Neglected property still causing concern

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 11:35 29/01/2013

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A derelict house in Titahi Bay remains a concern for residents despite city council assurances it is not a safety hazard and that it will be monitored.

Kapi-Mana News reported 12 months ago that the property on Taupiri Cres, empty for several years, had been heavily graffitied, was a haunt for people after dark and had an overgrown section.

Former city councillor Don Borrie says it is "a sad commentary on the care of our urban environment" that the Porirua City Council has not taken action against the absentee landlord.

"It's a fire hazard and has a debilitating effect on other properties nearby. Can the council not put more pressure on the owner to take remedial action? There is a social responsibility issue here."

Mr Borrie said he is aware of young people going inside the house at times, which is dangerous.

Last year, the council cut the grass and boarded up the house, at the owner's expense.

The council's chief executive Gary Simpson says the owner lives in Auckland, is often overseas and can be difficult to reach. It is not possible to bring a prosecution against him under the Local Government Act and council staff would instead continue to monitor the property.

Mr Simpson said there needed to be a "high trigger point" in order for a house to be removed or demolished and his staff do not feel the property meets the criteria to be classed as a dangerous building.

"We do not have unfettered powers. Is [the house] dangerous? No. We cannot stop someone breaking into it if they want to but we will keep an eye on it."

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