This is one of several homes Niki Rauti has turned down.

It's brand new, fully insulated, never been lived in and just 650m down the road from the former state house she's being evicted from.

The new house at Bunkys Way offered to former state tenant Niki Rauti. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company
The new house at Bunkys Way offered to former state tenant Niki Rauti. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company

But, the 62-year-old doesn't want it because she says she can't cope with the stairs in a two-storey house.

"I can't get up stairs," she said. "I can get up one, two, three steps, but it's hard because of my arthritis in my knee."

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Niki Rauti has been offered one of these units in Bunkys Way, off Sunnymead Rd 650 metres from her home in Taniwha St, but says she couldn't cope with the stairs. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company
Niki Rauti has been offered one of these units in Bunkys Way, off Sunnymead Rd 650 metres from her home in Taniwha St, but says she couldn't cope with the stairs. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company

The new house, one of a block of new two-storey units, is in Bunkys Way, a new street off Sunnymead Rd in Glen Innes which runs parallel to Taniwha St where Rauti has lived for 21 years.

Niki Rauti turned down this house because she couldn't cope with the stairs. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company
Niki Rauti turned down this house because she couldn't cope with the stairs. Photo / Tamaki Regeneration Company

Rauti has been fighting the Tamaki Regeneration Company since last year when it took ownership of her state house in a plan to treble the current 2500 houses in the area, keeping about the same number of social housing units and selling the other new homes.

Today a large crowd of supporters gathered at her existing home, erecting a fence around the property to fend off bailiffs, as the company asked the Tenancy Tribunal to grant a possession order so it could evict her.

A large crowd gathered at Niki Rauti's existing home today. Photo / Greg Bowker
A large crowd gathered at Niki Rauti's existing home today. Photo / Greg Bowker

She was first given notice to leave the house in 2014 when it was still owned by Housing NZ, but the company backed off then because it did not need to develop the land immediately.

She was given notice again late last year to leave by January 18.

The Tenancy Tribunal adjourned the latest application for a possession order after Rauti argued that she was not given proper notice, that the company applied for the order before it had the legal right to it, and that its action was "retaliatory".

The company says it has offered her four other homes to move into in the Glen Innes area as well as the one in Bunkys Way.

"We have not received feedback from Ms Rauti on any of these houses," said housing general manager Neil Porteous.

Niki Rauti waves to supporters at her former state house. Photo / Greg Bowker
Niki Rauti waves to supporters at her former state house. Photo / Greg Bowker

Rauti said she turned down the Bunkys Rd house and another one because they were two-storeyed, another house in Vienna Row because it was damp, and one in Tripoli Rd because it was an older house and likely to be demolished soon as part of the redevelopment of the area.

She said she was only offered four homes.

"I don't want to keep moving over and over, I don't think I can handle it," she said.

"They [supporters] asked me how I was doing. I said it's getting harder and harder, you are just not feeling well all the time, you're sick."

The Regeneration Company, a joint Government/Auckland Council company which took over the area's state houses last year, did not comment on Rauti's reasons for rejecting the houses, but said it "would welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with her".

"Once we know a tenant's needs, particularly in terms of accessibility, we can work with them to find a suitable house," Porteous said.

"We will continue to hold a new warm, dry home nearby for Ms Rauti. We understand this is a difficult time for Ms Rauti but TRC has been transparent with her about the redevelopment plans and tried to communicate with her at every opportunity.

"TRC aims to move tenants once into a new home. There are some situations where a new house isn't ready so a family is moved into an older home until the new house is built. Tenants will be able to remain in the new homes so long as they are eligible for social housing."