Nick Smith

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 »

Len’s failure: Just 102 houses built out of target of 39,000

Well it’s fair to say that Auckland Council has stuffed up the delivery of housing in Auckland by trying to shaft the Government in a little Mexican standoff.

The Housing Accord was supposed to deliver 39,000 homes in three years. We all know Council didn’t want it to succeed and we all know they have been subsequently and deliberately killing off the Government’s plans by refusing to make the infrastructure connections.

Two years after Auckland Council and the Government signed a “housing accord”, only 102 houses are known to have been built under its “fast-track” rules.

All of them have been constructed in just two areas: Weymouth and northern Tamaki. The council is not aware of any homes being completed under the fast-track provisions in any of the other 95 special housing areas (SHAs).

Instead, at least two blocks of land and a commercial property have been put up for sale after their value was boosted by being designated as SHAs. One was advertised as “a land-banking option”.    Read more »

Dunne v Smith. With two bumbling idiots, it’s hard to know who to root for

I’m torn, in a battle of the idiots these two are fairly evenly placed.

Richard Harman at Politik reports:

Environment Minister Nick Smith is not commenting on a lengthy blog post from United Future Leader Peter Dunne accusing him of having an “all or nothing” approach to Resource Management Act reform.

Mr Smith has consistently told POLITIK that he expects to have a Reform Bill in the House before the end of the year.

But to pass that Bill he will need support from ACT and the Maori Party at the very least.

If he can’t get support from the Maori Party — and they have yet to confirm their full support – then he would need Mr Dunne.

(In May the Maori Party told POLITIK they supported 95% of the proposed changes.)

But it appears that Mr Dunne has been left out of Mr Smith’s briefings on the Bill which has clearly angered him.

Read more »

Fury? Really?

A newspaper has the headline “Fury at changes to pool laws”.


They then have the sob story about some family who remembers when their kid wandered off and drowned in someone else’s pool…and it is all their fault because the property wasn’t fenced properly…maybe…the story is unclear on that.

No personal responsibility for supervising their own kid…no it’s the pool owner’s fault.

Here’s the thing though, the kid was a twin…so they knew where one of them was…so why not the other.

Anyway the newspaper starts with the cry-baby blame game in order to try to blame the government for making changes to the stupid pool fencing laws.

Now, the Government wants to repeal the Swimming Pool Fencing Act of 1987, a comprehensive act that has saved the lives of at least 21 children since its introduction.

At the first reading of the amendment in Parliament in September, Minister for Small Business Craig Foss said the act had successfully reduced deaths from 10 each year to three but it was “cumbersome for pool owners and councils”.   Read more »

The answer is fairly easy: burn them and create electricity

I reckon I’m a shoe in for a grant with my idea for dealing with used tyres.

Environment Minister Nick Smith is offering funding grants for new ideas to recycle about three million old tyres each year that currently end up at the landfill or illegally dumped.

Dr Smith said New Zealand went through about four million tyres each year and while one million were re-exported for recycling or waste energy the remaining three million either ended up in landfills or were dumped.

“New Zealand’s current management of waste tyres does not match up with our clean, green brand. Too many end up in rivers and on the coast, or unwanted stockpiles posing a fire risk.”

He said the tyre industry wanted a compulsory collection system and prohibition on tyres going to landfills.

“The problem is identifying alternative uses. The markets for recycled rubber products like mats and artificial turfs are limited.”

He said more ways needed to be found to use old tyres.

“Possible alternatives including using the tyres as a source of fuel in cement kilns and power stations.”

He said this round of funding for the Waste Minimisation Fund was focused on end-of-life tyres. The fund was set up in 2009 and paid for from the levies on waste at landfills. Applications close on November 11.

Read more »


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 »