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Bureaucrats party while homes rot

Hon Nick Smith
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

26 July 2005

Bureaucrats party while homes rot

New Zealanders will be disgusted to find that hard-earned taxes intended to help desperate owners of leaky homes are being used to fund ‘Cowboys and Indians’, ‘Sound of Music’, “Pacific Islands’ and ‘Aeroplane’ theme parties, says National’s Building & Constructions spokesman, Nick Smith.

“The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service had a ‘Sound of Music’ theme party in Wellington for its 40 staff on the evening of Thursday June 30. The WHRS paid for all food and alcohol, and funded airfares and accommodation for Auckland staff.

“A fortnight earlier, on Friday June 17, a dozen Wellington staff flew to join Auckland staff for a ‘Pacific Islands’ team building extravaganza at the Stanford Plaza Hotel, involving kava drinking and dancing girls.

“Last December, the WHRS held a ‘Cowboys and Indians’ theme party in which all Auckland staff were flown to Wellington at taxpayer expense. Food and beverages were again paid for by the WHRS. Earlier last year, an ‘Aeroplane’ theme party was held on similar terms.

“It is beyond belief that government bureaucrats have been partying-up big-time while thousands of homeowners watch their homes rot.

“The WHRS has no reason to party. Labour set it up in November 2002 as a quick and cost-effective solution for owners of leaky homes. But, despite receiving $52 million of public money, the WHRS has resolved only 344 out of 3,300 claims.

“Many of the claims deemed resolved by the WHRS are anything but, and many homeowners are far from satisfied.

“No wonder Labour is opposed to tax relief for hard-working New Zealanders when they are intent on funding this sort of culture of extravagance,” Dr Smith says.

ENDS

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