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Government boost to Housing NZ creating jobs

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Housing

20 April 2009 Media Statement

Government boost to Housing NZ creating jobs

A total of 935 people were in jobs in March working on Housing New Zealand programmes delivered from the Government’s $124.5 million Jobs & Growth programme of economic stimulus funding, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said today.

Earlier today Mr Heatley visited a state house in need of renovation in Porirua, in the company of Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia. The pair hosted media and reinforced the Government's commitment to delivering better standards in state housing.

“Just two months after the stimulus funding was announced, the upgrading of 613 state homes is already underway or complete. What is more, consents have been issued and trades people are on site constructing 21 new homes,” Mr Heatley said.

“This is impressive progress in a very short space of time. It illustrates the ambitious scale of the work Housing New Zealand is undertaking with new government funding. The impact of that work on regional economies has been immediate. In total, almost $23 million of additional work has been issued to contractors in the recession-hit building industry since February,” Mr Heatley said.

“At the end of March, Housing New Zealand had 536 people employed on stimulus-funded upgrades, and another 399 people employed in stimulus-funded home construction projects. This is just the start. The true impact of the government’s funding is still to come,” Mr Heatley said.

“Housing New Zealand will build a total of 86 new homes by June – 30 in Auckland, 31 for the rest of the North Island and 25 in the South Island. It will upgrade more than 18,000 state homes around the country by July 2010, the bulk of them next year.

(The 86 new homes are over and above the 475 new state homes scheduled to be built by Housing New Zealand in the 2008/09 financial year).

“Not only will this create even more jobs for New Zealanders, it will make state homes more secure, warmer, drier, and better suited to modern living. This will enhance the wellbeing of an estimated 50,000 people living in these homes,” Mr Heatley said.

ENDS

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