Housing Amendment Bill - Third reading

Thursday, February 18, 2016

STUART SMITH: We heard before one of the previous speakers saying that this legislation defines what the National Party and the National Government stand for, and I totally agree. It does.

It is right in the name of the original bill: “reform”. It is about social housing reform, and the speaker whom I have just followed, Marama Fox, also said it is about choice. I totally agree that it is about choice.

But it is making change. When you reform you make change, and there are some people, particularly the more conservative, who do not like change. It is difficult for them to accept. I understand that, and although I have empathy for that view, we cannot stay where we are, doing the same old things all the time, or we will get the same results.

We have heard lots of speakers say today that Housing New Zealand houses are not up to scratch. Well, that is right; in some cases, they are not. That is what this is about: dealing with it.

This is about getting out there and getting other choices, and what will come with other choices will be innovation. What this legislation is about is putting what is important at the centre, and what is that? The people who need social housing. It is not about the people who own the houses; it is about the people who need the houses.

On that note, it is with great pleasure that I commend this legislation to the House. Thank you.