Slow motion train crash heads to court

If John Key had greater oversight of his Minister’s Budget announcement to free up Crown land for housing, the matter wouldn’t be heading for the court, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“National’s Budget centrepiece has turned to custard. It was clear from the start this plan was rushed and ill-conceived. 

“If Nick Smith had done his homework on this and not tried to put together a sneaky deal to cut iwi out, he wouldn’t have gotten into this mess in the first place.

“This last minute deal has been a fiasco from the start.

“First the Government wanted to build houses on cemeteries and substations. Then they promised to make 500 hectares available but 10 days later the Housing Minister could only identify 30 hectares.

“Then it emerged one of the four land parcels being touting isn’t even owned by the Government so Nick Smith has no right to sell it to developers. And finally it was revealed local iwi Ngāti Whātua hadn’t been consulted.

“Aucklanders could miss out on thousands of houses they desperately need because Nick Smith has mismanaged this entire policy.

“The Government needs to stop tinkering with rushed and piecemeal housing policies which will have little impact on skyrocketing Auckland house prices. If John Key really wants to address the housing crisis he needs to ban foreign speculators and undertake a mass government-backed building programme,” Andrew Little says.