Auckland family begs for relocation to escape gang terror at Kāinga Ora development

A terrified family is begging Kāinga Ora to relocate them to escape violence and intimidation from a Mongrel Mob member living in their street, saying they are “running out of hope and the will to live”.

The family moved into the Weir Lane, Silverdale, state housing development several years ago but say they now live in fear due to extreme antisocial behaviour and gang activity in their street.

The father, who was too fearful to be identified, said gang members from Black Power, Killer Beez and King Cobras frequented the housing development and the abusive Mongrel Mob neighbour had threatened to burn down people’s homes.

The man and his wife are both suffering from extreme depression and are on medication for anxiety. And despite fearing for their children’s safety following serious violence incidents in the street, they’d been told they were “not a priority” for a housing transfer, the father claims.

“We just want to get out of here for the kids’ sake. They’re frightened. It’s not safe.”

The case follows a Herald investigation late last year into antisocial Kainga Ora clients terrorising innocent neighbours. The publicity resulted in a review into the agency’s “sustaining tenancies” policy and a new three strikes regime to tackle and move on the most troublesome tenants.

On Waitangi Day, a large party spilled into the street, the father said.

CCTV viewed by the Herald captured the moment a teenage girl was hit by a car, carried on the bonnet then tossed onto the road and run over. She was hospitalised with leg injuries.

Police say they were unable to identify the driver and asked anyone with information to contact them.

A week later on February 12, another resident was set upon by about six men, thrown to the ground and kicked and beaten in the head.

He fled into his unit and the attack only stopped when he pulled a BB rifle on his assailants and fired several shots, dispersing the violent mob who ran away.

The father said armed police swarmed the street immediately after the attack and seized the firearm. They returned several times during the night due to disorder.

He believed the attackers were linked to the Mongrel Mob affiliate’s property. They spent the rest of the night chanting “sieg heil”, barking like dogs, fighting with each other and breaking into cars.

Residents found a butcher’s knife and a “shank” lying abandoned in the area the next morning, the father said.

Police confirmed they received reports of a man being assaulted by a group, who then fired a BB rifle in the assailants’ direction before they ran away.

“The male had some visible injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment. He was subsequently issued with a formal written warning in relation to presenting a firearm.”

In a complaint to a Kainga Ora tenancy manager after the incident titled “Chaos Lane”, the father’s wife wrote that the offending residents were “causing mayhem” and making life unbearable.

“There was broken glass bottles all over the street, police with [automatic rifles] … it was extremely scary and upsetting.”

She said other residents in the street wanted transfers due to the mobster and his associates’ intimidating behaviour.

“I really don’t feel safe living here anymore, I’m scared someone’s going to end up getting killed. It worries me that we may be targeted next.

“I am now on medication from the doctor for anxiety and having to have counselling for my increasing depression, which is being compounded living here. I am fast running out of hope and the will to live.”

Another resident told the Herald her children had witnessed the February 11 attack and her family had now also requested a transfer.

“I told them we just don’t feel safe here. We didn’t want to be home, especially in the weekends because that’s when things go down.”

Kāinga Ora Tāmaki Tai Tokerau deputy chief executive Caroline Butterworth said the agency was working to resolve issues at the Weir Lane complex – particularly around increasing the safety of children, including fencing, gates and security cameras.

“We take the issues raised extremely seriously, and have conveyed this to the customer. There is constructive progress being made on addressing some of the underlying issues.

“We want all our Kāinga Ora communities to be safe and peaceful and are working with our customers to achieve this… addressing concerns and taking action, where appropriate.”

Butterworth reiterated that Kainga Ora had recently introduced new measures to address the most severe and persistent disruptive behaviour. This included more engagement with challenging customers, support from specialist agencies and using the Residential Tenancies Act to relocate the most antisocial clients.

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