Housing Minister Phil Twyford has released the terms of reference for a report into Housing NZ's response to meth-contaminated state houses.
The report follows a review by the Government’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman which found that the standard for methamphetamine contamination was too high, resulting in many state housing tenants being needlessly evicted and charged for the decontamination of homes which contained harmless levels of meth.
At the time of Gluckman's review 240 houses were vacant because of contamination and Housing NZ’s response had cost $100 million.
“The report will include every aspect from Housing NZ’s policies and processes, Ministry of Health guidelines, the Tenancy Tribunal’s approach, the number of houses tested, contamination levels, the number of tenancies ended and costs tenants were forced to repay,” Twyford said.
““It will also look at what redress or further steps – both moral and legal – might be appropriate for any unfairness to tenants,” he said.
This could open the door to compensation for wrongfully-evicted tenants.
Twyford initially ruled this out, but later suggested he’d softened, telling RNZ, “I’m not ruling it out, I'm not ruling it in."