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558 state houses left empty based on dodgy P testing

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain whether the 558 state houses the Government has left vacant due to methamphetamine residue are in fact contaminated in light of revelations Housing NZ has messed up the testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“In the middle of a housing crisis when families are living in cars it would be negligent of the Government to leave hundreds of homes empty if it turns out there is no residue that poses any risk to the health of tenants.

“For a Minister who has been so eager to talk up the problem of P contamination in state housing, Paula Bennett has been strangely quiet about this fiasco.

“Paula Bennett needs to front up. It is sheer arrogance for her to hide from the taxpayers who not only pay her salary but also coughed up the $22 million she has wasted against Ministry of Health advice.

“After months of warnings by scientists and now Ministry of Health officials, Housing NZ still haven’t owned up to their mistakes and acknowledged that they have wasted $22 million in taxpayer’s money.

“Housing NZ have evicted tenants on the basis of dodgy testing procedures that do not distinguish between methamphetamine contamination caused by state houses being used as P labs and meth consumption which leaves no dangerous residue in the houses.

“If those 558 houses are not contaminated, and do not pose a health risk to the tenants then there are hundreds of Kiwi families desperate for an affordable rental home that sure could use them,” says Phil Twyford.