. This is especially true with the workforce moving in and out of the city.”

Presbyterian Support and the City Mission are both members of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services and support “Closer Together, Whakatata Mai”, the Council’s focus on reducing inequality.

Gorman identifies employment in Christchurch as another place inequality is evident. “I’ve heard there’s only 3% male unemployment today in Christchurch. But the real question is, what kind of employment? What are people being paid?

“Some earn an almost frightening amount. But others get only the minimum wage which, in Christchurch at least, isn’t anything like a living wage.”

But it’s not all bad news. Milner notes that when the Council and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority have taken inclusive participation seriously there have been encouraging signs.

“The Council has recently placed an emphasis on community halls, parks, libraries and swimming pools – that’s visible evidence that they’re supporting community. CERA’s “Community in Mind” strategy for rebuilding health and wellbeing launched just last month is timely. But the ideas have to get buy in, support, and they have to be realised.”

“If we’re going to get things right we need to recapture something of the spirit of cooperation we had before”, says Gorman. “We need to stop kidding ourselves that there aren’t any winners and losers. There are some considerable winners, and some tragic losers.”

For further information, contact:

§ Michael Gorman, Christchurch City Missioner – 03 3710606.

§ Vaughan Milner, Chief Executive Officer, Presbyterian Support (Upper South Island) - 03 3638217


New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services is the umbrella organisation of the churches’ social service agencies in Aotearoa. Its social services networks encompass the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army social services in hundreds of sites throughout the country.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news