Wellington City Council only conducted on-site inspections at Loafers Lodge twice in the past decade, despite advice it would be more appropriate for such checks to happen every year.
The most recent check in 2018 found several problems including items being installed in an escape route that could combust in an emergency or block the fire exit.
Fire and smoke doors designed to prevent fire from spreading were also wedged open.
Wellington City Council chief planning officer Liam Hodgetts said the problems were worked on with the building owner over the following months and an infringement notice was issued.
There is a terrible grief at heart of the Loafers Lodge fire deaths and that is the lonely men who make up the death toll.
These are the men society had forgotten and contemptuously pushed away.
These are men who didn’t qualify for State Housing and proper wrap around services because those services are expensive and we refuse point blank to tax the rich more money to pay for that infrastructure.
It is far cheaper to house these lonely men in a squalid block exempt from proper fire regulations because that would cost money and these mens lives are not worth that investment are they?
It is a system that relegates lonely lost men into battery hen farms with the same apathy as we kettle beneficiaries with children into unsafe Motels.
There will be the performative art of grief expressed by Politicians and the humble thumbs up from community leaders for the outpouring of good will and how it brings out the best in us and thoughts and prayers and
and nothing will change.
There are 14 Billionaires in NZ + 3118 ultra-high net worth individuals with over $50million, let’s start by taxing them, then move onto the Banks, then the Property Speculators, the Climate Change polluters and big industry!
Our collective denial over how our underfunded social infrastructure fed a tragedy like Loafers Lodge is beneath the mana of the moment.
Tax. The. Rich.
Liam Hockings was a Facebook Comrade of mine. He deserved much better than to die alone in a fire like this for the men society didn’t care about.
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