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Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off

The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

"New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with a record number of people homeless and many families struggling to pay their rent. Labour will build thousands of extra state houses, but tragically the current National government is selling them off.

"The selloff programme is deeply flawed and has ground to a halt in Invercargill and the Horowhenua. However, Treasury has spent $9.76 million on the programme and $5.5 million of this has gone to consultants.

"This money could have been better spent on actually building state housing or improving the stock that we have. Instead the National Government has frittered it away on an ideological experiment.

"The waste is incredible – it includes $212,504 just this year for a single contractor responsible to lead the transactions, including the failed Invercargill venture.

“This will really stick in the craw of those on the state housing waiting list who are struggling to get access to decent housing.

"Labour has a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, from building more affordable houses, cracking down on speculators and providing additional emergency housing to make sure every New Zealander gets to live in a warm, dry and safe home,” says Grant Robertson.