An Auckland beneficiary has been brought to tears after hundreds of people turned out to support her eviction fight.
Ioela Ana Rauti, also known as ‘Niki’, is refusing to accept an eviction notice from her home of over 30 years.
On October 12 the Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC) handed her a 90-day eviction notice to vacate her two-bedroom home, in Taniwha St in Glen Innes.
TRC is a housing development company jointly owned by the Government and Auckland Council.
Rauti’s home is one of 2800 state houses TRC has earmarked to be replaced with 7500 new homes over the next 15 years.
So this will provide an extra 4,700 government owned homes in Auckland. Yet she thinks her rights as a tenant are more important than the government’s ability to provide more homes.
Rauti, who lives on a government benefit, said she moved to the Taniwha St home in 1985 to look after her sick mum.
Her mum died in 1992, and since then Rauti has been issued several eviction notices from Housing New Zealand, which owned the state house before it was transferred to TRC.
So it appears she has not worked in 32 years and has had a free (or at least massively subsidised) house from the taxpayer all that time.
Rauti said she understood TRC will relocate her to one of the new homes in its Glenn Innes development but after inspecting some options, she’s adamant that none of them are good enough.
Of course not.
And they offered me a two-storey home but I have a heart problem, I am old – how am I supposed to get around?
Oh God you can’t possibly use stairs with a heart condition.
“It’s about the freedom to choose where you want to live – they are taking that freedom away from us.”
You only get the freedom to choose where you want to live if you own a home. A state house is not a house for life.
TRC housing general manager Neil Porteous said Rauti has been offered five properties over the past four months.
“We are currently holding a new warm, dry home nearby for her.
“We have not received any feedback from Ms Rauti on the houses we have offered her. We welcome her getting in touch with us to discuss her needs.”
So she won’t even talk to TRC.