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Eke Panuku Must Explain Failure Of 'Own-your-own' Home Scheme

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is calling on Eke Panuku to explain why close to 60 Auckland Council-owned flats are sitting vacant and in a state of dire disrepair.

This morning, Radio New Zealand reported that more than a third of the flats owned as part of Auckland Council’s social housing scheme are vacant and deteriorating. The ‘Own-your-own’ home scheme was established in the 1970s and provides affordable housing to Aucklanders over the age of 65 through shared equity. However, under Mayor Phil Goff, the Council decided to sell its share in the scheme because it ran out of money to repair units.

Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesman Josh Van Veen said, “This is a damning indictment on the Council’s property management agency. Eke Panuku is funded by ratepayers to manage and develop the region’s assets. So why, amid a housing crisis, have the property managers at Eke Panuku allowed these units to remain vacant and fall into a state of disrepair?”

Eke Panuku employs 203 permanent staff. Information released under the Local Government Information and Meetings Act reveals that 50 of those staff are managers. This includes the nine-member Executive Leadership Team. The 41 non-executive managers are paid an average salary of $142,700.

“Eke Panuku must front up and explain why these highly paid managers and senior subject matter experts have run the ‘Own-your-own’ home scheme into the ground,” Mr. Van Veen said. “It is simply not good enough for the Council to shrug its shoulders and walk away. Auckland ratepayers spend $35 million a year on Eke Panuku. There needs to be democratic accountability here.”

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