Nick Smith’s drowning, but still waving

Nick Smith is so embarrassed by the spectacular failure of his Special Housing Areas that he has pulled numbers out of a hat in a piece of desperate political spin, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The Housing Minister today told media 500 houses have been built in his SHAs. This is despite him saying for the past two years that it was impossible to know how many had been built in the designated areas because the information wasn’t recorded.

“The reason Nick Smith has been so reluctant to say how many homes have been finished is that the number falls pitifully short of the 13,000 new houses Auckland needs every year.

“Even the current consent rate is more than 4000 short.

“Auckland’s housing shortage is estimated to be 32,000 homes and is getting worse every day. The Housing Minister isn’t even managing to tread water in his portfolio, he is drowning.

“Special Housing Areas are the Government’s only means to address the Auckland housing crisis.

“But 500 new builds in two years is a flop by anyone’s reckoning,” Phil Twyford says.