Empty lots a sad reminder
Fifteen Cannons Creek Housing New Zealand homes are to be demolished next year with promises of new development, but Mana MP Kris Faafoi is sceptical.
He said it was merely a repeat of an unsuccessful process seven years ago.
In 2008 and 2009, 27 ageing housing New Zealand homes were demolished on the Castor Cres loop, less than 500 metres away from the 15 homes in Hazard Grove and Esk Place.
At the time residents were promised to be kept informed and that the land would be developed into new housing. Today it still stands empty. Faafoi said though he didn’t oppose the demolition of rundown or earthquake- prone houses, he was concerned history would repeat itself.
‘‘We’ve had houses demolished and promises that new houses will be developed and there’s an empty lot there,’’ he said.
‘‘Whatever is gone needs to be replaced. This time we have to make sure if there is a promise they will follow through with it.’’
Housing New Zealand property services general manager Marcus Bosch said the land at Castor Cres was not redeveloped because it had proven not economically viable.
‘‘We would like to see the land at Castor Cres redeveloped. However, because of low demand for our housing we have no current plans to redevelop it ourselves at this point.’’
He said the low demand for housing in the area also meant the department would be outsourcing the development of the Hazard and Esk land.
‘‘We are confident we have enough homes to house those in need,’’ Bosch said.
‘‘We must spend the taxpayers dollar wisely, which is why we are focused on building new homes in areas where there is demand. There is demand for one-bedroom homes in Welling- ton City. We recently announced we aim to build 100 new units in the city to meet this demand.’’
But Faafoi said he saw a different story through his office.
‘‘I think people have given up on the wait list,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t need fewer houses; we need more. I don’t want it to stay vacant. That community is still vibrant and it needs people to live in it.
‘‘I’d like the Government to have a look at the real demand for housing in the area and realise more homes need to be built. It’s actually an exciting opportunity.
‘‘They can really put a bit of energy into the community if they go in and build something that meets the needs of the community.’’