Empty flats warn­ing

MP blames Gov­ern­ment for se­ri­ous as­saults

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

Two se­ri­ous as­saults took place in empty Hous­ing New Zealand build­ings in Can­nons Creek be­fore they were de­mol­ished, and Mana MP Kris Faafoi is blam­ing the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment.

Doc­u­ments re­leased to Faafoi un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act high­light con­cerns from Hous­ing New Zealand em­ploy­ees in March 2014 about the empty units in Esk Place and Haz­ard Grove.

‘‘There is a large risk of the prop­er­ties be­ing used for il­le­gal pur­poses,’’ an em­ployee, whose name is redacted, wrote.

The em­ployee noted that Hous­ing New Zealand had al­ready been no­ti­fied by po­lice of an ab­duc­tion and as­sault of a woman by her for­mer part­ner, when he held her cap­tive for many hours in one of the prop­er­ties.

There was a large amount of dam­age and rub­bish – in­clud­ing soiled cloth­ing, used con­doms and fae­cal mat­ter – in the rooms when po­lice ar­rived. Five of the seven prop­er­ties had suf­fered sub­stan­tial dam­age, in­clud­ing bro­ken win­dows, and showed signs of at­tempted en­try.

The de­mo­li­tion of the Esk Place and Haz­ard Grove prop­er­ties fin­ished on June 9 this month.

Hous­ing New Zealand de­cided the build­ings could not be ten­anted in 2010 af­ter a re­view showed they reached be­tween only 5 and 22 per cent of the new earth­quake stan­dard for build­ings.

The es­ti­mated cost of up­grad­ing the build­ings was higher than they were worth, the re­view found.

Faafoi said the Gov­ern­ment had taken a back­ward step over hous­ing, and as­saults and dam­age were the re­sult.

‘‘I’m glad those prop­er­ties [in Esk and Haz­ard] are not there now, but the sit­u­a­tion of as­saults in empty build­ings should not have been al­lowed to hap­pen,’’ he said.

‘‘Now you’ve got empty lots, at Cal­liope Cres too, and th­ese homes need to be re­placed.

‘‘Peo­ple in the com­mu­nity are an­gry, but I have no con­fi­dence this Gov­ern­ment has the right so­lu­tions.’’

Faafoi said the emails showed peo­ple within Hous­ing New Zealand were ask­ing ques­tions, but the sit­u­a­tion had be­come po­lit­i­cal.

Graeme Brod­er­ick, Hous­ing New Zealand’s re­gional port­fo­lio manager, said bol­lards would be in­stalled and a tidy green space cre­ated at the Esk and Haz­ard lots un­til a de­ci­sion was made on what to do with the land.

He said there were 31 va­cant three­bed­room homes avail­able in Porirua.

Jackie Pi­vac, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ten­ancy ser­vices re­gional manager, said she was aware of the as­sault last year.

‘‘Fol­low­ing this in­ci­dent we ar­ranged for regular se­cu­rity pa­trols and in­stalled a mon­i­tored se­cu­rity cam­era in one of the ad­join­ing units.

No fur­ther in­ci­dents were re­ported to us prior to the de­mo­li­tion of the prop­er­ties,’’ she said.

Hous­ing New Zealand owns 2723 prop­er­ties in Porirua, 1137 of which are in Can­nons Creek.

Sev­eral schools, play­cen­tres and kinder­gartens around Porirua took part in fundrais­ing for Jerry Collins’ daugh­ter, Ayla, who was badly in­jured in the car ac­ci­dent that claimed her par­ents’ life on June 5. Horouta Ko­hanga Reo in Aotea raised $30 on Fri­day from par­ents giv­ing a gold coin and dress­ing their chil­dren in rugby or rugby league cloth­ing. From left, Whakatane Taita­panui, Jahzara Akavi, Gwen Wil­lis, Har­lem Denyer, Tawhiti Roa Roa Rangi­wai, Val­halla Masters, Riria Manuel, Kata Kavakura, Aaliyah Wil­liams, Beth Kavakura, and, sit­ting in front, Ki­a­toa Carter. The Givealit­tle cam­paign for Ayla had raised $33,000 by last Fri­day.


The empty land at Esk Place, Can­nons Creek.

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