Housing Minister accuses National of 'vile demonising' of state house tenants, amid grilling by Judith Collins

The Housing Minister today accused the previous Government of "vile demonising of state house tenants", after questioning by Judith Collins over anti-social behaviour of some living in state housing. 

National's housing spokesperson Judith Collins asked today in Question Time if Phil Twyford stood by his statements and policies regarding "evicting anti-social Housing New Zealand tenants". 

"Yes," said Mr Twyford. "In particular I stand by my statement that people all over this country from different persuasions and colours and tendencies all live together in diverse tendencies, and this Government is not going to engage in the kind of vile demonising of state house tenants and stereotyping to try and stigmatise people."

Ms Collins released a statement shortly after, that stated the Government's "no eviction policy and soft stance on criminal and anti-social behaviour will see Housing New Zealand become an overflow for prisons". 

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

"A number of people have approached my electorate office with concerns about gang members living in Housing New Zealand properties who are intimidating their neighbours while authorities stand by doing nothing."

She said it would mean "mean more innocent, law-abiding people being forced to uproot their lives and move elsewhere".

In Question Time, Mr Twyford said Housing New Zealand works with the police "and other agencies to help make our communities safer". 

"This is a complex issue, and Housing New Zealand's policy tries to strike a balance between being a good neighbour and sustaining tenancies."

He said evictions should be an "extreme last-resort".

More From