Collins keeps Housing Corp P debacle in news cycle

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, June 7th, 2018 - 122 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, class, housing, Judith Collins, law and "order", national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

Judith Collins joker

What do you do if you are a member of a political party that has just been turfed out of office and a major fiasco emerges which shows that your party’s decision making while in office was less than perfect?  Like you blew $100 million on tests and remediations that were not actually warranted and all it looks like is that you were being deliberately cruel to people who were down on their luck for political advantage.

Do you (a) try and divert attention by talking about something else like law and order or (b) keep the issue in the media cycle for another day and reinforce the perception of cruelty?

Guess what Judith did?

From the Herald:

National’s housing spokeswoman Judith Collins says Housing NZ’s move to allow drug-users to remain in Housing NZ homes is “a step too far” and sends the wrong message.

It follows comments by HNZ’s chief executive Andrew McKenzie that it had moved to a ‘zero eviction’ policy.

Instead of referring tenants to police and evicting them for drug use, the corporation now seeks to refer tenants to addiction services to get their lives back on track, he told the Herald.

Collins said she agreed with HNZ’s decision to adopt the new meth contamination standard identified by Sir Peter Gluckman after he found there was no health risk to others from third-hand meth contamination at a property.

“But allowing illegal drug users to keep living in taxpayer-funded housing while others are on the waiting list is a step too far.”

Collins said drug users did need access to services to get off drugs but many were not interested in doing so.

“It should be that they get help, or they get out.

“It’s not fair to taxpayers, to those on the waiting list, or to those living next door to these drug users – some of whom are children. This will send completely the wrong signal to them.”

Can you imagine the scene as a bunch of tory MPs are sitting around drinking Central Otago Pinot noir and discussing the evils of drug taking by state house tenants?  Can you believe their inability to comprehend what it is like to be poor and how drug use may not actually be a sign of personal weakness but instead a coping mechanism?

And why is it that tenants who are down on their luck are to be punished for human frailty but the chain of command that caused this disaster are immune from consequence?  Is personal responsibility a concept that applies to poor people only?

Danyl McLachlan summed the absurdity of the situation in three tweets:

Dear Judith, please keep it up. It really helps for the people of New Zealand to be continuously reminded what a cold hearted party you belong to.

122 comments on “Collins keeps Housing Corp P debacle in news cycle”

  1. Anon 1

    “It’s not fair … to those … living next door to these drug users” – that’s a fair point. Not all drug users are problem neighbours and not all problem neighbours are drug users – but it’s basically impossible to get any help with problem neighbours and this policy isn’t going to help. You want “no consequences, no accountability, no responsibility, no agency” you see how being forced to live next to horrible bullies for decades feels like.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      If they are problem neighbours then there are steps that can be taken. If things get out of control then Housing Corp do have powers to terminate the lease. I take it you are disagreeing with Judith’s proposal for blanket exclusion of tenants who may have taken drugs?

      • Pat 1.1.1

        Mickey…are you able to do something about someone using the same moniker as myself…there is a new poster (past week) who is using the same name as me and appears unwilling to differentiate….concerning as it appears our views are somewhat different.

    • millsy 1.2

      So you would have people tossed out for smoking a joint then?

      • Peter ChCh 1.2.1

        We are talking Meth here. Eventually, ALL meth users become dangerous and potentially violent. And very very few ever stop, unless they are jailed for lengthy periods. Anyone who has ever had any kind of ongoing involvement with these ‘people’ knows that meth (and synthetics) are not even on the same scale as ‘a joint’ or alcohol or most other drugs.

        Eviction is the very least we can do out of consideration for their neighbors and the community.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          How about consideration for the poor buggers whose lives have been destroyed by our socio-economic system? You know, the drug users whom you seem determined to simply throw away.

          • Peter ChCh 1.2.1.1.1

            I have seen many serious addicts (ice, meth, etc) who without any doubt whatsoever are the so called elite of society. Their lives sure were not destroyed by our socio economic system. In fact, just the opposite.

            Drug abuse and drug addiction does not have a very strong correlation with ones position in society, although the problems of those on the bottom are less able to be hid.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I have seen many serious addicts (ice, meth, etc) who without any doubt whatsoever are the so called elite of society. Their lives sure were not destroyed by our socio economic system. In fact, just the opposite.

              You sure about that? Because it sounds like they’re about to crash and burn. Just like our ‘Rockstar economy’ in fact.

              …although the problems of those on the bottom are less able to be hid.

              Which is a major problem with our socio-economic system that excuses the abuses that the rich do.

          • Baba Yaga 1.2.1.1.2

            The victims of social and economic change aren’t necessarily breaking the law. P users are. Boot them out.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2.1

              P users are probably the result of the social and economic changes that have been forced upon them by government. Thus government needs to pay to help them.

              • babayaga

                Ah the old ‘the economy made them do it’ canard.

                P use is a personal choice.

                It is doesn’t discriminate based on socio-economic status, and not all people in low socio-economic conditions use drugs.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It, like all mental health issues, correlates closely with the GINI.

                  I know that on your planet, people make the personal choice to develop mental illnesses, but that isn’t how it works on Earth.

          • Jimmy 1.2.1.1.3

            If there lives are so bad, how can they afford meth?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.3.1

              By prioritising it in much the same way as you prioritise stupidity and prejudice. Opinion is divided as to whether their priorities are more destructive than yours.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.3.2

              You know what happens in a recession an unemployment climbs?

              Sales of lottery tickets go up. It’s a measure of desperation. People have no hope and reach for something that may actually pay out which looking for work isn’t doing.

              Taking drugs (alcohol, tobacco, P) is another means of stress relief for these people who society has thrown under the bus because a few want to be rich and not work at all.

        • ankerawshark 1.2.1.2

          Peter CHCH ………any idea of the association of alcohol with domestic violence, rape, MTA’s homicide, assaults???????

          Where is the evidence that all Meth users become dangerous and violent. Citation please.

        • cardassian 1.2.1.3

          Sorry but I have to disagree with your comment here. I know lots of former meth users that have stopped and have never been to jail. Meth use was big in my social scene in the early 2000s. Just about every person I knew that was under 25 at the time used most weekends. Soon that became most days. This was before it was all over the news about how bad it was. Most of those people are now non users and only 1 ever went to jail for being violent, and I’m talking about a large social circle.

        • Tracey 1.2.1.4

          Pete, and after they are evicted??? At one point last year an estimated 60,000 drug users were seeking help to stop but waiting for support was taking mobtgs.

      • gsays 1.2.2

        I wonder what Collins makes of:
        “But allowing illegal..” allowance “…users to keep living in taxpayer-funded housing….”

        Would she seek retribution from Sir double dipton?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1

          Of course not – he’s rich and can thus do what he likes. Stealing from the country isn’t a problem for National as long as it’s the right people stealing.

      • Jimmy 1.2.3

        I would have them thrown out for breaking the law.

    • It’s not fair that you don’t know that the middle class couple who live next door are Meth users every weekend, the impoverished don’t have sole ownership of illicit drug use. It has been said that Meth is now the drug of choice above alcohol, so you see the extent of the problem.

      • Peter ChCh 1.3.1

        Agree, and in the early days (say 10 years ago) meth was really only a drug of the well to do, as only they could afford it. Now it has spread down market as the cost (and quality) has fallen.

        Regardless, it is an evil drug like no other, and the author of this article does no good service by trying to make it into some kind of ludicrous tory versus the poor nonsense. It never ceases to amaze me how some are so without scruples that they will use the most vulnerable to push a political agenda.

        • David Mac 1.3.1.1

          Evicting a meth addict achieves nothing Pete. Relief for one group of neighbours perhaps but the addict moves round the corner to spoil a new group of neighbour’s right to a quality life. It’s not even mantaining the status quo, every move creates issues for a new community.

          They don’t disappear or lose their addiction when they get kicked out.

          Yeah, of course Micky is having a go at the other side of the House on this issue. Their faces are covered in egg. I don’t believe the Nats sat around a table and discussed ‘How can we force these lowlifes out of our houses and flog them off?’ But I do think they’ve made a big bumbling blunder that pitches them in that light.

          • Peter ChCh 1.3.1.1.1

            David I understand your point, it is just that I think in social housing there are often many vulnerable people (psychiatricaly ill, the elderly alone, the disabled and so on). These are often the least able to deal with what inevitably becomes an unpleasant and dangerous situation. Additionally, much social housing is living in very close proximity to ones neighbors, so bad neighbors become a bigger problem than they might elsewhere.

            Moving the meth addicts out certainly does not solve the problem, but it at least hopefully moves it to neighbours who have more resources to deal with it.

            • David Mac 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Resources to deal with it? You mean jail or a live-in rehabilitation program?

              That’s not what happens Pete, when asked to leave the vast majority move in with friends, relatives, answer ‘Flatmate Wanted’ ads or rent a new place. The issue just moves sideways.

              I wonder if Meth use fell markedly in places where cannabis has been legalised? The traditional thinking is that ‘Soft drugs lead to hard drugs’, I’m not so sure.

              I’d prefer we look for ways for addicts to escape the clutches of the toxic muck, booting them out is a crap plan.

        • simbit 1.3.1.2

          Evil? C’mon, don’t catastrophize. Like no other? Fentanyl has killed more, and is a prescription drug. NZ really loves a good moral panic.

        • Tracey 1.3.1.3

          ‘. It never ceases to amaze me how some are so without scruples that they will use the most vulnerable to push a political agenda. ‘. I presume you refer here to Collins, Bennett, Key and English

    • Tracey 1.4

      60,000 drug users are currently looking to give up but we do not have the services to help tgem. THAT is the real issue Anon

  2. Wayne 2

    MS
    You seem to have ignored the fact that Judith suggested the people should encouraged to deal with their addiction. Only if they refused would they be subject to termination.
    It seems quite reasonable to me that a state agency should not ignore drug use (meth being a lot serous than cannibus).
    You would apparently have Housing NZ virtually condoning serous illegal drug use.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Wayne the post was prompted by the fact the statement was made. I would think the best thing that Judith could have done is let the issue blow over and let the media cycle move on to something else rather than keep it alive.

      She does mention treatment but she also said “But allowing illegal drug users to keep living in taxpayer-funded housing while others are on the waiting list is a step too far.”

      She is talking to two audiences, the hard right and the population in general.

      Tactically I can’t understand why she said this at all. Unless there is an internal political reason for this.

      • tc 2.1.1

        ” Unless there is an internal political reason for this. ”

        Ding Ding Ding….we have a winner. Jude’s an old school DP hand who will not be silenced until she gets what she wants.

        A classic born to rule arrogance that the former minister for Oravida is well known for.

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.2

        Judith is not stupid Greg.

        She knows that National voters will have no sympathy for HNZ tenant being evicted because they are using drugs.

        • Naki man 2.1.2.1

          “Judith is not stupid Greg.

          She knows that National voters will have no sympathy for HNZ tenant being evicted because they are using drugs.”

          I am sure most voters will have no sympathy for HNZ tenants being evicted because they use P.

      • Sacha 2.1.3

        Dogwhistling and vice-signalling like her political life depended on it. Any time Soimon stuffs up a response like he did with this matter, Judy’ll be in there to claim some of his oxygen.

      • Tracey 2.1.4

        Her treatment comment is BS. You dont treat an addict by making them honeless. Under her time in Cabinet what did she do to increase support for drug users wanting to stop? Making people who decide to stop wait for mobths is unlikely to be an effective drug cessation strategy

    • Sabine 2.2

      so, You apperantly are ok with people who may or may not have used drugs – as by now we can safely state that the meth tests were bogus – and many of the same people evicted including their children were actually not testing positive for drug use – to be evicted and kicked into the curb by the National Party with no access to any help or any support.

      But, because you are so knowledgeable about the good things the last National Party did – especially for those that were kicked out of their rentals due to bogus tests, – can you point us to an article anywhere that states how much budget was allocated for treatment and rehabilitation of drug users who want to come clean? H

      Because otherwise one would think that for the last 9 years you dear Wayne and your National Party mates had no issue ignoring hard drug use, ignoring people living in cars with their children, people having to get weed on the black market as Nationals most favorite hair piece Peter effn Dunne denying access to medical marijuana, cutting the police force so that the remaining coppers can’t cope with the work load etc etc etc.

      So what is it? what did National do to help people who are addicted to any type of drug inclusive Alcohol? Because from where i am standing, National needs the poor and the down trodden, its whole existance is based on the demonizing of the poor and the down trodden so that little men like you can feel ok accusing others of ‘condoning serious illegal drug use’ to score little points, cause that is literally all you got.

      National, an uglier bunch of people is hard to find.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Well said Sabine: Wayne Mapp’s disgusting inhuman ethics in a nutshell.

        • Fireblade 2.2.1.1

          Go easy on Mr Mapp.
          He’s just a washed-up National Party politician who thinks someone actually cares about his irrelevant outdated thoughts.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            The behaviour described by Sabine is neither irrelevant nor outdated. It is an accurate description of the modern National Party.

      • tc 2.2.2

        +100 and very well put Sabine.

        Wayne loves trying that ‘reasonable’ sounding approach which’s just another facade for the ugliness that NACT represent. Key was a master at it, Blinglish was nowhere near as good at it, Bridges seems incapable.

        It’s almost as if he’s never left politics as we can see from the role he plays on TS.

        • Tamati Tautuhi 2.2.2.1

          Key was the master of “the silky tongue” talking technique obviously learn’t from his days in the merchant banking scene. Bridges definitely needs some elocution lessons he tends to mangle his words at times.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3

        +111

      • Baba Yaga 2.2.4

        The drug tests were no bogus. They detected P use, just not at levels that would be dangerous to future occupiers. P detection still means people were using P in that property. In a property subsidised by you and I as taxpayers.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.4.1

          The drug tests were no bogus.

          I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of them were.

          P detection still means people were using P in that property.

          But not necessarily the people living there at that time.

          In a property subsidised by you and I as taxpayers.

          I’m fine with that. We just need to extend more help to them.

          • babayaga 2.2.4.1.1

            “I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of them were.”
            Evidence please.

            “But not necessarily the people living there at that time.”
            Of course it’s possible.

            “I’m fine with that. We just need to extend more help to them.”
            I’m fine with extending help to people. But criminality brings consequences. Unless, it seems, we have a labour government.

            • McFlock 2.2.4.1.1.1

              You want evidence that draco wouldn’t be surprised? lolz

              HNZ isn’t part of the Ministry of Justice. Render unto the police what belongs to the police, and make sure everyone has a place to live.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Authoritarian Centrists: confused about the meaning of “universal” since forever.

                • McFlock

                  Not just “universal”, lots of big words confuse them. “Fairness”, “equity”, “good faith”, “honesty”, “integrity”, “encourage”…

        • Tamati Tautuhi 2.2.4.2

          Were the tennants actually drug tested for methamphetamine ?

          • indiana 2.2.4.2.1

            Why does that matter? Should they have allowed the drug to be used in that property in the first place? But then again we live in a society where personal responsibility if the responsibility of the state, right?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.4.2.1.1

              Personal responsibiltiy is a self-serving lie.

              The not-so-subtle subtext is “poverty is a choice”. So you and anyone else who parrots on about it can fuck off.

            • Tamati Tautuhi 2.2.4.2.1.2

              The reason I asked that question was maybe it was someone who was in the house prior to them moving into the house or it could have been someone else who was staying in the house or visiting the house ?

          • Baba Yaga 2.2.4.2.2

            What Indiana said.

            And…if they can afford P, they shouldn’t be getting tax payer subsidised housing.

          • Sabine 2.2.4.2.3

            yes, there is one case i know of a women , her partner and the 8 kids were evicted, despite the fact that none of them tested positive for drug use.

            they ended up in a motel emergency housing situation and now owe a lot of money to WINZ that she and her partner will never be able to pay back. Thanks to National.

    • millsy 2.3

      So where do these people go then, bearing in mind that they will struggle to find anything in the private sector.

      I guess the street, not that you give a shithole, seeing as you and “Crusher” think that an economy requires people to be sleeping on the street to be able to function.

      • mac1 2.3.1

        Millsy, the thought occurred with your comment that just as some economists and political thinkers promote a permanent pool of unemployed to drive down wages and keep the workers in line, so too there may be a permanent pool of homeless to help drive up rents and keep tenants in a similar situation.

        5% unemployed. 1% homeless. The precariat- inevitable casualties of a casual elite.

        “In sociology and economics, the precariat (/prɪˈkɛəriət/) is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare.” Wikipedia.

      • Baba Yaga 2.3.2

        Now lets see. A signal is sent that using P is going to mean you lose your house. How can that be a bad thing?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.1

          Articles 22 and 25 of the UDoHR. A signal is sent that human rights violations make you a criminal.

      • David Mac 2.3.3

        If it was me I’d move my new home to one of the classier suburbs and park up the Hi-Ace there. Tastier dumpster diving, more stringent with their Use-By Date discarding. The locals will have a higher disposable income for when I’m begging out the front of the same boutique delis where I make my cuisine selections.

    • reason 2.4

      I can’t ignore the fact that both Wayne and Judith are greedy serial bullshitters of the lowest order …..

      A large part of both their political careers has been victimizing victims …. making things worse for those worst off. ….

      Wayne stepped beyond ‘ virtually condoning serous illegal ‘ wars and war crimes …. and just did it ….. giving him all the moral authority to finger wag …. of a mass murderer.

      National supported the people behind the most serious drug problem in New Zealand …… Ethyl alcohol ….and put the profits for the makers and pushers of this drug above the interests of its victims.

      • New Zealand reports on alcohol, crime and anti-social behaviour highlight that each year thousands of New Zealanders are harmed by other people’s drinking and many more are made to feel unsafe.[21]

      • Data obtained in 2007 by Alco-Link showed just under half (49.8%) of arrests for violence-related offences involved an offender affected by alcohol as did 78% of arrests for disorder offences.[22]

      “Although alcohol can lead to addiction, disease, overdose and death, it is sold without a health warning label or a recommended dose. It is sold to pregnant women with no warning that it may lead to fetal deformity and to teenagers with no warning that they are especially vulnerable. ”

      “We spend about $85 million per week on alcohol, thats why they don’t want you to understand its a drug”. Sgt Alastair Lawn

    • Brigid 2.5

      Wayne, how close a relationship did you have with Mike Sabin, aka Methcon Mike?

      Asking for a friend.

    • McFlock 2.6

      “encouraged”

      That’s the new policy – “the corporation now seeks to refer tenants to addiction services to get their lives back on track”.

      The old policy was simply to evict them and make them someone else’s problem.

      Judith’s proposal is to bully them and then evict them when threats don’t produce compliance. I don’t know whether you intentionally confuse that with “encouragement” or if you just had a really bad childhood, but the two are definitely not the same.

    • Tracey 2.7

      Wayne

      You seem to be ignoring that when Judith was in Cabinet for 9 years services to support drug users to stop were appalling. 60,000 ready to stop but having to wait several months for any support. Is that how she encourages them to stop? Pah

  3. Tamati Tautuhi 3

    Unfortunately many $’s of Police Budgets have been chewed up year after year in NZ chasing cannabis smokers and distributors, this has opened the flood gates for the Asian Methamphetamine Importers and the expansion of the Methamphetamine Distributors like the Head Hunters and their associates. P is now cheaper than cannabis so I am lead to believe.

    Many people have mental health problems who consume drugs and actually need some professional help & guidance in life, however cannabis appears to have less side affects than synthetic prescription drugs & non prescription synthetic drugs like methamphetamine.

    Maybe it is time for the decriminalization of cannabis ?

    Is NZ mature enough to have the discussion ?

    Maybe the Authorities need to have a good look at the whole drug/mental health thing and make some sensible decisions ?

    Maybe have a look at other countries like Portugal, the Netherlands etc ?

    • Sabine 3.1

      NZ has had the discussion often enough. And many polls over the years state the willingness of the NZ Citizen to have a sensible drug reform.

      the thing that is lacking in our current red/green/black government is a spine, guts and compassion.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Maybe it is time for the decriminalization of cannabis ?

      Is NZ mature enough to have the discussion ?

      The general population is. The majority of people support decriminalisation and/or legalisation.

      It’s the politicians standing in the way as they prevent democracy yet again.

  4. Chris T 4

    I have to admit I did find it a bit odd that we seem to have gone from the extreme of turfing people out for use in houses to now Labour saying there is no disincentive at all for smoking meth in state houses.

    • mac1 4.1

      The disincentive is the law. it’s illegal to smoke meth. It might end up in a person being given compulsory state-provided accommodation elsewhere.

      That’s NZ. Tamati Tauhuhi at 3 above has a post with its final sentence especially worth considering, having recently seen a Michael Moore film, “Where to Invade Next”, which focussed on Portugal’s policy on drug use and criminality.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 4.1.1

        At least if you get caught making/dealing or smoking methamphetamine there is a good chance you will be permanently housed and fed for a while by the State in one of Her Majesties Motels around the country.

        As far as I am concerned anyone involved in the Methamphetamine Trade has mental health problems and needs professional help ?

        The problem with P is that it is highly addictive and users are right across the full socio economic spectrum, unfortunately a lot of undesirables ie gangs Asian and others, are actively involved in this business as it is a highly liquid, highly profitable business with very low set up costs. However many of the people involved in the industry are not particularly nice people.

        We need to shift the paradigm and change the thinking of how we deal with this P problem, we have to go one way or the other. Either bring in the death sentence for P importers/traffickers/dealers or start dealing with it as mental health issue ?

        • mac1 4.1.2.1

          Tamati Tautuhi, the film covers a series of topics- free education, holidays, women’s rights, prisons, worker participation, capital punishment, drug policy, voter disenfranchisement. All worthy ideas worth borrowing.

          The USA does not compare well with NZ in a lot of ways, but some countries do some things very well, which we could copy ourselves.

          Enjoy the film. Show it to friends. Makes for great discussion round the pot luck dinner and dessert table!

    • David Mac 4.2

      Nah, we’re taking Police uniforms off social housing providers because rather than arresting people they were bundling up their possessions, crimes and addiction and putting them all on the street. It’s form that does nothing but create problems for all involved.

  5. JessNZ 5

    That housing waiting list of “others” wouldn’t be so long and desperate without you and National, Judith.

    But it’s nice how much you care about them, now that you have another reason to kick those awful drug-takers onto the streets where they will die quicker and hopefully quieter.

    Housing in NZ does not need to be scarce and only for the ‘deserving’. Those conditions have been artificially created by economic policies deliberately inflicted by several previous governments. Lotta work needed to reverse the process!

  6. AB 6

    Presumably there are other reasons for evicting tenants – damage, violence towards neighbours etc?
    It seems right that eviction should be based on a record of activities that pose a direct and demonstrable threat to property or other people, not on mere behaviours. If drug use is a behaviour that increases the likelihood of these activities occurring, then drug users will be appropriately caught.
    Jude’s real interest is in smearing whole classes of people in sh*t and titillating the vindictive streak in her supporters – keeping her base strong.

  7. Tamati Tautuhi 7

    Following the US handbook keep blaming the poor, keep locking up the drug users, keep the hysteria going, meanwhile we are having the rug pulled out from underneath our feet just like te maori who invited the British to NZ in the 1800’s.

  8. Leonhart Hunt 8

    Reading the TT website which list all the judgments for the past 3 years and looking at the ones that HNZ won with the word “meth”

    its clear from many of judgments that the only evidence that the tenants had used meth was from the HNZ meth test, in 90% of the cases there was no previous methtest and the properties has been used by a number of Tenants, How dose HNZ know that that tenants contaminated the property?

    Why did the TT rubber stamp all these judgments with evidence that the tenant had used meth? it could have quite easily been a past tenant.

    We can debate drug use and housing all night long, but HNZ did not know if that tenant had used meth in the premises but evicted them anyway (and got costs)

    • Cinny 8.1

      + 100% Leonhart

    • David Mac 8.2

      I’m not sure that is the case Leon. I know it had become policy for at least one major property management company to test at the conclusion of every tenancy. They recommended and arranged them for purchasers too. I think it would had to have been HNZ policy to test at the conclusion of every tenancy otherwise the tenancy adjudicator would of ripped virtually all of their cases to bits.

      I suspect problems arise for HNZ and their tenants because moreso than the private sector they tend to have tenants in houses for longer stretches of time. eg: A house that has been occupied for 10 years testing positive. The case for meth being consumed in the house under the tenant’s watch gains weight.

      Then we get into the realm of testing a house mid-tenancy. I’ve only heard of HNZ doing this… I guess the police might ask a judge for a warrant to test if gathering evidence…I’m not sure if it’s even legal? With 48 hours notice a landlord can enter a property and carry out an inspection with a frequency of up to every 6 weeks…but I wonder if that includes the right to send in men with white overalls, gas masks and swab kits.

      • Leonhart Hunt 8.2.1

        Hey David, I personally went through the TT using those keywords (you can too)
        https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/disputes/searching-tribunal-orders/ and from the Tribunal order, 90% of the meth judgements have no previous meth test.

        Meth residue is very hard to remove (hence the outrageous cost of decontamination) and the fact its been a problem in NZ for the last 20 years (more so in the last 10, thought) it would be quite easy to assume that the property was previously contaminated.

        Yet in these cases the tenant was considered guilty of contamination the property solely off a meth test (10% of the orders I read did have additional evidence, like police raiding the property or paraphernalia found on the premises) and unfortunately we can only go off what’s available to the public it could be there was additional evidence but that’s unlikely as it would have been used in the TT case.

        there are other options like Meth alarms http://www.methminder.co.nz/

        But the Crux of the argument, did HNZ evict tenants based only on meth test results, that answer seems to be yes, regardless of length of time, (while I agree this gains weight, our courts should be evidence based)

        and the cases were not “ripped to bits” from the order it looks like they were rubber stamped.

        under section 59 of the residential tenancy act a landlords may enter the property after giving at least 48 hours notice to test for anything (as long as they notify the tenant when and what they are testing for

        See: MBIE http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/tenancy/residential-tenancies-amendment-bill/methamphetamine-contamination-questions#4 – Won’t the privacy of tenants be affected by landlords being able to test for methamphetamine and other contaminants?

        • David Mac 8.2.1.1

          It’s got to be a legal hot potato then Leon. All that pain and retribution for unproven crimes.

          State houses are periodically updated, if I was a tenant I might get a letter that says that it’s been 15 years since the carpet was replaced or the interior needs painting. I wouldn’t want to be there for that turmoil, I’d go and see my folks for a few days.

          What if I get a carpet laying gang that likes to toke on a P pipe? Upon returning, I’d never know. I’d luxuriate in my lovely new pile, completely unaware that in 2 years time my family, friends and acquaintances will come to think of me as David the P Freak.

          • Leonhart Hunt 8.2.1.1.1

            The problem is HNZ, DHB, MSd are immune to prosecution even if you wanted to hold them accountable, how can you?

            These people service the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, these people often have mental or health issues and then these organisation want them to understand complex legal proceedings? and pay for lawyers (public defenders don’t do a very good job as they are often overworked) pro-bono lawyer who are willing to navigate the social services law minefield are few and far between, it would be far better for HNZ, etc to just make amends (but they won’t)

            Not to mention the stupid amount of power and money some of the these organizations have last year MSD spend 47 million on prosecutions (they are the 3rd highest prosecutor in NZ after the police and corrections.) how can you fight a war chest like that.

            For your carpet laying senario, yes as under the terms of your tenancy with HNZ, you are responsible for any actions of guest, borders and anyone else that comes onto your property during your tenancy, including workmen. Regardless if you ever used meth or not, HNZ kicked people out because of the presence of meth, not that that person used meth on the premises.

            • David Mac 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Responsible for workmen too Leon? I don’t choose them, I don’t determine when they will work, I don’t pay them, I have no control over what they do yet I’m responsible for their actions? Surely not.

              Yes, I hear you re: the sector of our society that are being targeted, the desperate and vulnerable. I understand why most of their orders end with ‘Did not attend the hearing’ but I wish more of them did attend.

              A few more of us declaring to adjudicators “I’ve never touched the stuff, never will, I’d never allow it in my home.” might of brought a more timely end to the more farcical aspects of the fiasco. Aspects like reasonable proof.

              The ramifications are far reaching, I’m sure there are many meth testers wondering right now ‘How am I going to pay the mortgage?’

              • Leonhart Hunt

                From MBIE http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/tenancy/residential-tenancies-amendment-bill/methamphetamine-contamination-questions#13

                What if methamphetamine contamination is found in my rental property – will I be blamed?

                You will not be blamed unless the landlord can show that the contamination was caused by you during your tenancy.

                Tenants are responsible for maintaining a clean and reasonably tidy property. Tenants must promptly notify the landlord of any damage to the premises. Tenants may be held accountable if they intentionally or carelessly damage, permit any other person to damage the premises, or use the premises, or permit the premises to be used, for any unlawful purpose.

                ————————————

                Yet we know HNZ tenants have been blamed for contamination without proof it was them, and the “permit any other person to damage” means yes, for workmen, if you agree to a workman coming to your property then you are liable for any damage he/she dose.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2

        Yeah, actually, we do:

        Here’s another good one. Housing NZ acknowledges a gang intimidates a 67 year old into using the house. Seeks costs anyway. Tenancy Tribunal agrees.

        Even worse: ‘did not give evidence to prove that the [sic] she did not cause or permit this damage’.

        Housing NZ puts someone into a house that was an actual, probable meth lab, and should have suspected so at the time. Then tries to bill that person for clean up.

        ————————————-

        I think it would had to have been HNZ policy to test at the conclusion of every tenancy otherwise the tenancy adjudicator would of ripped virtually all of their cases to bits.

        You would think so but that’s not what they did.

  9. Cinny 9

    Addicts need help, kicking them out just makes them someone else’s problem.

    This bit…. “Instead of referring tenants to police and evicting them for drug use, the corporation now seeks to refer tenants to addiction services to get their lives back on track, he told the Herald.”

    So far that sounds sensible to me.

    judith, however, seems desperate to gain some kind of traction, with her archaic backward thinking. So far, the decisions made by her and national appear to have made nada progress in transforming our society.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      So far, the decisions made by her and national appear to have made nada progress in transforming our society.

      They made huge progress in taking us back to the 15th century.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    Is it really that hard to work out why shes doing it, keeps her name in the headlines and shows shes hardline = raise in the preferred PM stakes

  11. RuralGuy 11

    It’ll stay in the news cycle because it’s like gold to the National party.

    It is only the beltway talking about meth testing standards, the populous will react to sound bites of the coalition government being soft on crime and soft on drugs.

    The narrative will be why should middle and lower income tax payers (who probably have to pass drug testing standards to maintain their income) provide subsidised taxpayer funded accommodation to addicts and users.

    Many posts here have already pointed out the the challenges of addiction and the role social services have in society; but these messages simply have no cut thru with the public due to the complexity of these challenges. The simplest message will nearly always resonate the strongest.

    Somebody within the coalition government needs a kick in the pants for letting a position of strength on meth testing transform into a weak public perception of subsidising meth users to the detriment of all taxpayers.

    • David Mac 11.1

      Yeah, the taxpayers have a strong argument but at this point in time there is no better solution than accommodate them.

      Forcing meth addicts to form into a group that live in vehicles parked in a public park somewhere and steal to eat and feed their habits will not lead to a superior outcome.

      A bit like feeding kids, yes of course their parents should feed them but I bet you can’t step over a hungry kid.

    • adam 11.2

      So in other words, she who lies best, wins.

      Yeah, that works well for a society.

    • AB 11.3

      Good lesson in Realpolitik there RG.
      The problem with Realpolitik though, is that you risk becoming your enemy.

  12. AsleepWhileWalking 12

    Clearly Collins has no knowledge of just how much National fucked addiction treatment services in this country.

    Even if you want help you will be very lucky indeed to land in a quality service.

    A friend of mine went to rehab last year. They were permitting people using methadone in the program (unheard of because methadone is still a drug). Probably did do to bulk up their funding.

  13. Ross 13

    Danyl – I thought he had quit Twitter – suggests there is no accountability for public servants or politicians. To be fair, Gluckman’s report only came out recently.

  14. … ‘ Can you imagine the scene as a bunch of tory MPs are sitting around drinking Central Otago Pinot noir and discussing the evils of drug taking by state house tenants? And why is it that tenants who are down on their luck are to be punished for human frailty but the chain of command that caused this disaster are immune from consequence? Is personal responsibility a concept that applies to poor people only? ‘ …

    Oh Judith , Judith , Judith…

    You and your party are always hell bent on harming working people. You leave them to die like a fox on the run.

    What did they ever do to you ?… and how is the Orivida trade going, .. taken a slight hit with the new coalition govt ? Cheer up , … you still have a foreign spy in your party… he’ll see it right, mate.

    Zac Brown Band “Fox On The Run” Live! – YouTube
    Video for 3:22 Zac Brown Band “Fox On The Run” Live!▶ 3:22

  15. patE 15

    seems to me if you are down and out and get a state house and can afford P well then its time you moved out the state house….your money and your lodgings are paid for by taxes….take your pic….lodgings and no P or get the hell out so someone else more yes more deserving can have it!

    • So ,… the elderly , the disabled,… the list goes on ,… and then there’s the recent story of an elderly couple in Auckland who lost much because of bogus P testings and were forced to move on… or whole family’s being torn apart because of the same.

      And all based on bogus premises…

      And I suppose the poor shouldn’t be drinking Central Otago Pinot noir or even cheap lite beer for that matter… no , … they should be out working and coming home just to turnaround and get ready to go to work again… in fact they should all be lodged in dog kennels , perhaps… with a chain around their necks.

      Four Yorkshiremen- Monty Python – YouTube
      Video for monty python when things were tough▶ 3:14

      What a great way to privatize state houses and set things up for your rich mates to ‘provide’ rentals ,… all adjusted to free market prices, of course…

    • Pat 15.2

      with comments like that I really do think its time for you to modify your handle in order to avoid confusion

    • Gabby 15.3

      Who says they can afford it patty? Thing is, not sure p users are necessarily amenable to logical arguments. Would you chuck mentally incapable people out on the street patty? Maybe you would, I don’t know.

      • pat 15.3.1

        its a question of availability of resources…..like real life……if you have one house and 10 people needing it the ones who uses it to just continue a fucked lifestyle versus a family who takes it as a hand UP and not just a hand OUT…….state assistance as a lifestyle is not on when there are so many in more genuine need.

        • WILD KATIPO 15.3.1.1

          And just WHO created the scarcity and availability of resources (meaning decent housing ) in this country , Pat?

          Haven’t we for the last 2 years heard countless reports of a speculative housing industry , foreign and domestic speculators and a govt all too compliant with opening the floodgates on immigration to allow for a massive cheap labour force, even cheaper bogus education centers designed to enable visa’s, easy residency to foreigners and even easier voting to allow them to vote for in favour regarding buying land and houses?

          Admit it !

          Dog kennels are the answer and the way of the future for housing the poor !

          A revolutionary idea that should capture the imagination of every self respecting far right wing ideologue ! After all , WINZ was actually handing out tents for the poor to live in after motels were deemed too scarce.

          Think of it, – the poor could be instructed to construct those kennels out of scrap timbers found at the local dump . That’ll teach them to be those ‘ drug addled lazy New Zealand workers’ that both Bill English and John Key called them , eh.

        • Tamati Tautuhi 15.3.1.2

          Unfortunately housing prices in Auckland have got to a level where the average person will never be able to own a house as they will not be able to save for a deposit or be able to afford a mortgage ?

        • Pat 15.3.1.3

          what happened to the E ….patE?

  16. Tamati Tautuhi 16

    I guess dog kennels are the next best alternative to cars ?

    If you can’t afford a car get a dog kennel.

    • I’m surprised ‘The Motel Lady’ Bennett didn’t suggest that to Bill.

      Lock them up at night and feed em once a day on scraps.

      Maybe Judy will give that as an offering instead…

    • Robert Guyton 16.2

      Kennels… yeah! Why didn’t we think of that?…dammit!

      • WILD KATIPO 16.2.1

        Yes,… and for those deemed as ‘feral’s’ by certain of the political establishment we could introduce neutering and / or containment pens complete with state sponsored pacifying drugs just to make sure they don’t wander too far from their minimum wage places of work…

    • DB 16.3

      We housed a state ward in our dog kennel. Wake up in the morning he’d be there. He preferred it to state care. Go figure.

      • WILD KATIPO 16.3.1

        But wait ! , – there’s more !

        Housing the poor in dog kennels also solves the problem of relocating them to areas where there are no job opportunity’s , OR ,… what to do with them when rich National party donator’s wish to demolish state houses to make way for luxury apartment blocks!

        They can be cheaply and efficiently shuffled off to any old disused swamp where they can contemplate the superiority of the wealthy and their ideology of why they deserve wealth and poor people dont because they were born lazy , mentally deficient or just plain downright persona non grata.

        RC Snoopy’s Flying Doghouse (The Peanuts) — Big Jolt 2015 – YouTube
        Video for snoopy on his kennel you tube▶ 1:47

  17. tracey 17

    Let us do more of what we know works and stop buying the populist BS Collins feeds to dullards

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11976075

  18. Delia 18

    Does Judith say the same for alcoholics, other drug users apart from P, smokers?

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