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Government housing Bill mustn’t override local democracy

2 August 2013

Government housing Bill mustn’t override local democracy

The Green Party supports Local Government New Zealand’s call for the ‘over-ride’ clause in the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill, Green Party housing spokesperson Holly Walker said today.

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill was reported back this week from select committee. The National majority on the committee ignored submissions from the public and councils who spoke against the ‘over-ride’ clause that would allow central government to create special housing areas without the consent of the responsible council if they can’t agree to a housing accord. Local Government New Zealand has renewed its call for the ‘over-ride’ clause to be dropped.

“There’s no reason that the National Government should be able to over-ride democratically-elected councils and impose its own agenda on communities,” said Ms Walker.

“This Bill just highlights that National’s first instinct is to attack democracy to make sure it gets its own way. If councils won’t agree to National’s plans for sprawl, National wants to be able to go ahead anyway.

“The Bill is also flawed because it makes no real commitment to affordable housing. It’s just a formula for more sprawl and high-priced developments like Hobsonville that shut young families out of the housing market.

“We have a home affordability crisis in New Zealand but National’s plan to ride roughshod over local democracy is no answer. If National is serious about tackling home affordability, it should support the Greens’ package of measures to give families a pathway to owning their first home and stop speculators and overseas buyers forcing up house prices,” said Ms Walker.

ENDS

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