Judith Collins gets Prime Ministerial brush-off from Jacinda Ardern over housing crisis solution

After three years on the attack, National has extended an olive branch to the Government - proposing they work together to tackle the housing crisis. 

It wants to introduce urgent temporary legislation similar to that used to rebuild Christchurch after the quakes. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says National's suggestions have already been covered by the Government. 

Collins made the suggestion during her State of the Nation speech in Auckland on Tuesday, during which she reflected on National's election defeat in October. 

"The National Party spent far too much time focussed on our internal problems and not enough time on the needs of the public," she said. "As a result, voters sent us a very clear message... and we've heard it."

For National, 2021 is about being constructive and first out of the starting blocks this year is an up-cycled idea to solve the housing crisis. 

"It is too hard to build a house in New Zealand - it's as simple as that. We need to make it drastically easier," Collins said. 

The new National Party reaching across the aisle, with Collins writing to the Prime Minister pledging to work with the Government to fix the housing crisis. 

National is proposing a similar law to that used for the Christchurch rebuild - urgent temporary legislation that would force councils to free up land and speed up consenting. 

"It's really important that we take away those roadblocks," Collins told reporters.

"Those roadblocks, as we've seen before, once you remove them as we did in Christchurch for a limited period of time, it can get houses built," Collins said.

But it gained Collins a Prime Ministerial brush off - 'thanks but no thanks'. 

"The thing that she's saying we should do, we've already done," Ardern said on Tuesday. "But, I take the offer in good faith. We want to fix the housing crisis."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff agrees with Ardern. 

"Rapidly increasing house prices are a big concern, but zoning isn't the problem. Auckland's Unitary Plan has already rezoned land for more than one million new home builds through zoning changes," he said in a statement to Newshub. 

"The real constraint on getting the supply of housing we need is the funding and delivery of infrastructure to support new developments.

"We would welcome bipartisan assistance from Wellington to increase funding for badly needed infrastructure and help us bring forward new housing development."

And perhaps learning from the failure to meet KiwiBuild targets - Collins is refusing is to say how many houses her policy will net. 

"I'm not going to make silly proposals about what the private sector can do. What I do know, though, is that the private sector just wants the Government to get out of the way," Collins said. 

Writing to the Prime Minister offering constructive suggestions has the Government snookered - its only housing announcement thus far was a reheated one from last year's Budget, and a promise of more in this year's, which is still about four months away.