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Govt priorities on leaky homes all wrong

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

8 November 2006

Govt priorities on leaky homes all wrong

The Government has its priorities all wrong if it thinks that hiring spin doctors and spending hundreds of thousands on education campaigns will help fix the leaky buildings issue, says National’s Housing spokesman, Phil Heatley.

He is referring to answers from the Department of Building and Housing to questions from the Social Services Select Committee.

“The answers reveal a torrent of taxpayer dollars is being poured into public relations staff and education campaigns.

“One million dollars is to be spent for a two-year Weathertight Homes Resolution Service ‘consumer education campaign’, $468,420 was spent in 2005-06 on departmental communications consultants, $537,726 on departmental communications staff, and $320,932 on the 2005-06 ‘education budget’.

“Meanwhile, a Cabinet paper late last year estimated 15,000 dwellings have fallen victim to leaky building syndrome and the repair bill will reach $1 billion.

“There are just over 3,000 active outstanding claims with the WHRS, which are currently taking on average 14 months to resolve.

“Owners of leaky homes will be disgusted to know that the department is looking at spending so much cash on their image, rather than the problem.

“My concern is for families in leaking homes, who are being told everything is okay. It’s not okay. Labour’s priorities are all wrong.”

ENDS

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