Nick Smith up to his old tricks
13 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Nick Smith up to his old
Housing Minister Nick Smith’s campaign claiming to address Auckland’s housing crisis is full of holes and taking on water, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
Nick Smith says his plan to change the RMA will free up greenfields land for new housing faster than that of the Auckland Council.
“He is plain wrong. Analysis by Auckland Council shows the Minister’s plan would not free up land for development before 2017. The Council’s plans would do it by 2015.
“Two years makes a big difference for a city under so much pressure.
“The Minister of course denies this, and today attempted to table a document that he said showed the Council’s option would take longer.
“Nick Smith is so intent on blaming Auckland Council he is resorting to making things up.
“In fact, a report by the Minister’s own officials agrees with Auckland Council’s numbers.
“It shows there is 3-4 years’ worth of housing land ready for developers to begin subdividing, and questions Mr Smith’s claim that just making more land available on the fringes will see more homes built.
“Only four months ago, the Government was saying the Auckland Plan is broadly consistent with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations on housing affordability, and that it recognised the need to continue working with Auckland Council to support the implementation of the Auckland Plan.
“Now Nick Smith is threatening to legislate to override the Auckland Council and accusing Mayor Len Brown of killing the dream of home ownership.
“His approach to housing affordability has all the hallmarks of his previous debacles with ACC and local government. Each time he uses dodgy figures to make his case and blames everyone else for the problem.
“Auckland’s housing crisis is real. It needs central government to work together with the Auckland Council, not Nick Smith’s shameless politicking,” Phil Twyford said.