Evicted man is stay­ing put

South Waikato News - - Front Page -

A Toko­roa ten­ant evicted for not pay­ing rent since 2012 is vow­ing not to go with­out a fight.

Mathew Tonga-awhikau has lived in a Pa­panui St rental since 2009, with his five-year-old grand­son and aunt, pay­ing $160 a week.

In 2012 he stopped pay­ing due to the poor con­di­tion of the prop­erty and lack of ac­tion by the then prop­erty man­ager to have the is­sues ad­dressed.

That in­cludes leak­ing ceil­ings, black mould, no in­su­la­tion, and no heat source other than an oven used for cook­ing.

Tonga-aw­i­hikau said they only moved to the ad­dress tem­po­rar­ily while the prop­erty man­ager saw that their for­mer rental in Saint An­drews Dr was fixed af­ter a frozen wa­ter pipe burst caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant dam­age.

‘‘We moved here in Oc­to­ber 2009 while we waited for the other place to be re­paired but once it was fixed they put some­one else in there and we were dumped here,’’ he said.

Tonga-awhikau said af­ter more than 10 weeks of noth­ing be­ing down at their for­mer home he com­plained to the Ten­ancy Tri­bunal for lack of ac­tion. Un­be­known to him at the time it also re­sulted in the ad­ju­di­ca­tor call­ing an end to that ten­ancy.

He said while they liked their new place dur­ing the warm sum­mer months, when win­ter hit things quickly changed.

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