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Heatley: Labour In La-La Land Over House Numbers

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Heatley
Phil Heatley

12 February 2009 - Housing Minister Phil Heatley says the public should be under no illusion whatsoever about who is dealing in smoke and mirrors when it comes to state house numbers: it's Labour.

"As Phil Goff said in Parliament today, the Labour Government promised the public a further 650 state houses would be delivered in the 2008/09 fiscal year.

"Last year's Housing New Zealand Corporation Statement of Intent told Labour it could only deliver 530-550 new state houses.

"And then, since taking office as Housing Minister, I've been further advised by Housing New Zealand that they were only adequately funded by Labour to deliver 475. I expect formal documentation of this fact soon.

"What was National's response?

"We said we would upgrade the state housing stock as a high priority because we were disgusted Labour had become a slum landlord.

"Seeing the need, particularly in South Auckland, we committed to delivering the balance of the 475 state houses. Then yesterday, as part of the Government's Jobs and Growth package, we announced we would fund the building of an additional 69 houses over the next six months, taking the total that will be delivered in the 2008/09 fiscal year to 544.

"As much as Labour will hate to admit it, the facts are that under their five month tenure in government during the 2008/09 fiscal year a mere 154 new state houses were delivered. In the remaining seven months of the fiscal year since taking office National will deliver 321, plus 69, for a total of 390.

"Labour's claims to be the friend of state house tenants ring pretty hollow when National can not only deliver more new state houses than them but also begin the huge task of addressing the $2 billion of deferred maintenance and upgrades that occurred on Labour's watch.

"The reality of Labour's latest case of amnesia is clear for all to see on page 32 of the Housing New Zealand Corporation Statement of Intent 2008/09 at this link: http://www.hnzc.co.nz/hnzc/dms/4D75BC28071DF461D858810C3A09EB13.pdf.

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