Govt must reveal potential buyers of state houses in Invercargill, Tauranga & elsewhere

The Government’s announcement that Invercargill and Tauranga will be the first centres to have their state houses sold off is the worst possible news for vulnerable residents of those communities, and shows just how little this Government has disclosed about its privatisation scheme, the Green Party said today.

“By selling off state houses in Invercargill, Tauranga and all over the country, the Government is experimenting with vulnerable people’s lives and putting them at further risk,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“There is still so much about this state-house sell-off that is secret; decisions that will hugely impact thousands of vulnerable Kiwis’ lives are being made right now behind closed doors at the Beehive.

“Paula Bennett needs to unequivocally rule out that these state houses could end up in the hands of private individuals or privately owned, profit-motivated companies.

“So far Paula Bennett has refused to name any possible buyers of these homes; all she’s really said is that the houses will be put to the market and that the Government will ‘see where that lands’.

“State house residents deserve to know who their landlord will be and whether their tenancies are secure.

“What motivation would profit-driven individuals or companies have to maintain and improve their housing stock, let alone honour tenancy agreements?

“Putting people’s lives in the hands of ‘the market’ is reckless and negligent.

“So is not telling the truth about what’s really happening with our state assets, and what impact that’s going to have on our most vulnerable people,” said Mrs Turei.