Empty flats warning
MP blames Government for serious assaults
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.