Government tried to hide housing report

The Government tried to prevent a critical housing report from being revealed but they were overruled by the Ombudsman under the Official Information Act.

The Government has faced a lot of criticism over it’s abuse of disclosure under the OIA. This is just one more example.

RNZ: Govt tried to keep critical housing report secret

A report the government tried to keep secret says its approach to social and affordable housing is fragmented and lacks a robust plan.

The external review of the Social Housing Reform Programme noted that, in Auckland, three ministers and four government agencies lacked an overall plan to boost housing supply.

This isn’t a surprise, the Government has looked disorganised and slow to react to growing housing issues.

The 135-page review, done for Treasury, was finished in December 2015.

Last September, then-Minister of Social Housing Paula Bennett refused to release the report to RNZ.

She said to do so would “prejudice the quality of information received” and “the wider public interest of effective government would not be served”.

RNZ obtained the report only after an appeal to the Ombudsman under the Official Information Act.

It shouldn’t be this difficult to get official information.

The review recommended a Social Housing Programme office, which would answer to key ministers and establish a single agency to manage property sales and the redevelopment of Crown land.

Withholding the report for six months allowed it to be released with a letter from the Ministry of Social Development’s deputy chief executive for social housing Scott Gallacher, which outlined subsequent progress.

The delay ensured more attention would be drawn to the report, and puts it into the public arena in election year. Things like this can nibble away at Government credibility, and could reach a tipping point.

National are looking increasingly vulnerable over housing and trying to keep reports secret and continuing to abuse the OIA won’t help their case.

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  2nd March 2017

    So the report suggests another layer of bureaucracy…………..no surprises there.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  3rd March 2017

    Quelle surprise. …not…typical of a government that has plumbed new depths in sharp practice. Slippery eels and liars.

    Reply

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