19 May 2016

Decomposing body a 'wake-up call'

3:52 pm on 19 May 2016

The discovery of an elderly man's decomposing body in a Wellington flat is a timely reminder to check on neighbours, says Wellington City Council.

The Dixon Street flats where the body was found.

The Dixon Street flats where the body was found. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

The man was found in Housing New Zealand's Dixon Street apartments last night, after concerned neighbours alerted the police.

Police said his death was not thought to be suspicious, but his body was believed to have been there for some time.

It was the second discovery of a decomposing body in a Wellington flat this year after the body of a 78-year-old man - believed to have died in January - was found in March.

But Angela Rampton, the council's neighbourhood development co-ordinator, said cases like this were rare.

"It is a real wake-up call for everybody, that we really need to be keeping an eye out for the people who live aorund us. Now some people choose, for whatever reason, to live very private lives, and that's completely their right, but what we can be doing is just keeping an eye out."

Ms Rampton said the council was visiting the apartments and offering support to neighbours today.

Housing New Zealand said it had met with the tenant twice over the last five months and was working with police as they investigated.

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