Residents of a South Auckland community are cautiously welcoming a decision to move a sex offender who has been living near a school.

The Department of Corrections has confirmed it will move the released offender, who is living near a Mangere East school.

In June it was reported Corrections had placed the man in a house on the same street as Jean Batten Primary School, a move causing immediate community backlash.

Mangere MP Su'a William Sio said parents in the community were cautiously optimistic the man would be moved, but said there was some distrust for Corrections within the community about the issue.


"It's welcome news, but the parent committee sort of shrugged their shoulders and screwed up their faces and said 'we'll believe it when we see it'."

Sio said parents would have liked more communication from Corrections.

"I think the parents also feel Corrections were able to move one offender in the Hutt Valley very quickly... whereas in this case they've dragged their feet."

In August, community pressure saw a three-time child-sex offender moved from Lower Hutt to Christchurch Prison.

The decision to move the man in Mangere has been made as about 50 locals attend a public meeting tonight, organising a petition for the offender to be moved.

But Corrections northern operations director Lynnette Cave said the decision was not related to the petition or the concerns residents had expressed.

"This offender is compliant, engaging well with Probation, adhering to all of his special and standard conditions and has not breached his conditions.

"The offender concerned will be relocating to accommodation outside of the Mangere area in October as the next phase of his safe reintegration into community life.


"The offender's current accommodation was not intended to be long term."

Newstalk ZB reporter Sam Thompson is at tonight's community meeting, and said locals were welcoming the decision to move the offender.

But he said they had serious concerns about the fact he was placed there in the first place.

"They're saying that he's not from here, 'why has he been placed here, why has been placed next to a school, next to a council car park'.

"They say he's a high risk offender and there's all likelihood he may reoffend again."

Cave said Corrections acknowledged the concerns raised by the community, and were happy to meet with people who had concerns about the management of offenders.

"Corrections has previously attended a meeting called by the local school to ensure that the wider community had the necessary information to keep their children safe.

"Corrections staff and local police met with five local school principals, in addition to neighbours of the property, to advise them that an offender would be residing in their community and provide advice about keeping safe.

"These notification processes are undertaken to help manage and mitigate potential risk to the safety of the community."

In May the man was placed next to another Mangere East school, Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae. Students said they had filmed the man making hand and tongue gestures at them.

He was moved to the same street as Jean Batten Primary a month later.

At the time Cave said the man was a "very high risk of imminent violent offending" and that the department tried to get the High Court to grant a Public Protection Order (PPO), meaning the man would have had to live at a secure facility on prison grounds.

The High Court refused the application and issued a seven-year Extended Supervision Order (ESO) instead.