Battle for control of Te Unga Waka Marae ends in eviction

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A man who lived in a $1.9 million Auckland house for nearly seven months without paying rent has been evicted and ordered to pay more than $13,000 to the landlord, a neighbouring marae, after his rental agreement was judged invalid.

Tenant Joyal Pene ended up at the centre of a “bitter battle” between two factions of Te Unga Waka Marae, which owns the property at 5 Clyde St in Epsom.

He was an ally of the marae’s former chairwoman, Annette Hakaraia, who was ousted from the board in January 2019. Facing off against them was the marae’s new board, chaired by well-known GP Dr Lance O’Sullivan.

Hakaraia had been chair for seven years but was voted out after the marae lost its charitable status after reportedly failing for several years to file returns, according to a tenancy tribunal finding.

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