Māori homeowner claims intimidation by home detention neighbour

By Heta Gardiner

A Māori home owner who has been living in her house for over 10 years says someone on home detention moved into her neighbour's house and the man and his friends have been intimidating her, making her fear for her safety so much that she's resorted to staying with friends because she doesn't feel safe at home.

The woman, who we have called 'Hine' to protect her identity told Te Ao “The thing that really started getting to me were these people coming and going, they looked like shady people and they started to impinge on my property.  They would get quite aggressive, trying to scare me. and getting really loud, and saying things like "I'm going to make you nervous" and it was making me nervous,” says Hine.  

When she told the neighbour's landlord of the man, he said he had no idea there was someone on home detention in his rented property.

After corroborating Hine’s story with the landlord, Te Ao contracted the Department of Corrections seeking clarity on what the rules are when it comes to informing the landlord of a property thatsomeone on home detention is to be moving into the house.

In an email to Te Ao, Department of Corrections responded, "If the property is a rental property, we advise the offender that they must abide by the conditions of their tenancy agreement.  It is the responsibility of the tenant who holds the lease to inform the property owner who the occupants will be."

We made several attempts to speak to Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis about the issues raised in this story, his office said these issues were ‘operational’ and suggested we approach Corrections for further comment.