Labour Won't Accept Housing Recommendation
ACT New Zealand Housing Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today applauded the Ombudsman for his common sense in recommending
the Ministry of Social Development to provide courts with address details of beneficiaries who owe money to private
"This is a major embarrassment for the Government, which has snuggled up to tenancy advocacy groups and lashed out at
private property owners at every opportunity.
"Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey's stonewalling of the Ombudsman is reprehensible. Mr Maharey is
being grossly irresponsible to force court action because he refuses to accept the Ombudsman's recommendation.
"The Government's window dressing measure of establishing a "data matching programme" is nothing more than
"Landlords owed money have to provide the court bailiff with the tenant's new address. It is a fraught and often
impossible task. When a tenant is a beneficiary, the Department of Work and Income refuses to provide address
information to an officer of the courts. The Department cites the Privacy Act, even though they provide the address if
the order is for a criminal offence rather than a civil one.
"The ACT party has a fundamental belief in upholding the rule of law. We recognise that the majority of the 40,000
applications every year to the Tenancy Tribunal are from landlords seeking justice from tenants who leave without paying
the rent or compensating for damage to the property
"Labour has allowed the justice arm of Government to be thwarted by its own department, and today Social Services and
Employment Minister Steve Maharey has chosen to prolong the unfairness inflicted on private landlords," Dr Newman said.