Ōpōtiki welcomes government housing announcement
Ōpōtiki’s Mayor Lyn Riesterer, welcomed today’s announcement from the government about significant investment in housing in an effort to start a long-term resolution of the nation’s housing crisis.
“Just last week, I was speaking pretty candidly about Ōpōtiki’s own housing crisis – we are well above the national stats in all the worst ways and the lack of affordable and healthy housing is impacting lives and wellbeing in our community.
“And we have been working to take on this challenge for a long time. For Ōpōtiki Council, that means we have long been focussed on a few key solutions that are within our control - an easy-to-navigate regulatory environment, a District Plan that looks to encourage housing development through zoning, and careful infrastructure planning for growth coming online through many central-government funded projects such as the harbour development. We also have a role making sure that key agencies are working together and aligned to solve this complex issue,” Mayor Riesterer said.
In that vital role of bringing together the many and various agencies to bring their respective powers to bear on the housing situation in Ōpōtiki, the Mayor was heartened to hear that Kāinga Ora are committed to 20-30 additional houses within the next 18 months on top of the upgrade of existing Kāinga Ora housing stock. This housing is an immediate priority as it is on existing, serviced land and will provide affordable housing very quickly.
“We are poised, ready and waiting to make the most of today’s announcement. We have the land, we have the services, we have a clear need and we have a council that is ready to work with housing providers in the district.
“In particular, we have a great opportunity in Hukutaia, for a greenspace development of significant size. We are actually consulting on extending reticulation to Hukutaia in the LTP [Long Term Plan] that is out for consultation shortly so we expect this is the next priority to fill our housing need.
“Hukutaia prepares us better for the coming challenges of climate change as it is well out of the range of sea level rise and floods. It will also assist with water quality (taking many existing houses off septic tank systems), have positive iwi outcomes for the use of that land and the social and affordable housing benefits can be baked into the development as well.
“The Ōpōtiki Harbour and burgeoning aquaculture industry is transforming our district and we are determined not to let a lack of housing be the anchor holding back the social change this will bring,” Mayor Riesterer said.