Rushed infrastructure policy already falling apart

Emerging disagreements with councils about National’s new infrastructure loans policy shows it was rushed and poorly thought through, the Green Party said today.

“National’s infrastructure loans idea is less than two days old and already the wheels are falling off,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“This is a housing policy which doesn’t actually create any new houses, from a Government that’s all out of good ideas.

“Yesterday John Key announced his new policy, and today Auckland’s mayor is already trying to change that policy to include brownfields developments, while Hamilton and Christchurch say they don’t actually need the new loans.

“A month ago Nick Smith told mayors he wasn’t going to help with infrastructure funding, but now suddenly he’s got a new policy. No wonder the detail of the policy is unclear, they haven’t had time to work it out properly.

“It’s not surprising Len Brown already wants the Government to change its new rules – because the quickest and most affordable way to solve the Auckland housing crisis is to develop more homes within the existing city, and it looks like John Key’s new policy won’t help that happen.

“If the loans are restricted to new greenfields developments, that’s a sign that National wants Auckland to sprawl out and not build up.

“Auckland must not be forced into sprawling further out to empty suburbs, miles from jobs, schools, and good public transport.

“The infrastructure loans are another example of the Government clutching at straws and doing everything it can to avoid actually building new affordable homes.

“We can’t solve the housing crisis until the Government starts building more houses, not just loaning councils money to build more roads,” Mr Shaw said.

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