Housing minister squatted in plush residence

Published: Wed 28 Aug 2013 02:53 PM
Internal Affairs Spokesperson
28 August 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Housing minister squatted in plush residence
Labour is calling on Housing Minister Nick Smith to pay back more than $10,000 in rent after he squatted in his multi-million dollar ministerial home for six weeks after he resigned as a minister last year, Labour’s Internal Affairs spokesperson Trevor Mallard says.
“During this time, Dr Smith would have received free power, a house-keeping service, security, a gardener and a weekly sheet changing and laundry service.
“The Minister needs to set a good example and pay back more than $10,000 worth of rent he benefited from when he checked out late from his ministerial residence,” Trevor Mallard says.
“Dr Smith lived at 41 Pipitea Street in Thorndon until he resigned all his ministerial portfolios on 21 March, 2012.
“Documents revealed to Labour show Dr Smith vacated the property on 4 May, 2012, six weeks after he resigned. The Department of Internal Affairs received no rental for the property during the period Dr Smith was living at the property after he resigned.
“The property is a 450-square-metre, Historic Place Category 2 with six bedrooms, including a large foyer and reception area. It was sold to the National Party for $2.15 million in June.
“A six-bedroom home in neighbouring Te Aro is rented for $1,800 a week. This is equal to $10,800 over six weeks. Power and house-keeping services would cost an additional $650 over that period,” Trevor Mallard says.

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