Part­ner’s ac­tions cause prob­lems

Central Leader - - News -

A gang mem­ber whose part­ner may be evicted from her Hous­ing New Zealand flat be­cause of com­plaints about his be­hav­iour has de­nied caus­ing trou­ble in the neigh­bour­hood.

Ja­cob Wirepa, a patched mem­ber of the Mon­grel Mob, told the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal this week that he had never threat­ened or in­tim­i­dated his neigh­bours in the Jor­dan Ave com­plex in One­hunga.

“I get on fine with all my neigh­bours,” he said.

The hear­ing was to de­ter­mine whether Mr Wirepa’s part­ner Nancy James could con­tinue to live in the flat.

Hous­ing New Zealand is seek­ing to ter­mi­nate Ms James’ ten­ancy on the grounds that she breached her ten­ancy agree­ment by caus­ing or al­low­ing the rea­son­able peace, pri­vacy or com­fort of other ten­ants and peo­ple in the neigh­bour­hood to be in­ter­fered with.

It fol­lows nu­mer­ous com­plaints about threat­en­ing and in­tim­i­dat­ing be­hav­iour by Mr Wirepa.

Ms James has been liv­ing at the ad­dress for nine years and Mr Wirepa has been liv­ing there on and off since 2001.

When asked by the cor­po­ra­tion’s lawyer Claire Pater­son if her part­ner was loud and ag­gres­sive, Ms James said he wasn’t all of the time.

“It all de­pends on what’s hap­pen­ing.”

The ev­i­dence pre­sented by Ms Pater­son and the five wit­nesses she called cen­tred around com­plaints about Mr Wirepa’s be­hav­iour and that of two of the cou­ple’s chil­dren.

Con­sta­bles Lyle Nor­riss and Justin Moore gave ev­i­dence about in­ci­dents on De­cem­ber 10 last year and Fe­bru­ary 13, both in­volv­ing Mr Wirepa.

In the De­cem­ber in­ci­dent, the Ea­gle po­lice he­li­copter was forced to make a rare land­ing in a nearby park to pro- vide backup for Mr Moore. He said he was try­ing to ap­pre­hend sev­eral chil­dren in re­la­tion to a re­ported bur­glary when he was con­fronted by Mr Wirepa and other neigh­bours.

The Fe­bru­ary 13 in­ci­dent was a brawl be­tween a group of men and Mr Wirepa af­ter they drove past his house and taunted him.

It ended with a fight where Mr Wirepa al­legedly struck one of the men with a tom­a­hawk.

He and sev­eral mem­bers of the group have been charged over the in­ci­dent. Both in­ci­dents are be­fore the courts.

Ms James said in re­la­tion to the Fe­bru­ary in­ci­dent she told Mr Wirepa to stay in the house and “just leave it” when the men yelled ob­scen­i­ties.

“He’s not go­ing to lis­ten when he’s get­ting abuse like that and threats made to us.”

Ms Nor­riss also talked about a search war­rant re­cently car­ried out at the house where cannabis and re­lated in­stru­ments were seized.

Ms James’ lawyer Lex Lankovsky said none of the al­leged of­fences re­lated per­son­ally to his client and she helped po­lice do­ing the search.

Hous­ing New Zealand One­hunga hous­ing ser­vices man­ager Karen Hitch­cock read ex­tracts from the cor­po­ra­tion’s elec­tronic data­base, which fea­tured com­plaints logged about the house and Mr Wirepa dat­ing as far back as 2003.

It also showed a num­ber of meet­ings be­tween the cor­po­ra­tion and Ms James to try to re­solve the mat­ter.

Wade Ave res­i­dent Drena Tai­whanga said she had known the cou­ple for five years and they were good peo­ple. She said she was not aware of any ap­pre­hen­sion among neigh­bours about Ms James and Mr Wirepa.

Ad­ju­di­ca­tor Steve Gibbs has re­served his de­ci­sion.

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