The Green Party is calling on the Government to immediately rule out selling off state houses to Australian interests, after Bill English conceded it was on the cards on The Nation this morning.
“By revealing that Australian businesses have been looking to purchase our state houses at bargain-basement prices, Bill English is also admitting that no-one in New Zealand wants to buy them, and that his grand sell-off plan is in tatters,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“There’s such a lack of interest from New Zealand buyers that he has to look to offshore investors to try to save face ¬– what an absolute farce.
“It’s the New Zealand Government’s duty to house the most vulnerable New Zealanders; it’s not the duty of Australian businesses or charities.
“There’s a lot at stake here: Australian businesses and charities could potentially become some of the wealthiest and most powerful landlords in New Zealand, and they’ll be overseeing the tenancies of our most vulnerable, needy people.
“John Key’s Government is notoriously short-sighted and selling off state houses to foreign interests is yet another example of this.
“National seems determined to do everything but what’s needed when it comes to housing – and that’s building more state houses and more affordable housing.
“The Government’s got the existing stock and they’ve got the ability to borrow cheaply.
“They could be improving the quality of our existing state homes and building safe, warm, secure housing for New Zealanders to live in, but instead they’re desperately trying to rid themselves of the responsibility for state houses and for the welfare of the people who live in them,” said Mrs Turei.