Labour's claim that just 18 houses within fast-tracked housing areas in Auckland have been sold to first-home buyers is "dodgy", the Government says.
Housing Minister Nick Smith says the exact figure is not known, because affordability rules for its Special Housing Areas (SHAs) have been dropped and the Government will not compel developers to reveal what prices they have sold homes for.
The Government's 154 SHAs include a requirement that between 5 and 10 per cent of properties must be sold at "affordable" prices - usually below $550,000 in Auckland.
The affordable homes are only available to first-home buyers on modest incomes, and developers must make a statutory declaration when a house is sold to someone who fits this criteria.
Labour leader Andrew Little released Auckland Council statistics today which showed just 18 statutory declarations had been made to the council.
"Roughly 1400 houses have been completed in Special Housing Areas - 18 that have been sold meet the affordable housing criteria. And that is all."
The council's figures showed National's flagship housing policy had failed, he told reporters at Parliament.
Speaking in the House, Prime Minister John Key dismissed the data as "dodgy".
Key could not provide an accurate figure, but pointed to big increases in building activity, consenting and housing supply in Auckland.
Smith, speaking to reporters this afternoon, said it was a "classic case of misrepresentation by Labour".
"What the ... council said was that there are 18 statutory declarations in respect of those Special Housing Areas.
"It was not a statement of the number of affordable houses."
Smith said the affordability requirement was the council's idea and it was later scrapped because it was "unworkable".
As a result, developers were not making any effort to produce statutory declarations.
"It simply is an administrative issue, not an issue of actual homes on the ground, being sold at affordable levels."
The Government only measured the number of homes which were sold in the affordable range or to first-home buyers within SHAs if it had a stake in the development.
"If the Government is paying, we have an absolute right to know," Smith said.
"But where it's privately-owned land and it's been developed into houses, no, the Government does not play a Big Brother role of checking out each price on each of the homes that are built."
Smith said 190 houses had been built at a SHA in Weymouth which met the affordability requirements.
At Hobsonville, there were 327 houses which had been sold for less than $550,000, he said.
"So for just two of the 154 Special Housing Areas where the Government's got a direct interest, I know that those numbers are just way off the planet."