Rorting the Housing Corp

National MP Phil Heatley nailed Housing Minister Chris Carter yesterday (appalling image, I know) with some serious questions about Housing NZ practices. Listening live, Chris Carter was seriously caught on the back foot and was back peddling as fast as he could.

[quote]8. PHIL HEATLEY (National—Whangarei) to the Minister of Housing: Does he have confidence in Housing New Zealand Corporation; if so, why?

Hon CHRIS CARTER (Minister of Housing): Yes; but there is always room for improvement.

Phil Heatley: How is it that a person can be allocated a State house in Māngere, and, at the same time, own a holiday home in Russell?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: I would welcome further information about that case.

Phil Heatley: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I ask you to judge whether that is a fair answer, given that the Minister gave me that information yesterday with a cover letter.

Madam SPEAKER: As the member knows, that is not a point of order.

Phil Heatley: How is it that a person not only can get away with owning a holiday home in Russell while having a State house but also can get away with not living in the State house, instead renting it out for a tidy profit to an unwitting family?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: I am astonished to learn that that member claims he received a letter from me about this subject yesterday. I would like to sit down with him after question time, be shown this letter, and find out a bit more information about this case. It is really astonishing.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table the letter

Leave granted.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table the Official Information Act request explaining these details.

Leave granted.

Phil Heatley: What action has the Minister taken to investigate Housing New Zealand Corporation over this scam, given that one of the neighbours has formally testified to the corporation that the tenant “gloated he knew someone in Housing; that is how he got the place.”?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: Such alleged behaviour by a tenant would be totally inappropriate. I will be investigating it very carefully after question time.

Phil Heatley: Was the State house tenant ever prosecuted, and was an official investigation ever made into allegations that to pull off this scam the tenant had insider help from a Housing New Zealand Corporation mate?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: All sorts of allegations can be made by all sorts of people. I can assure this House that I will be looking into this case very carefully, very quickly.[/quote]

As you can see Carter knew absolutely nothing about this, so we are now being asked to beilieve his spin that something was being done all along….I think not Minister.

The couple living in the house, who paid the man $210 a week in rent, only found out they were tied up in the rort when they applied for a state house – to be told they were already living in one.

The man, who also owned a holiday home in the Bay of Islands, was paying $133 a week for the state house – and pocketing the $70 difference.

Not only that the documents show that the man tried to sell the house at one stage despite, not even owning it.

This is clearly another case of a Minister not knowing what is going on in his own portfolio.

 


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