Why are we even considering compensation?

Mike Yardley at Stuff is asking the very pertinent question of why we are even considering paying compensation to people who were evicted from houses that were contaminated with methamphetamine. We shouldn’t be. quote.

How many news scribes bothered to read Housing New Zealand’s (HNZ) methamphetamine contamination report last week, before rushing to join the feeding frenzy of condemnation?

Did any of them peruse the full report before being played like a fiddle by the master of choreography, Housing Minister, Phil Twyford? end quote.

Unlikely. The preaching had already started and had been used as an opportunity to beat the previous government with a big stick over trying to keep tenants safe from contamination. quote:

Much of the commentary in HNZ’s 188-page report has been pasteurised to please the ideological persuasions of their political masters. But buried beneath the spin and fluff, some searing facts provide some sobering context about the scourge of meth in state housing and how the agency arguably acted in good faith.

Since July 2013, 4958 of HNZ’s properties have been contamination-tested, triggered by reasonable grounds for suspicion, with 2483 properties testing above the Ministry of Health and Standards New Zealand’s prevailing thresholds at the time.

Of those, 1214 properties were tenanted when testing was carried out. In the case of 264 properties, HNZ was satisfied that the present tenants weren’t responsible for the contamination and they were promptly rehoused. HNZ also paid for their moving costs and shelled out grocery vouchers or cash grants to atone for placing them in contaminated rentals. end quote.

So those that were blameless were rehoused and compensated at least to a point. If it was me, I would simply be grateful to be moved out of a house that could seriously damage my family’s health. quote:

In a further 159 properties, the tenants were allowed to stay put, while it was remedied. But for 791 properties, the occupants were found responsible for the contamination, they were not rehoused, and were served with a seven-day notice, a 90-day notice, or a Tenancy Tribunal order to vacate.

The HNZ report also reveals that of their rentals that tested positive for meth, 565 of them actually clocked up a reading of 15μg/100cm2 or higher. (The new contamination threshold as decreed by Sir Peter Gluckman.) end quote.

Not a case of passing contamination then. These houses would still breach the limits, even if tested today. quote:

Remember the 87-year-old pensioner who was forced out of her rental of 60 years? The TV news channels paraded her last week as a prime victim of HNZ’s “bogus testing”. Not only did HNZ rehouse her and pay the moving costs, but her rental recorded an off-the-charts meth reading of 22.5ug/100cm2. And that followed the tenant’s son arranging for the property to be commercially cleaned before testing. There had also been a firearms incident at the place. end quote.

Obviously a dear, sweet, little old lady. quote.

Yes, in the great majority of cases, the positive meth readings fell well short of the new Gluckman threshold that HNZ has now embraced. However, why are we frittering away big bucks compensating the occupants of those 791 properties, who had been cooking or smoking meth in their state rentals?

Why should hundreds of bad eggs be financially rewarded for criminal behaviour or breaching their tenancy agreement, just because of overcautious meth contamination readings? end quote.

Don’t we call this government criminal huggers? Is that what this is? quote.

Furthermore, the Government is forcing HNZ to lurch from one perceived extreme to another. The era of “zero tolerance” for illegal drug activity has been turned on its head, with a “zero-eviction policy” for illegal drug use now in force.

Meth use in state houses no longer carries any sanctions. end quote.

Is this for real? It is now okay to use meth in a state house? quote.

If you’re a meth user, you’ll be offered access to fully-funded addiction treatment services. That’s a worthy, welcome initiative.

But if you spurn every offer of help, preferring to pursue your recalcitrant lifestyle, there’ll be no repercussions, unless you’re unlucky enough to be collared by the cops for burglary or the like, to support your habit.

And if you contaminate your rental beyond the new Gluckman threshold, HNZ will now happily transfer you to another property. No problem. end quote.

Which will simply be contaminated again. Then on to the next one and the next one and so on.

This government is completely crazy. The waiting lists for state houses are getting longer by the day and all that they can do is to continue to reward people for criminal behaviour. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Contrast that with a landlord who, if they have not insulated their rental property by July 2019, can be fined $4000, with the money going to the tenant. How about compensating landlords who have to decontaminate their properties because of these criminals? That’s never going to happen. Because landlords are fat cats, so we can’t have that.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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