Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has accused Simon Bridges and Judith Collins of making defamatory claims over their ‘meth crooks’ claim about the 800 evicted Housing NZ tenants who will receive compensation.
The opposition leader and National’s housing spokesperson have repeatedly said they were against compensation for the Housing NZ tenants who were evicted as a result of adverse meth tests on their properties.
“I’m appalled that Judith Collins and Simon Bridges, who have pretence to be experienced and practiced lawyers, would think that people who are utterly innocent and in their hundreds and hundreds should be turfed out of a place and have all their assets and materials destroyed because of a hoax scientific investigation, which wasn’t scientific at all, and that they shouldn’t deserve some compensation,” he told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.
“I know ordinary people might do it but how could a lawyer possibly believe somebody is guilty before proven to be that and that’s what I find for narrow venal populism in which they’re not going to be successful they have appeared to use such language.”
Housing New Zealand released a report last week admitting it shouldn't have turfed out tenants based on methamphetamine contamination guidelines which have since been found to be misused.
The period was dubbed 'meth hysteria' - during which hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent unnecessarily on stripping out homes, and hundreds of state tenants kicked out.