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How to Solve the Housing Crisis – A Less than Honest Process

How to Solve the Housing Crisis – A Less than Honest Process

Chris Barfoot QSM, a former director of Barfoot and Thompson, is today strongly speaking out against Government plans to pass a law that removes consultation and silences community objection to the sale of a large section of Point England Reserve for housing.

“I have always regarded the National Party as a party of integrity which has prided itself on doing the right thing and acting in an open and transparent manner” Mr Barfoot said today. “My experience of the Point England Development Enabling Bill has shaken my confidence in the Party.”

“It appears the zeal of Minister Smith has convinced Cabinet that building on reserves is the only way to solve the housing crisis and anyone who opposes this policy is adding to the crisis, including local people who protest at the loss of a significant part of their favourite park which provides both active and passive recreation.”

The Government anticipated this protest and ensured by clever timing that any public outcry would be ineffectual - Minister Smith announced the Bill the day before it was introduced to parliament, just before Christmas with submissions closing by the end of January this year.

“The Bill deliberately bypasses the usual statutory processes of the Reserves Act and Resource Management Act so that the Government does not need to take any notice of public objections, even though public submissions are almost unanimously opposed as is the Local Board. The main stakeholders apparently do not know best. The Government is determined to ‘improve’ the reserve by putting houses on it.”

‘This is not the only misrepresentation. It is claimed the houses will be affordable but market level is expected to be round the one million dollar mark per house and there is no provision in the Bill for any social or affordable houses. The Bill is supposed to be a Treaty settlement when there is no mention of the Treaty Settlement in the Bill, negotiations have been secret and it is by no means certain the iwi will secure the land.”

“Perhaps the greatest blindness on the part of the Government is the dereliction of its duty as kaitiaki of this unique waterfront land, supposedly held in trust for future generations, in what has become the most intensive urban development in New Zealand, the Tamaki Regeneration Zone.”

‘The future city of Tamaki has a projected population of 60,000 but will have no major passive recreation reserve, no place where one can get away from it all, no Cornwall Park. This will all be lost, for the sake of 300 houses!”

“The Government can choose to use its majority to override all objections. But it will have lost its integrity” stated Mr Barfoot.

Chris Barfoot has worked for many years with local Iwi on the Tahuna Torea and Wai-0-Taiki Nature Reserves.


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