7 Oct 2009

Housing NZ tenants moved due to safety concerns

8:52 pm on 7 October 2009

Housing New Zealand is moving about 40 tenants from leased apartments in west Auckland due to structural safety and a need for urgent repairs.

Pepperwood Mews has 32 units and is leased to Housing New Zealand by private owners from the Homeowners and Buyers Association.

Residents of Pepperwood Mews will be temporarily accommodated in motels.

Housing New Zealand says repairs need to be made to walkways that provide access to the units where work was carried out without a building consent.

The agency also says an engineering report raises new concerns about the structural safety of the complex, including cracks and leaking pipes.

A spokesperson for the Homeowners and Buyers Association, Roger Levie, says Housing New Zealand authorised the original construction of the apartments.

Mr Levie says it also, some years ago and without telling the owners, initiated remedial work that has led to the need for more repairs, so it should pay for them.

"We feel they need to take some responsibility. After all, the owners who purchased this property, the purchased because it was held up as a high-quality Housing New Zealand development ... only to find now that that it has major problems."

However, Housing New Zealand says it did not initiate the original construction of the apartments, but merely agreed to rent them from the developer.

It also denies it authorised and paid for the initial remedial work.