Govt 'compensating crooks' - National doubles down on state house evictions

Govt 'compensating crooks' - National doubles down on state house evictions

The National Party is doubling down on its eviction of tenants from state houses, in the wake of the Government's decision to compensate people evicted under bogus meth testing guidelines.

National's saying it was following the guidelines of the day, which were put in place to keep people healthy. Those guidelines have since been proven vastly too conservative, with a report from the Chief Science Advisor finding there's no evidence of any health risk in houses where meth has been smoked and not manufactured.

Housing NZ (HNZ) will apologise to the 800 evicted tenants and their families and will compensate them for the loss of tenancies and possessions. Those kicked off the waitlist or made homeless will be rehomed, HNZ said on Thursday.

HNZ expects compensation to "be in the order of $2500 to $3000 per tenancy".

Mr Twyford called on Paula Bennett and the ministers responsible for HNZ at the time to apologise, saying Ms Bennett had "gloated" in the media about evicting tenants.

But National's housing spokesperson Judith Collins said it's Mr Twyford who should apologise.

"Phil Twyford should apologise for using taxpayer dollars to compensate people who had undertaken criminal activity in state houses," she said at Parliament on Thursday.

Ms Collins said Mr Twyford was "politicising what was a health issue, and thinking it was OK for state houses to be used for criminal activity".

When asked whether she sees addiction as a health issue, Ms Collins said she is "not an expert on addiction, thankfully, but I do know this - people can take steps, and those steps are around getting themselves drug and alcohol treatment. That's something we as Government put in place in our prisons and elsewhere."

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi has asked the Prime Minister's new Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard to look at the use of science in Standards NZ's processes. Standards NZ revised the meth limit to 1.5 mcg/100cm2 in 2017. It is now ten times that, at 15 mcg/100cm2.