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Alleged scammer at large thanks to slack HNZ

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

5 March 2008

Alleged scammer at large thanks to slack HNZ

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the embarrassing Labour debacle over a taxpayer-subsidised Housing New Zealand tenant who also owned a holiday home in the Bay of Islands has got worse.

"The previous Minister had to fess up to the fact that this file sat around for 10 months on an HNZ desk and it was 16 months before the complaint was actioned - but only after I raised the alarm."

"Embarrassingly, it has now been confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued last November for the tenant who sublet his state house while owning a Bay of Islands bach - but no-one has seen him since."

The man, who is facing seven charges, owes Housing New Zealand and the taxpayer $32,650.

"This is precisely the sort of bungling that undermines public confidence in HNZ."

Mr Heatley also asked in Parliament today how this bach owner, a well known sportsman, could qualify for a state house in the first place.

"Maryan Street has no answers. Surely, the excuse that less than 1% of tenants commit fraud should guarantee those who do offend are caught and processed promptly?"


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