The PSA argues it's time for a bold reimagining of how we organise, plan and deliver housing in New Zealand

The following article is the foreword from Progressive thinking, ten perspectives on housing, a Public Service Association (PSA) publication. Interest.co.nz will be publishing the 10 chapters from different authors on various aspects of housing over the next week or so.

By Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay*

At certain times over the course of New Zealand’s history, it has become clear that a fundamental shift in thinking is needed. We believe that such a shift is now required in the way we as a country house our people.

Housing is a human right but it is so much more than that: a home is a sanctuary, a safe place, a place for children to grow, a space for us to grow old in. A safe, secure and affordable home enables us to learn, to participate and to work – these are all markers of a decent society and should be something that all of us can access, not just a lucky few.

Over the last few years we have heard an ever-growing body of evidence that the current government’s approach to housing is failing. Its manifest in the growing numbers of homeless – now
the highest in the developed world – the 41,000 children hospitalised every year for housing-related illnesses; the rampant rise in house prices; the desperate shortage of affordable, safe and secure rental housing; and growing wealth inequality in New Zealand. Housing is in crisis.

Time for solutions

The human cost of this failing policy is devastating, and it will continue to be this way unless we draw a line in the sand and say “enough is enough” – we need solutions.

The PSA is adding its voice to the many who are demanding change. We have a proud history of advocating for high quality public services that contribute to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

We’re doing this because our members have told us that housing is a priority concern in election year, and because they – and their families and communities – are amongst those bearing the brunt of the current housing crisis. Many of our members also work in housing-related public and community services, – their voices and experiences deserve to be represented and heard.

The genesis of this publication was a survey of our Auckland members that we conducted in March of this year, which sought to understand the impact of the housing crisis on their lives. The response to the survey was overwhelming: in the space of two hours we received close to 1500 responses, and by the time the survey closed, over 2500 members had completed the survey.

The survey revealed some startling information. Almost two thirds of respondents said that the housing crisis had had a “somewhat negative” or “strongly negative” impact on the quality of their lives. A worrying 57 per cent of respondents said they had considered leaving Auckland for reasons related to housing. Affordability was a big problem, particularly for members with dependents: 58 per cent of single income households and 51 per cent of double income households with dependents were paying at least half their income on housing costs.

Over the last couple of months we’ve extended the survey to PSA members in other parts of New Zealand. We’ve collected the stories of members in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Canterbury. As with our Auckland survey, we had a huge response, and we now have a combined survey sample of just under 9,500 members.

Housing affordability a nationwide problem

Affordability is a problem across the country, particularly for those people renting a house. In the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, 53 per cent of renters paid at least half their income on housing, compared to 23 per cent of mortgage-payers. In Wellington a staggering 84 per cent of renters paid at least half their income on housing, compared to 58 per cent of those paying a mortgage. Anyone who is renting or has a large mortgage is struggling to meet their housing costs.

Behind all these statistics lie very human stories of people struggling with the fallout of the housing crisis. Members shared with us their feelings of stress, anxiety and desperation as they struggle to meet the cost of housing. They told us of their reluctance to complain about sub-standard rental properties for fear of losing their tenancy.

They told us of their feelings of depression about what the future holds; of their feelings of lack of choice and of shame. The housing crisis is more than just bricks and mortar, it profoundly affects people’s quality of life, their sense of security and control, and their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

These are workers and families in crisis, and the implications are far-reaching. If our key public and community workers cannot afford to live in our large cities, the viability and wellbeing of these cities themselves are in jeopardy.

Time for change

The rising cost of housing has far outstripped the wage increases our members have received; and the equations have become impossible for many to manage. Here at the PSA we think it’s time
for a bold reimagining of the way that we organise, plan and deliver housing in New Zealand. It’s time to pool our collective wisdom and our sense of fairness and compassion to design housing solutions for current and future generations that will truly address these problems on a structural level and endure beyond changes in government.

Ultimately, the key to solving this crisis lies in a fundamental re-imagining of how we treat housing.

For a number of decades now, housing has been treated as our primary means of individual wealth creation and retirement security.

This may have worked in the post-war era when government was actively involved in building houses and supporting people into home ownership, and when the economy was structured in such a way as to protect people against the worst excesses of the market. For most – but not all of us – home ownership was possible. And for those unable to buy a house, decent and affordable state housing was available to rent.

The housing crisis we are in now is, without doubt, largely the consequence of economy-wide policy changes enacted by successive governments since the 1980s. The erosion of labour protections have kept wages low and undermined job security. State supports for home ownership have been removed and the role of the state in the provision, planning and regulation of housing minimised.

Despite major tax reform in the 1980s, wealth remains largely untaxed and, as several authors outline in this book, the tax system is structured in such a way as to favour property ownership over other forms of retirement saving.

We need to recognise that the way we’re doing things now just isn’t working for too many people, including our members, and that our core values as New Zealanders are not reflected in our social and economic policies. At times like this in the past we've responded with brave and transformative reforms; we can do it again.

We did it back in the 1930s when the First Labour Government introduced a comprehensive social security system that recognised the collective benefit of state support. We did it again in the post-World War II consensus on the need to protect human rights and in the introduction of a world-leading no fault accident compensation scheme in 1972.

The State must assume a much more active role if we are to solve the housing crisis

We believe it’s time for another great leap forward: for bold and imaginative action on housing. Tinkering around the edges is not going to fix this mess. Instead, we need to reposition housing as a
public good and an integral part of our collective resource, which helps our people and our communities to thrive.

We’re hoping this book will influence the housing debate and prompt our decision-makers to design and implement policies that are brave, ambitious and forward- thinking. And most importantly of all, that restore the right to decent, affordable, and secure housing for all people.

A common theme running through the contributions to this book is that the State must assume a much more active role if we are to solve the housing crisis. The provision, planning and regulation of housing is a core responsibility of government. As many of the contributors to this book demonstrate, the market cannot and will not deliver affordable housing of the scale that we need. Nor will the market require landlords to insulate their houses or allow their tenants to treat their houses as homes.

The contributors to this book present solutions to the housing crisis that are both practical and visionary: from changing tax structures, to creating a universal social housing sector based on high quality, affordable rentals; from permanent tenancies to urban planning that takes account of the needs of our changing demographics. All our contributors place people at the centre of their pieces, and their writing is shaped by the values of fairness, decency and collective good. We think the time is right for a great leap forward. We hope you’ll join us.


*Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay are national secretaries of the New Zealand Public Service Association.
Note:
the views expressed in the following chapters belong to their authors and do not necessarily represent the view of PSA members or the organisation.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

88 Comments

Agree that it is Time for Change. Need New idea / policies and New Government.

Interesting how the article didn't have any actual new ideas or policies.

Well said! Interesting that the only idea was "state intervention" when that is what has caused the problem in the first place.

The real enemy is excessive building regulation and the left wing planning philosophies of compact cities and "Smart Growth". Lose these then the market will supply as many cheap houses as you want. But that would conflict with the PSA philosophies which is why you see no answers in the article.

However their research was excellent - the members stories were heartbreaking. It's just a shame they had to stamp their own prejudices on the report.

Someone please tell me what are the tax advantages are of providing rental property over any other form of saving? Nobody has commented on whay they specifically are.

That is because there are none!

up
14

In that case, removing them ( whatever they may be!) will make no difference then!?
If you reckon there isn't a substantial number of property 'investors' out there that lie about the intent of their holdings upon sale, then you need to get out and have a closer look.....

up
10

I've told you before. There are huge tax benefits. If you aren't getting them you are bad at property investing, you should hire a professional to help you with your taxes.

What are the benefits property investment has over shares and any other business entity?

I'm still waiting and you have provided none simply because there aren't any.

As I said you need a professional to help you prepare your accounts. Because you are quite slow and apparently limited in your capabilities as a property investor I'll explain it. What you do is get a pool of properties some generating net income, the others generating a loss but with good potential for long term capital gains. You target $0 income so you pay no tax on the income and effectively convert the income into tax free capital gains.

You've disputed this before but I attribute that to the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Just because you are unable to understand something does not make it untrue.

Poor analogy. Property Investors concentrate on a yield. It's easy to generate great cash flow in an expensive area if you know what you are doing.

Nobody negative gears these days. That was only beneficial in the laqc days which are long over.

People structure business portfolios and share portfolios the same way. I know plenty of people who borrow to buy shares and negative gear for capital gain. They have never paid any tax.

It's not an analogy, it's what is current used. It's not a LAQC either.

You claim nobody negative gears but that's also wrong.

You fundamentally do not understand my post at all. Given that this is the case there's nothing I can do to unretard you.

Hahahaha maybe that's why you haven't cracked it yet and are still struggling away in a job. Good luck there. I will think of you when I'm flying business class sipping my glass of champagne.

Yes you can tell how I'm struggling in a job by the time when I'm logged in and posting here.

I realise you are just trolling by pretending to be retarded. Too bad you are unable to be funny and entertaining.

Ahh in the public service living off the prosperity of risk takers like me who pay tax on large incomes.

but not on your capital gain which is an order of magnitude larger than your income

Like any other business entity property investors don't pay a capital gains tax.

But if that was such a panacea to sort the market out then why has it failed in the likes of Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia who are heavily taxed?

The only way to solve the lack of houses is to incentivise development. Tax free development to get as many built as possible for a period. Good ideas not tax and waste like the left do.

I see you want to dish out more insults because your trolling is sad and boring.

Haha how can someone be called "Property King" but know nothing about property? And lie about riding Business Class sipping champagne.

Please delete your account and come back when you have thought about what you've done.

Property King see you at the Auckland Home Show starting 6th Sep 2017 at the ASB Show Ground ^^

Oh I get it!! Is this another one of your fake accounts, Double-GZ? Like the time you lied about owning a Mission Bay rental? So this time you're lying about flying Business Class? HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Are you ok? I hope you are...go and have a look in the mirror and make sure you at least look ok.

Why yes, I look and feel okay! Thanks for asking :)

ENVY

GREED

Winner

LOSER

Are you declaring yourself a 'winner' Property King? If so, wouldn't you consider that to be a bit narcissistic?

And who are you beating? Poor people (your fellow kiwis) or your own demons?

Property King is nothing but a troll. Already obvious by the choice of username. I would very much doubt he owns any property at all, given the lack of knowledge he possesses on the subject. I wouldn't even suspect him of being a real estate agent either. Just another troll trying to encite a reaction. Best to ignore from now on.

Perhaps you haven't cracked it either. Bob Jones now has his own jet.

Hey I'm really sorry for being rich. It's terrible of me.

Or maybe when it comes to making a living I'm just a hell of a lot better at it than you are.

You really do sound like a dreadful half witted bore. Please get off the site.

Now now don't be envious. All Socialists are materialists underneath.

Are you envious of Bob as well. How terrible he has his own plane.

Good on him I say!

People structure business portfolios and share portfolios the same way. I know plenty of people who borrow to buy shares and negative gear for capital gain. They have never paid any tax

The old "I know plenty of people" malarky. Works well at the BBQ or the bar among people who wouldn't know either way.

So nobody negative gears these days, but you know people who negative gear.

10/10 for contradiction.

If you read things properly I was referring to shares and business. Nobody I know negative gears in property investment since full depreciation and LAQCs were taken away. However maybe there are mugs out there you know who do and will be history in another 2008 type event.

Claiming expenses
If you own a rental property you can claim a variety of expenses at tax return time. These must relate to the costs of generating rental income, and must not include costs for private use.

Expenses you can claim
Insurance and rates
You can claim the cost of insuring your rental property and the rates for the property.

Interest
You can claim the interest charged on money you've borrowed to buy your rental property. However, if you: borrowed part of the money for another purpose, or topped up the mortgage for another purpose, for example to consolidate debt or to buy the house you live in you can only claim the interest that relates directly to the rental.

Fees and commission
You can claim fees or commission paid to agents who collect the rent, maintain your rental, or find tenants for you.

Fees paid to an accountant
You can claim the fees for: your accounts to be managed, tax returns to be prepared, and advice but not the costs involved in setting up your rental property.

Repair and maintenance costs
You can claim the costs for any repairs to the property or general maintenance. However, if you're doing the work yourself you can only claim for materials - not your time. If the work is more of an improvement than a repair then you can't claim the cost as an expense.

Motor vehicle expenses
You can claim for motor vehicle expenses, such as running costs for travelling to inspect your property or to do repairs. There are two options for claiming motor vehicle expenses - you can either use our kilometre rates or claim a percentage of the total running costs and depreciation.

Depreciation
Depreciation is an allowance you can claim to cover the costs of wear and tear and general ageing of furniture and fittings you've bought for your rental. You can combine assets worth less than $5,000 rather than depreciating them separately.

(Copied from the IRD website).

That is my point there are no tax benefits Vs any other business entity. Its the same for all businesses including Shares. Who pays capital gains taxes on shares or businesses when they sell? NOBODY.

My god some people are thick!

Penny, a property investor, buys a unit for $300,000, putting in $50,000 of her own money and borrowing the remaining $250,000. The interest of 7% each year is $17,500 and the weekly rent is $300 or $15,600 a year.

Ongoing costs including rates, water, insurance, maintenance and depreciation allowance are $2600 each year. After expenses, income for the year will be $13,000 ($15,600 minus $2600), equivalent to a net rental yield of 4.3%. However, annual interest repayments are $17,500, so she has actually lost $4500 during the year ($17,500 minus $13,000 = $4500).

The result is that Penny is eligible to receive a tax deduction of the loss accrued.

What other business can you think of where you make a loss on the face of it, and actually reduce personal tax, all with the intention of making money from a potentially appreciating asset.

Name one other business that you would enter into with the express intent of (on the face of it) losing money ? Purposeful negative gearing is an issue, and the property spruikers out there actively encourage it to Mum and Dad investors.

You can do this with any business including shares. Lots of businesses do this all the time through full depreciation which property investment doesn't have now.

I thought of a business that does this - Money Laundering !! I was wrong, apologies.

.

There's also no comprehensive capital gains tax in place for property, which shares/bonds/equities have (FIF taxation for investments outside NZ).

What's even worse is the fair dividend rate (FDR), the primary FIF income tax calculation method, is a flat 5% tax on capital each financial year. So it's not even taxing gains you make, it's taxing the capital you actually invest. There's no capital tax on property in NZ.

And if you move overseas, you can get stung by double taxation despite not living or working in NZ. Once again, something NZ property investment doesn't have to contend with.

If you buy property overseas you will pay tax according to the tax system in that particular country. So you do pay a capital gains tax.

Grant Robertson agreed last month at a Capital Property Investor meeting that property investment has no tax benefits over any other business entity.

This is just childish information spurted out by the gullible media on the gullible.

We're not talking about overseas property. We're talking about NZ domiciled property according to NZ tax laws.

If I'm gullible for citing IRD tax standards, then by your own opinion you're gullible for believing something a politician has said.

FIF rules state a 5% tax on capital each financial year! Does NZ property pay that each year? No! Then property has a tax advantage!

Are you too thick to read what I wrote?

Property King is intentionally trolling by pretending to be stupid. Don't waste any significant time responding to their gibberish.

I generally can't tell if property investors are actually stupid, plain old self centred and narcissistic or both. Property King and The Man seem to be cut from the same cloth.

You keep saying business entity. Herein lies the problem. Most property is held as a business. If it was then losses would be ring-fenced and capital gains would be payable (as the intention of a business is to make a profit).

When you say "most property" do you mean to say most houses in NZ, or is the definition of property much wider than that?

Plenty have explained ...you just choose not to understand.

A read of TOPs policy is a reference point. But...the question is not wether you agree with the policy (which is what most keep defaulting to), it's wether you have the capacity to understand it.

The TOP Party are shallow and aren't capable of deep thought. Their claim that property prices should only be 3 times the average wage is hilarious stuff! Back in those days women got married and didn't work. It's different now. It's a double income you go on.

...ummm..thats not the issue you raised. Thats an opinion. Try getting your head around the answer to the question you posed. Its in their policy. Go read it.

What's the point in wasting precious time reading nonsense from a bunch of no hopers who are polling at 2%. They're the modern day Migiliguddy serious party :) and have no chance of being in parliament.

Are you saying my vote for Migilliguddy all those years ago was wasted???

Hahaha not at all. They'd probably get more support than TOP now. Bring them back!

Off the mark yet again. The TOP policy explains the issue you raised re tax bias of property. You don't need to vote for them, but the policy goes into the tax bias. Isn't that what you posted and askd this site? Stop turning this site into a garbage tip of ignorance.

You can voluntarily pay tax in NZ. If Gareth is so upset about the unfair tax system then why didn't he pay a capital gains tax on his Trademe or GMI profits when they were sold? Simply because it's the tax them not us approach.

And what happens if you have children? Or there is a recession and you can't find work?
I agree though that disposable income or equivalent rental is probably a better indicator. Regardless of metric, Auckland house prices fall well into the category of Irrational Exuberance. Read Robert Schiller's book to find out what happens next.

Good to see another Shiller reader there SimonP. I've been trying to lead the horses (darklords) to water, but they don't seem to want to drink.....and its getting hot out there....

Rastus...

We will see how Gareth is able to explain it during the leaders debates ( If he is there )... I'm expecting that he will have a very hard time of it .. ( Gareth could not handle Paul Henry in trying to explain it and rationalize it.)
And.. that is because it is not based on simple, underlying, commonsense "reality".. so, therefore, it may well be easy to "debunk" in a debate.

we will see.... just my view.

Yes I'd be the first to accept it requires some analytical ability to understand. The majority won't understand, however the non taxing of the home is a tax bias....no question of it. But it is unpalatable as an election policy for all but purists. The policy would go a long way in sorting out an economy based in house flipping.

His tax policy is embarrassing, the number one rule of taxation is consistency. That's why he's polling at 2%. A wasted vote. Under his tax the house scenario nothing would escape tax. Why not tax on a mowed lawn (it brings benefit), a nice garden, a relaxing bath or watching tv (tv people are taxed so why shouldn't we be). It all adds benefit to your life so under TOPs policy and scenario nothing would escape it with the all important consistency rule.

Only lying in bed all day doing nothing would save you from tax.

Not a new idea but an old one; Overseas buyers can freely buy properties in NZ as long as it's brand new. From here new stocks will be built to meet demand.

From Arderns speech yesterday thats what I imagine labour will do...
"Stopping foreign speculators, who have no interest in our country buying our existing housing stock" would suggest this leaves the option to say they can buy new stock.

That policy hasn't kept housing affordable in Australia. Too many loopholes.

Well Brisbane, Melbourne (and soon Sydney) are flooded with new apartments and young people have plenty of choices..

Sydney house affordability is reportedly worse than New York at 12.2 times (average house price by the average household income).

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-24/sydney-housing-affordability-night...

up
10

Quite simply, the government needs to support mass prefab production.
The market can't / won't do it.
Keep the designs simple and elegant, and stick to say 6 designs.
Look at the cool stuff they are doing in Scandanavia

I agree. You can buy a smallish 2 or 3 bedroom kitset house in NZ for $120 to $170k. The only problem is the stupidly high cost of land to put it on.

And the best way to supporting such an industry is by placing orders for houses and build them.

From what I've read, the market has never been particularly interested in smaller, affordable houses. Public-private partnerships (with the likes of Fletchers, for example) were used (along with other measures at different times in NZ's history) to foster the creation of affordable housing stock - those older 3 bedroom timber houses of about 100 square metres, that don't leak.

Well those prefab's will have to go up ways because council haven't released any more land to put them on.

Over the years nz,s more affordable housing has gotten smaller and smaller sections and houses why'll getting more expensive, we need a permanent DTI setting. Keep second hand housing cheap and hopefully one day sections will become cheaper making new builds cheaper , plus council and land developers costs need looked at because there big differences between Auckland and other areas, nz can do a lot better for its people and cheap housing is a better way to go, I'm a investor , long term, I'm buying to hold for 30 plus years for me and my family, cheap housing works just fine, having 3 or 4 sets of boom bust every decade only helps flippers, and for every person that makes money someone in the end losses, vote for change and a fear DTI that helps home owners, renters, and investors

Again another disingenuous article saying renters are worse off than property owners. Just 4 minutes on a calculator will tell you that to own a 750k property in Wellington with 20% down will cost you circa $750 a week, hence Rents for similar or about the same. Before we can have a sensible discussion can we please have some sensible analytics. Also the author convienently leaves out the fact if the renter had indeed his 20% earning interest (150k) then you could
Knock off about another $100 dollars a week In his rent from income gained from putting his deposit money somewhere else. Nonsense research gives nonsense results.

It has always been cheaper to rent than buy for monthly cash flow, just ask mr equaab

Many have been relying on the captial gains. Even if taxed on them, they can still be huge. That 750k property 3 years ago in Wellingotn maybe worth over 1 million today due to recent price rises.

.

Or $500k...let's not forget many people who rent also share so how 84% of renters spend more than 50% of their income on rent is red faced BS

if you bought a house some time ago and renting the house. It is was not considered as passive income and IRD has not considered such income for many years. Wonder this is still true? Property managers don't file taxes, IRD won't know unless you give them the information voluntarily.

Yeah renting has its time in life so country's need rentals but wasting 30 years of renting is a bit silly when at the end of that 30 years you have a free hold house, of course you could rent and put $100 or so per week for 30 years but you'd need really good willpower not to touch it, there'll always be FHBers but they need affordable housing, the county can't supply that anymore in new stand alone housing because prices have gotten away, appartments are expensive to for what you get and weekly overheads, FHBers only opportunities are older homes and they're to expensive , and it's not only housing that is to expensive for FHB, all housing is to expensive for all salaries, but outside money coursed that which is gone so who knows where we'll find the levels to get sales high enough to hold prices again, time will tell

When prices get out of hand expensive in other places they build new houses like crazy and then eventually the whole things falls over. Then suddenly lots of new houses are there waiting to be lived in.

Not so much in Auckland.

Sorry, but I didn't see any progressive thinking in this article, nor any viable solutions - just typical Union moaning and stirring the pot and repeating the same thing several times ... I could only sense that the progressive thinking is to make everything and everyone equal ...equal housing, equal pay, equal everything --- so is this a movement to solve housing issues Or to drag us back to 1970s so everyone feels good and happy ?
Some of the above mentioned ideas about prefab and smaller housing blocks to solve the 58% of the member's housing costs and concerns are very viable and some of that was done in Hamilton by developers with the help of special zoning ...

so is that it? the 58% mentioned in the article represents 33640 people around the country ... and MOST of those I assume are FHBs or young couples and young families on above average wages which probably wont need a big 4-5 brdms to live in ...

All the parties who would possibly form The coming Government have vowed to build these numbers and more in the next 3-5 years - So why is all the fuss? ...Unless it is not about affordability but something else !! - Or is that some want that bigger house in the town centre close to work and favorite schools to be crashed down to meet their level of income ( without borrowing too much?)---

Do Unions want us to go back to Socialism and Communism and equalism - I cannot see that that is fair to the remaining of the citizens of this country who have moved on and simply Don't agree with that ideology.

If we cannot bring Land prices down, or cannot build cheaper houses as fast as we like, or cannot guarantee the use CGT for lowering new building prices, if we cannot get the councils and compliance fees down ( about 50% of house building cost!!), If we cannot limit migrants buying land or houses ..etc,... then we are just repeating the same wishful thinking while uselessly stirring the pot and crying blue murder every second day !!

Is PSA trying to portray this as a NZ problem?... and want someone to solve it by shielding ourselves from all the other international influences which we are part of?,
Well we are not Alone and all the rest of the people in countries with similar housing problems are not stupid either , are they? !!... We just cannot wreck the system and markets to satisfy Unions - if they need to help their members, then they should come up with positive practical ideas ( that is the opposite of Destructive ones) without enforcing their Ideology on everyone else, unless they are utterly careless, biased, and selfish , God Forbid !!

These fresh great ideas cannot come soon enough .. we just cannot wait.

More tax is the auto-magical socialist solution to all problems.

Have you sworn off the pension, Ralph?

The housing crisis has nothing to do with housing , but everything to do with bringing near on 80,000 new immigrants here and only building 7,000 houses .

And when I checked last , very few of those 7,000 new houses had 11 bedrooms in each house .

I dont know why no one sees this , its crystal clear to even a child

Spot on same old same old from the old party's.

Based upon their indifference to new ideas I'd rather be a fool voting for TOP than a fool for not.

Washdoesn'twash

There is also the issue of the quality of much of the existing housing stock (both public housing and private/rental housing). Because land prices have risen to the degree they have - combined with some near monopolies on certain construction materials, we haven't been bowling the old quick enough.

Here's the problem: Money and Academia (ideology and funding) dominate Media in the immigration debate
https://www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/dick-asks-prof-peter-mcdonald-anu-sto...

I think council regs, their fees (of all types) and the delays and BS you can get from some councils when they inspect, and the cost of building (Labour and materials) are more to the point why buildings dont get bowled. I have 1200sq mtrs which has 4 buildings on it and I would love to invest and build but its just not viable so I do up, maintain and collect the rent.

The reason for the housing crisis is that Sir John Key used an innovative and bold initiative to create the Super City. Auckland Region and all its towns were merged to create a single governing body.

Innovatively the National Party decided this new type of regional body will use the rules of a city. Traditionally regions are governed by rules written for regions. It was a bold move.

Today we can see the results, with Auckland spreading sprawl at great expense all over the region and infrastructure spending out of control. And for added bonus fun the council have, for no apparent reason, decided that land will be highly restricted adjacent to the city. Inflated infrastructure costs + inflated land pricing = a housing crisis.