Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Not all enjoy boom times

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Mazz Adams. Photo / George Novak
Mazz Adams. Photo / George Novak

The Bay economy is one of the strongest in the country. An economic report released last week shows economic confidence is soaring and the region has the second lowest unemployment figures in New Zealand.

It's great to live in such a thriving region. It means more jobs and, as recent Paymark figures have shown, usually translates into greater spending, which is good for local businesses.

But not everyone is enjoying the spoils of a booming economy. Spare a thought for Tauranga solo mother Mazz Adams. She is running out of time to find a home for herself and her six children, aged between 7 and 19, after having to move out of the rental property they had called home for the past four-and-half years.

Ms Adams, who is on Housing New Zealand's priority-need waiting list, says she has her name down with a number of real estate firms in town, but when she turns up for a viewing there are six to 10 other families all doing the same.

"At the moment our only option if we can't find another place is pitching a tent somewhere."

She is not alone.

As recently reported in the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend recently, the numbers of "hidden homeless" in Tauranga are growing due to issues including lack of money, the high cost of renting and social issues preventing them from being able to access rental accommodation.

Prime Minister John Key last week said it was not acceptable that people lived in such situations and "that's not the New Zealand that we want".

He's right but what is being done to tackle the problem? The Government says the supply of houses needs to increase but that is going to take time.

The Government has also pledged $41.1 million over the next four years to fund 3000 emergency housing places and grants a year.

It is a good start but much more needs to be done and the wider community needs to play a part in finding a solution.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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