'Are they mental or what?' Housing New Zealand comes under fire over threat to bring down pensioner's vegetable garden

Housing New Zealand has been slammed by social media users due to its threat to dismantle a pensioner's vegetable garden because of her using banned garden stakes. 

A David versus Goliath battle between a Chinese pensioner and the housing corporation began last month over garden stakes. Source: 1 NEWS

Mrs Han has been toiling away at her garden plot for the last decade, but Housing New Zealand says the fruits of her labour may soon be gone under tenancy rules.

The battle between Mrs Han and the housing corporation began last month after Housing New Zealand told the pensioner the garden stakes used to support her backyard crops are banned.

The tenancy manager demanded their removal. In a statement, Housing New Zealand told 1NEWS the "super structure" was unsafe and inappropriate.

The housing agency says it's comfortable with some low-level poles to support the plants but the tenant must ask for permission beforehand.

Social media users were quick to criticise Housing New Zealand's stance over Mrs Han's garden on 1 NEWS' Facebook page. 

Lynee Moss wrote: "Are they mental or what, they should be happy that a pensioner is busy looking after a garden rather than living in some government institution because she is bored.

"At least this lovely lady is looking after herself, keeping healthy by eating her veg that she grows so leave her alone and let her enjoy doing what makes her happy."

Shirley Sinclair expressed the situation is "absolutely ridiculous" and told Housing New Zealand to "leave her alone."

Lee Edwards commented: "This was a natural part of NZ, growing your own food and the elders being able to enjoy their hobbies and eating good fresh produce also getting exercise in the fresh air."

However, Few Kamosie said she can "understand both sides" and was "more in line with what Housing New Zealand are communicating."

"You can tell by looking at it that she cares for it, but that is big and would be extremely dangerous is some of the storms they get up."

Mrs Han's son-in-law, Simon Mann told 1 NEWS the garden's bamboo supports have not been an issue in the past.

"They're calling it a structure, and it's what holds up the vegetable garden, so if she takes it down, everything's just going to fall over," Mr Mann says.

Mrs Han's daughter-in-law says the pensioner finds joy in simply working in her backyard.

"She's got sore legs and a sore back. She can't work outside too far so she's happy to stay at home and look after her garden," she says.

The garden was started by Mrs Han's late husband.

None of the bamboo supports are connected the house, and all the stakes are taken down after the harvest.