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More smoke and mirrors on housing

More smoke and mirrors on housing

The Government’s surprise announcement it has asked three people to spend a month writing a report on the state of New Zealand’s housing is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, National’s Housing Spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford has spent years arguing the Government has all the answers. But now he has those answers he’s decided they don’t fit his narrative so he’s outsourcing the work.

“The views of those asked to write the report are well known. If the Housing Minister wants to read them he can look them up. That begs the question, why do they need to spend a month re-publishing them?

“Government officials from agencies including the Treasury, Housing New Zealand, Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment have developed a comprehensive plan on housing issues ranging from increasing supply to growing the social housing sector and that’s working.

“The housing market is flat to falling and we are in the middle of a record residential building boom. The solutions were implemented by the previous Government based on official advice and they are working.

“Now Mr Twyford is saying that advice doesn’t suit him and his go-to analysis is going to be written by three people in a mere four weeks. It makes no sense. Is he that worried he’s going to be caught out for telling tall tales? Or is he looking for an excuse to implement radical and unpopular policies that aren’t necessary?

“Mr Twyford needs to realise that and let the building industry and social housing sector get on with the job.”

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