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Ed Sheeran

NZ First skips homeless inquiry

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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says parliamentarians should already know the causes of homelessness, which is why his party is staying out of an inquiry into the problem.

Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are holding hearings on the issue, after National MPs blocked an official select committee inquiry.

Mr Peters says National’s reduction in the number of state houses and the loss of effective support such as state-assisted mortgages for people to buy their first homes has had disastrous long term effects.

"We know why people are homeless. It is because there are not enough homes for them to live in at affordable rates. You will always get the odd drop out. We had that in the halcyon days of the New Zealand economy. But I am talking about thousands of people now, and we don't need some sickly white liberal inquiry into homelessness," he says.

Mr Peters says the lack of housing will create long term health, education and social problems, especially for Maori and Pacific Island communities.

The cross party homeless inquiry will be hearing submissions at Te Puea Marae in Mangere next Monday.

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