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Labour’s housing bill a backward step

Labour’s housing bill a backward step

The Government’s new bill supposedly aimed at imposing stricter regulations on landlords does nothing to further improve the quality of New Zealand’s rentals, National’s Housing Spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“National strongly supports efforts to make homes warmer, drier and safer but Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill does nothing to further those aims and in fact takes a number of backward steps.

“The previous National-led Government took a range of practical measures which improved rental accommodation for tens of thousands of New Zealanders, without imposing unreasonable costs on landlords and driving up rents.

“We invested heavily in insulation and made it compulsory in all rental properties along with smoke alarms, and we changed the law to ensure bad landlords were more accountable.

“Under Labour’s bill, the date for homes to be insulated could actually be delayed and the responsibilities placed on landlords will remain the same, as will the penalties they face when they fail to comply.

“The requirements for homes to be heated, ventilated, properly drained and free of draughts are also already required under existing housing regulations - so what is the point of this needless legislation?

“As with a lot of what we are seeing from Labour, they are struggling to come up with ideas and when they manage to do so they are failing to deliver the detail.

“Instead we continue to see them impose superficial and ill-thought out changes which only create uncertainty, and then spin them as significant improvements.

“That’s exactly what we are seeing here. This latest bill is a waste of the House’s time and National won’t be supporting it.”

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