Government won't take HNZ dividend

Steven Joyce (Newshub. / file)
Steven Joyce (Newshub. / file)

National's 'Mr Fix-It' Steven Joyce has turned out to be 'Mr Blabbermouth', revealing the Government will no longer take a $92 million dividend from Housing New Zealand.

In a major policy change which appears to be a backdown, Mr Joyce says the Government will not take the divided for two years and the money will instead go to building more state houses.

The social housing corporation was forecast in the Budget to fill the Beehive's coffers with $38m this year, and $54m next year.

Mr Joyce says Housing New Zealand has told the Government in its latest statement of performance expectations it doesn't intend to pay the money.

He denies it's a knee-jerk reaction to copy Labour's latest policy, which wouldn't force the state-owned company to be profitable.

"It's the latest information, it comes out after the Budget each year," he says.  

"It's not public yet but I was briefed on it over the weekend and ministers were happy with me to say they have no intentions of paying dividends over the next two years," says Mr Joyce.