New Zealand Labour Party

Suppressed report blames lack of leadership and planning for housing crisis

A report the Government tried to keep secret blames National’s lack of leadership on housing and Ministers’ failure to develop a plan for the crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“You would expect better organisation at a school bake sale. This report shows gross incompetence from National is at the heart of the housing crisis. No leadership. No plan. No wonder they tried to hide it from the public.

“It’s there in black and white: no overall plan, no coordination, targets plucked out of thin air, no-one in charge. Responsibility is spread across at least three ministers and none of them have a clue what is happening or what to do.

“In place of a plan and leadership we have had stunts and stupidity:
• Bill English selling off state houses, taking $1.8 billion out of Housing NZ, then blowing the budget on putting homeless families up in motels.
• Nick Smith announcing he would build houses on land that turned out to be unsuitable for residential buildings
• John Key declaring there would be 65,000 social houses with no plan and no money because he wanted a big number for a speech.
• Paula Bennett’s ‘flying squads’ that somehow failed to find the record number of families sleeping rough.
• Bill English abolishing the Housing portfolio but keeping his bumbling mate, Nick Smith, in charge of fixing the housing crisis.

“National’s failure on housing is hurting New Zealand. We are short 60,000 houses and the shortage is growing at over 1,000 houses a month. Houses are unaffordable and rents are skyrocketing, squeezing family budgets. Record numbers of families are homeless, living in motels, garages, and cars.

“Labour will lead where National has failed. Our plan will build 100,000 affordable homes for first homebuyers, ban foreign speculators who use our houses as gambling chips, and construct thousands of state houses for families in need,” says Phil Twyford.

Link to the report