Papakura house damaged by fire being demolished - work starting today
Housing New Zealand is taking immediate steps to demolish a state house in Papakura destroyed by fire on Monday and confirmed by Police yesterday as a P-lab.
'We take health and safety very seriously, and have specialist contractors onsite at the Papakura property today to demolish and remove what is left of the house and garage. Strict safety standards for removal of the p-lab will be followed," says Denise Fink, Manager South Auckland.
"We were very disappointed to get confirmation yesterday that the house was being used as a P-lab, which is alarming given children lived in the house. It's great relief that no one was hurt in the blaze. Our staff are trained to spot signs of methamphetamine production when inspecting state houses, and when this property was inspected in April this year no signs were evident.
"We do not tolerate illegal activity of any kind in state houses, and will be providing the Police with every assistance during the investigation. We will take action against those responsible through the courts to recover the costs of demolishing and replacing this state house, " says Ms Fink.
"The neighbouring state house property has had no power since the fire on Monday, and staff have been working with the tenants to find them alternative accommodation."
Housing New Zealand does not tolerate tenants using their premises for criminal acts and will evict tenants when evidence is obtained.
We charge tenants for any damages they are responsible for. Where payment is not made voluntarily, we seek to recover costs through the courts.
Health and safety is a priority for our staff, customers and neighbours, and therefore we have strict procedures in place when a property is suspected to have been used for methamphetamine production.
Our tenancy managers are trained to spot the signs of methamphetamine use and manufacture. We immediately notify Police when we suspect methamphetamine production in a state property.
In 2009, the Corporation won a test case seeking more than $180,000 in damages from tenants who manufactured methamphetamine in a Napier state house. The house was so badly contaminated that it had to be demolished in 2004.
Methamphetamine is not just a state housing issue - but a wider issue for all landlords, which is why the Police are actively working to combat it. We welcome this work.