A Wellington pensioner who may have died long before his body was discovered was farewelled this week.

A private cremation was held for Robert Scally on Tuesday and his belongings have gone into storage.

The 78-year-old had a few distant relatives, and an online tribute says he was the son of the late Betty and Robert Scally, of Scotland.

Neighbours were alerted that something was wrong because of an unusual smell and swarm of flies around Mr Scally's Housing New Zealand flat, in an apartment block on Dixon St in central Wellington.


Marcus Pohio called police on May 18.

He'd only seen Mr Scally a handful of times this year and had first noticed the strange smell a week before.

Today, the flat is closed up, but the flies and the smell have gone.

Housing NZ area manager Alice Daniel Kirk said Mr Scally's belongings were going into storage.

"When a property becomes vacant we take the opportunity to look at what can be done to prepare it for a new tenant. We are currently looking at what refurbishment can be done on the property so it can be re-let."

After Mr Scally was found, Housing NZ staff were in the apartments "talking to tenants and making sure they were OK".

"To support tenants who wanted it we arranged for victim support to visit them we also organised a blessing of the site and afternoon tea to remember the tenant who passed," Ms Daniel Kirk said.

"This was well attended by around 20 tenants. We also invited support agencies to this so that tenants could link with them if they wanted."


Before Mr Scally died, Housing NZ staff visited him twice outside of the normal inspections to check on his welfare.

"We also offered to link him to support agencies which he declined," Ms Daniel Kirk said.

"We also worked with the tenant's neighbours who also kept an eye on him."

Mr Scally's death is the third in similar circumstances in Wellington in just over a year.

The body of 78-year-old Jim Grant was found in an apartment complex in central Wellington in March, after he was thought to have died two months earlier.

Last year Dean Stewart died in his Newtown house and wasn't found for months.

Mr Scally's death has been referred to the coroner.