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Chair of Carrot Park Trust and lifetime resident

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Why green field housing in Tei Tei is not a good idea by Ron Frew – lifetime Ruapehu resident and ratepayer and chair of the Ohakune Carrot Park Trust

1- Financial – to build 44 houses on a green fields site without sewage, drainage, water supply, electricity or roads is going to be very expensive – between 30 and 40 million dollars and is an irresponsible use of taxpayers’ money. Should the 29 houses designated other than social housing fail to sell this would mean the 15 social houses would have a price tag of 2.6 million dollars each.

Just as elected District councillors have a duty to spend ratepayers, money wisely they also owe financial prudence to the large national body of taxpayers. Money from Central Govt. to local councils is not free money. It is taxpayers’ money. There are conflicting stories as to whether cost overruns are to be met by Ruapehu ratepayers or taxpayers but in the end, we are all the same people. It would be catastrophic should they fall on Ruapehu District ratepayers.

2- Houses on Tei Tei Drive, whether they be social or otherwise pose a considerable traffic problem for the carrot park which has become a major reason for people to visit Ohakune. The park has been developed by volunteers who have funded the development through fundraising and sizable private donations. Private donors have already indicated to me that there will be no further funding should the housing development proceed. The likely outcome is that the full cost of maintaining the carrot park will devolve to the Ruapehu District ratepayers. People love that park because it is rural and presently so safe. It would be a shame to put that priceless asset at risk when there are other options.

3- Other options.

Ohakune real estate firms presently have over 50 houses for sale. Surely some of these could quickly be made suitable for the people presently seeking social housing in Ohakune? The idea that local employers will buy the extra houses in the proposed subdivision is wishful thinking. They already have plenty of houses to choose from and are not buying. The employment opportunities in market gardening are limited. Mechanization and packhouse automation together with the availability of foreign nationals through labour contracting firms for the harvest season means fewer seasonal jobs for local workers. This means the 29 houses that are not social will be very difficult if not impossible to sell. Ruapehu ratepayers should not be in the business of subsidizing housing for private employers.

4- Should the RDC proceed with the sale of this 9Ha of Ruapehu ratepayer public land to Kainga Ora they have plans under the heading “Ohakune Social Housing Project” to build a further 82 houses on fields 2 and 3. This is good horticultural land which is in short supply in the Ruapehu district. This is cropping land which if leased could provide investment income to the Ohakune Carrot Park Trust to fund ongoing development and maintenance of the iconic carrot park and retain the rural setting that so many visitors come to experience.


The fact that so many Ohakune residents signed the petition opposing the development needs to be listened to. To divide a community by proceeding with a project that the majority of the citizens oppose is not what should happen.


Signed Ron Frew – lifetime Ruapehu resident and ratepayer and chair of the Ohakune Carrot Park Trust.

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