The tragic death of South Auckland toddler Emma-Lita Bourne has led to fresh calls from the national student union for nationwide rental standards.
National president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Rory McCourt says, “Nick Smith has been making excuses about not tackling shoddy private rentals by saying he was getting the Government’s own house in order first. Clearly he failed. To have state houses without carpets and insulation is completely negligent. To do nothing to lift rental standards after seven years is just gutless.”
“While this case is extreme, the coroner’s findings show in black and white what we already know – that cold, damp houses make us sick. Students know it, parents know it, and doctors know it.”
“Minister Smith claims he wants to see the evidence first. Well, the research is all there and has been for some time. The sticking point is whether the Government has the courage to take on the landlord lobby."
"Perhaps this untimely loss will help them find that courage and safeguard New Zealand's tenants so that this never happens again." says Mr McCourt.