Kelly wrong

  • Murray McCully
Housing New Zealand Ltd

The Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, Murray McCully, says "the $122 million net surplus recorded for the 12 months to 30 June 1998 is only a modest 2.3% rate of return on these assets, given the fact that as at 30 June 1998 Housing New Zealand managed rental housing assets owned by the taxpayer which had a value of $5,152 million."

By comparison it is worth noting that Housing New Zealand customers received some $140 million in Accommodation Supplement payments from the Government for the year ended June 1998 to assist them with their housing needs, with a further estimated $650 million in Accommodation Supplement payments going to non-Housing New Zealand tenants.

So Housing New Zealand's profit for the 1997/98 financial year does not even equal the cost to the Crown of the Accommodation Supplement payments to Housing New Zealand customers.

"Moreover, Mr Kelly conveniently chooses to ignore the recently announced housing initiatives," said Mr McCully. "These initiatives included reduction in rents for over 15,000 Housing New Zealand tenants, a large number of whom are in urban areas, with more rent reductions to follow in the near future. Government is also making it easier for urban and rural New Zealanders with housing problems to find out what services are available to help them through a new 0800 number.

The initiatives also cover enhancements to the Low Deposit Rural Lending scheme including a reduced deposit and a 7 year fixed interest rate, both of these concerns have been identified as barriers to rural home ownership.