‘Cri­sis’ dis­cussed in 2010

Central Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - STAFF RE­PORTER

Prime Min­is­ter Bill English can­not re­call whether he talked about a loom­ing hous­ing short­age as a ‘‘cri­sis’’ dur­ing a 2010 con­ver­sa­tion with a se­nior Sal­va­tion Army staff mem­ber

At a hous­ing de­bate in Welling­ton on June 7, Ma­jor Camp­bell Roberts said English, then fi­nance min­is­ter, had said in 2010 Auck­land was head­ing to­ward a ma­jor hous­ing cri­sis by 2015 or 2016, RNZ re­ported.

English made the com­ments dur­ing a phone call when ask­ing Roberts to be a mem­ber of the Hous­ing Share­hold­ers Ad­vi­sory Group.

Af­ter talk­ing about the use of Hous­ing NZ as­sets, the sec­ond thing he said was that ‘‘he was see­ing a ma­jor cri­sis in Auck­land in hous­ing in five or six years,’’ Roberts told RNZ.

The rev­e­la­tion was in con­trast to the Gov­ern­ment’s pub­lic stance, in which it has stead­fastly de­nied the ex­is­tence of a cri­sis.

A spokesper­son for the Prime Min­is­ter said that at the time the Gov­ern­ment was seek­ing ad­vice from a range of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity groups, as it sought to re­form the state hous­ing and plan­ning sys­tem which was af­fect­ing the abil­ity to build for a grow­ing coun­try and econ­omy.

They said the Gov­ern­ment had al­ways ac­knowl­edged hous­ing was a chal­lenge.

JANE SAN­DERS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Ma­jor Camp­bell Roberts made the rev­e­la­tions at a hous­ing de­bate in Welling­ton.

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