Disappointment at council housing sell-off
Thursday 20 June 2002 Media Statement
Disappointment at council housing sell-off decision
“I am terribly disappointed and angry at the Auckland City Council’s continued attack on the most vulnerable Aucklanders,” said Minister Assisting the Prime Minister with Auckland Issues Judith Tizard today, following Auckland City Council’s decision to sell off council housing, including pensioner housing.
“I am also disappointed in the council’s decision not to retain its stake in Auckland International Airport. These are important strategic and regional assets which should be protected by public ownership.”
Judith Tizard said when the Labour-led government promised to work with local government in partnership, it recognised that local councils had a vital role to play in providing communities and individuals with many of the services they need that are normal in a civilised society.
“The council’s excuse that it needs to meet debts is spurious and cloaks a not-very-hidden agenda that is about political ideology, and not about good economics or social policy.
“The majority of Auckland City’s councillors are now expecting the poorest and most vulnerable elderly Aucklanders to pay for their political philosophies,” said Judith Tizard, also MP for Auckland Central.
“Governments over many years have helped councils around New Zealand to provide pensioner housing and other urban and inner-city housing developments. That means that taxpayers as well as ratepayers have paid for the housing that the council is selling off.
“The Auckland Regional Growth Strategy points out that Auckland’s population growth is around eight times faster than the rest of the country. The sale of this land and these houses will reduce the choices that future councils will have to look at housing intensification in the inner city for the benefit of all Aucklanders.
“This is a breach of faith by Auckland City both with the government and with Auckland’s citizens. I support the efforts of those councillors who have tried to keep faith with the council’s long-term housing policy. Unfortunately we will all have to pay again for this callous decision.”