Disabled woman gets reprieve

00:44, Jan 31 2014
REPRIEVE: Tetraplegic state housing tenant Roberta Mahara has been given three weeks to find another home before she is evicted.

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.

A bailiff yesterday served Roberta Mahara a notice to vacate her house in Takanini in south Auckland 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 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.

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.

The three-week reprieve was "a positive" on the part of the state housing provider, she said.

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

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