Thursday, September 20, 2018

Doing the right thing

Back in May, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser revealed that the meth-testing industry was a scam, and that hundreds of Housing NZ tenants had been evicted from their homes under false pretences. Now, Housing NZ will be compensating its victims:

A report by Housing NZ into its response to methamphetamine contamination shows the organisation accepts its approach was wrong and had far reaching consequences for hundreds of people, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said.

“Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either 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.

“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced. This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and make discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement.

“They will also receive a formal apology from Housing NZ.

Good. The previous government intentionally made people homeless on poor evidence and fake science. They have an obligation to put things right. But I don't think it stops with Housing NZ. Private landlords also evicted people for meth "contamination". They should be forced to compensate their victims too. And then there's the meth-testing industry itself, which has turned out to be nothing more than a giant scam used to justify a vicious war on the poor. It would be good if they could be held accountable in some way.