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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 1. 28 February 1972


Although there are not enough rooms to go around at the beginning of every academic year, people become apathetic as each finds his own niche and forgets the problem for another year.

There being no immediate answer to overcrowding in Wellington, it is up to students to agitate for a longer term solution.

By now it should be clear to even the most wishful of politician that Wellington is suffering from an acute housing shortage. It takes only a little common sense to appreciate why. Into a limited geographical space, Wellington can cram only so many activities In recent years, expansion of the Government Centre, the Polytechnic, the University, and the hospital, not to mention commercial building along the Terrace, have all taken their toll of nearby houses. As if this were not enough, the City Council seems intent on tightening the suicide rope by requesting the foothills motorway. The most wanton destruction of houses has occured as this foolish and questionably necessary project has crashed through Thorndon and along Shell Gully. In planning for a more 'economic' city, the Council is creating an even deader heart of asphalt, parking buildings, office space and warehouses, while the human life is pushed out to dormitory suburbs like Johnsonville.

Maybe some future historian will curse the motorway as the beginning of the death of Wellington. In the meantime, as more and more Houses are demolished end not replaced more people are coming to the city to live. Each year thousands of transferred civil servants, polytechnic, university and nursing students descend on Central Wellington. Every year, except during the mild recession of 1968 the cry has been for accommodation. Every year during January and February the problem is highlighted, and gradually forgotten as people filter their way into substandard and over priced places.