Tag Archives: te awahou

Please Sign Our Petition to Stop the Sale of Horowhenua’s Community Housing

Stop the Sale of Horowhenua’s Community Housing

Campaign created by
Pam Vernon
EnvirowatchHorowhenua
Stop the Sale of Horowhenua's Community Housing

FROM THE NEW MAYOR, MICHAEL FEYEN who is in support of keeping our housing stock:“I support retaining community housing and obtaining the housing nz stock as well. HDC, iwi And Grey Power could form a trust or lease agreement:) HLC could conduct apprenticeships around building, plumbing, electrician, painters, etc to maintain and upgrade the increased housing stock. Great potential for HDC employment and community, with a business case:) I trust this petition gets support as it is vital for our districts future that we have affordable housing.”   

NOTE: In spite of his support the remainder of the Council is not in agreement on this.


THE PETITION
The Horowhenua District Council is tendering our stock of community housing for sale to an alternative community housing provider. Grey Power however, believes that provision of affordable housing must remain a core activity for central and local government…”The proposal to sell pensioner housing, a key determinant of community wellbeing, is a direct antithesis to community wellbeing”.

We also see the withdrawal of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled as a backward step especially in light of growing homelessness in our country. We believe that in the longer term, an alternative provider will place economic factors above caring for the elderly and therefore request that they halt the tendering of these properties for sale.

Why is this important?

In April this year the Horowhenua District Council announced it was tendering their stock of community housing for sale to an alternative community housing provider.

The justification given by councils NZ wide, including, Horowhenua, to cease providing housing, has been that Government withdrew its responsibility in this respect (including funding) some time back.

HDC insist they’ve identified that “the ‘most sustainable’ way forward for delivering pensioner housing was to transfer the stock and the responsibility to a housing provider that had the focus and resources to respond to the housing needs of the district.” At the same time they say they “… want to ensure that community housing in Horowhenua remains accessible and affordable, and is also connected to services that enhance social connectedness and wellbeing.”

Horowhenua’s Grey Power however, disagrees saying it is their belief that provision of affordable housing must remain a core activity for central and local government. “The proposal to sell pensioner housing, a key determinant of community wellbeing, is a direct antithesis to community wellbeing” they say, and “a council is in a position to see issues across its district and should have concerns about its constituency … a social housing provider will not have the same view.”

We also see the withdrawal of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled as a backward step. HDC state on their Positive Ageing Action Plan that “Horowhenua is a district that embraces its older residents as a highly valued integral part of the community”. We would like to see that plan include the option of the ongoing provision of affordable housing for the elderly, especially in the light of growing homelessness in our country. Handing over this responsibility to private and corporate interests is not going to guarantee they remain housed. A business will always strive to maximize profits and not to ensure the housing of the more vulnerable. It is simply not in their mandate. We therefore do not believe that any clause of sale that stipulates the needs of the elderly be considered will be effective, and that any such provision would eventually be discarded in favour of economic interests.

In line with their pledge to partnership, HDC have said that iwi and current tenants were consulted. Public feedback however is not confirming this. We would like to see some transparency on this pre sale history.

If you agree that the provision of community housing should remain a part of Council’s responsibility please sign our petition.

(1) Horowhenua District Council agrees to put pensioner housing on the market <http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/78903531/Horowhenua-District-Council-agrees-to-put-pensioner-housing-on-the-market>

(2) Iwi consulted on Horowhenua housing sell off
http://www.waateanews.com/Waatea+News.html?story_id=MTQxNTY=&v=173

(3) ‘Keep Council Houses’ <http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/keep-council-houses/>

(4) Government open to social housing options
<https://national.org.nz/news/2016-05-27-government-open-to-social-housing-options>

(5) Government, council seek interest from community housing providers in Horowhenua <https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/government-council-seek-interest-community-housing-providers-horowhenua-b-191828>

(6) Proposed social and affordable housing transfer in Horowhenua and Otaki <http://www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/socialhousing/horowhenua-otaki-sht>

(7) Mayor Feyen wants to keep pensioner homes as income source
http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/86036270/mayor-feyen-wants-to-keep-pensioner-homes-as-income-source>


GO HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

PLEASE SHARE!

NOTE:
There will be a protest against the selling of the community housing, and the rolling of the new Deputy Mayor Cr Ross Campbell … outside the HDC building at 126 Oxford Street in Levin on Wednesday 7th December! A peaceful protest … but one that will send a clear message that those who voted for our current Mayor are not happy with what is happening. Please come and bring a placard if you can.

You will find updates or changes at the Facebook page, at the Nua , on our own FB pages and our petition page here. 


 

Foxton Locals are Protesting – They’re Fed Up with the District Council’s Lack of Consultation Over Their Main Street

np-hikoi-180
Local people gathering on Monday for their peaceful protest concerning HDC’s lack of consultation with the community of Foxton

A Foxton tangata whenua representative, William McGregor, and other locals have organized a peaceful sit in at the town’s cenotaph. There is a lot of history behind this part of town which was the original Te Awahou settlement (Te Awahou is Foxton’s real name) . The local Horowhenua District Council has plans to move the cenotaph and do up the main street at the obscene cost of $1.6 million.

The people want the cenotaph to remain where it is. Council, in keeping with their plans, held a last minute blessing of the area last week in readiness for the moving day. This demonstrates the extent of their commitment to consultation. At that ceremony those officiating with regard to the blessing diplomatically acknowledged it was out of respect for those fallen in the wars and those buried there that they came.

resized-blessing
The last minute blessing organized by HDC last week

The Council is already in debt to the tune of $100+ million, according to two councilors, however Mayor Brendan Duffy claims the debt is only $68 million. Either figure, it is still too much and some wise spending is in order.

What the local people really want is clean water, however the Council claims the water if fine and the Mayor says on FB that he drinks it. It is in fact regularly a brown colour and is highly infused with chlorine, a known carcinogen. Chlorine of course is the sticking plaster for pollution that most DCs don’t want to spend money on cleaning up. Witness the fact we can no longer swim in 40% of our ‘clean green’ rivers.  The Horowhenua also has an horrific track record of disposing of its waste into the local waterways.

That aside, the point is, nobody (except a few shop owners apparently) wants the street to be narrowed with gardens replacing many parking spaces. Nevertheless, Council has already had contractors demolish the old Council building, old records and all. Antique books have been left lying in the rain where they fell.

So, the beef that locals have with the council is that people weren’t consulted. It’s said RSA was, however it turns out dozens of RSA members who’ve dropped by the protest claim they were not asked. They’ve also added photographs of the fallen soldiers onto the base of the cenotaph. I think Council are in for a rough ride and this is the price they pay for not consulting with the people they’re supposed to be working for.

A tent has been erected next to Ihakara Gardens for the protesters to stay in, and gifts of food and supplies have been pouring in from the public, including local businesses. They’re in for the long hall.

For as long as I’ve been following the lack of consultation issue over the street changes, our local representative in Council, Cr Michael Feyen, has said repeatedly he’s been left out of the consultation loop and in spite of requests has not been shown any plans for the street. Yesterday however, the HDC issued a press release replete with plans and history, and also denying the claims they’ve not consulted locals. The sit in organizers claim the details in the press release are simply not true. They are the tangata whenua and they know if they’ve been consulted or not. They haven’t. For further information on that visit Cr Michael Feyen’s FB page.

Although HDC’s website claims partnership & consultation with local iwi, it appears to be just lip service. This became evident with the Shannon waterways pollution & what ensued there. Little if any respect for tangata whenua.

Radio NZ has published an article on this … you can read it at this link.  

The latest news from Cr Feyen’s FB page at 5pm today is, Mayor Duffy and CEO Clapperton are at the site in discussions with the organizers. However, note, Foxton’s own District Councilor, their own representative, is not privy to that discussion. Not allowed.

So much for democracy & consultation. I rest my case. 

 

EnvirowatchHorowhenua


 

RELATED:

Foxton residents stage sit-in over cenotaph move

Community up in arms over cenotaph move

Horowhenua Environmental Health Watch