Obviously the thought of a grumpy Nick Smith waving hot tongs around the Christmas barbecue in darkest Dipton was too much for best buddy Bill English to contemplate.
In other words for the past eight years there has been a comprehensive programme led by Smith and English – to try and increase the supply and affordability of housing.
Smith’s farewell press release would have you believe it’s been a raging success.
The new Prime Minister’s words suggest otherwise.
As does the disastrous state of the housing market in Auckland.
Years of under-supply in Auckland have caused the average house price to hit $1 million.
An Auckland City Mission census counted at least 228 homeless in the CBD alone.
While Smith plugs the latest 30,161 national annual dwelling consents as a sign of success Auckland consents made up only 9947 of these.
Even if all are built that is well under the 13,000 new dwellings estimated to be needed annually to meet the city’s expanding population and does nothing to address the existing 40,000 shortfall.
With annual net migration running at over 70,000 and around half of these immigrants expected to settle in Auckland – Westpac Banking senior economist Satish Ranchhod is putting it mildly when he says ‘building in Auckland is still failing to keep up with population growth’.
The Prime Minister in his role in charge of Housing New Zealand and Smith – have spectacularly failed to solve Auckland’s housing crisis over several years.
Now it seems the ‘market”‘is to blame.