Govt, Auckland Council at odds over housing
The blame game between central and local government over the housing crisis is getting personal.
Housing Minister Nick Smith has attacked an Auckland Councillor, calling him a "Nimby" for blocking a housing development.
A corner in Herne Bay is a small battlefield in the war between the Government and Auckland Council over how to speed up housing supply. The Government wants 70 apartments built there, but Auckland Councillor Mike Lee is trying to stop it, and that's got Dr Smith angry.
"Mike Lee is guilty of Nimbyism," said Dr Smith.
The Government has designated the site of the old Gables pub a "special housing area". That allows for fast-tracked development, with between four to seven of the apartments "affordable housing". It's about getting more housing into inner-Auckland's "urban intensification".
But neighbours don't like it, and, local councillor Mr Lee is on their side. Mr Lee wrote earlier this year, saying the development was "overriding the civil rights of neighbouring property owners".
Dr Smith responded, saying he found Mr Lee's position "ironic", "odd" and "part of the problem".
"We cannot have that sort of Nimbyism. That's at the core of where Auckland has gone wrong. That's why I've politely written back to Mr Lee and said 'actually, you are being a hypocrite'."
Mr Lee actually lives on Waiheke Island, but that didn't stop Dr Smith.
The housing blame-game is getting messier than ever, with images from The Nation showing Aucklanders living in cars.
The Government wants to build more houses, but says Auckland Council is just too slow and it's on notice.