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Housing debate cost $700,000: Dunne

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/09/2016

Mr Dunne says less than a third of that amount would have paid for the air fares and accommodation for 100 housing experts from industry. © Mark Coote/Bloomberg Mr Dunne says less than a third of that amount would have paid for the air fares and accommodation for 100 housing experts from industry. The two-day, 17-hour debate under urgency on the government's housing bill was a $700,000 waste of money, United Future leader Peter Dunne says.

The debate ended late on Wednesday night when the bill was passed, after Labour and the Greens had used nearly all of it to talk about their own policies.

They were able to effectively hijack the bill because it was omnibus legislation, which meant they could put up amendments to add new parts to it.

All their amendments were defeated.

"The bill itself was fairly innocuous and was addressing a timing issue between previous legislation and upcoming plans," he said on Thursday.

"It costs roughly $43,000 an hour to run parliament, so this bill cost us over $700,000 and you really have to ask if this was the best way to serve the people of New Zealand on the issue of housing."

Mr Dunne says less than a third of that amount would have paid for the air fares and accommodation for 100 housing experts from industry, social housing and regional government to be flown to Wellington for a housing summit in parliament.

"I think it's high time that we realised the issues around housing will not be solved by political point scoring," he said.

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