Auckland: A businessman who wants to house Auckland’s homeless in cruise ships has admitted the idea won’t float if investors can’t “make some money” from the idea. Garry House reckons he can get an old cruise ship at the end of its seagoing life for as little as NZ$5 million.
He told “We’ve researched it on the internet and made some phone calls, and there’s quite a few ships for a few
million euros which are available. These ships are in various stages of seaworthiness, but most of them are able to come to New Zealand. We have other charges like mooring fees and legal fees on top of that, but I still think it’s quite cheap compared to half-a-dozen houses in Auckland. We have to cover our costs and make some money, but the main thing is about trying to solve a problem which we see in Auckland.”
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says cruise ships aren’t at the top of her list, and has concerns putting 400 homeless people in a confined space will encourage the spread of disease. Mr House says there’s nothing to worry about, because people can leave the ship when they want, and if a virus did take hold, it wouldn’t be anything exotic — “just our local diseases”.