The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

It is al­most un­be­liev­able that state hous­ing pulled down nine years ago in Palmer­ston North has not yet been re­placed.

Ad­mit­tedly it is a com­plex prob­lem when ren­o­va­tion or in­su­la­tion is re­quired and the state of re­pair after 50 to 80 years is con­sid­ered. What seems to have been ar­rived at is ac­tu­ally an op­por­tu­nity to place a higher vol­ume of houses or units on the avail­able land.

But nine years and so lit­tle progress? Why is this land still va­cant?

Palmer­ston North needs a high vol­ume of avail­able hous­ing due, for var­i­ous rea­sons, it’s bur­geon­ing pop­u­la­tion. How many more young peo­ple could have been trained for the build­ing in­dus­try in that nine years?

Iain Lees-Gal­loway says there are ‘too few state houses’ here, and ‘too few private ren­tals’. One could also say that the re­moval of the 100-plus state houses has it­self caused great pres­sure on the private ren­tal mar­ket.

It looks to me like hous­ing is be­ing used as an eco­nomic tool, rather in the man­ner that in­ter­est rates, ex­change rates and un­em­ploy­ment are so used.

MJ Walton, Palmer­ston North

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