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

InternetNZ On Snowden Docs: Mass Collection Of Pacific Data Affects Kiwi Holidaymakers

The allegation that New Zealand has conducted mass data harvesting on its Pacific Island neighbours raises concerns about New Zealanders’ communications being collected, says InternetNZ.

“If the allegations are correct, then New Zealand would be mining data about everyone in the Pacific Islands named in the allegations. That’s everyone. Not just individuals who attract specific surveillance warrants, but everyone. This means local residents to visiting Kiwi tourists could be having their data collected." More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news