A poverty advocacy group is disappointed after several landlords joked about poisoning squatters in a property investors Facebook group.
A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, sent Newshub screenshots of the comments. She joined the group to get advice about buying her first home but said she was "appalled" by the attitudes towards renters.
On Tuesday, a member posted asking for help removing squatters from a property.
"Looking at purchasing and renovating an old house but it's currently occupied by squaters (sic). Any advice for someone new to the game?" they asked.
Screenshots, seen by Newshub, show landlords joking about poisoning the squatters, burning the house down while they're inside and sending gang members to remove them.
"Turn the water off and dump some rapid set concrete in the toby hole. Also agree get the mob in there great job for a couple of prospects (sic)," one said.
"Base ball bats n masks (sic)," another suggested.
"Rat poison," another said.
"I would think an old house would need a lot of fumigation!!!" one member suggested.
"Put laxatives in the water supply and turn the water supply off," another person said.
The woman said she was saddened by the comments, especially when people have lost their homes because of COVID-19.
"At first it was absolute sadness, a lot of people have lost their homes during lockdown, rental prices have gone up, people can not afford to have a home anymore."
But she said that was soon replaced by anger when she saw some of the more violent suggestions.
"Nobody deserves to be 'rat poisoned' or 'laxatives in their water'. It may come across as simple banter but at the end of the day there are steps in place to remove squatters, there are laws in place to help in these situations."
She said it's not the first time she's seen mean or racist comments in the group.
"I see a lot of messed up comments towards renters, Māori, Pacific Islanders and beneficiaries too.
"[There's] a lot of white-collar privilege, and it shows. Not to say these people haven't worked extremely hard to be able to buy multiple investment properties or owner-occupied properties but it's getting ridiculous how they think people can be treated."
Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley said the comments were cruel and inhumane.
"The comments being made speak to the attitudes in this country we have about those who have power and those that don't, in this case landlords and tenants," Pao Stanley said.
"I think it's a shame that people would make such remarks, even in jest, which actually reflects how privileged and disconnected landlords are from the realities of what it means to rent in this country.
"We all have a lot of work to do in ensuring we unpack our attitudes we hold of each other - it's easy to make judgements of situations so removed from your own, from the comfort of having a housing portfolio, food every week, bills paid etc.
"These comments and attitudes are absolutely cruel and inhumane but unfortunately very normal, and that's a huge part of the problem."