Revealed: How many households with children could be affected by Kāinga Ora crackdown

Kiwis who have been tormented by antisocial Kāinga Ora neighbours are celebrating the Government's decision to make it easier to evict unruly tenants.

However there's concern about children caught up in the move - with the Government finally revealing just how many households with kids could be impacted.

A win for some, concern for others

Katelyn Park is one of those happy about the Government's decision to crack down on tenants. She told Newshub her old neighbours made her family's life hell.

"I'd get home from work and pull up the driveway and start crying because I'm like I don't even want to be near my house."

The neighbours were moved on, and now Park is pleased Kāinga Ora has been told to evict more bad tenants.

"If you're going to have that behaviour towards someone then you don't actually deserve to have a house like that, you know, there's other people who've been sitting in emergency housing for years who'd respect their property and be good tenants," she said.

The Parnell Business Association agrees and is also celebrating.

"We're really thrilled with the announcement, I think it's a very positive way forward," the association's general manager Cheryl Adamson said.

She had written to the housing minister, blaming a crime wave on a nearby block of Kāinga Ora flats.

Housing Minister Chris Bishop said the Government was "confident that Kāinga Ora enforcing the law that is already there will lead to a change in behaviour from tenants".

His chief evidence for needing the policy change was that there were just three evictions last year for antisocial behaviour.

Newshub's obtained a breakdown of all the other actions Kāinga Ora took last year:

  • There were the three evictions for bad behaviour
  • Tenants were relocated to a different home - with their agreement - 215 times
  • Tenants were relocated against their will four times
  • There were 90 section 55a notices about disruptive behaviour

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has admitted his Government might have got the balance wrong.

"It's probably an area where we could have done more," he said.

But Park said it was "too little too late".

"They should have done more at the time."

How many children will be impacted?

After 6pm Newshub was sent the numbers from the Housing Minister's office.

  • In 2023, approximately 43 percent of households with a serious concern made against them had children living in the homes
  • And of the 448 tenants who owed more than $10,000 in rent, 64 percent of them had children living in the home

"Of course we thought of children and we took a range of advice in relation to implementing this policy," Bishop said.

He didn't give specifics, but warned: "If you don't want to face eviction from a state house, don't behave in a way that means that you are liable for eviction."

The minister's office said where Kāinga Ora suspects abuse, neglect or family violence they are required to make a report to Police, Oranga Tamariki, Corrections or the SPCA, depending on the situation.

"This means government support services can wrap around vulnerable children or pets in any Kāinga Ora household."

And it said having rent arrears will not in itself be cause for eviction.

"Most Kāinga Ora tenants who are in arrears are sticking to a repayment plan. Rent arrears would typically be managed on a case-by-case basis and usually only be cause for eviction if a tenant refused to make repayments or even make a repayment plan."

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG ) said the number of evictions would depend on how the policy is implemented.

"It could be that this is really just a symbolic move by the Government to appear to get tough and to appeal to their supporters but it could be that hundreds of families end up basically on the street," CPAG housing spokesperson Alan Johnson said.

"Half the households affected will have children and possibly two-thirds of those will have more than two or three children. So, a lot of children are involved."