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Housing NZ chairman breaks no-surprises agreement

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

13 June 2006

Housing NZ chairman breaks no-surprises agreement

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the chairman of Housing New Zealand has some explaining to do after revelations today that he broke the no-surprises agreement between the Government and HNZ.

"Chris Carter has finally confirmed that Housing New Zealand did, in fact, know about allegations that led to a formal inquiry by the Auditor-General, despite the Minister's denials. Mr Carter appears to have been misled by HNZ."

Mr Heatley says the embarrassing correction by Chris Carter in Parliament today will add weight to his call for a wider select committee inquiry into Housing New Zealand.

"I've written a second letter to Social Services Select Committee chair Georgina Beyer, seeking to secure an inquiry in light of last week's narrow report from the Auditor-General

"This is one mistake too many. Chris Carter needs to provide an explanation about why it has taken him so long to reveal that the corporation knew about the allegations before they appeared in a Sunday newspaper.

"Mr Carter was adamant that Housing New Zealand didn't know about the claims in advance. He's been left with egg on his face.

"He needs to hold HNZ chair Pat Snedden to account. This issue was the subject of a formal question in Parliament. Is it that Chris Carter didn't check, or Mr Snedden didn't tell?" says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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