June 16, 2015
Clarity sought in housing debacle
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says taking the government to court over its sell-off of Auckland land may be the best way to determine if it has a housing policy or a privatisation policy.
Housing Minister Nick Smith will today meet representatives from Ngati Whatua and Waikato Tainui, who want to ask the High court to clarify what they can expect from the right of first refusal included in their treaty settlements.
They feel the government is trying to flout its obligations to iwi.
Ms Wall says given the confusion surrounding the policy, they will do the country a great service.
"Because if they are going to flog off land to the highest bidder, allow most of that land to build homes that are going to then be sold on the open market, then they are not addressing what is a core and fundamental issue which is the lack of supply of quality state houses and social housing for New Zealanders who are the most vulnerable," she says.
Louisa Wall says if the Government cared about the housing needs of lower income people, it would find ways for Housing New Zealand to help some of its tenants into the so called affordable housing that is being built.
Meanwhile, New Zealand First says iwi negotiating treaty settlements can’t expect Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell to back them up.
Spokesperson Pita Paraone says the Maori Party co-leader played Pontius Pilate when asked to give assurances the National-led Government he is part of will honour rights of first refusal, saying that it was in the hands of other ministers.
Mr Paraone asked how iwi could trust Mr Flavell when he allows treaty settlements to be rewritten while he and the Maori Party sit at the table of government.
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