Housing Minister Phil Twyford needs to urgently look into security issues with houses in the McLennan development and direct Housing New Zealand to replace all failing locking systems, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“I have been contacted as the local MP about a failed locking system on state houses in the McLennan development, just along from the first of the KiwiBuild houses Mr Twyford and the Prime Minister opened last week.

“A Housing New Zealand tenant moved into their new home earlier this year, and has been burgled three times in the last two weeks, with the burglar breaking in with a screwdriver.

“The latest burglary has been defined by Police as aggravated burglary with intent to rape.

“The tenant has repeatedly asked Housing New Zealand to fix the locks so the tenant is able secure their home – currently the door can be unlocked using a screwdriver.

“But Housing New Zealand has failed to acknowledge the tenant’s fears for themselves and their family’s safety and not only hasn’t replaced the locking system, but also refused to compensate the tenant when they bought their own security system.

“This issue not only affects one tenant, but is likely to affect a large number of McLennan properties. It’s astonishing the Minister had no idea his state houses had such a security failure, and that Housing New Zealand is refusing to do anything about it.

“Mr Twyford has repeatedly boasted he is getting cheap deals for housing. But if it’s at the expense of tenants’ safety, it’s at a very high price.

“The Minister telling Parliament today that this is an operational matter doesn’t wash. The Minister must be satisfied that Housing New Zealand is looking after its tenants.

“Mr Twyford must ensure Housing New Zealand steps up, fixes the issue and acts like a good landlord.”

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