Northlanders left displaced with influx of Aucklanders - Whangarei Mayor

Long Lunch 13/06/2018
Whangarei Harbour. Photo: File.

More Aucklanders moving to Whangarei are forcing locals on the streets, says Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai.

Ms Mai told RadioLIVE that investors see home prices that allow them to get a return on their investment, particularly if they raise the rent.

We definitely need to be building more homes.

She explained that increase rent in the region has “the perverse outcome of making [houses] unaffordable for families” who have lived in the home for a while.

The Whangarei Mayor told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen that the high demand for builders makes it time-consuming to get more houses built.

“While homes are being built, they’re not quick enough to take up the slack of people who find themselves homeless.

Whangarei town centre.

“We definitely need to be building more homes.”

Ms Mai is now calling for a solution for those who need somewhere to go during the day, perhaps to take a shower or even sit on a couch.

“We know that people are staying in garages, in their cars, or in tents, or couch surfing.

“It just broke my heart knowing that there are people in the community and they’ve got nowhere to call home.”

Meanwhile, Housing NZ is going forward with plans to convert part of a Whangarei park into state housing.

But Ms Mai called the move “controversial” because residents nearby want to keep Puriri Park as is. Some locals argue that green spaces, like parks, should not be converted to affordable housing.  

According to the NZ Herald, HNZ said it will only consult with the residents once "contracts" have been signed. 

Listen to the full interview with Sheryl Mai above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.