Nick Smith

Phil Twyford and Labour working with Auckland Council to stiff National’s affordable housing policy

Phil Twyford was busy on Red Radio this morning with a pseudo soft talking rhetoric about how hard it is for Auckland Council to build infrastructure and calling for the Government to pay up for the pipes and roads and public transport to service it.

There have been rumours about the traps that Labour is running thick with Auckland Council, especially Penny Hulse, to stiff the housing accord and to get the initiative to fail.

And one doesn’t need to wear a tin-foil hat to theorise a conspiracy to work complicitly together. Labour don’t want National to be successful and poo poo anything National comes up with (including things they might have done themselves). And the Auckland Council is desperate to thwart the greenfield expansion of the CBD because it undermines their goals to build a compact city.

Plus they are all pinko mates. So of course they will work together.  Read more »

Auckland Council try to blackmail Government over special housing

Auckland Council is threatening to put a halt to some new special housing areas unless the Government pumps in more money to help with infrastructure.

But Housing Minister Nick Smith has shot back at that, saying the Government has the power to steamroll the council and set up special housing areas themselves if it needs to.

The Government has trumpeted special housing areas as a big part of the solution to Auckland’s housing crisis. Eighty-four special housing areas have already been created in Auckland, which has allowed fast-tracked homes to be built.

But the council wants all future special housing areas to be in urban locations. It says the rural ones are too costly because of the expense of infrastructure, such as roads.

The council has put a halt to three special housing areas and says another 42 will be determined partly on the results of discussions with the Government about infrastructure. Read more »

Dumber than a Bag of Hammers

Joe Trinder from Mana keeps on showing us why he and his party are desperately stupid.

The Tamaki redevelopment company is broken up into three shareholders Auckland council, Bill English and Nick Smith.  Both English and Smith own 29.5% of the shares while Auckland council own 41%.

On the companies office website the shareholders for The Tamaki redevelopment company limited click here

Is this a blatant attempt by government ministers  to enrich themselves by selling off state owned assets for personal gain?

How utterly stupid can you get.  Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup Ctd: How a real company deals with the problem

unnamedWell, well, well, just look at those headlines. Just an issue that WhaleOil has been talking about for months, yet MSM are only now waking up to the potential scale of the problem.

You see WhaleOil exposed the use of dodgy cement back in October 2014, when cement importing company DRYMIX imported dodgy high alkali cement from Vietnam.

This dodgy cement ended up in places such as the $40 million Manukau District Court rebuild and Fonterra’s $120 million UTH factory in Waitoa.   Read more »

War with Auckland Council

Nick Smith and Penny Hulse have traded blows in the last 24 hours over the affordable housing.

A few weeks back I revealed that the Auckland Council had suspended processing Special Housing Area Consents – the consents that will deliver more homes and affordable homes under the Government’s HARSHA legislation.

At first they wouldn’t admit it, then yesterday Penny Hulse admitted that they had suspended consents, were looking at 40 odd other sites to suspend and don’t want any greenfield subdivisions. They want brownfield intensification. Council thinks it costs too much to build the connecting infrastructure. Boo hoo but also not true according to their own reports.

Nick has jumped in on Auckland Council and told them to process the consents or the Government will do it for them. About bloody time. He also told them to stop reducing their infrastructure budgets to stiff the Housing Accord.

Housing Minister Nick Smith is reminding Auckland Council of Government’s power to override local government if it does not co-operate on speeding up the supply of affordable housing.

[…]    Read more »

Iwi leaders’ water claim “nothing but corporate greed” says Ngapuhi academic

David Rankin has called out the Iwi Leadership Group for their attempt to hijack water in New Zealand, aided and abetted by Bill English and Nick Smith.

His press release makes perfect sense.

As iwi leaders from around the country meet to discuss claiming commercial rights to all the country’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs, dams and any other fresh water, Ngapuhi academic David Rankin has questioned their motives.

Mr Rankin, who is currently undertaking a PhD on traditional property rights, points out that prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water.  And even after Europeans arrived, Maori never owned water.  He says that there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim.  Neither is water Treaty right according to him “Water is not mentioned in the Treaty once.  ‘Taonga’ are mentioned, but these are not property rights.  A ‘taonga’ traditionally was something that could be acquired at the point of a spear.  Try doing that with water”, he says.   Read more »

Maori making grab for water and Nick Smith & Bill English appear to be helping them

Maori are going to go after water as the next grievance claim….and it appears that Bill English and Nick Smith are entertaining their claims and negotiating with them instead of telling them to piss off.

Maori leaders have mounted a bid for effective ownership of a share of the country’s freshwater.

This would allow them, and other with water rights, to onsell it to those who need water for irrigation, hydropower and other commercial uses.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide ‘Waterlords’ settlement along the lines of the Sealords deal over Maori commercial fishing claims.

The Government is adamant it will not hand over rights in perpetuity to Maori – but it may compromise by allowing regional councils to do local deals with Maori.

Farmers are worried that there will not be enough water to go around if significant quantities of freshwater are set aside for Maori.

In a Cabinet paper, Smith points to possible “catchment by catchment” deals at a regional government level. The Crown has acknowledged Maori interests and rights in freshwater but their extent and nature is at issue. The Government may set criteria by which local iwi can get preferential access to water, catchment by catchment, Smith says.

Ministers and iwi leaders held a summit at Waitangi during the February 6 commemorations, in a swift response to an iwi- commissioned report proposing radical ways to deal with freshwater and Maori claims. The report, by research group Sapere, proposed a nationwide settlement, an end to 35-year renewals of water consents. and a move to permanent rights and a market in tradable water rights.

It argued the regime would not only be a boon for Maori but would add $2 billion to the value of power-generating assets, $5.5b to the primary sector and boost the overall economy, while helping reduce the effects of drought through more efficient use of water. It would also open the way for the Government to levy resource taxes on income from using the water.

If National wants to lose more than just Northland they will keep on going with this process under the control of Bill English and Nick Smith.    Read more »

Please sit down: Len Brown delivers on special housing

Mayor Len Brown

Mayor Len Brown

Auckland mayor Len Brown told TV One’s Q+A programme that 170 houses have been built in Special Housing Areas as a result of the Housing Accord between Auckland City and the government.

“…so under the Special Housing Areas we know that of the sections created and the building consents given, which is around 1200, there have been 170 houses built as a consequence. And the reason why we know that is because we are actually holding much, much closer focus on those Special Housing Areas.”

At the mid-way point, the Housing Accord has so far approved more than 16-thousand building consents.

170.

And somehow this is a source of pride… why?   Read more »

Auckland Council given serve by Hearings Panel

Auckland Council has been served up a cold dish of come-uppance by the Hearings Panel where it concerns the Unitary Plan.

Arrogantly Auckland Council’s heavy weights Penny Perrit and Roger Blakeley have been pushing forward their own agenda for some time.

After considerable debate the Hearing’s Panel Chair – Environment Court Judge David Kirkpatrick – has issued up a savage Interim advice note telling Auckland Council that the RPS (Regional Policy Statement) section of the Unitary Plan is essentially trite and it means the Council will need to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the most important section.

The RPS is the Policy and objectives section for the whole region and it’s flavour essentially cascades down through to the rules and zones and it dictates the way the city can and can’t expand or grow. Getting this right is not only critical but fundamental.    Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – Did Nick Smith mislead parliament?

The concrete cancer cover-up fiasco affecting New Zealand’s $400 million concrete sector has taken another turn with the Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith now looking like having misled Parliament.

Under questioning from Winston Peters, the Minister for Building  and Housing Nick Smith initially covered off his statements by saying that “I have been assured by officials”.

But Ministers have to satisfy themselves that the answers they’re getting from officials are right – otherwise they get caught out.

So when Nick Smith gets cocky and thinks he knows best, he gets held to account.

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Sources inside the industry have told Whaleoil of  a ‘WTF’ moment when they heard Nick Smith say this, and are now asking who is advising the Minister on this issue.

If he was getting good advice, he would not have told Parliament that “high alkali cement is allowed under New Zealand cement standard” – a statement that is likely to come back to haunt Nick Smith for the simple reason it is just wrong.   Read more »