Hastings District Council byelection candidate Jason Whaitiri says the tenancy tribunal has ruled in his favour in a dispute over his mother's rental of the family home.
Mr Whaitiri had argued before the tribunal that he was entitled to evict his 79-year-old mother from the family home, which he purchased from his parents in 1997.
Mr Whaitiri, who is standing in the Hastings/Havelock North Ward byelection which finishes on Friday, said last night that his mother, Mei Whaitiri, had "not been evicted" and was "still in the house and will continue to live in the house".
In a statement, Mr Whaitiri said "the tribunal hearing was never about evicting mum. It was all about my siblings of the Whaitiri Whanau Trust making allegations rent can't be increased as mum had "life interest" in my home and a 'debt' from 1997."
He received the tribunal decision from his lawyer on Friday morning and believed his family had too. Hawke's Bay Today has not seen the tribunal decision, which has not been released publicly. Mr Whaitiri declined the newspaper's request to see the decision.
An earlier attempt at mediation between Mr Whaitiri, his mother Mei Whaitiri and siblings, including Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP and Minister of Customs Meka Whaitiri, failed to reach a resolution on the dispute that arose prior to an eviction order being issued to Mrs Whaitiri in June this year, giving 90 days to vacate the house.
Tensions escalated when Mr Whaitiri wanted to raise the rent from $200 to $280 a week, and engaged Pukeko Rental Managers to take over management of the property
They had the property appraised and found that the current market rental rate was between $340 and $360 a week, so considered the $80 increase reasonable.
"I'm not rich by any means. I don't have a six-figure salary or a company car. I'm a freezing worker/husband/father/son who needs to take care of his whanau. After the usual living costs, I'm also to provide and support my wife and 21-year-old daughter, both in full-time study, our 12-year-old daughter soon to be attending high school, our two grandsons in Auckland, my mother-in-law as well as my brother and mum who reside in my home. All on one income and it's been damned tough."
Mr Whaitiri said he wasn't talking for his sisters but merely for himself.
He and his wife believed it had come "full circle back from the beginning".
"It has been a very tough time for all involved. Our feeling is that is should never ever have come to this. It is what it is."
Meka Whaitiri said last night she hadn't spoken to the lawyer yet, but was planning to go home on Tuesday.
"All I know is that they have upheld the tenancy of my mother. I am yet to get fully briefed on the findings."