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Taxpayer subsidised P labs

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

19 June 2006

Taxpayer subsidised P labs

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley has released figures showing that in the past three years 11 taxpayer-owned properties have been busted as P labs.

"The public's been unwittingly subsidising illegal enterprises churning out a drug that is destroying our communities."

Figures provided by the Housing Minister also show that in the 2004/05 year, one house had to be destroyed because of chemical contamination.

"I suspect that P may be involved in that case, too," Mr Heatley says.

In 2003/2004 one P lab was found at an HNZ property, in 2004/05 the figure was seven and in the past year three labs have been busted in taxpayer-owned homes.

"The Minister has refused to tell me about other damage caused by criminal activity within HNZ properties even though the corporation has the information on file.

"I'm sure taxpayers would be interested to know how many of the houses which they own are being used as drug supermarkets, gang headquarters or bases for other criminal behaviour.

"The Minister could find out, but he doesn't want to know about it."

Mr Heatley is increasingly concerned about the safeguards being put in place to protect a huge taxpayer investment in state housing.

"The damage being done by tenants and their guests is rising at an alarming rate that dwarfs the number of homes being built or bought. It has tripled in recent years."

Mr Heatley says it's time for HNZ to review whether increasing the frequency of checks on properties would help.

ENDS

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