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Get Gangs Out Of State Housing

25 June 2008

Get Gangs Out Of State Housing

New Zealand First housing spokesperson Pita Paraone is deeply concerned that Housing New Zealand continues to rent state housing to gang members, and is surprised the Government continues to defend the practice.

Mr Paraone’s comments follow recent reports of state house tenants pleading with Housing New Zealand to cease giving gang members tenancy due to the trouble they cause, and an exchange during a Select Committee meeting in which the Minister of Housing defended her department for allowing gang tenancies.

“The fact that the Government wilfully continues to give state housing to gang members while thousands of desperate and deserving families languish on waiting lists is outrageous,” said Mr Paraone.

“What’s worse is that while Housing New Zealand has no idea of the numbers of gang members housed, when it is aware of a tenant’s affiliation it panders to gang members by grouping them together.

“That the Minister defends the practice highlights yet again this Government’s weak approach to gangs. This weakness is clear from the statement this morning from a Housing New Zealand manager that they ‘could not discriminate against tenants on the grounds that they have gang affiliations’.

“Such statements are nothing short of complete PC rubbish. Gang membership is something someone freely chooses, and can and should be grounds to deny state assistance. It is time the Government stopped pussyfooting around and ceased aiding and abetting criminals.

“The Government has a duty to house the most disadvantaged and protect the law-abiding majority from gangs. So far, it is failing on both counts,” said Mr Paraone.

ENDS

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