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Maharey urges Smith to stop crying crocodile tears

Maharey urges Nick Smith to stop crying crocodile tears

Social Services and Employment Minister and Acting Housing Minister Steve Maharey is urging Nelson MP Nick Smith stop crying crocodile tears over housing issues in the city – and accept responsibility for the former National government’s role in creating the problem.

Steve Maharey’s comments follow the case of Ruby Peretini and Israel Grey which was quickly solved this week once the Minister was made aware of it – and on the eve of a public meeting in Nelson on housing issues called by Dr Smith.

“When Nick Smith sat around the Cabinet table his government sold 217 state houses over a two year period in the city. If we had those houses today we would be in a better position to house those in need.

“I suspect the real aim of his ‘advocacy’ is actually to divert Nelson attention from his own role in creating the housing situation which exisits in the city.

“I invite Dr Smith to work with Housing New Zealand Corporation because he will find issues are resolved quicker and without subjecting his consitutents to the glare of national publicity. I also categorically reject his suggestion that my officials have been lying to Dr Smith about housing issues in Nelson. They have had a good relationship with the MP in the past and I am hopeful they will in the future.

“Dr Smith would also get his facts straight and avoid embarrassing himself in Parliament by making claims which are simply incorrect, as he did today when he claimed that Housing New Zealand homes in Nelson have been empty for twelve months. This is not accurate.

“I note that Dr Smith is organising a public meeting tomorrow on housing issues. I have asked officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand Corporation to attend to ensure that accurate information is available to those attending,” Steve Maharey said.

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