An alleged “white supremacist” living in a state house is accused of terrorising his Christchurch neighbours who say they are living in fear for the safety of their children and grandchildren.
The former skinhead and his associates are accused of a prolonged campaign of intimidation and abuse, which has allegedly seen armed police deployed to the street, a kids’ pool shot out with slug gun pellets and threats made on the life of a 4-year-old girl.
He lives in a Woolston Kāinga Ora property with his parents. Neighbours have described a litany of incidents dating back almost a decade resulting in multiple police callouts, countless complaints to Kāinga Ora and various criminal charges and court proceedings.
They say the man is a white power sympathiser and the tenants pose a risk to the community. Neighbours are questioning why the family is allowed to remain in the taxpayer-funded home.
“We just want a safe neighbourhood for my kids,” a mother whose property borders the state house told the Herald.
“It’s just not safe anymore. I just want them gone.”
Kāinga Ora says it’s aware of “historic issues” at the property involving police and “concerns about illegal behaviour”.
It urges anyone with allegations of unlawful activity to contact police “so they can be substantiated and dealt with appropriately”.
A Herald investigation has exposed a series of disturbing cases where antisocial state housing tenants are accused of destroying their neighbours’ lives without fear of consequence due to a “no evictions” policy that critics say protects unruly tenants.
It has forced Kāinga Ora to announce new measures to target its most challenging clients, while a litigation expert is considering a class action for victims.
The Woolston neighbours say swastikas were painted on the street, and claim the man was seen giving the Nazi salute and celebrating the mosque terror attacks.
A petrified family say they were ordered to “get somewhere safe” and “get down on the floor” when Armed Offenders Squad members stormed the property last year, dragging the man from his home after reports of a firearm.
In another incident, a gang of youths allegedly smashed their way into the state house in search of the man, damaging the property and breaking windows. He escaped by jumping a fence into a neighbour’s yard.
One neighbour claims he was attacked with a pitchfork during a street brawl involving people associated with the house. And he was allegedly assaulted earlier this year by another man living in a van on the property’s lawn. The matter is now before the courts.
Neighbours say the former skinhead’s brother was arrested after threatening a resident’s 4-year-old granddaughter – by allegedly standing at a window and running his finger across his neck.
The former skinhead was later accused of pointing a gun at the girl’s grandfather and threatening to take his life.
A woman whose house borders the Kāinga Ora home says her kids’ pool was “shot out” by slug gun pellets.
The man had threatened her 8-year-old son, telling him: “I’m going to get you, you little f***er.”
She also claims her children were fearful of the man and no longer played in the street. She no longer felt safe in her garden due to abuse from the tenants next door.
She said the AOS callout came after she saw three men outside the state house swearing.
“Then I heard, ‘F***, the c***’s got a gun’.”
She saw her neighbour emerge from the property holding what she described as a “silver gun in his hand”.
Armed police swarmed the street within minutes, with an officer telling the women to get low and keep her family safe.
“I was an emotional mess and so were my kids.
“I was scared for my life that night. They are not nice people.”
Correspondence from a concerned neighbour to Kāinga Ora in March warned that residents had complained for years about the tenants.
It highlighted armed police callouts, the presentation of a firearm and a man “threatening to murder” a preschool child. It also noted appalling language, unbearable noise and “outside being used as a toilet”.
Another complaint from a woman in 2016 referenced allegations including a threat to shoot her husband, dog faeces being thrown over the fence, the woman being spat at in the face, swastikas, threats made to children and verbal abuse.
A Kāinga Ora tenancy manager responded at the time, acknowledging “a history of complaints regarding that address”.
He said the tenants had been spoken to and were now “fully aware of the gravity of the situation, and of Housing New Zealand’s expectations for their behaviour going forward”.
Five years on and the neighbours feel their concerns have been ignored.
Police would not comment due to privacy reasons, but said anyone who feared serious harm should call 111.
Kāinga Ora regional director Canterbury Liz Krause said the agency wanted its homes and communities to be secure and pleasant places to live.
It took action when made aware of issues regarding its clients, and tried to identify the “root cause” of problems then tailor its approach for individuals and families.
“In this situation, we are aware of historic issues several years ago, where we worked closely with our customer to address complaints related to this address, and supported police involvement where the concerns were about illegal behaviour.
“We strongly encourage people to keep in touch with us where there are ongoing issues so we can continue to provide support, and any allegations of unlawful behaviour must be reported to the police, so they can be substantiated and dealt with appropriately.”
Kāinga Ora had recently adopted new approaches “to support behaviour change” for challenging clients, Krause said. This included partnerships with justice, social and health agencies, specialised intervention teams and tenant re-transfer policies.
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