Ending emergency housing motels in Rotorua

The Government and Rotorua Lakes Council are committed to working closely together to end the use of contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua.

Associate Minister of Housing (Social Housing) Tama Potaka says the Government remains committed to ending the long-term use of contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua by the end of 2025. 

“The current Rotorua Housing Accord is not fit for purpose and needs to be reviewed in light of this Government’s priorities and commitments.

“Chief Executives for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Rotorua Lakes Council will work on a plan to achieve that – including ensuring that there are fewer Contracted Emergency Housing motels being reconsented than at present and curtailing the use of emergency housing by people coming from outside the district. 

“Progressing this mahi will mean some motels will be needed for a transitional  period before people can move to more suitable accommodation, including while houses are built by Kāinga Ora, iwi and others.

“In line with Government’s national directive, whānau with tamariki who have been in emergency housing motels for longer than 12 weeks will be prioritised on the social housing register.

“Giving these whānau a better opportunity to build healthy stable lives for themselves and future generations is an essential part of this government’s goal of reducing the number of households in emergency housing across the country by 75 per cent by 2030.”

Rotorua Mayor, Tania Tapsell, says “Rotorua deserves to have certainty that long-term use of motels for emergency housing will end as soon as possible. 

"It's reassuring to have commitment from Associate Minister Tama Potaka that Government will focus on and help us to achieve this. 

“There is mutual agreement that emergency housing in Rotorua should first and foremost be for those who call Rotorua home.

"Our discussions have been positive and it's clear we will deliver better outcomes by working together.

"We'll continue progress on this with urgency and hope to confirm in May further action to improve the current situation.” 

Rotorua MP, Todd McClay said this is a first step toward undoing the harm that has been done to Rotorua’s reputation over many years. 

“Ending the long-term use of emergency housing motels within two years was an important election promise and one that the coalition government is committed to. 

“I’m pleased that government agencies have agreed to work closely with the Rotorua community to ensure better outcomes for our city.”