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Housing New Zealand Corporation—Confidence

Tuesday 29 July 2008 Hansard source (external site)

Heatley12. PHIL HEATLEY (National—Whangarei) Link to this
to the Minister of Housing

Does she have confidence in Housing New Zealand Corporation; if so, why?

StreetHon MARYAN STREET (Minister of Housing) Link to this

Yes; much more than I would have had when the corporation was effectively a real estate agency under the last National Government.

HeatleyPhil Heatley Link to this

How did a New Lynn State house tenant manage to illegally sublet that State house for 8 years and 6 months, right under the nose of the corporation?

StreetHon MARYAN STREET Link to this

A review of investigation processes around subletting was carried out last year, and better processes are used now than have been used previously.

MahareyHon Steve Maharey Link to this

Has she seen any reports about plans to sell State houses?

StreetHon MARYAN STREET Link to this

Yes. I have seen a report that National is telling tenants it will sell their houses to them. Unfortunately, this policy is unaffordable for the vast majority of tenants, as the average income of State house tenants is just over $17,000 a year, and they can therefore afford a mortgage of only $52,000. However, the average value of a State house is over $300,000 in Auckland and Wellington, and $230,000 in Christchurch. This is just another example of National telling people what it thinks they want to hear, and I think it should stop leading people up the garden path.

HeatleyPhil Heatley Link to this

How did this State house tenant manage to sublet a State house illegally for 8½ years, under the corporation’s nose?

StreetHon MARYAN STREET Link to this

I advise the House that tenants who sublet their properties are in breach of their tenancy agreements, and Housing New Zealand Corporation will seek remedy in the Tenancy Tribunal in such cases. Sometimes the facts are not immediately apparent.

HeatleyPhil Heatley Link to this

I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I have spent two supplementary questions asking the Minister how a State house tenant illegally sublet a house under the corporation’s nose for 8½ years. She has not answered how that person managed to get away with that.

WilsonMadam SPEAKER Link to this

I have listened carefully, Mr Heatley. You raise this point every time you ask questions, as you are perfectly entitled to do. However, that is why I listened especially carefully to the answers. The Minister addressed the question.

HeatleyPhil Heatley Link to this

How did another State house tenant manage to sublet a State house for 8 years and 3 months, under the corporation’s nose?

StreetHon MARYAN STREET Link to this

Cases of subletting are not immediately obvious to Housing New Zealand Corporation. I also advise the House that as at 30 June 2008 only 1.5 percent of all cases referred to the investigations unit were proven to be subletting. That is 54 proven subletting cases out of 3,500 referrals.

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