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Hamilton Rent Striker Says Enough

by Selwyn Manning

A Hamilton women who has been on a partial rent-strike for six years says she’s had enough.

Sue Hartley began her protest in 1993, when a rent increase left her with only $10 a week to live on.

Since then Ms Hartley has paid only 25 percent of her income towards rent.

But now, she admits, pressure has caused her to accept Housing New Zealand’s offer of a smaller house at $105 per week. Ms Hartley also agreed to start paying off the money she owes from the last house.

Her rent strike was a lone vigil in Hamilton with little support from her community, Mrs Hartley says.

Auckland however has nine Housing New Zealand tenants on partial rent-strikes. Publicity surrounded the police-lead eviction of HNZ rent-striker Len Parker last month. Mr Parker had also been striking for six years but turned down Housing New Zealand offers of cheaper accommodation.

He had barricaded himself and another into the Balmoral Road unit. Police had to smash their way through the roof to forcefully evict Mr Parker. He was charged with trespass and taken into custody and has since been released.

The Auckland rent strikes are part of a SHAC lead campaign protesting against the Government’s market rent policy for state house tenants.

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