Frustration is growing in Rotorua about the state of emergency housing in the city.
The once-popular tourist destination of Fenton St has now nicknamed “MSD Mile”, with motels in the area now filled with emergency housing residents.
Rotorua Daily Post reporter Kelly Makiha tells the Front Page podcast that residents, business owners and community leaders have all expressed concern about how severe this problem has become.
“The cold hard facts are that Rotorua makes up 1.5 per cent of New Zealand’s population, but for some reason we have 10 per cent of the emergency housing population,” says Makiha.
“That makes you start to ask some questions: Does Rotorua actually have that many people who are homeless or are they in fact coming from somewhere else? This is the question we’ve been asking and asking for nearly three years now.”
The Ministry of Social Development has said that it isn’t actively doing this, but this has done little to appease the concerns within the community about why the issue has become so severe in recent years. But it isn’t only the surrounding community that wants to see better solutions emerge.
Those living within emergency housing also feel trapped, with many spending months waiting in motels for alternative accommodation.
These factors clearly illustrate the existing situation doesn’t benefit the community or those who the emergency housing is meant to help. In today’s edition of The Front Page, we look to answer the following questions:
- How did the situation in Rotorua become so problematic?
- What has been the social impact of the surge in emergency housing in the city?
- What impact has this had on tourism in the city?
- Are people from other cities going to Rotorua for emergency housing?
- What is the Government doing to address the issue? Are opposition politicians offering any alternatives to the solutions being offered? |
- What are local politicians doing?