Housing NZ admits mistakes in its former meth testing policies and will compensate affected tenants

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Housing NZ is to compensate hundreds of former tenants who were evicted from their homes under the organisation’s former methamphetamine contamination testing policies.

This follows the release of a report by the organisation into its previous meth testing policies and the effect they had on its tenants.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said Housing NZ had accepted its approach to dealing with meth contamination was wrong and had far reaching consequences for hundreds of tenants.

“Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered either by 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,” Twyford said.

“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced,” he said.

“This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement.”

They will also receive a formal apology from Housing NZ.

Twyford said Housing NZ’s approach was an example of government accountability.

“Housing NZ are fronting up, acknowledging they were wrong and putting it right,” he said.

“The approach to methamphetamine by the [National] government of the day was a moral and fiscal failure.

“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.”

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