Why the septic wound of the Rotorua emergency housing sums up NZ so perfectly


Extension to emergency housing in motels irks Rotorua residents

Commissioners decided the motels could provide emergency housing under contracts with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for another two years rather than the five years sought by the ministry.

The decision comes more than a month after a hearing in Rotorua, where residents gave emotional statements opposing the ministry’s resource consent applications.

The majority of the 3841 submissions were in opposition and wanted all 13 consents to be declined.

Meanwhile, a list of conditions has been placed on the ministry and the housing providers.

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Among those are requirements for site management, noise control, and other new rules, such as the banning of dogs.

The ministry has also been asked to set up a community liaison group for engagement with providers and the community.

Another party, the consent holders, have been asked to meet with on a six-monthly basis is the Whakarewarewa Village and Te Puia.

Earlier, some submissions spoke of concerns about the impact of the three motels close to the village, including trespassing, vandalism, drug use, and the disrespect of kaumatua and residents.

However, despite these measures, some residents were unhappy with the outcome.

Nothing seems to sum up NZ better right now symbolically than the septic wound of emergency housing in Rotorua.

Emergency housing in motels started under John Key as a response to the images of kiwis living in cars. Key at the time said he was ‘surprised’ so many people seemed to come out of the woodwork to claim emergency housing which immediately started costing more than they budgeted for.

Normally poor people run a mile form ‘help’ from the State because the State are such cruel arseholes, but the privatisation agenda of State Housing under National and the total lack of investment in affordable housing drove a level of desperation not seen before so we had a wave of those in real desperation reaching out for emergency housing.

Labour took over in 2017 but their Kiwibuild plan and lacklustre State House rebuilding plan  meant nothing meaningful was done with and Covid required everyone who was homeless was found a roof.

The need to house everyone during Covid saw the true enormity of our bleeding gums of inequality exposed alongside the joke of our underfunded ‘wrap around services’.

The predictability of crime, drugs, violence and untreated abuse from housing all those homeless together came flooding into the daylight as people living next to Motels housing the damaged were negatively impacted.

No where has this been more exposed than in Rotorua, a town dependent on hyper tourism  having the national shame of underfunded housing exposed so pornographically on the streets as they attempt to promote themselves to tourists.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge that social housing in Motels is a bandaid on a haemorrhaging  social problem that no one cares about.

NZers don’t care about homelessness because that would ask questions of how rigged the home ownership casino is in this country, and with many in the middle class benefitting from home ownership, we don’t like to face the reality of how unequal our society has become.

But the second issue I don’t get is that if all these Motels are so against housing the homeless and that it’s destroying their tourism reputation, then the Motels can simply say, ‘enough no more’ and stop bookings from the Social Agencies can’t they?

But they don’t.

Why don’t they?

Because they are making obscene profits from these contracts aren’t they?

Isn’t it outrageous they keep taking the bookings and keep taking the money and yet keep complaining?

If Rotorua Motels want their tourism reputation back, stop taking bookings from the social welfare agencies.

We all know they won’t because Tourists argent back yet.

A town needing hyper tourism but trading in the misery of the homeless while Government ‘wrap around’ services are laid thread bare while the rest of us avert our eyes.

That this entire squalid social bandaid that costs us $1million per day kettling beneficiaries into dangerous living conditions has now been declared an abuse of human rights is as glorious as the ‘well it’s better than them being on the streets’ defence raised by the Government.

The greedy trading in the powerlessness of others while the rest of us pretend not to notice – sums up New Zealand perfectly doesn’t it?

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  1. “The greedy trading in the powerlessness of others while the rest of us pretend not to notice – sums up New Zealand perfectly doesn’t it?” Sadly it does describe way too many NZers. I used to dog walk with a Motel owner sometimes till he piped up one day “they are animals…” referring to his MSD customers. There was a time prior to 1984 when people were people, not clients, consumers and customers.

    The dog eat dog market will never fix housing supply for reasons that surely need not be spelt out again–housing has to be kicked back to the State–form a new Works/Infrastructure Dept. & just build the bloody things in every town and city. Flat packs from Europe & China if the local industry will not co-operate. Apartments, tiny houses for homeless, emergency housing, transferable tenancies for work, study, vacation, long term tenancies too.

  2. What I don’t get is if this is really a problem. Why are the motel owners still taking in these people then? Is it because they’re feeling charitable? Or is it for the money?

    I’m gunna take a stab in the dark and say its how capitalism works. This is a perfect example of the Supply and Demand economy.
    So wouldn’t you then think and say OK then, to reduce the Demand side, we build more fuckn houses!

    What effect would that then have on the Supply side?

    Hey fuckn presto! Problem solved!

  3. Like plywood boards symbolises Labours law of and order policies at work, Fenton St so symbolises their lack of of effort with housing. Isn’t Marama Davidson the minister for homelessness? What the actual fuck does she do for a living again?

    Has it not dawned on our “caring” “kind” Prime Minister or the other zombies of her caucus that social housing IS the answer, not their pathetic excuse they’ve delivered so far and not Fenton St? And if not why not?

  4. The motels are a business not a charity so why are you knocking them for taking clients from the state and getting paid for it.If the state had a brain they would buy these motels use the rooms and then resell them once home are found or built for those needing them.

    • Don’t tempt them Trevor!

      Buying motels would solidify this appalling situation permanently and having an organisation/landlord as reprehensible as Kainga Ora running them would be a disaster that would make everything far far worse.

      Better these remain temporary and continue to embarrass this government! Better for Rotorua.

    • because the other ‘decent god fearing taxpayers'(your normal constituancy) are suffering trev

      what we need is the finnish ‘housing first policy’ which has vastly and I do mean vastly decreased homelessnesss there…but it takes investment which kiwis hate and it’s not finger wagging at the homeless which kiwis enjoy to the point of fetishisation

  5. There seems to be some confusion in the accomodation industry in Ro-Vegas, whereby you have those ( mainly absentee) moteliers only to happy to take MSD clients and government money, and those mainly (owner operator) moteliers who are vehemently opposed to MSD clients.
    The sad fact is, Rotorua for the past 30 years has been a dumping ground for societies less fortunate where by pre covid these people were more likely to be found in various backpackers and hostels spread throughout the city and a lot less visible.

  6. maybe the good folk of rotavegas should be on the backs of the local motel owners who are coining it, rather than bitching about the troublemakers…if a motel owner has a dairy boycott it, if he owns a bar boycott it….they are the ones profiting from their collusion in ruining the town….

    it of course goes without saying scumbags should not be tolerated.

    wooly look at the fate of british seaside towns like blackpool to see the future.

  7. John Key also introduced meth testing of houses throwing out state tenants so they could give those houses a quick do up and the flog them off to the private market, something they like doing.
    An increasing amount of us ending up stuck in the rental trap, the houses are too expensive and we’re all being kept in that position thanks to other right wing interventions of wage and salary reduction. Giving pay rises that are below the actual rates of inflation, take that over 30 years and up to 15% has been lost by the employee, all this is being done on purpose because its rich people who give donations to politicians, not poor people so rich people get whatever they want, they want a captured audience, they dont want all of us to have the ability to buy houses because someone has to pay for their rentals and their ability to dodge tax with the lack of a capital gains tax, its all designed to suit rich people, not everybody.

  8. If a Labour government is unwilling to solve the housing crisis and the wealth divide is allowed to continue to grow, we will be a mini America in a few short years. Already despite the fine words about well-being we can see society falling apart with violence and despair. The last thing we need is social insurance-what a croc. The only thing left for those of us who still care is to encourage Labour to do the job it was elected to do. Housing reform is number one before another speculative boom engulfs us. In the mean-time family incomes need urgent action. Thanks Martyn for the consistent voice of the Daily Blog in 2022.

  9. Motels are better than nothing. Let’s face it. The people in these motels are never going to get a house in the private sector, and even if they did, they couldnt afford the horrendus rents that landlords are charging nowadays.

  10. I recently came across a landlord who said he wouldn’t rent his house to people with children. I’m not sure if this is legal or not but I thought it morally reprehensible to say the least, if not downright repugnant. The whole scenario is one vicious circle of exploitation which could easily have been redressed by a quick passing of a law ‘under urgency’ or whatever is expedient these days, to prohibit the owning of more than one home.
    I see landlords and investors throwing up their hands in horror at the thought but it would bring us into line with some of the more socially responsible countries in the world.
    Someone with say, seven houses would be obliged to return six of them to the community via a buyback scheme over a period of time with say a tax write off and a sticker for good behaviour.

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