Monday, July 23, 2012

Six month delay a victory in the battle for Glen Innes- Minto

socialist aotearoa activists supporting tenants in GI

 "A six-month delay in the first stage of the Glen Innes redevelopment is a victory for the gutsy tenants of this war-torn suburb who have resisted the social-cleansing of their community every step of the way" says MANA Vice President John Minto.

  Earlier this year the first group of "affected" Housing New Zealand tenants were told they could expect final eviction notices in May 2012. However in an email from Housing New Zealand to MANA Vice-President John Minto this has now been put back to "... late-2012 or even early-2013 depending on how the project progresses "It's clear to us the government doesn't want scenes of Maori and Pacifika families dragged from the homes they have lived in for decades and for which they have paid the equivalent of a mortgage several times over".

 Meanwhile the developers are worried they face another Bastion Point. "This is the last piece of waterfront real estate anywhere on the Waitemata Harbour where low-income families can enjoy a great family neighbourhood by the sea. Like most low-income communities the people of Glen Innes need jobs but the government's first priority is to boot them from their homes in the National-held Tamaki electorate".

MANA is continuing to call for a moratorium on state house removals from Glen Innes so the community can be re-engaged and the numerous promises (outlined below) can be addressed. "We are pleased Labour Party and the Greens also support a moratorium".
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Background: In 2008 the government announced plans to redevelop Glen Innes in what was called the Tamaki Transformation Project. Repeated promises were made to the community about the redevelopment such as from the former Chair of the Tamaki Establishment Board telling the Glen Innes community on 24 July 2008 (HNZ Minutes)

 "There will be no requirement at all for any existing tenant in any state house to move out of the area as a result of anything that occurs here. There will be no reduction in state houses as a result of anything that occurs here" Then again in September 2008 the Tamaki Transformation Project newsletter said one of the objectives of the redevelopment was: "Maintaining the number of state houses in the area but undertaking a major refurbishment and rebuilding plan for them" And again in a newsletter to the community in October 2008 Pat Snedden again reassured the people of Glen Innes - "The plan will be for...security of existing state housing tenancy for residents in the area".

The Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples gave similar reassurances last year at a public meeting in Glen Innes. "Based on these assurances, the community backed the thrust of the redevelopment only to now find they have been betrayed" says Minto. The first stage of the redevelopment will see state house numbers reduced from 156 to 78 and the National/Act/Maori Party government has said it intends to significantly reduce overall state house numbers in Glen Innes as part of this redevelopment project.

 "This is social cleansing on a grand scale. Is it any wonder community members are angry and determined to fight back?"

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