Candidate Tamatha Paul answers Renters United’s questions

September 17, 2022 11:07 am


Tamatha Paul

Pukehīnau/Lambton Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Pukehīnau/Lambton Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Tamatha Paul’s responses in full.

Rapid fire questions

Are you a renter? Yes
Do you own any properties? No
Do you support the Renters United Healthy Homes Commitment? Yes
Do you commit to funding tenant advocacy? Yes
Do you support councils retaining ownership an expanding supply of council housing? Yes
Will you lobby for IRRS to be extended to councils? Yes
Do you commit to densifying inner city suburbs? Yes
Will you commit to using your platform to abolish the ratepayers roll? Yes

Stable homes

What actions would you take to improve stability and security for private renters?

Increasing the amount of housing will mean that landlords can’t be as picky with what they do and don’t allow tenants to do. I have always supported denser housing as a councillor. Abundant public housing around the City should also bring down rents making private rentals more affordable. We should use our powers under the Health Act to apprehend bad landlords, I know Porirua CC have used these powers. I’ve also supported funding for more tenancy lawyers at Community Law and will continue to support funding these critical advocacy services. As a politician, I will continue to bring attention to the reality of life as a renter both in the world and at the Council table.

How will you ensure all council tenants have security of tenure?

By making sure that no evictions happen through writing this into the CHP Trust deed should Council establish a CHP. I also want to review the market rent structure we use at council level and replace it with an income-related rent structure. Council tenants seem to enjoy pretty stable tenure with us at the moment so I will make sure no cost cutting occurs jeopardising this.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Wellington?

A priority for me is opening a womens emergency night shelter. This is a real gap in emergency housing currently and I have been approached by organisations like Rape Crisis to initiate this process of opening a shelter for women. We need more emergency facilities for people and they should be able to use those regardless of whether they are still drinking or taking drugs. Better to be in care than on the streets in my opinion. Many candidates have committed to this in the past but many neighbourhoods have opposed those facilities being in their suburbs. I’d be a staunch advocate for these facilities as critical to the health and well-being of EVERYONE in our community.

I’ve supported DCM and the City Mission this term, I have great connections with these organisations and respect them as the leaders in this space. I also want to increase resourcing for Kahungunu Whānau Services who are a kaupapa Māori organisation who can support Māori experiencing severe housing deprivation. I believe we need kaupapa Māori responses for Māori and currently Māori are over represented in homelessness stats in Pōneke.

Having abundant public housing means that when people are ready to move into a more secure environment and home, there will be one waiting for them. We need a combination of short term and long term responses. Most of all, we need councillors with empathy and patience who will stand up for our most structurally marginalised whānau, not rally to clear the streets of them.

Meaningful enforcement

If elected, would you take steps to tackle persistent bad landlords who do not meet their obligations to renters in your area? If so, what?

Yes, using health act powers where possible and generous funding to legal services taking these landlords to court. I’ve also called out Quinovic publicly multiple times and will continue to do so because a lot of these property management companies are persistently bad property managers.

What do you think Council should do to address power imbalance between landlords and tenants? If nothing, why?

Elect more renters! Resource tenant advocacy services. Engage with and listen to renters!

Fair rent

Would you advocate for additional powers or resources from Central Government to address the housing crisis (such as legislating for Rent Control), if so what and how?

Yes 100% and I have done so in my capacity as a councillor

What do you think are the main reasons rents in Wellington are increasing? How would you ensure rents in Wellington are affordable?

Rents are increasing because the government is soft on landlords. Restrictive local government planning rules have contributed to a limited supply of rental housing which means that we all have to scrap it out over substandard rental housing.

To ensure rents in Wellington are affordable we should build lots of public housing and make that a viable alternative to private rentals for more people. This will bring rents down in the city too. We should work with private developers to make more Te Kāinga office-to-apartment conversions and rent these at affordable prices.

Safe and healthy homes

What actions (in contrast to or in conjunction with our Healthy Homes Commitment) would you take to improve the quality of private rental housing in your ward and in your city?

Allow for shitty heritage housing to be bowled, remove character protections, make sure that crappy housing is removed so we can build the denser surburbs we all need. Also making sure there is good access to amenities for denser suburbs – green space, community centres, beautiful and safe streetscapes etc

Anything else you want to share?

No answer provided

Tamatha Paul

Pukehīnau/Lambton Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

Compare Tamatha with other candidates

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