Ba­sic main­te­nance now ma­jor cleanup

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By TOM CARNEGIE and ELESHA ED­MONDS

FOUR youths have been ar­rested by po­lice af­ter al­legedly caus­ing thou­sands of dol­lars worth of dam­age to a va­cant Avon­dale state house.

The group, aged from 13 to 17, were ap­pre­hended on May 5 and have since been re­ferred to Youth Aid.

Po­lice are still look­ing for a fifth mem­ber of the group.

The Hous­ing New Zealand prop­erty on Um­briel Lane suf­fered $10,000 worth of dam­age in­clud­ing paint thrown over the floors, and graf­fiti and hu­man ex­cre­ment smeared on the walls.

The prop­erty was va­cant at the time of the van­dal­ism and was be­ing pre­pared for relet­ting by main­te­nance con­trac­tors, fol­low­ing the end of its last ten­ancy on April 8.

Hous­ing New Zealand com­mu­ni­ca­tions manager Amanda Binns says the prop­erty had been left in a clean and tidy state by the for­mer ten­ant.

This meant it would have only re­quired ba­sic main­te­nance work to re­turn the prop­erty to the let­ting pool, how­ever be­cause of the dam­age there will now be a de­lay.

‘‘Given the ex­tent and na­ture of the dam­age, it’s hard to tell how long it will take to fix up the prop­erty,’’ Binns says.

‘‘Over and above the graf­fiti and paint, there is ex­cre­ment on the walls and drug para­pher­na­lia left ly­ing around, which will in­voke fur­ther de­lays as we first have to give the prop­erty a san­i­tary clean and test for pos­si­ble chem­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion.’’

Binns says if the per­pe­tra­tors are found to be Hous­ing New Zealand ten­ants, the or­gan­i­sa­tion will take its own ac­tion in line with its anti-so­cial be­hav­iour pol­icy.

‘‘All our ten­ants are aware of this pol­icy as part of their ten­ancy agree­ment with us. It is in place to pro­tect wider com­mu­nity safety and well­be­ing and the ten­ant’s abil­ity to main­tain their ten­ancy with us.’’ Over and above the graf­fiti and paint, there is ex­cre­ment on the walls and drug para­pher­na­lia left ly­ing around, which will in­voke fur­ther de­lays as we first have to give the prop­erty a san­i­tary clean and test for pos­si­ble chem­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion

Pho­tos: HOUS­ING NEW ZEALAND

Po­lice have ap­pre­hended four youths in re­la­tion to the dam­age.

Graf­fiti, hu­man ex­cre­ment and paint were used to van­dalise the house.

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