Kāpiti Crs Back Family Eviction In Secret Meeting — Ghost of Dickens Returns

Ngahina St, central Paraparaumu

Kāpiti Independent says hard-hearted KCDC councillors have refused to help a large Maori family with a special-needs child who are facing eviction from a council-owned house in central Paraparaumu.

In a move straight out of a Dicken’s novel, KIN says, the councillors instead want money from a sale of the house sale to reduce the debts they and their predecessors have run up.

And  our local Government correspondent Jeremy Smith says attempts, led by Mayor K Gurunathan, to delay the eviction of the family with four

Jeremy Smith

children seem to have failed.

Attempt to delay eviction failed

Former Mayor Iride McCloy hears about Council’s direction on housing policy for the homeless

Proposal to delay eviction

 

Last Thursday’s order paper for KCDC councillors contained a proposal to delay the eviction from council property in 4B Ngahina Street until the family found somewhere else to go.

But in an unexpected move the proposal received no discussion and was moved into the public excluded section.

(Note: The KCDC dispute this and say: 

The paper was not moved to public excluded. It was withdrawn from the meeting agenda prior to the meeting commencing on the morning of Thursday 14 February).

KCDC — home of Dicken’s Gradgrind?

KIN understands the move to a closed meeting came earlier in the morning when Mayor Gurunathan found he could not muster enough support for a delay.  The mayor had tried to obtain a property for the family.

Earlier, the family had been given 93 days to get out, with a deadline of March 15.

The Ngahina street property is one of 13 houses the KCDC is selling.

The proposal before councillors was either to delay the handover of the property for up to six months or when the tenant had relocated.  

KCDC Staff as hard-line as councillors

Council staff reported that having the property vacant would make it easier to prepare for sale.  Having the family still on the property while it was being painted and refurbished might be too intrusive for the family, they said.

Catholic plea to Council

St Vincent de Paul spokesperson Edward Dickson had asked councillors for the delay because of the tough rental market for low-income people:
”We have to look to our council to show leadership, he said.

Paul Hughes from the Kapiti Coast community housing taskforce spoke of a complete lack of engagement from the council under the Kāpiti long-term plan.


Note:  Mr Thomas Gradgrind is the notorious school board Superintendent in Dickens’s novel Hard Times who is dedicated to the pursuit of profitable enterprise. His name is now used generically to refer to someone who is hard and only concerned with cold facts and numbers.

When I was pushing to increase accommodation for elderly in our community and build an Abbeyfield home in Kapiti, I met total resistance from council bureaucrats. Councillors in Kapiti have sat on their hands -being dictated to by some self serving staff.

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