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Peters needs to put Kiwi landlords before diplomats

Hon Todd McClay
National Party Spokesperson
for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Peters needs to put Kiwi landlords before diplomats

Foreign Minister Winston Peters needs to put Kiwi landlords before foreign diplomats and tell representatives of foreign governments to pay their bills in New Zealand.

“The public will rightly to be appalled to learn the Ministry of Foreign Affairs used taxpayer-funded lawyers to help a foreign diplomat overturn a $20,000 judgement in favour of a Kiwi landlord, after the diplomat left the landlord $20,000 out of pocket.

“We expect New Zealand diplomats to pay their way overseas and foreign diplomats should pay their bills in New Zealand.

“For Mr Peters to hide behind diplomatic immunity when other countries around the world have carve outs to ensure bills are paid is not good enough.

“Mr Peters has recently said that the landlord should have been aware of the risks of letting their house to a diplomat, saying the principle of ‘buyer beware’ was to be considered. Whose side is he on?

“This Kiwi landlord deserves better from his government. Mr Peters should urgently inform all foreign embassies in New Zealand that their immunity will not cover private sector residential rents so that no further Kiwi landlords are out of pocket.

“Mr Peters must put Kiwi landlords before foreign diplomats and do so quickly.”

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