web analytics

Government seeking to remove property buy back rights under urgency

Written By: - Date published: 4:38 pm, September 6th, 2016 - 13 comments
Categories: housing, national, same old national - Tags: , ,

Nick Smith, Minister for housing, has introduced the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill into Parliament today and the Government is seeking to pass it under urgency.

The legislation shows clearly how shambolic his handling of his portfolio is.

The bill attempts to achieve two goals.  The first extends times for special housing area applicants to do various things.  The original bill should have provided regulatory power to extend these dates.  That it did not is clearly a mistake.

But the more startling provision is the removal of the right of prior landowners of land taken under the Public Works Act to be offered their land back.  This is a valuable right preserved under sections 40 to 42 of the Public Works Act 1981.  If land is taken compulsorily but then no longer needed then as long as certain conditions are met it is meant to be offered back to the original owner of the land or their successor.

The bill removes this right.  They want to pass this change under urgency.  This is banana republic stuff.

It appears the Government’s disingenuous ways is creeping into legislation drafting.  The bill seeks to amend section 15 of the Housing Act 1955 and states that “to avoid doubt, sections 40 to 42 of the Public Works Act 1981 do not apply (and have never applied) to the disposal of State housing land …”.  It then lists various circumstances where the amendment applies.

The wording suggests that there is a possibility that the Public Works Act applies and all they are doing is clearing up a possible inconsistency.  All I can say is utter tosh.

In it present form section 15 of the Housing Act 1955 states:

Subject as hereafter provided in this Act, any State housing land and any buildings or chattels held for State housing purposes may be disposed of by way of sale, lease, or tenancy by the Corporation.

The section does not override the Public Works Act provisions.  All it says is that state housing land may be disposed of by various ways.  You need much clearer language to change the very clear rights of buy back which the Public Works Act 1981 achieves.

But wait there is more.  The Regulatory Impact Statement does not refer to the removal of buy back rights.  And I am struggling to see why both parts of the bill need to be passed under urgency.  The first certainly does, but the second should go through some sort of select committee process as a minimum.

Treaty of Waitangi settlements are not affected.  Ngati Whatua took Smith to Court last year but withdrew its proceedings after Smith promised rights of first offer to develop land before it was offered to other developers.  But if the situation is so clear why did Smith settle with Iwi rather than fight it out in court?

Labour is seeking to split the bill into two parts.  The first could be passed and the second sent to select committee.  When property rights are affected then nothing less than a full select committee process should be followed.

13 comments on “Government seeking to remove property buy back rights under urgency ”

  1. Fustercluck 1

    There is probably a festering boil of the Nats own making that is about to erupt and this is how they hope to avoid being splattered in their own pus.

  2. NZJester 2

    There is most likely some juicy land they want to sell on to cronies at a fraction of what it is worth, but there are people with first right of refusal they do not want to have to offer the land to first.

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    Urgency should require approval by at least 75% of the MPs.

    I can think NO instance in our history when a bill genuinely required urgency. Yet urgency is commonly used by both Labour and National.

    Labour and National’s biggest lie is that this blatant abuse of power is “democracy.”

    A curse on both your houses.

  4. I look forward to weeks of ‘Democracy Under Attack’ headlines from Granny Herald.

  5. tc 5

    Nick’s not as good as the ‘profit from crisis’ model as others in nact, a little too obvious and such a foot in mouth buffoon at times.

    Plunder ahoy !

  6. vto 6

    It doesn’t surprise in this neck of the woods – governments have a well established record of consolidating their own power at the expense of the people

    Banks already have similar, introduced quietly a couple of years ago

    Kiwisaver wont escape either

    … the ever-expanding bubble of central government power

  7. Sirenia 7

    Why did the Maori Party support urgency and the legislation?

  8. Nick Smith is also (supposedly) Environment Minister, right?

    I read the headline about tampering with the Public Works Act and it immediately set off alarm bells about another article I read recently in regards to the Department of Conservation getting schooled in the Appeals Court by Forest and Bird for giving the thumbs up for a controversial native habitat land swap which would have allowed Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s shambolic/outrageous Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme / Dam to go ahead:

    “HBRIC could pursue another tack … use the Public Works Act to simply seize the land, claiming and overriding public good purpose. However that avenue too would involve an extensive process and potential legal review.”

    http://www.baybuzz.co.nz/archives/8587/

    If the government (allegedly ACC are looking at “investing” in this scheme too) are hell-bent on pushing this project along (and pushing HB ratepayers into millions of dollars worth of debt) then expecting a few extra, unnoticed tweaks into such “urgent” legislation to help it isn’t too far fetched a concept, is it?

  9. save nz 9

    Shocking. You are completely right MS, banana republic stuff. How we can go from a respected social democracy to a banana republic in 8 years under Key, is unbelievable.

  10. Error 404 10

    One way to fix the housing crisis at practically no cost is to move that Naval base to Dunedin. Instantly houses there would be a heap of houses available and the sale of the waterfront land could pay for the whole move and new building.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    2 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago