13 June 2022
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Petition against emergency housing situation
I've got press release from a mayoral candidate Fletcher Tabuteau who is launching a petition about the emergency housing situation in Rotorua.
Can I please get the council to respond to the following given his criticism?
- Has the council dropped the ball in this situation as he claims?
Please see below Tabuteau's statement if you wish to respond to anything else specifically.
Can you please get back to me before 1pm today? I realise it's tight timeframe but this needs to run in tomorrow's edition.
FLETCHER TABUTEAU: PETITION LAUNCHED TO FIX ROTORUA’S “FENTON STREET GHETTO”
“Today I am launching a petition that will be presented to parliament demanding action be taken by central government to fix Rotorua’s Fenton Street ghetto,” says Rotorua Mayoral candidate Fletcher Tabuteau.
“When we first went into lockdown some hard decisions had to be made and providing homeless people rooms in motels was one of them – and it was the right one to make. Not only was it compassionate but it meant people who would otherwise be highly probable vectors for covid were provided an environment that improved their safety and the safety of others.”
“Rotorua was proud of what it was able to do in response to our people's needs. So many organisations and individuals rallied together to support our people.”
“But the council very quickly dropped the ball and the government has been taking advantage of our city.”
“Both the people who are ‘living’ in these substandard conditions and the people surrounding them are suffering. The people of Rotorua see Fenton Street for what it is - harmful for all, and it needs to end.”
“With central government in denial and the problems Fenton Street brings I have created a petition for the people of Rotorua to sign. Our voice needs to be heard loudly and proudly.”
“Yes, Rotorua will look after its own. But we are not willing to accept the Fenton St ghetto as the solution,” says Mr Tabuteau.
“My petition is a critical step ensuring that the government listens to Rotorua and helps support good solutions for all - and does so quickly.”
Reporter subsequently sent the following link to the petition, seeking comment on its contents:
In particular these points....
- cease the use of motels as emergency housing for non-Rotorua residents.
- increase Police numbers and resource police and council to improve the safety of all Rotorua residents
- Invest in real alternatives to Fenton Street accommodation for emergency housing options.
- There must be action now for the people who live in these unacceptable conditions and the District of Rotorua.
If you agree and want to send a message to parliament, then please sign the petition below so Fletcher Tabuteau can present a strong and unified voice on behalf of Rotorua.
From Mayor Chadwick:
I understand the community’s frustration – we all agree the current situation is untenable and needs to end as quickly as possible and we’re all impatient to see that happen.
As a council we’re working work on multiple fronts to address Rotorua’s critical housing shortage, which includes a dire shortage of social housing. The Government is very aware of the challenges we face and the concerns of our community and there has been no let-up in Council’s efforts to get solutions in place as quickly as is possible.
Council’s demands for an all-of-government response to our housing situation have so far resulted in the establishment of the emergency housing taskforce and an emergency housing hub, commitment to increase social housing, significant government funding for critical infrastructure to support housing development and Rotorua’s inclusion in the national Medium Density Residential Housing Standards.
Housing and community safety are key priorities for Council and we’re continuing to work hard on these.
Media: Local Democracy Reporter
Topic: Reserves proposal
Re the attached council LGOIMA response [HERE] - I've sought some comments from the community on it and I invite the mayor and council organisation to comment in response if either desires to, including clarifying any incorrect statements by any of the commenters.
I have collated the data to that within the scope of the LGOIMA (for instance, some of the issues in the LGOIMA were not ones listed as issues on those reserves in the May 12 SPF agenda and some were outside of the time frame) and attached it for your reference (PDFHERE). I have also categorised some of the issues as the council did not consistently do so itself as requested, so please let me know if the council feels these are incorrectly categorised and provide me with the correct categorisation out of the original list (that is, based on the May 12 SPF agenda).
Also, for clarification - some issues were categorised as 'other' in the LGOIMA response - can you please let me know what these were specifically if they're relevant to the issues identified in the reserves that led to them being identified for the proposal?
Some of the RFSs in the LGOIMA response appear to be minutes apart - please let me know if there are any double-ups for the same single issue. Please let me know, too, if RFS defined as "trees" or "gardens" can be / have been categorised by the council as one of the issues with the reserves listed below.
I also have some questions for the council arising from the data provided in the LGOIMA response:
- What is the council's general view on what 'story' this data tells - is 40 instances (of issues within the scope of the LGOIMA) in six months indicative of these reserves being particularly problematic? Why / why not? - Please provide some contextualising comments on these reserves compared to others in the wider network.
- Is the council confident it has the data to back up what it has claimed about issues in the reserves? How / why?
- What evidence does the council have for alcohol use, drug use, rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour in the 10 reserves it has said they occur in (listed below, from the SPF agenda May 12) - are these anecdotal or data based? Where from? If anecdotal, has the council taken steps to measure the issue with data? How so? (If data-based can you please share that data with me)
- How has the council measured recreation/usage of the 10 reserves identified in the proposal?
- What steps, if any, were or could be taken to mitigate the issues listed with those reserves in the May 12 SPF agenda?
- The council said in the May 12 SPF agenda there were "frequent issues" with "illegal dumping, graffiti and vandalism" in Glenholme Reserve. The data shows in a six-month period there were three issues with equipment, and one "other". Similarly, see the below list for High St - in this period there was one RFS for graffiti. Turner Dr had no RFSs in a six-month period. Can the council please explain the difference between the issues it has cited (May 12 SPF list) and the (LGOIMA) data, including anything the data may be missing?
For the mayor:
Are you confident elected members have been provided with enough information and data about the reserves, their issues and their use to make an informed decision on the proposal? Why / why not?
For reference: Issues mentioned in SPF agenda May 12:
- Lee Rd - no issues cited
- Coulter Rd - "CPTED issues", reports of vandalism from the Kohanga Reo, "ongoing anti-social behaviour", aging playground
- High St - "significant CPTED issues", "frequent and on-going instances of anti-social behaviour including drug use, broken glass, illegal dumping and rough sleepers", aging playground
- Glenholme Reserve - "frequent issues with illegal dumping, graffiti and vandalism"
- Gallagher Rd Reserve - no issues cited
- Linton Park West - "CPTED issues", "frequent instances of illegal dumping, vandalism and anti-social behaviour"
- Wrigley Rd - housing would "improve safety"
- Turner Dr - "on-going and frequent vandalism to playground and redundant toilet block"
- Park Rd - "CPTED issues", "ongoing and frequent vandalism to playground"
- Steeles Ln - no issues cited
The following information and comment was provided:
From DCE District Development Jean-Paul Gaston:
Part of the purpose of seeking public feedback is to check our assessments with the community.
The assessments were not based solely on requests for service (RFSs) and not everything is recorded as an RFS. Issues may also be observed and/or resolved during routine checks, maintenance or planned works and/or may be brought to staff’s attention directly rather than being reported through the RFS system.
The assessments considered information from multiple sources going back several years, including:
- Assessment against the Open Space Level of Service Policy, which was a desktop exercise.
- Consideration of CPTED factors.
- Information available through RFS systems going back several years.
- Anecdotal information including staff knowledge and observations, and information staff have received during conversations, engagement, consultation and discussions with residents and with community groups with whom council has ongoing relationships and regular meetings.
- Anecdotal information from discussions with tenants on reserve sites about their observations.
Our staff have ongoing relationships with many community groups and work with these groups to try and mitigate issues where and when possible. An example is in Western Heights where SportBOP engagement with children indicated that due to ongoing vandalism and anti-social behaviour in local reserves they do not feel safe so do not use them. Council has worked with the community to revitalise some of these reserves by updating recreational assets, plantings and fencing but vandalism has unfortunately continued.
We encourage people to submit feedback on the proposal and the proposed sites to assist with decisions that are yet to be made, including whether or not to sell any of these sites.
NOTE TO REPORTER RE TITOKI PROPERTY:
You will recall details provided at 2 June O&M regarding this site: ie that Council agreed in 2019 to sell the site to Kāinga Ora, the agency is still undertaking due diligence but investigations to date show the site may never be feasible for housing for various reasons (site is flood prone, would be very low yield as only part of it could be built on, would require substantial earthworks to raise ground level, may pose risk for flooding elsewhere). For easy reference, you’ll find that part of the O&M meeting HERE in the recording of the June O&M meeting.
ADDITIONAL INFO PROVIDED:
We provided additional information with regards to jobs that were logged in the RFS system as ‘other’, ‘trees’ or ‘gardens’ (see HERE)
Media: NZME (Rotorua Daily Post and BOP Times)
Topic: Weather-related callouts
I just wanted to check-in to see if there has been any wind damage overnight you aware of? Were the council called to any weather-related events? If so, can you please share what this is about?
The reporter was provided with the following information:
Contractors have either responded, or are responding to, the following:
- Sun 12th 2:20pm – Whirinaki Valley Rd, Low overhanging tree. Crew attended and cut tree back clear of the road.
- Mon 13th 7:20am – Hatupatu Dr (Sulphur Pt end), Large tree down across the road blocking both lanes. The road has been closed and will remain closed until crews can safely clear the treefall (once wind has dropped).
- Mon 13th 7:50am – Wharepapa Rd, Tree down across the road. Crew on the way to site to investigate.