Looks like the housing crisis is over, Labour opposes building new houses in Auckland

It beggars belief that the crisis that Labour manufactured in housing seems to be over.

You’d have to make that assumption because Phil “Chinky” Twyford has come out opposing the building of new houses and shanking Maori interests at the same time.

Labour has dropped support for legislation that would see public reserve land at Pt England developed for housing as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with local iwi – labelling the move a “land grab”.

The 300 home development has emerged as one of the most controversial local issues in Maungakiekie in election year and Labour’s candidate Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced her party’s opposition to the development along with housing spokesman Phil Twyford. ?

Maungakiekie is a marginal seat and Radhakrishnan will be aiming to wrest it back off National after current MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga announced his retirement from Parliament. National’s candidate is Auckland Councillor Denise Lee.

Labour’s opposition has disappointed Ngati Paoa, who said without the land there would be no Treaty settlement between it and the Crown.

By opposing the legislation Labour is opposing a Treaty settlement bill – for the first time in the history of the Treaty settlement process,” said Hauauru Rawiri, chief executive of Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust.

“All other iwi in Tamaki Makaurau support this transfer. Opposing the Bill pits the Labour Party against mana whenua of Auckland.”

Rawiri said he urged Labour’s Maori MPs to lobby colleagues on the issue and vote against their party if necessary.

The Point England Development Enabling Bill allows for housing development on 11.7 hectares of the 48 hectare Point England Reserve in Tamaki, east Auckland.

I guess we now know where Labour stands on Maori settlements. The Maori party at least will be pleased. But I thought there was a housing crisis?

This is also a flip-flop for Labour, having originally supported the proposal.

When Labour supported the enabling legislation at its first reading in December its Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare said he was “extremely excited” about the opportunity for Ngati Paoa.

And Labour’s Kelston MP Carmel Sepuloni said the party supported the bill because “we will support any piece of legislation that is going to be about building more affordable homes in Auckland”.

“It does not make sense to use prime land for grazing cows when it could be used for affordable housing,” Sepuloni said.

Whoopsy. So, affordable housing is no longer a priority either.

To think that Twyford is the genius running Labour’s election campaign. Here’s some more of his dazzling strategy:

However, in a press release today Twyford said the legislation was a “land grab” that flew in the face of the local community’s wishes.

“The Minister seems to think because some of the land has cows grazing on it, it’s fair game to take it for housing. The community needs this land for future generations. Once it is sold for housing it will be permanently lost to the public.”

Opposing the legislation was a tough call given Labour’s strong support for Treaty settlements, Twyford said, but National had “completely stuffed it up”.

“They could have offered land the Government already owns which is right next to the reserve that is now part of the Tamaki redevelopment. Instead they’re grabbing park land against the wishes of the local community which sets a dangerous precedent.”

Labour are yet to graduate from just opposing anything to actually proposing solutions. He wants to keep the land for future generations…and despite calling for more houses is now against it. The logic escapes me.


– NZ Herald