Govt Misleads Parliament And Public Over House Building

31 July 2017

The Prime Minister and his Ministers should be hauled before the Privileges Committee for misleading Parliament over the state of house building, says New Zealand First.

They have been deliberately misleading Parliament and leading the public astray with their grandiose claims,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Day after day Ministers are questioned in Parliament by concerned opposition MPs but Ministers arrogantly paint a rosy picture of house building.

“As we have previously pointed out, and as the latest statistics from Auckland Council show, a miserly number of houses are being built - only 6260 houses in the last year, not even half the number needed (at least 14,000 a year for a decade).

“National’s so-called housing projects, with a proportion of affordable houses, are being abandoned – developers are walking away. Of the 154 special housing areas 86 no longer exist.

“National’s slow response and their ill-fated attempt to fix the housing crisis is a disaster for New Zealanders.

“At the same time the housing supply is growing more precarious as National does nothing to reduce record immigration, now at 73,000 net a year – with more than half settling in Auckland,” says Mr Peters.

From Parliamentary Hansard:

Hansard – 5 July 2017 Hon  Amy Adams: This is a Government that is absolutely not only talking about it but doing it. We are not opposing every development that comes before the House. We have a plan to build 34,500 new houses in Auckland over the next 10 years. Just to be clear, this is the biggest Government building project since the 1950s—the biggest since the 1950s. It is the equivalent of building 3½ houses on every single street in Auckland.

Hansard - 26 July 2017 Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The No. 1 problem with new housing supply has been the shortage of suitably zoned land, and that is why our Government's top priority has been fast-tracking the additional space for housing. That has been successful, in that from when the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act was passed, we have seen a lift from 15,000 homes a year being built to 30,000 homes. However, councils signalled to the Government last year that the constraint of how they funded the infrastructure to support the housing risked slowing that growth. That is why the billion-dollar injection to support council infrastructure, and the new Crown Infrastructure Partners initiative announced at the weekend, is about dealing with that new constraint and maintaining the momentum of growth.

Hansard – 6 September 2016 Hon Dr NICK SMITH I will tell you what we have done: when we came to Government, New Zealand was building 13,000 houses a year, and that number is now 29,000 per year.