Reprieve for elderly women fighting eviction

By Mānia Clarke

A woman refusing eviction from her state house of over 20 years has until the end of this week to hear the outcome of her fight.

Ioela 'Niki' Rauti and supporters appeared at a tenancy tribunal hearing to stop Tāmaki Redevelopment Company from acquiring a possession order to legally evict her.

Temporary relief for elderly Ioela Rauti and her supporters following today’s tribunal tenancy hearing at the Auckland District Court.

Ioela 'Niki' Rauti says, “I've had my support team in here looking after me.  The support team at home.  Everybody's going to remain strong and that's what it's all about.”

Lisa Gibson, Tāmaki Housing Group, “She's obviously not going to get moved today, we still have to wait for the judgement.

A supporter of Rauti who presented before the judicator is confident of a positive outcome.

Gibson, says, “The landlord didn't give the termination to tenancy, the 90 day termination and that the landlord never made the application for possession. And so we believe that on those two basis alone that it should come in favour of Niki.”

Since April last year, TRC began plans to replace 2500 social houses in the suburbs of Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure with 7500 social, affordable and private market houses over a period of 10 to 15 years. Rauti has been fighting eviction from her Glen Innes home for three years.

Vanessa Cole, Auckland Action Against Poverty says, “People here are prepared to defend this house and defend Niki by any means possible.   There's alot of people on Niki's side because they know that what's happening here is unjust.  Tāmaki was an area that was predominantly state housing tenants, it was an area for low income people.  And now they're building really really expensive housing here for the wealthy.”

The Judicator is expected to announce a ruling this Friday.  Regardless of the decision TRC General Housing Manager Neil Porteous says other properties are available for Ms Rauti in the area.  Whether she takes up that offer remains to be seen.