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Hazard injures pensioner

SARAH CODDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
Empty Shell
UPSET RESIDENT: Gallaher Court resident Robert Davis stands in the corridor where an elderly man was injured after slipping in a puddle caused by a leaking roof. He wants Auckland Council to fix the problem before someone else is injured.

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A pensioner has serious head injuries after slipping in a puddle at his council-owned flat.

The puddles were created by a leaking roof that has not been repaired properly since the building was built in 2010, neighbours say.

The 83-year-old was walking from his second-floor apartment in an inside corridor at Manurewa's Gallaher Court when he slipped and cracked his head on nearby railing.

He didn't think it was serious but two weeks later he was rushed to Auckland Hospital with a brain bleed and needed surgery. He is still recovering in hospital.

Neighbour Robert Davis says Auckland Council staff have come in to fix the leak several times but the repair work has failed.

"When it rains heavy there are puddles from one end of the inside corridor all the way down to the stairs.

"Does someone have to die before we get our building leakproof and it's safe for us oldies?"

Doreen Malfait, a friend of the injured man, says he is doing well now but is taking a long time to recover.

Ms Malfait has been putting a large plastic bin near where the accident occurred to the catch the water and prevent further slips.

Auckland Council's community facilities manager Kevin Marriott confirms the roof has needed remedial work since the units were first built.

"It underwent extensive repair work by the construction company as recently as late 2013 when all issues were thought to be resolved," Mr Marriott says.

The council was advised of the accident and the leaking issues two days after the man was admitted to hospital.

"Once we know what we're dealing with, we will move to resolve it with urgency," Mr Marriott says.

Council staff have met residents to talk to them about their concerns and ongoing roof issues.

"We are treating the situation as a matter of priority and our thoughts are with the tenant and their family. We wish him a speedy recovery," Mr Marriott says.

"We carry out regular maintenance checks on Gallaher Court but do rely, as any landlord does, on tenants advising us of any issues or concerns as soon as they arise."

Gallaher Court was heralded as the start of the roll-out of more units for the elderly in 2009.

The 16-unit Alfriston Rd development cost $2.2 million.

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- Manukau Courier

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