The Government's new direction for Housing New Zealand is to be formalised in legislation

Housing New Zealand's new social objectives are to be enshrined in legislation which will also remove the requirement for it to pay the Government a dividend.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said it was timely for Housing NZ to focus on its eight new social objectives set by the Government.

These are:

  • Providing good quality, warm, dry, and healthy rental housing for those who need it most.
  • Assisting tenants to sustain a tenancy; supporting tenants to be well-connected to their communities, to lead lives with dignity, and the greatest degree of independence possible.
  • Being a fair and reasonable landlord, treating tenants and their neighbours with respect, integrity and honesty.
  • Building and leasing additional houses in order to meet social need and fill housing shortages where they occur.
  • Managing its housing stock prudently, upgrading and managing the portfolio to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
  • Assisting neighbourhoods and communities in which it operates housing to flourish as cohesive, safe and prosperous places to live.
  • Working with other agencies to achieve housing policy goals and improve tenant welfare.
  • Providing services and products to support people accessing affordable housing.

"Housing NZ is a very different organisation under the helm of chief executive Andrew McKenzie and under our Government," Twyford said.

"Enshrining its social objectives in legislation will ensure the organisation remains the compassionate landlord it has become.

"Changing the presumption that Housing NZ will return a surplus [to the government] will give the organisation more financial flexibility so it can build more state houses and invest in more support for their tenants."

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53 Comments

Id suggest HNZ needs elements of both. Surely this will just get unwound if Winston backs national in the next election?

Great. But I still think its nuts that tenants are now allowed to smoke meth in HNZ houses (the recent false accusations aside).

Allowed?

By signing the tenancy agreement, you agree that you will:
....
not use the property for an unlawful purpose or let anyone else use it for unlawful purposes"

No, its not allowed, but people being people its still going to happen, and chances are one of your tenants has done the same in one of your houses too.

Yes, allowed. Housing New Zealand has confirmed that it will not evict tenants that smoke meth in state houses, or report them to the police. By not enforcing the requirements of their own tenancy agreements, they are effectively allowing it. The agreement is meaningless if there are no consequences for non-compliance. Not interested in any of your loony SJW excuses for public property being used for illegal activity.

Tax payers housing meth-heads while truly needy families sit on the waiting list. Lovely.

Okay, which of your rentals do we move the meth-heads into to make room for a good family?

Sadly, due to the likes of you and Labour/Greens, the good family is out of luck. They’ll have to tough it out in the Toyota Estima.

You’re not big on personal responsibility and equity are you?

I think you missed the bit about building more state houses. Something National didn’t bother to do.

BimboJones,

I think you missed the fact that there is still a waiting list, while meth-heads occupy state houses with impunity.

Just like wife bashers, fraudsters, etc. why is meth so different?

What makes you think meth is any different BimboJones? “No illegal activity”, simple.

Prison.

That’s working real good in the states...

Doesn’t have to be a bunch of super max facilities. You can fit out a shipping container to be livable for $10k. Put a fence up around the perimeter. Sorted.

Yep that will work. I’m sure they’ll decide to change their ways and be better people while being crammed in there.

If there's access to rehabilitation facilities and they don't have access to meth while they are there then maybe? If not then potentially preventing another meth fueled rampage by keeping the addicts segregated from the rest of society.

I'm sure you've got better suggestions though?

Let’s apply some science to this rather than NZ Herald sensationalist headlines. More people are killed or injured every year by speeding motorists than meth addicts. Should people who get a speeding ticket also be ineligible for HNZ and thrown in jail?

If you owned a rental and you had 2 people to choose from as tenants, would you pick the guy who openly smokes meth or the guy who lost his license for speeding?

Try the one that did not kill someone else on the road, enter the country illegally, rape someone or cripple others financially through fraud. However that is what a sentence is for. We do not even punish most people who have done those things. Let alone post sentence allow for reintegration back into society. But drug addictions invokes a far harsher sentence. Building company fraudsters can create multiple phoenix companies and continue to hold the assets earned from fraud through trusts, a death on the road is often a maximum 10k fine which does not even pay for the funeral expenses, rape is well known to have such low justice rate that it is practically non existent or actively harmful to the person raped to pursue justice and those who entered NZ on false pretences and commit crimes get handed visas & residencies like party favours (even if they continue to commit crimes they often get to keep their residency & visas). So on the subject of mental health & addiction it seems pretty paltry effects on society in comparison to the crimes not heavily discriminated against.

In fact on that note other addictions are viewed as practically kiwi like heavy alcoholism, & gambling, which are also equally harmful & produce violent outcomes and injuries. It matters on what level of hypocrisy we are dealing with here. Either you are wilfully blind to the damages from certain crimes or have a real hard discrimination going for those who have a certain addiction that requires medical help (as proven often and repeatedly in medical research). Even the larger meth importers, importing millions of dollars worth, on the North Shore & in Auckland face no discrimination by the public, can serve home detention in a swanky house held in trust, that NZ helps fund for them and allows them to keep their residency due to 'reasons'. Take that level of public bias. It's ok they damaged thousand of lives marketing to those with medical addictions but that's ok because the scale with which they did it was thousands of times larger than a single person using the product they sold (not even including the outside of NZ abuse).

TLDR: many of the public are like the church wilfully perpetuating some of the most heinous crimes while preaching about moral fibre and finger pointing at a niche group who need medical help or have been heavily discriminated against. Thank god the new pope could at least recognise that was an issue morally.

Meth is a disgusting drug, i can't believe you're on here trying to minimize it. Let me guess, you're a seller and a user?

Yes, meth is disgusting, but worse are these synthetics doing the rounds. You might be surprised who uses meth, not all are flat on their backs junkies, but I am pretty sure that synth users are, by and large.

It’s a common misconception amongst SJW types that meth is smoked by all and sundry.

It is not smoked by all, but not all users are incapacitated, definitely in danger of being so, but there are some people who seem to be able to do this stuff without tipping themselves over into addiction, at least not immediately. People have elected to use it over weed as it does not show up in drug tests some time after last use as weed does.

I agree. But that’s a non issue at the moment because we aren’t hard enough on fraud.

Well first you have to establish the fraud, I go back to that older couple who were summarily booted out, anyone in their right mind could see they were not meth users and as I said, most likely source was probably a workman having a sneaky puff.

Prison costs twice as much at least, and doesn't solve the problem. Go into prison a druggie and the chances of coming out clean and sober are practically zero.

We nurture plants but not people it seems. Sometimes I wonder why people in a "state sponsored" education/training etc are so "poor" and "needy". Can someone provide an answer?

ffs. if I worked for HNZ I would walk.

I am disappointed with aspects of this. The return/dividend to Government (and the entire capital charge system in Government) is a way to ensure that Government assets are used efficiently. One factor which has contributed to the house affordability problems is that Government ties up resources without any measures of the 'opportunity cost' of poor land use. If iovt had said - 'this is a required return on the investment but you can spend it on further expansion it' it would have created at least a measure of asset performance.

So do you think HNZ should evict tenants and put those empty homes on Air BnB to return a dividend? Its a social service for people who need help not a money making machine, when will you capitalists learn how to care?

when you have crooks destroying state property that generations of kiwis have contributed to out of hard earned cash, whilst good families are on waiting lists hoping to get acess to HNZ homes, often sleeping in cars - then what sort of message is government sending? Now all HNZ tenants are tarred with the same brush. Meth users, and drug pedlers.

How HNZ CEO Andrew McKenzie can sleep at night is beyond me. This is an embarrassment.

And yes, I am aware of folk who used to work for HNZ that have walked, citing ethical conflicts

Disgraceful.

So many odd assumptions in this. People were thrown out of houses that had not been tested for meth before they moved in, on the assumption it was they who had used meth. People were thrown out with no proof that it was they who had smoked meth there.

Beyond this, in what way will it achieve better outcomes for society if people who do smoke meth in a state house get pushed onto the street instead of being helped? Do you believe that streets and pedestrians will be safer as a result of doing this?

We need to look at things practically and figure out how best to solve problems, not how to best to make them worse.

Do you think it is fair that the tax payers foot the accommodation bill for meth smokers that use state houses for illegal activity, while needy families sit on the waiting list, homeless or sleeping in cars?

Were things that black and white (of course they never are) then perhaps. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107241075/i-felt-victimised-pe...

You think this granny smoked meth? News flash, she didn’t. This is a case of wrongful eviction by HNZ.

I’m referring to the scenario described in the second para of RickStrauss’s comment, where the occupant actually did smoke meth. Under current HNZ policy, a tenant wouldn’t be evicted or reported to police if they voluntary confessed to smoking meth in a state house. This is the type of scenario we are talking about, not the recent wrongfull evictions by HNZ based on insufficient evidence.

Your attempt to muddy the water speaks volumes.

It's not muddying the waters. It's exactly those cases of wrongful or unproven eviction that make it impractical to turf out everyone whose state house tests for meth. Makes as much sense as firing every American whose cash shows traces of cocaine.

How will it practically work to report them to police?

"What? Nah, I was just kidding, course I don't smoke meth. That stuff's messed up."

And who is actually living in a real world where people voluntarily confess to HNZ that they've themselves smoked meth in a house?

The other practical component of this is the fact we're not really shown clear information to demonstrate how common this might be among HNZ tenants, vs. the general population or vs. others in their wider social circles. Meth was historically far more common in white middle class circles than in other circles (with white NZers being 80% of users). We have no idea how many actual tenants (i.e. holders of the tenancy) may actually be prone to meth use, vs. how many houses may have traces of meth arising from visitors.

We need to be working in the real world and looking for practical solutions that will work and that won't unfairly turf out someone innocent into the street.

What's your recommended solution that addresses the problems raised? Why not aim for solutions that actually work without highly adverse consequences for society?

I’m not talking about cases of unproven or wrongful eviction. Throwing this into the mix very much is muddying the water.

Test when they move in, test when they move out. Positive tests likely to be accompanied by drug paraphernalia at the property, as supporting evidence. Simply report it to the police, and provide any evidence found. Eviction notice served promptly.

Completely irrelevant how prevalent meth use is for HNZ tenants vs general populace.

Allowing visitors to smoke meth in your house warrants eviction. The tenant is responsible for ensuring no illegal activity occurs in the house.

Evicting meth-heads is good outcome for society as a more deserving tenant will take their place, one that adheres to the tenancy agreement.

How did you manage to glean that I thought these people smoked meth. I posted it to highlight the gaping holes in the program as it was. They would not have been alone. And look, they had been in that property for years and yet it still somehow returned a positive.
Apparently you will find as much meth on every $20 note as might have registered in some of these properties, clearly there are ways that traces of the stuff can get almost anywhere and are quite possibly just about everywhere now. They could have had a workman in who took a few puffs on a pipe while no one was looking.

Life ain’t fair mate. But what’s your alternative? Every meth smoker out in the streets? Sounds lovely.

Better jail or under a bridge than living on the tax payer in place of a deserving family.

Jail costs a lot more than HNZ! I think your tough stance won’t work. The war on drugs in the US has failed dismally. You have to think practically rather than what you think is fair.

For the sake of the more deserving family, ide still say under a bridge or jail.

What we need to do, is send these meth addicts on a holiday for some enlightenment and perspective on life. Charter a few flights to the Philippines and offer to pack their luggage for them.

Yes, the old Duterte special package.

We're already doing that anyway. Central Auckland has changed so much in the last 5-10 years. The number of mentally ill, drug-affected folk sleeping in Queen St and its surrounds is massively higher than it used to be.

But...by what measure is that a success, being practical?

Should we take a similarly hard line with politicians under the influence or mind altering substances? Instant eviction from being in charge of the country?

Except we’re not doing that anyway. Official HNZ policy is not to evict meth-heads while deserving families live in cars or on the streets.

one of my worries is the welfare system must eventually become unaffordable, what happens to all the people capitalism no longer needs?

Revolution?

Yes, that worked out real well for Venezuela, and every other nation that’s tried it.

Things get too bad for people, it happens.

Yeah but this is about social housing.

As a property manager with a large portfolio (now retired) I used to be asked all the time to house people that HNZ could not or would not house. I housed people with mental health issues, and criminal issues. I and my fellow property managers did the dirty work for the government. It is about time Twyford and his mates showed a bit more appreciation for the work that is done by private landlords.

No dividends to be paid from HNZ paid but the Government borrowed $6.5 billion creatively through Crown entities NZTA and Housing NZ
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12104552

Makes sense that there are no dividends as HNZ will need to repay those building development loans