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The Labour Party’s claim that “the number of dwellings consented in January was down 5 per cent on where it was in January last year” is just plain wrong, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“January dwelling consents were up both nationally (to 1752 January 2017 from 1695 January 2016) and in Auckland (to 512 from 506).

“The year to January 2017 also confirms ongoing growth nationally from the previous year (to 30,123 from 27,124) and in Auckland (to 10,032 from 9275).

“Phil Twyford is being tricky by excluding apartments and townhouses to get his erroneous figures. The definition of dwellings by Statistics New Zealand clearly includes apartments and townhouses. Our Government has been openly promoting more townhouses and apartments as part of our housing solution, and we welcome the stronger growth in their construction.

“This is just like the debacle over Chinese-sounding names, with Mr Twyford distorting the facts for political purposes.”

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