Housing New Zealand is considering allowing anti-social tenants stay put and moving neighbours away to solve community problems.
That’s according to HNZ chief executive Andrew McKenzie who appeared in select committee today.
He appeared alongside Housing Minister Phil Twyford where they suggested it could be easier to solve anti-social tenant issues by moving the neighbours of those tenants rather than the anti-social tenants themselves.
Do you want to have this next door to you?
The motion was branded as ridiculous by National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins.
Ms Collins told Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen that the “bad tenants” are the ones who should move.
“I think it’s better to have good tenants to be able to have their homes rather than bad tenants.”
She pointed out that keeping anti-social tenants in also punishes the neighbours, particularly if the tenants are involved in gang activity.
“Do you want to have this next door to you?” she remarked.
The National MP added that she has personally lived next to people involved in gangs, describing it as “awful” for the neighbours.
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“Most state tenants are fantastic people, doing their very best and living their lives not bothering everyone else. And you get a few bad eggs. Sorry, those bad eggs - there are consequences.”
But Mr Twyford told the NZ Herald that HNZ had an obligation to be a good neighbour.
"Anti-social behaviour should not be tolerated in Housing New Zealand tenants, or in any tenants or in any neighbours," he said.
The Housing Minister has expressed intent to loosen HNZ rules for tenants, like allowing pets and permitting people who use drugs like meth to treat their addiction before eviction.
Listen to the full interview with Judith Collins above.