Nick Smith

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.

Read more »

Greens trying to out-Green the National party

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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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Hey Nick Smith, your concrete cancer issue isn’t going away

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Yesterday building and housing minister Nick Smith ‘ordered’ MBIE to ‘look beyond mesh to other products deemed to be critical to a building’s safety’.

Regular readers may be wondering if Nick Smith was quietly hoping the Concrete Cancer Cover-Up series would go away. But as with the steel mesh issue, it’s only a matter of time before problems hidden away out of sight, bubble to the surface.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith has ordered the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to look beyond mesh to other products deemed to be critical to a building’s safety.

Steel & Tube seismic mesh, and steel mesh from Eurocorp, recently failed ductility tests and were withdrawn from sale. Inquiries into steel mesh standards came after an RNZ News investigation.

Read more »

Nick Smith and the phantom house fairy strikes again!

The phantom house fairy strikes again!

It’s happened again. The vigilante saviour of all things housing in Auckland has left another telltale sign that he has twinkled his magic dust all over town.

Hooray!

Hooray for more houses.

Fourteen new Special Housing Areas that will provide more than 4500 new homes across Auckland have been announced.

This latest tranche will bring the total number of SHAs in Auckland to 120, with a combined potential yield of more than 52,000 new homes.

The Auckland Housing Accord, which was agreed in October 2013 by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, provides for the creation of SHAs by Auckland Council with the approval of the Government.

Qualifying developments in these areas can be streamlined and fast-tracked.

[…]   Read more »

Great news for Len Brown and Nick Smith: affordable housing project collapses

Len Brown and Nick Smith have pinned their housing hopes on developments like Springpark, but this one has fallen over before a single apartment has been built.

The developer behind one of Auckland’s biggest affordable housing projects has gone into receivership.

Developer Tony Gapes was building 450 apartments and terrace homes at Springpark in Mt Wellington, which were selling from $320,000.

Receiver Dave Ruscoe from accounting firm Grant Thornton has confirmed he was appointed to manage Panama Road Developments Trust yesterday afternoon.

That was after Hong Kong investor, Koi Investment Partners, called in its debt and the developer was unable to repay it.   Read more »

Len and Nick had some balls to try and celebrate a measly 100 SHA houses

Yippee, 100 houses!

Yippee, 100 houses!

Len Brown and Nick Smith had some balls to try and celebrate a measly 100 SHA houses as some sort of policy success.

A hundred homes have now been completed in Auckland’s first special housing area.

Mayor Len Brown and housing minister Nick Smith today planted a tree as the area takes route at Waimahia in Manurewa, South Auckland.

The development, under the Auckland housing accord, will create about 280 new dwellings and should be completed by 2017.   Read more »

When is John Key going to act on Nick Smith?

Nick Smith gave a reference for his girlfriend and lost his cabinet position…he came back because he is part of the protected mob surrounding Bill English.

Since then though he has continued to be ineffective and somewhat dodgy, but he hasn’t really put a foot wrong until now.

Now it has been revealed that he is part of a scheme to help promote a National List MP ahead of the expected by-election in Mt Roskill.

Housing officials have tried to hide information showing list MP Parmjeet Parmar asked to be part of a housing roadshow to improve her chances at a future by-election.

But in an apparent oversight an uncut version of an internal email has been released to Labour MP Kris Faafoi disclosing the National MP’s plan.

The email from Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith’s private secretary to Housing NZ states: “Parmjeet Parmar has also expressed a strong interest in hosting a roadshow as she is keen to raise local profile in Mt Roskill in case of a by-election.” A by-election in the seat could be triggered by the resignation of sitting MP Phil Goff, who has all but confirmed he will seek the Auckland mayoralty. The email goes on to say Parmar is “keen to support the Maungakiekie event with billboards and letters in Mt Roskill.”    Read more »