13 Oct 2012

Glen Innes state houses destined for Far North

7:41 pm on 13 October 2012

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says some of the state houses being moved from Auckland suburbs will become homes for Hone Harawira's constituents in the Far North.

The MP for Te Tai Tokerau was arrested on Thursday night at a protest in Glen Innes over a Housing New Zealand redevelopment programme.

Six people, including Mr Harawira, were charged on Friday morning after a heated demonstration against a plan to remove 156 homes from the suburb.

Mr Heatley says it's not sensible to have state houses on large sections in Auckland, when the city is crying out for more homes and better land use.

He says up to 30 of the houses will go to Mr Harawira's hometown of Kaitaia, where they will be refurbished for a Maori housing project, so he can't see the point of the protest.

Earlier a Glen Innes resident group rejected Housing New Zealand's claim that all tenants who have left the area chose to move.

Housing New Zealand said the protest action was disappointing and all 70 tenants who had moved so far chose to go.

But a member of the Tamaki Housing group, Sue Henry, says a number of people have felt threatened by Housing New Zealand and haven't really had a choice.

The six people charged after the protest will appear in court next week.