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Labour plans to cut provincial tenancy services

Nick Smith
National Party Building spokesman
28 October 2005

Labour plans to cut provincial tenancy services

New Building Minister Clayton Cosgrove must reject plans to gut provincial tenancy services if Labour is to heed the election message from heartland New Zealand, says National's Building spokesman, Nick Smith.

Dr Smith today released a report from the Department of Building and Housing, which he obtained under the Official Information Act, which proposes widespread cuts in tenancy services staff for provincial New Zealand.

“This report proposes cutting tenancy staff from offices in Whangarei, Rotorua, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Nelson, Timaru and Dunedin, and centralising the services in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch," says Dr Smith.

“We will soon know if Labour’s post-election assurance that it has taken on board the message from its losses in provincial New Zealand was genuine or just more spin.

“These cuts will make tenancy services less accessible to the detriment of both landlords and tenants in provincial New Zealand.

“The report assumes an 0800 number and a website is better than face-to-face services from tenancy staff with local knowledge and expertise.

“It speaks volumes of this Labour Government that it has consulted with the staff but not the tenants and landlords who use the services.

“I seek an assurance from Mr Cosgrove that these cuts will not proceed. I have also written to seek the support of NZ First and United Future, who campaigned on maintaining services for the regions, to exert their influence and stop this service downgrade.

"The report says a decision will be made by the end of October. This has been confirmed by provincial office stay who are awaiting decisions on their employment," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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