Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?


Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just making up its housing policy as it goes along, Nick Smith needs to release this list.

“National was panicked into its tax on short-term buy-and-flick property speculators after its inaction forced the Reserve Bank to increase lending restrictions. This is estimated to only capture about 1000 speculators.

“It now appears its other Budget plan to free up 500 hectares of Crown land in Auckland was just as rushed and ill-conceived.

“Nick Smith needs to categorically rule out the Government looking at building houses on electricity substations, school playing fields, cemeteries, fire stations, and operational defence training facilities.

“Ahead of his tiki tour with media tomorrow, the Minister also needs to reveal whether any of his officials visited these sites, and whether they even asked the government agencies who own the land what their plans are for the sites.

“Without the Minister’s reassurances, this latest fiasco joins a long list of his failed ideas including: removing tariffs on building materials which will save only about a week’s house price inflation, HomeStart subsidies that will make houses more expensive, Special Housing Areas that have only built 170 houses and the sale of P-houses to first home buyers.

“If Nick Smith is unable to come up with sensible and workable ideas to mass build affordable homes and crack down on speculators, Labour is happy for him to adopt ours,” Phil Twyford says.