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Earthquake Minister Must Resign – NZ First

16 April 2012

Earthquake Minister Must Resign – NZ First

New Zealand First has called for the resignation of Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee because of his “do-nothing” approach to the serious housing shortage in Christchurch and the “exploding” rents being charged.

Christchurch Earthquake Issues spokesperson Denis O’Rourke says Mr Brownlee’s latest claim that nothing needs to be done about the rents, and that the housing shortage is not yet serious enough to require further government action, is outrageous.

“Mr Brownlee has got his head planted firmly in the liquefaction if he thinks that doing nothing is the solution. He has now become a large part of the problem himself.

“Trade Me figures that the minister is so fond of quoting show that demand for housing has increased by 42 per cent, supply has reduced by 40 per cent and rents have increased by 15 per cent since last year.”

Mr O’Rourke points out that Parliament gave Mr Brownlee extraordinary power to provide for extraordinary measures in extraordinary circumstances.

“The minister’s failure of leadership in refusing to regulate rents, as requested by NZ First, is appalling.

“We have also asked the minister to provide concessionary bridging finance for people who can’t finance a new home after accepting the government’s red zone offer, and who can’t qualify for a mortgage or service one.

“Again the do-nothing minister has failed to respond.

“The same applies to his failure to address the plight of rest home residents who had only a license to occupy, and have been left in the lurch by a combination of the rest home owner and government inaction,” says Mr O’Rourke.

Mr O’Rourke, a former Christchurch City Councillor, says insurance issues also remain a big problem for thousands of people.

“All of these problems will not go away, and it is now clear that only if the minister does, will there be any hope of positive action. He must go,” says Mr O’Rourke.


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