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Maryan Street's insurance bill abandoned

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

14 September 2006

Maryan Street's insurance bill abandoned

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is pleased that common sense has prevailed in the case of Maryan Street's insurance bill which threatened to push up rents and lead to tenant blacklisting.

"The select committee has pulled the pin on this clumsy, ill-considered idea because of 'a number of negative unintended consequences'. National has opposed the proposal from beginning to end."

Issues raised by the Residential Tenancies (Damage Insurance) Amendment Bill will now be considered as part of a wider review by the Department of Building and Housing.

"But the Department has already given its opinion that the bill is not a goer," says Mr Heatley.

"Labour tried to claim that this bill would protect tenants from being held responsible for damages done by third parties. But the reality of the situation is that the extra costs loaded on to landlords would soon be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

"Worse still is that through no fault of their own, tenants could end up being blacklisted by landlords because of the actions of irresponsible former flatmates.

"Ms Street tried to say her bill would help tenants. I hope she now understands more would've been hurt than helped."

Both property investors and the insurance industry opposed Maryan Street's measure, "but she introduced the bill before she'd bothered to check with anyone in the sector."

Mr Heatley says this is a classic case of a tired third term Government that has lost grip of its legislative agenda.

"Maryan Street grossly over-promised, and has spectacularly under delivered. In the future, she'd be advised to leave the legislation to those who are better informed about the sector."


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