How Are Elected Officials Informed?

OCHT Provided More Numbers! 🙂

This afternoon I got an email back from Bob Hardie, Senior Housing Advisor, Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust and then followed up with a quick phone call.

Stephen McPaike picked up that this list has units listed that were not in the spreadsheet that came from CCC last week (that was part of an information request by a candidate during the election process).

The question all this presents is, who actually knows how much social housing Christchurch has and how do elected members become informed?

Bob commented that they don’t report back to CCC, which is quite reasonable, and it occurred to me if OCHT are this willing to provide me with information then clearly they would do the same for CCC if they asked, it’s not like a count of housing is a secret!

I like Bob, he was easy to chat to and very informative.

I also asked about closed units and how long they stay closed. Bob explained that they aim for between 11 and 15 days, which I expressed is very reasonable. When I’ve turned over rentals in the past it can take a few weeks to clean things up and get them to a level you want to present.

Bob also explained that the trust has been trying to raise the level of quality in the unit stock as they turn them over, also seems very reasonable…. actually there wasn’t anything in our brief 10 minute conversation that I didn’t find reasonable.

We also talked about how the open and closed units are quite fluid as tenants change and that drug use in the units is one of the biggest challenges. That last one I can personally relate with having done a couple of meth decontamination’s.

So, while a very helpful conversation, I’m now left with more questions than I started with and pondering how elected officials can be expected to make planning choices when no one seems to have the full picture.

However, on balance, I also think we shouldn’t get alarmed about this as we have some reasonable rough idea and everyone seems to agree that we need more social housing. The only thing we don’t seem to agree on right now is if we’re moving fast enough and how we might move faster.

How Do You Clean Up Rubbish?!

As of this afternoon there is still rubbish sitting in the front yard at 85 Poulson Street. Apparently the small stuff has gone, which is a start, but the big stuff is still there and this just isn’t good enough!

We’d be happy enough if a commitment had been made for next week, but the commitment was made for today, so we expect the work completed by today.

So much talk about mental health issues in this city. Well this is the sort of thing that just drives them. Social houses have the ‘edge case’ of society in them and they’re often most at risk of health deterioration.

Leaving this waste there is potentially expensive! On the living wage, a couple of guys to move this stuff will cost less than $200. However a doctor costs way more than that if this becomes a final straw.

It just doesn’t look like a big issue, but it’s this small stuff that makes a difference. Earlier in the year I did over 150 Snap Send Solve tickets in my immediate area and it just made a massive impact on how our part of the suburb presented.

LGOIMA – What’s The Heat Pump Plan?

Today was the day for ‘Information Requests’. Different agencies have different processes for asking for information.

Getting information from Christchurch City Council is called a LGOIMA Request and you can lodge one using this form, and they have 20 working days to get back to you. Last year they did less then 400 requests, so it’s not really used very often.

I want to know what the plan is to get the heat pumps installed that Stephen secured funding for so I sent off this request…


Hi, I’m following up the earlier council motion to spend $16m on heating and ventilation.

  • Can you please where are the 930 units to be upgraded are. I already have the CCC Social Housing information.xlsx so perhaps if you could just add another column?
  • What size heat pump is going in each unit?
  • What ventilation for each?
  • When is the program of work going to be defined in detail?
  • When will the program start?
  • How will be engaged to action the program?
  • When will the program be completed?
  • What reporting to tenants is planed and how is access to their units to complete the work going to be managed and are there currently enough staff to manage a project of this scale?
  • What order are the units going to be completed in?
  • Has the required electrical work and ‘at height’ work been identified? (ie looking at the aged and light construction of some units, with units ranging in age to 81 years, I would assume that some units may need electrical consideration, while other units are in three story apartments and external units may need to be fixed to the outside of buildings at height, requiring significantly more engineering consideration.)

I am looking to be better informed around this project and these seem like the obvious starting points. “