A housing group in the Auckland suburb of Glenn Innes says a redevelopment project is tearing the community apart.
Housing New Zealand has begun an urban renewal programme by removing the first of dozens of vacant state houses in the area.
About 40 state houses will be removed over the next two months.
The agency is redeveloping more than 150 properties to create at least 260 new homes in northern Glen Innes.
It says the state houses have been attracting crime and anti-social behaviour and it is removing them to improve safety.
But the Tamaki Action Housing Group says Housing New Zealand is ruining lives and families are being dislocated from the community.