Homes and jobs in Labour’s sights

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCONNELL

Get­ting peo­ple into homes and jobs are key is­sues in Porirua, says Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle.

Lit­tle at­tended a Labour fundraiser run by Mana MP Kris Faafoi at Light House Cinema, Pau­ata­hanui, on March 2.

‘‘Hous­ing is a big is­sue here,’’ he said about Porirua.

‘‘We know there are a lot of empty state houses and they might be two or three-bed­room houses, but nev­er­the­less if there are peo­ple who are home­less it is a place where they could go.

‘‘The idea that in this day and age in New Zealand peo­ple should go home­less is not some­thing we should tol­er­ate.’’

Lit­tle said he was con­cerned that if 8000 state homes were sold by the Gov­ern­ment this year it would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on Porirua by putting more pres­sure on the pri­vate rental mar­ket and in­flat­ing rents.

‘‘On ev­ery score, I see the Gov­ern­ment’s re­cently an­nounced pol­icy as mak­ing it harder for not only those re­liant on the state house sys­tem, but any­one in the pri­vate rental mar­ket.

‘‘It is go­ing to push up rental prices and it is not go­ing to be good for any­body.

‘‘They [the Gov­ern­ment] are not go­ing to sell 8000 state houses to com­mu­nity hous­ing groups, be­cause those groups can’t af­ford them so most of them will end up in the hands of prop­erty de­vel­op­ers.’’

He said al­ready bad land­lords and be­low par rental prop­er­ties were a prob­lem and it would only get worse un­less a war­rant of fit­ness was set up to make sure houses were liv­able.

It wasn’t just hous­ing on the front of the Op­po­si­tion leader’s mind.

He spoke to about 60 peo­ple at the fundraiser about how his aim was to in­crease em­ploy­ment.

‘‘Like ev­ery­where else, jobs is a big is­sue in Porirua. The un­em­ploy­ment rate here is higher than the na­tional av­er­age.

‘‘ The youth un­em­ploy­ment here is high and we have to do a lot bet­ter to make sure young peo­ple get job op­por­tu­ni­ties and don’t get into a cy­cle of hav­ing no op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’

Though last year’s elec­tion was a ti­dal wave win for Kris Faafoi, with a 8000-vote lead over Hekia Parata, it was not so for the Labour Party – Na­tional won the Mana party vote by 2500 votes. Lit­tle was quick to say 2017 would be dif­fer­ent.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCONNELL

Left lean­ing:

Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle with Mana MP Kris Faafoi.

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