Vandals send message

LASHING OUT: New houses in Glen Innes have been targeted by vandals.
LASHING OUT: New houses in Glen Innes have been targeted by vandals.

Two brand new houses built on the site of newly shifted state homes in Auckland have been paint-bombed by vandals.

The houses, expected to sell for around $800,000 each on the corner of Castledine Cres and Eastview Rd, were covered in paint and tagged with the words "developers out" on April 19.

They occupy a  site that was once home to state houses  removed as part of the controversial Northern Glen Innes Redevelopment Project. 

The scheme involves the redevelopment of 156 former state housing properties to create at least 270 new homes for Housing New Zealand tenants.

The new buildings are owned by the property development consortium Creating Communities and opinion over their presence is divided.

Neighbour Liz Vili says the vandalism is petty but shows the disruption in the community.

"I can see it from both sides. It is sad for people. But if they really wanted to voice an opinion about it there's better ways of doing it than throwing paint everywhere. It's pathetic."

Glen Innes resident and local board member Josephine Bartley says vandalism is never an answer.

"There are other ways to voice your concerns about the redevelopment besides resorting to that kind of action.

"That kind of behaviour is dangerous because it taints the rest of the area and adds to the assumptions that are already out there against some of our local kids."

The two houses stand out against the state houses on Eastview Rd, resident James Smith says.

"They are beautiful places which is good to see but we are all struggling here. That's probably why the young ones are fighting back. We're all hurting here."

"It's nothing compared to what could have happened. They could have burnt those properties down. I think it's a statement someone is trying to make." 

A Housing New Zealand tenant, who asked not to be named, says the vandalism seems to be in line with how residents are feeling.

"It's because of the housing and it's because we are getting shunted out.

"Good on the protesters that get out there and stand up for what they believe in."

But Creating Communities director Murdoch Dryden says it looks to be nothing more than school holiday high jinx.

Auctions for the two properties were scheduled for April 16 but cancelled because discussions are going ahead with interested buyers, he says.

"At the end of the day it's a good story for Glen Innes.

The Glen Innes community has had quite a lot of years in sub-standard housing.

"This is the first time anyone has gone out and tried to do something positive."

Tamaki MP Simon O'Connor says the vandalism is "reprehensible".

"Glen Innes is a very proud and strong community.

"If it was protesters then it shows they are not interested in state housing or helping people in need, it's been done for their own agenda." 

East And Bays Courier