• Introducing the New Zealand Justice Forum

    The New Zealand Justice Forum aims to pool the collective experiences of our citizens, lawyers, and academics in order to discuss the many defects that weaken the integrity of the legal system.
  • Pensioner evicted over rates protest

    A Levin pensioner who has been staging a one-man rent revolt has been evicted from his flat by police.
    Sam Probert had been barricading himself inside his flat for the past month to protest a $15 rent increase on his council-owned pensioner flat, which he has refused to pay since last September.

    It took four police officers to carry him from his flat, although he had planned a more dramatic exit.
    "I thought I did but I had no kick and scream left in me. I'm worn out, but that's what this council does to people," he says. He has been paying $130 instead of $145, and believes the Horowhenua District Council should subsidise housing for the elderly.

    Most other councils in the country do, however Horowhenua mayor Brendan Duffy says he stands by his policy. "We recoup the necessary income to maintain and sustain the asset."
    Mr Probert's eviction has unsettled this quiet street, and now his neighbours are afraid they will be next.
    "I think it's absolutely disgusting," says fellow pensioner Pat Graham, "because what has happened to Sam today will happen to us one at a time."

    Ms Graham fears soon her pension won't cover her rent, and says she has nowhere else to go. According to the ministry which runs state housing, $145 for a flat like this is expensive. It would charge around $120 for the equivalent of a one bedroom pensioner flat in the Horowhenua, which is exactly the price the privately owned flats across the road are rented at.

    Mr Probert is now staying with a friend, and says he has applied for a Housing New Zealand house.
    "Hopefully I'll be able to say it's worth it in the end. I can't say it's worth it now."
    He says he was protesting because no one else would, and hopes his stand will inspire other pensioners.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Pensioner-evi...#ixzz2XUorq6IT
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