IHC's potential state housing deal sparks protest

By Ripeka Timutimu

A group opposing the sale of state houses in Tauranga says iwi should stay away from purchasing the government stock.

The State Housing Action Network rallied today against a possible deal which could see IHC own around 1000 state houses in Tauranga. 

"We are here naming and shaming IHC."

“They are planning on buying around 1000 state houses in Tauranga so that’s almost the entire stock in Tauranga, we are saying that we don't want them to collude in Nationals policies, there's a national housing crisis at the moment,” said Paretutanganui-Tamati.

The IHC was unable to provide a spokesperson on camera but in a statement provided to Te Kāea, it said that it had a continued interest in the state houses in Tauranga and it was too early to say if it was a done deal or not, but that it wouldn't enter a deal unless they could be sure of improving conditions for tenants.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett announced a new social housing site in Royal Oak alongside the Salvation Army.

Spokesperson for Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranginui, Pio Kawe says they will purchase 115 state houses under their Right of First Refusal and are interested in buying more. But the State Housing Action Network will oppose it.

Paretutanganui-Tamati says, “Aren't we the best people though to take care of our own people? Well yes and that’s why the government should go into partnership with Iwi to build more houses.”

It's expected a decision will be made in the New Year regarding the sale of state houses in Tauranga.