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Carter wrong again … and again . . .

2 April, 2001 Media Statement

Carter wrong again … and again . . .

National's Housing spokesman David Carter has once again proven that he is totally unreliable after making up a press release and leaving out crucial facts, Housing Minister Mark Gosche said today.

"Two thousand three hundred and eighty-five households and families with serious housing needs have moved off waiting lists and into state houses between December last year and February," said Mr Gosche.

"But Mr Carter's deliberately chosen to ignore answers to parliamentary questions sent to him by my office and in a media release today he alleged that waiting lists had decreased 2,435 - with only 873 of these applicants housed by Housing New Zealand."

"This is absolutely wrong and Mr Carter knows it," said Mr Gosche.

"I sent him answers to written questions on the 23 and 26 March, in which he was informed that the number of households who moved off waiting lists and into state houses was 2,385."

"Only last month in the house Mr Carter said that the waiting list stood at over 14,000 – a figure he just made up."

Mr Carter's comments on the review of the state housing waiting list were also woefully wrong, said Mr Gosche.

"All state houses are now allocated on need – this was not the case under the previous Government. People on the old waiting list - the majority of whom had applied under the previous Government's system - now need to know this and to decide whether they still wish to remain on the list," he said.

"All applicants need to understand that state houses are now allocated first to those at risk and in serious housing need."

Since last December, applicants on the old waiting list have been contacted and asked if they wish to remain on the waiting list and be assessed under the new social allocation system. Housing New Zealand will contact applicants and if a response has not been received within an appropriate timeframe their applications will cease. However tenants have the opportunity to reapply at any time.

"We are making sure those with the most need are given priority and housed first," said Mr Gosche.

"It's time Mr Carter told us what National's housing policy is . . . that might be difficult though as they haven't got one."

ENDS

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