This week, we got something very wrong. We’re working to set it right.
You’ll know from media reports that we dug up a garden grown by Mrs Wang, a tenant at Feast Place.
Mrs Wang was not told when the work would start. We’re sincerely sorry for what happened.
We’ve been with Mrs Wang today. Mrs Wang spoke with us at her home about solutions.
After speaking with Mrs Wang, raised beds will be installed in the area we all agreed can be used for her vegetable gardening.
We will start the work first thing tomorrow. The Trust will pay for all remediation expenses.
We’ve also completed a review as to how this happened and have found that one of our teams did not communicate with another.
That meant Mrs Wang was not informed when she should have been.
We’ve got a robust communication process but on this occasion it was not followed.
We’ve spoken with those who were involved in this communication breakdown. We’re confident this was a “one off” situation and won’t happen again.
We’ve been talking with Mrs Wang and we’ve also sent some information to media. We’ve published the statements we were asked for below.
April 18 statement
ŌCHT has been working with all of our tenants in this community for some years, to achieve a solution that could work for them all, or as many as possible.
Over many years, a tenant turned a large communal grassed area into a vegetable garden, which continued to increase in size. As vegetable gardens go, it was impressive, even winning an ŌCHT gardening award.
However, we urgently needed to find a solution as it grew in size and other tenants approached us about how this affected their use of the communal area, and when an issue was identified as to the proximity of the garden to a washing line.
We had a meeting with our tenant and the tenant’s daughter in November 2019, when it was agreed the garden area would be reduced in size. We sent a letter in December to confirm this:
On April 18 2021, ŌCHT Tenancy Operations were advised by ŌCHT Maintenance Team that work would commence in May, 2021. We should have told our tenant. We didn’t, and for that we are very sorry and we unreservedly apologise.
We met with our tenant yesterday, soon after she alerted us to the situation. Our tenant asked us not to resume work until next Thursday, and we’ve agreed.
In the meantime, we are reviewing our approach to communicating with tenants about exterior works. We will continue to meet with the tenant. We are truly sorry that this occurred.
May 19 statement
The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust does not always get things right. You’ll have read the news story about what happened to Mrs Wang’s garden. It’s a situation we regret.
We’re very sorry Mrs Wang was not told that the change she agreed to, relating to her garden area, was taking place this week.
ŌCHT wants to make things right so after speaking with Mrs Wang, raised beds will be installed in the area we all agreed can be used for her vegetable gardening. We will start the work first thing tomorrow. The Trust will pay for all remediation expenses.
We have completed a review as to how this happened and have found that one of our teams did not communicate with another, meaning the Mrs Wang was not informed. There is a robust communication process in place that on this occasion was not followed. We have spoken with those involved in the communication breakdown they greatly regret their error. We are confident this was a “one off” situation and won’t happen again.
Once again, we apologise for the upset that has been caused to Mrs Wang.
May 19 statements (social media)
Afternoon: ŌCHT’s had a lot of feedback about what happened with Mrs Wang’s garden.
We appreciate the many offers we’ve had from people wanting to help resolve things.
We got this feedback as we met with Mrs Wang today.