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.


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