18 Feb 2024
Housing Minister Megan Woods should stop fudging the numbers around New Zealand’s public housing stock and just get on with building more houses, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
“This week it was revealed that only half of the ‘new’ public housing places sourced by the Government are actually additional, newly-built homes.
“New figures released to me show Kāinga Ora has been spending up large purchasing existing homes and re-labelling them as state houses.”
In answers to Written Parliamentary Questions, Ms Woods confirmed that Government-financed Kāinga Ora has spent more than $750 million on existing properties, locking even more first home buyers out of the market.
“There’s no way struggling Kiwis who are trying to buy their first home can outbid Kāinga Ora. Changing the label on whether a house is state-owned or not does nothing except change who misses out.
“What New Zealand needs is additional, new houses. We have a public housing wait list that is spiralling out of control and thousands of Kiwis who cannot afford their first home.
“Rather than move houses from one category to the next, the Minister should get on with addressing the root causes of our housing shortage by taking urgent action to remove the planning and regulatory measures preventing new housing supply.
“At least that will make a difference to both our first home buyers and Kiwis on the public housing wait list.”
Note: The figures showing Kāinga Ora has spent $750 million on existing homes can be found here.