A perfect storm of ineptitude

Phil Twyford Credit: Pixy

My word, didn’t Collins enjoy herself in the House on Tuesday and Wednesday? Asking the embattled minister about houses offered as passing the ‘additionality’ test when they were completed before the Kiwibuild deal with the developer was signed. Then querying houses that pass the ‘affordability’ test when an identical house next door is being sold for $10,000 less.

Poor old Twyford, he is such a bumbling, inept minister, it really would be worthwhile passing the Euthanasia Bill, just to put him out of his misery.

National started the Special Housing Area scheme so Labour had to cancel it. There is no real reason, simply ‘some animals good, some animals bad’. ‘They’ did it so it must be bad.

Twyford claims it was only a ‘transitional’ measure, but the problem is that there is is nothing in place yet to transition to. Until Twyford has the UDA up and running in 2020 there is a vacuum and a shortage of land on which to build.

By all means kill off a transitional provision, but a sensible approach would be to have the replacement up and operating first.

There will now be a two-year hiatus before the UDA is operational, and maybe even longer, as things never seem to go quite to plan.

The situation in Tauranga is that housing developers say that they will exhaust the supply of available housing land and then be laying off staff. This is because Tauranga City Council appears not to have provided 10 years of supply of residential land as they are enjoined to by central government. It appears that they have less than one year of supply.

Two SHAs in Tauranga would have allowed for 500 new homes but since Twyford pulled the plug the 500 homes (which would have passed an ‘additionality’ test) have gone down the gurgler.

It would seem that Twyford does not accept that there is a housing crisis in one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities.

New housing areas require roads for access but Twyford has killed off any roading projects around Tauranga, SH2 and SH29, and now we know why. He had no intention of letting this new land be developed for residential housing, so there is, therefore, no need for roading improvements.

I understand that when various different decisions mesh together to achieve a positive outcome it is called joined-up-thinking. However, in this case it is more like a perfect storm of ineptitude.

Add a council that has not adequately provided for the future with a minister who removes the one lifeline that could have rescued them and the whole lot sinks.