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Where are the laptops Mr Heatley?

Annette King
Spokesperson for Housing

22 August 2012

Where are the laptops Mr Heatley?

Housing Minister Phil Heatley has been caught out spinning nonsense about his corporation going high-tech when the reality is tenancy managers don’t even have laptops, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.

“The Minister’s recent justification for his huge IT spent-up was to suggest that Housing New Zealand was being brought ‘into the 21st century so tenancy people can be out in the field visiting tenants with laptops’.[1]

“The Minister repeated that in Question Time when he said tenancy managers would have laptops.

“But Housing New Zealand has now confirmed that staff have never had laptops and are even having to share smart phones and cameras.

“There seems to be a growing divide between the Minister and his officials,” Annette King said.

“Staff are working without the technical support they were promised and the Minister must be held to account.

“Housing New Zealand’s refusal to answer select committee questions around the number of laptops in use in 2012 / 2013 is also preventing transparency on the issue.

“An investment like this should translate into a better service for tenants and it simply hasn’t.

“What we are left with is tenants who are unable to contact Housing New Zealand, and tenancy managers who don’t have the equipment they need to do their jobs.

“Housing New Zealand spent $40 million on contractors and consultants in the year to the end of April. This blowout comes at the same time HNZ is being forced to cut back maintaining properties.

“According to the Minister much of the spend went on kitting out tenancy officers with new laptops and cell phones to introduce a ‘new and better way of doing business’.

“This is like a repeat of his ‘smarter, fairer, faster’ rhetoric. The slogans don’t match the situation on the ground. Tenants who deserve support are going without,” Annette King said.

[1] Radio New Zealand, 1 Aug 2012, Housing Minister isn't aware of family of 17 living on a single Aranui property.

ENDS

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