One of the consortiums shortlisted to buy Housing New Zealand homes in Christchurch has links to a company accused of human rights breaches on Manus Island.
The government is seeking proposals from three preferred groups before deciding which one will be chosen to purchase 2500 houses in the city.
They are all made up of existing housing providers and investment firms and would be required to continue operating them as social housing and not sell them to the private sector.
One consortium is made up of housing provider, Trust House Limited and Broadspectrum New Zealand, a subsidiary of a larger Australian-based business in charge of operating the controversial Manus Island refugee detention centre.
Broadspectrum, along with the Australian government, this month agreed to a $73 million out of court settlement with detainees after they said they were mistreated.