Siege house to be rented out again
The house where the Waitangirua siege gunman died is going to be leased again – upsetting some Porirua neighbours.
Pita Tekira, 29, was found dead, near a firearm, in the Kokriri Cres house on April 23, after a 26-hour standoff with police that began after he shot and killed police dog Gazza.
Tekira had been on the run for three weeks and faced violence, dishonesty and driving charges. He had ditched his electronic bail monitoring bracelet and fled Hawke’s Bay.
The house where the dog was shot and killed was damaged in a May arson, something residents fear might happen to the house where Tekira died.
‘‘It should be pulled down and other houses built,’’ one resident of Kokiri Cres said.
‘‘Someone burned the house across the road and they’re going to burn this one too.’’
However, another resident said the house should not stand empty when there were people waiting for homes.
‘‘If every house where someone died was knocked down, there wouldn’t be any houses left.’’
The decision to re-tenant the house had come after talking with the community, Housing NZ area manager Kathy Furfie said.
‘‘After the incident, some community members told us they wanted to see the house demolished. After some further time had passed, we again met with locals to get their thoughts.
‘‘Attendees from the community told us they are keen to see someone in need of a home move into the property.’’
Any prospective tenant would be told of the properties history and have the option of turning it down without threatening their eligibility for social housing, Furfie said.
Housing NZ would bring the community together with services that helped during the seige for a street barbeque when the weather warms up, she said.
Police fired gas canisters into the house during the siege, but in June a Housing New Zealand spokeswoman said testing showed no risk from gas contamination.
The property was blessed by local kaumatua after Tekira’s death.
The property damaged by fire was demolished for safety reasons, and Housing NZ was considering future options for the site, Furfie said.