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Housing Minister Phil Twyford is claiming he’ll override Auckland’s Unitary Plan in spite of being unable to answer simple questions including who is going to foot the bill, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The Unitary Plan took ten years to complete but in another case of his mouth running away with him and the Government refusing to actually do the work Mr Twyford says he is ready to override the plan while not being able to answer basic questions.

“When asked what the budget of his proposed Urban Development Authority was was Mr Twyford had to admit there isn’t one.

“And when asked whether he’ll recoup the costs of the Authority from the Auckland Council, his answer was no.

“Well if the UDA is doing work the Auckland Council should be doing then shouldn’t they be paying for it? Or will the Government once again pass the costs on to the tax payer?

“The Government is also arguing with itself. Environment Minister David Parker has previously said he plans to reverse the presumption in favour of sub-divisions which will slow down housing development and the Green Party believes the RMA is too developer friendly.

“It’s a shambles but not a surprise. Arrogantly pushing ahead with a half-baked plan which will have a real impact on the lives of Aucklanders with barely a clue as to how he’ll go about it is unacceptable.

“The National Party knows planning and consenting for land use is an important issue and that it takes too long to free up land. That’s why we’ll be putting forward our own plan for a wholesale reform of the RMA. But whatever we do it needs to be properly thought through so we don’t make the problem worse.

“Mr Twyford is so busy playing politics and shooting from the lip he’s going nowhere fast. Let’s not forget that in Opposition he was not prepared to support RMA reform, in spite of him changing his tune now.”

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