Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says about a hundred letters have come across his desk in the past week, all of which are concerns over housing.
“This is the biggest issue that comes across my desk. There are many families in Auckland who are affected by the actions being taken by the government,” says MP Henare.
About 22,000 state houses are considered not fit for purpose by the government, valued between $5 - $6 billion. Labour admits some of those homes should be sold but wants a guarantee from the government that revenue from those sales will be invested back into the portfolio.
“We want to see the plan beyond the sale so we are clear where exactly the government stands on this matter. If we don't know what their intentions are we remain in the dark,” says MP Henare.
Some tribes have a first right of refusal clause included in their Treaty settlements over state houses, including Waikato-Tainui.
Chairman of Te Arataura, Rahui Papa says, “Our tribe has certainly secured a number of houses through this clause to be able to then sell them on to our constituents. So, it's an initiative that has been used for a long time now between Waikato and the Crown.”
Mr Papa says many tribes, including Waikato-Tainui, already have a housing strategy. His challenge to the government is that it does not relinquish its own responsibility to social housing.
“If the government relinquishes its responsibility to house New Zealanders in warm and safe homes that would be cause for great concern,” he goes on to say.
A decision hasn't yet been made by the government as to how many houses will be sold and where the revenue of those sales will go, so standby for those details.