Partying, fighting and violence: West Auckland man not sleeping, forced into therapy after months of chaos from disruptive Kāinga Ora neighbour

Constant fights, violence and partying from his Kāinga Ora neighbour is making a west Auckland man's life hell.     

The Avondale man, who didn't want to be named out of concern for his safety, can't sleep, is struggling to work and is slowly losing hope of ever feeling safe in his home again.     

His family have lived in his house for generations and it has always been peaceful and safe.     

But a few years ago, that changed when new tenants moved into a Kāinga Ora home on his street. The previous tenants were older and kept to themselves but the new tenants were disruptive and always fighting.     

Over the next five years, things went from bad to worse. The original disruptive family was moved on after he complained, but they were replaced by an even more unruly tenant who was constantly having parties, fights and being loud at all hours of the day.    

The entire street is plagued by loud noise from the house and no longer feels safe, the man said.  He can no longer sleep or work from home because of the constant screaming and disruption.   

He told Newshub he's been forced to call the police several times because of loud, aggressive fights and domestic violence and he even claims someone linked to the house smashed into his family car.  Several families have moved because they no longer feel safe, he said.     

He's called the police several times but by the time they arrive it's calmed down and the other neighbours are too scared to say anything.  

"Our neighbours, some of them are young families or they're elderly so I feel I have to stand up for them. No one wants to speak up because they're really scared, even when the police turn up," the man told Newshub.     

"We want a safe environment but we can't live a normal life, we're losing out on quality of life. A lot of retired people [live on the street] so this is the last thing they want and families want to raise their kids here."  

It's so bad he has considered moving but his family has lived there for generations, and it would be too much for his elderly mother.   

But the stress of dealing with the neighbour is taking a massive toll on his life and his relationship with his friends and family is suffering.  

"I'm tired. I can't sleep at night. I'm popping sleeping pills to sleep. And now I'm doing therapy," he said.   

"It's destroying my family life... my relationships because I'm not 100 percent right now because of what it's done to me. "  

He is calling on the new Government to act, specifically David Seymour who was vocal about cracking down on disruptive Kāinga Ora tenants ahead of the election.   

"I thought the new powers that be, the new Government, I would have thought they would jump on it because I heard Seymour talk about how he's clamping down on it.   

"I want to know what he's doing because he obviously knows about it. He knows it's a long waiting list and those people deserve houses - they need to be there.  

"But the thing is, the people that have got time to disrupt the neighbourhood, they get the discount from taxpayers to subsidise their rent and that leaves them with change to buy cigarettes, to buy alcohol, to do this kind of nonsense... So those kind of people don't deserve this. It's the people on a waiting list that really need houses that do," he said.   

ACT's David Seymour told Newshub he sympathises with the man's situation and part of the coalition agreement includes ensuring disruptive Kāinga Ora tenants face consequences. 

"Too many people have been terrorised by anti-social behaviour from Kāinga Ora tenants," Seymour said. "ACT's coalition agreement with National has a commitment to remove the Kāinga Ora Sustaining Tenancies Framework and ensure appropriate consequences for tenants who engage in repeated antisocial behaviour. 

"This framework has made it too difficult for unruly tenants to be terminated which is why ACT is making sure it will go. If Kāinga Ora tenants know that people who misbehave are being moved on, maybe their neighbours will get some peace and quiet. 

He said removing the framework means there will be consequences for bad behaviour.  

As for when the man might finally get peace, it's unclear. When contacted by Newshub Kāinga Ora regional director for north and west Taina Jones said they first received a complaint about the tenant in early 2023 and acted appropriately.   

"We cannot go into all the details of this situation for privacy reasons but Kāinga Ora has acted quickly to address the disruptive behaviour," Jones said.   

"We first received a concern about disruptive behaviour at this address in early 2023 and used the tools available to us under the Residential Tenancies Act at the time to address the behaviour with our customer, who had only been in the property a short amount of time.   

"We received no further concerns until the end of October 2023, and are currently taking appropriate action to address those concerns."  

Jones said Kāinga Ora is "using the tools available to us under the Residential Tenancies Act to address the disruptive behaviour that has occurred in this situation".  

"But like is the case for any other landlord, this does take time as there are specific steps that need to be followed. While we are working as quickly as possible, we appreciate that this wait can be challenging for those living next door to someone whose behaviour is disruptive."  

Jones also added there are several Kāinga Ora properties on the street which they haven't received complaints about in several years.   

"It's important to keep in mind that the vast majority of Kāinga Ora customers make good neighbours and contribute positively to the communities they live in," she added.  

And it's those tenants the man is so desperate to get back.