Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has admitted up to 1500 children were made homeless due to the organisation's use of flawed meth contamination standards in state homes.
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"We don't know the exact numbers, because our records are kept based on the lead tenant, who will be an adult," CEO Andrew Mackenzie told Newshub Nation.
"On average, there would be three people in each of our homes. So we're talking probably 1200 to 1500 of the tenants affected would have been children."
Mr Mackenzie said once tenants were evicted, records were no longer kept for them, because at the time HNZ was only acting as "their landlord".
"We were responsible for housing them, and when we stopped being responsible for housing them we obviously didn't keep those records.
"What we're now doing is reaching out, using those other agencies that are supporting those families to find out where they are, so that we can go and ensure that they have the assistance and support they need in their lives."
A report released by HNZ this week found meth contamination standards based on bad science resulted in an estimated 800 tenancies being terminated, affecting an estimated 2500 people. The report also found HNZ has spent around $100 million on mostly unnecessary testing and decontamination.
Mr Mackenzie apologised to those affected by the flawed testing and promised the "culture" of HNZ was already changing.
"I can tell you very, very clearly that the organisation's modus operandi - the policies we work to, the processes we work to - are all being changed to align with keeping people in homes."
HNZ will be paying compensation to tenants affected by the flawed meth testing on a "case-by-case basis", with an average payment of approximately $3000.