So, who knew there was a downside to the upside?

History has given us an abundance of examples to prove the point.

Whether it be the now-frequently-abused Domestic Purpose Benefit (introduced solely to aid the widows of the war), or MMP (the "fairer" voting system that sees a one-seat party wielding all the power and holding the country to ransom), the intentions are good.

And, at first glance, the positives appear to outweigh any negatives. But, sadly, not every reaction is immediate — many take their time to filter down and become apparent.


However, we still demand answers and solutions to all our problems NOW — and to hell with the consequences.

Most people will regard the economic growth of our fair city of Whanganui as nothing but positive.

Our much-touted and highly-advertised cheap property prices leading to "out of town" investment which leads to demand that creates increased home valuations.

The profits and the dollar signs are blinding. What's not to love? The slow trickle down effect on our community, that's what.

Let's take a look at the much-publicised recent investment into Castlecliff.

Oceanside property at rock bottom prices in a suburb that has long held the reputation of traditionally housing the people from a much lower than average socio-economic bracket.

Many will think that forcing such "riff-raff" to abandon their tenancies due to new buyer renovations that lead to huge rental increases is just how things go.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, right? Wrong.


Demographically — check any credible source you like — Whanganui, per capita, has one of the lowest average household incomes in the country. Which is precisely why our property prices were/are so low — duh, fancy that!

So, if in your bid to ensure gentrification of what some may view as a seaside slum, and to make a tidy profit, you think you'll drive former "unfavourable" residents out of town, think again.

They can barely make ends meet here — why in the hell would they move to an even less affordable location?

So, let the negative reactions commence.

The evicted will struggle to find alternative accommodation within their means, forcing them to live in substandard and/or overcrowded housing, their cars or, worse yet, on the streets.

Begging will become even more prolific.

Our retail businesses then run the risk of having their customers feeling harassed and intimidated by those camping outside the shops asking for "help".

Armed robberies will be on the rise, along with other crimes like shoplifting and car break-ins. The added financial pressure and frustration will result in the rise of domestic violence. Any of this sounding familiar?

The reaction to these actions means more taxpayer money spent on police resources, prosecutions, prison costs, social agencies and already stretched charities — not to mention the increased expenditure on medical and mental health.

The human cost is a very real one.

This negative chain reaction is an almost never-ending one that the majority of us seldom give a second thought.

Any financial benefit for the city, made from that perceived initial positive action, has all but been swallowed up by the cost of its consequences.

The irony is when those loudly advocating the positives of investment are suddenly outraged and indignant at the negatives now occurring, like they've been wronged. You reap what you sow.

Don't get me wrong — it's absolutely okay, even admirable, to desire change, betterment and growth but we will all benefit from taking the time to lessen the impact of the unintended fallout by putting strategies in place to minimise potential damage to the wider community.

Reactions speak louder than words —