Feast Pl garden removal

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 2021ŌCHT 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. 

ENDS

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. 

ENDS 

May 19 statements (social media)

Morning: This week, we got something wrong and we’re now working to set it 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. We’re reviewing how this happened.
Mrs Wang and our tenancy team agreed in 2019 and 2020 that she would reduce the area she was using for her gardening so other tenants could use what is communal space. There was also a health and safety issue related to the location of the garden and a washing line.
Mrs Wang agreed with the reduction in the space. However, this does not reduce the upset she will have experienced upon arriving home this week to see her garden gone.
ŌCHT is continuing to talk with Mrs Wang. We want to make things right.
We’re looking at options such as providing raised beds for Mrs Wang in the area she agreed can be used for her vegetable gardening.
Our team will work with Mrs Wang so this can be done as soon as possible.
We remain sincerely sorry for the upset this has caused.

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.

She spent time with us at her home and talked with us about a solution.
We’re going to install raised beds in the area we’ve all agreed can be used for vegetable gardening.
We’ll start this work first thing tomorrow. The Trust will pay for all remediation expenses.
We’ve also reviewed how this unfortunate situation happened. We’ve found one of our teams didn’t communicate with another, meaning Mrs Wang was not informed.
We’ve got a communication process but it wasn’t followed. We’ve spoken with those involved and they regret the error.
Once again, we apologise for the upset caused to Mrs Wang.

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The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,
Christchurch.

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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