Nick Smith

National’s clean water policy is laudable, but they’re getting beaten up

Government’s commitment to strengthening national policy requirements for swimmable lakes and rivers is great news for the community, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.

Doocey said the Waimak’s unique set of circumstances – of rapid growth, mix of urban and peri-urban areas, and its regeneration – made water management a key part of the Waimakariri success story.

“Water usage is an important topic for this area; in Waimakariri, freshwater is in our name and our economic and recreational success is linked to our water usage,” Doocey said.

“When I attended the local community water usage talks last year I was impressed by the collaboration between Environment Canterbury, the Waimakariri District Council and other partners, including local iwi and the community. Their evidence-based approach demonstrates the ability for issues to be managed at a local level.”

Doocey also brought Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner to Waimakariri last year to be briefed on the work being undertaken by the Kaiapoi River Rehabilitation Group to rehabilitate the Kaiapoi River. Read more »

Twyford is right: Nick Smith is dreamin’. But then he loses all sense of reality

Nick Smith has confirmed National has no plan to build 69,000 houses in Auckland, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

In Question Time today, Nick Smith admitted that the 69,000 figure is only the theoretical number of houses that could be built to replace 27,000 existing state houses over the next 30-50 years. There is no plan to actually build these houses, let alone to ensure they are affordable for first homebuyers or kept as state houses.

“Bill English is buckling under the pressure. He’s got no answers on the housing crisis and is making up policy on the fly. Nick Smith has now admitted the government has no plans to build 69,000 houses.

“This isn’t leadership; it’s desperation from a Prime Minister who just wishes the housing crisis would go away but won’t do anything about it.

“At the same time, Nick Smith is trying to claim the housing shortage is ‘only’ 10,000-20,000 houses but he can’t back that number up in any way. The Government’s own documents say the shortage in Auckland is 30,000-35,000 and the nationwide shortage is 60,000. Read more »

Slow

“Roading” minister Nick Smith at a photo op along SH1 north of Kaikoura.  Go on.  Photoshop away.  Or use the usual Meme tools here.   Read more »

Free up land or else Nick Smith tells councils

Central government is to order councils to free up more land for housing…or else

The government has signed off its national policy statement that ensures councils in rapidly growing urban areas provide enough land for new housing and business developments.

It takes effect on December 1 and big councils experiencing high growth will be most affected – Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton.

Smaller fast-growing cities such as Nelson and Queenstown will also be affected.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says the national policy statement requires councils to allow for a greater supply of houses, so prices rise more slowly and houses are more affordable.

“The long-term, root cause of New Zealand’s housing affordability problems is insufficient land supply, especially in Auckland where median section prices increased 350 per cent from 1990 to now,” he said on Monday.   Read more »

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Nick Smith makes more…. housing announcements

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Housing Minister Nick Smith announced the new development on New North Road, just 8km from the CBD, on Wednesday after signing an agreement with the Marutuahu Ropu and Ockham Residential Ltd, the first under the Crown and Tamaki Collective Housing Protocol.

Under previous rules the former New Zealand Transport Agency site would have been able to sustain 24 homes, but with Special Housing Area status that figure has more than quadrupled. Read more »

National’s RMA reform is neutered and comatose

They really should just shelve it until next term.  

It’s a watered down waste of time and resources.  Oh the irony.

The government’s latest attempt to reform the Resource Management Act continues to run into trouble, with the chairman of the select committee conceding on Thursday that the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill will miss its third report back deadline of Nov. 7.

In part, the delay appears related to the fact that Environment Minister Nick Smith is still negotiating with the Maori Party over aspects of the bill, which is struggling to gain sufficient support from government support partners to pass into law.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday he believed agreements had been reached with the two-MP Maori Party, but Smith confirmed in a text message on Wednesday that “discussions with the Maori Party are progressing and constructive but not yet concluded” and were “some time away”.

Read more »

Paula Bennett and Nick Smith, you are the weakest link, goodbye

Paula Bennett and Nick Smith, your time is up.

John Key must surely realise these two muppets are costing votes in Auckland.

First-home buyers have only been able to get their hands on 18 affordable houses across all of the Auckland Special Housing Areas.

New data released to Labour from Auckland Council shows while 1029 “affordable units” have been consented for special housing areas across Auckland, just 18 have been built and sold to first-home buyers.

There are 154 special housing areas across Auckland – meaning 151 of them have failed to produce a single house that’s gone to a first home buyer.   Read more »

Are we done with Nick yet? Yeah, we are

Matthew Hooton thinks it’s time for Nick Smith to go.

The baffling value Mr Key has placed on the UN has now created a threat to the durability of the quarter-century old Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, the stability of the government and the National Party’s long-term project to prise the Maori vote from Labour.

With Mr Key keen to have something headline-grabbing to talk about at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly last October, the government’s chief energiser bunny, Environment Minister Nick Smith, popped up with a 620,000 square kilometre marine sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands. As Mr Key then boasted to the UN, the sanctuary would be one of the world’s largest, twice the size of New Zealand’s land mass.

The problem is that, in his enthusiasm to please his boss, Dr Smith forgot about the interests of those holding fishing quota, including that granted to iwi under the historic 1992 Sealord deal which kicked off the treaty settlement process, and about the government’s relationship with the Maori Party.  Even the iwi most directly affected were told about the announcement just hours in advance, with Dr Smith calling them with what he thought they would consider good news.

Dr Smith, who entered parliament at the tender age of 25 having first stood for the Rangiora District Council as a schoolboy, seems unable to comprehend that Maori have commercial interests and aspirations beyond, in this case, kai moana swimming happily through the reefs. Similarly, in an issue my PR company was involved in last year, Dr Smith was unable to comprehend that Auckland’s Ngati Whatua’s interest was not his cyclical political problem but protecting the value of its historic treaty settlement and maximising the value of its property portfolio in the long-term interests of its people.

He seems to have the same problem understanding the perspective of other Auckland land owners in his frantic and failed attempts to address the so-called housing crisis.

Read more »

Nick Smith could undermine this Government with his refusal to consult with stakeholders

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Chief executive Dion Tuuta says Dr Smith has handled the whole process poorly with a lack of consultation.

On a matter of principle the Kermadec proposal was worse than the foreshore and seabed scrap of the early 2000s, which was about right to go to court to test ownership rights, he told TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

“This is actually taking away a property right that actually exists.

“We haven’t fished there but our Treaty right also includes the right to develop into the future. So the decision about whether we fish there today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now, that’s is our decision.”

Dr Smith has said any fishing exemptions would undermine any sanctuary’s integrity.

The Maori Party, which is a government ally and wants to bridge the gap between the two parties, is also critical. Read more »

National has little respect for property rights, and Maori will make them pay for the Kermadecs

You’d think Governments would have learnt by now that if they ignore Maori they do so at their peril.

In a row that potentially rivals the foreshore and seabed debacle, which shook the Clark Government, the current Beehive crop seems to have learnt nothing with its plans to set up the Kermadec Ocean sanctuary.

Maori were given fishing rights around the Kermadecs in a so called full and final settlement 25 years ago. The law setting up the sanctuary overrides those rights.

Even though Maori have never fished around the islands to the north east of the country, they’re rightly taking their stand on principle. If they allow this through, they argue, then all the other Treaty settlements come into question.

That’s put the Government’s coalition cobbers, the Maori Party, in the same position that its founder Tariana Turia found herself in way back in 2004 when she walked rather than vote for the foreshore and seabed law that denied Maori their day in court. Read more »