17 Dec 2019

Concerns over plans to put sensors in state housing

From Morning Report, 8:26 am on 17 December 2019

Housing advocates are crying foul over a government plan to place sensors in up to 2000 state houses, that could track when tenants use power, turn their lights on and off, and how many people they have living in the house.

The Smart Homes project, run by the state housing agency Kainga Ora, aims to monitor how state housing tenants use their homes, and what the barriers might be to keeping them warm and dry.

The charity Whare Hauora, which makes similar sensors for whanau to use in their own homes, says that's a laudable goal - but it believes the project is unnecessarily invasive and could even result in tenants having their benefits cut or evicted from their homes.

Whare Hauora wants Kainga Ora to re-design the project, and also leave ownership of the data in tenants' hands.

Hiria Te Rangi is the charity's kaiwhakahaere.