- Date published:
9:12 am, September 22nd, 2018 - 31 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, benefits, class, class war, drugs, Judith Collins, labour, making shit up, national, phil twyford, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:
This week Phil Twyford announced that Housing Corp would do the right thing and consider requests for compensation for those affected by Housing Corp’s and the last Government’s meth hysteria.
Housing NZ is to compensate hundreds of former tenants who were evicted from their homes under the organisation’s former methamphetamine contamination testing policies.
This follows the release of a report by the organisation into its previous meth testing policies and the effect they had on its tenants.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford said Housing NZ had accepted its approach to dealing with meth contamination was wrong and had far reaching consequences for hundreds of tenants.
“Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered either by losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings, or in the worst cases, being made homeless,” Twyford said.
“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced,” he said.
“This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement.”
Housing Corporation has asked kiwis who were affected by the previous policy to contact them and register their details. If you know someone who was affected pass the message on.
How did the opposition respond?
You would expect after the mea culpa offered by Simon Bridges a few months ago that they would have been supportive. After all he did say this:
National’s leader Simon Bridges has apologised for his party’s decision to evict Housing New Zealand tenants from homes with methamphetamine contamination.
He said advice from the Methamphetamine Standards Committee – a committee of 21 agencies including Housing NZ, the Ministry of Health and Standards NZ – was wrong.
“Ultimately it now seems clear from Sir Peter Gluckman, we got dud advice,” Bridges told RNZ on Tuesday morning.
The bit about the wrong advice was cheap. After all this was a weaponised attack on poor people using the good old zero tolerance baseball bat to score political brownie points while terrorising poor people. But at least he said someone was to blame.
So of course compensation should be paid. After all when Governments do wrong things and terminate tenancies because of a gross misunderstanding of the science surely the affected families should be compensated. Even if they are poor.
But no. Never underestimate National’s desire to attack poor people for political advantage.
Judith Collins was first out of the blocks.
Amazing that under Phil Twyford, smoking tobacco in a Housing NZ state house is a breach of the tenancy agreement but smoking meth is just fine. #SoftOnCrime
— Judith Collins (@JudithCollinsMP) September 20, 2018
And Simon Bridges joined in describing the proposal as compensation for Meth crooks.
What cynical timing by this weak Govt; today we’ve seen a troika of unpopular plans to tax Kiwi families more, compensation for meth crooks & and more on the Meka Whaitiri saga
— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) September 20, 2018
I wonder if he was referring to 87 year old Rosemary Rudolph who lost her home as a result of the hysteria.
This is the 87 year-old lady who lost her home of 60 years and nearly all her possessions to the “meth contamination” policy. Judith Collins reckons she had it coming, apparently. https://t.co/DkmQ8d4Fp0
— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) September 20, 2018
Then Judith appeared in the media. From OneNews:
Compensating Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using methamphetamine or allowing its use in their homes is a “disgrace,” National’s Judith Collins has said.
Mrs Collins said it was unacceptable that taxpayer money was being used to compensate former tenants who were evicted because of their “criminal activity”.
“People were evicted from their houses by Housing New Zealand based on the standards of the day which was all around the health testing for methamphetamine contamination,” Mrs Collins said.
“Government had to take the advice of experts which were Housing NZ, Ministry of Health, MBIE, all the people who are the experts on this.”
“To now compensate people, 800 people, who were evicted from homes because they were smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it is an absolute outrage.”
“They’re being compensated with taxpayer money because of their criminal activity and that is not at all acceptable.”
There is so much to unpick here:
This is the worst sort of politics, venal, manipulative, stirring up emotions rather than providing a factual analysis of what is happening. And being misleading and deceptive.
I had hoped after Bridges’ mea culpa that this issue could be dealt with properly and humanely. Looks like those hopes were misplaced.
Ms Bennett said she welcomed the report and told Checkpoint that Housing New Zealand should re-evalute the cases of people who were evicted from their homes, in light of the new information.
“If I was the minister … I would certainly be wanting to look at it all and see individual cases and make sure that actually [the process] has been fair and reasonable,” Ms Bennett said.
When asked if some tenants should be compensated, she said they should.