The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, Housing Minister Phil Twyford has said.
Housing NZ issued an apology to all those who lost their homes as the organisation pursued a conservative policy around meth contamination in properties.
Chief executive Andrew McKenzie also apologised for the organisation’s zero tolerance policy around illegal activities, saying they had ignored the issues that had led to people being tenants of Housing NZ.
A report showed that around 800 tenants suffered through Housing NZ’s response to meth contamination.
“Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless," Mr Twyford said.
“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced. This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and make discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement.”
“They will also receive a formal apology from Housing NZ.
Mr Twyford said it was a failure of the previous government and they have already paid for it because “they are no longer ministers”.
“The approach to methamphetamine from 2013 by the government of the day was a moral and fiscal failure. Housing NZ had been instructed by then ministers to operate like a private sector landlord. This led to the wellbeing of tenants being ignored.
“Even as evidence grew that the meth standard was too low, and ministers acknowledged it wasn’t ‘fit for purpose’, the former government continued to demonise its tenants. At any time they could have called for independent advice. Our Government is choosing to do the right thing.”