Nick Smith paints a target on National by hiding Housing Affordability Measures

Labour’s Phil Twyford says the Government is probably trying to bury embarrassing data in their long-delayed Housing Affordability Measure, as calls grow for the project to be released.

The Housing Affordability Measure (HAM) was commissioned by Cabinet in 2012 but still has yet to see the light of day, despite a planned release in 2015, 2016, then February 2017.

Documents released to Stuff under the Official Information Act revealed Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) officials were worried about a possible lack of “minsterial agreement” with the measures.

That’s code talk for Smith being off on one of his tangents again and the other people around the Cabinet table refusing to commit to collective responsibility for yet another Smith clusterwhatsit.    

An MBIE briefing considers the risks and benefits of a 2017 release. Emphasis added by Stuff.

Labour, the Green Party, and ACT are calling for the Government to release the measure as soon as possible.

Twyford, Labour’s spokesman for housing, said it “looks like” Buildings Minister Nick Smith was trying to bury the data.

“I think Nick Smith has probably done his best to make sure that this new affordability measure doesn’t see the light of day, because he knows just how embarrassing it would be for the Government given the atrocious state of the housing market,” he said.

“I think what started out seeming like a good idea for the Government a few years ago, it looks like they’ve done their best to try and bury it. It’s pretty clear from what the officials have said in these documents that there’s a great deal of embarrassment about it.”

Better to lance the boil and get it out in the open and then fire up the Announcement party to deal with whatever the perceived problems are.  In politics, it’s never the original sin that takes you down – it’s always the cover-up.

And, just quietly, when Nick Smith is handing Chinky Phil Twyford easy hits on the government, that in itself needs to be stopped.   A good leader would take care of this, but Bill English runs his crew on the basis of mateship, not what’s good for the country.


– Stuff


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