New Zealand Dog News

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May 31, 2012

HNZ tenant faces eviction over dog

A woman who has lived in the same Housing New Zealand (HNZ) home for 15 years may be evicted if she does not find a new home for her dog by the end of the day.
Manurewa resident Nga Behekite says she is upset and stressed after being ordered to get rid of her pet Spiky because she doesn't have HNZ approval, despite having had a dog at the house for the past 13 years.
HNZ says it has no record of a dog at the property, despite regular inspections.
Behekite said she finds it hard to believe the state landlord did not know.
"In 1997 when I first moved here I asked HNZ if it was OK to bring my dog here and they said it was all right. And when the repairmen come they always ask 'do you have a dog?' and they ask me to tie it up.
"I got a shock when the lady told me I have to move him straight away. He's not a rubbish bag l just throw away. He's a family member."  Under Human Rights Act, if your dog is part of your family, then he can't be order to go!
HNZ's South Auckland tenancy manager Denise Fink said Behekite did not get to have a dog at the property and nor was there any record of one being there.  
"As there is a dog at the property without our permission, we have issued the tenant with a remedy notice which requests  the dog to be removed by May 31.
"Tenants are not allowed to keep pets or other animals at the premises unless they have asked us formally and we have agreed.
"We have discussed this matter with the tenant and even if permission is sought, it is unlikely it would be given in this case."
Behekite said Spiky kept her, and her neighbourhood, safe.
Her home, which backs on to Rowandale Reserve, has been burgled twice in 15 years, but not on Spiky's watch.
"If you take my dog away and someone burgles our house, will HNZ give my stuff back? I don't think so.
"Young ones drink in the park so my dog is good security."
Hasmukh Patel, owner of neighbouring Rowandale Superette, also doesn't want to see Spiky go.
"Newspapers and bread used to go missing from behind my shop because people would jump over the fence. But since she's had the dog the stealing has stopped. And if the dog goes, we'll have the same problem.
"I told Nga, if she wants we can do a petition because the dog is security for us."
HNZ says it will lodge an application with the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the issue through mediation if the dog isn't removed by today.
But in the meantime Behekite is holding on to the hope that she can keep her dog.


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