OPINION: I have been to Southland. One thing that stood out - the incredible number of rotting hovels in the area.
Southland small towns, Invercargill itself - even the ''posh'' areas.
Many were locally owned, many were lived in. Some were rentals.
I have never seen it anywhere - except the student rental zone in Dunedin.
You see reports of, say, the poor zones in Auckland and shabby houses. Car wrecks on lawns, rubbish around . . . but not falling down, rotted-out ruins. There have been one or two, but it is rare to see. In Southland it is common as dirt.
I have a theory, and saw this first-hand while there.
A house is advertised, in need of work, and an out-of-town person buys it sight unseen as in one case.
They think of ''needs work'' as in shabby - not completely falling apart to the extent even the demolition guys down South aren't interested.
Why are they like that in the first place? Beats me. Seems a lot of Southland home owners don't believe in upkeep.
- The Southland Times