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Flagship fund more housing policy on the fly

The Government’s flagship $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was so rushed it wasn’t considered until after the Budget and announced just a month later, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“Documents obtained by Labour through Written Parliamentary Questions show the Fund – which was announced at National’s annual conference in July – bypassed the normal policy making process of going through a Cabinet Committee.

“Despite this Fund being aimed at helping councils get more houses built, the Government didn’t bother consulting them. In fact, councils were only told about the Fund two days before it was announced.

“These documents show National developed a $1 billion policy on the basis of one discussion at Cabinet.

“Like all of National’s housing policies, this was rushed, piecemeal and half-baked. It is just more policy on the hoof, hot on the heels of Paula Bennett’s imaginary flying squads and relocation grants that only went to a dozen families.

“Only Labour has a comprehensive housing policy to address the housing crisis. We will establish a government-backed affordable house building programme, crack down on speculators and reform the way infrastructure is funded to encourage more development,” Andrew Little says.