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Labour’s Own Policy Donut -and A Policy Win For Landlords From ACT

“Fresh from accusing National of carrying out a policy donut, Labour appear to have done one of their own when it comes to Healthy Homes Standards,” says ACT housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Until very recently Labour insisted that Kainga Ora homes would meet the Healthy Homes standards on schedule. Then, this week ACT obtained information that Labour were set to give Kainga Ora, but not private landlords, another extension and announce it next week.

“Today the Minister’s office is briefing journalists that the Government may extend the healthy homes deadline for all landlords. First it was Kainga Ora only for an extension, now everyone gets an extension .

“Megan Woods has taken her lowered Honda Civic down to the carpark, poured diesel on the asphalt and lit it up big time. She’s spinning so fast even she doesn’t know which direction she’s pointed. Does healthy homes apply to all rentals, or just her Kainga Ora ones, or all rentals again?

“Nevertheless, ACT has just scared Labour into giving private landlords a break. This is an enormous victory. Labour will no doubt claim they intended to give all landlords a break all along. If that is so they should produce the evidence. We believe they are now giving private landlords a break because they got caught on the hop.

“This is a very good example of why the Government should not be in business when it is the regulator of the business. The risk is too great that Government-as-regulator will do special favours for Government-as-operator. Healthy Homes exemptions for Kainga Ora is one exemptions. Councils giving themselves permits to discharge sewage into the sea is another.

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“It would be better if the Government stopped putting costly regulations onto housing. If people want to upgrade their home, or move to a better rental, they will. If their priorities are elsewhere, they should not be forced to pay because Government regulations insist on it.

“It would be better if the Government was not in the homebuilding and renting business. They have been terrible as an owner for decades, as anyone driving past old KO homes can tell. They have spent far too much on inefficient building, altogether they have been a disaster as builders and landlords.

“If the Government insists on being an owner or a regulator of housing then it should pick one, it certainly should not be both. The Government should be held to the same standard as it holds others to.”

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