Parnell business owners blame crime wave on Kāinga Ora tenants

The Parnell Business Association said it was able to directly link crime to Kāinga Ora tenants.
The Parnell Business Association said it was able to directly link crime to Kāinga Ora tenants. Photo credit: RNZ

Story by Finn Blackwell of RNZ

An Auckland business group says unruly behaviour from Kāinga Ora tenants in the area have gone unchecked.

The Parnell Business Association says more than 40 incidents, ranging from robbery to intimidation, were recorded last November and December.

The association said it was able to directly link the incidents to people residing in Kāinga Ora apartments.

General manager Cheryl Adamson has written to the government, saying something needs to be done.

"We've literally, over the past two months, been able to track [more than] 40 incidents back to those premises," she said.

"We just believe something needs to be done in terms of actually managing the tenants that are living there, even if it's just to give Kāinga Ora insight into what is actually going on."

In a letter to Housing Minister Chris Bishop and former Prime Minister Sir Bill English, the association said full-time on-site facility management must be included in the latter's independent review of the agency.

The letter, provided to RNZ, said tenant specific management is an easy starting point to address the issue. It said a positive public sentiment was crucial to solving the housing crisis for those in need.

Adamson said better management could change the attitudes around Kāinga Ora developments.

"The amount of new developments that are being proposed for Kāinga Ora are eliciting quite a negative response from the community, and I think this is the reason why - because they're unchecked.

"It would be far better for all those families in need if we could have more compassion about them, and have more welcoming into a community if we knew that that was going to be managed properly."

Kāinga Ora and police have been approached for comment.