Myth Busting The Housing Accord

Groan when Government MPs think in one dimension to a problem


One of the flaws of our Westminster Parliamentary system New Zealand has is our strong Party base system that occupies our Parliament. Long story short; the MP’s of a said Party basically tow the line of the party leadership and drone out what ever the leadership says. No dissenting opinion, no critique and no crossing the floor when something really pongs in the legislation department. Essentially all we get is drones harping on about the same think the leader or a Senior Minister has uttered despite deep down it might go against the individual MP’s conscious and morals. In the USA with its Federal Congressional System you have a very weak party system despite having “Democrats” and ‘Republicans.” With the US system the emphasis can be placed on bi-partisanship and members for a said “party” openly being against their party’s stance in a more free manner than here. If a Democrat or Republican does not like what their party is proposing they will and quite often go against the party and cross the floor with their vote (usually as they are following their conscious (or the money)). However, with the US system the passage of legislation can be utterly slow compared to ours…


I mention this as a conversation happened between myself and Jami-Lee Ross (MP) over the Much-to-do-about-nothing Accord. I see Jami is harping on like a drone and towing the government’s one-dimensional thinking and lines in regards to Housing led by Minister Dr Nick Smith, and even has a Simon Bridges moment with an insult rather than reality check on the true housing market. Then again the Government has been thinking 1D with housing for a while so to me nothing new. As I said: “Government should not meddle in something it has no knowledge or place of and in”

I also look for MP’s who are free to speak their mind even if it against the line of the Party if a policy is as deeply flawed as the Housing Accord. I don’t look for drones or yes-men – have too many of those already up and down the country and in businesses…

So the Facebook conversation in regards to the Government’s naked attack on Council Sovereignty:

20 hours ago near Auckland ·

I will take the more unusual move to defend Council Sovereignty (even if the Council can send me bonkers) against Central Government. That is owing to what Government is doing is affronting and a threat to hard earned concessions I am trying to win for Auckland and Better Auckland via the Unitary Plan.
Government should not meddle in something it has no knowledge or place of and in
    • Stan Blanch¬†Ben!!!!…Dont give them dignity!…They are simply tax collectors and merely redistrubuters of rate payers income. Plus infuse into that calculation..a bit of social engineering…giving a handful of non elected maori, MP’s salaries to tell us where the Taniwha are buried..
      • Ben Ross¬†I give dignity where it is due, I give credit where it due. I can also take both back as well and just as easy¬†Stan Blanch. What you describe can also said be said to Central Government as well – although you did mention MPs.
    • Nigel James Turnbull¬†Parliament is sovereign, councils are not. They are accountable to parliament. If they were sovereign who would deal with situations like Kaipara district council?
      • Ben Ross¬†And who can dissolve a sovereign parliament if he choses do so? Australia and the State of Queensland have had it and we can have it as well while we have a Governor General. So as much as Parliament can dissolve a Council, the GG can dissolve a Parliament.
      • Ben Ross¬†So the point is moot there¬†Nigel James Turnbull
      • Nigel James Turnbull¬†I doubt the GG would be involved in dissolving parliament over local govt issues? Just saying
      • Ben Ross¬†Not Local Issue no Nigel. National issue for sure if a deep crisis presented itself as it did with the Aussies in the 80s
    • Jami-Lee Ross¬†Local authorities are creatures of statute. They function under laws passed by Parliament. From time to time there will be matters of national interest that the government of the day will decide needs to be dealt with by new or amended laws.

      In this¬†case, the supply of housing is something we don’t think current legislation deals with adequately. Amendments are needing to fast track the availability of land for development and speed up the consenting process.
      • Ben Ross¬†Councils are creatures of Statue yes. The RMA 1991 from the then National Government which decentralised our planning rules and handed them mainly over to Council. The LGA 2002 from the then Labour Government gave Councils the infamous General Level of Competence rules followed by the LGA Auckland Amendment 2010 from the current National Government which gave birth to the Super City and the current Auckland Council. I need not remind you Jami-lee that your very own Government ignored the Royal Commission of¬†Inquiry¬†into Auckland and its recommendations and fostered upon what we are now stuck with.
    • Ben Ross¬†So what we have now with Auckland Council, its CCOs, the Auckland Plan and the Unitary Plan are all creatures of Central Government incompetence in 2009 and 2010. I am stuck with what I have with Council and seem to make it work for my requirements this end. I do not need Central Government Meddling again with this Much-Ado-About-Nothing Accord knowing the track record of Central Government stuffing things up with Local Government. Twice by National and once by Labour. Soon to be three from National with the Accord Jami-lee-Lee Ross
    • Jami-Lee Ross¬†Hmm… well, good luck and best wishes over there in your alternate universe. We’ll just get on with freeing up more land for housing and streamlining the consent process so more Aucklanders can find homes and the cost of land can start to slow down. Good night Ben
      • Ben Ross¬†Now now¬†Jami-Lee¬†no need to do a Simon Bridges…
        Both of us went through University together (politics) and know the history of the RMA and LGA quite well. You are an intelligent person and now it is more than just the land that impacts the cost of housing affordability. You also know these five prongs will affect how much I pay for a house in a Greenfield area such as Karaka:
        Construction Costs
        Council Fees and Contributions
        Financing and wages
        Infrastructure provision

        So unless your Government is going to help stump up with the motorway, pipes, rail and bus provision – Council gets lugged with it and we end up with it in the house price and our rates

        This post would explain it better

        As for streamlining the resource consent process – never had an issue with it at all and have stated that in the past

        As for Dr Smith interfering with the Unitary Plan and the RUB, care to explain to Karaka what happens if you open up the wrong section of land and trigger off the Weymouth-Karaka Bridge? Not going to have many happy residents in a hurry

        So no alternative universes like the Minister might be in – just reality



Just a reminder I am not seeing much better out of Labour and the Greens either in regards to the Unitary Plan and housing. Look the Social Housing and Insulation aspects of the Housing Policy are fine and I have no beef with the Government over that at all (you getting this Jami-Lee). But I do have major beef in Government roughshodding the RUB processes currently underway in Southern Auckland. What I want Jami-Lee to answer is: “what happens if your Housing Accord and Special Housing Area opens up the wrong Greenfield land parcel and triggers off the Weymouth-Karaka Bridge. How do you explain to Weymouth, Karaka and Clendon the bridge that will ruin the amenity of three diverse communities all because you meddled in something you have no knowledge or real experience in.”

That is the beef with the Special Housing Areas. The fact that the error rate with opening up the wrong parcel of land and fully not appreciating the other prongs that determine housing affordability is not even mentioned by the Government nor the Housing Accord.


There are other ways to get housing affordability back on track just not the way this 1D government is doing it…


So Housing Affordability with the Housing Accord – a Myth that needs to be busted…