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Alleged housing rort: Who knew what, when?

Alleged housing rort: Who knew what, when?

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is calling on Jim Anderton and Ruth Dyson to reveal when they found out about the alleged housing scam that’s been uncovered in Christchurch.

“The information I’ve received is that Housing New Zealand had been alerted to this alleged rort as early as May this year, and soon after that a whistleblower contacted Ms Dyson and Mr Anderton to raise the alarm. Did those Ministers follow it up?”

Mr Heatley notes that Housing New Zealand has confirmed it only launched an investigation into the alleged subletting of this taxpayer-funded property last month.

“But by all accounts, the tip-off was made more than six months ago. Senior Christchurch-based Ministers were contacted, yet it took until October for any investigation to begin. In the meantime, more than 11,500 people are languishing on the HNZ waiting list.”

Mr Heatley says there have also been suggestions that approaches to Housing New Zealand to raise the alarm on the alleged subletting were met with a hostile response.

“I understand that when one of Ms Dyson’s electorate office staff rang Housing New Zealand to alert them to the situation on behalf of a whistleblower they were given the brush-off. Housing Minister Chris Carter needs to start asking, and answering, some honest questions.”

Mr Heatley says when he asked Mr Carter to elaborate on a statement that a state house subletting scam in Auckland was not an isolated incident he was stonewalled.

“Mr Carter has bluntly refused to answer parliamentary questions about the number of prosecutions and the level of enforcement. Clearly he does not care about the thousands of needy families waiting legitimately in line for a state home.”

Ends

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