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Key accused of 'bilge rat politics'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/05/2016
Winston Peters, MP for Northland. © Getty Images Winston Peters, MP for Northland.

Winston Peters has ramped up the rhetoric on Auckland's housing shortage, saying the council is the victim of Prime Minister John Key's "bilge rat politics".

The NZ First leader says the government is bullying the council in a dictatorial and arrogant way.

"National has had eight years to address the shortage of housing in Auckland," he said on Monday.

"In 2007 John Key was outspoken in condemning the Labour government for its lack of action but he has done nothing, and worse has stoked the fire."

Mr Peters made his comments in a statement headed "PM stoops to bilge rate politics on Auckland housing".

Prime Minister John Key © Getty Images Prime Minister John Key

He says the prime minister never warned Auckland Council that immigration would be allowed to reach record levels.

"Now, in desperation as garages and cars become Auckland's new lifestyle, teachers escape the city and students are forced to couch surf for a bed each night, he blames the Auckland Council."

The government has consistently said it's the council's responsibility to free up land for housing development.

It has threatened to step in if that doesn't happen, and a national policy statement expected to be released later this week will reinforce its warning.

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