Govt’s lack of housing ideas leaves Kiwis cold

More and more New Zealanders are feeling helpless as the property ladder is rapidly pulled up in front of them because the Government has no real solutions to the housing crisis.

“Housing Minister Megan Woods needs to take responsibility for the emergency that is unfolding on her watch,” National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“Our most vulnerable are the worst hit. People on lower wages are increasingly spending more than half of their income on rent and it’s, sadly, driving more families onto the social housing waiting list, which has more than tripled in the past three years.”

New data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and Tenancy Services New Zealand this week has shown the scale of the housing emergency. Prices have risen a further $24,000 in just the last month.

“Labour promised to fix New Zealand’s housing issues back in 2017, but house prices have increased 41 per cent while they have been in Government,” Ms Willis says.

“There is no urgency from this Government to act. It plans to spend another year delaying reform of the Resource Management Act. That’s not good enough,” Ms Willis says.

“We can’t afford to keep work-shopping. The Government has had three years to work out what it wants to do, it needs to act now.”

National has proposed replacing the RMA with new rules that make it much easier to build houses. We have also proposed five more potential solutions that may help in the short-term:

  1. Strengthen the National Policy Statement on Urban Development: Fast-tracking the rezoning of land and increasing the competitiveness margin will enable intensification and growth.

  2. Remove the Auckland Urban Boundary: This arbitrary line has been found to add $50,000 or more to the average cost of houses in Auckland.

  3. Make Kāinga Ora capital available to community housing providers: The Government could make new community housing projects happen immediately by releasing some of the $9.8 billion currently ring-fenced for future social housing.

  4. Establish a Housing Infrastructure Fund: This will help local councils finance the pipes and roads required to accelerate rezoning of land for Greenfields developments.

  5. Implement new finance models: The Government should work with industry to develop finance models that leverage Accommodation Supplement and Income-Related Rent entitlements to drive new housing development.

“National is ready to work constructively to end this housing crisis. We’re all waiting on the Government to find some motivation.”