Now it’s our problem
We were interested in the article by Imran Ali in the Northern Advocate (November 3) regarding the current Government buying a park in Whanga¯ rei, with the goal of building houses. It seemed that Dr Shane Reti, who supplied information under the OIA, did so in support of the nearby residents who will be affected by the proposed housing complex, saying that the people of the district, and not HNZ, should determine the future shape of the city.
In our opinion, that statement is shallow. Over the nine years that National was in government, National allowed massive immigration of 70,000-plus per year.
Where were those 630,000-plus people to live? New Zealanders were being displaced, sleeping in parks and shop doorways. Now this problem has moved to the regions.
Aucklanders sit in their cars for hours each day, commuting to work, and 30,000-plus more cars are registered each year, compounding the problem. It is proposed to take precious native bush in the Waitakeres for a dam, as water supply will not meet the increased population requirements. Aucklanders are paying an increased petrol tax because roading is now insufficient.
There was no public consultation as to whether Aucklanders wanted massive migration, or were prepared to pay for it.
Labour inherited this problem and is producing a solution.
Do we want all of our parks and land covered in houses? Do we want our house and section sizes reduced? The long-term ramifications of that is the land is covered, and rainwater has nowhere to go except through the public stormwater drainage system. The consequence of this is flooding.
In these subdivisions, should we be considering mandating six-foot drains along the sides of the roads, to take away the rainwater, as exists in some Asian countries?
The bottom line is that New Zealanders, and we include the newlyarrived ones, all deserve to have a safe, warm house for their families.
This political argy-bargy about housing New Zealanders is unacceptable. We wrote letters regarding lack of infrastructure for such high immigration policies, but this was ignored. We were told that high immigration was of economic benefit. Where is the evidence?
It doesn’t take much intelligence to know that when Auckland reached saturation point, the problem would move to the provinces.
Taking away parks, orchards and market gardens for housing, as happened in Auckland, will have longterm repercussions. We do not want the same thing to happen in Whanga¯ rei.
Intensive housing to house people immediately is a short-term solution. Long-term, we must think about the numbers coming into the country, and ensure there is the infrastructure in place for them — housing, roading, electricity, water, stormwater drainage, sewage reticulation, etc. Immigration, unless to reunite families, should be put on hold until our infrastructure is adequate.
We also need consultation on immigration and its effects on our communities, as stated by Dr Reti. BEVERLEY ALDRIDGE/KATHLEEN
PATTINSON Otamatea Grey Power
"The bottom line is that New Zealanders, and we include the newly-arrived ones, all deserve to have a safe, warm house for their families."