A comment from Bob in Open Forum last night:
Metiria Turei lost it during her speach on the third reading of the Housing bill, completely unbelievable display, unfit to be in Parliment and should never be anywhere near goverment.
First on the housing debate debacle itself from Vernon Small in National left red-faced as blunder opens way for ‘endless’ housing debate
Chaos in the housing market, now chaos in the House.
As if the Government didn’t have enough trouble, with Auckland house prices topping the million dollar mark, a blunder in Parliament opened the way for Labour and the other Opposition parties to trigger a virtually indefinite debate over the nation’s housing woes.
National’s support partner, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne, summed it up best: “(The) Government now looking snookered by Labour on Housing Bill, and seems to have no idea/plan to move debate, other than by exhaustion. Inept.”
Dunne also took a swing at Labour’s tactics as “equally inept” for delaying something they supported.
The state of New Zealand’s politics is dire, illustrated by the conduct of parties and MPs in Parliament. A battle to be the least inept suggests they are trying to be better, which may be inaccurate.
Turei’s speech in the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill – Third reading – part 6
METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green): So the Opposition took control of the House over the last 2 days, and what did we do with the time? We made housing our No. 1 priority as an Opposition. Why is that? Because when we are in Government, it will also be one of our main priorities. Why is that? Because it is the priority for New Zealanders.
We have thousands of New Zealanders who are sleeping rough in garages and cars, on their friends’ couches, in tents, and in hotel rooms because they are desperate for housing.
We have thousands of young New Zealanders who are working hour after hour and have no chance of ever getting into their own home because they are locked out by speculators supported by the National Government. They need houses too.
We have young families, families with children, who are trying to find secure, decent, warm, dry, and safe affordable housing to raise their children, so that their children have the best opportunities for the best health, for the best education, and for the best future for their kids. Those families need housing.
We have elderly people who are heading into retirement who were not able to buy a home and secure their housing, who are worried about what their retirement will be like if they have to spend their superannuation not only what they need daily but for their rent as well, because it was never designed to deal with renting in the same way. Those elderly people—they need houses.
Who was here over the last 2 days, standing in this House hour after hour, with our caucuses lined up along here on the Opposition benches? We were the ones putting forward the solutions, trying to figure out what the different options were, and thinking about negotiating with the Government to find solutions to work through the housing provisions and housing solutions that were on the table.
Why is that? Because it is the Opposition that puts housing as a priority. Where was the Government over these last 17 hours? Did you hear a peep out of these people? No, they were sitting there, hopeless, their mouths open—gobsmacked. They were gobsmacked, just sitting there doing nothing and saying nothing while it was the Opposition—Labour, Greens, New Zealand First—that was here standing up minute after minute, hour after hour, putting forward the solutions to deal with the housing crisis that our people are facing every day.
I think Phil Twyford has got it absolutely right. It was the Opposition that represented New Zealand over the last 2 days while the Government was sitting around trying to figure out how to get rid of Nick Smith—because he had made such a terrible fiasco of this entire process. That guy—honestly. Ha, ha! I mean, really, he could not have made more of a mess of this legislation or the process—from start to finish it has been an absolute disaster. He will be in such trouble, having humiliated the Government over the last 2 days.
But as he handed to us, the next Government of New Zealand—Labour and Greens, and New Zealand First if that is what it wants. Nick Smith handed to the next Government of New Zealand two full days to debate the single most important issue that is facing New Zealand families today. So I do thank him.
Thank you, Nick Smith. Do you not think we just need to say: thank you, Nick Smith, for being so terrible at your job, and such a great representative of National. You are such an excellent example of what National Ministers are—their incompetence, their fallacies, and the secrecy that they promote in the process of their legislation.
Let us not forget that one of—[Interruption] Oh, now the insults from the Minister who walks past me and makes nasty little insults as she goes past because she cannot bring herself to engage in the debate. Minister, where have you been over the last 2 days? You could have come here and debated the issue, but no. She just walks past me and makes a little nasty insult in my ear. That is the kind of Minister that John Key puts up in his Government. You are either incompetent or you are nasty—that is what they promote over there.
Hon Member: Or both!
METIRIA TUREI: Or both. Come and debate the issues with us over here, Minister. You could have been here for the last 17 hours talking about the most important issue facing New Zealanders, which is warm decent affordable housing. Where was this Minister? I did not see her here during those 17 hours. Where was she? Where was her debate? Where was her passionate conversation—her passionate solutions for dealing with the housing crisis? No—just nasty little things.
But she diverted me from the point, which was reminding us that one of the core provisions in the piece of legislation that was put forward by Nick Smith was an attempt—and, unfortunately, a successful one thanks to the ACT Party—to take away from New Zealanders their property rights in order to disguise a mess that he has made over the legal status of State housing land.
We have tried to ask him the question of the mess that he has made, we have offered options for him to talk to us about that mess to find a better way to clean it up, but Nick Smith is keeping the details of the mess he has created secret, so we do not actually know what is really going on.
What we do know, though, is that ACT and National have joined together and are complicit, under this legislation, in taking from New Zealanders their property rights, and they are disguising it as not really being anything—yet again, another example of the kind of behaviour we can expect from National Party Ministers.
In this debate, the Opposition has put forward a large number of solutions.
We offered a percentage of affordable and a definition of affordable housing; National said—no, it said.
We gave them the option to help build 10,000 homes a year; National said—no, said National.
We offered to improve the brightline test to reduce the effect of speculators in the market; National said—no, said National.
We tried to stop foreign ownership in our housing market so that New Zealand families can have a genuine go, and what do we get from National? No, said National.
We offered to improve urban and infrastructure planning to make it easier for cities like Auckland to grow like they ought to; what did National say? It said no.
Phil Twyford: Even David Seymour voted against that one.
METIRIA TUREI: Even David Seymour voted against that one. We offered an opportunity to build 250 more State houses a year, and what did National say?
Hon Members: No.
METIRIA TUREI: National said no—that is right.
Finally, at the end of an incredible piece of work with the homelessness inquiry—which was a joint effort on homelessness between Labour, the Greens, and the Māori Party—after hearing all of those tales of woe that were real stories about the real lives of New Zealanders who are affected by homelessness, the Opposition offered to the National Government an opportunity to deal with that homelessness crisis in a practical way, and what did National say? It said no.
It said no to helping the homeless, it said no to helping young families, it said no to helping young people, it said no to helping the elderly to get the kind of decent, warm, safe, and affordable housing that all of those people need.
How could National stand there—or sit there, because they did not really go anywhere, did they—and say no to those thousands and thousands of New Zealanders who want these solutions put in place?
I want to thank National members for giving us the opportunity to expose their failures, to expose their fallacies, to expose their secrecy to the country, and to offer to New Zealanders the genuine alternative at the election in 2017—the alternative of a new Government that will put the issues that New Zealanders consider the most important for them at the centre of the work that they do.
Housing is that, but that is because housing represents the right of New Zealand families to live a decent life in this beautiful, rich country that we have; to live a well life for them and their children; to have access to a beautiful environment, to a great education, and to a good and bright future for those kids.
That is why we will change the Government in 2017. Thank you.