Cyclone Cook: Christchurch homeless people who used tents for shelter asked to move on

The tents pitched by the homeless along Colombo St outside the Metro Mart were potentially in breach of both the Freedom Camping Bylaw and the Public Places bylaw. Photo / Christchurch Star
The tents pitched by the homeless along Colombo St outside the Metro Mart were potentially in breach of both the Freedom Camping Bylaw and the Public Places bylaw. Photo / Christchurch Star

Homeless people who used tents to shelter from the aftermath of Cyclone Cook in the Christchurch CBD have been asked to move on.

Central Ward councillor Deon Swiggs said Collective for the Homeless co-ordinator Brenda Lowe-Johnson, a city council officer and a police officer asked the men to remove the tents on Tuesday afternoon.

The tents pitched by the homeless along Colombo St outside the Metro Mart were potentially in breach of both the Freedom Camping bylaw and the Public Places bylaw.

Mr Swiggs said the men had been provided with temporary accommodation while something more permanent was established.

The city council received three complaints in relation to the camping activities along the street.

The city council's general manager of consenting and compliance Leonie Rae said the tents are potentially in breach of the bylaws.

She said the Freedom Camping Bylaw prohibits camping activities in the central city.

The Public Places Bylaw prohibits the obstruction of a public place in circumstances which cause inconvenience or danger without written permission of the city council.

Mr Swiggs said it was a shame because someone had tried to do something nice for the men giving them the tents, but because of the complaints, the city council had to act.

"There were a number of complaints and when you get complaints to have to take action."

He and Ms Lowe-Johnson were working on securing funding to try to set up a centre where homeless people could go during the day, so they were not sitting outside businesses.

"The ultimate solution is to give them a day venue."

- Christchurch Star

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