Today the Hon Phil Twyford, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Housing New Zealand’s Acting Board Chair Vui Mark Gosche and Housing New Zealand’s Chief Executive released Housing New Zealand report into its past methamphetamine contamination response.
HNZ Chief Executive Andrew McKenzie says the report shows HNZ’s previous approach had a range of poor outcomes for tenants and their families. "I apologised in June and we do so again to those tenants and their families who had their lives disrupted"
"We plan to put things right and that means not just looking to rehouse those tenants who had their tenancies ended but to provide other forms of assistance’. The Housing New Zealand Meth Assistance Programme will ensure all affected tenants have their cases assessed carefully and thoroughly. The Programme includes a range of assistance options:
- An apology
- Discretionary grant for household items
- Discretionary grant for moving costs
- Cancellation of all methamphetamine related debt and a refund of any money paid
- Re-housing of tenants who used to be HNZ tenants, but were moved for methamphetamine contamination and are currently on the MSD social housing register.
"I want to ensure all affected tenants have the opportunity to discuss their individual cases with us so we can provide the most appropriate form of assistance. This will be a genuine process and the Meth Assistance Team being established will take a comprehensive, considered approach to how the right form of assistance is assessed for our tenants."
Mr McKenzie said the report is a fair and accurate review of how HNZ’s methamphetamine management polices and procedures were carried out historically. However, this report does not reflect the organisation today.
"Steady and deliberate change has been underway to change our policies and practices and improve the outcomes for the people we house, both now and in the future. The way HNZ manages methamphetamine contamination has changed and will continue to change as we look at new and better ways to support our tenants. We are partnering with other agencies and specialist non-Government organisations to address very deep and complex social issues like addiction and drug related harm. We are a different organisation now. We want our tenants to live their lives with dignity and respect."