Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Offenders banned after string of neighbour complaints

The owner of the boarding houses is pleased released prisoners will no longer be welcome. Photo / Dean Purcell
The owner of the boarding houses is pleased released prisoners will no longer be welcome. Photo / Dean Purcell

Corrections has banned an Auckland boarding house from homing offenders after residents allegedly threatened neighbours, vandalised properties, held all-day parties and looked in a young girl's window.

One resident, a convicted rapist, was removed from the Green Bay accommodation last week.

The man then allegedly threatened a neighbouring family, who were so afraid they fled their home for the weekend.

The neighbour, who was too scared to be identified, said the threat on Thursday was just the latest "disturbing" incident from the two houses that make up the lodgings.

She said she had been battling since August for action over the houses, which are next to each other and on the same street as two schools, childcare centres and public reserves. Her curtains remain drawn and her young daughter's bedroom is unused after she saw a man wearing a monitor on his ankle outside her window.

Other residents have screamed abuse while she hangs out her washing, she said, thrown bottle caps and yelled at her children as they play, and smashed bottles on her roof.

"Corrections should not have put us in this position," she said.

"How can you put a whole lot of people with these sorts of needs in a house together and let them roam around a community with very little monitoring?"

Corrections northern operations director Lynette Cave said offenders it managed there were in the process of being moved, and the privately owned property would no longer be used by the agency.

"Corrections has met with the residents of neighbouring properties who have raised concerns and the address in question has been deemed unsuitable for the offenders housed there. Alternative arrangements for these offenders will be made."

The property owner, Peter Wheeler, said he had long refused high-risk offenders, but was pleased all offenders would be banned.

Officials would vouch for the offenders, but did not step in if they caused trouble, he said, and it was hard to evict them under tenancy laws.

"I am on the neighbours' side; I don't want this trouble either. From time to time we have little upsets but we try to resolve them."

The properties do not have an on-site manager and Mr Wheeler said he tried to be responsive to complaints.

A police spokeswoman said officers investigated the threat but found no evidence to suggest any offence had been committed.

"Police have, in the past, visited the boarding house address from time-to-time. Housing issues are not a matter for police to comment on."

A public meeting at Green Bay High School was held last night for concerned residents to discuss issues with the houses.

Police, Corrections, and a representative from local MP David Cunliffe's office were invited, and Mr Wheeler attended.

Boarding house trouble

Residents are accused of all-day parties, vandalism and verbally abusing neighbours

• Last week: A convicted rapist was evicted and then threatened neighbours, who fled.

• May 4: Corrections ruled houses on Godley Rd as unsuitable for offenders after complaints.

• Also this year: A man with an ankle monitoring bracelet on was allegedly seen crouching by a little girl's bedroom window.

• March, 2015: A Corrections-monitored resident died from a suspected drug overdose.

- NZ Herald

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