Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Housing Survey Starts

The level of poor housing in Northland and the East Coast/Bay of Plenty is being assessed in the next month as the first step towards addressing wider social issues faced by these communities, the Minister of Social Services and Employment Steve Maharey and the Minister of Housing Mark Gosche said today.

Trained assessors, including representatives of kaupapa Maori social services organisations and Housing NZ staff, will be visiting approximately 1500 houses beginning this week to assess unsafe homes.

The Ministers said that recent tragic house fire deaths in the Far North have again highlighted long-standing housing and social problems which need addressing.

"The assessments are the first step in developing longer-term responses to these problems. We recognise that a solution to housing issues cannot be determined in isolation from the other challenges faced by those living in impoverished communities – including access to employment, quality schooling, health and other social services," the Ministers said.

The immediate emphasis of the assessments is on unsafe houses – where people could come to physical harm, for example by relying on open flames for light, heat and cooking. But at the same time the government is working on longer term responses to the issue of inadequate housing and the associated health and education problems.

"We are concerned about the condition of many homes in these areas, particularly where the safety or health of families is threatened.

“With families agreement, the assessors will be able to assist them to contact Government or other agencies for other help, for example, for health or benefit needs.

"The houses being visited have been identified by local kaupapa, housing, health and social agencies as being potentailly unsafe.

“Following the on-the-ground assessment we will aim to work with families living in risky homes, and their communities, to see what can be done in the short and longer-term to reduce the problems posed by living in unsafe housing in isolated areas.

"It is also essential that local people are given the opportunity to take leadership in addressing all these issues, rather than relying on a Wellington-originated solution.

"Accordingly, a number of local social agencies and iwi groups will take the leadership responsibility for working together to assist these families and communities, supported by Housing New Zealand Corporation and other government agencies," the Ministers said.

A Fire Service and DWI Taskforce Green employment project has already begun installing 4,000 smoke alarms in 1,000 homes in Northland, and 5,000 smoke alarms in 1,250 homes in the East Cape region.

They are also providing fire safety information and working with families so they take responsibility for their safety.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>

 

Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>

ALSO:

Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels