Suppressed housing report shows National’s ideological policy a failure


A Treasury report into National’s social housing policy details how fundamentally flawed its ideology-driven approach is, the PSA says.

The report was suppressed by then State Housing Minister Paula Bennett but was released after an appeal to the Ombudsman under the Official Information Act.

It details the lack of an overall plan to boost housing supply, particularly in Auckland, and urged the government to take action.

"This 2015 report paints a picture of a fragmented and flawed housing policy, and the significant risks of the market-driven approach taken by National," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

The report is also critical of the governance of the policy by Ministers. 

"It’s obvious that the three ministers involved oversaw a fractured process where there was little understanding of how to meet the needs of a growing number of New Zealanders," Mr Barclay says.

"They also grossly underestimated the ability of community housing providers to step up and take a leading role in the provision of social housing."

Mr Barclay says he is pleased to hear progress has been made since the report was issued, but there is far more to be done.

"The government has urgent questions to answer: why did they allow our social housing policy to go so badly wrong and what are they doing to fix it.

"I would also like to hear an explanation of why the Minister chose to suppress this report when it is clearly in the public interest to release it.

"Everything about this saga confirms our position: social housing needs to be treated as a public good, be better co-ordinated and have stronger lines of ministerial accountability."