State of tor­ment

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

GET us out of here.

That’s the plea from state ten­ants deal­ing with people who break down doors, vomit and uri­nate on doorsteps, host gang meet­ings, drop used nee­dles and have all-night ben­ders in a block of state flats on Greys Ave.

None of the seven ten­ants who spoke to the Auck­land City Har­bour News would be named for fear of ret­ri­bu­tion.

But one cou­ple that has lived in the build­ing for seven years says the state of the property is hor­rific.

The res­i­dents say people are be­ing let through se­cu­rity doors at night and adding to the prob­lem.

‘‘It’s just so of­fen­sive what they’re do­ing . . . they don’t have any re­spect for them­selves or any­one else.’’

One woman says her front door was once smashed in by a gang mem­ber. The in­ter­com sys­tem has been out of or­der since Oc­to­ber, de­spite fre­quent re­quests to fix it, she says.

‘‘They’re telling us not to let any­one in if they’re dodgy but we can’t even com­mu­ni­cate with them. It’s not a safe home.’’

An­other ten­ant in her 50s has been ‘‘beg­ging’’ to be trans­ferred out of the build­ing since 2008.

She says she had Mon­grel Mob mem­bers liv­ing in the flats on ei­ther side of her for two years un­til they were evicted in 2013. ‘‘Imag­ine liv­ing be­tween gang mem­bers, what you hear through these walls. I’ve been beg­ging to move for years. I’m just not a pri­or­ity,’’ she says.

One male res­i­dent says the sit­u­a­tion has im­proved a bit over the last year but there are still some se­ri­ous is­sues. ‘‘How many com­plaints do you have to make be­fore they do any­thing?’’

Auck­land City Po­lice in­spec­tor Vaughn Gra­ham says po­lice have stepped up their ef­forts to ad­dress safety con­cerns at the build­ing.

He says staff are work­ing with Hous­ing New Zealand to boost pub­lic safety.

Cen­tral-based Labour list MP Jacinda Ardern says se­cu­rity doors be­ing left open has been an is­sue for years and street-dwellers some­times come in to squat on the roof.

‘‘People de­sire a safe, de­cent place to live. At the mo­ment Greys Ave, in lots of ways, is nei­ther. I know some fan­tas­tic people liv­ing there but there are ab­so­lutely le­git­i­mate safety con­cerns at the same time.’’

St John spokesman Dave Wors­ley says am­bu­lance of­fi­cers are care­ful about go­ing into the Greys Ave build­ing.

Of­fi­cers are aware of the po­ten­tial for in­ci­dents there and can re­quest a po­lice pres­ence if nec­es­sary, he says.

Hous­ing New Zealand is cur­rently look­ing for de­vel­op­ers to re­fur­bish the age­ing 87-unit build­ing. The ten­der closes on April 14.

Cen­tral Auck­land re­gional man­ager Neil Adams says over­all feed­back from ten­ants has been pos­i­tive.

It is too early to dis­cuss whether ten­ants will be re­lo­cated, he says.

‘‘At Greys Av­enue we en­cour­age ten­ants to re­port anti-so­cial be­hav­iour to staff who work from our on­site of­fice on the ground floor of the build­ing. Our pres­ence on site also en­sures ten­ant con­cerns are dealt with promptly.’’

In­spec­tor Vaughn Gra­ham says po­lice have stepped up their ef­forts. Gang hide­out: Mon­grel Mob mem­bers were liv­ing in the flats for two years un­til they were evicted in 2013.

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