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State house extensions costing $105,000 per room

Phil Heatley MP - National Party Housing Spokesman

12 March 2006

State house extensions costing $105,000 per room

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says answers to written Parliamentary questions show it is costing an average $105,000 per room to extend state houses.

"At that rate you could build a modest home in most New Zealand centres for the price of a few rooms.

"Housing New Zealand appears to be suffering from the sort of construction cost blow-outs that are plaguing the Corrections Department. Labour simply hasn't measured up as a fit guardian of the public purse."

Mr Heatley says the figures took him by surprise.

"It's understandable that some of these houses do need work, but at an average price of $105,000 per room, the cost to the taxpayer does seem excessive."

Figures from the building industry show the amount being paid by Housing New Zealand is well above the market rate.

"Even taking into account some of the more expensive work being done on kitchens and bathrooms, Housing New Zealand doesn't appear to be getting a very good deal."

According to a Government-run building industry survey released last July, the average cost of building a typical 145 square metre house was around $1500 per square metre.

"Housing New Zealand appears to be paying through the nose for these extensions. The Minister needs to tell us whether he is satisfied the taxpayer is getting a good deal," says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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