HuttNZ

Local News, Current Affairs and Events for the Hutt Valley Wellington New Zealand

Posts Tagged ‘Farmer Cres

Pomare evictions (Farmer Cres) to appeal Court decision

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Three Lower Hutt families with gang connections have filed appeals against a Tenancy Tribunal decision that would see them evicted from their state houses.

They are fighting moves to get them kicked out of the suburb of Pomare after neighbours complained about intimidation, threats and burglary.

In March, five households in Farmer Cres with Mongrel Mob links were issued 90-day notices terminating their tenancies after “severely disturbing the community”.

Two of the families moved before their notices expired. But Billy Taylor, Robyn Winther and Huia Tamaka appealed to the tribunal to have the orders overturned.

The trio lodged appeals in Lower Hutt District Court this morning. The court confirmed the appeals had been lodged but no dates had yet been set for hearings.

The Tenancy Tribunal would not comment further on the matter.

In February police arrested and charged several Mongrel Mob members, some of whom were partners of the tenants in question.

In a reserved decision released yesterday, the tribunal ruled in favour of Housing NZ, after the government agency argued it was simply seeking possession of its units, as it – and any other landlord – was entitled to do as long as correct procedures were followed.

Tribunal adjudicator Karun Lakshman said a landlord had no obligation to give a reason for 90 days’ notice.

“In the present case, the reasons given by the corporation, even if unlawful, do not make the notice bad.”

Robert Lithgow, QC, who represented the women at the tribunal hearing, argued the evictions were discriminatory and breached the Bill of Rights Act.

He said his clients would appeal the decision to the District Court and this morning said the women had already drafted appeals and would seek a stay on their eviction.

He said the Government had a plan.

”They are going to have a go at the Mongrel Mob and they don’t care who they hurt on the way,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Housing NZ chief executive Lesley Turk said it was pleased to be granted the possession orders. It encouraged tenants to be good neighbours. If they chose not to their tenancies would be terminated.

Dr Turk said state tenants, like any tenants, had an obligation to abide by the tenancy agreement and “avoid disturbing the harmony of their neighbourhood”.

“If they fail to do this, then they risk losing the opportunity of living in a state home.”

The families will be given time to leave but Housing NZ said it would enforce the possession order if necessary.

It was willing to help the families find new accommodation but “to date, they haven’t taken up this offer”.

“We can now focus on making Pomare a better place to live for the 100 or so Housing NZ tenants who live there.”

 
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Written by HuttNZ

July 31, 2009 at 2:52 am

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Pomare: Tenants of Farmers Cres lose out to Housing NZ

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In March this year Housing NZ served 90-day notices to three women living in a Farmer Crescent state housing block after neighbours complained about intimidation, threats and burglary.

Police arrested and charged several Mongrel Mob members as a result of investigations, some of whom were partners of the tenants in question.

The tenants refused to adhere to the eviction notices and the case ended up in the tribunal’s hands.

Housing NZ argued at the Wellington hearing this month that it was simply seeking possession of its units, as it – and any other landlord – was entitled to do as long as correct procedures were followed.

A lawyer for the tenants, Robert Lithgow QC, argued the evictions were discriminatory and breached the Bill of Rights Act.

In a reserved decision, the tribunal ruled in favour of Housing NZ, but Mr Lithgow told NZPA his clients would appeal against the decision to the District Court.

He said that while technically they could be evicted pending an appeal he would be “very surprised” if Housing NZ did that.

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July 30, 2009 at 8:46 am

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Lower Hutt Gang linked Farmer Cres households take legal action

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Gang-linked households facing eviction from Lower Hutt’s troubled Farmer Cres are taking legal action to avoid being forced out.

They have also lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, claiming the forced eviction bid unfairly punishes women and up to 16 children.

Tenants in five state houses in the street were given 90 days to leave by Housing New Zealand in March after claims of intimidation by Mongrel Mob members living at the addresses.

“No-one’s packed and no-one’s going to move,” an affected resident told The Dominion Post yesterday. “Housing NZ can’t do this. They can’t get rid of us before [the Mongrel Mob members] have had their day in court. That street is our home.”

Police allege three patched Mob members ordered a female neighbour and her two children out of their Farmer Cres home on February 1.

The five women listed on the tenancy agreements, who are understood to be on benefits and may qualify for legal aid, have hired a lawyer to gain an injunction and fight the evictions through the Tenancy Tribunal.

The notices were among the first issued under a Housing NZ plan to deal with its most troublesome tenants. Two weeks ago the tenants filed their complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

Though the tenants had to be out of Farmer Cres by June 1, none were willing to go, the affected resident said.

She claimed her nine-year-old son had been dragged out of bed by armed police during a February early-morning raid and had watched in tears as his father was arrested on the floor.

Three gang members arrested in the raid appeared in Lower Hutt District Court yesterday on joint intimidation charges.

One of the trio is being held in custody and a depositions hearing is scheduled for July. Long-time Farmer Cres resident Patria Tamaka confirmed the women were taking legal action and were prepared to fight the evictions all the way to the High Court if necessary.

Housing NZ’s tough new national policy, designed to sidestep the Tenancy Tribunal, follows a two-year legal battle to get the Salt family dubbed “the neighbours from hell” evicted from an Auckland state house.

A Housing NZ spokesman was unaware of any legal action or human rights complaints from Farmer Cres.

He said the residents had to be out by June. Housing Minister Phil Heatley would not comment on the legal action, saying it was a procedural matter.

Housing NZ came under fire when confidential documents were sent out with the Farmer Cres eviction notices forcing a Housing NZ manager who lived nearby to leave her home.

Labour Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia said Housing NZ’s “monumental botch-up” around the evictions cast serious doubts on its decision making.

“I’m concerned about the effect on the women and children. Housing NZ have really really rushed this.

via Dominion Post

Written by HuttNZ

May 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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