Redevelopment company takes over Auckland state houses


Housing New Zealand is saying goodbye to 2800 state houses in several suburbs in east Auckland.

From midnight tomorrow the new owners will be the Tamaki Redevelopment Company, who is bowling over the state houses of old to make way for the new.

For a group of neighbours, instead of enjoying the million-dollar views, they're worrying about the new landlord.

"[I feel a] bit confused and a bit frightened," says resident Frank. "I'm in my 70s and I'm not supposed to be worrying like this."

Lie Lie and her family have lived there for 16 years and she says the bad news means she can't sleep at night.

The Tamaki Redevelopment Company is taking over Lie Lie's house, and thousands of others, around east Auckland.

It's all part of a controversial plan to get rid of the old houses and make way for the new.

Tamaki Redevelopment CEO John Holyoake says it's regeneration.

"We are here to build a whole lot of properties, but this is also the opportunity to help those people," he says. "You can imagine how many houses are going to get built, how many jobs that will create, how many education opportunities."

So who is the Tamaki Redevelopment Company? It's owned by the New Zealand Government (59 percent) and the Auckland Council (41 percent).

Its job over the next 15 years is to knock down old state houses and turn the space into 7500 new homes. Of those, 2800 will be social houses. The rest will be sold.

The new owners will enjoy million-dollar views, and people like Frank will have the option to move into social houses on Sunnymead Rd round the corner.

Tamaki Redevelopment believes this is the way of the future, but Yvonne Daily says she and her neighbours are apprehensive.

"We are people. We're not merchandise and we're not commodities," she says.

But one thing's for sure -- the houses of the future, that go up for sale along the waterfront drive, will be worth a lot of money.