Housing New Zealand has not ruled out forcibly removing tenants from a dangerous block of flats in Wellington as at least one tenant vows to stay put.
Today is the deadline for those living in the Gordon Wilson block on The Terrace to move out after an engineer's report found the concrete facades of the building could topple in high winds.
However, Housing New Zealand has admitted not all residents will be relocated by the end of today as they struggle to find suitable accommodation for all 81 tenants.
Only a quarter of tenants have moved out since the seven day eviction notice was issued.
"We're moving as fast as we can and we're hampered a bit by the site itself - slow lifts, difficult access, but we've really started on a roll now," said Housing New Zealand Wellington regional tenancy services manager Jackie Pivac.
"Legally the tenancy ends and so we will face that situation if and when it arises."
HNZ has come under fire by some unsatisfied residents who say they have only been notified of where they have been relocated to at the last minute.
Some residents are also facing moving into temporary accommodation - such as a motel - before something more permanent can be found.
Tenant Tarnz Ruru said HNZ only contacted her hours before she was due to move to temporary accommodation at 9pm tonight.
"They told me I had to go to Karori and I broke down in tears and I said no I'm not going. I want city central," said Ruru.
However, some tenants are thankful HNZ has acted quickly to ensure residents are put out of harm's way.
"It's a safety issue. People can get upset but they'll be more upset if something happens to them and Housing New Zealand are only trying their best," said tenant Trevor Paul.
Labour calls for flexibility
Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson said most residents had found somewhere to go but called for the Government to be flexible in enforcing the eviction deadline.
"Housing New Zealand has been able to find most of the residents at least temporary accommodation within the Wellington City area," he said.
"But there are several people unhappy with the accommodation or who have not found something suitable and it looks like they're (HNZ) going to be flexible with those people, and I hope they keep that attitude up at least for a few more days."
Robertson said the remaining residents will not be at any greater risk by remaining in their flats for a few extra days. He also wanted assurances about how the site will be used in the future.
"There's obviously some concerns about the long term viability of the complex and I hope Housing New Zealand continue to use this property for social housing - there is a real need for social housing in Wellington."
"Housing New Zealand are unable to say what will happen with this property at this stage but there are fears this area will no longer be used. I'm calling on the Government and HNZ to use this area for social and affordable housing."
The building was constructed in 1958 and this is the second time
it has required strengthening work after loose concrete facades
were removed in 2010.