Tauranga gripped by housing crisis

New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell believes Tauranga is at the mercy of a housing crisis.

Clayton has taken a swipe at Simon Bridges, saying the Tauranga MP has been silent on the issue for too long and needs to take immediate action to remedy “this out of control situation”.

“We have entered ‘crisis stage’ for many families in our city. The New Zealand First office is being inundated with upset, desperate and vulnerable families trying to find homes,” he says.

“It’s just not good enough.”

Clayton says he’s aware of some families in need of housing being told by Work and Income NZ staff to find accommodation at caravan parks, while others were warned they might have to sleep in their vehicles.

He believes that because the Government built short term emergency accommodation to house displaced families following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, it should at least be prepared to do the same elsewhere or “come up with another viable solution”.

“It’s their policies of wholesale immigration, foreign ownership and the sale of state houses that have caused Tauranga people to be left searching for somewhere to live.

“We know the cause and the effect of the problem but this government doesn’t have the guts to implement the solution. We don’t want what’s happening in Auckland to happen to us,” says Clayton.

New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell. Photo: File.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says there’s no question whatsoever that housing for all income brackets is a top tier issue in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty region.

But he refutes Clayton’s claims he is staying silent on the issue, saying both he and Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller are incredibly motivated to solve the issue.

“The number one thing we’ve got to do, and are doing, is attack the supply issue and by that I mean build more houses.

“We’ve got so many programmes and initiatives aimed at addressing this issue from every angle and I’m confident we’re going to get on top of this.”

Some examples he points out include the Tauranga Housing Accord, the sell-off of the city’s state houses, the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, as well as partnerships between local community housing trusts and the Government to build new housing around the city.

Simon also disputes claims that some families have been told by WINZ staff to find accommodation at caravan parks or sleep in their cars

“Every time I have looked into these claims, there’s been more to it than meets the eye. The cases that I’ve worked on, we have seen those families get into housing in Tauranga,” he explains.

“I’m confident that WINZ has a range of grants and support that, together with Housing NZ, will help most people in need. But as the elected MP for Tauranga, if there are cases in my electorate that show otherwise I need to know about them.”

Simon says the Auckland crisis was “without a doubt” having an effect on Tauranga at the moment.

While for the most part, it’s been incredibly positive as it’s brought in people with new skills and added a new dynamic flavour to the city.

“But it has added to Tauranga’s housing issues and that’s part of why I’m so motivated to get on top of this,” says Simon.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges. Photo: File.

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Posted on 30-04-2016 19:14 | By groutby

....sadly if you think the Rena event was in fact a "disaster"...I think you just may have been living in a cardboard box for waaaay too long..........look, it is a significant cock up on behalf of the ship itself, and as long as we allow ’mistakes" to be made and indeed "normalised" and accepted, then this will continue to happen.........in regard to the housing situation, there is no ’silver bullet" remedy, supply and demand is the concern, and without doubt LOCAL government has a major part to play here, perhaps with Minister Bridges "loosening up the red tape"..perhaps a lot.

@ Kenworthlogger

Posted on 28-04-2016 23:46 | By Crash test dummies

No mate, not the case, the cause is money in from overseas buying property in Auckland, they then come down here and buy out everything. So it is a simple case of supply and demand, nothing to do with Interest rates. The issue is "Supply" not enough sections available so the price rockets, simple as that. Get the council out of the picture and life will be a lot better.


Posted on 23-04-2016 12:19 | By Kenworthlogger

There are literally thousands of offshore oil drilling rigs around the world. They are safer than getting into your car and driving with Kiwis which you happily do everyday without even thinking about it... Use some common sense man!!

Kenworthlogger, I agree

Posted on 21-04-2016 14:14 | By Anbob

everybody buying up because there is little in the way of safe investments these days, and the population increase encouraged by central government without the infrastructure being available. But locally, TCC are not contributing to resolving the issue. I read somewhere that the council consent processes took up to 10 years before a subdivision is rezoned and any building can start! I would just like to see young couples have the opportunities we had to have their own home and bring up kids in a good home environment. People need hope and obtainable goals. Maybe govt can limit the number of rentals anyone can own.


Posted on 20-04-2016 21:59 | By Kenworthlogger

Supply and demand it is. You are right on the money. I read in the Sydney morning herald a few days ago that rents have been dropped up to $100 a week in Sydney so if you are a renter the news is indeed good although if you own property in the long run you will always do well. Remember a few years ago a company called Grasshopper developments had a massive sub division for sale called The Lakes? Could not sell the sections because the interest rates were expensive at the time which made property purchases expensive weather a first home buyer or investor. Now interest rates are record low everybody wants to buy property.. There is your culprit.

Bridges ya mug

Posted on 20-04-2016 14:38 | By Tgaboy

Why would anyone believe what you have to say when you advocate oil drilling off shore as safe and managable, when you own constituency experienced the effects of the Rena disaster. Key’s main puppet dripping in slick.

Cheaper housing a must

Posted on 20-04-2016 14:14 | By Anbob

Auckland infill is removing green space within the city (golf courses, council owned reserves etc). Tauranga is not Auckland, Sydney, or Eurpoe. Living like they do in Europe does not appeal to me, but it might appeal to others as you said. My advocacy is for more space for people to live healthily and in their own home (or at least renting at an affordable rent). I believe the high land prices are because of restricted release of land by Council, as previously stated. Supply and demand, more choice, the cheaper a home is. I would also like to see the public decide whether they want to live in infill housing, terraces or

Housing in Sydney

Posted on 19-04-2016 21:49 | By marshamaxw

.I think there are more priorities then parents preference like the environment. In europe people have longer experience,living and dying in high rise housing.Yes, you are on the money if you are saying cultural change is hard. Ironically the people who can afford to buy the section son greenfield development are not couples with kids because the section be 500k upward,they are going to be dinkies.The way that developer design suburbs, putting as many house son the land,creates an social oppressive environment with social isolation and .Not willing to comment here on a separate article. We may differ about the order of precedence as my argument is for the inner city first. One alternative to problems could be fixed by designing high-density housing on a small centre, like an English village using terraced housing around a civic square, the land around would be commons for landscape features and community garden(


Posted on 19-04-2016 11:44 | By Kenworthlogger

Clearly you have not been to Australia lately. In Sydney towards the city there is an oversuppy of housing and rents are actually dropping!


Posted on 19-04-2016 11:31 | By Anbob

I note you commented on the

Stop urban sprawl and the focus of development geared for the automobile

Posted on 19-04-2016 08:25 | By marshamaxw

I would not like to see more boomburbs development,as you see in California’s Costa Mesa or Chula Vista.Children don’t differentiate whether the space to play is private or public.There are problems associated with developing undeveloped land including opportunity loss.We should be grateful we don’t lack of land like Auckland but that is not a reason to do more single density development which is oriented towards private car use and the associated environmental costs.Councils are going need to find new revenue and they are going to find it by use of space upward.High rise space is the way of the future such as the Hancock Building in Michagan which has 25,000 people living or working in it.Tauranga is a horrid place because of poor connectivity and because of it’s boring suburban character, in addition to it’s urban sprawl and empty faceless centre.

Jaffa ,I agree

Posted on 13-04-2016 14:12 | By Anbob

TCC is the problem.The Auckland land crisis I understand but Tga hasn

State housing

Posted on 10-04-2016 17:59 | By Kenworthlogger

One only has to look at all the state housing and see that each one has a sky dish on it to see why the tenant cant "afford" anything. Got to have your priorities right!!

state housing

Posted on 10-04-2016 12:05 | By phoenix

perhaps if tenants stopped using P in them and making the houses uninhabitable.costing tens of thousands of dollars to de-comtaninate them,there would be dozens more available,for the really needy families.

We are talking emergency housing here

Posted on 09-04-2016 14:38 | By astex

During WW2 in England, emergency housing was supplied by the use of "prefabs". These were houses that could be quickly built and used where needed. Whole streets were created this way in just a few weeks. Surely in this modern age the government could acquire some land and supply say 50 modern "prefabs" to supply the needy with a roof over their heads until something better is available.


Posted on 09-04-2016 12:21 | By Colleen Spiro

So the Govt adds to the Housing problem, they partially created by allowing foreigners to Buy land willy nilly, then they put up 1200 State Houses up for Sale here

Housing crisis

Posted on 08-04-2016 21:48 | By Theodorus

This is just another of the National Government policy to make the wealthy richer and stripping the rest of the population bare and letting them go to hell.God help us.

More land

Posted on 08-04-2016 20:57 | By Vman

As with anything its supply vs demand. When it costs $300k for a square just large enough to hold a $180k house the maths certainly says more available land will decrease land prices as people actually have options. What land is available (ie the lakes) gets all bought up by building firms and sold of as spec housing.

A few simple rules to solve it.

Posted on 08-04-2016 14:44 | By morepork

1. ALL involved politicians and Civil servants are required to let people camp on their lawns and use their spare rooms for FREE... get a real feel for being homeless. 2. No property can be sold to anyone not a Kiwi citizen, and any Kiwi found working for foreign interests gets permanently deported to the country they were abetting. 3. Young people trying to get a home will be financed into one with a homeowner loan (like a student grant) at no interest, for 10 years. If they keep a clean record some or all of this loan becomes a grant. If they sell the property they must repay it in full. How will we finance it? Easy... we won’t have the referenda on Flag, Republic, and amalgamation with Oz which are likely for the future; there’s 100 million for a start...

It's not that simple

Posted on 08-04-2016 13:30 | By BullShtAlert

Clayton is a businessman and having owned bars should know that the government can’t solve every problem. This idea that Nanny State will provide for people from cradle to grave is what has got NZ into trouble in the first place. A nation of self-entitled no responsibility whiners hooked on benefits. Politicians just seek to make cheap points to make out to the public that they’re doing something and to justify their large salaries, expense claims and airpoints.

Housing Bubble

Posted on 08-04-2016 12:40 | By Conzar

The real reason housing is an issue is when the NZ government started allowing foreign inverters (non residents) to buy up houses AND land. Its this foreign investment that continuously pumps up house prices making houses unaffordable for most kiwis. On top of all that, the NZ government gave up building homes for its citizens. A true tragedy as we all know the government built homes were far superior to the 20 years of leaky homes that came afterwords. Leaky homes are another MAJOR housing problem both for the occupants health (mostly renters), and of course for the home owner (value). Back to the bubble, if foreign investment stops, the bubble will crash.

Sorry Simon

Posted on 08-04-2016 12:39 | By lpm67

Sorry Simon but your wrong,I have personally experienced this for a family member, & despite my husband and I both working we came close to being homeless with our daughter and ended up in a relatives garage for a few weeks while trying to resolve and we had excellent references. I have also experienced this professionally while working for a local charity...families signing up everywhere trying to find accommodation they could afford and ending up taking accommodation they couldn’t afford to be in for long just to have a roof over their heads for their children. I now worry about what my daughter will find as she’s started to look for accommodation. As for the camps, they are over crowded and really run down or full to capacity and I would not recommend the one in TP at all...disgusting! We are looking at putting temp building but council issuesaprob

So then Clayton...

Posted on 08-04-2016 12:39 | By groutby

As a list MP now, please briefly describe the situation of people included in your "crisis"..and details of funding to achieve your goal please. I’m not holding my breath for an answer, but if you do, it may well help turn a list MP into a real one at election time!

It aint'

Posted on 08-04-2016 12:17 | By Merlin

It ain’t that, Simple Simon the need is now not down the track when their are more houses.Their is more to be done than opening projects and issuing press releases.Less big words and a now solution is required.

Blockage in system?

Posted on 08-04-2016 12:03 | By Crash test dummies

The real issue is he torture handed out by the TCC officials, they are basically "in the way" delay, drag feet, make meaningless excuses, anything to delay a consent being issued, then profess to be busy. Meanwhile the entire building, subdivision process slows down and demand increases, the price sky rocket. It is almost like developer heaven, prices of sections are at least 4x that of 10 years ago, there is no shortage of land, but there is a shortage of sections.

Another blind comment

Posted on 08-04-2016 11:33 | By Towball

Just a classic example of how far behind the play Simon is WINZ is now Department of Social Development has been since before the current crisis you are trying to play down. You maybe actively involved but you are a Bill Board on a SUBDIVISION . Cannot build 60k plus houses a year to meet the settlement of MIRGRANTS and until you can this is only going to fester. SOMEWHERE TO START YOUR BRIDGE SIMON.

Ho Hum

Posted on 08-04-2016 11:28 | By penguin

The usual Bridges rhetoric lacking in tangible substance. He loves using emotive words like incredible, wonderful, exciting, dynamic, so motivated etc. He only deludes himself.

Get your head out of the sand

Posted on 08-04-2016 11:22 | By firemansam01

Simon Bridge needs to get his head out of the sand to say he disputes that winz don’t say to look at caravan parks etc I have had first hand experience of this actually been the truth.

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