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Special Housing Area provisions are failing but Nick Smith thinks everything is fine

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, July 4th, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: housing, national, national/act government, nick smith, Politics, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Auckland is in the middle of a housing crisis, a sustained out of control housing crisis.

The evidence is everywhere.  Million dollar suburbs are the norm in many areas.  Teachers, police, nurses and other important state servants are fleeing the city because they can no longer afford to live here.  And every day families whose parents have jobs are living in cars and people are sleeping rough in reserves and parks and  town centres throughout the region.

Things have never been this bad in my lifetime.  They may have been worse in the 1930s but this is a pretty low bar to set.

Radio New Zealand this morning has presented news suggesting that the Government’s flagship policy, the Special Housing Area legislation, has produced less than a hundred affordable houses at a time that thousands are required.

From Radio New Zealand:

Auckland Council’s solution for the city’s housing crisis has been running for four years but it still cannot say how many affordable homes have been built.

The council has set up more than 150 Special Housing Areas (SHAs) with the government, under the Housing Accord, in order to fast-track building tens of thousands of new homes.

Under the deal at least 10 percent of large developments have to have cheaper homes for first-home buyers on modest incomes.

But the council said it had no single system for monitoring exactly how many had been built and sold.

It said it had received 83 statutory declarations since April 2016 from developers who had sold an affordable house to someone who fit the criteria.

Nick Smith was interviewed and produced this train wreck .  He has this uncanning ability to sound completely confident at a time when he is surrounded by compelling evidence that his policies have failed.

He tried to claim that the Government’s policies were succeeding because the SHAs have produced more houses.  The fact that so few of them are affordable does not matter because market.  It makes you wonder why.

He also suggested that the Government never thought that the affordable housing provisions of the Auckland Housing Accord and the legislation would work and that the only solution was to increase supply.  If I had a dollar for every time in the past he has claimed the Government was doing something for the housing crisis because of the special provisions I would be a very wealthy person.

He talked about a “tourniquet that was applied in 2004”.  I am not sure what he was referring to.  If he was referring to the Rural Urban Boundary this was brought in by the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy that was completed in 1999.

He said that there had been growth in housing completion numbers for the past 6 years and housing affordability has improved.  As to the former claim well it was after the Global Financial Crisis and as to the latter I really doubt it.

And this graph from the Auckland Mayoral Housing Taskforce Report clearly shows the problem.  The growth in households is outstripping housing completions by a long margin.

People are seeing through Smith’s alt facts. It really is time to change the Government so that we have a regime that actually gives a damn about the problem.


25 comments on “Special Housing Area provisions are failing but Nick Smith thinks everything is fine ”

  1. savenz 1

    Nick smith, turns fish to faeces as environment minister and now housing to hallucinations….

    Love the fact (sarcasm) that the government pushed through undemocratic leglistation for the SHA to provide more money to crony developers and land owners but don’t have any recording in place to check if worked to produce the affordable housing..

    Control freaks on authoritarian planning but then no checks on the actual housing… yep, National party through and through.

    By the way, no transport was ever part of their control freakery so just another reason why we have a massive congestion issue now in Auckland as well as facing huge costs as ratepayers to subsidise the National party Ponzi agenda.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Great discussion on Radionz this a.m. Auckland CC doesn’t have a clue about whether specs have built the affordable houses they have been tasked to do on SHA Special Housing Areas (and there is no defined level of affordable). There is no compulsion for the specs to report, there are no definite lines to measure themselves against. Is there anything in the box, will there be any sign of Schrödinger’s cat when you open it up? So gummint says don’t open it up, you will disturb the status quo, you’ll just upset the system.

    Smoke and mirrors. A fog of words. Green smoke from behind the green curtain of the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City. And where is Emerald City itself – Auckland or Wellington? Confused by it all? Feeling that there is much that is going on beyond our ken? Ken needs to keep trying to learn, eventually he will get somewhere (perhaps check where the Topp Twins are.)

    There are some short youtubes on philosophers etc. that may not clear up everything in your mind but can offer a comforting sense of being lost in a world of thought with people of high repute. Join in and something might crop up that is a breakthrough in human thinking.

    So let’s extend ourselves and we will probably be 100% ahead in our brain capacity from any of the pollies mooning around in parliament, practising their smiles and whitening their teeth, practising their delivery of half-truths, rebuttals, vague promises, checking their images in the mirror.

    Treatment suggestion. Start with Heidegger and take in one a day till supply runs out.

  3. Sacha 3

    Tinkering with supply while refusing to constrain demand for ‘investment’ properties will never fix the housing crisis. This govt are dangerously ideological fools, and Smith is their prize clown. Joke’s on us if they get re-elected.

  4. Wensleydale 4

    Nick Smith is like a man whose house is on fire, and he’s sitting in his armchair cheerily remarking, “Goodness me, if it’s not delightfully toasty in here.”

    • greywarshark 4.1

      He has burned his fingers before and recovered. I think he is flameproof, but possibly overproof this time.

    • garibaldi 4.2

      I think the photo shows a man out standing in his field !

  5. Carolyn_nth 5

    Map of SHAs.

    When I go north I see housing being built in Orewa and Whangaparaoa.

    There’s issues of length of commute to jobs from there, access to motorways and public transport – infrastructure.

    I also see green fields being prepared for housing in Warkworth – not on the SHA map.

    • Molly 5.1

      IIRC, that housing in Warkworth was part of the growth strategy, already in place before the Unitary Plan and the proposal for SHAs.

      The SHAs were the result of a very brief standoff with Auckland Council, whose consultation had overwhelmingly indicated Aucklanders to be in favour of higher density living. Nick Smith on behalf of the National government, threatened to not ratify the Unitary Plan unless the provision for SHAs were included. SHAs do not fall under the higher density guidelines, or RMA requirements and allowed for development of greenfields and landbanks without the need for Private Plan Change processes.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1

        Thanks, Molly. That’s useful info.

        • s y d

          SHA’s are being (ab)used to circumvent the rights of local communities and affected persons to have any voice in large scale developments. It is intended to short circuit the meagre provisions for notification in the RMA and is being used to great effect, for the sole benefit of developers, in my provincial city.
          It has nothing to do with affordability, except perhaps in the most basic sense of supply and demand curves and equilibrium price and all that invisible hand wankery

  6. Keith 6

    If Nick Smith ever had a brand, it is shot, burned out and ruined. And he is light years past his use by date.

    But the worst thing about his never ending default of twisting turning lies is that he is absolutely typical of his party and this government.

    A very sad deluded little man!

    • tc 6.1

      Ideal national mp material

    • Tamati Tautuhi 6.2

      The guy runs around like a cat on a hot tin roof. I don’t think he is as smart as his qualifications lead one to believe, very little substance behind the man. He is basically all piss and wind or am I being a bit harsh ?

  7. Siobhan 7

    I notice ‘affordable’ in Auckland now means up to $650,000, to allow for 2 and 3 bedroom houses apparently. So I assume that till this point ‘affordable’ was largely one bedroom units.

    I’m curious as to whether or not Labour will stick to this definition of ‘Affordable’. I really hope not, as unless you are a well paid professional couple, its hard to call $650,000 affordable with a straight face.

    By definition it excludes average working families trying to save while struggling to pay at least 30% of their income in rent.


  8. weka 8

    Just going to point out again, and sorry to be pedantic, but it’s not just an Auckland housing crisis, it’s a national one. Not only are the same dynamics happening elsewhere anyway, but Aucklanders cashing up on their over-inflated properties and then buying elsewhere in NZ are then causing further inflation in those places. This is even worse where Aucklanders are using that equity to buy investment or holiday properties because those then contribute to the rental housing shortage. It’s bad all round 🙁

    • Sabine 8.1

      been saying that for years. The canary has died and the mine management had no fucks to give.

      i my little rural slice of nz where i now reside, there are four occupied houses in the street. I live in one of them. All the others are owned by people that spend the occasional weekend here or rent them to tourists in summer.

      locals now have a hard time finding accommodation for the whole year vs only the 6 month winter period.

      its bloody stupid.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Yep, and tourism and Airbnb are part of that mix too. Why rent out to long term tenants when you can do Airbnb instead and make more money for less wear and tear.

        The thing that also amazes me is how we have so many people that can buy their own homes and afford a holiday house with the prices the way they are.

        • Sabine

          they don’t
          the bank owns.
          my partner and i are rare among out friends insofar as we don’t carry debt. so what little we own we own.
          Friends of our however, the house, the cars, the boat its all on the mortgage. They own not even the shirts on their back and i would assume this goes for a lot of ‘well to do’ NZ’lers. Once you service all outstanding loans and credit cards whtat is left over?

  9. greywarshark 9

    Something positive that has come from Nelson – to take away some of the bad
    from Nick Smith.

    We aren’t far away from thinking about spring so here is something to help you advance your gardening plans. And if you aren’t in even a secure rented home, buy some cheap buckets and Screw some holes in the bottom. Then you can have your lettuce, your strawberries, your fresh sweet carrots wherever you go.

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    The members are super keen for the Chamberlain Park Golf Club to be converted to State Housing.

  11. Incognito 11

    Let me see if I have this right: the winners from the SHA legislation and provisions are, in no particular order:

    1. Developers
    2. Realtors
    3. Banks
    4. Lawyers
    5. Insurers
    6. Council(s)
    7. Landowners (??)
    8. …

    National must be almighty pleased with these SHAs.

  12. Bearded Git 12

    I love the way the 2% decrease in Akl prices in the last year, leaving average prices still close to a million, is being treated by idiots/liars like Smith as a triumph.

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    What is it in the Nelson / Tasman water that keeps the electorates voting this useless piece of humbug in?

    He used to be “Dr Nick Smith”. Apparently he has Ph D.

    I am glad that I did not attend that university.

    Apparently he once led the national party, cannot remember for how long.

    That double dipton is his best mate is not surprising, they are both robots owned by Treasury.

  14. gsays 14

    So for all this gross incompetence, where is the opposition?
    Don’t go blaming the MSM.
    The fact that this ignoramus can go from botch up to botch up and remain unscathed is a damning indictment on Labour and greens on the opposition benches.
    If the media are not reporting the great work Mr Twyford is doing, change your tactics, do something that does work, do something that breaks through, is worthy of reporting.

    Unless.. The salary is ok, don’t want to do something radical that will annoy the landlord class that parliament is riddled with.

    In short give yourself an uppercut.

  15. Philj 15

    Nick Smith once to me at a public meeting that cyclists could expect nothing from the government as they don’t pay road taxes!
    Clearly, according to Nick, you only count in NZ if you pay.

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