Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner claims there are only thirty homeless people in Christchurch. But does she know all their names?
IT HAS BEEN estimated that there may be as many as 7000 homeless people in Christchurch. Such is the severity of the housing crisis in the city that some overseas workers -attracted to Christchurrch by the promise of work in the building industry - are now having to stay at the Methodist Mission. It can't even cope with the growing number of local people who are desperate for somewhere to stay.
Central Christchurch MP Nicky Wagner is entirely unconcerned though. The Associate Earthquake Recovery Minister has told the NZ Herald that there are only thirty genuinely homeless people in Christchurch
How has she arrived at this figure?
According to Wagner you are not homeless if you happen to have somewhere to sleep. If you are sleeping in a garage, in overcrowded conditions or perhaps even in a cardboard box, Nicky Wagner thinks you have never had it so good.
Wagner's view on what constitutes a 'home' is in direct conflict with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:
"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services...'
Merely having somewhere to sleep does not constitute adequate housing.
Wagner is one of the country's wealthiest property-owning politicians. She owns directly or is linked to companies which own $25.3 million worth of property.
Wagner's property wealth comes from eight commercial buildings in Christchurch that are owned by David Wagner Holdings Ltd - a company in which she is a joint shareholder and her husband David is director.
She owns a family home in Christchurch and an apartment in Wellington. She has a 'holiday home' in Picton which is owned by a trust.
Wagner won't be living in a garage anytime soon.