National is gearing up to announce a big Auckland housing plan. It has been dubbed 'KiwiBuild-lite', but even that implies too wide a gap from Labour

National is gearing up to announce a big Auckland housing plan. It has been dubbed 'KiwiBuild-lite', but even that implies too wide a gap from Labour

By Alex Tarrant

They’ve been dubbed KiwiBuild and KiwiBuild-lite.

But even that description of the difference between Labour's and National’s state-led private house building plans might imply the gap is too wide.

Particularly when it comes to Auckland.

New Zealand’s two main parties are each promising to build tens of thousands of houses on Crown land in Auckland to sell into the private 'affordable' market over the next decade.

Both will use the threat of government building as leverage to try and force private land bankers to get a move on with residential development.

And both are proposing at least some level of central government funding for Auckland housing infrastructure, be it roads, water or sewerage.

So what difference is there to vote for? It’s all looking pretty purple when it comes to government-led Auckland private housing supply efforts.

National set to announce big Auckland housing plan

Prime Minister Bill English in February welcomed approval of Auckland’s Unitary Plan. He said it would allow for an increase in the amount of housing on Crown land in the city from 27,000 to 69,000 over the next decade.

He even outlined that extra building should be expected in Avondale, Mt Roskill and South Auckland alongside existing projects in Hobsonville, Northcote and Tamaki.

Further details have been short on the ground. But National is gearing up for a big Auckland housing announcement in the next month or so – potentially ahead of the 25 May Budget. We’ll get a better idea of where these houses will be, when they’ll be there, and how you’ll be able to get to them.

It is an election year. A lot will be said of policy differences between Left and Right on issues such as immigration, tax settings and expected interest rate tracks (on Interest.co.nz at least). Let’s park demand to one side – perhaps until we get Labour’s immigration policy – and focus on supply.

A brief overview:

Labour is promising to build half of its 100,000 house KiwiBuild target in Auckland over the next ten years.

National is promising to increase the numbers of houses on Crown land in Auckland from 27,000 to 69,000, or “slightly more” than that, over the next ten years.

Labour says KiwiBuild is a ‘counter-cyclical’ policy. Government will fill gaps left by the private sector. Another way to interpret that is the policy can be used as leverage: the threat of mass-building on Crown land as an incentive to get private land owners moving ahead of the government.

National says competitive land markets are the key to addressing Auckland’s housing problem and that government is a Very Large Auckland Landowner. As leverage, they will use the threat of mass-building on Crown land as an incentive to get private land owners moving ahead of the government.

If you don’t, we will

The Crown has owned its land for a long time. Valuation movements (think potential falls) won’t matter as much to the government as they might to private land bankers. The message from both National and Labour is: if you don’t develop your land, we’ll develop ours, and the value of yours will fall.

One response from land owners has been that they would develop but need to be able to connect to the Auckland Council infrastructure grid.

Both National and Labour have recognised a need for government intervention to help the Auckland Council sort this out.

Labour is proposing Treasury’s Debt Management Office borrows funds at the central government level to pay for infrastructure such as new/improved transport links and three-waters. This will allow for development of greenfields land and more densification.

Targeted rates will allow for the borrowing to be repaid over the lifetime of the asset. Having the debt sit at central government level will mean the Auckland Council’s balance sheet won’t be overburdened.

National is offering funding to councils with its $1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). We’re still yet to hear which council plans will be blessed with the funding, but think of projects like the Penlink road in Auckland, or a couple of new bridges over to vacant land in Hamilton.

This will allow for development of greenfields land and more densification. Projects could be developed and refunded within Special Purpose Vehicles, so the Auckland Council’s balance sheet won’t be overburdened.

Now, $1bn isn’t going to be enough. We will be seeing extra policy from National on this front. A starting point will be gentle pressure on making sure the Auckland Council has its priorities straight.

But if the HIF projects go to plan – let’s say Penlink is funded and helps the future residential areas north of Auckland be developed quicker than expected – then these things will be all the rage. Targeted rates, anyone?

Where's the difference? Funding those houses

It all sounds very similar. More so, at least, than the traditional ‘let the market sort itself out’ versus ‘government intervention is required’.

This isn’t necessarily bad. But for those worried that we’re going to have an ideology-free, centrist general election when it comes to the supply of private Auckland housing spurred on by the government, do not despair.

One difference that might just emerge regards how a National or Labour-led government will fund the tens of thousands of homes each is aiming to build.

Labour’s KiwiBuild is set to get an initial $2bn government injection. This is expected to be recycled as houses are sold, and returned to the Crown when KiwiBuild is complete.

National is leaning more towards requiring and allowing Housing New Zealand to seek its own funding. Private sector funding for the building of houses on Crown land that will then be sold to the private sector.

The mantra is that borrowing at the government’s risk-free rate should not be used to fund riskier asset classes such as property.

There has been plenty of debate at the top of government about this – including a look at whether there should at least be some central government funding kick-start for National’s grand ambitions for Housing NZ.

But that could be the difference. We’ll know soon enough.

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.

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.

75 Comments

Both are promising to build lots of new houses. Easier said than done. Speak to anyone in the building industry and there are bottlenecks at multiple levels which means that the targets will be almost impossible to meet.

Which is why it is dishonest of Labour to suggest Kiwi Build will relieve the pressure in AKL over the short/medium term. Especially when they are also going to cut immigration by 'tens of thousands'.

Cut immigration and the housing crisis will start to resolve itself.
The Ponzi set up by National has meant we have had immigrants building houses for immigrants who funnily enough have been building house for immigrants who have been buil........

Land bankers deliberately withholding land from the market should be :-

a) Treated as property speculators and taxed accordingly ,
and
b) the Auckland Council should introduce a by-law to charge TRIPLE RATES with zero rebates on residential land left fallow for more than 24 months to incentivise the release of vacant sections .

This is an idea with a track record in NZ. NZ governments have successfully used taxes aimed at land-banking speculators to free up land and get it into the hands of average Kiwis.

It was one of the measures that ultimately resulted in NZ having such a high rate of home ownership.

Should we have government builds, land-bank taxes and other similar measures, we'll only be extending to today's Kiwis what previous generations also benefited from before them. That will mean that children and grandchildren get access to the same sort of resources and opportunities that their grandparents did before them.

Land taxes was one means of the 1890 Liberal party of NZ created a democratic society resting on the foundations of an independent land-owning class of small farmers, as opposed to large farms with hired help, or urban factories. There was a deliberate effort to 'burst up' large run holding estates. Many thousands of farms owe their existence to the resulting ballot from the government's effort to create more small farms (much like many kiwis homes may in the future be created by the ballot of KiwiBuilds).

But land taxes was certainly not the only means of creating new smaller farms -low interest loans, the threat of compulsory acquisition, Maori land 'purchases', the creation of agriculture research and education institutions to raise productivity....... and also that was direction of economic travel -refrigeration meant smaller dairy and sheep for meat farms were economically viable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Liberal_Party#Agrarianism

Boatman as you probably have guessed I have centre left leanings but the sort of compulsion you have advocated for has me uneasy. My preference would be to open up so many development opportunities both upwards -intensification and outwards with the removal of urban growth boundaries and the provision of infrastructure/transport corridors such that competition prevents land banking from being viable/profitable.

This would allow our cities to grow organically in response to demand. Whereas if land is compelled to be built on -then how is that different to some Soviet style planned city?

Having said that -for competitive supply to work we need a demand breather from immigration, foreign investors and probably a look at the tax system that incentivises investment in property for capital gains over other more productive forms of investment.

Agreed, Brendon, property ownership is a fundamental part of what makes our society civilised. However, property ownership is a privilege not a "right". My politics are more centre right than left (although a friend did once jokingly describe them as "slightly to the right of Attila the Hun").

There is a delicate balance of privilege and trust that is the true basis of a civilised society. Our society is based on what is fair and reasonable. Private ownership of assets tends to lead to more productive use and better long term stewardship of resources, provided the limits of fairness and reasonableness are not overstepped. It's a fascinating and elusive subject.

Agree, it's a privilege. It's a privilege that has been recognised to benefit society overall - i.e. capitalism functions best when people have some capital to work with.

I think we need to recognise more the efforts that previous generations and governments went to to foster land and home ownership in NZ. E.g. government builds, cheap Housing Corp loans, cheap government leasehold land to encourage building, land taxes targeting the break up of land banks. NZ's history shows this worked...It resulted in the high rate of home ownership NZers once enjoyed. Even the Pension revolves around the assumption most people will own their own home in retirement.

It's encouraging to see more people and policies recognising the role of previous efforts in fostering home ownership, and the benefits these efforts have delivered to preceding generations.

Imagine how different NZ society would have been if land and capital had been left entirely in a few major holdings.

Everybody should be out buying up rain coats and umbrellas because it looks like a huge p...ing contest is developing.

... peace upon you , friend !

... yes , it is election year ... and you know that our pollies are gonna peace upon us all , from a great height ... Grab that umbrella ... getcha goodself a strongly reinforced one , 'cos brother , it is heavily and severely going to peace down on us all ...

Those tricky dickie little pollickticians , they are going to out bid each other , with the taxes they've thieved from your wages , the very petrol you use to drive to the ballot box , the GST spread thickly upon the very bread you eat ...

... they want a piece of the action , they want a piece of you , of me ... of everyone ....

They peace upon us , every one of us .... ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!

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Alex I know you want to set aside immigration for this discussion on housing and infrastructure but I think it is worthwhile considering how the government handled immigration, as an indication of how they will handle housing. Especially as housing has been the government's achilles heel -for example, it was the one issue that John Key's skills could not shake.

Heather du Plessis-Allan writes that what the government is doing this year is conventional political theory -it is offering policy-lite solutions for all the issues that could get political traction -water, superannuation, immigration, infrastructure, housing .... What National want to do in these spaces is offer just enough policy to stop opposition parties -Labour, Greens, New Zealand First from getting a roll on. But they do not want to offer more -if they did -they would already done it. They have had 9 years....

So on immigration. The National government tinkered with the settings -it will make a marginal difference -but it is not a policy turn around. The government will not say how much effect these setting changes will make, because they do not want to really change the overall trajectory of mass immigration. Further they continue with the line that immigration numbers are the result of returning kiwis -it is a sign of success -blah, blah, blah. I heard Steven Joyce saying it again on The Nation this weekend.

The reality is unless there is significant not marginal changes to immigration i.e. cuts to immigration in the order of tens of thousands, then according to Stats NZ, Aucklands population is predicted to increase by 50% by 2043. That is another Rotorua every year. The cause being the large number of non-NZ citizens immigrants coming into the country. Don't listen to tricks from the government -Auckland growing by 50% is not caused by kiwis returning home -it is caused by people that we choose to let in.

Surely if we choose to let more people into the country, then we should make damn sure we can accommodate them. If we do not, then it is a recipe for social disaster.

It is in this context we should judge what the political parties are offering on housing and infrastructure.

If National is going lite on immigration and I would argue they have. Then they better well go hard on housing and infrastructure. But that would mean a step change from what they have done for the last 9 years. Can we really see Nick Smith, Steven Joyce, Gerry Brownlee, Bill English and co changing their spots?

P.S Heather's article is here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11...

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If 70000 is progress as per national 200000 will be more progress definitely as more people will result in more demand and than will see auction even for rental property and the only rule in NZ will be Might is Right and Survival of the Richest.

With no infrastructure to support and supply to match average Kiwi will have to compete with rich migrants.

Government should let people know - If average kiwi with average wage can compete with rich foreigners or most kiwi will have to give way to rich foreigners and elite few and be at the mercy of their left over - be it housing.

Brendon, I think the migration changes are quite significant. With a much harder passage to getting lower paid jobs, fewer students are likely to come, for a start

her article is interesting in that she echoes what many saying too many coming in too fast for us to cope, then she falls for the government PR spin that this is a good thing.
at least she did not fall for the fake news that the numbers are returning citizens
maybe she should look at some of the figures and research on Michael redells website to get a more accurate picture

Yes.
And she's an immigrant from South Africa? Immigrants are often ultra sensitive to the idea of having a decent debate on...immigration.
She's looking at things simplistically, and wrongly.
We clearly should be cutting immigration of those not possessing the skills we desperately need.
And she says just build more houses....if only it were that simple.
She's guilty in that article of the kind of simplistic sloganeering the politicians engage in, and she is critical of! Ironic!
For, ...we need to:
1. Cut back immigration, by being more selective and focussed
2. AND build more houses
And do plenty of other things...
Such a shame our print media 'journalists are so...ordinary

our journalists for MSM nowadays are more akin to PR than investigation, they take a topic and rather than dig deep and find both sides of the argument then come to a conclusion they have there mind made up before they write it up.
this is a classic, I have no doubt he was given this name by the NP to back the PM claims and off he went like a lap dog to write it up.
he should have asked around these questions, is he paying the going rate, what sort of boss is he, what hours days is he making his drivers work, what rates does he charge compared to his competition.
where is he importing drivers from and what is there real level of experience
plenty of people to ask, and if he had asked around he might have found its not a pretty picture in truth it is only about money

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/04/truck-co-owner-says-kiwis...

Is that a record number of likes, David?

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national have paraded over this housing issue for years and played palmed it off as being either a non issue or in fact, good for NZ (as they have with the environment and immigration). Now that it's election time and those opposition benches beckon, they start to stir. Sorry bill, you and donkey have made such a mess it will be years before I even consider putting you back on my vote list.

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This is just an election bribe. For nine years they claimed there was no housing crisis, and three months before election the tune changes

... it is was only a housing crisis , entirely blameable upon the government , when Helen Clark was in charge , and the Gnats were on the shadow benches ...

Now that Wild Bill is in control , it's a " supply bottleneck " ...

... and if you believe that , then cobber , I've got a half share in the Sydney Harbour Bridge you can have for $ 100 ..... nyuk nyuk ....

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Here comes the bribe.. more supply talk no talk on reducing demand.... Foreign and investor...
we have heard it all before ... back in 2007 we had this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWPgoAI1cLE

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm
"Over the past few years a consensus has developed in New Zealand. We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.
This is an issue that should concern all New Zealanders. It threatens a fundamental part of our culture, it threatens our communities and, ultimately, it threatens our economy.
The good news is that we can turn the situation around. We can deal with the fundamental issues driving the home affordability crisis. Not just with rinky-dink schemes, but with sound long-term solutions to an issue that has long-term implications for New Zealand’s economy and society.
National has a plan for doing this and we will be resolute in our commitment to the goal of ensuring more young Kiwis can aspire to buy their own home."

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Since then NZ has lost a decade through inaction...... what a wasted opportunity John Key and this National government has been.....

... they remind me of the Malcolm Fraser government in Australia , back in the 1970's ... who were given control of the senate and the lower house ... but who chose to sit on their fat lazy hands , and do nothing ...

It took a switch to the " left " in Bob Hawke and Paul Keating , to shake up the place , and to create some bold plans ...

... question is , are little Andy and Jacinda Adorn up to the task of doing the hard work that the Gnats have been too lazy for 9 years to get stuck into ...

How did you find that John Key video? Gold.

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Loving the new measures taken in Canada , Toronto
http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/list-of-housing-measures-proposed-by-onta...

TORONTO -- The Ontario government has announced what it calls a comprehensive housing package aimed at cooling a red-hot real estate market. Here are the 16 proposed measures:
- A 15-per-cent non-resident speculation tax to be imposed on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations.
- Expanded rent control that will apply to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded.
- Updates to the Residential Tenancies Act to include a standard lease agreement, tighter provisions for "landlord's own use" evictions, and technical changes to the Landlord-Tenant Board meant to make the process fairer, as well as other changes.
-vacant homes property tax
- property tax tools to encourage development.
- An effort to understand and tackle practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market.
- A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions.
- The launch of a housing advisory group which will meet quarterly to provide the government with ongoing advice about the state of the housing market and discuss the impact of the measures and any additional steps that are needed.

without addressing demand it will not lower prices, until national and labour both admit demand is above 50% of the equation and drop it to below 40%, there will be no catchup.

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Both are promising and will promise but as of now we have seen what national has done based on its policy and has not helped instead have supported and added to the problem and now are only doing cosmetic cover up for votes.

Question : will national be able fool people again or will average kiwi be taken for a ride again by national ?

National - we have seen since last few years so is it not better to give other parties a chance.

Also to remember that 9 years is a long time for national and by giving another 3 years to national will be more of I, ME, Myself.

Think it time for change.

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No more smiley wavy guy, who I reckoned could have been good for a minimum of 10-15% of Natl's vote, and without those voters, they are toast.

I agree, Bill English is a grumpy cardboard box

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It is the kiwi way to give someone else a chance after the incumbent party has had 9 years and stuffed up.

National have had their chance - they have treated us like the fools we are and it is time for a change. Their "lite" changes going into the election are a dollar short and a day (years) late.

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Agree - Time for change. Need new fresh approach as national approach iis For the Rich, To The Rich, By the rich (foreigners are part of their Rich Club).

National after denying will try to play with people''s sentiment to get back in power but it is upto the people to see through them and vote.

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Re: "National says competitive land markets are the key to addressing Auckland’s housing problem....."

They have very little credibility even on this competitive supply side of the housing equation.

What has Nick Smith done about the building materials cartel? -bugger all.

And for some time there has been a political consensus that planning restrictions on building our cities up and out need to be removed -as long as infrastructure is adequately provided -and correctly priced (including environment factors -such as congestion charging). But National has spent 9 years dithering over how to reform planning and infrastructure provision for fast growing urban areas. This is a tragic farce given the mass immigration policy they are running.

Read what our old mate Bernard Hickey wrote here. https://pro.newsroom.co.nz/articles/1629-newsroom-pro-s-8-things-at-8-tr... -No. 7

7. Just in case you missed it...
One curious coda to the RMA debate that concluded last week was that the Opposition parties plus ACT and United Future all voted again during the third reading debate for amendments that would have abolished Rural Urban Growth Boundaries and allowed the financing of infrastructure bonds paid for with targeted rates.

The amendments were defeated by National and the Maori Party.

The irony of a Government that has railed against restrictions on land development by councils voting against removing those restrictions should be noted. And also that the proposal for infrastructure bonds was backed by the right-leaning New Zealand Initiative and voted for by the Greens and Labour. Strange times indeed.

Meh.

The City of Auckland has the most restrictive of Rural Urban Boundaries, this has been run by Labour for 7 years. It is Auckland that has been driving our land supply problems and Labour has had 7 years to fix it, but has done nothing.

Auckland Council willingly spends $Billions developing exurbs, but will do nothing to free up land for Auckland City.

Why should we think Labour are anything other than lying politicians? Who could ever trust them?

So you think Auckland Council would listen to Labour's housing spokesman when they do not listen to central government? The government at any time could have replaced AC Counselors with appointees -that is what they did in Canterbury to get the irrigation schemes passed and allow hundreds of square kilometres to be intensified for dairy farming.

Planning reform although necessary is not sufficient.
-NZ needs infrastructure funding reform so fast growing areas infrastructure keeps ahead of demand.
-Reform of the building cartel.
-On the demand side -reform of immigration, taxation....
-As a decent society we should sort out security of tenure for renters -many of whom will be renting for all their life, social housing is another obvious area in need of reform.

It is too simplistic to only blame local government -they are a convenient scapegoat -that Bill English in particular, likes to give a kicking every few months..... but any decent package of housing reforms must go wider than just local government.

P.S. It is a nonsense that since this government has come in Canterbury has grown by 1/2 million dairy cows -each cow urinating and defecating like 14 men and this rural intensification option because of the machinations of the government has been a consent free activity while intensifying rural areas to become urban remains a highly restricted activity.

The only way to create competitive land markets is for council rates to be applied against land only and significantly increased, or for central government to implement land value tax nationwide. Since they are starting to foot the bill for Aucklands failure to generate revenue from their rate payer, it's only fair that central government source the money required to run these cities.

House being promoted in Waikato Times yesterday is proclaiming the house price is now $1,199000 as opposed to $1279,000.
Way below replacement value it says.
Seems to me like they are implying that someone is taking a hit on this house when it is really only the blue sky over valuation that will take a hit.Less profit for the builder,methinks.
Just how much would a builder expect to make off a home at this price?

Not much dispute that National have allowed far more people to settle in AKL than they knew the city could cope with, which has caused the shambles we are in. Some advocates on this site for a change of Govt, are confident Labour would fix it by magically building enough houses. Easy to promise when you are in opposition but the inconvenient reality is that we just don't have the available construction capacity. And Labour is going to slash migration by tens of thousands thus putting more pressure on the labour pool. So the same capacity restraints will remain. Grandiose promises and a change of government won't deliver the solution. Even if large tracts of land are forced onto the market it is still going to take a long time to fix this mess, whoever is in power.

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Middlemen people are not confident that labour will solve the problem BUT people are confident that National will NOT solve instead are and will add to the crisis. SO..........

Lets get real. National aint done too bad. They pushed Council to allow heaps of intensifiaction (only way to reduce land cost associated per dwelling). NIMBYS tossed and turned until finally in late 2016 we got only a mild version of original AUP. We need immigration- thats how NZ was built. Sure, at election times you get a bit of traction from anti immigration pushers. The price of fruit and vege is up as well. Blame National and try and win some votes. Until I see a more credible party, will stick with National.

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... I'm a " centre-right " voter by nature ... but even the Gummster can see that this is a lazy government ... too focused on winning elections , too concerned with retaining the baubles of office , to risk spending some of the capital support which the electorate has gifted them and make some hard but necessary changes ...

If the only plan B is silly little Andy and Jacina Adornment , I say go with it ...

... it's high time to boot the bone idle lazy frigging Gnats hard up the jacksie !

It's only 3 more years for the Gnats to dump Wild Bill , and to partner Miss Paula with a younger and more vibrant running mate ... to front up in 2020 ...

for all the talk of national regeneration, when you look at the front bench we have long term MPs that should be flushed out should they lose.
so long bill and his mate nick, Gerry can carry the bags

you do realize than Auckland city infrastructure is 19th century so every skyscraper or blocks of flats that is built causes overflow on the system that is already running at full capacity
soon we will have more leaking into the sea doing normal times just not heavy rain periods

We already had a crisis in 2007, and some of us were agitating back then.
Far too late, the damage has been done.
NZ only has its self and its blatant self interest and greed to blame

Better late than Never. Vote for change.

So these are all gonna be 1/4 acre sites right?.. Some of us like to kick a rugbyball round with the kids

All ... Government staff will be giving up their rentals for a good cause, free of charge That goes for all other Govt Beneficiaries on the Housing rort.

When We kick the balls up...into touch..You can have yer quarter acre...

Don't worry, National will sort it out by 2085. We've only been waiting 5 years for the Housing Affordability Measure commissioned by Cabinet in 2012 but which still has yet to see the light of day, despite a planned release in 2015, 2016, then February 2017.
National = Incompetent

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91799993/labour-say-nick-smith-...

Sir Humphrey: Minister, remember the Housing Affordability Measure work you asked us to prepare back in 2012? Well, it’s ready now.
Minister Smith: Oh goodie, what does it say?
Sir Humphrey: Nothing.
Minister Smith: Nothing?
Sir Humphrey: Well, sir, you asked us to prepare a measurement of affordability and we simply couldn’t find any evidence to support such a notion.
Minister Smith: Oh, bugger. Well, get my togs, towel and get me to the nearest river. I’m going swimming!

The scene in Nick Smith’s office as he tries to bury the long-awaited Housing Affordability Measures – delayed since 2015 – would be farcical if it wasn’t such an important issue, says Labour’s Housing Spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“It might’ve seemed like a good idea at the time, but after at least two years of delays and faced with an ever-deepening housing crisis it looks like the Minister is scrambling to suppress the HAM.

“It looks like an episode of Yes, Minister and it would be funny if it wasn’t such a serious issue for New Zealand.

“The officials are right: New Zealand needs a credible affordable housing measure. The HAM makes a lot of sense and it appears it won’t see the light of day during an election year.

“Nick Smith is suppressing the facts because they show what a ham-fisted hash he’s made of the housing portfolio. First the Government buried the housing portfolio name, now they’re burying the facts that show what a poor job Nick Smith is doing in this critically important area.

“Rising housing costs have eaten the benefits of any rise in incomes last year for Kiwi families. Analysis by the Parliamentary Library shows that households spent $3 billion more on housing in 2016 compared to 2015.

“Last year the average household’s income rose $32 a week, while average housing costs rose by $30 a week. It’s clear the Government simply can’t deal with the Housing Crisis.

“Labour would fix the Housing Crisis and get on with our KiwiBuild programme to build 100,000 affordable homes for all New Zealanders,” says Phil Twyford.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1704/S00262/maybe-not-minister-nick-smi...

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What Aucklanders have yet to wake up to is a huge increase in property taxation to provide the necessary increased infrastructure to meet demands placed by Nationals immigration policy ,
I expect that after the election so look out .
National have used ponzi immigration to keep NZs e con going. They offer mere tinkering to appease complaints and like Mr Key have no strategic plans for NZ at all. It is all short term quick profit thinking with a seminar or two by the Zoologist on Science which frankly he knows little about. Only a fresh government might offer a small change of direction and NZers must remove National from office or risk far worse as these fools offer so very little

Pretty disgusted to watch Stephen Joyce on The Nation pass the buck onto Phil Goff where infrastructure goes. Surely, surely the guy knows we know why it is Auckland is so far behind the eight ball. Aucklanders you are probably going to get d*cked beyond belief to pay for this government's relentless drive to rapidly increase population at any cost. Others cities are beginning to suffer the same fate,

this comment is so good it is worth another a second round

Here comes the bribe.. more supply talk no talk on reducing demand.... Foreign and investor...
we have heard it all before ... back in 2007 we had this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWPgoAI1cLE

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm
"Over the past few years a consensus has developed in New Zealand. We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.
This is an issue that should concern all New Zealanders. It threatens a fundamental part of our culture, it threatens our communities and, ultimately, it threatens our economy.
The good news is that we can turn the situation around. We can deal with the fundamental issues driving the home affordability crisis. Not just with rinky-dink schemes, but with sound long-term solutions to an issue that has long-term implications for New Zealand’s economy and society.
National has a plan for doing this and we will be resolute in our commitment to the goal of ensuring more young Kiwis can aspire to buy their own home."

****Vote Labour .. the only party tackling Demand -> http://www.labour.org.nz/cracking_down_on_speculators

Labour’s ban on foreign speculators purchasing existing houses will be based on the Australian policy. Under our policy only citizens and permanent residents will be able to buy existing homes. The ban will also apply to foreign trusts and foreign corporations. Removing this speculative demand from the market will help stabilise prices and give Kiwi families a fair shot at buying a place of their own.

I really really wish I could believe them in honoring this election pledge , but I dont , simply because over the years they have said one thing and done another .

And to be brutal , its going to bankrupt us ........I wish someone could explain how they intend to fund Kiwibuild ?

Apart from the cost which will send Government debt through the roof , where are we going to find the builders to do the work ?

Immigration and housing will be fully politicised as its election. we had a housing issue in 2001/2002. House prices and rentals went going through the roof. Why did Labour not promise to build more houses, after all they were in govt. Come on, National under Key has done not too bad. we had a mining disaster, 2-4-6 Earthquakes, with one that almost cleaned out the south island. In between we had GFC. Key & Co. steered through all not too badly. This current housing and immigration is cyclical, no different to past cycles.

Yeah, sure, uh huh

Auckland House prices went up 1/2 a millions dollars (500,000) under National and Key. That is more than all the other PM's combined since the dawn of time...

Time to wake up .... 2007 it was a crisis as per Key... 2017 it is an absolute disaster

Vote change... Vote Labour

Labour have been running Auckland for 7 years and making house prices go up.

Vote real change - NZFirst, United, Maori, Act.

NZ First, United, Maori or Act without Labour means National gets back into power and the status quo continues.

The choice in September is a Labour led government or a National led government. Everyone else are bit players -they will influence the government -but they will not run it.

cut immigration then we don't even need kiwibuild ...lol

yes cut immigration and we retire at 95. no super from 65 to 94. no worries, it will be done with your vote.

So your vote is to keep the ponzi scheme going? Retire early with cash in your pockets, and bugger the next generation. They can move overseas if they don't like fighting for lower paid jobs, in order to pay for ever increasing house values, dealing with sewage overflowing and choked up roads as the infrastructure cannot keep up with demand.

Auckland Transport has created an artificial land supply constriction by removing Auckland's new suburbs to the miles away from the town and doubling the new suburbs size. Adding $billions to the cost of infrastructure and placing a burden of $10billions on the private sector - Auckland Transport has made housing construction in Auckland slow to a crawl. 7 years of bad planning, by a corrupt organisation.

But Auckland.

Now everyone blames immigrants and wants a taxpayer bail-out.

Good luck with that.

Still waiting for someone to credibly explain how Labour is going to create the resources required to support a massive ramp up in the number of houses built, in a construction industry that is already running at maximum capacity and which reports that workers are hard to find.

what they really mean is workers are hard to find below a certain pay rate

Kiwi Build by guaranteeing a 10 year long pipeline -means builders will have the incentive to invest in housing factories -prefabrication -thus less labour needed to build each house. It will also incentivise apprenticeship and workforce training which will also improve industry productivity.

more proof how the National party has screwed hard working kiwis who cant afford to buy and have to move out of Auckland
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1184...

Expensive housing in the 21st century is having the same effect on productive businesses and labour as expensive food did in the 19th century.
https://medium.com/land-buildings-identity-and-values/housing-affordabil...

National have had an immigration policy akin to a game of Bullrush , and they could lose the next election for being so utterly stupid as to allow it to happen.

They had better do something dramatic to undo the mess they have got us into.

Speaking of unintended consequences , we are looking for staff for salary circa $50k and one of the reasons we cant find staff in Auckland is they cannot afford to live in Auckland .

One chap we interviewed is paying $690 a week to rent a house , and needs to take home $1000 a week just to live

Its a horror story unfolding , and our immigration policy is a large part of the problem

Yep that's what what "Houses Overpiced" -NZ Herald link shows when small to middle sized businesses were surveyed.

How do ordinary migrants (not laundry people and not high rollers) contemplate coming to Auckland unless they get a job next to or close to where they live or the employer provides accommodation

On occasion you'll see someone with the luck to be born at the right time to benefit from previous generations efforts to create affordable housing, telling young people that they should suck it up because things are pretty good in NZ and "things are so much worse overseas, that's why people are eager to come here!"

In a sense, they're not wrong. While efforts of previous generations to foster home ownership have not been continued in the last twenty years - with the result that young Kiwis are facing a much worse situation - it is still true that the situation in much of the third world is even worse again. Even facing the prospect of relative poverty in Auckland can be much more attractive than the lifestyle available to them in some third world cities.

Not to say in any way that the performance of politicians over the last couple of decades of letting things get to the point where their go to is "It's still a better lifestyle than the third world!" is anything to be proud of.

But I do think more older Kiwis are now looking at the lot left to their children and grandchildren needs addressing, and efforts to foster affordable home ownership the likes of which they once benefited from are worth considering again.

Well , to be fair , home ownership is a cornerstone of the Kiwi way of life .

It brings a sense of connection and belonging , it stabilizes families , its brings long -term financial stability , and most importantly it is a form of long -term saving , something we as a nation are not really good at .

RickS. I'm a BBr and there no way I'd tell a young Auckland FHB to 'suck it up'. They have it a damn sight tougher on housing than I did and with interest rates set to rise there is more for them to be anxious about. My own kids are up to their neck in an AKL housing mess that is hugely exacerbated by crazy immigration policies, so I'm deeply invested in the issue.

Comparing us with over seas basket case countries and saying we have it good in comparison, is intellectually lazy and flippantly denies one of the core aspirational Kiwi values.

Repeatedly shouting 'vote for change' no doubt makes some feel better but apart from more finance, apprenticeship schemes and a kitset house factory in Gisborne, I'm seeing little in opposition policies that is going to deliver more resources in the short and medium term. We've hit our physical construction capacity limits and it's going to take 10 years to dig ourselves out of this mess, whichever party is the government.

Yeah, I think the policies around doing more government build (as NZ has in the past) are worth *looking at*, along with policies addressing demand from foreign investors and rebalancing tax treatment of property vs. other investments (including Kiwisaver / retirement saving).

At least we have opposition parties starting to look at such things and bring them forth as a mandate. I think they need work, but it's a positive sign.

Like yourself, I think there will be many even among those born early enough to buy cheap starting to feel the pain too, as they begin thinking "Well...how much of my wealth in property will I be able to spend in my retirement if I want to help my kids have a chance at home ownership too, instead of them renting for life?"

National have left a legacy of failed policy for Auckland and NZ - immigration, housing, infrastructure especially witholding government funding. A vote for National is a vote for mediocrity, vision-less weak government .