Empty state house reveals National’s empty promises

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Questions asked about an empty state house in Nelson have revealed the true extent of restructuring and frontline job losses at Housing New Zealand says Labour Housing Spokesperson Moana Mackey.Moana Mackey Housing spokesperson

5 October 2011

Empty state house reveals National’s empty promises

Questions asked about an empty state house in Nelson have revealed the true extent of restructuring and frontline job losses at Housing New Zealand says Labour Housing Spokesperson Moana Mackey.

“Questions asked about the Dodson Valley state house which has been empty all year revealed that Housing NZ’s Nelson office is so short of staff that they are having to operate on reduced hours,” Moana Mackey said.

“National promised no cuts to frontline services but recently had to admit that around 100 frontline Housing New Zealand positions will be axed across the country. The Housing Minister then tried to wriggle out of it by claiming that even though frontline staff were being fired the same level of service would be provided.

“The experience in Nelson shows that this simply is not true. Job cuts are already resulting in overwhelmed neighbourhood units being unable to carry out basic functions.

“Nelson MP Nick Smith might well think it’s unacceptable that the property has sat vacant for so long but it is his government’s funding cuts and restructuring of Housing New Zealand that are to blame, not overworked and under-resourced Housing New Zealand staff.

“These changes are being rammed through hastily and without any consultation with the communities and agencies that will have to pick up the pieces.

“It also appears that even Housing New Zealand’s staff were not aware of or consulted about the changes given that as recently as June Housing New Zealand told the Nelson mail that they had no plans for restructuring or reductions in staffing.

“These changes will not lead to better housing outcomes as the Government claims. In fact they are already resulting in reduced services leading to greater hardship for vulnerable families. That is National’s true legacy in housing,” Moana Mackey said.

ENDS

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