Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Wiping of debt for HNZ tenants step towards justice



Wiping of debt for HNZ meth testing tenants step towards justice

The Government's announcement that it will wipe the Ministry of Social Development debt accumulated as a result of wrongful evictions because of methamphetamine contamination policies is a step towards justice. Auckland Action Against Poverty welcomes this move, as it is something that we have been calling for since the initial compensation was announced. Additionally, we encourage the Government to take a wide-ranging approach to how they categorise debt relating to the evictions.

"The punitive and flawed meth test regime from the National Government left thousands of people homeless, with no personal belongings and crippling debt with both the Government and private institutions. The clearing of debt relating to the evictions by the Ministry of Social Development is a just the start towards making amends for the cruel war on drugs ongoing administrations", says Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.

"The Ministry of Social Development needs to take a generous and compassionate approach when determining the debt that relates to the wrongful evictions. The financial costs of being homeless as a result of being evicted is wide reaching, since most were made to dispose of all their belongings since they were deemed contaminated. Former HNZ tenants would have required assistance for transport, new furniture, bonds for new tenancies or rent arrear assistance from having to move to private rentals they could not afford.

"Additionally, the Government should look at compensation for the private debt incurred as a result of these wrongful evictions. While affected tenants would have had to look for assistance from the Ministry of Social Development, many who were unable to access adequate support would have needed to take on additional credit card debt, bank loans or fallen prey to shark loans. If true justice is to be delivered to the tenants affected by the meth testing regime, then compensation needs to account for all the financial costs incurred, not just the ones directly with the Ministry of Social Development.

"Questions remain about the approach the Government will take in order to identify tenants affected. With Housing New Zealand admitting it did not keep a record of who was still homeless as a result, and the process of compensation being slow, we have concerns that many of the affected tenants may not be reached by the Ministry of Social Development due to poor record keeping. "We look forward to this Government delivering true justice to those affected by the ongoing war on drugs, which is also the war on the poor.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>


New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>



Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>





InfoPages News Channels