More concerns raised over John Key's $1bil housing fund

By Ripeka Timutimu

The housing debate is heating up with the Labour Party challenging the government in the House today claiming its new $1bil housing fund does nothing to help the most vulnerable.

Labour leader Andrew Little and MPs Phil Twyford, William Sua Sio and Meka Whaitiri teamed up in a deliberate challenge to the government and the Māori Party over housing policies. They say they are failing our most vulnerable.

Prime Minister John Key got straight to the point when challenged over NZ's housing issues. But the Labour Party was quick to laugh off suggestions that housing plans were working and continued their onslaught against the government.

Housing Minister Nick Smith told Te Kāea that plans were underway to utilise land for houses in Auckland with iwi at the negotiating table.

“We have three quite specific projects before Auckland iwi that may choose to pick up if they can provide a competitive bid for new housing.”

The National Party put out numbers showing what their housing plan was achieving, with 85,000 homes to be built in this parliamentary term alone. However, even Key conceded that it's not enough.

“House prices are going up faster than the government want. There's no getting around it, if we want to get around we need to keep the pressure on.”

Labour's focus on housing this week is no coincidence. Te Kāea understands a special announcement on housing is expected from the party this Sunday.