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Tetraplegic woman given reprieve

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 13:11 31/01/2014
Roberta
DUBBY HENRY
REPRIEVE: Tetraplegic state housing tenant Roberta Mahara has been given three weeks to find another home before she is evicted.

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A bedridden tetraplegic woman has been given an extra three weeks to find a home before Housing New Zealand evicts her from her state house.

Yesterday a bailiff served Roberta Mahara a notice to vacate her house in Takanini within 24 hours.

But in an 11th-hour reprieve Housing New Zealand has called off the eviction to give social workers a chance to find Ms Mahara a home.

She is being evicted for being more than $5000 behind on rent and is also being taken to court on a variety of charges.

Staff from Papakura Marae, Te Roopu Waiora and MP Nanaia Mahuta's office have been searching for a fortnight on her behalf for a home with wheelchair access but they've come up empty-handed because most social housing providers are already chock-full.

Ms Mahara's last hope is to live with whanau in Kawhia in the Waikato.

But that will pose its own problems because it is difficult to get 24-hour care away from the main centres.

She says the three-week reprieve is ''a positive'' on the part of the state housing provider.

''We're still hoping I can find somewhere in Auckland. We're trying our hardest,'' she says.

''This has given us a few weeks' grace so I'm really rapt with Housing New Zealand.''

 Ms Mahara needs a home with wide doors and hallways for a wheelchair to manouevre, an extra-large shower, a flat entranceway and no stairs.

Email Sandie Turei at sandiet@papakuramarae.co.nz or call 021 519 855 if you know of somewhere in Auckland that Ms Mahara could live.

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