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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news