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Highbury Housing NZ Properties Inspected

Media Statement - Housing New Zealand Corporation

3.30pm 15 February 2002

Housing New Zealand Corporation today inspected 11 HNZC houses in Cowley Place, Highbury, Palmerston North.

Of the 11 houses inspected today, seven were legally tenanted, three were vacant and one was abandoned.

All of the 11 properties have substantial damage including doors knocked in, broken windows, floors and in some cases wrecked cars in the yards.

In one of the tenanted houses a wall had been removed.

The three vacant houses had been entered and were also damaged. A bench-press and some weights were found in one of the vacant houses. Dogs had been in two of the other vacant houses, however it did not appear that they had been used as "dog kennels" as suggested in some media reports.

Housing New Zealand Corporation contractors have replaced the locks on the vacant properties.

HNZC is now assessing the information gathered today and awaiting further details from the police before going to the Tenancy Tribunal to seek resolution regarding the future of the tenancies. A potential outcome of this process may result in HNZC being granted possession of the tenanted properties.

HNZC is conscious that some of the occupants in the legally tenanted houses are women and children.

Please attribute the above information to a Housing New Zealand Corporation Spokesperson.

Background Information

HNZC inspects tenanted properties twice a year, and in some areas this occurs more often.

Vacant properties in Cowley Place have been inspected fortnightly. The last inspection was about two weeks before the February 6 incident. At this time there was no sign of any gym equipment and no evidence that dogs had been in the vacant houses.

ENDS

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