15 September 2022
Topic: Emergency housing
I am wondering if Mayor Steve Chadwick would be available to speak to Kerre Woodham this morning re: the progress being made around Rotorua's Emergency housing, following on from her statement .
Mayor Chadwick participated in this live interview.
You can listen to it HERE.
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Crime in CBD/Fenton St
I have a copy of a Rotorua police spatial mapping report of crime in Rotorua's CBD and Fenton St which shows a comparison of the demand for service from Rotorua police from 2018 to 2021.
The spatial mapping shows clearly police NIA offences and incidents in Rotorua's CBD and Fenton St has risen dramatically in those three years since the increase of emergency housing clients in Rotorua motels.
In the past police have said the feeling of not feeling safe was a perception, not a reality as crime overall had decreased.
I have spoken to Glenholme residents who have said this report is vindication of how they have been feeling - that this problem is a reality and more action is needed.
The report said the following:
"Overall the number of offences has increased from 2018 and 2021. In 2018 a majority of the offences were around the CBD but in 2021 it had spread with the whole of Fenton St and the CBD seeing a significant number of offences.
The number of assaults and drug-related offending in the southern half of Fenton St had also increased significantly compared with 2018."
Can you, as mayor, please answer the following questions?
- Do you accept crime rates and perceptions of safety have been significantly impacted as a result of emergency housing increases in Rotorua?
- Has this been fair on Rotorua residents and do you think the Government has let Rotorua down?
What are you doing urgently to change this? (I have your statement published today for another story about your meeting with the ministers which I can refer to if you wish).
Response from Mayor Chadwick:
The facts are no surprise to me as Mayor. I am very aware of the impact that unmanaged, mixed-use motels are having on the community.
This was part of my discussion with Ministers on Tuesday and they are also well aware of the impact that the intensification of emergency housing in our inner city is having.
These types of issues have created anxiety and mistrust within our community and I have reinforced this with Ministers. We have agreed on a way forward and I expect to see progress being made on ending the mixed use of motels for emergency accommodation, and that the referral system is changed to ensure people are only going to places that are safe and appropriately located.
That residents and visitors feel safe in our district is of the upmost importance to me and I will continue to use every opportunity to reinforce the need to end the intensification of emergency accommodation on Fenton Street and that public safety must be a priority.
Topic: Mayor's statement on emergency housing
I'm getting in touch as I wanted to put some questions to Mayor Steve in the wake of yesterday's statement re emergency housing.
I wanted to ask:
Steve said "the community can be confident that we are working together to see an end to the current emergency housing in Rotorua." - can I ask for some specifics on this?
Is there a timeline by which Steve believes Rotorua's motels won't be being used for emergency accommodation?
What specifically will change to mean an end to the current situation, and when?
The end of the 'mixed model' was promised by Minister Woods in May 2021 - was Steve given any indication of when this model will be axed, and is she confident it will actually happen?
Response from Mayor Chadwick:
We’ve agreed to focus on ending the mixed use of motels, ending the intensification of emergency housing on Fenton Street/the inner city, better management of MSD clients in motels, and changing the referral system to ensure people are only going to places that are safe and appropriately located. We can also expect the government to set some clear targets in these areas to ensure progress is being made.
This won’t happen overnight and managing our way out of using motels for emergency housing is expected to take between three to five years. However, it is my expectation that we begin to see a better managed system soon and this will be hugely beneficial for the community.
Additionally, these are short term actions and we also need to ensure more homes are built in both social and market housing.