Farmer Cres evictions put on hold

Gang-linked families in Lower Hutt's Farmer Cres will get to stay in their homes for a few more days, as another round of legal wrangles begins.

For three months Housing New Zealand has battled to evict three women residents and their 13 children through the Tenancy Tribunal, district court and the High Court – costing the government department tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

The residents' lawyers were now trying to go to the Court of Appeal, and there was the possibility they could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Though the women – who have partners in the Mongrel Mob – were ordered to leave their homes by midnight yesterday, the evictions were put on hold for a hearing in the High Court at Wellington on Wednesday.

Farmer Cres resident Patria Tamaka, whose sister Huia Tamaka was one of the women facing eviction, said they were expecting police or the army to turn up any time to remove them. But they had not started packing.

"We'll keep going and going until we get to the Supreme Court. The girls all know that. [Housing NZ] are not backing down and we don't want to leave."

A Housing NZ spokesman said they would take the fight to evict the troublesome tenants all the way to the Supreme Court, regardless of the cost.

"We took this course of action to help and protect the community and we cannot resile from that. Let's hope it doesn't get to the Supreme Court."

In March, Housing NZ issued 90-day eviction notices to five addresses in and around Farmer Cres after an early-morning police raid. It was alleged that a trio of Mongrel Mob members had terrorised a woman and two small children into leaving their home, but the case fell over when a key witness refused to testify.

Yesterday three police cars were cruising Farmer Cres, towing away a stolen car and looking for others. They believed the Mongrel Mob was involved in the theft.

The Dominion Post