Via a Matt Nippert story (based on OIAs from Phil Twyford), which got a bit overlooked when it came out a week ago:
Housing New Zealand paid an investment banker $1.6 million to help it sell state houses, official documents show.
Low-profile Auckland banker Andrew Body gave advice to the Minister of Housing and secured lucrative contracts to implement the policy while also advising potential buyers of state housing stock – a dual role attacked by the Labour Party as a conflict of interest.
Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and Mr Body say correct procedures were followed, and conflicts were declared where required.
Mr Body was appointed in 2010 by then-Minister of Housing Phil Heatley to the housing shareholders advisory group, then later to an advisory panel to help form government policy on social housing.
And today we’ve learned:
Figures compiled by Labour showed that 443 state houses were sold in 2014, at an average of 13.3 per cent below the Government Valuation.
Labour claims Housing NZ has “lost” at least $13 million on the sales, with the total proceeds from sales where valuations were available raising $71.8m, compared to the $84.9m the houses were valued at.
Five state houses sold in 2014 raised more than $1m, including a $1.36m sale of a property in Devonport, about 5 per cent less than the property’s GV.
So Housing New Zealand is paying consultants millions of dollars to help it sell houses for less than the government valuation in the middle of a property boom to buyers advised by the same consultants. Meanwhile the quality of the homes still under care by the state are so poor their occupants are literally dying. This is just about the worst thing I’ve ever heard.