State housing asset sale? Or stock rationalisation?

I fear National have thus far under estimated the left and the media’s ability to turn what is in fact a rationalisation of the Housing New Zealand stock, into something that looks like an asset sale by stealth.

Labour has produced documents which it says proves the Government’s been quietly planning [the sale of 22,000] for 18 months.

The Government owns around 68,000 state homes and Finance Minister Bill English appears to have signed off the sale of thousands of them on Monday at the weekly Cabinet meeting of ministers.

One of the Prime Minister’s first moves after the election was to appoint Mr English in charge of the housing sell off.

Up to a third, or 22,000 homes, are flagged as being in the wrong place or wrong size and potentially on the chopping block, but Mr English refuses to discuss it.

Labour claims the Government’s been quietly planning the sell-off for 18 months. It’s obtained a letter dated July 2013 from Housing Minister Nick Smith to Housing New Zealand’s acting chairwoman titled ‘Annual Letter of Expectations’. It says the Government expects Housing New Zealand will likely own a significantly smaller number of houses in 10 years’ time.

So it appears the Government is about to, or already has, signed off on the sale and up to 22,000 houses could be on the chopping block.

However, it may not be officially announced until Mr Key’s State of the Nation speech early in the new year, with the Government set to make housing one of its main priorities for 2015.

If the left and the media manage to pitch the idea that this is an asset sale in spite of National promising their would be no more of those, that will be another burden to carry come 2017.  Unless they can cycle it through quickly enough, the programme will be ongoing, and provide continuous opportunities for the story to be put back into the news.

Week after week some poor sod will be put out of a 5 bedroom home they lived in for 30 years, but all the kids are left and now it’s just them.

Risky stuff.

Going to need astute management of the message.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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