Motel slam upsets Rotorua councilor

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Tuwhenuaroa Natanahira

Merepeka Raukawa-Taite: Motel slam upsets Rotorua councilor

A Rotorua Lakes district councilor is unhappy that her council is taking motel owners to court.

The council has asked the Environmental Court for enforcement orders against nine motels used as emergency accommodation after concerns were raised about their suitability.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says putting homeless and vulnerable families in motels at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown was the only option, but the plan was neither ideal nor sustainable.

“We created these families. We put them there. The government said to get them off the streets. We supplied the motels and now we wonder why we have the situation we have. Bringing motel owners to environmental court because they don’t follow local regulations, what’s that going to do. she says.

Ms Raukawa-Tait says the council knew the hotels were not suitable emergency accommodation.

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