Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Dread at Block open homes

Complaints pour in as neighbours wait in fear for DIY show to go on air

The TV3 show features contestants renovating four houses room-by-room, week-by-week. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The TV3 show features contestants renovating four houses room-by-room, week-by-week. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Hammering until late at night, builders' trucks parked in cycle lanes and nosy rubberneckers trespassing are among the complaints made about The Block NZ.

And while there's been a long list of frustrations during the construction phase of the show, neighbours are dreading what will happen when it starts to air at the end of the month.

One Lake Rd resident, who lives next door to the building site for the TV3 renovation reality show, said one night she caught people down her driveway trying to get a better look at the North Shore site.

And while powertools aren't used after 6pm when the professional tradesmen leave for the day, the contestants continue to work until at least 10pm. When a fourth house was moved on to the site at 4am, the woman said the ground shook and she worried her walls would crumble.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said the length of the timeframe had been the worst part of the situation.

"I was horrified when I read in the Herald that said it was going to go on until October. I can't stand this and I have to say that I've got very grave concerns, putting aside all the noise and all the banging, what's concerning me is what's going to happen when they have the open homes.

"The ones on Anzac St brought 5000 people - where are they going to put 5000 people along here? They're going to come all the way down the driveway, they're going to rubberneck and they're nosy and they just take it as a right."

Alan Irving said he had been very disappointed at the lack of consultation and minimal information that MediaWorks had given neighbours.

Once Mr Irving returned from going shopping and found a van blocking his driveway when no notice had been given that this would happen. He had to wait all day before it was cleared.

"If anyone talks to me about having The Block as a neighbour, they need to have about two hours spare while I let some steam off. I just find the whole thing totally obscene."

The chairman of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, Chris Darby, said he had received about a dozen complaints about the production of the show. They ranged from vans parked in the cycleway to worries about the height of the houses.

But the show's executive producer, Greg Heathcote, said The Block caused no more disruption than any normal building site. Because of the time constraints of the show, construction was limited to nine weeks.

Mr Heathcote disagreed that Mr Irving's driveway had been blocked, because one of the flats had leased his front yard for parking for production vehicles.

He said he also found it unlikely that cars were parked in the cycleway. Vehicles leaving their site had their tyres cleaned to ensure no debris got on to the road surface.

"Our immediate neighbours were notified in person by a representative of Eyeworks prior to filming, given a site plan and an overall view of what the houses would look like when finished. Some neighbours have even had a tour of the property."

- NZ Herald

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