All that is wrong with the Auckland Housing Crisis in one Steve Braunias story

By   /   March 14, 2017  /   8 Comments

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The only ones National seem capable of housing are the rats.

The ever brilliant Steve Braunias turns his eye to this housing abortion in Auckland and manages to highlight everything wrong with the current crisis in just one story…

Tenants pay $200-plus to share ‘slum’ with rats

Walls and floors caked with dirt have led to Auckland Council serving health notices on the owner of a Grey Lynn boarding house described as a “slum”.

Council inspectors saw a rat and took note of rotted cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom of the two-storey building at 454 Great North Rd, a former convent next to St Joseph’s primary school in Grey Lynn. The property is for sale and has attracted real estate offers of over $5 million.

“It’s a slum in the heart of the city,” said councillor Mike Lee, who requested council send in a team to inspect the premises.

The owner, Rentyn Turner, would not comment when approached by the Herald at the boarding house.

He has a month to fumigate the building, and arrange for cleaning and building repairs.

Failure to comply with council demands could lead to prosecution. Grant Barnes, general manager of licensing and compliance services at council, said the maximum penalty is $200,000.

Environmental health officers allege that Turner, as the landlord of the boarding house, is in breach of numerous health and hygiene standards.

…I’m sorry, the slum lord has a month to sort…

• Evidence of rat infestation. Inspectors saw a rat on the premises.

• “Extremely dirty conditions” in the kitchen, with dirt accumulated on the walls and floors

• Cracked and peeling ceiling paint in the kitchen and bathrooms.

• Mould growth is evident on the ceilings.

• Piles of food waste in the backyard.

• “Unpleasant odour within the premises.”

and all the while this property being used by the most vulnerable is actually listed for demolition so it can be flicked off to greedy property speculators…

JLL real estate listed the property in March last year.

Lead agent Nick Hargreaves said it provided an ideal opportunity for developers wanting to build high-density residential accommodation as encouraged by the Unitary Plan.

“It’s the talk of the town,” he said.

He claimed potential buyers have mentioned offers from $4m to over $5m

…so slum lords can get away with rat infested slums by exploiting the homeless while the property is going to be on sold to speculative developers?

How charming.

What an unmitigated 9 year disaster over seen by a Government reliant on the property bubble and over inflated house prices to stay in power.

The only ones National seem capable of housing are the rats.


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  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    This clearly shows the rot within our society now when people will be so greedy to place tenants in such pitiful living conditions, to live amongst rats, we should put these greedy landlords into boats that are full of rats now and cast them out to sea.

    • Castro says:

      I agree entirely with the sentiment you express; however, there is no “our society”, which is a very large part of the many problems that “we” face. I fear that in the not too distant future “our society” is going to become a very brutal, very violent. us versus them war zone. And “we” don’t seem to give a rat’s ass.

  2. Siobhan says:

    “What did he think of what he saw? (‘He’ being the land agent)

    “I was with a group of architects and everyone was pretty impressed with the views of the Waitakeres,” he said.”

    Ah, yes, the view.

    But anyway, the issue is that these are people who are probably not able to maintain a ‘normal’ tenancy, even in the best of circumstances, and certainly not in this brutal market driven housing market.

    We need a programme to build permanent housing that is delivered alongside access to Mental Health services and Welfare Needs advocacy for those wanting/needing such things.

    This article is worth reading…an interesting, non judgmental attitude to housing, in Utah of all places…

  3. Castro says:

    Indeed. So how about a piece extrapolating on the current situation that paints a very real picture of the absolute nightmare that “we” are sleepwalking straight into?

  4. WILD KATIPO says:

    John Key and the ‘cusp of a brighter future’…

    And then he left.

    Rats off a sinking ship…

    Hmmmm …. Ratssssss …

    Bill English and ‘ we should be glad we have a low wage economy as that encourages foreign investment’ , …and an out – of – control immigration policy pushing up housing bubbles and speculators running rampant …

    Ratsssssss ….

    Yes,… Ratsssssss…. very , very big Ratsssssss….!

  5. Mike in Auckland says:

    This is now happening in various places all over Auckland, where pieces of land are sold as rezoned land, capable of “intensification”. For instance whole blocks have been zoned for Terrace Housing and Apartment Building (THAB) construction and development around Royal Oak, same around much of Onehunga, near where I live.

    Development potential is the new selling phrase, and as Council has thrown out many rules, developers can build almost any kind of housing they like, either mansions, maximising prices, or multilevel studio apartments, at the minimum size, with little storage and parking, and poor outlook. Imagine what pressures it will create on public transport, on other transport, on water and electricity and other infrastructure needed.

    Schools and ECE centres are already bursting at their seams, and wait, those new dwellings, they will not come cheap, certainly not in the suburbs close to the CBD, nothing will be truly affordable, that word itself, was torn out of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, as it did not suit the agendas of the developers.

    Prepare for more development of poor standards, more ghettos and more social and other issues, Auckland is heading there where other failed cities have ended.

    But of course, some make huge profits, including the real estate agents, who are keen as a rat smelling bounty of food, to get stuck into it. Thank you Nick Smith, thank you National, for neglecting state and social housing, and serving primarily for the interests of the vested interest holding parties, and upper middle class small fry speculators also, now many being property “millionaires”.