• Murray McCully
Housing New Zealand Ltd

"The raft of housing initiatives announced by the National minority Government are good news for thousands of low income New Zealand families in both rural and urban areas," Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Murray McCully said today.

"The Policies for Progress announced this week for Housing show this Government's substantial commitment and determination to deal with the issues at the heart of New Zealanders' concerns in a balanced and responsible way.

"Thanks to the initiatives announced this week, more than 15,000 Housing New Zealand tenants will receive rent reductions during the next six weeks and thousands more over the coming months.

"These reductions, of between $5 and more than $20 a week, are the result of new rent-setting procedures, a new maximum vacancy rate and the flat rental market.

"Housing New Zealand's rent reductions are also expected to bring downward pressure on the private rental market, which will benefit thousands more New Zealand families."

"The housing problems faced by those families in remote parts of New Zealand are also going to be addressed through enhancing the Low Deposit Rural Lending Programme, the introduction of Group Self Build Schemes and developing Housing Corporation and iwi partnerships.

"Travelling around Northland over the past couple of days, the Prime Minister and I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm with which these initiatives have been received by the iwi and families. We met families today who, thanks to this Government's policies, are going to take the step towards home ownership. A dream which was beyond their grasp before now.

"The cynicism and criticism of the Opposition parties over the past week is simply a cover for their own inability to come out with constructive or affordable policies. Even those policies they have lately dreamed up do not show how they will be paid for. Instead they build on the past legacy of the Opposition of borrowing against future generations."