Nightmare neighbour promises to tidy up his act

Former street kid Gary Savage has run foul of his neighbours because of his behaviour and the condition of his house, ...
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Former street kid Gary Savage has run foul of his neighbours because of his behaviour and the condition of his house, which he owns.

A former Christchurch street kid has promised to tidy up his act to appease his frustrated neighbours.

Gary Savage's home sits on the corner of a North New Brighton intersection with its boarded up windows, tagged weatherboards, wonky tin fence and overgrown garden.

Neighbours say Savage – known as Speedy – throws household items on the road, attracts crime to the area and takes little care in maintaining his home.

He admitted he annoyed neighbours, but had plans to give his home a face-lift and tidy it up. 

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Neighbour Liana Tawhara said Savage's home "sticks out like dog's balls" in a street where people took pride in their properties.

"It's a nightmare.

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"When it comes to selling this house, what's the value going to be having that across the road? That's a big concern."

Over the years, neighbours had removed rubbish, broken glass, a double bed and a bike which Savage had thrown over the fence and onto the road, Tawhara said.

In an effort to clean the place up, Savage received a quote for new flooring, windows, fencing, painting and landscaping for his property, which would cost about $2500.

Other neighbours were concerned with the consistent police presence at the property. 

Neighbour Wayne Balloch​ said police were at Savage's home several times a month. 

"We are entitled to peaceful living and that's not what we are getting." 

Balloch said he was "fed up" with the situation and had given up on being neighbourly with Savage. 

Their relationship became so dire, Balloch issued trespass notices to Savage.

Savage admitted he was a troublesome neighbour and was frustrated his home attracted so much crime. 

"I know I rark up the neighbours a bit . . . I'm settling down a bit now though.

"I'm sick of people coming in and burgling me and smashing in windows."

Savage said he threw items from his home over the back fence in frustration.

Last month, fires were deliberately lit at the front and back door of Savage's home. 

A police spokesperson said the fires were still being investigated and there were no suspects at this stage. 

Savage said he and his dog Dopey were in the house at the time and woke up coughing and spluttering from smoke. 

"I opened the door and got all the pots and pans to put it out and then dampened it down with water."

In November 2014, black smoke could be seen billowing from the property after Savage's garage caught on fire. 

Savage said he had a hard a life and lived on the streets from the age of 14. He managed to secure a house about 15 years ago.

"It took me six months to get used to a bed when I moved into this place, working a bloody stove even." 

 - Stuff

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