No housing affordability problem in Hawera

This morning’s Whaleoil property investment tip:

Living next door to Black Power headquarters may not be for everyone, but anyone who took the chance could snap up one of the cheapest houses on sale in Taranaki.

The house, at 23 A’Court St in Hawera, has been on the market since May last year and is listed to sell at the bargain price of $40,000.

The price tag makes it not only one of the most affordable properties in Taranaki but also one of the cheapest real estate finds anywhere in New Zealand, according to a recent search of the TradeMe website by the Taranaki Daily News.

The tidy two-bedroom house, listed by Harcourts and put up for sale by Housing New Zealand due to low demand for its services in Hawera, has just one major flaw.

It is right next door to the town’s Black Power pad, which has been the gang’s base for about 10 years.

At $40k the property is on the market for the land value alone. ?It could be a nice bit of land banking. ?Might even be able to move the house to another section. ?

Hawera Black Power spokesman Ngapari Nui says he could understand why this might put off people.

“It would be hard, I suppose,” he said.

But he said people should not be fearful of the fact the gang would be their closest neighbour.

In fact, he said if their new neighbours had any problems, he and gang bosses would do what they could to help.

“They’ve got to feel comfortable,” Nui said.

He said the gang had attempted to be more open about their activities and recently welcomed a group of visiting academics into their pad to have a look around at the end of last year.

He said the property served as a home and a meeting place for its members.

He admitted parties did happen from time to time at their address and anyone who moved in next door would have to be prepared for that.

“We’re never going to be saints,” Nui said.

Nui said the gang had been trying to leave their bad-boy reputation behind in recent years. More than half of its membership now had jobs and were taking part in more socially acceptable activities, such as sport.

However, he said he was realistic about how the public still perceived them.

“Some people hate us and some like us,” Mr Nui, who has been involved with Black Power for about 30 years, said.

Safest place to live is right next to a gang HQ. ?If you don’t mind the odd party next door, you can leave your place unlocked all year ’round. ?I can assure you nobody is going to come burgle your place.