(media release)

Kāpiti Mayoral Candidate Rob McCann wants answers from Kainga Ora.

On the 9th June a tornado ripped through our community and severely damaged a number of properties including the roof of Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka’s Paraparaumu Kāinga Ora property. While he was put up in emergency housing, he has now been told he has to move, but there’s nowhere for him to go that is suitable.

“We have a housing crisis on the Kāpiti Coast,” says Kāpiti Mayoral Candidate Rob McCann, “so to hear that Kāinga Ora have allowed a mildly damaged property to be drastically damaged along with all the belongings inside it, is a kick in the guts for everyone working to reduce the impact of the housing crisis.”

“The Kapiti Coast has one of the lowest rates of social housing, with only 1% compared to the national average which is closer to 4% of total households. To have even one of those houses out of commission is unacceptable, let alone leave a property to soak for nearly two months.

“As part of our Housing Strategy council undertook research to find out the real pressures in our region through a Housing and Needs Assessment, and the results were truly awful. They demonstrated that the housing stress in our district is extensive and is having what we’ve called a domino effect. Where one issue affects another and another leaving people vulnerable, stressed, ill and disconnected.

“There are 190 people on the public housing waiting list, 50 adults and 40 children living in emergency housing and over 200 in boarding houses. One in four private renters are paying more than 50% of their household income in rent and only 5% of renters could affordably service a mortgage down from 21% in 2001.

“While our population is around 56,000, there are only 240 Kāinga Ora social housing units across the district managed by central government and community housing providers. Of those 66 are in Otaki. Only eleven families began a tenancy with Kāinga Ora in Kāpiti in 2020 and it takes around 231 days to get a house (if you can make it onto the waiting list).

“This simply isn’t good enough, which is why we now have a Housing Strategy so that we can focus our efforts on changing this dynamic, advocating for government to invest more in housing, and encouraging the private sector to step up and build accommodation for social housing providers.

“We’re making significant progress, so to hear that Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka still doesn’t have accommodation two months on from the tornado, and that Kāinga Ora didn’t get on and fix the property immediately is incredibly disappointing.

“Someone needs to step up and take responsibility,” says Kāpiti Mayoral Candidate Rob McCann.

The views expressed are that of Mayoral Candidate Rob McCann and do not necessarily represent those of the Kāpiti Coast District Council. Mr McCann held the Housing and Social Wellbeing Portfolios this past triennium.