Housing Minister's home isn't up to scratch

Housing Minister's home isn't up to scratch

Housing Minister Nick Smith is living in a home that doesn't have code compliance.

The minister was forced to reveal that on Tuesday after facing questions about the number of consents being issued in comparison to the number getting what's called a 'Code Compliance Certificate'.

"I was surprised for instance, my own home that I'm living in doesn't have a code of compliance, there's a bit of work to be done on the driveway," he said.

"That will be true for many thousands of people, there's nothing illegal about it, its just there's certain things that need to be completed before the council will issue a code compliance certificate."

A Code Compliance Certificate is basically a final sign off from the council that the house meets its building consent requirements.

But while the minister knows that his driveway needs "a bit of work", he doesn't seem to know exactly what.

When asked by Newshub what it needed to get it up to scratch, the minister replied: "Uhhh, there's a…" at which point he stopped and laughed.

"I'm not really wanting to get into my own issues, other than saying the driveway needs to be sealed and finished," he continued.

Opposition parties argue that the number of consents being granted far outstrips the number of houses being built.

While 9434 consents were issued in Auckland in the year to May 2016, just 5519 Code Compliance Certificates were issued. That's a rate of just 58.5 percent.

The Green Party says that points to landbanking - people getting a consent to develop but then not actually doing the developing and just sitting on the land and consent for capital gain.

But the Housing Minister says the measure they are using is inaccurate, and the Census is a more accurate reflection of the number of homes being built.

"If you compare the Census data on the number of building consents issued as compared with the number of new homes that are built during that period then it comes in at within 1 percent both nationally and specifically to Auckland."