Government to legislate 'fairness' into Housing NZ's objectives

Housing NZ will be required to be a "fair and reasonable" landlord under new legislation signed off by Cabinet.

It will also no longer be required to return a surplus to the Government, and the word 'corporation' will be removed from Housing NZ's name.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says the changes will embed "strengthen Housing New Zealand's social mandate."

"Housing NZ is a very different organisation under the helm of chief executive Andrew McKenzie and under our Government," Mr Twyford says.

"It is already offering pastoral care to help tenants stay in their homes, allowing tenants to have pets, and treating drug addiction as a health issue."

A paper presented to the social wellbeing committee says under the Crown Entities Act 2004, the Minister of Finance will still have the power to require a surplus be returned. "However, the default will be that Housing New Zealand will retain any surplus funds," it reads.

The announcement from Mr Twyford comes after Housing NZ offered an apology to tenants kicked out of state houses under vastly too conservative "zero tolerance" meth testing.

Eight-hundred tenants will be compensated for being kicked out, having their possessions destroyed and/or being booted off the social housing wait list.

Housing NZ's social objectives:

  • Providing good quality, warm, dry, and healthy rental housing for those who need it most.
  • Assisting tenants to sustain a tenancy; supporting tenants to be well-connected to their communities, to lead lives with dignity, and the greatest degree of independence possible.
  • Being a fair and reasonable landlord, treating tenants and their neighbours with respect, integrity and honesty.
  • Building and leasing additional houses in order to meet social need and fill housing shortages where they occur.
  • Managing its housing stock prudently, upgrading and managing the portfolio to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
  • Assisting neighbourhoods and communities in which it operates housing to flourish as cohesive, safe and prosperous places to live.
  • Working with other agencies to achieve housing policy goals and improve tenant welfare.
  • Providing services and products to support people accessing affordable housing.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: