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

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news