Housing New Zealand didn't evict anyone in Hawke's Bay in 2018, despite 578 complaints about the anti-social behaviour of its tenants.

National's housing spokeswoman Judith Collins says the number, revealed to Hawke's Bay Today under the Official Information Act, shows the Government's "soft on crime" stance has filtered into Housing NZ.

An eviction is where a court bailiff is authorised to obtain possession of a property after a tenancy has been ended by the Tenancy Tribunal, the landlord has an order for possession of the property, and the tenant has not vacated it.

Housing NZ Government relations manager Rachel Kelly said the data did not take into account the number of tenants who had been rehoused as a result of a complaint.


When asked for that number she declined Hawke's Bay Today's request, saying Housing NZ did not centrally record that data.

Of the 578 complaints received in Hawke's Bay 2018, "general behaviour" accounted for 287 of them.

Property condition and damage resulted in 160 complaints, there were 50 alleged illegal activity complaints, 43 alleged threat complaints, and 30 dog nuisance complaints.

HNZ declined a request to specify whether any of the total complaints were gang-related.

Kelly said the organisation worked with its tenants and the appropriate agencies to address the issue after a complaint.

"The justice system sets the threshold for illegal activity and the police enforce this. Local authorities also have the ability to set bylaws, such as managing excessive noise and rubbish.

"These organisation have the mandate to manage people's behaviour, Housing New Zealand does not, and our tenants, like everyone else, are subject to these laws."

Ending the tenancies of vulnerable people often placed them in an even more vulnerable situation, she says.


"[Vulnerable people] were passed between agencies for support, which added to an already high waiting list for public housing; increased the need for transitional housing — including the use of motels, or they faced the prospect of staying in overcrowded homes, garages or cars.

"More than 44 per cent of the people that live in a Housing New Zealand home are tamariki and rangatahi.

"These youth suffer the consequences and insecurity when their families are without a home.

"Housing New Zealand's social objectives mean it must have regard for the community it operates in and treat its tenants and neighbours with respect, integrity and honesty."

Collins' said the government's decision to axe evictions for anti-social behaviour means there are tenants engaging in disruptive behaviour in a state home, while families were forced to wait on the list for a home.

"We saw in early February a neighbourhood in Hastings had been disrupted with constant noise from gang members and regular visits from the police despite multiple complaints to Housing New Zealand.

"Unfortunately the Government's soft stance on criminal behaviour has filtered down into Housing New Zealand.

"It's not right that law-abiding New Zealanders are punished for the unruly behaviour of tenants. A home should be a safe haven for families, not a place of intimidation and fear."

A spokeswoman for Phil Tywford said Housing NZ was better placed to comment about what was an "operational matter".