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Green Party welcomes HNZ fronting on meth testing scandal

The Green Party welcomes the belated fronting by Housing New Zealand today on the bogus meth contamination of houses and agrees HNZ should consider repaying tenants costs associated with their evictions.

“Not only were hundreds of tenants evicted on the basis of this bogus testing regime, but to add insult they were charged for it,” Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said.

“The issue of compensation should be seriously considered. At the very least, HNZ should repay costs around testing.” 

“Hundreds of HNZ and other tenants were put on the streets as a result of this bogus testing regime, then charged for the testing.”

“All this was so National could appear tough on crime.”

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, said there had been no documented case of sickness from third hand meth exposure in houses and the country had been gripped by hysteria on the issue.

Housing New Zealand Chief Executive Andrew McKenzie today apologised to those shifted out of their homes, saying that those blacklisted as a result of the testing would have their names cleared.

HNZ would drop pursuits of those owing money for meth tests and would consider repaying those who had already paid.  HNZ would report back to the minister on the issue of compensation.

Marama Davidson said she did not accept National Party leader Simon Bridges’ claim he had no knowledge that the testing regime was flawed given former leader Bill English acknowledged on August 5 2016 the testing regime was unfit for purpose.

“Why did National not ask Sir Peter to investigate when there was already ample evidence the testing regime was flawed and had clearly been influenced by vested interests?” Marama Davidson said.

“This was a politically-driven process that has damaged hundreds, if not thousands, of lives, cost HNZ over $100 million and exacerbated the housing crisis,” Marama Davidson said.