The Finance Minister is signalling a deferred maintenance bill for the country's state houses of $1.2 billion will have to be met by the government in future.
Community housing providers looking to buy state houses off the government say they believe Housing New Zealand has failed to carry around $1.2 billion in maintenance on state houses.
Bill English says new quality standards will be required for all social housing in future as part of the current reforms and Housing New Zealand will have some catching up to do with its maintenance.
Mr English says the lack of maintenance on state houses is concerning and that in the long run the government will need to invest the $1.2 billion dollars in state houses to get them up to scratch.
However, he says that won't all happen this year.
When asked why Housing New Zealand had not spent as much money as it should have on maintenance, Mr English put the blame partly on the previous Labour government saying they had chosen to build new state houses rather than fix up old ones.
However, when pressed he conceded that "looking back everyone could have performed better".