Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Wiri residents are dismayed at the number of state houses sitting empty in their community while families wait for assistance, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.
“Housing New Zealand is failing families in need by leaving vacant homes to be wrecked and ruined by water damage and vandalism.
“One house I visited in Wiri yesterday has been empty for 107 days. This kind of poor management makes a mockery of tax payer investment in social housing,” Annette King said.
“A hard-hitting report on the impacts of poorly managed housing was released last month. It called on the Government to give direction and guidance to Housing New Zealand to ensure that both asset management and outcomes for tenants are improved. 1
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“Housing Minister Phil Heatley has been flippant about which recommendations he will take seriously. But yesterday, Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia called for urgent action to address empty housing stock.
“I hope that was a ‘note to self’,” Annette King said.
“Not only is Mrs Turia a Minister in this Government, she is Associate Housing Minister and her colleague Pita Sharples is an Auckland based MP and Minister of Maori Affairs.
“The Maori Party has influence and it must use it.
“I have no doubt that Ministers Turia and Sharples are doing good work around the Cabinet table, especially with regard to Treaty negotiations, but 44 per cent of our social housing tenants are Maori2 and many more are in desperate need of assistance.
“They need to act on their words not only for their constituents but for all New Zealanders,” Annette King said.
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 Working Paper no.18 Housing Policy Recommendation to Address Child Poverty, Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, August 2012, p.3.
 Working Paper No.14: Reducing Child Poverty in Maori Whanau. Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, August 2012,p.10.