The signs at the development in Beach Haven have since been removed.
Racist graffiti on signs outside one of Kāinga Ora’s Auckland developments has been condemned as “grossly unfair” to those in need of social housing.
The offensive language aimed at Māori, which Stuff has chosen not to republish, was written on builder’s bunting at a development site in Beach Haven on the North Shore.
Another section of bunting had been tagged with “gangs moving in soon”. Both signs have since been removed.
The development of 70 new homes at the 10,093 square metre site on Beach Haven Rd, Mavis Place and Hayman Place is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.
* We have made some hard choices to help deal with the housing crisis
* Landlords consider selling in wake of Government housing package
* Housing: Government to double bright-line test and end interest writeoff in war on property speculation, will spend $3.8b on new supply
It includes 57 two-bedroom, five three-bedroom and eight four-bedroom apartments.
Kāinga Ora regional director Taina Jones said the graffiti was “grossly unfair” against those who need social housing, especially given they hadn’t yet had the opporunity to move in and meet the community.
“Our customers come from all walks of life. They have a need,” she said.
“There is a significant housing shortage. Every person that comes into one of our homes deserves an opportunity.”
The graffiti had been particularly surprising given the amount of engagement Kāinga Ora had had with the Beach Haven community, she added.
That included working with community leaders, churches and businesses to see what could be done to make those who move in feel at home.
“It is sad that attitudes like this persist in small pockets. This is not reflective of them [Beach Haven] as a community, it has surprised us.”
In 2019, Beach Haven residents marked up one of Kāinga Ora’s older Housing NZ signs with a more supportive kind of graffiti.
“Kindness rulz,” it read [sic].
Everyone deserved the opportunity to become a part of a community, while feeling safe and secure, Jones said.
Asked if she’d like to address those responsible for the graffiti, Jones said: “Put yourselves in their shoes, how would they feel?”
She understood the construction company had reported the matter to the police.
Stuff has approached police for comment.
Northcote MP Shanan Halbert said the racism and discrimination was disappointing.
He added that public developments, especially social housing, were put under far more scrutiny than private developments.
“This is just a cheap shot at our most vulnerable community, and it’s not how we want to welcome them.”