Jo Mason’s Comment


Pensioner flats in Levin

Horowhenua Councillor replies to pensioner housing critics

By Alan Tristram

Horowhenua Councillor Jo Mason, chair of the Wellbeing Committee, has replied to criticism from a citizens’ group which has organised a petition opposing the transfer of  pensioner housing.

The Horowhenua United Group (HUG) — which includes Horowhenua District Ratepayers and Residents

Horowhenua Cr Jo Mason

Association, the MuaUpoko Co-operative Society, and Labour and NZ First representatives — says Cr Mason was the only councillor on a public-excluded council panel on pensioner housing. She was  invited to accept the petition too.

HUG says (see story May 30) that her only response was to text , ‘Got your message-will call when I am free,’ but she never did.

However Cr Mason has given KIN a full reply, which we are happy to print:

She says: ‘Horowhenua District Council selected and voted as a full council on a preferred stock transfer partner for its community housing pensioner housing portfolio.

‘This followed a lengthy process including a decision in December, 2015, to undertake a review of the housing portfolio with a view to a stock transfer.

New Mayor, Michael Freyen, wants to keep public housing
Horowhenua District Mayor, Michael Freyen

‘The current Mayor ( Mayor Michaeln Feyen) voted in favour of this decision in his position of district councillor in Dec, 2015,  along with the full council at the time.

‘The process of procurement and evaluation to find the best provider to deliver pensioner housing has been robust.

‘As a councillor I want to reassure residents and the wider community that the portfolio will be retained for pensioner housing delivery.

‘The wellbeing of tenants was and is a priority for councillors. The delivery of enhanced social wrap around services and pastoral care will be provided.

‘More details will be announced once commercial terms including due diligence works have concluded. We expect this to take another 7 weeks.’