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Desperate Minister resorts to oldest trick – but gets it wrong

Housing Minister Nick Smith has today resorted to National’s favourite diversion tactic – blaming the former Labour government – but as usual he is being completely misleading, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The law Nick Smith is about to break was only passed last year. The actions of the former Labour government are not relevant and won’t help dig the Minister out of his hole.

“In reply to questions about his circumventing Auckland iwi’s first right of refusal on Crown land, Nick Smith claims the former Labour government also used the 1955 Housing Act to re-designate land for ‘state housing purposes’ in Hobsonville, McLennan, and Weymouth   housing developments.

“The Minister deliberately omits two key points. Firstly, those cases preceded the Auckland Treaty settlements and the re-designations were not done to avoid any legal obligation to offer surplus properties to iwi.

“Secondly, any land re-designated by the former Labour government was for housing including state houses.

“Nick Smith's Auckland land rort is designed to free up the land for private development and is not planned to include any state housing. The Government won't even guarantee any proportion of affordable housing.

“Nick Smith should just admit his latest fiasco has provoked the threat of legal action by iwi and has put at risk thousands of houses that Aucklanders desperately need,” Phil Twyford says.