Judith Collins says a Housing New Zealand policy to focus on leasing properties built after 2000 is "dopey" and "short-sighted".
While she said Housing Minister Phil Twyford has "missed the mark" and needed to rethink the policy, it's been in place since 2016.
"New Zealand has a good variety of housing stock like the villas and bungalows built in the early 1900s that are still being well maintained today," Ms Collins said.
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"It is a shame these houses are going to be ignored just because of when they were built."
"Turning down good homes on the basis they were built prior to 2000 is a short-sighted decision because we all know the best houses are not necessarily the new houses."
Ms Collins, who is National's housing spokesperson, said many leaky homes were built in the early 2000s.
A Housing New Zealand spokesperson said its focus on post-2000 properties has been in place since 2016 - but there are exceptions to this rule.
"When Housing New Zealand considers leasing a property we focus on properties that are warm, dry and healthy and we think through the needs of our tenants and their families who will live in the home," the spokesperson said.
"Since 2016 we have focused on leasing properties built after 2000. We have obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act that our homes meet a minimum standard and homes that are built after 2000 will meet that standard based on Building Code requirements."
It also focused on leasing homes that will meet regulations under the recently introduced Healthy Homes Guarantee Act.
"These factors are important because the average age of our own homes is 45 years and we are delivering major build and renewal programmes to meet the demand for both more state housing and better state housing. It's important that any property we lease meets those requirements and will provide the best environment and outcomes for the families who will live in them."
Housing New Zealand is open to considering pre-2000 properties when considering leasing through individual private owners.
"If we are approached about a property built prior to 2000 we may consider leasing that property where the owner can confirm it meets all the relevant regulations and standards, the home is in an area of demand, and the home will meet the particular needs of the people who would live there."