Sunday, April 17, 2011

HNZ and the Ministers Mandate

So maybe someone can explain to me why an organisation has had a mandate set down by the crown but they can modify this mandate and create their own meaning, even worse the minister who is supposed to keep an eye on things can ignore the blatant disregard for what the crown has set down.

The crown formed HNZ and gave it the following functions.

 Functions of Corporation
  • (1) The Corporation's principal function is to achieve its objectives.
    (2) The Corporation's functions include—
    • (a) providing rental housing, principally for those who need it most:
    • (b) providing appropriate accommodation, including housing, for community organisations (in particular for community organisations that provide residential support services for people with special needs):
    • (c) lending for housing purposes, and providing other help relating to housing:
    • (d) giving people (in particular people on low or modest incomes who wish to own their own homes) help and advice on matters relating to housing or services related to housing:
    • (e) undertaking housing and other development and renewal, whether on its own account or on behalf of other persons:
    • (f) acquiring and developing land for housing or other development and renewal, whether by—
      • (i) providing housing amenities, facilities, services, or works; or
      • (ii) providing commercial or industrial amenities, facilities, services, or works; or
      • (iii) providing related amenities, facilities, services, or works; or
      • (iv) doing any other thing:
    • (g) selling, leasing, disposing of, managing, or otherwise dealing with land, whether in the course of housing or other development and renewal or otherwise:
    • (h) providing housing or services related to housing as agent for departments of State or Crown entities:
    • (i) taking action, in relation to or in connection with the provision of housing or services related to housing, provided for in—
      • (i) the Corporation's current statement of intent; or
    • (j) conducting research into, and monitoring trends in, housing and services related to housing:
    • (k) advising the Minister of Housing on housing and services related to housing:
    • (l) any other functions conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment.
    (3) In performing any of its functions, the Corporation may consult any person or organisation whose views or knowledge it believes will enhance its performance of the function.
    (4) Subsection (2) does not limit subsection (1).
    Section 18 was substituted, as from 1 July 2001, by section 7 Housing Corporation Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 37).
And on the HNZ website we find this:

The Corporation's formal mandate The Corporation is a Crown entity. The Housing Corporation Act 1974 sets out the Corporation's objectives and functions as follows8:
  1. to give effect to the Crown's social objectives by providing housing, and services related to housing, in a businesslike manner, and to that end to be an organisation that:
    1. exhibits a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates; and
    2. exhibits a sense of environmental responsibility by having regard to the environmental implications of its operations; and
    3. operates with good financial oversight and stewardship, and efficiently and effectively manages its assets and liabilities and the Crown's investment; and
  2. to ensure that the Minister of Housing receives appropriate policy advice, other advice, and information, on housing and services related to housing
 I can see how some of this can be interpreted and the act could be elaborated on, but then we see statements from both the Minister and HNZ claiming they are just acting as a landlord.
A clear case of this is the statement in the following article.

The case has been described as illustrating Housing New Zealand's new direction - a focus on managing houses rather than housing people.
But Minister Phil Heatley has demanded it is to"get back to core business which is tenancy management".

Is Mr Heatly really that far out of touch or has he just not read the act? Or is my interpretation flawed.
And now we also see that Government is also trying to sneak in an amendment to the legislation and, although it is online, I have not seen any other publicity about it and it is going to affect a lot of people.

In the case the herald has reported on it appears their reason for evicting the tenant was that he supposedly assaulted a neighbour. The question I have to ask is were criminal charges laid and pursued, and if not their actions are unreasonable. We have had something similar in our case where we have been evicted before prosecuted and given that HNZ were the ones who laid the charges in the first place and only follow a complaint we made to the tenancy tribunal and minister are really nothing more that an attempt to cause our family more stress.

The crown really needs to look in to how this organisation is conducting itself as it is causing more problems than it is fixing. It seems to be a haven for the power hungry who enjoy abusing their position and pushing people about.

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