Nick Smith

National’s RMA reform is neutered and comatose

They really should just shelve it until next term.  

It’s a watered down waste of time and resources.  Oh the irony.

The government’s latest attempt to reform the Resource Management Act continues to run into trouble, with the chairman of the select committee conceding on Thursday that the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill will miss its third report back deadline of Nov. 7.

In part, the delay appears related to the fact that Environment Minister Nick Smith is still negotiating with the Maori Party over aspects of the bill, which is struggling to gain sufficient support from government support partners to pass into law.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday he believed agreements had been reached with the two-MP Maori Party, but Smith confirmed in a text message on Wednesday that “discussions with the Maori Party are progressing and constructive but not yet concluded” and were “some time away”.

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Paula Bennett and Nick Smith, you are the weakest link, goodbye

Paula Bennett and Nick Smith, your time is up.

John Key must surely realise these two muppets are costing votes in Auckland.

First-home buyers have only been able to get their hands on 18 affordable houses across all of the Auckland Special Housing Areas.

New data released to Labour from Auckland Council shows while 1029 “affordable units” have been consented for special housing areas across Auckland, just 18 have been built and sold to first-home buyers.

There are 154 special housing areas across Auckland – meaning 151 of them have failed to produce a single house that’s gone to a first home buyer.   Read more »

Are we done with Nick yet? Yeah, we are

Matthew Hooton thinks it’s time for Nick Smith to go.

The baffling value Mr Key has placed on the UN has now created a threat to the durability of the quarter-century old Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, the stability of the government and the National Party’s long-term project to prise the Maori vote from Labour.

With Mr Key keen to have something headline-grabbing to talk about at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly last October, the government’s chief energiser bunny, Environment Minister Nick Smith, popped up with a 620,000 square kilometre marine sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands. As Mr Key then boasted to the UN, the sanctuary would be one of the world’s largest, twice the size of New Zealand’s land mass.

The problem is that, in his enthusiasm to please his boss, Dr Smith forgot about the interests of those holding fishing quota, including that granted to iwi under the historic 1992 Sealord deal which kicked off the treaty settlement process, and about the government’s relationship with the Maori Party.  Even the iwi most directly affected were told about the announcement just hours in advance, with Dr Smith calling them with what he thought they would consider good news.

Dr Smith, who entered parliament at the tender age of 25 having first stood for the Rangiora District Council as a schoolboy, seems unable to comprehend that Maori have commercial interests and aspirations beyond, in this case, kai moana swimming happily through the reefs. Similarly, in an issue my PR company was involved in last year, Dr Smith was unable to comprehend that Auckland’s Ngati Whatua’s interest was not his cyclical political problem but protecting the value of its historic treaty settlement and maximising the value of its property portfolio in the long-term interests of its people.

He seems to have the same problem understanding the perspective of other Auckland land owners in his frantic and failed attempts to address the so-called housing crisis.

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Nick Smith could undermine this Government with his refusal to consult with stakeholders


Chief executive Dion Tuuta says Dr Smith has handled the whole process poorly with a lack of consultation.

On a matter of principle the Kermadec proposal was worse than the foreshore and seabed scrap of the early 2000s, which was about right to go to court to test ownership rights, he told TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

“This is actually taking away a property right that actually exists.

“We haven’t fished there but our Treaty right also includes the right to develop into the future. So the decision about whether we fish there today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now, that’s is our decision.”

Dr Smith has said any fishing exemptions would undermine any sanctuary’s integrity.

The Maori Party, which is a government ally and wants to bridge the gap between the two parties, is also critical. Read more »

National has little respect for property rights, and Maori will make them pay for the Kermadecs

You’d think Governments would have learnt by now that if they ignore Maori they do so at their peril.

In a row that potentially rivals the foreshore and seabed debacle, which shook the Clark Government, the current Beehive crop seems to have learnt nothing with its plans to set up the Kermadec Ocean sanctuary.

Maori were given fishing rights around the Kermadecs in a so called full and final settlement 25 years ago. The law setting up the sanctuary overrides those rights.

Even though Maori have never fished around the islands to the north east of the country, they’re rightly taking their stand on principle. If they allow this through, they argue, then all the other Treaty settlements come into question.

That’s put the Government’s coalition cobbers, the Maori Party, in the same position that its founder Tariana Turia found herself in way back in 2004 when she walked rather than vote for the foreshore and seabed law that denied Maori their day in court. Read more »

Nobody truly cared about the homeless until National blinked

“The country has been shocked by the recent rise in homelessness,” Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“No New Zealander feels good about children sleeping rough and families living in their cars.”

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett was asked by Labour’s Phil Twyford in the House on Wednesday if she would support the investigation.

However, she said the Government was already doing work on the problem.

“We have a range of initiatives, some which are already implanted, some which we are implementing and some that are still in the negotiating stages – all of which will make a huge difference in the issues of homelessness and emergency housing, and that’s what we want to concentrate on,” she said.

Mr Twyford then asked whether she’d influenced her caucus colleagues on the Social Services Committee to vote against the proposal, considering “they’d been supportive” of it before.

“I didn’t instruct the caucus to do anything. We had a discussion and we came to it as a collective,” Ms Bennett replied.

Nevertheless, Labour and the Greens will soldier on with the investigation, which will include hearings in a number of main centres for public submissions.

Mr Little welcomed the involvement of any other political party which wanted to join the cause.

“It is disturbing that National MPs on the committee were supportive of our proposal, but they appear to have been slapped down by the Prime Minister who ruled out an inquiry on Monday,” Mr Little says.

Greens’ social housing spokeswoman Marama Davidson says the Government could have supported a cross-party inquiry but instead have “chosen to ignore” the problem.

“You only have to walk along Courtenay Pl and Queen St to see that homelessness is growing in this country and, as MPs, we can’t stand by and watch that happen,” she says.

“I have seen first-hand how serious the homelessness crisis is, but the Government is refusing to take any meaningful action, and people are hurting.”

Under questioning by her in the House this afternoon, John Key said the rate of homelessness had increased under his prime ministership.

The plight of the homeless, including those living in their cars has come to the fore over the past few months.

A number of protests and support events have been held across the country in which people with homes spend the night in their cars.

Mr Little says the idea for the inquiry initially came from the Coalition to End Homelessness – a group of NGOs working with the homeless.

National are faltering in managing this political attack, and the Media-party-assisted pressure from the left is resulting in poorly thought out strategy and public statements from the government.

Labour and the Greens are smelling blood, and they may actually be onto something, for once. Read more »

That’s it, I’m done with National

I cannot, ever, support a party that wants to confiscate the personal assets of anyone, and now National, via Nick Smith, are starting to talk about confiscating land.

So much for John Key’s claims of not tolerating the arrogant, and the mediocre having no place in his government.

Nick Smith seems hell-bent on losing the election for National, because once they confiscate from the landbankers then what is stopping them from confiscating the land of people with sections bigger than 600m2?

Landbankers could have property seized by the Government if the land is within certain areas marked for housing development.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said today that such a hardline measure to override private title for development in certain areas was a “big call”.   Read more »

Lying Labour keeps on lying

This is absurd really.  Labour are just making stuff up now.  

It’s shameless, the Media Party report it verbatim, and by the time the correction gets out of bed, the lie has been around the world, the damage done, and… explaining is losing.  

National need to come up with a better strategy to deal with this, because right now Labour keep setting the conversation for the day, and by the time all the Duncan Garners turn their microphones off, the truth comes out too late for anyone to notice.

Today, Andrew Little has made several incorrect claims on this website about housing. We’d like to take the opportunity to correct these statements, because it’s important in a strong, robust democracy like ours that political leaders present facts to New Zealanders.

The Government has created 154 Special Housing Areas to bypass outdated council plans and make consenting easier so people can get on and build houses more quickly, releasing land for another 56,000 homes.

We have freed up enough surplus Crown land so far for nearly 1000 homes – 20 per cent of those must be affordable and 20 per cent social housing.

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Greens trying to out-Green the National party


Poor Nick Smith.  He’s created water standards where there were none, and all the Greens can do is tell him he’s not doing a good job.

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith is defending the Government’s track record on cleaning up New Zealand’s rivers, saying it’s done more to improve water quality than any previous government.

It comes after the Green Party launched a major new environmental campaign at its annual conference in Christchurch over the weekend targeting 10 of the country’s dirtiest rivers, including the Waikato, Tukituki and Manawatu rivers. Read more »

No matter what we do, no matter what we say…

Back during the 2014 election campaign Katie Bradford revealed her frustration with the polls and with voters by stating to cameras that, “No matter what we do, no matter what we say, the polls still favour National.”

It showed her complete and utter bias for all to see.

This morning on Radio NZ there was another reveal, this time from Guyon Espiner when talking to an academic about housing affordability.

Espiner was astounded that the claims of Nick Smith about housing affordability were actually true and the academic was busily explaining that although what Nick Smith said was true he was still wrong.

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