5 Jun 2018

State house meth tested after tenant sought addiction help

From Checkpoint, 5:21 pm on 5 June 2018

A former state house tenant who was allegedly dobbed in by an Auckland DHB says he is still paying back Housing NZ for a meth test three years after his eviction.

A tenancy tribunal order, dated June 2015, ordered Jesse Bradley to pay Housing New Zealand more than $2200 for a meth test.

The ruling said Housing New Zealand was advised by an Auckland District Health Board (DHB) to test his Hobson Street flat for contamination after he sought drug and alcohol treatment.

But Mr Bradley said he did not know that and he denied ever smoking meth there and said none of his friends did either.

"Maybe the people that lived there beforehand smoked methamphetamine. Maybe they just tested the walls after I moved out just to make a statement."

Mr Bradley was evicted in March 2015 - at the time he was seeking help for alcohol abuse when his Housing NZ tenancy agreement was terminated without explanation.

It was only a couple of months later when he was applying for a hire purchase agreement that he was told he had a bad credit rating and that he owed Housing New Zealand a debt.

The meth test itself concluded while his flat was contaminated, there was no need for any remediation or re-testing of the property afterwards.

Mr Bradley said nobody told him he would be financially liable for the positive meth test.

The Ministry of Justice said it could not comment on the judicial decisions and that the head adjudicator of the tenancy tribunal had declined to comment.

Mr Bradley had sought treatment for his addiction from the Waitemata DHB. In a statement the DHB said it was not the practice of the Community Alcohol and Drug Service to share confidential patient medical information with Housing New Zealand.

Housing NZ has not responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile Mr Bradley was still paying off the debt and he had a message for Housing New Zealand.

"Clean up your act and maybe help people that need help instead of pushing everyone around...

"Stop being so secretive and actually come out and open up about what's really going on instead of being like a privatised company I guess - that's what I call them - a company."