4 Mar 2009

Housing NZ switches tactics to evict problem tenants

10:12 am on 4 March 2009

The Tenancy Tribunal will no longer be used by Housing New Zealand to evict state house residents in extreme cases.

Housing New Zealand on Tuesday issued 90 day eviction notices to five tenants in the Lower Hutt suburb of Pomare.

A woman and her two children fled the neighbourhood on 1 February claiming intimidation by gang members.

Nine men are before the Lower Hutt District Court on a variety of charges including burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of cannabis.

Three were remanded in custody on Tuesday on charges of threatening behaviour.

Housing New Zealand chief executive Lesley McTurk says the tribunal is not able to act in such cases because the neighbours are too scared to give evidence.

She says the tribunal does not give the 'swift and definitive' outcomes the agency needs in very serious situations.

The eviction notices were issued under the Residential Tenancies Act.

The agency says another 30 tenancies in Pomare are being closely monitored.

Complaints about the family of a tenant in a state house in Auckland have taken over two years to resolve, with the occupants finally moving out of the premises in Range View Road.