9 Dec 2010

Women lose latest appeal to stay in state homes

6:33 pm on 9 December 2010

Three women fighting eviction from their Housing New Zealand homes in Lower Hutt have lost their latest appeal.

Robyn Winther, Huia Tamaka and Billy Taylor were issued with 90-day eviction notices for their homes in the suburb of Pomare in March last year.

The trio maintain Housing New Zealand acted unlawfully by terminating the tenancies, and in doing so, breached the Bill of Rights.

Notices mistakenly attached to the orders described the women as partners of gang members who were facing charges of burglary or intimidation, which were later dropped.

The women applied to the Tenancy Tribunal, which found it had no jurisdiction to consider whether the grounds for eviction were lawful.

They then appealed to the District Court, the High Court and finally the Court of Appeal.

In its decision released on Thursday, the Court of Appeal found that the tribunal was correct to uphold the eviction notices. It dismissed the women's appeal.

Women to continue legal action

The lawyer representing the women say they are vowing to fight on.

Liz Hall says the Court of Appeal decision has helped to clarify how they should proceed.

The court says if the women can get a finding from a High Court judicial review or the Human Rights Tribunal that they have been unlawfully discriminated against, the Tenancy Tribunal has the power to refuse to evict them.

Housing New Zealand denies it is discriminating against the women and says it is considering what steps to take.