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Weathertight Homes Service leaking funds

David Carter -National Party Housing Spokesman - Pansy Wong - National Party Revenue Spokeswoman

17 February 2005

Weathertight Homes Service leaking funds

The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service should be more accountable for where its money is going, after increasing its staffing levels and downgrading its resolution targets, say two National MPs.

Figures released by Internal Affairs show the service will receive more than $16 million in funding this year.

"It started 26 months ago with two staff members and now employs 33. It has 18 contractors, yet the number of resolved cases is pathetic," says National's Revenue spokeswoman, Pansy Wong.

"But it doesn't end there. In 2003 the $7.5 million budget was increased to $13.2 million. In the same year the target was 1,100 completed cases, but this was never achieved."

National's Housing spokesman, David Carter, says in the two years since the service was set up, just 244 cases have been resolved, with 2,017 still outstanding.

"This year the service has downgraded its targets to hold only 611 mediations. The level of output is inconsistent with the amount of money being poured into the service," says Mr Carter.

"Homeowners with leaky homes are left waiting, and the wait is only going to get longer."

Mrs Wong says taxpayers should know if their money is being well-spent.

"And in this case it's not."

ENDS

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