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Heatley’s figures deliberately misleading

8 November 2007 Media Statement

Heatley’s figures deliberately misleading

Figures released by National’s housing spokesperson Phil Heatley were a deliberate distortion of the truth, Housing Minister Maryan Street says.

Mr Heatley claimed in Parliament today that 8691 people were on Housing New Zealand’s waiting list in 1998, a figure lower than the 9955 currently on the list.

“Of course what Mr Heatley conveniently left out was that in 1998, state tenants waiting to be transferred to another house were not included in the figures as they are now,” Maryan Street said.

Official Housing New Zealand figures show the waiting list in 1998 was in fact 11,416 if transfers are included.

“What was even worse about Mr Heatley’s performance today was that in 1998, private sector property managers were contracted to manage some properties and the people on their lists were also not included,” Maryan Street said.

The waiting list when National was in office was higher than it is now by around 1500 families, the Minister said.

“The National Party sold off 13,000 houses during its term in government, turning Housing New Zealand into a real estate agency, charging market rents and allowing state homes to end up in the hands of developers.”

The Labour-led government was committed to providing secure and affordable housing for New Zealand’s most vulnerable families and Mr Heatley should stop trying to mislead the public with distorted figures, the Minister said.

ENDS

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