The Bluewater Hotel in Ahuriri, Napier was the top earner. Photo / Paul Taylor
The motels and hotels making the most money from emergency housing in Hawke’s Bay have been revealed.
The Bluewater Hotel in Ahuriri was Hawke’s Bay’s biggest earner after raking in nearly $4
million in the 12 months to the end of March 2022.
The hotel manager says he has no plans to return to traditional accommodation in the short term, and would never offer mixed accommodation even as international tourism picks up because “it’s not working”.
Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park is second on the list of top earners for the same period (earning $3.08 million), followed by Fountain Court Motor Inn in Napier ($2.34 million), The Nautilus Napier (1 $.44 million) and Wairoa Motel ($1.38 million). ).
A request for official information law by Hawke’s Bay today revealed that there are now nine accommodation providers earning over $1 million a year in the region through emergency housing grants.
A full list of these providers can be found below.
The Department of Social Development provides grants to people in urgent housing need that cover the cost of participating motels and hotels that provide rooms.
“The demand for housing in New Zealand is increasing and more and more people are in urgent and immediate need [for housing]“said a spokesman for the Ministry of Social Development.
“People on low incomes are the hardest hit by rising housing costs and many are applying for financial assistance through the ministry in the form of emergency housing.”
A housing advocate recently said Hawke’s Bay today the biggest problem forcing people to stay in motels in the area was the high rental prices and lack of rentals, which had become unaffordable and hard to find for many people.
The waiting list for permanent social housing has also exploded in Hawke’s Bay, meaning many people have no choice but to find an emergency motel.
Rodney Green, manager of the Bluewater Hotel in Ahuriri, said his property had the most rooms of any emergency housing provider in the area, which is why they topped the list of top earners.
He said those rooms were always full.
“We are the largest hotel provider, with 50 rooms. Most other [emergency housing providers] have 20 rooms or less,” he said.
“The moment we were approached to do emergency accommodation, we weighed the issue within the team and started with 10 rooms. It quickly became clear [at the start of Covid] that there is no tourism, so we have filled the whole hotel with emergency accommodation.”
He said they had not increased their prices, which were currently the same as what they were offering before Covid.
“In this environment, you wouldn’t do that.”
He said they were earning a bit more than as a traditional accommodation provider before Covid, as the hotel was now 100 per cent full with emergency accommodation.
“I like to deal with the mass of people [in emergency housing] who are very, very good, humble and respectful people,” he said.
“You get the odd rotten apple, but overall they’re really, really good people.”
He said that in the short term they have no plans to return to traditional housing.
He said they might revisit traditional accommodation in the future, but they wouldn’t do mixed accommodation because “it doesn’t work”, in terms of half emergency accommodation and half accommodation traditional.
Green is also manager of the Fountain Court Motor Inn in Napier, which is third on the list of top earners in Hawke’s Bay.
Hawke’s Bay today has also contacted Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park, The Nautilus Napier and Wairoa Motel for comment.
At the end of February, there were 380 households in emergency accommodation in the East Coast region, which includes Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.
Hawke’s Bay emergency housing providers earn over $1 million a year:
Bluewater Hotel (Napier): $3.99 million
Hastings Top 10 Holiday Parks: $3.08 Million
Fountain Court Motor Inn (Napier): $2.34 million
The Nautilus Napier: $1.44 million
Wairoa Motel: $1.38 million
Deco City Motor Lodge (Napier): $1.28 million
Motel Frimley Lodge (Hastings): $1.15 million
Westshore Holiday Park (Napier): $1.08 million
Motel Tuki Tuki (Waipukurau): $1.07 million
*The period is 12 months until March 31, 2022