News release from John Minto
“Disingenuous, dishonest and deceitful is how I’d describe Housing New Zealand’s defence of government policy in the wake of the arrest of Hone Harawira and other housing activists in Glen Innes last night” said Mana Vice President John Minto this morning.
“HNZ is repeating this misinformation and relying on public misunderstanding to get public support for its policies.
“The HNZ development in Glen Innes is nothing short of ethnic and social cleansing. They want to get rid of poor brown families from the suburb to make way for a cafe-culture community by the sea”.
Yesterday Mana put out a media release which responded to the responses raised by HNZ today. The release is as follows:
“It is deceitful for Housing New Zealand to claim that demolishing 700 state houses nationwide is not a deliberate government policy to reduce state housing” says MANA Vice President John Minto.
Housing New Zealand spokespeople (including Sean Bignell on TVNZ last night) have variously claimed that the sale/removal/demolition of these houses is because:
· The houses are in the wrong areas
· The houses are an earthquake risk
· The houses are subject to vandalism
· There is no demand for these houses
· They are the wrong size for the families that need them
· Tenants don’t want to move into areas like Glen Innes, Pomare or Maraenui
“These so-called justifications are a smokescreen to cover a deliberate government plan to reduce state house numbers across the country”.
“New Zealand has a housing crisis many thousands of families needing decent, affordable housing but the government dramatically changed the criteria from 1 July last year so that most of these families do not qualify for state housing. Therefore the government claims these houses are no longer needed. Housing Minister Phil Heatley is doubling as the government’s Propaganda Minster”.
Mana will be supporting the Housing Crisis Day of Action in Wellington on 7 November which includes a march to Parliament leaving from Civic Square at 12 noon with the demands:
• Stop the sale of state houses
• Let all vacant state houses to families in crisis
• Withdraw the draconian requirements to get a state house
• Reopen Housing New Zealand offices
• Build 20,000 new state homes