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National's week of misleading continues

9 September 2005

National's week of misleading continues

National is continuing to mislead to conceal the harm its housing policy would cause to thousands of low income families, Housing Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"National is either telling porkies or is hopelessly out of touch with the details of its housing policy," Steve Maharey said. "Last night on Tagata Pasifika, National's welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins tried to defend National's housing policy by misleading people about the impact it had in the 1990s."

"She is following the pattern established by Dr Brash where everyone in the National party either attempts to mislead or doesn't understand what they're talking about.

Porky 1 - Well I don't think you could say that there was, there were too many houses sold out of the state housing stock in places where there are a lot of Pacific people living.

"As a former Director of Housing New Zealand Judith Collins must know National sold 575 state houses in South Auckland and 998 in Porirua. When combined with market rents this led to severe overcrowding problems in both cities.

"The National Health Committee reported in 1999 that South Auckland Housing New Zealand tenants were 'paying market rents to live in rat- and cockroach-infested, cold, damp, unhygienic and overcrowded conditions.' In Porirua in 1998 five adults and 14 children were found sharing a three-bedroom state house.

Porky 2 – We've now got twelve thousand families on urgent or almost urgent housing need. We didn't have that under National. We didn't have that at all. We were down to just a handful…

"This is completely untrue. Urgent housing needs went up markedly under National creating unacceptable problems, including overcrowding linked to the spread of disease. The only reason for low waiting lists was that there was nothing to wait for. National sold 13,000 state houses and made remaining tenants pay crippling market rents which increased by 106 percent.

"This is more evidence that the National party is not ready or fit to govern."

Collins appeared on the programme after Don Brash refused to front. He is the only party leader who has refused to appear on the programme.

ENDS

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