Housing Minister Nick Smith has blamed 3 News for recent blunders in his plan to open up public land, saying he was put under “enormous pressure” by our constant questioning.
It comes as Labour leader Andrew Little says it’s time Dr Smith was sacked.
“If I regret an element, it’s that Brook [Sabin, 3 News reporter] – you’ve put me under enormous pressure,” says Dr Smith.
Last month, 3 News asked Dr Smith to show us some of the 500 hectares of public land he’s opening up for development, after allegations houses could be built next to substations and cemeteries.
Dr Smith organised a bus tour, but the first piece of land he took journalists to, it turned out, the Government didn’t actually own.
“I pushed officials very hard to illustrate the kinds of lands we were doing in this programme,” says Dr Smith.
“Next time you push me hard I’ll need to tell you to be more patient so that we can get all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.”
But Dr Smith’s biggest problem is legal action by Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua, claiming it has first rights to the public land under its Treaty settlement. Read more »