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P-lab court case sends a strong warning

Hon Maryan Street
Minister for Housing

22 September 2008 Media Statement

P-lab court case sends a strong warning

Housing Minister Maryan Street says criminals using state houses to produce drugs have been put on notice that Housing New Zealand will leave no stone unturned when it comes to recovering damages to pay for the mess they cause.

Housing New Zealand is this week taking a test case in the Napier District Court seeking more than $180,000 in damages from six people convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine in a state house.

The house was so badly contaminated, it had to be destroyed. Because the cost was so significant, it was beyond the jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal and Housing New Zealand is now pursuing costs through the District Court. It is seeking damages from all those convicted in manufacturing the drug on the property, not just the tenant.

“Incidents like these are galling on several fronts. Methamphetamine causes havoc in our communities and its production is unacceptable. As the Housing Minister, what particularly angers me is when a state house which could be a home for a family in need has been abused for this purpose.

“What further annoys me is that the house was ruined, thereby denying a future family the opportunity of a home. The government is investing significantly in rebuilding the state housing stock and the last thing we need is for any one of those homes to be turned into a P-lab,” Maryan Street said.

“Housing New Zealand’s decision to pursue the case sends a strong message that this behaviour will simply not be tolerated.”


ENDS

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