Kainga Ora-Unnecessary removal of longstanding trees from tenancy to address mould
From: D Dahya
Dear Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities,
Even though this relates to one particular tenancy it is typical of how Kainga Ora treat most of their properties.
In march this year a neighbour vacated the Kainga Ora property on Mungavin Ave,Porirua, directly next door to us. Over the last 40 years weve seen so many tenants come and go from this property which has always been a HNZ/Kainga Ora property and as usual the property is cleaned/tidied up,inside and out for the new incoming tenants. However, this is the first time that such significant(and unnecessary) changes were made to the yard.
This Mungavin Ave property(as noted in call number 513653), at the time of vacation, had several tall trees that had stood for over 40 years but for some reason Kainga Ora decided to cut them all down leaving the property bare and 'sparse', now completely exposed to wind and sun.
The concern I have is that as a longstanding neighbour of this property I know (and experienced) the benefit these trees have provided to not only the tenant, or to surrounding ones but also to the property itself. The trees were especially important as they had protected against wind, for typically draft prone state homes, as well as providing shelter from sun,rain, noise and maintained the privacy of the tenant(s). Now that the 'damage' has been done will Kainga Ora plan to install draft proof window frames in homes directly affected by the unnecessary removal of these trees?
They have removed any chance of continuing past activities that involved these trees-activities typical of 'Kiwi kid' childhoods. These trees had provided many years of enjoyable activites for the tenants and their children especially (this property has always housed tenants with children) who ran around them,hid behind them,swung from them -there was always a rope swing in the front yard- typical Kiwi past times such as 'hide and seek',climbing, rope swings etc, but, just as important, they had provided shelter from the sun in summer and served as wind shelters from the cold blasts during winter, and, as Kainga Ora are fully aware, these old ' state houses' are commonly known for their drafty disposition/nature -where curtains are blown about even when the windows closed.
During the pre-tenant assessment of the property by a contractor/Kainga Ora staff member I had conveyed my concerns/thoughts regarding the trees and their benefits to the property and the neighbouring ones. Surprisingly, no one from Kainga Ora contacted me for further discussion even despite having emailed my feedback on the property prior to the work beginning.
With New Zealand's growing and ever changing ethnic diversity through immigration etc the 'Kiwi way of old' has been gradually disappearing. By removing 'Kiwi childhood' elements relating to outdoor activities (which forms a integral part of their upbringing and character) you contribute to the advancing and accelerating demise of such typical 'Kiwi kid' upbringings just simply removing the trees. What you also do is force them(indoors) to take up indoor activities to replace outdoor 'play' such as increasing their online screen time and most likely creating lazy,obese,visually impaired, unfit disconnected future adults- if they are prevented from connecting /enjoying outdoor activities in their younger years they will have no desire, motivation to take up outdoor activities in adult life will they not?
Coincidentally, last nights News item the Minister of GCSB, mentioned certain crimes are more likely to occur due to people having more opportunity/time to spend online.
So, it makes absolutely no sense at all why Kainga Ora had arranged to cut them all down at the stump -leaving no trace they ever existed- a bare,sparse, and now wind prone area- and with the wind barrier gone all neighbouring houses will now be affected to bear the wind unhindered as well.
It would have made more sense to cut the trees down halfway rather than remove them completely as this would have preserved the sun,wind protection and privacy offered by the trees.
A short time after this maintenance work I witnessed another Mungavin property down the road which had a longstanding (but short) tree which was also completely and unnecessarily removed - so what was the reason for removing this tree completely?
- As NZ largest landlord and NZ social housing provider Kainga Ora have an obligation and responsibility to ensure the welfare of tenants and,especially their children in the properties or as they were known as 'HNZ' raised children'?
-Kainga Ora's pre-tenancy maintenance involved the complete removal of the longstanding trees and along with it, any wind sun/heat protection provided by them, including the removal of the makeshift garden (I had built for the previous tenants)- removing any opportunity(and encouragement) to grow their own vegetables this practice of growing your garden instills respect and a sense of pride in the property.
-So such a small action,a common practice by Kainga Ora, our largest landlord, you impact on a very large segment of NZ childrens populations ie physical health,mental wellbeing, and their future 'adultness' -NZ's future generation.
-By removing the trees, without giving the affected tenants the opportunity voice their concerns, provide relevant,and therefore meaningful area specific feedback you are treating them as, and only as, mere tenants,their homes as just 'rentals' who cant afford to buy their own homes(even if they do have continuous employment periods). A dig I was often subjected to many years ago but no so much now as most, appear to be in the same (house)boat.
-Removing all of the trees from the property you remove longstanding iconic Kiwi childhood past times - hide and seek, rope swings etc the removal of such options would discourage children from outdoor activities leaving nothing for them to play on especially in a fully fenced property directing them towards indoor activities instead.
The absence of the outdoor activity options will impact on the wellbeing being of the tenants children and the tenants themselves increasing stress levels and affecting general wellbeing overall which will have lasting affects.
- Do you believe that as NZ's social housing provider, the largest landlord in the country, have a responsibility to ensure the sustained welfare of those in your tenancies, especially their children, or as they were previously known as 'HNZ raised children ?
1. NZ HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (NZHUD)
'Good urban design'.
My understanding is that NZHUD is about good urban design,with consideration to the particular place and community, avoiding the 'blanket approach' and with the view to creating homes rather than rental properties/financial assets.
NZHUD and Kainga Ora
Coincidentally, I have just recently found out (while writing this information request) that both agencies are located in the same building in Wellington and so I assume they do talk to each other and so why is there such a misalignment of objectives between the two?
There is no point in good urban design when Kainga Ora, NZ's largest landlord, do not follow the objectives of NZHUD's good urban design. It appears that Kainga Ora's common needless practice of removing longstanding/any trees without thought to environment,tenants(and their children) including surrounding tenants, opposes the principles of NZHUD.
By removing the trees, without discussion,thought, denying the opportunity to accept meaningful area specific feedback you are treating them as,and only as, mere tenants who cant afford to buy their own homes.
You have removed sun,noise, wind protection and privacy from the tenancy -all without condsideration or regard to health,privacy & wellbeing and by denying the opportunity to accept meaningful area specific feedback from those in the know.
Kainga Ora needs to align its property maintenance practices to that of NZHUD otherwise you have two government agencies with opposing goals who both have impact on the NZ landscape and hence the Kiwi way of life?
The NZHUD website (https://www.hud.govt.nz/) states ...
(I have noted relevant questions beside them for context purposes).
1.'Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in 2018 to implement the Government’s housing and urban development programme to end homelessness, make housing affordable and make cities more liveable.'
2. 'The story behind our name
'HUD adopted a te reo Māori name in November 2020. Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga translates to ‘the foundation for a treasured home’.
The name comes from the Māori proverb ‘he kura kāinga e hokia, he kura tangata e kore e hokia’, or ‘a treasured home will endure, not so a treasured person’.
It carries a strong connection to our purpose: he kāinga ora, he hapori ora – thriving communities where everyone has a place to call home.
It speaks to the importance of ensuring the wellbeing of people within the home, and our connection with the land – acknowledging the generations of people who have always called this place ‘home’ – and our commitment to delivering for future generations of New Zealanders.'
a, How can one have a treasured home without the benefit,safety and welfare trees provide to both tenants and the environment?
2. Place-based approach
'Our place-based approach recognises that every community has their own housing and urban development challenges and opportunities, and that a ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t right to address them. We use what we know about places to inform how we work with communities, and to determine whether local action or broader changes are needed.'
a, What place-based research did Kainga Ora conduct to educate themselves regarding that particular property?
b, What knowledge about the specific place did you use to determine the action taken?
3.We think about the long-term
We focus beyond just the immediate issues and short-term solutions.'
a, What 'longterm' issues were applied in this instance?
4. We are people-centered
'When we design policies and services, we start with the people who will be affected. Being people-centered also means taking care of those in immediate need.'
a, How were the longterm needs of the tenants met in this instance?
5. 'How does Kāinga Ora relate to Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development?'
'Kāinga Ora and Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development have complementary and interdependent roles.
The Ministry is responsible for leadership in the housing and urban system, advising the Government on strategic direction and for Kāinga Ora, policy advice, and monitoring the system including Kāinga Ora, purchasing public housing places and regulatory oversight.
Kāinga Ora is the Government’s primary housing and urban development delivery arm focused on providing public housing principally for those most in need and initiating or undertaking urban development.'
6. 'Kāinga Ora has two key roles:
-being a public housing landlord
-partnering with the development community, Māori, local and central government and others on urban development projects of all sizes'
7. 'Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development works with central and local government agencies, the housing sector and communities across New Zealand to improve housing affordability and supply, ensure tenants live in warm, dry, healthy and safe rental housing, and improve housing quality and choices for Māori and their whānau.'
- 'Warm,dry,healthy and safe rental housing' - by removing trees you have removed healthy outdoor activity resource/options for growing children as well as sun shelter(skin protection) and wind barriers(essential for maintaining warm houses).
-As children grow they need physical activities essential in maintaining health and fitness which eliminates/significantly reduces potential health problems later in life?
- It forces parents to purchase outdoor activity equipment for the children placing more strain on household budget impacting on their 'affordability' in general as well as for housing.
a, So is there communication between both agencies -Kainga ora and NZHUD especially when they are located in the same building?
8."Ensure houses meet needs
Ensure that our houses are warm, dry, accessible, and affordable to run, and meet the needs and changing life circumstances of families and households."
a, How does completely removing the trees meet the needs of changing circumstances of families and households?
Ensure that rental houses support health and wellbeing
Increase supply of universally designed and accessible housing
Ensure buildings are resilient and resource efficient.'
- By removing trees you have removed healthy outdoor activity resource/options for growing children as well as sun shelter(skin protection) and wind barriers(essential in maintaining warm houses).
10.'Re-establish housing’s primary role as a home rather than a financial asset'
- By removing trees, privacy,rope swings,eliminating outdoor activities options,leaving the yard bare and sparse for tenants and their children you have removed the 'home' element and treated (& perpetuated) it as just another 'rental house'. In fact, prior to Kainga Ora's pre-tenancy maintenance the yard was more of a home than a rental with flourishing trees,shade and options for outdoor activities.
11. 'Plan and invest in our places
Ensure our neighbourhoods and places meet the needs of our communities today and are well equipped to meet long-term climate, social, cultural, environmental, and economic challenges and opportunities.'
- By compelling tenants to go out and purchase their own sun protection,heating equipment & recreational items etc place more strain on existing household budgets.
a, How has Kainga Ora met the needs of growing children and the 'long term climate' in this(their) tenancies when they continue their practice of completely and unnecessarily removing trees?
Plan for growth and change in places
Ensure infrastructure investment and planning support growth and change
Reduce emissions and support communities to adapt to the effects of climate change.'
a, How has Kainga Ora planned for growth for future tenancies by permanently removing the trees?
b, Does Kainga Ora consider trees as an important part of the reducing emissions and the impact on the environment?
'A place-based approach to housing and urban development policy
Every community has their own housing and urban development challenges and opportunities and a 'one size fits all' approach will not work to address them.
We're taking a deliberate, place-based approach to tackling New Zealand's housing and urban development challenges. This approach uses an understanding of places to inform how we work with communities.'
a, How was the placed-based approach applied to this tenancy?
b, Was not the complete removal of the trees without regard to outdoor activities and Kiwi past times a 'blanket approach' and treating the tenancy as a 'rental' rather than a 'home'?
c, What effort did you make to gain an understanding of that particular 'place'?
d, Why did you not respond to my email that outlined my concerns and feedback prior to the work commencing?
e, What action did you take regarding my email?
14 More questions:
a, Are your property maintenance practices currently aligned with NZHUDs objectives?
b, Why were all the trees removed completely as part of the pre-tenancy maintenance for this property?
c, By removing the trees what activities are the children able to participate in for outdoor activities?
d, By removing the natural resources for outside activities what replacement resources has Kainga Ora introduced for the new tenants and their children?
e, Do you encourage/prefer tenants/children to spend more time online than on outdoor activities in the yard?
f, Do you increase or decrease the likelihood of sunburn if you have removed all natural tree shading from the property?
g, Why didn't Kainga Ora respond to the report of the smell of chemical odour on the property- especially when they knew the tenants children would obviously be outside in the yard?
h, Is Kainga Ora going to install new draft proof window frames on all the properties now affected by the removal of the trees?
i, How have you maintained/encouraged Kiwi pasttimes & preserved outdoor options for the tenants (and their children) that existed prior to the removal of the trees?
15. Consistant standards, NZHUD's principles/objectives, good urban design, workmanship and a safe environment.
Here is a recent example highlighting the lack of process by Kainga Ora to ensure consistancy,aesthetics, alignment of NZHUD's principles/objectives, good urban design, quality workmanship and a safe environment.
Recently, due to careless driving, a corner section of fence bordering the entrance to a neighbouring shared driveway was completely damaged/wiped out- to be fair this was easily done as there is a common practice of cutting the corner when entering the driveway
because there is nothing preventing/obstructing the drivers from doing so.
We also discovered the fence was protecting electricity and telecommunications pillars and we were fortunate both pillars to not have been damaged at all. 9 days after notifying Kainga Ora the fence was repaired(during which time the telecommunications pillar was left exposed to vandalism - which did occur where the 'top' of the pillar had been removed exposing wires and circuitry to weather elements) but Kainga Ora did not check the quality of the work. Even though the fence was repaired to Kainga Ora's standards, it did not meet NZHUD's criteria/principles of 'good urban design'.
The initial design of the fence consisted of square palings each 5 inches apart allowing visibility through it of approaching children across the driveway in front of exiting vehicles- a safety feature in my view.The repaired section of the fence was not consistant with the initial design - flatboard palings without gaps obscuring any view through it.
Gaps in original fence design allowed visibility of passing children across the driveway but with the repaired secton,not only is it inconsistant with the original design but it is now vulnerable to tagging & vandalism- the repaired section being of flatboaord design
making for an inviting canvas
Again, there was no process/effort or post work checks in place to ensure quality of workmanship or,more importantly, consistency in design.
Another point is that the damage could have been prevented,again, through 'good urban design' and so have requested of the local Porirua City Council to install a concrete post on the berm that would protect the damaged fence corner (and hence protecting the electricity & telecommunications pillars also) by preventing vehicles from cutting the corner when entering the driveway.
Despite the council's initial non-sensible response advising that the concrete post would only present another hazard - I will ask Kainga Ora & NZHUD to support my request for a concrete post. I have lodged an information request via this website - refer link https://fyi.org.nz/request/17291-porirua...
The concrete post prevents cutting the corner and visibility through the fence allows for safety of drivers and passing children,in other words - a good urban design.
a, How have you ensured compliance/alignment with NZHUD's principles/objectives?
b, Did Kainga Ora check the repaired fence after the work was completed?
c, Did they advise the contractors to ensure conisistant design be maintained,if not, why not?
d, The fence was built back in 2005 when the area was under the first community housing renewal project in Porirua and so the designs were specifically chosen including that of the fence - so why would HNZ now allow a different design be used for a section of that fence?
e, Will Kainga Ora take responsiblity for removing/resolving any ongoing (and it will be) tagging/vandalism that occurs due the design of the fence as well as any accidents/near misses involving lack of visability of children walking across the driveway entrance?
f, Why has Kainga Ora refused to support the post being installed on the berm -it serves to not only protect the telecommunications and electricity/power pillars but of the fence corner as well -which is Kainga Ora property- the only property it doesn't protect is that of Porirua City Council's?
2. TREES/SHADE/Sun protection
By removing the trees you have removed the natural(cost free) sun protection provided by them for the tenants and the many children that have come and gone from this tenancy over the last 35 years. I have seen them play in the yards, take shelter under the trees from a few months old to their teens.
In this case you have increased the likelihood of sun exposure therefore skin damage to tenants(and their children) who spend time in their own backyards.
The absence of adequate sun shelter will force tenants(if they can afford it) to buy sun protection items- not as effective or cost effective as trees that were there already.
Cutting the trees halfway would have addressed any issues and still preserved the shelter offered by them.
Kainga Ora were advised by the contractors that the trees were the cause of the mould and so all needed to be removed - the advice came from the same contractors that would be removing the trees.
The trees were removed to address longstanding mould on the interior and exterior surfaces of the house - there was only one side of the house that was in constant shade and that was due to it being so close to the neighbouring house and so the trees were not the cause of the shade for that side of the house.
For interior surfaces - surely this would involve surface treatment or replacement of the gib walls that were already infected with mould - removing the trees outside would not remove the ingrained mould.
a, What is the reason for removing all of the trees completely?
b, If it was to address mould would not cutting the trees halfway down and/or thinning them out have achieved your expectation of eliminating the mould?
c, Do you agree that by cutting them down halfway would have allowed more sunlight in to the yard and home as well as retain the wind,noise barrier & privacy?
c, If the trees were completely removed because Kainga Ora have determined that the trees were responsible for the mould -which was a longstanding problem in that the particular house- then how has Kainga Ora dealt with the problem in the last 40 years?
d, And is that to say that all previous tenants(including their children) in the last 40 years were exposed to the mould?
e, How many times has Kainga Ora addressed the mould issue in that house over the past 40 years?
f, How many times has Kainga Ora replaced the affected walls in that house over the past 40 years?
g, If the mould was longstanding problem for the house why didn't Kainga Ora remove the trees years ago?
The house has remained in the same position for the last 60 years and I believe the sun's daily path across the sky has remained pretty much the same.
h, How did Kainga Ora address the conflict of interest in receiving advice -to remove the trees to address the mould issue- from the same contractors responsible for removing them?
i, Did Kainga ora consult with NZHUD on this point?
j, By removing all of the trees have you increased the sun/heat impact on the property (including neighbouring properties) increasing the likelihood of sunburn?
By removing the trees and hence the wind protection they had provided for many years -including for surrounding tenants- will that increase the impact of wind,drafts and hence temperature within the house and would that change impact on the tenants and their childrens health?
k, Is Kainga Ora aware of the potential of sunburn/skin cancer in properties that have no shade protection(ie trees) for their tenants?
l, How have you maintained the pre-existing levels of shade protection offered by the property prior to the removal of the trees for the tenant and for the neighbouring ones?
m, What sun protection have you left in place of the removal of the trees?
n, Did you consider the impact cutting down the trees ie the wind ,noise and shade protection the trees provided and how have you maintained these elements to pre-existing levels?
o, Was it possible to have the trees cut down half way and would it have been more cost effective to do so?
p, Would this method have produced less waste needing to be shredded by contractors?
q, Does shade/sun protection relate to the relative peace and comfort of tenants?
By removing the trees you have; removed the natural(cost free) wind barrier they have provided that tenancy and the neighbouring ones for over 35 years, have you increased the wind impact on the property-and the neighbouring tenancies.
The absence of the natural wind barrier will increase draft exposure and heating requirements in the home.
a, Is Kainga Ora aware of the cold drafty nature of old state houses.
b, If Kainga Ora are aware that these old state houses are known for their drafts why would you remove the only natural wind barriers providing protection for over 40 years at no cost to Kainga Ora just prior to winter?
c, Will the removal of the trees (natural wind barriers) increase the amount of drafts entering the home & will that compel tenants to increase their heating requirements?
d, Will this force them to rely on other heating requirements(at a cost to themselves) such as heatpumps etc?
e, Will the removal of the trees cause tenants to increase their heating requirements(as well as their reliance on) on heat pumps,electric heaters, fireplaces etc all at a cost to themselves?
f, Will Kainga Ora replace the drafty old wooden window framing with new draft proof ones for those properties affected by the removal of the natural wind barriers?
g, How have you maintained the same level of wind protection for the tenancy (and the neighbouring one's) that existed prior to the removal of the trees?
h, Do you expect the tenants themselves to maintain the same level of wind protection for their home?
i, By removing the trees have you increased the wind impact on the property-and the neighbouring tenancies?
j, By forcing tenants to buy additional items such as heaters, sun shades etc contibute to the general waste produced as well as increase more financial pressure on household income ?
k, Is Kainga Ora going to install new draft proof window frames on all the properties now affected by the removal of the trees?
l, Does the removal of wind barriers relate to the relative peace and comfort of tenants?
By removing the trees you have removed the natural (cost free)noise barrier the trees have provided the tenancy(and neighbouring ones) for over 40 years thereby increasing the likelyhood of noise occurances,reports, complaints to and from the property including that of neighbouring tenancies?
Because of the complete removal of the trees and the noise barrier offered by them you have increased the likelihood of noise issues from activities that were not previously present.
I have noticed since the trees were removed significant increase in vehicle stereo music throughout the day and night -originating from specific vehicles not as noticeable prior to the removal of the trees.
a, By removing the trees have you increased the noise impact on this property and neighbouring ones?
b, How have you maintained the same level of noise protection for the tenancy (and the neighbouring one's) that existed prior to the removal of the trees?
c, How do you expect the tenants to maintain the same level of noise protection for their home?
d, Does removal of noise barriers relate to the relative peace and comfort of tenants?
e, By removing the trees have you increased the likelihood of noise impact on this property and neighbouring one's leading to noise complaints?
f, By removing the trees and hence the noise barrier have you increased the likelihood of noise complaints to and from this property and neighbouring one's?
g, Does the removal of noise barriers relate to the relative peace and comfort of tenants?
5. ROPE SWING..
By removing the trees you have removed a longstanding iconic Kiwi childhood past time - the rope swing contributing to the demise of the typical Kiwi childhood.
The removal of rope swings/trees etc would discourage children from outdoor activities leaving nothing for them to play on around especially in a contained fully fenced property etc and therefore encourage indoor activities instead.
No tenant will refuse a house tenancy if offered just because it doesn't have a trees and a rope swing- especially more so in the currents/todays housing/rental climate.
a, Is it not in Kainga Ora interests to preserve traditional Kiwi past times such as hide and seek etc?
b, Would the removal of rope swings/trees discourage/limit options for children of available outdoor activities?
c, Would the removal of outdoor options compel tenants/children to take up indoor activities?
d, By removing options for outdoor activities would you not force tenants/children indoors to spend longer periods of time on computer related activities which would impact on their general wellbeing?
e, If you remove options for outdoor activities will that not encourage restless children,increase stress levels within the family and is that not a h&s issue?
f, By removing outdoor options would this not increase the chances of laziness,obesity,disconnectedness (later in life) and impact on general wellbeing of the children(and tenants)?
g, How do you expect the tenants to maintain the balance of indoor outdoor activities for their children?
h, How do you expect tenants themselves to maintain the same level of Kiwi past times/outdoor activity options for their children that existed prior to the removal of the rope swing/trees?
i, What effect do you think it will have on children with limited/removed outdoor options?
There were atleast 2 contractor companies involved in the yard cleanup work- the tree cutters and the yard maintenance contractor - who spent some time 'cleaning up' the yard before the tree cutters arrived to remove the trees.
By the time the tree cutters had completed their work and left after a week I noticed the beehive entrance had been covered in dirt - most likely to suffocate the bees. I had also reported another matter -smelling a chemical on the property - both points went unresponded to by Kainga Ora (call number Call 513653).
I had discovered a beehive on the property after work began.
It appears that the Kainga Ora/contractors have addressed the beehive hazard themselves without reporting to the appropriate agencies.
- Kainga Ora failed to warn the new tenants -who had children -of the details of the presence of a beehive on the property.
- I had also reported a chemical odour from the property but received no response to that nor to my reports of the beehive. They then allowed tenants with children to move in to the property without notifying/addressing them of the beehive or chemical odour.
-The only response I received from Kainga Ora, was after the trees had already been cut, during a phone call I received which resulted in a fruitless(and pointless) conversation with a staff member (by the name of Sina?) who failed to identify herself adequately neither giving me her full name(for future follow ups) nor title - I had asked whether they received any reports of bees on the property or any chemical odours - she told me she couldn't tell me because it didn't relate to our tenancy & was a 'privacy issue' and was generally uninformative on simple points.
She didn't realise that this was a health and safety issue -and affects neighbouring tenants also, which means I had a right to know, hence this OI request.
-This is an health and safety affecting other neighbouring tenants because as far as I know bees have the ability to fly, and fly well over fences to neighbouring properties without consideration to 'privacy issues'- even though Kainga Ora should have considered tenant's 'privacy' when they removed the trees. It appears Kainga Ora's respect for 'privacy' only applies to their own.
-There appears to be a lack of accountability or process ensuring Kainga Ora are kept informed of unexpected developments - as in this case where Kainga Ora had no measures in place to ensure they be kept informed of such updates from contractors(or are Kainga Ora not interested in any 'problems' that would hamper the tenanting of properties?).
-There doesn't appear to be any monitoring or post checks of work that is done/completed on the property perhaps this is because staff feel that it would not be assessed in their annual performance reviews -which generally depends on the expectations/requirements of senior staff. Refer to 'NZ HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT - Good urban design' above regarding the repaired fence.
a, Was Kainga Ora aware of a beehive on the property,if so, from who,when & what action was taken?
b, Did Kainga Ora alert the new tenants(which included children) of the beehive,if so, how long after they had moved in?
c, Are Kainga Ora required to be notified of the presence of a beehive on the property by its workers?
d, Are workers hired by Kainga Ora allowed to dispose of the beehive hazard themselves?
e, If bees were 'disposed' of by contractors without Kainga Ora knowledge - what action would be taken?
f, What is the process when a beehive is discovered on a Kainga Ora property?
g, What process is in place to ensure Kainga Ora are kept informed of relevant updates from workers?
h, If a beehive is discovered on a Kainga Ora property are nearby neighbours required to be notified?
i, Is a beehive on a Kainga Ora property considered a health and safety issue?
j, How do new tenants ensure their own safety if they are not advised of the bee hazard?
k, Did you find the source of the chemical odour why did Kainga Ora not act on this information?
l, What action was taken regarding the call number 513653 relating to bees and chemical odour?
m, Will you ask the contractors if they were aware of a beehive on the property?
There was a freshly dug garden (fenced off with recycled old concrete blocks from a previous housing renewals project) left by the previous tenants prior to the maintenance work beginning but was completely removed by the contractors in preparation for the incoming tenants.
The removal of the makeshift garden (which I had dug at the request of the previous tenants so that they could to grow their own food etc) removes any opportunity-and encouragement- to grow their own vegetables etc.
The practice of growing your garden instills respect and a sense of pride in the property - which typically is associated with significant maintenance costs/expenses (through viewing the tenancy property as just another 'rental') prior,during and after tenancy occupation.
The concrete blocks were disposed of at the landfill only add to another unnecessary impact on the environment.
- The removal of the garden meant:
The nonsensical & unnecessary collection and disposal by the contractor of broken up concrete paving (that was re-used to border the garden), at the landfill.
Removing any opportunity(and encouragement) to grow their own vegetables. The practice of growing your garden instills respect and a sense of pride in the property.
Denying the new tenant the opportunity to continue using the garden that had already existed.
a,Why didn't Kainga Ora leave the garden for the new tenants giving them the choice whether to continue maintaining it or not?
b, Does Kainga Ora consider a garden important and beneficial?
Without the opportunity of discussion the removal of the trees have allowed visual access to property,removal of surrounding tenants privacy, and initiated potential complaints of what is seen in other tenants properties and allowing it to be come more vulnerable to burglaries though visual access
- the complete removal of trees has visually opened up the surroundings yards to prying eyes and has removed the longstanding privacy tenants are rightly entitled to and were accustomed to it has also placed family pets at risk to passing stray dogs.
By allowing significant visual access to the property you place family pets at risk of passing unrestrained dogs.
a, What importance does Kainga Ora place on the privacy of tenants?
b, After removing the trees how have you maintained the pre-existing levels of privacy for the tenant and surrounding residents?
c, Has the removal of the trees allowed more visual access to property removing privacy from surrounding tenants also?
d, Has the removal of the trees increased the likelihood of potential complaints (by other tenants) of what is now seen(or heard) in other tenants properties?
e, Has the removal of the trees which now allows significant visual access to the property placed family pets at risk from passing unrestrained stray dogs?
f, Does Kainga Ora consider the privacy of tenants directly related to their relative peace,comfort and enjoyment?
Kainga Ora have affected a tenants right to peace and comfort,enjoyment.
You are contributing to the demise of old Kiwi past times, impacting on health and general wellbeing and opposing the principles of NZHUD.
Referring back to a TV news item some months ago of a lady in a Kainga Ora property who received a letter last year advising her rent has increased by an extra $200 per week - despite numerous efforts to contact and discuss the matter with Kainga Ora in various forms no response was received and where numerous issues raised about inadequate heating for some time also went unanswered. It was only when the TV news got involved did Kainga Ora finally respond and advised it was a 'mistake' ie the letter was incorrect and even then Kainga Ora only responded back to the TV news person and not the tenant in the first instance. I recalled this tenants message to Kainga Ora..'We are humans too'.
The problem is,and has always been, that HNZ/Kainga Ora treat tenants as renters living in state properties- and not people who live in homes and we should be because ...We are humans too.
And if their response is that these state houses were never meant to serve as permanent homes,only temporary housing solutions, then why doesn't Kainga Ora(and other related governments agencies) get rid of all discrimination in NZ and hence, all unemployment?
And why doesn't Kainga Ora EVER promote its tenants for fulltime employment so that they can qualify for housing loans & could they not start by hiring its tenants to work for Kainga Ora -would they not be proven to have better insight(and compassion) as a Kainga Ora tenant?
The fact is when you keep someone unemployed ie poor, you keep them desperate, vulnerable, at risk, and compliant -at the mercy of government agencies.
From: D Dahya
Dear Emma Groufsky,
Here is my reply to your previous response below.
"Dear Emma Groufsky,
Thank you for your response and I refrained from posting the address as the call number (513653) will have the address in question as noted by the Porirua staff ie I had contacted the Porirua branch to express my concerns in detail so it will have the address noted along with my concerns.
Your 27/11/21 response...
"Dear Mr Dahya
Thank you for your enquiry. Could you please let me know the specific address of the property in Mungavin Avenue next door to yours. This will enable us to get all the details on our decision to remove these particular trees, and provide the right answers to your questions.
Advisor, Government Relations"