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Fanau Centre Forms Partnership With Housing NZ

Media Statement By:
Tony Ryall
Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Limited

5 August, 1999

Fanau Centre Forms Partnership With Housing New Zealand

Housing New Zealand Minister, Tony Ryall, today handed 545 keys to Mr Terongo Tekii, of the Cannons Creek Fanau Centre, to symbolise the community Trust taking over the management of 545 Housing New Zealand homes this week.

The community partnership between HNZ and the Fanau Centre has been under discussion since December last year, and has only now come to fruition. Official take-over date was 2 August.

Speaking in Porirua, Mr Ryall said that "both HNZ and the Fanau Centre have taken the time to put top class management and monitoring systems in place".

"HNZ will continue to closely monitor the Fanau Centre's performance and ensure clients' needs are being met.

"Tenants' rights to HNZ schemes such as Home-Buy and 55+ will not be affected by the new partnership.

"The Cannons Creek partnership builds on the highly successful Wairarapa community partnership running since March this year. In the Wairarapa HNZ sold 541 houses to a community trust.

"Unlike the Wairarapa partnership, HNZ will retain the ownership of the 545 Cannons Creek properties, at least in the interim.

"The Wairarapa experience has shown us that local community groups really do bring more flexibility and a greater understanding of community needs than bureaucrats in high-rises on Lambton Quay.


"Labour's Housing spokesman and local Mana MP, Graham Kelly, has made repeated and undeserved attacks on both the Fanau Centre and the Wairarapa community trust.

"He told the Porirua News that community partnerships, like this one between the HNZ and the Fanau Centre, are "undesirable".

"He also attacked his own Labour Party rank and file when they got behind a suggestion that the Porirua charitable trust, look at becoming involved in the community provision of low-income housing in partnership with HNZ.

"His vitriolic attacks on local people wanting to take a greater role in their own communities are, frankly, disgraceful. Mr Kelly, has no faith or respect in these people's rights and abilities to take charge of their own lives.

"Well, I have a more faith in people than that.

"This Government believes strongly in local solutions to local issues, through its Community Partnerships programme.

"We believe experienced community organisations, such as the Fanau Centre, can provide more relevant and local solutions than Wellington Head Office bureaucrats.

"I hope today's official launch will provide the catalyst for more local communities to step up to the plate and inquire about forming partnerships with HNZ.

ENDS

Note: The handing over of 545 keys by Tony Ryall was symbolic. Housing New Zealand does not hold keys to its tenanted properties.

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