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Auckland mayor a disgrace over affordable housing

12 December 2007

Auckland mayor a disgrace over affordable housing

The Green Party is shocked that the Auckland City Council plans to break an affordable housing contract at a council meeting tomorrow.

Auckland Green Party MP and Housing Spokesperson Sue Bradford says "It is disgraceful that John Banks and his team seem prepared to dishonour an already signed contract at a time when every political party and every citizen is aware of the housing affordability crisis in the Auckland region, I think.

"The Green Party believes the Council took a great step forward this year when it formed a partnership with the New Zealand Housing Foundation to build around 100 affordable homes over the next five years.

"For once Auckland City was taking the lead in an area where it has been notoriously backward, especially after John Banks sold off council housing during his previous administration.

"I call on Mr Banks and his colleagues to act in a socially and ethically responsible manner and reverse their apparent decision to break the contract.

"At Parliament we are holding a Select Committee Inquiry into housing affordability. Many submitters are begging us to support any initiatives at local, regional and national level that can make housing more available to low and middle income earners and beneficiaries.

"In calling for this inquiry, even the National Party appears concerned about the unaffordability of housing for ordinary people.

"Auckland City is flying in the face of public and political opinion on the seriousness of the housing crisis in the city.

"Breaking the contract may incur further legal costs for ratepayers - money that would be much better spent on providing housing than on lawyers' fees.

The Green Party congratulates Councillors Richard Northey, Leila Boyle, Cathy Casey, Graeme Easte, Glenda Fryer and Denise Roche for standing firm in support of the affordable housing initiative, and calls on the mayor and other councillors to think again.

"I thought John Banks was going to be more socially responsible this time around. If he goes ahead with this decision he is turning his back on any claim to socially or ethically responsible leadership."


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