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National’s Accommodation Flip-Flop Wasting Taxpayer Money

Ron Mark MP
New Zealand First Deputy Leader
28 NOVEMBER 2016

NATIONAL’S ACCOMMODATION FLIP FLOP WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY

National have done another flip flop, this time intending to build new accommodation to house parliamentary staff after earlier selling out to private owners, says New Zealand First Deputy Leader Ron Mark.

“Bowen House, which houses parliamentary staff, was privatised in 1991 and since then taxpayers have been forking out huge amounts of money in rent each year – most recently nearly $6 million annually.

“Now, the government intends to go back to private ownership with construction of a new modern five storey plastic building – and again the taxpayer takes the hit.

“When we have well over 40,000 New Zealanders homeless and young Kiwis struggling to buy a new home, this is not the time for wasteful expenditure pandering to the comfort of MPs and their staff.

“Also, we don’t need 120 parliamentarians either, 100 would be sufficient, which would make the task of finding suitable accommodation much easier.

“This building plan is just another example of a National Party blunder coming back to bite them.

“For 114 years the old government building at 15 Lambton Quay – the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere - housed government workers, but in 1996 the government handed it over to Victoria University who have a 50 year lease.

“Of all the parties, only New Zealand First is opposed to this grandiose plan which the hard done by New Zealand taxpayer will have to pay for,” Mr Mark says.

ENDS

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