13 Aug 2011

Pomare decision by Christmas

8:56 pm on 13 August 2011

Housing New Zealand says it will decide on how to rebuild a Lower Hutt suburb by Christmas at the latest.

Nearly 100 Pomare residents say they will march on the Beehive in two weeks' time unless the Minister of Housing promises to rebuild about 100 state houses in their community, which are being demolished.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says 27 houses have so far been pulled down and about another 70 are vacant and earmarked for destruction by Christmas.

He says people evicted from the houses want to return to the suburb, and other residents feel their community is being obliterated.

Mr Wallace says staff at Pomare Primary School are concerned the school will have to close if the roll continues to dwindle.

Housing New Zealand says constant vandalism has meant it has started to pull down some houses before a decision is made on the final plan.

Its director of operations, Sarah Hill, says its board has asked for more information about the development options for Pomare.

She says this includes a mix of state rental housing, state and private ownership and also community housing.