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The housing development at Point England is the sort of pragmatic response needed to overcome Auckland’s housing problems, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“The Point England housing development will provide 300 more families with a warm, dry home, enhance the recreational facilities and space for the surrounding community, as well as help settle Ngāti Paoa’s treaty claim and provide a site for a marae.

“This is a choice between land for houses or cows. Eighteen hectares of this site have been grazed by cattle for 30 years. Twelve hectares are to be used for housing. The area of open space accessible for public recreation will be expanded with this development.

“Labour’s contradictory positions on housing and cows are odd. They demand more homes be built but then oppose one housing development after another. They want fewer cows because of concern about water quality and greenhouse gas emissions, except in central Auckland on prime land like at Point England.

“The Government has committed to spending every dollar it receives from sale of the land for the housing development in the community on things like enhancing the recreation, amenity and environment of the reserve and neighbouring Omaru Creek. The huge gains are not just in the 300 additional homes, but helping provide new capacity to accelerate the Tamaki redevelopment.

“The Government is developing housing on dozens of blocks of land and only using reserve lands where they are poorly used and where there is the opportunity to improve overall amenity, as at Point England and the Riccarton Racecourse reserve in Christchurch. It is hypocritical of Labour to oppose this Bill when they have supported reserve lands been used in other Treaty settlements. This Bill is the sort of pragmatic response we need to overcome Auckland’s housing problems."

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