An imposed social housing cap on an Auckland development violates the Human Rights Act, John Tamihere says.
The former broadcaster said Auckland Council’s development arm Panuku wanted a maximum 30.9 per cent of social housing in a development of council land in Papatoetoe.
“We could build a couple of hundred [social houses] there if Panuku got out of the bloody way. They don’t need to get into social engineering,” Tamihere said.
“The chasm between an affordable house at $650,000 and a renter, you just cannot bridge it.
“The problem is Panuku want to sell and develop the land, but it doesn’t want to have the risk.”
Panuku confirmed discussions with Ngai Tai Waipareira Housing Limited reached a stalemate over the level of social housing at the Papatoetoe development.
Panuku development manager Allan Young said the organisation had remained consistent at all times in regards to the elements of the development.
This included the social housing component, which both parties agreed to from the outset with the ambition of achieving the best outcome for the community, he said.
However, Tamihere said there was a strong legal argument that restricting the amount of social housing was against the Human Rights Act.
“You can’t take the money and look the other way, you’ve got to blow the whistle on this stuff,” Tamihere said.
The social housing cap was likely to prevent the unemployed and those on social welfare from being able to occupy houses in the development, he said.
Tamihere said private landlords would buy the other 70 per cent and rent them out to those on benefits anyway.
“Here’s the problem: rich folk won’t live near poor folk, even at 30 per cent of social housing,” he said.
“So ultimately we end up with what Mr Goff and co don’t want any way.”
Penny Hulse, the councillor who oversaw Auckland’s unitary plan, said there had to be a mix of housing types, some social, some affordable and some more expensive.
“We are all trying to make sure that our community is housed,” she said.
“I’m a little bit lost as to why John is so angry with us.”
Panuku’s website said the Tavern Lane development was more than 9583 square metres in the heart of Papatoetoe.
“The property offers a huge opportunity for developers seeking a new project in such a sought after suburban and affordable housing location to provide quality accommodation to a diverse range of families in a growing area.”