Bennett lambasts media over the 'housing crisis thing', just days after saying being homeless was a 'crisis'

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett appears to be now toeing the party line over New Zealand's so-called housing "crisis", a situation the Government would prefer was referred to as a "challenge".

Earlier this week Paula Bennett was saying some New Zealanders were suffering from a crisis in housing. Today, she wasn't. Source: Breakfast

Earlier this week, Ms Bennett broke ranks from her colleagues, saying "for those people that certainly haven't got one [a house], it is a crisis without doubt."

However, she stuck steadfastly to the party line when she appeared on TVNZ's Breakfast this morning.

"What we're saying is that it is extremely challenging and for those that haven't got a roof over their head I just think it's incredibly hard and we're doing something about it," she said.

When questioned about her language, she blamed the use of the word crisis on the media.

"I just think it's you guys that are caught up in the crisis thing, it's us that are interested in doing something about it. Nobody wants to see people living like that," she said.

On Breakfast yesterday Prime Minister John Key also refused to use the word crisis.

"There are plenty of challenges in housing, and there have been for quite some time," he said. 

Ms Bennett's appearance on Breakfast came after she yesterday announced a plan to offer homeless people in Auckland a state house immediately, if they are willing to leave the city.

She says there are spare state houses available in many places like Huntly or Lower Hutt. 

It is a voluntary scheme and people won't be forced to move.