Australians may buy significant proportion of New Zealand state homes

There is a desperate need for proper state housing in New Zealand and the politics concerned with such housing continue to cause problems for the Government.

Finance Minister Bill English’s latest controversial announcement has attracted criticism from opposing political parties as he has recently confirmed that the Government may sell up to 500 state homes to an Australian company, Horizon Homes. Earlier this year, the Government announced that it planned to sell thousands of state homes in the country by 2017. There was, however, no identified major local provider. Now, it seems that, due to the lack of New Zealand buyers (the Salvation Army dropped out and local Iwi apparently do not want to pay), the Government has had to consider other interested buyers based outside of New Zealand.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei made a point of saying that ‘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.’

See here for more detail.

It will be interesting to see if the Government does go ahead with this controversial sale. Meanwhile the sad reality is that many families are still in urgent need of state homes.

See here for more detail.

The death of a 2 year old in August 2014 sparked public outrage on the poor conditions of state homes and encouraged Labour to continue pushing for the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill 2013. This Bill aims to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 to ensure that every rental home in New Zealand meets minimum standards of heating and insulation. This Bill has not yet had its first reading.

See here for more detail.

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