HNZ more interested in new office chairs rather than urgent state house renovations…

Picture Taita Lower Hutt

Boardroom Chairs

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is planning renovations worth $3 million, but they won’t include new kitchens for state houses – the work will be to the corporation’s offices.

A number of homes on Seddon St in Wellington’s Naenae are owned by the Government, but no one can live in them because they’re in desperate need of renovation.

But HNZ is renovating elsewhere – it’s forecast to spend $3 million on its office renovations over the next year.

Labour says that’s not on.

“I think most people would think it’s on the nose for the Government to spend $3 million refurbishing its offices at the same when they are sending people to live in garages and sheds. It’s not on really,” housing spokesman Phil Twyford says.

But HNZ says its office renovations are actually cheap in the scheme of things.

“Every brass cent that we spend is spent making sure that our tenants and their families have good lives in warm safe and dry houses,” says a HNZ spokeswoman says.

“We don’t look to extravagantly spend, we don’t look to extra spend anywhere other than where it’s needed.”

When compared to the average government agency spend – which is about $1600 per square metre – HNZ comes in well under, with renovations costing less than $1000 per square metre.
And it also budgeted $3 million for renovations last year, but only spent half of that.

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