Prayers were answered at Ahipara last week when the Far North District Council installed a set of pipe gates at the Takahe St entrance to the kaumatua flats, which the residents hope will put an end to a decade of thieves breaking into their cars.
The gates are there a week earlier than the council had expected the job to be done by, while solar-powered security lighting had earlier been installed.
Resident Eru Ihaka Harawira said he had been praying - "there have been a lot of karakia" - morning and night, and not only in the hope of divine intervention with the council, but more importantly for the community's young people, some of whom are the prime suspects for the ongoing problems.
He now felt a little more secure than he had in the past, and was smiling as broadly as fellow residents Ataroa Hadfield, Kevin Mare and Pat McPherson, who initially approached NZME to air her frustration.
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Council chief executive Shaun Clarke told the Northland Age last week that the issue had been well raised, and was being dealt with.
"We can have 300 jobs like this from all over the district on our hands at any given time, and this one is well in hand," he said.
The plight of the residents of the flats had seen a number of Far North locals offering to erect gates before the FNDC did.