PHOTO: Colliers. FILE
A Christchurch property management company has apologised after an email was sent out urging its tenants to not feed nearby homeless people.
On Monday, Colliers sent an email to its tenants at 5 Lanes at the BNZ Centre in Christchurch, with the subject line “Please do not feed the homeless”.
In the email, Colliers said they had “empathy” for the position the homeless people were in, but they made it “difficult for the tenants” who were trading near where the homeless are set up.
Colliers added that police indicated the group of homeless people were “happy and comfortable” with the location “as they are being fed”.
“Please DO NOT feed them, it’s not helpful and is hurting our businesses,” Colliers said.
“If they continue to be feed there is no incentive for them to move (sic)”.
Commercial tenant Matt Docherty told Newshub he was appalled by the “blatant disregard for human life” that Colliers had in their email.
“I just found it was bad taste, given the circumstances we’re facing as a country at the moment with the cost of living crisis.”
Docherty said Colliers’ email sends the wrong message and would like to see a compassionate approach to those living on our streets.
“We are talking about people, not animals,” he said.
“I feel as though we should be helping these people instead of trying to starve them and move them on from the location.”
Richard James, the national director of real estate management services at Colliers, acknowledged the wording of the email sent out to stakeholders “should have been more sympathetic”.
“We remain committed to working with social agencies, the local police, and other key partners around the ongoing challenges on Hereford Street.”
A police spokesperson told Newshub that food can appear to be a “big driver for homelessness” and Christchurch has services for those in need.
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