Siege house to be rented out again

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

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.

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