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Tariana Turia might be ‘shocked’ that homeless families have been denied Housing New Zealand assistance while state houses sit empty – but tenants on waiting lists would hardly see this as news, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King says.
“The Maori Party co-leader today vowed to take the issue of empty state houses ‘to Ministers for answers’.
“The last time I checked Ms Turia was a Minister and one that has been decidedly quiet on our escalating housing crisis,” Annette King said.
“Tariana Turia is in a position of power. Playing political catch-up while families are homeless is a disgrace.
“I wonder what Housing Minster Phil Heatley thinks about her position that ‘it doesn’t matter what size a house is’ and that ‘any house is better than a car’. His view has long been that families are finding themselves without homes thanks to our state housing stock being ‘in the wrong place, the wrong size and in poor condition’.
“I suggest they get their heads together on this one,” Annette King said.
“I have been in Flaxmere and Maraenui today where state houses are either empty, demolished or being sold off. Families here, who have had to double and treble up in a single household, don’t have time for politicking.
“They understand all too well how it feels to be without safe and secure housing and they need action,” Annette King said.