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Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister

It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“Clearly whatever it is National is doing is not working. Skyrocketing house prices continue to lock a generation out of the dream of homeownership and soaring rents are forcing families out of their homes and into cars and garages.

“Since taking on the housing portfolio in 2013, Nick Smith has presided over a series of fiascos including proposals to build houses on cemeteries and power stations, attempts to sell-off state houses that no one wants and moves to make building materials cheaper which actually made them more expensive.

“Then there’s the Minister’s first home buyer subsidises which most Aucklanders can’t access and Special Housing Areas which have become a speculator’s paradise. And just last week, it was revealed that the Government’s $1 billion flagship infrastructure fund was cobbled together in a matter of weeks after the Budget, and councils weren’t even consulted.

“Most New Zealanders believe National is not doing enough to address the housing crisis. They have lost confidence in Nick Smith.

“How can the Prime Minister have confidence in Nick Smith to oversee the building of the tens of thousands of houses New Zealand desperately needs?

“It is time for John Key to sack Nick Smith and replace him with a Housing Minister that can get on and do the job, for the sake of New Zealand,” Andrew Little says.