New Zealand Labour Party

More housing humiliation for Nick Smith

Nick Smith has been completely humiliated once again – this time by Ngāti Whātua who have used his blunders to their full advantage to extract an excellent deal for Aucklanders that the minister would never have developed himself, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Nick Smith blundered his way through the entire process of trying to get large scale vacant public land developed for housing. He didn’t do his homework and forgot that Ngāti Whātua has first right of refusal for sales of government land. Then he said he could ignore the law and Ngāti Whātua’s legitimate claims.

“Now the minister has been forced to settle to get out of a court case. This is a humiliation for him, meaning he cannot sell land off to other developers until the iwi has agreed.

“The irony is that Ngāti Whātua’s deal is an excellent one for Aucklanders, extracting a commitment from the Government for 20 per cent affordable homes and another 20 per cent for social housing. This is a much better outcome than Nick Smith would have delivered.

“If he had any sense left at all he would have worked with Ngāti Whātua from the start instead of stumbling and blundering his way into a court case,” Phil Twyford says.