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Who's calling the shots at HNZ?

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

3 August 2006

Who's calling the shots at HNZ?

"Why won't Chris Carter admit that a review of inspection procedures has been launched at Housing New Zealand?" asks National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley.

Mr Heatley is commenting on the news reports which followed revelations that the level of vandalism and damage done by state house tenants and their guests is up by 40% in the past year.

"Chris Carter bluntly denied there was any issue with the level of damage when I asked him questions about it yesterday. But now it seems there is in fact a problem and HNZ is reviewing tenancy inspections.

"Why couldn't the Minister admit yesterday he was taking my advice?"

Mr Heatley says there are 11,500 people on the HNZ waiting list.

"There are thousands upon thousands of needy New Zealand families lined up for a state house. That needs to be made crystal clear to tenants who choose to abuse the privilege of taxpayer subsidised housing.

"The number of HNZ properties has increased by 2% in the past year, yet the amount of damage being done by tenants and their guests has increased by almost 40%.

"Meanwhile, landlords in the private sector are experiencing a decline in vandalism and damage.

"As much as the Minister has tried to blur the issue, this damage is not maintenance, it is damage 'that is not the result of fair wear and tear ... but results from the action or inaction of a tenant or third party', according to HNZ's own definition."

Mr Heatley is calling on the Minister to make the details of the review public, "so we can see it has been thorough and robust rather than a once-over-lightly that provides a convenient excuse to get the issue out of the news headlines."

ENDS

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