Just a handful of people from Hawkes' Bay have applied to receive compensation for being wrongly evicted from state houses in the height of the Housing New Zealand meth-testing debacle.
A regulation change now allows Housing NZ to make discretionary grants to those who were wrongly evicted for methamphetamine contamination has seen the first 55 people receive payment, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced yesterday.
Twyford said Housing NZ is fronting up and redressing the hardships caused by the meth debacle.
"Housing NZ is working with other government agencies to find those affected and contact has been made with 295 people so far. A further 92 assistance claims have been approved, and once an offer has been made and accepted, these payments will be made immediately.
"Housing NZ is taking a case by case approach and reimbursing costs tenants incurred. They are making discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement.
"The average payment so far is $7735 and each affected tenant has received a formal apology from Housing NZ."
About 800 people whose tenancies were ended are thought to be eligible for payments.
A Housing NZ spokesman confirmed that five people from the Hawke's Bay region had registered claims at the moment.
"That number will change as more people contact us or are contacted by us."
The scheme was introduced after the government's chief science advisor found testing guidelines used by Housing NZ between July 2013 and May 2018 were flawed.
It was also found there was no evidence of adverse health effects from third-hand exposure to methamphetamine residue.