Emergency housing has been described as dangerous and terrifying for some, with families mixed in with gang members and many places rife with crime and intimidation.
Official documents show ministers were warned about the “risks to public safety” in Rotorua a year ago, and that week-by-week motel accommodation is not so suitable for families, or those with high needs.
So what have Ministers done in the last 12 months? You’d expect action within weeks after such a warning wouldn’t you?
Alarming stories continue to emerge about what life is like for many, with a major concern that families with children are being housed near drug dealers and sex offenders, with no support anywhere in sight.
Welcome to the Government of kindness.
The owner of Hennessy’s Irish Bar in Rotorua, Reg Hennessey, says he’s seeing “crime, drugs getting sold openly on the street, gangsters, youth gangs” and while he supports those in genuine need being housed, there are “some horrible, horrible things going on out there”.
“When you walk past a motel on Fenton Street and you see Mongrel Mob colours hanging up in the windows, showing off so the whole world can see it, it doesn’t make me proud to belong to Rotorua anymore.”
Gangs used to at least live in their gang hqs. Now the Government is paying tens of thousands of dollars a week to house them all in motels and hotels!
Housing Minister Megan Woods told Morning Report the situation is “not acceptable”.
Woods says the government is aware of what is happening in emergency housing.
“This is the reality that we’re facing.”
She says she’s asked central government agencies to convene in Rotorua and work with iwi and those on the ground to come up with better options.
They’ve known for over a year, and all they have done is ask for a meeting!