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


Ngongotaha Angrily Rejects Council’s Special Housing Area

Ngongotaha Angrily Rejects Council’s Special Housing Area Proposal

News Release: Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers, 13 April 2018

About 350 residents of Ngongotaha, 10 kilometres northwest of Rotorua city, left two information meetings on 5 and 10 April very angry that Mayor Steve Chadwick and Rotorua Lakes Council have asked Phil Twyford, Minister of Housing, to declare a Special Housing Area on the northern outskirts of their village, without notification and consultation.

“Under the pretext of improving the supply of affordable houses,” said Glenys Searancke, RDRR Chair, “the Mayor has used the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act to ram through a proposal for sign off by the Minister of Housing Phil Twyford. It will see a mass housing estate built on rural land on the northern outskirts of one of our most beautiful villages. No wonder the villagers feel betrayed.”

It was only the information meeting organised by adjacent landowners and the RDRR, she said, that stung the Council into providing one of their own. But it backfired because officials presented only on process and the villagers did not have their concerns addressed.

“The residents’ fury focusses on six issues,” said Reynold Macpherson, RDRR Secretary. “The Council made decisions without notification and blocked community objections using a soon-to-expire Act. Worse, elected representatives were forbidden by the Chief Executive to attend the RDRR meeting, although three defied him.”

The villagers are appalled that Council is repeating the mistake of authorizing houses to be built on ex-swampland. They are disgusted, he said, by Council not consulting mana whenua who safeguard the Waiteti Steam and don’t want an urupa bulldozed. They bitterly resent social outcomes that will alter the character of their village. They point to the traffic congestion and the absence of an infrastructure plan. In sum, he said, the proposal offends their community, cultural and environmental values.

Mayor Steve Chadwick claims that the development is needed to cope with population growth. The RDRR rejects this as an exaggeration by a mayor who has repeatedly promised 1000 new homes by 2019. Population growth projections of 0.72 per cent per annum can be met by building about 190 new homes annually. This can be achieved, the RDRR argues, through infill, intensification and gentrification projects and a modest expansion of social housing. If the Mayor’s Labour Minister mate signs off, Ngongotaha will get a mass housing estate built on relatively cheap rural land adjacent to their iconic village.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why France Could Become Our Closest Ally In Europe

As PM Jacinda Ardern returns from a triumphant tour to Britain and the capitals of Europe, her officials have probably begun to assess what the more substantive gains from the trip might have been. Most of the chatter has been about potential trade deals – so lets just assume for the moment that bilateral trade deals between big and small countries are a good thing, despite the perils they pose to the smaller party. Currently, Britain is so involved with its Brexit nightmare that there seems little prospect of any substantive early progress on an FTA with Britain. In any case, New Zealand should be wary of being the first cab off that particular rank. ... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages