Early morning fire at the Nun

FIRE all but destroyed a recreational building at the Flying Nun backpackers in Roebuck Road in the early hours of this morning.

A passing police patrol saw the fire at about 2.30am and raised the alarm.

Police and backpackers staff went room-to-room evacuating more than 40 residents of the adjacent backpackers accommodation building.

One of the managers, Cushla Yager, said everyone was OK.

“They were all evacuated to the other side of Roebuck Road,” she said.

Resident Adrien Granger from Paris said they were all asleep in their rooms when the fire broke out.

“My room was opposite where the fire was burning,” he said.

“Out my window I could see big flames going very high in the air.”

Mr Granger said it was a bit scary but they felt safe.

“We never felt as if we were in any danger.

“The firemen were very fast and they had the fire under control,” he said.

Three fire appliances responded to the call, along with a command vehicle and another support vehicle. Seventeen firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze.

Senior Station Officer Bernie Bull said the outbuilding, which measured about 8 x 6 metres, was totally involved in fire when they arrived.

“It was more than four metres away from the main accommodation building, so there was plenty of separation.

“The fire posed no danger to the main building,” he said.

“It took us about half an hour to contain it and we were at the scene till about 7am dampening down the remains.”

He describes damage to the games room as “substantial”.

Snr Stn Off Bull said the cause of the blaze was still to be established.

Police had the building cordoned off this morning while the fire scene was examined for clues by a fire investigator and police.

“The cause is under investigation,” a CIB spokesman said.

Cushla Yager said the games room was built about 10 years ago when the backpackers was established.

“We will have to give some thought to how we will replace it.

“It’s a good thing everyone got out OK. They were all so patient and well behaved,” she said.

“The police and firemen did a marvellous job.”

Which political party has the best housing policy?

Please read summarised policies below.

NZ First
Maori Party
United Future
Please comment:

Home affordability

National HomeStart grants of up to $20,000 for couples to add to KiwiSaver savings used for a deposit on a new home. Special Housing Areas to fast track consenting process. Legislation to curb development contributions levied by councils on developments. Inquiry into building products supplier practices. RMA reform. Labour The KiwiBuild government-run $1.5 billion scheme to build 100,000 affordable new homes mostly in Auckland and Christchurch initially.A capital gains tax and controls on foreign investment in residential real estate to curb speculation. Force local authorities to ensure the release of new land for building with a national policy statement under theRMA. Greens A rent-to-buy scheme for families with children. Limits on house ownership by foreign non-residents. A capital gains tax excluding the family home and support for Labour’s KiwiBuild. NZ First Establish a new state agency to buy and sell land for residential developments. A 2% interest rate for five years for buyers of those sections but with houses built using normal bank finance. Restrict home ownership to "New Zealanders"only. Maori Party Kainga Whenua loan scheme providing 100% loans up to $200,000 to build, maintain and repair homes onmultipleownedMaori land. Available only to those people who have no other access to finance to build, relocate to or buy on their multiple-ownedMaori land. Internet-Mana Low-interest, no-deposit Maori Home Ownership Scheme for Maori first home buyers. Kiwibank Home Ownership Scheme with low-interest loans for specified low-and middle income individuals and families. Build 10,000 new state homes per year for rent and rent-to-own. Act Remove regulatory constraints on the supply of land for building by scrappingtheRMA.Amend the Bill of Rights to protect the right to own and use property as the owner sees fit to get rid of planning restrictions. United Future Allow families to capitalise their Working For Families entitlements for a year as a lump sum to help purchase their first home.Work in partnership with iwi to develop former Crown land for housing. Conservatives Tell owners of large "land banked" holdings to build homes within five years or face the government intervention. Allow higher-density housing.