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Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend

Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“After Labour announced we will stop taking money out of Housing New Zealand, allowing it to use those funds to build more state houses and maintain existing ones better, National said they would follow suit.

“Steven Joyce announced by tweet that the Government would not be taking Housing NZ dividends for two years. That wasn’t true. National is planning to take $54m from Housing New Zealand this year as its dividend for 2015/16, along with $94m in income tax and $89m in interest on loans.

“National cannot say they are stopping their practice of profiteering from state houses, and then turn around take $237m out of Housing New Zealand.

“There aren’t enough state houses for families in need, and too many of the ones we have are in a deplorable state. The blame lies with a government that has sucked over half a billion dollars out of Housing New Zealand so far and, now, plans to take another $237m.

“National must now adopt Labour’s policy in full: make Housing New Zealand a public service and stop extracting profits from it, redirecting that money into ensuring families have a decent place to live,” says Mr Twyford.