• Thu. May 19th, 2022

Auckland construction company apologizes to woman after wolf whistle complaint

ByLinda W. Smith

Apr 6, 2022
Cassie Newton said workers often parked diggers in her driveway blocking the entrance.  (File photo)

LIZ MCDONALD / Stuff

Cassie Newton said workers often parked diggers in her driveway blocking the entrance. (File photo)

An Auckland construction company has apologized to a young woman following a complaint of inappropriate conduct.

Cassie Newton, 22, said a group working on empty land next to her flat had behaved inappropriately for the past three months.

She said it started with diggers blocking the driveway, but things escalated over the summer after she installed a swimming pool in her garden.

“Many times if my friends and I were in the pool, I would ask the contractors to pull over their shovels and spy over the fence.

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“It caused my dad to come and install a plank to keep the fence more closed and reduce the view inside, but it continued. They weren’t even subtle about it, they stopped their diggers and stared. It was disgusting.

Newton said her last straw and what led to her complaint was when she was hissed and shouted at.

“A bunch of them were drinking beers at their building site and as I walked out onto my back patio they started whistling and yelling at me.”

She felt “sad and uneasy,” she said.

“I’m in my own house that was bought not too long ago, and I can’t even feel comfortable in my own back patio or in my garden with them.”

THING

A change in the law will allow landowners in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch to build up to three floors without resource consent. (Video first published in October 2021)

There was a lot of construction around the suburb of Newton, Mt Albert, and she said she wanted to make other households with girls or young women aware of this problem.

In a signed apology emailed to Newton and shared with Thing, the perpetrators, under contract with Aardvark Excavators Limited, said they sincerely apologized for any misconduct.

“[Our] the actions were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we failed to show maturity and respect. We are embarrassed by this behavior.

The email said the incident would not happen again and asked Newton for forgiveness.

In a statement sent to Thing, Phil Hellebrekers, the owner of Aardvark Excavators Ltd, said he was extremely concerned after receiving the complaint.

“When this came to my attention, I immediately reported it to the relevant staff members and emphasized that the behavior was not acceptable and did not reflect our business.

“The result is that staff members have written a personal apology to Cassie. We hope this has been accepted and that this puts an end to the incident.

Hellebrekers said the workers were young people who exercised poor judgment and learned “a lot” from the incident.

“As far as I know, there have been no incidents at the site since, but I would like to reiterate the apologies of my staff members and assure Cassie that her complaint has been taken seriously.”


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