Judith Collins tells Jacinda Ardern to stop hiding over election policy

Author
Audrey Young, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Aug 2020, 6:08PM
Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Judith Collins tells Jacinda Ardern to stop hiding over election policy

Author
Audrey Young, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Aug 2020, 6:08PM

National leader Judith Collins has accused the Government of "bashing landlords"
saying its policies have led to fewer rental houses, higher rents and a soaring state house waiting list.

She also accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of "hiding" by not releasing election policies.

National would have a "rolling maul" of policies this election.

Collins' criticism comes just as the Government is poised to pass the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill under urgency, before Parliament rises on Thursday, before the September 19 election.

The bill makes it harder for landlords to get rid of troublesome tenants.

At present, landlords can give a tenant 90 days' notice without having to provide a reason and 42 days' notice in some circumstances, such as landlords or their family wanting to move in, or if the property has been sold.

Tenants have to give only 21 days' notice.

The bill removes the right of landlords to end a tenancy for no cause - a way that landlords have traditionally used to end tenancies of anti-social tenants.

To remove an anti-social tenant under the new law, a landlord will have to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.

The tenant will need to have exhibited anti-social behaviour on three separate occasions within a 90-day period, and have received a written notice on each occasion from the landlord.

The application to the tribunal will need to be made within 28 days after the third notice.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament, Collins said it was "weird situation where the current Government basically came in bashing landlords".

"We've ended up with a situation where fewer people want to be landlords now, and what's happening is there are fewer houses for people to rent … and rents have gone up."

She said she was challenging Ardern to front up with policies - Ardern has said she will campaign on her record.

"I've been having a quick look at those which she's promised last time, and they're pretty much a failure," said Collins. "Kiwibuild by this time should have been announcing 16,000 homes built and she's got fewer than 400.

"Rents have gone up, not down. Homelessness has gone up, not down. Child poverty that she said she was going to be in charge of and sort out, has gone up not down on seven out of nine indicators."

"We have a current Prime Minister who is incapable of delivering on anything except slogans."

Collins also used Question Time to climb into Ardern over the Government's record on Kiwibuild.

But Ardern said the Government's record stood far in advance of anything that the last Government did, which sold roughly 6000 state houses.

She also pointed to the $400 million progressive home ownership scheme announced last week

She also said that growth under the Government averaged 2.3 per cent compared to 2.1 per cent under National; unemployment was 4 per cent compared to 4.7 under National and they had had the largest private sector wage growth in a decade.