17 Dec 2010

Goff defends failure to sell Wellington flat

6:08 am on 17 December 2010

Labour Party leader Phil Goff has been forced to defend his continued ownership of a rental flat in Wellington, more than a year after he said he would sell it.

Mr Goff has not lived in the flat since he became a minister in the last Labour government more than a decade ago and receives an allowance to live elsewhere.

He said last year he was planning to sell the flat after public controversy over the housing arrangements of several current ministers, including Finance Minister Bill English.

After a friend of a National Party staff member looked at renting the property this week, Mr Goff issued a statement saying he has been exploring the options of renting and selling the property with the help of a friend who also works in his office.

He says his accommodation arrangements are within parliamentary rules.

Mr Goff says he still intends to sell the flat.

Cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee Mr Goff took a position and did not follow through, and he needs to explain himself.