Labour still opposed to Pt England development

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford says it is "nuts" to use Point England Reserve for housing. Photo: Lynn Grieveson.

Labour has reiterated its opposition to a controversial housing development at Point England Reserve, saying it is “nuts” to use the land when the Tamaki Regeneration project is set to provide enough intensification in the area.

The Point England Development Enabling Bill, due to have its second reading in Parliament this week, would allow the building of 300 homes on nearly 12 hectares of the east Auckland reserve.

Labour announced in March it would oppose the project - despite earlier backing it - calling it a “land grab” that went against the community’s wishes.

At his weekly post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Bill English said Labour’s Kiwibuild plans were unrealistic given its opposition to housing projects like Point England.

"How you would ever get 100,000 houses built if you're against the Point England enabling bill and opposed to the Three Kings development is just ridiculous. There's no credibility in those undertakings to build lots of houses if you're opposed to actual houses getting built."

Speaking to media ahead of Labour’s caucus meeting on Tuesday, Little said he was concerned about the Government using the reserve for housing when it could achieve what it wanted through the Tamaki Regeneration project.

“It’s not about one or the other, it’s about a good sensible decision that preserves all the interests involved.”

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said it was “nuts” to use the reserve for housing, when the area was due to get another 20,000 residents over the next decade.

“Auckland’s going to get another million people in the next generation - if we built houses on parkland, where would the children play?

“The Point England reserve is one of the best expanses of open city parkland that we have in the region, and plonking nearly 12 hectares of private housing right in the middle of it completely changes the reserve.”

Instead, Labour had proposed an alternative plan which would give Ngati Paoa 11 hectares of land for commercial housing as part of the Tamaki project, while protecting the reserve for future generations.

Twyford said Labour was “strongly supporting” the Tamaki Regeneration project, and believed the level of proposed redevelopment and intensification of state housing land made sense.