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HNZ claims need to be tested

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

05 June 2006

HNZ claims need to be tested

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is asking Housing Minister Chris Carter whether he'll repeat the public assurances given by HNZ after a second insider raised the alarm on internal processes.

"It's hard to escape the conclusion that this is a department which expects front-line staff to look the other way if they believe there are problems."

Mr Heatley is commenting on Housing New Zealand's weak assurances today that issues raised by a second whistleblower, including claims of unauthorised and excessive spending, have been resolved.

"But at the same time they've confirmed the 2002 Healthy Housing budget did indeed unexpectedly blow-out by $6 million, and they've admitted 'confusion' around the process.

"So even after the Auditor General's report into earlier allegations is made public, there's still likely to be outstanding questions relating to the culture and processes within HNZ.

"Housing New Zealand is a significant taxpayer asset. It is the biggest landlord in the country and public confidence in the corporation has suffered.

"A wider select committee inquiry must still be on the cards," says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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