Kāinga Ora finally cracks down on tenants terrorising neighbours after years of no evictions

Kāinga Ora is finally cracking down on tenants who have terrorised their neighbours for years.

It's welcome news for those who have suffered abuse and intimidation and have begged the state landlord to act. 

Kāinga Ora previously hadn't evicted any tenants for the past three years.

It says it's now strengthening the way it manages disruptive behaviour in its homes. Kāinga Ora national services general manager Nick Maling told AM the agency had been working on the issue for a long time.

He said in the past year, 142 people had been moved out of communities due to serious antisocial behaviour in and around its houses.

"It's something that our tenancy managers go out every day but we've absolutely been listening to the public over the last few months, and we think there's more than we can do to address some of the more serious situations faster.

"We've been absolutely talking to the minister [Poto Williams] about this. Like us, she too has been listening to the public conversation and we've been working through with her how we're going to respond to it."

Kāinga Ora says it's now implementing a range of new measures to better manage serious antisocial behaviour that causes stress to surrounding communities.

They include new provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act, providing more capacity to deal with disruptive behaviour. This allows Kāinga Ora to get rid of antisocial tenants more easily.

Nick Maling.
Nick Maling. Photo credit: AM

Maling said it was still a hard balancing act between looking after surrounding communities and Kāinga Ora's tenants.

The state landlord has a "tricky societal problem" to deal with and there was no silver bullet, he said.

"We have competing outcomes that we've got to try and balance; so we've got obligations to the people living in our homes, we've got obligations to the people living around them.

"Parliament's also asked us to do a tricky social role in the middle of a housing crisis so we're trying to find the right balance between sustaining tenancy's and addressing situations of severe antisocial behaviour, quickly."

Maling added making people homeless didn't solve problems.

"We were making people homeless for quite a number of years and so we have quite a lot of experience in this area," he said. "We believe sustaining tenancies and finding a balance between doing so and addressing these situations of antisocial behaviour is the best way forward."