Build for renters, not home owners: John Glover
Voters in the Arrowtown-Kawarau Ward have until Friday, May 5 to have their say on which of two candidates will fill a vacant seat on the Queenstown Lakes District Council. Here's an opinion piece from candidate John Glover, in response to a visit this week from Housing Minister Megan Woods.
I agree with the Housing Minister who says we need to build our way out of this crisis. But I disagree that we need to focus on building homes for home ownership.
Our need is not for homes for people to own. We are building these at a huge rate.
Our need is for homes for rent. For those who may only be here for a matter of months or for those for whom home ownership is beyond their reach or for whom it is just not relevant for their circumstances.
And we need to move away from relying on the whims of holiday home owners who just want to fill their unwanted months in often old and sub-standard properties with those for whom there is no other choice.
We cannot afford to focus on temporary solutions that act to retain the status quo, pre-covid, churn and burn short term staffing model.
We have a housing crisis, and in a crisis we need to take bold steps. And as we learnt with Covid, we have to be able to pivot and change tack.
Council should re-imagine the Lakeview site - explore a future where it retains the land, maintains the asset value on its books, receives a passive ground rent income and in doing so removes the roadblocks preventing public/private partnerships from delivering first world homes for rent that meet the needs of our local population regardless of their occupation.
If we really believe we have our community's back, then we will be bold, walk away from the current plan and work to deliver better outcomes.
If we want to be able to look into peoples' eyes, we will act.
A council that just wants to build tower blocks for tourists at Lakeview has simply drunk so much kool-aid that they are simply no longer serving the people that are expecting them to act in their best interests.
Time to think about our legacy. Time to change.
Note: Crux has offered space to both John Glover and Melissa White, the two candidates standing in the by-election, which people living in Arrowtown, Arthurs Point, Crown Terrace, Dalefield, Gibbston, Lake Hayes and Shotover Country may be eligible to vote in.