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National forgets it apologised for Housing Corp meth hysteria

Written By: - 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.

From Interest.co.nz:

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.

And Simon Bridges joined in describing the proposal as compensation for Meth crooks.

I wonder if he was referring to 87 year old Rosemary Rudolph who lost her home as a result of the hysteria.

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:

  1. People were evicted from their flats because miniscule traces of the drug were found.  There did not even have to be proof that they were responsible for the drug even being there let alone that they had consumed the drug.
  2. The Ministry of Health continuously berated Housing Corp for applying the wrong test, formulated for the decontamination of former labs not areas where the drug had been consumed.  And in 2016 Bill English admitted National got it wrong.
  3. It is to be on a case by case basis.  I can very confidently say that anyone who actually ran a clan lab in their flat will not be compensated.

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.

Update:

I just reread a previous blog and discovered this article where Paula Bennett said that compensation should be paid.  She said this:

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.

 

31 comments on “National forgets it apologised for Housing Corp meth hysteria ”

  1. Grace Miller 1

    Never underestimate how fucking low Natscum will go in their quest for airtime.

    When the pigs come out with shit on Twitter, I’ll be refuting it with what the govt is doing, rather than wtf the losers think. #FauxthEstate have their tongues up Natscum’s arse #FFS Porky Buffet should be first to go, followed by the prick Mackenzie.

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    Firstly Bridges refers to the Meth Standards Committee , but that was packed with non experts and those involved in the ‘decontamination industry’

    NZ Remediation Services Ltd
    NZ Contamination Services T/A Fresh Living
    Meth Solutions Ltd
    Contaminated Site Solutions Ltd
    Andy Andersons Industrial Services Ltd
    etc etc
    https://www.standards.govt.nz/sponsored-standards/testing-and-decontamination-of-methamphetamine-contaminated-properties/

    Other ‘experts’ were Real Estate Institute and Property Investors Federation- WTF

    The whole thing is just a cover for using a discredited level of contamination, and just to OK the screening and the testing of samples. Nothing about the validity of numbers used.
    To say they ‘relied on this’ is an utter lie, the Committee was set up to give cover for a dodgy industry.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Good point. Why not just let Health deal with it.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Pretty much. National and the other parties in government at the time should have the compensation bill passed to them. Which they’ll all happily pay because they’re all about personal responsibility.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    One of many examples of why we should be grateful for MMP.

  4. This is why I will never bend the knee to the right wing – they are scum as shown by this lot of liars and sneering sneaks. I’m not like some beige ‘hey let’s all get on can’t we’ whiner appeasers – they are weak and sad. No we fight our enemies as they and their lies do damage to everyone.

  5. AB 5

    Judith Collins is unfit for public office of any description.

  6. Incognito 6

    Either the feedback form the Focus Group must have come in or the Memo from TC. In any case, there’s nothing remotely humane about National’s political games.

  7. Chris 7

    One of the most disappointing aspects of all this is that a lot of people will read what Collins and Bridges are saying and think “yeah, yeah!” That’s where real work’s needed.

  8. Rae 8

    If that old couple’s unit tested positive, then the most likely way it happened, to my way of thinking, is that somebody working in the unit – painter, sparky, plumber etc (probably employed by Housing NZ) took a few sneaky puffs on a pipe. And if we assume that could be the case, is it not entirely possible that would not be the only unit or house the same thing might have been done in.
    Apparently, just about every $20 bill has traces of meth on it, it’s everywhere now.

    • Chuck 8.1

      “Apparently, just about every $20 bill has traces of meth on it,”

      The same was said with US$ bills but for cocaine.

  9. adam 9

    Judith Collins, putting the low life scum back into Tory. No doubt the rwnj’s will be along soon to tell us how wonderful she is, especially when she destroys lives to score political points.

    • Chuck 9.1

      “especially when she destroys lives to score political points.”

      Politicians from across the spectrum destroy lives to score political points adam.

  10. Chris T 10

    I’m going to put a disclaimer in before saying this

    I don’t own any rentals

    A lot of landlords spent up to around 30k to cleanse their flats over the same shit level rules and had no rent coming in.

    Why is there no apology to them?

    I understand why there would be no compo as it would get out of control

  11. Ankerrawshark 11

    Chris t , get that that is unfair. Think they are looking at a class action. And that is the risk with investing

  12. newsense 12

    Time to test Collins house

  13. cleangreen 13

    National; suffers from ‘selective memory disorder’. (selective amnesia}

    https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/selective+amnesia

  14. Ken 14

    Rosemary Rudolph and her husband – a couple of “meth cooks” in their eighties, were evicted from their home of more than 60 years and also had to get rid of their dog…..most likely their closest and most loved companion.
    “”They said I would die if I stayed there. I’ll tell you what, I’ve been dying ever since – I’m a shadow of what I once was,” Rudolph said.”
    “One of Rudolph’s 16 grandchildren had smoked some methamphetamine on the property and HNZ had caught wind of this, she said, admitting she was “pretty naive”.”

  15. veutoviper 15

    OOPS, I posted on Open Mike an hour or so ago a link to Russell Brown’s excellent post on Public Address on the report into Housing NZ’s reactions to the meth situation.
    My comment – https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-23-09-2018/#comment-1528105

    Link to the Public Address post – https://publicaddress.net/hardnews/a-painful-reflection/

    Brown’s post is far more detailed and informative than anything I have seen in mainstream media and IMO really puts things into perspective. I really recommend this as a worthwhile read.

  16. Michelle 16

    The gnats cant have it both ways are they sorry or aren’t they about their half baked policy as this is what happens when you rush policy and don’t take the time to weigh up all the trade offs and the consequences.

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