Partner’s actions cause problems
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.