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Labour fudges policy on million dollar state homes

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

6 September 2006

Labour fudges policy on million dollar state homes

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is stunned that it has taken seven years but only one question in Parliament to get any action from Chris Carter on state house tenants living in million dollar state homes.

"It's taken seven years, but tonight Housing New Zealand has finally been told to 'explore' a belated change to policy, after the Minister obviously fudged his earlier answers to questions in Parliament."

National has revealed that the most expensive HNZ property in the country is in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes and is valued at $2 million. Three other state houses in Auckland are valued at more than $1.4 million.

Chris Carter told Parliament that HNZ would move to sell these highly priced properties as they became vacant. Surprisingly the Minister then went on to admit that policy's a joke, because the current tenant of the $2 million home in Auckland has been there for eight years.

"In other words, any policy to sell these multi-million dollar state homes when they become vacant is meaningless. The Minister's knee jerk response tonight confirms that Labour hasn't even been looking for new ways to accommodate the 11,000 needy families on the HNZ waiting list.

"The Minister could quite easily trade the top four state houses worth $6.3 million and buy 16 state houses at average Auckland prices. That's 12 families off the waiting list for a start."

Mr Heatley says Chris Carter's clearly not on top of his housing portfolio having tonight been forced to amend his statements to talk about 'exploring' the future of high value properties.

"In recent months HNZ has been in the gun over figures showing skyrocketing vandalism, tenants with household incomes incomes of more than $100,000 and tenants with up to six paying borders. And now this.

"Fair-minded New Zealanders have no problem helping those who are in genuine need. But they do have a major problem with Labour's ongoing mismanagement of HNZ and Mr Carter's reluctance to make sensible, considered changes," says Mr Heatley.


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