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Housing rort: Still waiting for answers

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

17 November 2006

Housing rort: Still waiting for answers

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says he is still waiting for honest answers from Housing Minister Chris Carter about when Housing New Zealand became aware of allegations about a subletting rort in Christchurch.

“Mr Carter said in Parliament yesterday that HNZ first found out about the subletting arrangement last month, but media reports today suggest at least one other senior minister was contacted personally by a whistle blower.”

Mr Heatley says Ruth Dyson strenuously denied that she was contacted about the scam in September.

“She launched a personal attack on me. It now appears she was the one who’s mistaken.

“I’m stunned that a senior Minister wouldn’t follow up this complaint when there are more than 11,500 people legitimately waiting in line for a state home.”

Mr Heatley says he understands Housing New Zealand was alerted to the problems as early as May this year.

“I doubt it’s coincidental that Housing New Zealand acted this week after the media and the National Party started showing an interest in this case.

“Chris Carter needs to say whether he’s 100% sure October was the first time HNZ was tipped off.”

Mr Heatley says earlier this year Mr Carter was forced to apologise to Parliament for giving misleading answers to questions. He blamed the errors on inaccurate information from his department.

“Is history repeating on Mr Carter and can he now be sure of the advice from officials?

“The Housing Minister is routinely rejecting simple questions on the basis that the information isn’t collected, or he can’t be bothered asking his staff to get the data. The public deserves to get those answers.”

ENDS

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