Thousands still homeless in Christchurch

Community groups say the housing crisis in Christchurch is still dire.

Census figures show 700 more people are living in temporary dwellings and overcrowded houses since the quakes.

And while some make their own decision to live rough, others are simply forced to.

The figures show that 2,200 people in Christchurch are now living in temporary accommodation - up 50% from 2006 - and 700 more people are living in mobile homes and makeshift shelters. Overcrowding has climbed slightly too with more than 25,000 people now living in crowded households - 1000 more than before the quakes.

The Government has built four temporary villages, with two more on the way, and 3000 homes are being rebuilt a year. But it will take another three years before housing stock is back to pre-quake levels.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says it does concern him but "it was absolutely inevitable the moment the earthquake munted those 12,000 houses".

Michael Wright from the Salvation Army says the numbers don't take into consideration the people who are doubling up or tripling up in houses, with two or three families in one house.

Meanwhile the Labour Party announced today plans to provide 10,000 affordable homes in the city in four years.

And it also vowed to increase the accommodation supplement for Cantabrians until the housing crisis is fixed.

Rise in overcrowding as 700 more people living in temporary dwellings since the quakes. Source: 1 NEWS


SH6 set to reopen tomorrow following rockfall

The New Zealand Transport Authority hopes to have the stretch of SH6 that's blocked by a rockfall open tomorrow.

A 50 metre stretch of road on the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park was buried under up to six metres of rock - around 2000 cubic metres - in yesterday morning's slip. Recent heavy rain is believed to have caused the rock fall.

Contractors have spent the day clearing debris but it has been a long process, with workers having to ensure that more rocks didn't fall on top of them.

The closure follows months of disruptive and deadly slips in the region. Two Canadian tourists died in a major rockfall last year.

The highway also still faces nightly road closures since a massive slip blocked the road at Diana Falls in September.

Check here for the latest on road conditions including the rockfall. 

SH 6 in Otago has been closed following a slip



Power restored to most Aucklanders

Power has been restored to hundreds of Aucklanders after wild weather left them in the dark this afternoon.

The two major faults in Albany and Woodlands Park have been fully restored but the power is still out in Kelson and Onehunga.

Vector says that crews are working to have the lines restored as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the city has been rattled by a series of lightning strikes and thunder as a trough moves across. Metservice expects the wild weather will soon move off to the Bay of Plenty.

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The weather has put on an impressive display as a storm passes the city. Source: 1 NEWS