Families to fight big move

LAUREN PRIESTLEY
Last updated 07:16 20/03/2013

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Families in Apirana Ave, Castledine Cres and Eastview Rd got a knock on the door last week with the news that they will soon have to move to make way for housing redevelopments.

These streets are affected by the first stage of the Northern Glen Innes Redevelopment Project which will replace 18 state houses with 49 new homes.

State housing tenants will occupy 24 of the new homes and the rest will be privately owned.

Nine families have been told they have to be out by July. The other nine properties are vacant.

Betty Kanuta lives in a state house one street behind the three roads affected. Her sister lives on Eastview Rd.

"I'm hurting for my sister but I know she's strong. We're going to fight this so the nine families get to stay."

Ms Kanuta has lived in Glen Innes for more than 50 years.

She says there has been a change of feeling in the community since the redevelopment was announced in September 2011.

"They're already breaking up this area by what they're doing. We've ended up fighting against other members in our own community. It's depressing."

Housing New Zealand spokeswoman Marie Winfield says communication is key.

"Obviously for families finding out and moving, it is a stressful time so of course we talk to them about it. We talk with families about anything that has a significant impact on them."

The planned homes will be a combination of single level and two-storey terraced style houses.

Ms Winfield says it will be the same throughout the entire Northern Glen Innes Redevelopment.

"There will be nothing across the entire redevelopment that's more than three levels. It's not about building high rise apartments."

Glen Innes Primary principal Jonathan Hendricks says ultimately the redevelopment will be good for Glen Innes.

"It's going to have a positive impact on the community in the long-term. It's about looking at the bigger picture."

He says he is concerned for his students if their families choose to move away from Glen Innes.

"That's the main reason why the school has been talking so loudly. It's about ensuring the children don't regress academically from any of this."

But Tamaki Housing Group member Sue Henry says that is exactly what will happen.

She says the redevelopment is an "experiment" and state housing families have had enough.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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