Locals, including Reynold Macpherson (foreground), view more details about Kāinga Ora’s housing developments in Pukehangi at a community drop-in session at Aorangi School. Photo / Andrew Warner
Pukehangi residents expecting 60 more Kāinga Ora houses in their neighbourhood by the end of next year have had the chance to view detailed plans.
Most of those spoken to by the Rotorua Daily Post thought the houses looked good and they were pleased Rotorua was getting quality new social homes, although one resident said she was “horrified” she didn’t know anything about it and had safety concerns.
Kāinga Ora held the community-drop-in session between 2.30pm and 5.30pm at Aorangi School for residents to read more details about the social housing developments on Quartz Ave (formerly Collie Dr) where 42 new homes were being built, Roger St (eight new homes) and Gem St (10 new homes).
Quartz Ave and Roger St homes would be ready from the middle of this year while Gem St’s development should be completed by the end of next year. Gem St and Roger St homes would be two-storey.
Kāinga Ora staff had glossy posters displayed on tables around the school hall with information about each development and details about how Kāinga Ora picked its tenants.
A Quartz Ave resident, who spoke on the condition she was not named, said she only had two concerns — dust created from the building work and the amount of traffic that would be in the area once all the houses were finished.
“I think it is brilliant. We are desperate for housing.”
She said it was good the Government was putting so much money into Rotorua because there were too many people in emergency housing or living in cars.
She said she lived under a bridge in Wellington for three weeks about 15 years ago and knew there was hardship out there.
Her situation came about because of a change of circumstances between finishing her course and getting a job, but she came through it.
“A lot of our families have nothing to fall back on and they have littlies. Everything is going up in price, food, petrol. The more we can get into safe housing the better.”
Another Pukehangi resident, who also did not want to be identified, believed it was good news for the local school to have more children in the area.
“It helps keep the school roll up.”
He said on the surface, the plans looked nice.
“How it is all going to pan out, we will just have to see.”
Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers chairman Reynold Macpherson said ratepayers were most concerned about how the new tenants would fit into the neighbourhood.
He said he spoke to Kāinga Ora’s staff at the drop-in session about their careful approach to selecting tenants and was impressed.
“They are doing that with a great deal of care … They have used that approach with Ranolf and Malfroy (another Kāinga Ora housing development) and they will do it here too.”
He said there were other ratepayers who were happy for people to find quality long-term homes for their families.
“The long-term impact on children will be magnificent.”
Macpherson said trust and support for what Kāinga Ora was doing was growing.
However, one woman, who lived on Gem St, said she was not happy and wouldn’t have bought her home in the area had she known.
She said she lived alone and her biggest concern was safety.
“I was absolutely horrified. I didn’t even know about Quartz Ave and I live only five minutes walk away.”
She said even if the tenants were good, it would make her feel cramped.
“There will be more people on the buses, more people on the walkway to school and in the alleyway.”
A Pukehangi resident told the Rotorua Daily Post before the drop-in session she was disappointed with the timing of the event, between 2.30pm and 5.30pm, saying it was no good for residents like herself who worked.
“Don’t they want people to go?”
Kāinga Ora Bay of Plenty regional director Darren Toy said in response it chose the time slot to allow people time to call in before end-of-day school pick-up, as well as allowing others to pop in after work.
“However, if these timings need to be adjusted to better suit more people, we’re very happy to do that in future. If people aren’t able to make it along to our current drop-ins and do want to find out more or share their views, then please do get in touch with us.”
A community drop-in session is being held tomorrow from 2.30pm to 5.30pm relating to Malfroy Rd and Ranolf St at the site.
More details about high-density apartments, which are part of stage two of that development, will be revealed at the session.