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Emergency Housing Provider Faces Unprecedented Challenges

The Morning Calm Lodge, an emergency housing provider, has been offering shelter to homeless people, especially the most vulnerable, in association with MSD for five years. Recently designated as an "opt-in" provider for its services, the Lodge now faces a series of unprecedented challenges.

On April 24, the new inspector of Waikato Council, David Johnston, hurried to the Morning Calm Lodge and posted prohibition notices on the room doors, claiming that the rooms were dangerous and had leaking conditions. However, these were all baseless allegations. No explanations were allowed or provided, and there had been no warnings or prior notices. As a result, around 25 homeless people were forced to leave.

The danger Johnston referred to was that five cabins were too close to each other. However, these cabins were scheduled to be relocated to a safe distance after lengthy consultations with the previous inspector. Nine new cabins, which could accommodate the people from the five cabins, have been completed and are ready for immediate relocation. The new inspector had no knowledge of this plan, did not ask, and did not attempt to find out. As far as moisture issues are concerned, this is the first I've heard of it. Under these circumstances, he just came and posted the notices.

Johnston labeled the Morning Calm Lodge as a dangerous place and reported this to MSD. Consequently, MSD had no choice but to stop sending guests, resulting in a significant loss of income. As a result, two of the seven employees have already been laid off, and three more are set to be laid off within two weeks. What's even more perplexing is that there are 15 rooms unaffected by the issue. However, by designating the entire Lodge as dangerous, Johnston is causing irreparable damage.

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Vincent, the manager, remembers the incident with a sense of humiliation. He recalls how David Johnston barged into the Lodge without any prior consent, going from room to room posting notices, acting like an occupying force. Vincent still cannot understand why no explanations were given, why there was no opportunity to explain, and why they weren't given a chance to address any issues if they had existed.

He has undertaken legal procedures without receiving a proper response for a month.

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