Stories of people facing uncertainties about accommodation are becoming worryingly more frequent in these pages.

The latest is the story of Melissa Walsh needing to move out of the property she and her six children have rented for 10 years and now fretting about where they are going to end up.

They have until January 31 to fight in a squeezed market for somewhere new to live because the owner of her Whanganui East home wants to renovate the property.

Fair enough too.


With property prices and rental income booming in the city, who wouldn't want to make hay while the sun shines?

The property owner is well within their rights despite Melissa being a good tenant.

That's the problem.

No one has done anything wrong yet we have a situation where a family face a stressful Christmas and paying more rent at best and sleeping in a car at worst.

The latter is unlikely to happen yet but it is a warning of what will ultimately happen if Whanganui doesn't recognise this as a symptom and start confronting an obvious problem.

We can celebrate an upswing in the district's economy with its increase in jobs, in population and house prices.

Many, if not most, will reap the benefits of more money, people and activity flooding into the city.

But the assertion that everyone is better off with Whanganui's rapid turnaround is clearly not true, at least in the short term.


The flipside to fast growth is the growing pains which manifests as housing costs and population rising faster than wages and the creation of jobs and housing.

There's always people cast aside to make way.

There's a lot for Whanganui to be excited about and no one wants to the district to return to the economic doldrums of previous decades.

But the effort needs to be put into managing the fallout from that as much as celebrating what a success it is for some.