Housing NZ to reward drug users

The question of a ‘safe’ level of methamphetamine contamination is an emotive one. Most sane people would not want to expose their children to contamination at any level. The previous government did set the bar very high, but this was done on official advice. And let’s face it, most of us would not want to live in a house that has been contaminated at all. The possible health issues, particularly to children, are just not worth the risk.

But then along came Peter Gluckman, who decided that the previous levels of contamination were too low, and that everyone can tolerate a much higher level. You have to wonder why he never raised this point with the previous government, as he could have done, but didn’t. He simply allowed them to throw people out of their meth contaminated houses — and once the government had changed, he then advised that the advice previously given had been wrong.

I believe that this was a political move on behalf of the former chief scientist. But whatever his motivation, it is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. Housing New Zealand is going to compensate 800 of their former tenants because their houses were contaminated with methamphetamine — but not contaminated enough.

This is the government that wants to bring kindness back.

So kindness includes compensating drug users for contaminating state owned houses?

Stuff  reports: quote.

Housing New Zealand will compensate 800 tenants kicked out of their homes for meth tests the agency now admits were wrongly used and not needed.

In a huge mea culpa, the state housing agency has finally apologised and admitted to misusing a Ministry of Health guideline while pursuing an “dogmatic” policy of zero tolerance it now admits has “little merit” and cost $100m in unnecessary tests and cleanup. end quote.

It is not a ‘mea culpa’. The government was acting on the information given at the time. Apparently, that information was incorrect, although that is seriously questionable.  I would never want to live in a house that was contaminated with methamphetamine. Would you? quote.

The apology and offer to compensate kicked-out tenants by between $2500 and $3000 comes as a report into the agency’s meth testing regime was finally released on Thursday morning.

It found that between July 2013 and May 2018 nearly 5000 Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties were tested for meth contamination, with about half of these tests testing positive for the too-low standard at the time. end quote.

And hey… some of these tenants were contaminating the houses themselves by using meth. Oh yes, they were. If Housing NZ could prove that none of the tenants compensated were drug users themselves, I would be sympathetic. But I guarantee they can’t… because at least some of these tenants are guilty of contamination. No matter what the levels. quote.

Given most homes have more than one person but just a single primary tenants, around 2,400 people were likely affected.

Furthermore, about $7m in damages was charged to 542 tenants. But less than two per cent of this was actually recovered before HNZ stopped seeking them earlier in 2017, and that debt has now been cancelled.

HNZ expects to spend about $2.4m on the compensation.

No board member or employee has been fired over the matter however, with Housing Minister Phil Twyford saying he was not interested in “ritual sacrifice.”

“It’s very clear that through the course of the last Government HNZ were told explicitly to behave like a private sector landlord, to forget their social mandate,” Twyford said. end quote.

No, Phil. You are talking garbage. The previous government acted on the information they had at the time. They didn’t know that Peter Gluckman would do an about-face once the government changed. They believed what they were told by the chief scientist. It would appear he was politically motivated, and changed his tune as soon as the government changed.

Peter Gluckman could have avoided taxpayers having to pay ridiculous amounts of compensation to people who mostly do not deserve it. But that was not his motivation. I say we should not be compensating people for contaminating state houses. Tell me what you think.

 


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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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