For Napier couple Buddy and Peggy Edmonds the first visitor to their new home in Tamatea on Wednesday morning was a very familiar face.

A familiar face who possesses quite a bit of political clout also.

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters, along with Napier MP Stuart Nash, called by to see how the couple were getting on after moving into their smart new two-bedroomed state house the previous day.

"He had a good look around and liked it — and said it felt nice and warm," Buddy Edmonds said.


The visit was part of a whistlestop visit to Napier before heading to New Plymouth for a forum revolving around Provincial Growth Fund announcements.

Peters' visit to Napier took in the quick look at the latest state house to be opened up in the region as part of Housing New Zealand's Regional Housing Initiative as well as delivering a speech in the afternoon to the Howard League at the Hawke's Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri.

The couple got the call last week that their application for one of the new state houses had been successful.

For the past 32 years they had lived just a few doors from the Westminster Ave house but it had outgrown them.

"It is three bedrooms so now a family can move in there and that's good," Peggy Edmonds said.

"We are over the moon," her husband said.

They were also over the moon when they were told Peters would be making a quick visit to see them as it fitted in with the Government's Budget announcement that more state houses would be built across the country.

It was however a fleeting call.

It had been scheduled for 30 minutes but Peters and his crew were there less than half that time.

"He was here for about 10 minutes," Peggy Edmonds said.

"I made some finger food for them but he said he didn't have time for a feed," she said, adding with a smile that Peters told her he was on a diet.

Her husband said Housing New Zealand had done a great job, as had all the contractors involved in creating the smart back section house.

"Very happy."

Back in March Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced that up to 155 new state houses would be built across 15 regions over the first half of the year, and Napier and Hastings topped the list with a planned 49 new homes.

"This is the first step in building more new homes to help those most in need in our regions," Twyford said.

"They will largely consist of one or two-bedroom homes with some larger homes."

Twyford said it was largest building initiative Housing New Zealand had undertaken outside the main centres in several decades.

The Government's long-term aim was to build about 6400 new state houses over four years.