Watch: 'There are no excuses' – Judith Collins and Housing Minister Phil Twyford fire up over state housing waiting list

Debate over the housing crisis fired up today when the Housing Minister was questioned by opposition Members of Parliament.

National MP Louise Upston accused Labour of failing to fund any programmes for people outside Auckland or Hamilton.

There's been 540 social houses constructed since Labour came into office, but the state housing waiting list is at record levels – over 8000 people now languish on it.

Housing New Zealand has halted its tenancy reviews that can see people evicted for a number of reasons, since Labour took office.

Given Housing New Zealand’s reluctance to evict people, Judith Collins wanted to know what happens if neighbours complain about anti-social behaviour or other issues from a state housing tenant.

Minister Phil Twyford Twyford insisted the majority of tenants are good people who do not cause problems.

He also avoided a question on whether he'd resign if someone was sleeping in a car or on the streets, and said the Government had committed $4 billion in the latest Budget for "public homes". 

The state housing waiting list is at record levels. Source: 1 NEWS

Serious crash causes traffic headaches on major Auckland CBD road

A serious crash between a scooter and a car has forced the closure of parts of Auckland's Karangahape Rd.

The crash occured on K Rd between Pitt St and Howe St and westbound lanes on that section are closed. Eastbound lanes remain open.

Further north a broken down truck is blocking the left city-bound lane of State Highway 1 (Northern Motorway) at the end of the Silverdale on-ramp. 

Motorists are warned to avoid the area or expect delays.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS


Most read: Rotorua car salesmen stood down over racist 'clever Māori' remarks; auto dealer says team 'devastated'

This story was first published on Wednesday June 13

Two Rotorua car salesmen have been punished by their employer after a racist message was left on the phone of a female customer.

The pair have been stood down.

Writing on their Facebook page, Farmer Auto Village boss Mike Farmer said: "The team here at Farmer Auto Village are devastated that two individuals have made these stupid ignorant comments, we have always prided ourselves on our multi-cultural environment that enriches our company.

"The people involved are currently stood down whilst an employment process is underway which we cannot comment on at this point until it is completed.

"We can assure you that the comments by two individuals does not reflect in anyway the thoughts and opinions of our 120 team and their whanau."

Rotorua nurse Narrelle Newdick was left shaking and in tears after a car dealer left a racist voice message on her phone calling her a "f***** clever Māori".

She had visited the Farmer Auto Village in Tauranga with the hopes of buying a new car.

After taking one of their cars for a test run, Ms Newdick was set on buying the vehicle until she discovered the shocking message from the dealership left accidentally on her phone.

"Your little Māori girl…it keeps going to voice mail," two dealers could be heard saying to each other in the message.

"Tell her don't be a f***** clever Māori.

"Go back to Maketu and dig pipis out of the sand."

Ms Newdick told TVNZ1's Marae programme on Monday she was upset and angry to hear the two minute conversation between the two Farmer Auto Village workers.

"When I received the message I couldn't believe what I was hearing," said Ms Newdick.

The message left her in a state of disbelief.

"What does he even mean by that 'don't be a f***** clever Māori'?

"So because I have a job and I work does that make me a clever Māori in his eyes? I was offended not only for myself but he's lumped us all in that box."

Marae approached Farmer Auto Village for comment on the message and were told that the company was shocked by the remarks.

They subsequently apologised to Ms Newdick.

"We are absolutely devastated that an employee within our used car department at Farmer Motor Group has made some offensive comments," Mike Farmer managing director of the company said in a statement on Monday.