Over the weekend we were going over some of the information HNZ have provided and the information provided is definitely not full disclosure, but then this really comes as no surprise.
But while going over these details I re-read our legal aid application and it struck me that the system is clearly broken.
HNZ have a full time investigations team working to rake up any and all information and prepare a case that is then handed over to the crown. This investigative process, as we have been told, is extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned, and has the backing of legislation so as to ensure all information is available to it.
The costs involved in running such a team must be huge and having a dedicated investigator work on a specific case for several months would not be cheap.
Then the report is prepared and HNZ have a meeting with the crown prosecutors office who seem to have an unlimited budget and can afford to call whatever experts they choose in to give opinion as well as continue the investigative process to prove your guilt.
Now someone who is on a low income such as us really only have Legal Aid to assist us and unlike the crown these guys draw a line in the sand only allocating a specific amount of hours to the lawyer to work on the case and only providing a certain amount of money to lodge a defense.
So you have a machine with an endless budget and unlimited funds going up against someone who has very limited resources, and people expect that person to be able to prove their innocence as this definitely seems to be the case these days because, without proving their case, HNZ have invoiced us for what they believe is the shortfall in rent, revoked our rental assessment and evicted us.
In addition to this the Prosecution seems to be able to pick and choose what it supplies as evidence and not have to hand up the details, warts and all. In a way I would say this is customizing the evidence to meet the allegation's.