Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Nick Smith – the worst vandal

Nick Smith – the worst vandal


Boarded up houses in Highbury, Palmerston North

Labour’s Phil Twyford says Housing Minister Nick Smith is the worst culprit when it comes to damaged and vandalised state houses.

“National’s policy of leaving state houses vacant for months on end makes them a magnet for vandalism and crime.

“In almost every town and city there are dozens of state houses lying vacant as a result of deliberate Government policy. Inevitably these empty properties attract graffiti and anti-social behaviour.

“The Minister has called for a crackdown on wreckers of state houses. Any tenants who damage state houses should be held accountable, but the Minister needs to look in the mirror first. His policy of deliberate neglect and leaving 3000 vacant houses makes him New Zealand’s worst state house vandal.

“A few days ago I visited Highbury in Palmerston North where dozens of Housing NZ properties are empty. The National Government’s neglect of these properties has brought downtown Detroit into the heart of Palmerston North. It is a policy of deliberate urban blight. It is doing damage to the community, and it is Housing NZ tenants and their neighbours who suffer the consequences.

“It is crazy that while 3000 houses lie vacant and boarded up, 4200 families languish on the waiting list. Because National made the criteria for state house eligibility so ridiculously tight, these houses lie empty while thousands of would-be tenants are driven into overcrowded and substandard private rental housing.

“While Nick Smith tries to look tough on state house tenants, his Chief Executive could not even tell a select committee hearing today how much of the $15 million bill for repairing state house properties in 2012 was spent fixing wilful damage. Most of the repair cost was attributed to fair wear and tear, fire, and natural disasters.

“Meanwhile 3000 state houses lie vacant, boarded up, and deteriorating. It is an asset that is probably worth half to three-quarters of a billion dollars. Housing NZ was unable to tell the select committee how much it is spending on security, how much on repairs, and whether they have done any modelling on the loss of value to the taxpayer of these houses sitting vacant , says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“National is running a valuable publicly owned asset into the ground. They don’t seem to care about the thousands of struggling families who desperately need a secure and safe roof over their heads.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election