Housing NZ to compensate evicted tenants
Hundreds of former state house tenants will get compensation after being evicted for suspected meth use.
It comes after revelations the testing regime was flawed.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford claims it was National's mistake.
“It was a systemic failure of government that hurt a lot of people - our government is committed to putting it right.”
National MP Judith Collins on the other hand is far from conciliatory.
“If you undertake a very serious illegal activity in a state house then you don't deserve one.”
800 tenants were evicted by Housing NZ and Twyford says Housing NZ made a big mistake.
“Today, Housing New Zealand is putting up its hand and saying we got it wrong - we got it wrong on a number of accounts and people got hurt. They're stepping up and owning that - and they're putting it right.”
Housing NZ CEO Andrew McKenzie admits they got it wrong.
“Housing New Zealand didn't deliver on what the organisation is there to do - give people in need a warm, dry safe home and of the many decisions that staff get right - on this matter it got it wrong.”
Those tenants affected are expected to receive between $2500 and $3000, the compensation is expected to cost up to $5 million.
But Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says it’s not enough.
“The impact from having to uproot your family has harmful impacts into education, housing, justice, health and we need to be wary of what has happened has really hurt people.
“So, it's not about a figure - it's about understanding that compensation for wrongs needs to be serious here.”
McKenzie also adds Housing NZ is working on finding the people who have been evicted.
“We're working with other agencies that have details on people to find their addresses and contact them, but it could take anything up to six to nine months to actually find everyone and have them come back to us.”
Housing NZ is encouraging the 800-people evicted to contact their office.