Remember the Christchurch 'campervan park'?

The Government spent over one million dollars on setting up 350 campervans to provide accommodation for Christchurch people without adequate accommodation.

More than 10,000 homes will have to demolished over the coming months.

These campervans were placed in the middle of a field (Canterbury Agricultural Park) and the Government expected people to put up with living in these campervans during the harsh months of winter.

But Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee also demanded that folk, already under considerable financial pressure, to pay market rents for the 'privilege ' of living in cramped accommodation in a field that would quickly turn to mud once the wet weather set in.

The whole project was ludicrous and, not surprisingly, the camper van 'village' has crashed and burned. Only one person wanted to live in a crappy camper van - but only put up with it for a few days.

Despite Christchurch's urgent need for temporary homes, Sideshow Bob has kept his mouth shut about this latest Brownlee blunder. Bob is the Government's little lapdog and he won't say or do anything that risks embarrassing his mate Gerry. Expect Sideshow to be suitably rewarded for his loyalty in the New Years Honours list.

But another housing disaster is unfolding as we speak

The Government's intention is to build just 2.500 modular homes but they won't be all be available until September at the earliest.

In stark contrast Japan started building temporary home two weeks after its quake.

Three hundred portable homes are supposed to go up this month. Although some parks have been earmarked for homes it is expected that most of them will go on people's own damaged properties - who will have to pay the installation costs.

It took Gerry Brownlee over two months to announce the contractors for Christchurch's modular homes.

Having learnt nothing from the campervan fiasco, Brownlee expects financially struggling families to pay rent. So, rather than alleviating the financial problems that many people are grappling with,Brownlee is actually adding to their financial woes.

Portable home rental costs are $190 per week for two people, $271 per week for four people and $337 per week for six people.

In Japan families have been given rent free use of the accommodation for two years.

But, once again, Sideshow Bob is nowhere to be seen.

As I said in April about the campervan farce:

While Mayor Sideshow Bob has had a lot to say about the people of Christchurch facing a grim winter and enormous financial difficulties he has, once again, shown that he is little more then the Government's tame poodle.

Instead of speaking out against Brownlee's appalling decision to impose market rents on folk with little money and no homes , he has said nothing.

Sideshow Bob is again failing the people of Christchurch. We deserve better than this.


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