2 Sep 2009

Housing NZ defends eviction costs

3:10 pm on 2 September 2009

Housing New Zealand is defending the spiralling costs of a bid to evict tenants with Mongrel Mob links in Lower Hutt.

In March, five families were told they had 90 days to leave their state houses after a spate of gang intimidation in the suburb of Pomare.

Three are refusing to budge from their homes. A legal challenge will continue in the District Court on 16 September.

Housing New Zealand's costs in pursuing the matter so far total $311,925.

This sum includes mobile security patrols for the neighbourhood costing more than $56,000 and separate security guards for $232,000.

Chief executive Lesley McTurk says it is a unique situation with high tensions and a risk of reprisals.

Dr McTurk does not expect the costs to rise much further.