Labour candidate Rob McCann says he was shocked and disappointed when current Ōtaki MP Nathan Guy told a packed public meeting, hosted by the Ōtaki Rotary Club on Thursday, that there wasn’t a housing crisis, it was a housing boom.
“I was astounded, so were the audience and the other candidates,” says Mr McCann.
“It was such a clear demonstration of how out of touch Mr Guy has become. To call the crisis a housing boom is insensitive at best and downright misleading at worst. We have the lowest rate of home ownership in 60 years, out of control house prices and rocketing rents. There are very few affordable houses being built, and the rate of building is not keeping up with record immigration numbers. This is putting extreme pressures on families, and no amount of talking about roads will fix this issue.”
Mr McCann had earlier produced a large photo of Andrew, a five day old baby, brought home to a flat that was not safe for a young child to live in.
“I was invited by Andrew’s mum to look at the flat which had doors missing, structural holes in the walls and no insulation. The most disturbing room was the bathroom, where the ceiling was covered in black mould and caving in, a hole had opened up next to the extractor fan and the wires were exposed.
“You couldn’t clean it, because the whole ceiling might come down and you can’t avoid it because it’s the bathroom. The mother approached the rental agency, and while their expert agreed it was serious, the landlord refused to fix it.
“The rental agency suggested the mother bath her baby in the kitchen sink. This same situation is happening right throughout the country.”
Public records show Mr Guy owns at least 21 properties, by far the most of any Member of Parliament.
“Rather than build houses the government were selling state houses and putting families up in motels. This was costing taxpayers over a million dollars a week.
“The good news is Labour does have a plan and our party leader Jacinda Ardern has just announced a raft of policies to get the crisis under control and restore hope to those who have been neglected for the last nine years,” says Mr McCann.