4 May 2012

Housing NZ investigates intimidation claims

8:49 pm on 4 May 2012

Police are increasing their presence in the Wellington suburb of Newtown following reports of intimidation by Black Power gang members at Housing New Zealand flats.

Some of the tenants have complained of stand-over tactics including verbal abuse, extortion and gang members intimidating children wearing colours to which they took offence.

Police say over the past three months they have been called to the flats on several occasions, including a complaint on Wednesday night of a tenant's vehicle being vandalised by a gang member.

Police tactical response manager Inspector Terry Van Dillen says they met with all parties involved at the flats on Friday.

He says anyone causing disorder will be arrested and police will have extra foot patrols by officers in the area.

The Property Investors Federation says if gang members are intimidating tenants they should be given an eviction notice immediately.

President Andrew King says people who intimidate tenants should be given a 90 day eviction notice now, meaning no long investigation.

Housing New Zealand says some tenants have moved out of the flats on Coromandel Street because of the threatening behaviour.

Wellington regional tenancy services manager Jackie Pivac says a meeting has been held with the community constable over the complaints.

She says once the agency has gathered enough information and evidence on the situation, it will go to the Tenancy Tribunal and seek an order for immediate eviction of the people responsible for the problems.