4 Jan 2011

Labour faults Housing NZ over 'unfair' evictions

8:30 pm on 4 January 2011

The Labour Party says the evictions of state house tenants who were subsequently cleared of all charges by a court highlights major flaws in Housing New Zealand's processes.

The party's housing spokesperson, Moana Mackey, says Official Information Act figures show that, since last January, three state tenants in Canterbury accused of fraud and evicted later had the charges dismissed in court.

Ms Mackey says she has been contacted by tenants from around the country who were thrown out of their homes on the basis of what they say are false allegations and forced to move in with relatives or face high rents in the private sector.

She says tenants who break the rules should face the consequences, but it is only fair they have the chance to defend themselves before being evicted.

She says some tenants are not allowed to know the evidence against them before Housing New Zealand makes a decision.

Tenants 'given chance to explain'

Housing New Zealand says tenancies are terminated only after thorough investigations.

A spokesperson says tenants are presented with the evidence against them and given a chance to explain it.

She says a tenancy is terminated when there is enough evidence that tenants have misled the agency over their personal and financial circumstances.

The spokesperson says the threshold for admissible evidence in the courts is different.