National refuses to put people ahead of politics

National’s refusal to rise above partisan politics and support a parliamentary inquiry into homelessness is hugely disappointing, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“This is such an important issue that politics should be put aside and parties should work together to find solutions.

“The country has been shocked by the recent rise in homelessness. No New Zealander feels good about children sleeping rough and families living in their cars.

“Labour and the Green Party will go ahead and run their own inquiry; with hearings in a number of the main centres providing the opportunity for submissions from the public, experts and service providers.

“We would welcome the involvement of any other political party that wants to be part of this important work.

“Labour proposed a select committee inquiry because we believe it is time to try and find a cross-party consensus on how homelessness can be ended.

“The idea originally came from the Coalition to End Homelessness, a group of NGOs working with homeless people. More recently it has been advocated by the Salvation Army and the Auckland City Mission.

“It is disturbing that National MPs on the committee were supportive of our proposal, but they appear to have been slapped down by the Prime Minister who ruled out an inquiry on Monday,” Andrew Little says.

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