Nick Smith

Wherefore art thou, RMA reform?


It’s been held up since the Northland by-election in March, which robbed the government of a vote.

Before the by-election it could have got the bill through with just ACT’s support, but now it needs either United Future or the Maori Party for a majority.

Peter Dunne and the Maori Party have problems with the extensive reforms the government wanted to bring in, meaning the government’s had to negotiate. Read more »


Justice Minister Amy Adams opens $51 million Concrete Cancer building


Sometimes, despite all the warnings given, the Government ploughs ahead seemingly with blinkers on.
Whaleoil has ran an extensive investigation into the Concrete Cancer Cover-Up story potentially affecting dozens, if not hundreds of construction projects.
As a quick recap, cement importing company Drymix imported an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of high alkali cement from Vietnam and flogged it off onto the New Zealand market.
So-called ‘independent’ investigations into concerns raised on this blog by The Cement and Concrete Association of NZ (CCANZ),  resulted in a highly technical report telling people to move on, nothing to see here. More on that later.

Read more »

The Len and Nick show announces plans for itty bitty ‘homes’ that other people call apartments

Auckland Council is focussed on the compact city.

And nothing could prove that more than the tranche of apartment sites around Auckland as Special Housing Areas.

Eleven new special housing areas (SHAs) are being set up across Auckland with the potential to provide 1600 new homes.

The announcement was made today by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

They said the new “brownfield areas” would bring the total number of SHAs in Auckland to 97, with a potential yield of 47,000 new homes.    Read more »

8 days to opening of Concrete Cancer building


With Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith refusing to instruct officials to take a core-sample of the $46 million Manukau District Court building, who ever is the minister that opens it will have their name forever attached to a concrete cancer building.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up: 12 days until Govt opens dodgy building


This blog has exposed the dodgy hear-no-evil-see-no-evil practices within the $400 million concrete industry with multiple posts about the concrete cancer issue affecting numerous buildings

The industry association, the Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ), has said “it’s been a hell-of-a-time for the concrete industry in the press” as it “rubbishes allegations that elevated alkali levels in cement and concrete are putting the structural integrity of some [read Manukau District Court Building] buildings in jeopardy”.   Read more »

Nick Smith, the gift that keeps on stuffing up

So first Smith allocated areas for special housing that were actually council owned and not his to rule over.  What else can go wrong?

He also allocated land that has ancestral burial grounds and is one of Auckland’s historic and pristine areas.

A Fletchers project to build up to 480 homes on a Mangere site, including ancestral burial caves, may be the first Auckland Special Housing Area to be revoked after a revolt by local residents and a change of mind by some city councillors.

Seven Auckland councillors, including both Manukau ward councillors Arthur Anae and Alf Filipaina, have signed a notice of motion to revoke support for a Special Housing Area (SHA) at the next full council meeting on August 27.

Mr Anae said he had changed his mind because of a similar change of stance by members of the nearby Makaurau Marae, whose ancestors are buried in at least three lava caves on the 16ha site adjoining the Otuataua Stonefields near Auckland Airport.

“Personally I think we should relook at it because it sounds like there’s been a change of thinking,” he said.    Read more »

Is it time to privatise the Building Consent process?

The major problem with housing, especially in Auckland is council inability to process in a timely fashion consents.

Perhaps it is time we considered privatising the process, after all the leaky home crisis is reason enough with councils consenting faulty designs…and then walking away from responsibility.

The Government is looking at ways to boost the private sector’s role in issuing building and resource consents.

At the same time it is eyeing ways to limit councils’ liability and ensure consumers are protected if builders fold to avoid paying for dodgy buildings.

Speaking to delegates at National’s annual conference in Auckland on Saturday, Housing Minister Nick Smith said a house typically costs about $500,00 to build, but councils would only receive about $10,000 in fees – equivalent to about 2 per cent of the revenue from the house.    Read more »

Tell ‘im ‘e’s dreamin’

Nick Smith reckons he can fix housing before the 2017 election.

Daryl Kerrigan knows a thing or two about bold claims like this…and I know what he’d be saying to Nick Smith.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says he can cut Auckland’s housing shortfall by the next election.

That figure is currently 32,000 thousand, but in its latest report the Productivity Commission expects it to grow to 60,000 by 2020.   Read more »

Why is the tax payer picking up part of this private company’s bill?

Nick for Nelson

The Port of Nelson has revenues of $46 million, and a net profit after taxation of $7.6 million. On top of that it paid a dividend to its shareholders of $4.2 million.

Yet for some reason this corporate bludger has its hand out for government cash.

The Government is to give $200,000 towards a study on how to clean up an area at Port Nelson which is considered one of New Zealand’s most toxic sites.

Minister for the Environment Nick Smith says the Calwell Slip, which is contaminated from chemicals used in ship maintenance since the 1970s, ranks among the Government’s top clean-up priorities.   Read more »

SHA’s are failing dramatically

SHA’s are failing dramatically to achieve the intended purpose of increasing supply. And surprise surprise – the reason is Auckland Council.

A recently released schedule from the Special Housing Area office has revealed that the full build out of SHA’s will not be delivered for 25 years – in 2040.

You can be sure that the reason for this is the rollout of infrastructure.

Council can thwart all greenfield land rollout by refusing to produce the necessary connecting infrastructure and despite that the developers will pay for it.

So what is Nick Smith going to do about it?

Increasing supply was the key plank in his strategy to dealing with Auckland Council and the issue of affordable housing. The results of which are now – two years later – failing.   Read more »