Government stands by Housing New Zealand evictions

The Government is standing by Housing New Zealand's decision to evict tenants who did not pay their rent.

Last night, 1 NEWS revealed that 87 families were evicted from the state’s 63,000 properties over three years, including 21 families for illegal activities like drugs and 45 families for rent arrears.

An eviction is the most drastic action a landlord can take against a tenant and is usually used as a last resort.

It involves the courts and a bailiff, who has the same powers as a police officer, to force tenants out.

One woman impacted had eight children, while another had seven children.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says these are historical cases and both families have been re-housed.

"The government doesn't want to see any family evicted and so Housing New Zealand and the Ministry for Social Development are now working even more closely to help sustain tenancies," Mr Twyford said.

The shocking admission by Housing New Zealand has social agencies pleading for a more compassionate approach to be taken to housing the vulnerable. Source: 1 NEWS

National’s Housing spokeswoman Judith Collins said it is "pretty tough" to be evicted from a state house and that each eviction needs to be looked at in isolation.

"There are some people unfortunately who are never going to be able to look after themselves …the state should step in and help people when they need help."

But Ms Collins said she was "not going to stand by and say it's ok to abuse the staff at Housing New Zealand … or damage the property, and that people like that need to have some consequences."

The agency’s chief operating officer Paul Commons said evictions are rare and most result from an inability to get a "constructive conversation with someone".

"An eviction is the result of a very, very long process where we've exhausted every possibility of supporting a tenant to maintain their circumstances," Mr Commons said.

Mr Twyford said he's been advised that evictions are now down to an average of one a month.

"I’m satisfied that out of a total of more than 63,000 state houses, that shows evictions are an absolute last resort after all other efforts to help these tenants have failed," he said.

National’s housing spokeswoman says it’s "pretty tough" to be evicted from a state house and that each eviction needs to be looked at in isolation. Source: 1 NEWS