Govt accused of blaming Auckland Council for its own failings on housing

Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Monday, 30 May 2016, 5:27a.m.
Labour MP Phil Twyford (Photo / NZ Herald)
Labour MP Phil Twyford (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Government is being accused of playing politics of self interest on Auckland city.

It comes as the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have attacked the Auckland's Council's performance on urban planning, and follows heavy hints that the Government could directly intervene in Auckland's local governance as a result of the city's housing problems.

Labour MP Phil Twyford said if the Government did put commissioners into Auckland there would be some big risks attached to that.

"I don't think anybody in Auckland accepts this line that the Government is peddling that Auckland Council is solely to blame for the housing crisis.

"It's purely self serving politics that sees National trying to blame Auckland Council."

The Greens say the Government has to shoulder some of the blame for Auckland's housing woes.

Green co-leader James Shaw said the Government's attacks on Auckland Council are an excuse not to take responsibility for the Government's own failings.

"They're blaming the entire thing on Auckland City Council, when in fact it's government lead on policy over the course of the last eight years that has led to the situation."

Mr Shaw said it's all down to the Government missing a trick on it's Budget; not waking up in time to how serious the housing crisis is.

"And so as they were putting together the Budget, they were trying to continue their previous policy of doing as little as possible, and unfortunately that just didn't land well."

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