Ngongotahā residents have not given up their fight against proposals for a special housing area in their backyard.

It's been a year today since it was announced 31 Ngongotahā Rd had been earmarked as the site of a Special Housing Area (SHA).

Despite promises this would result in a fast-tracked building process and news this week it would need to be approved by the Government by September, a final application has not been made.

Neighbour Patricia Hosking opposed the development last year, attending community meetings on the issue and this week told the Rotorua Daily Post she still thought the plan was "madness".


"Our concern is still that it is madness to build on a flood plain and we're doing everything we can to prevent it happening.

"We are writing to the minister and keeping her [Associate Housing Minister Jenny Salesa] informed."

Donna Morgan, (left), and Patricia Hosking who don't want a new housing development in Ngongotahā, pictured when it was first announced. Photo / File
Donna Morgan, (left), and Patricia Hosking who don't want a new housing development in Ngongotahā, pictured when it was first announced. Photo / File

Hosking said the site had flooded in 2012 and was affected by the April floods last year.

"These houses are something which should have never been approved in the first place.

"To put houses there is putting people in the way of danger."

Hosking said other concerns were around the loss of Ngongotahā's village feel, pressure on the roads and the quality of houses and who would be buying them.

"We were told they were low-cost houses and we didn't want Ngongotahā to be flooded with low-cost housing."

She said if the SHA was approved the community would discuss its next actions.


"If something like this goes ahead ... the developer and engineers and planners will be held accountable if it floods."

Ngāti Ngararanui Hapu Trust trustee Guy Ngatai said the local hapū had not been consulted or communicated with.

Ngatai had also put his concerns in a letter to the Housing Minister.

"We have not been heard properly from a tangata whenua perspective. We hold statutory authority for that whole river and were never approached at any stage."

He said the hapū had concerns about the impact housing would have on the swamp area and the Waiteti stream.

"The development is going to seriously impact the environment and the cultural aspects.

"We're concerned about infrastructure. The stormwater and the systems can't cope."

But developer and property owner Martin Schilt said the 190 homes planned for the site would fill a gap in the Rotorua market.

"Rotorua needs 1000 or so entry-level houses. These will be houses under $500,000 so this is what people need.

"There are buses here, we have all the services. There's a lot going for Ngongotahā, a hell of a lot."

In relation to concerns raised after the severe flooding in April last year Schilt said he was required to do everything he could to make sure the area didn't flood and had commissioned reports detailing the minimum floor height.

"It's really well future-proofed."

Schilt said growth shouldn't be looked on negatively.

"There is a for and against but to me if no subdivisions had ever been allowed up here what would the school roll look like, what about all the clubs up here ... we need fresh young people coming in to keep the place going and to keep it vibrant.

"Some people don't like it and we have to respect their views but we can't stay stagnant. We need Rotorua to grow."

He believed the term "special housing area" could also draw negative connotations.

"I think people are afraid. They heard the term and thought it was going to be like a slum almost.

"If people can afford to buy the houses they will take care of them. It will be a nice area.

"It will be good for Rotorua because we are short of good entry-level houses ... Most people start off entry level."