A Whanganui landlord is being investigated following complaints he was not maintaining the flats he owns, which have black mould and insulation hanging out of holes in the buildings.

The pink flats, owned by Matt Ngapeka's Berekyah Trust, have been in the spotlight after RNZ reported tenants' complaints the flats weren't being maintained.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Tenancy Compliance & Investigations Team were aware of the flats and confirmed an investigation was being conducted.

A spokesperson said it wouldn't comment any further because the investigation was ongoing.


The 'pink flats', as they are known by locals, are made up of six small, pink houses on Bedford Ave in Gonville.

Two of the tenants who recently spoke to media about the derelict state of their flats are now refusing to talk in fear they will be evicted.

They said Ngapeka was their only reference, and would struggle to find a new place to live if evicted.

The Chronicle understands one of those tenants was visibly distressed after Ngapeka spoke to her following RNZ's story about the flats aired last week.

Another resident said he was so used to maintenance not being carried out he stopped asking for things to be fixed.

There was mould on one of the walls in his flat as well as several holes in the exterior and rotted wooden panels throughout the property.

He said at one point the wall in his lounge had become so wet and soft due to a leaking pipe he was able to put his toe through the plaster.

It was also understood Ngapeka had allowed his daughter to live in the back flat and that she was disrupting the rest of the tenants by having parties on weekends and there had been a number of noise complaints made against her.

According to the Whanganui District Council there have been 15 noise complaints on Bedford Ave since October 1, 2017.

Ngapeka's daughter's flat was also in a state of disrepair with a broken window, holes in the outer walls and a pile of rubbish bags outside.

A neighbour, Samantha Ryan, had been following the tenants' situation with concern.

"I've noticed over the last several years that they [the flats] have not been - certainly on the exterior - they have not been maintained properly," she said.

"One tenant has mould and black mould in the bathroom, in the bedroom on the floor.

"Because Matt ... is not keeping up with the maintenance issues as they've arisen according to the tenants then all these problems are just getting worse and worse."

She said a number of the tenants had approached the landlord over the issues.

"One tenant has been there for four years, another for five and repeatedly raised the maintenance issues externally and internally. So far it appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

"My concerns are for the tenants' health, in particular there are several young children living in the pink flats and I'm aware that the damp mouldy conditions are affecting their health. And I just don't think it's right that a landlord can take rent off people and not look after the houses that they're renting out. I think it's wrong, it's immoral."

Matt Ngapeka has been approached for a response to this story but he has so far not answered any phone calls or text messages. The invitation to respond remains open.