Hous­ing NZ homes tar­gets for thieves

Kapi-Mana News - - REGIONAL -

Van­dal­ism and theft of ma­te­ri­als from Hous­ing New Zealand houses is hav­ing con­se­quences for the peo­ple in most need of state hous­ing, says Greg Grouf­sky, act­ing gen­eral man­ager of Ten­ancy Ser­vices.

In re­cent months Hous­ing NZ has had an in­crease in the theft of cop­per pipes from state houses. Thieves are also dam­ag­ing the houses to get to the pipes, and steal­ing fit­tings such as stoves and bathroom fit­tings.

‘‘We house peo­ple in the most need and when­ever a thief or van­dal at­tacks one of our prop­er­ties, ten­anted or empty, they are di­rectly im­pact­ing the peo­ple who need our help the most,’’ Mr Grouf­sky says.

‘‘They are re­duc­ing the amount of money the cor­po­ra­tion can in­vest in main­tain­ing and up­grad­ing our state hous­ing.’’

‘‘The cost of fix­ing the dam­aged prop­er­ties can be in tens of thou­sands and this fi­nan­cial year alone these types of acts have cost the cor­po­ra­tion more than $ 1.5 mil­lion.

‘‘These need­less acts of van­dal­ism and theft af­fect all New Zealan­ders and their $15 bil­lion in­vest­ment in the state hous­ing net­work.’’

Last month a prop­erty in Hamil­ton which was about to be ten­anted by a fam­ily in need was ex­ten­sively dam­aged by van­dals and will re­quire $21,000 in re­pair costs be­fore it can be ten­anted again.

On March 9, thieves stripped cop­per pipes from an apart­ment build­ing in Po­mare, Lower Hutt. The cost of re­pair­ing the dam­age is ex­pected to ex­ceed $85,000.

Some tenants were in their apart­ments as the thieves stripped all cop­per pip­ing in the cen­tre duct of the apart­ment block. The dam­age re­sulted in Hous­ing NZ hav­ing to re­lo­cate tenants for a week while the pipes were re­placed and elec­tri­cal wiring re­paired.

‘‘Clearly the thieves had no re­gard for the peo­ple liv­ing there and be­cause of their ac­tions some of our tenants may need to be re­lo­cated away from their com­mu­nity while the re­pair work is be­ing car­ried out.’’

The Po­mare theft was made worse by of­fend­ers knock­ing on tenants’ doors and telling tenants not to worry about the noise, Mr Grouf­sky says.

‘‘ I urge all our tenants and neigh­bours of Hous­ing New Zealand prop­er­ties to ask for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion if a per­son is claim­ing to be a contractor. Peo­ple should re­port any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour to po­lice.

‘‘The cor­po­ra­tion will vig­or­ously work with po­lice to stop these gra­tu­itous acts of van­dal­ism and theft.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.