Labour Party leader Phil Goff has lashed out at Prime Minister John Key over his comment that 10,000 houses could face being demolished following the Christchurch earthquake.
Mr Goff has labelled the comment as speculation, something Mr Key denies.
On Wednesday, Mr Goff toured some of the worst-affected parts of the city's eastern suburbs, including Bexley and Horseshoe Lake.
Mr Goff says Mr Key's estimates are premature, given that geotechnical reports on the land they sit on are yet to be completed.[image:1424:third:right]
Mr Goff says the Prime Minister appears to have plucked the figure of 10,000 homes out of thin air and such speculation is causing anxiety and uncertainty for homeowners living in some of the worst-affected streets.
He says people in positions of authority should be extra careful about the accuracy of statements they make.
But Mr Key rejected the suggestion his comments have caused unnecessary uncertainty for families affected by the quake. He says the figure was an initial estimate from the Earthquake Commission.
Resident backs figure
A resident in one of the worst-hit parts of Christchurch says Mr Key's estimate is a true reflection of the situation.
Bexley resident Andrew MacFarlane says Mr Key is merely reflecting the reality of events and to do anything else would be irresponsible.
Mr MacFarlane says the Government has to confront the scale of the disaster.
By Wednesday, at least 70,000 buildings in the city had been assessed and 2700 given red stickers, meaning they are too dangerous to live in.