Wellington family puts newspaper ad to find a home

A Wellington family has taken a novel approach to getting on the property ladder by placing an ad in a newspaper seeking private sellers.

Rochelle Cole and her husband John have been looking for a three-bedroom house in the Wellington region for the past nine months, but have so far come up short.

In an attempt to bypass the chaos of open homes and dealing with an estate agent, the family have placed an advertisement in the Dominion Post seeking private sellers.

They are willing to spend up to $530,000 on a house with three or more bedrooms.

A Wellington family have decided to get creative in their desire to purchase a family home.
A Wellington family have decided to get creative in their desire to purchase a family home. Source: Supplied

They are flexible on location as long as it is near a public transport in to Wellington. They are willing to move as far out as Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

They think that is not too much to ask, but their property hunt has been a nightmare.

"It's crazy. Especially if you're going to a home that has the three bedrooms, reasonably tidy and a decent family size," Mrs Cole said.

"We went to one in Tawa, and it's jam packed. Even in the open home itself, you're dodging people. There's just so many people out there."

They put an offer on a place in Tawa, but were probably never in with a chance of securing the property, Mrs Cole said.

"We weren't even close, I don't think," she said.

"[The government valuation] was around the $365,000 mark. Three bedrooms, a sleep-out and one bathroom.

"That went for, they said, 80 percent over RV, so I'm assuming in the mid [$600,000 range]. It had something like 16 offers on the table, and went in nine days.

"When you say it out loud, it's like, this is crazy. It's just so hard. We're looking at these houses and we just know we have no chance."

The struggle led to the Coles printing flyers and delivering them in Tawa, where they are currently renting. Then Mrs Cole's mother came up the novel idea of an ad.

"My mum was the genius behind the newspaper ad. She ran it by us and I thought, well, at this point we're open to anything," Mrs Cole said.

"We thought we'll put this ad out there. Maybe there is someone who wants to sell their family home, maybe they're looking to downsize and don't want to go through an agent.

"Maybe they want a quick easy sale, no drama, and so that would be the private sale way to go."

House prices in the Wellington region are still rising, despite prices stagnating nationwide.

Between June and July, the average house price in the Wellington region increased by more than $12,000, or two percent, to more than $650,000. Across the country the prices dropped by 0.3 percent.

By Ben Strang rnz.co.nz

Rochelle Cole with her husband John and their children.
Rochelle Cole with her husband John and their children. Source: rnz.co.nz

Fine weather for most of the country today, a few scattered clouds otherwise clear

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS


Judith Collins savages decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants evicted over meth contamination

Compensating Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using methamphetamine or allowing its use in their homes is a “disgrace,” National’s Judith Collins has said.

Mrs Collins said it was unacceptable that taxpayer money was being used to compensate former tenants who were evicted because of their "criminal activity".

“People were evicted from their houses by Housing New Zealand based on the standards of the day which was all around the health testing for methamphetamine contamination,” Mrs Collins said.

“Government had to take the advice of experts which were Housing NZ, Ministry of Health, MBIE, all the people who are the experts on this.”

“To now compensate people, 800 people, who were evicted from homes because they were smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it is an absolute outrage.”

“They’re being compensated with taxpayer money because of their criminal activity and that is not at all acceptable.”

The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, the housing minister said. Source: 1 NEWS

This morning, Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the meth contamination scandal was a failure of the previous government and National had already paid for it because “they are no longer ministers”.

“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced. This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and make discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement,” he said.

READ MORE: Housing NZ board won't be sacked over meth contamination 'fiasco'

Mrs Collins stood by the policies of the ministers in the National government, saying they were acting on the best advice at the time.

“Housing NZ made their decisions based on the evidence at the time and I absolutely support the fact that the ministers had to do what they had to do based on that evidence.”

Certain tenants should not be let back in, including those who had sold P from their homes, Mrs Collins maintained.

“Some people should not be back in state houses because they were using their state houses for criminal activity, not just in some cases smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it, but actually for cooking it and selling it and these are now people who are apparently going to get compensation.”

Mrs Collins rejected the view that addiction was a health issue for those tenants who had manufactured the drug at Housing NZ properties.

“I don’t believe for a moment that using your house for methamphetamine consumption, cooking it up, and selling from it is something that is a health issue, that’s a criminal activity.”

National’s housing spokesperson savaged the decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using P or allowing its use in their homes. Source: 1 NEWS


'It is what it is' - PM accepts world media attention could turn to Neve during UN trip

When Jacinda Ardern arrives in New York next week for her first United Nations General Assembly meeting, she's under no illusions she'll be able to focus solely on issues of national significance without fielding multiple questions about motherhood.

"Are you comfortable with pictures being taken and used in newspapers around the world?" 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay asked the Prime Minister in a one-on-one interview today.

Ms Ardern will be taking her daughter with her and plans to juggle responsibilities just like any working mum would, she said. But her schedule, which will include multiple keynote addresses and media appearances, will be more rigorous than an average business trip.

"I accept that by being in office and being the second woman to have a child in office that that's interesting, that's unusual," she said.

"There will be a day when it's not anymore, when it won't be seen as an extraordinary thing, and I look forward to that day. But for now, it is what it is."

Ms Ardern says she will try to keep Neve in her vicinity while working and be "discrete" while caring for her between engagements in an attempt to protect her privacy, as she has done in New Zealand since returning from maternity leave in August.

She said she hasn't given it much thought as to whether her unique situation has given her a larger platform on the world stage.

Climate change, big interviews and baby Neve were all on the agenda for the pair. Source: 1 NEWS

She suggested she won't be surprised if motherhood comes up during her scheduled media appearances, which include the Today Show, Late Night with Stephen Colbert and an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"It's hard for me to quantify how much of that (international attention) is based on the interest in the fact that I'm a mum now," she said.

"I certainly make sure that when those opportunities arise, though, I come squarely back not to my personal issues but to the role that New Zealand can play on the international stage.

"The values we advocate. The things that are of New Zealand's interest, not just mine."

When Jacinda Ardern travels to New York next week, she’ll be taking her newborn with her. Source: 1 NEWS

Strawberry needle scandal creating a booming trade for one food safety company

The strawberry scandal’s costing the industry millions of dollars, but it’s created a booming trade for one food safety company.

A&D Australasia provides metal detectors to food production companies, and their sales in the last week - including in New Zealand - have skyrocketed.

Spokesperson for the company Julian Horsley says he’s sold a year’s worth of products in just four days.

“There's an element of panic obviously because customers are saying we can't buy your product until this and this are in line - so that's obviously a commercial panic to them” he said.

Each detector costs around $22,000, but Horsley says growers are viewing them as an investment.

"For these guys it's either put my produce in the rubbish bin, or supply it to the customers.”

A&D Australasia provides metal detectors to food production companies, and their sales have gone through the roof. Source: 1 NEWS