(ed: i recently spent six months in raglan and i can confirm the tone of this piece – i left ‘cos i couldn’t find anywhere half-decent to live – and the landlords down there soak those desperate for housing..i was paying/charged $300 a wk for a place the size of a single garage – yes – it had a water-view – but…
auckland rental prices are charged by absentee landlords/investors..
(and don’t get me started on the prices for food/essentials of life down there..whoar..!..once again – locals are soaked..)
i would also note that living in the ‘burbs’ of raglan is like living in a ghost-town version of mairangi bay..
the reason for the ‘ghost-town’ description is that a large number of the houses where i was living (a salubrious part of town) were/are empty most of the time…and that is because ‘furrinners’/non-raglan-residents own them..as an investment/a good little earner – in that these houses are rented out for very large amounts of money during the holiday high season – they sit empty the rest of the time..
so there is no shortage of vacant houses in raglan – there are heaps of them – but they are unavailable to the hoi-polloi/locals/wannabe-locals…
(and if they are available – it is only short-term/for the winter – those tenants get tossed out just before the high-season..)
and for those few that are available long-term – rapacious landlords charge like wounded bulls…
that is the housing problem/issue in raglan – in a nutshell..
and the/any solution…?..i dunno..as it is quite within the rights of those landlords to do what they choose with their properties..and to charge what they can get for them…
so i see no obvious solution – and i also see raglan as low on any list for a major social housing program..
but this hurts raglan..as people living in all of those empty houses would bring lots of energy/income into the town..
which outside those high holiday/traffic times – slumps back into ghost-town status…)
Paradise comes with its challenges – Raglan residents say.
Raglan has been Shangri-La for Young and its not hard to see why.
Ribbons of reliably long surf breaks roll onto volcanic sands – drawing surfers since the 1960s and the town itself isn’t too shabby either.
At the western tip of the main drag – past the cafes and restaurants – the inner harbour glistens like scattered crystals in the late afternoon sun.
But Raglan is no earthly paradise.
There’s a reason Shangri-La exists only in our imaginations.
Nowhere is perfect.
Young can measure Raglan’s imperfections by the turn of the calendar – 10 weeks to be precise.
That’s how long it took to secure a rental home for a new manager and his family.
‘And I knew the community and a lot of people knew me and we had to go around and scratch together a house.
They were going to leave.
In hospitality the jobs themselves aren’t the highest paying … but these people need a place to live.
And Raglan has hit the wall’.