Assuming National does lead the next Government, it needs to urgently address the dog's breakfast it had created with the housing portfolio

By David Hargreaves

Okay, it is a little early for Christmas present requests, but given the amount of promised goodies the political parties have been throwing around in the build up to the election, a pre-emptive Christmas wishlist seems somehow appropriate.

My needs are fairly simple.

Let's have some clarity around how the various housing issues should be tackled. And let's make it quite clear who is going to be handling these issues.

I'm going to pretty much assume that our next Government will be a National-led one. First, National can claim to the moral high ground for forming the next government through holding the biggest individual share of the vote. Second, the more cunning strategists among National's ranks, such as Steven Joyce, have had plenty of time well before the election to think of the colour and luminescence of the baubles that might attract Winston Peters.

So, that's the theory. In any case, if something very surprising indeed happens and a form of Labour-led coalition did emerge, it would be presumed that Phil Twyford would be a lock for the key role in housing. So, we probably don't need to go further down that track.

Back to the prospects of a National-led government then, and in the housing area that's much less clear-cut, well, certainly looking on from the outside.

The disappearing minister

Remember, we went into the election - remarkably - without a housing minister. National's just about always had somebody titled housing minister, but when Bill English took over as Prime Minister late last year he, to my astonishment, got rid of the housing minister title.

The timing of this, in the midst of what was being termed nationally as a 'housing crisis' was beyond odd. But it appeared, again from the outside, to be English showing loyalty to an old mate in Nick Smith.

Smith had held the housing title from 2013 - but after coming into the role with a hiss and a roar and promulgating noisy attention-grabbing initiatives such as housing accords - Smith had badly lost traction.

While National continues to talk up the rates of new house building, particularly in Auckland, the fact is that the rate of new dwelling consents has close-to flatlined at around the 10,000 per year mark. Given Auckland's current rate of population growth, something nearer double that is required just to keep up with the population growth - never mind actually catching up on the shortfall.

Anyway, as of last year the housing minister title disappeared. Smith retained the title of building and construction. Amy Adams was parachuted in as Minister for Social Housing, replacing Paula Bennett, who moved up to Deputy Prime Minister. A dog's breakfast. And it's not sustainable.

The 'do nothing' election for housing

As Gareth Vaughan noted late last week, the build up to the election was disappointingly short on talk about housing issues.

Earlier this year, with the house market going quiet, I had expressed the concern that this might in the end turn out to be a 'do nothing' for housing election. Politicians as a general breed are notable for their penchant for running toward a hot issue with a microphone in their hands waiting to give the media an interview. If an issue goes cold (like house prices) it's suddenly not as sexy.

Unfortunately, nobody should be fooled that the housing issues in this country are somehow magically 'fixed' - not when prices are being pushed flat in least in part by artificial clamps on what investors can borrow and by a probably short-term squeeze on bank funding.

The point is, the problem is still there and it will re-emerge, be sure of that.

So, presuming this problem will be (principally) National's to deal with, what will the party do?

Dust off the housing portfolio

Absolutely the first thing in my view is to dust off the housing minister title. We need someone carrying the can for the whole portfolio. Somebody needs that over-arching responsibility.

For all that English has shown great loyalty to Nick Smith, it would send very odd signals to the wider public to now re-designate him as housing minister again.

While Smith was comfortably returned as the electorate MP for Nelson with a 4000 majority, this was nearly halved from last time, and Smith's overall share of the vote reduced from over 52% to about 41%, while National went from very comfortably winning the party vote in Nelson (by nearly 20 full percentage points) to being narrowly beaten by Labour.

Whether National takes this as some sort of view being offered by the electorate on Smith's performance in the housing portfolio is something nobody's likely to publicly talk about, but the time may well be seen as right to clear the decks.

Given that Adams already has significant other commitments it might seem odd to put her in sole charge. Also, her unconvincing efforts in talking about the rate of new house building in Auckland with Newshub's Duncan Garner last week did not in my view inspire confidence that she is the person to tackle the portfolio in total.

An Auckland-based housing minister

The other thing is, neither Smith nor Adams are based in Auckland. Right now it would probably be seen as a good thing if the minister in charge of housing was to be Auckland-based - given that Auckland is the big 'problem area'. The minister would be closer to the Auckland Council - surely an advantage - and would just have a better innate understanding of the local issues.

I wasn't entirely sure why it was necessary for Bennett to step aside from a housing role once she became deputy PM. Certainly it would be a good look to give her the job as, first, she's very senior in the Cabinet and second, she is Auckland-based.

But if that's seen as too much, maybe one wild card might be Nikki Kaye, the Auckland Central MP. Now, yes, she's barely got her feet under the Education Minister's desk. But if there was the possibility that education is a role offered up to NZ First - then redeploying Kaye into housing might not be the worst idea at all.

The most important issue though is that we do get a housing minister, somebody that can take an overview of the currently stalling (in Auckland) building activity, as well as social housing and rental issues and issues relating to house prices, if they do re-emerge - as I think they will.

So, a freshly minted Minister of Housing is what I would like to see in the Christmas stocking please. And I would like it before Christmas, thanks.

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?

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95 Comments

How about having a government by Xmas? Lol

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From MB in Australia:

"Assuming National earn a fourth term, watch on as housing, infrastructure and living standards continue to get crush-loaded."

Pretty reasonable summation.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/09/nz-votes-yes-housing-ponzi/

Very good analysis, it's a pity it takes an Aussie to explain the problems we have.

Sometimes it's easier from the outside looking in.

yep, very good objective observations from across the ditch.
Pity many kiwis can't see it, or at least can but don't care for anything other than their own self interest.

Very good analysis, it's a pity it takes an Aussie to explain the problems we have.

They have the same issues in Australia. It's a very similar economic model directed by the incumbent political party.

They don't have the same issues, they have the same cheap money flood to cope with as the rest of the world and us. But in Australia (and the entire rest of the World) they build new homes.

So in all places the money has flooded in and house prices went up. A lot of people blame their government or congratulate their government. But really most of the heavy lifting is being done by the ECB, BoE, the Fed and the Chinese Central Bank.

Our problem is not the same as the Australian problem, because when the crash comes in Aussie they will have an overabundance of homes as they build quickly. They are converting speculation into housing, as much as their prices have soared so has their production.

Auckland doesn't let homes be built, Auckland converts speculation into overpriced land. If/when the crash comes in Auckland this town is screwed.

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They don't have the same issues, they have the same cheap money flood to cope with as the rest of the world and us. But in Australia (and the entire rest of the World) they build new homes.

I'm not going to argue the point, but the narrative described by MB is quite similar to NZ. Yes, you might be right that they are better equipped to build more housing.

What do they do share with NZ is the following:

-- An immigration policy that boosts GDP, but doesn't necessarily improve productivity or improve standards of living for the immigrants or the existing citizens.

-- Some of the highest levels of h'hold debt in the world, driven by mortgage lending.

-- A reliance on ever-increasing house prices to create a facade of "wealth generation" to ensure the psychological wellbeing to drive consumer spending to keep the economy afloat

-- A range of market interventions and distortions to propagate "the dream"

The selfish party have there snouts in the trough, cant see anything with all the gorging they are doing at expense of other NZers.

John Key has led the way, making 20 million with his inside trading. Pump up property prices and sell, what a gig if you can get it.

I think a better wish would be for a sane housing policy rather than bestowing some title on someone who will, as per National (non) policy, do nothing.

I think a better wish would be for a sane housing policy rather than bestowing some title on someone who will, as per National (non) policy, do nothing.

All the title and position does is give the public a whipping boy or girl should they wish to blame anyone. Adams drew the short straw. At least she has to take some stick for her salary.

What will National do? (If in power)
Nothing.
SHAs will magically work wonders, one day :)

No, it is not possible to overcome the land supply restrictions imposed by Phil Goff (LAB).

May be one day Labour NZ will get Labour (Auckland) to adopt Labour Party policy to achieve Labour campaign promises, until then it doesn't matter what the government does.

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National has been a party funded mainly by high income individuals, property investors and wealthy immigrants.

This group have made millions out of Nationals toxic housing policies.

A leopard does not change its spots and National will continue to look after the hand that feeds it.

It will not be at all genuine at fixing the housing mess it created.

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National will want to open the door to more of the Asian vote for a 5th term no doubt. The only obstacle they face is Winston.

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I reckon the immigrant vote is really starting to show up, and many of them are wealthy, wealth votes in self interest.

ok you made your point you voted labour? well i can see some good things in labour, increased funding for the NZSO? The country is in fact run by a bunch of ruby whatching uncultured males... Dont forget it....i wonder sometimes how on earth we do so well...it could be a lot worse...

"it could be a lot worse..."

Give it time.

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Record homelessness, traffic issues, hospital ques, immigration, house prices, low productivity, low wage growth. Not bad enough for you, you want worse then that.

Add to that a teacher crisis. I've been harping on about this for a couple of years, in today's Herald centre-right Christine Fletcher called it a crisis.
that's what happens when house prices are mental and teaching is not valued / remunerated sufficiently.

ive seen governments come and governments go... even before Robert Muldoon... so yes it depends .. i guess ot was better back then even with leaded petrol and smoke filled pubs and rooms everywhere

i dont know... less homeless but then homeless was just called living outside in the 1960's....its just most peopel of my generation arnt very modern... i just kept learning technology and so today i just love the new toys... i just think it time to dump the browser and all those so called modern technologies like ZERO accounting, such a simple brain dead product...no give me the future.. it cant come soon enough.. class rooms? we dont need many ...only send children who dont have fibre... its time for change alright... just not the change your all thinking off! WAKE UP PEOPLE this isnt the 1960 or 1970.80.90s....

I work in technology, my business is technology, but its not who I am, but it pays the bills.

I want to be outside, fishing, surfing, farming living life in the elements. Im working my way to this lifestyle, cant come soon enough.

They say people who could live elsewhere choose New Zealand for the lifestyle, but if you can't swim in the rivers, and you can't swim in the sea anytime it rains (Auckland - City of Sails - just don't get out of the boat, OK?)... What sort of lifestyle are they here for?

Bingo buddy

It'sme - now that is success, 46% of the NZ public are high income individuals, property investors and wealthy immigrants. Other countries would be so lucky....or just maybe the National party have policies that provide comfort for nearly the majority of the NZ population, certainly more than the combined policies of the Labour & Green parties that are seen by 10% less of the population to be relevant to them?

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Or maybe a lot were stupid enough to believe in the $11B hole and the other lies peddled by the Nats

Go Labour/Greens/NZF!!!!'

So the voters are now stupid accordingly to your more intelligent mind. Frankly if the Labour/Greens had got enough to govern then I would have been disappointed but would have said good luck to them as we should all want and need successful governments. They might well still get that chance but people who claim other voters are stupid say a lot about themselves.

I said those who believe the lies were stupid, I stand by that

it could happed

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11926305

Of course it could be Labour/Green/NZF, is there any real doubt about that ? My comment was about someone calling voters stupid for whatever reason. But if youre right, there's an increasing number of stupid voters after nine years of National ? Of course some people don't know what best for them, whereas other people do know what best for those other people.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/97197046/chris-trotter-bill-to...

I generally like Bill English, but I was very disappointed to see him revert to Trump-like 'alternative facts' in the campaign.

or maybe the person thinking everyone else is stupid is in fact stupid himself.

Voters are a distinct subset of "the public", you can't use the terms interchangeably. Older, higher socioeconomic status (these are not unrelated) = higher rate of voting.

Fiebus - true you could also also call them "more experienced, know that voting can make a difference, and give a S**t". Non-voters are clearly happy to get what they're given by the "voters" or otherwise some might well call them the stupid ones

I am not making a judgement, simply observing that one is not the other.

Ok sorry Fiebus but it was just voters being discredited in the earlier comment that got my response.

More likely just dumb people, there are a lot of them.

Seems like this article is a postmortem on Nick Smith.

what a failure he has been....

Please not Paula Bennett! Didn't she do even less than Nick Smith as housing minister?

And now she's too busy doing nothing about climate change.

Interesting night on Radio Live with Mitch Harris, he reckons she'll be shaking in her boots if Winston teams up with the Nats, that she looked pretty damned shaken on Saturday standing behind Bill.

Yep, I suspect it would have to be backbench for her and Tolley while the investigation of who leaked his personal details gets underway. That said though, far easier to see that investigation get done properly if he's part of government on the other side of the house.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11...

Hasn't everybody been exonerated by the cover-uppers

If AKL house price keeps going north for the next three years, a revolution is expected to come.

Doesn't matter how many houses any govt builds if they are not affordable then it's a waste of time.

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I drove to Hobsonville on Sunday to look at the housing there.
I was disgusted to find nearly all the dog box houses there were north of $800,000. (2 bedroom)
This was Government air force land and to see it selling to people for that price was an indictment on the National Government
The answer is to build smaller affordable homes. I am sure this is possible.
Also, building 10,000 extra houses is a waste of time if we are encouraging 70,000 to come here.

Some smaller, affordable homes existed in this housing area. There was a mixture of 1970's weatherboard houses (unfortunately on large sections) and smaller old style town houses. They were originally constructed to house defence force staff and were being rented to the public. I was renting one of the small townhouses, raising my son as a solo father on a low income and the government evicted me so as to tear it down and replace it with one of the overpriced dog boxes you mention.

Phil Goff and Nick Smith got on so well together, between them they were easily able to decide how to ban housing from even more land around Auckland (but open up Waiheke Island).

One down one to go?

Phil Goff could have won this election for Labour so easily if he'd open up some land around Auckland, so instead he blocked even more land off.

46% National supporters nationwide but on this forum about 80% National haters. Why such a discrepancy I wonder ?

Yvill - It's simple - if a forum starts to develop a bias like this one, it feeds upon itself. People love agreeing with each other, especially in criticising others, and the more they do it with less and less opposition, the more they think they're right. Everyone agrees with them right ? Well only until you get the likes of an election where suddenly many many more people voted for those that they hate, and they can't understand it - surely its not true, its rigged, the voters are dumb, all things I've been reading this morning.

Unfortunately interest.co.nz has a problem on this site which is increasing that bias as many not like minded people stop reading or commenting.

I don't agree with you Grant A.

(See what I did there?)

Most National voters are more interested in the Kardashians or the block than educated conversation.

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This site has intelligent articles and, overall, an intelligent posting community. It's commenters overall show a Labour bias, or at least a non-National bias.

The NZ Herald website is full of puerile garbage and its reader surveys consistently show a strong bias towards National voters.

Perhaps there is correlation between party vote and intelligence.

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For me its the Non-National bias. I can see pros and cons in all parties. But what I dislike with National is the havoc they have brought with their immigration at all costs, the foriegn buyers of homes, the increase in property prices, education rorts, homelessness, fueling property prices with subsidies, infrastructure underspending, calling our youth druggies the list goes on.

Labour or who ever have not been in government for 9 years, this is the worst I have ever seen NZ, and there is only one party to blame.

Some on here seem to have a crystal ball, and see things that havent even happened, but cannot see the chaos that is actually happening. It took me 2 hours to drive a 50 min drive from Auckland to Waiuku, this is nuts. Houses going for 800K in the wops, this is nuts. This is reality now.

the reality is that many kiwis are simply oblivious to Auckland's woes.
They have got into a weird state of cognitive dissonance, where everything is just great because the value of their house has soared.

Most of NZ is very aware of Auckland's problems, but also know Auckland has been run by Labour for 8 years and now look at it.

Labour cut off land supply and jacked up house prices.

And no-one can figure out why Labour did that.

Not down to Labour but the in-ability to afford the costs of the expansion wanted by whom ever is in power.
ie Someone has to pay for the services to the new houses and that cant be / shouldnt be the existing rate payers and these costs are huge per property.

The main problem comes down to a) excessive cost of land and even if the Council ditched the limits the price of land would be held up by the land bankers to maximise profit. So really nothing would change with our drastic Govn intervention which no Govn would undertake.

b) Then you seem to conveniently forget about the record levels of immigration National has allowed for some years that push up demand.

c) foreign speculative investment.

d) no CGT.

National own the problem with their covert importation of large numbers new National voters since 2011. All duty free of course.

In the alternative universe 80% of ALL new migrant arrivals into NZ set themselves down in Auckland and they sure as heck don't contribute to the tradeables sector. They do contribute to if not are responsible for the road carnage and grid-lock and congestion and when invited to vote for fixing the problems they reject that and vote for continuation of the same - they are oblivious to the mess they have created - and good luck to them

Whilst I mostly agree with you, you forget that the issues you list started with the Clark/Cullen Labour government. National did not bring the havoc, they merely continued with it.

The delusion (IMO) is believing that any political party can solve the problems that they and/or "the market" have created in the first place.

Even earlier.....

The problem can be solved if you take drastic action. The problem is no one has the stomach for it.

exactly

Winston has the stomach for it.

"The delusion (IMO) is believing that any political party can solve the problems ..."

Exactly. Amazingly many are under the illusion that voting actually achieves something. This is a nice summary

un-denial.com/2017/01/06/you-know-you-are-in-trouble-when/
"The only problems society does not acknowledge, or discuss, or act on, are the only problems that matter: species extinction, limits to growth, debt, peak oil, overshoot, resource depletion, climate change, sea level rise, fisheries collapse & ocean acidification, nitrogen imbalance & tree decline "

A recent study showed right wing voters have on average a 10.3 point lower IQ than left wing voters.

I think however this was taken from the USA where there is a significant amount of right wing "white trash", unlike NZ.

Yeah, In NZ they are cashed up block watching Bogans and Chinese immigrants. The results would most likely be the same.

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If you've followed this site long enough you'll remember it wasn't always like this. This election is the first time I've seen the comments move away from the majority praising National.

Maybe we've woken up after 9 years and are now willing to see through Nationals bullshit. Maybe we're intelligent enough to understand if we continue down this trajectory we're going to fuck it up for future generations.

Yvil, the answer is financial literacy.

If your first statement is correct, your last one suggests you are on the wrong site

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Couldn't agree with you more David. National certainly have created a dog's breakfast with NZ's housing portfolio.

Lets look at the facts:-

1) One of the highest average house prices in the Western world in comparison to income ratios.

2) Massive immigration and yet property values are falling, since early this year.

3) According to Nationals statistics, Foreign Buyers account for only 3% of the market.

4) National want to subsidize First Time Buyers to keep Auckland's property prices artificially high at the tax payers expense.

5) National also want to slow the rate of house building for Auckland.

6) We have a very high amount of empty homes in Auckland, with no discussions as to what to do about them.

Humm... Sounds like National want to keep property prices high no matter what may come. But they're going to have some real explaining to do if Auckland's property prices keep falling at the pace they've been going.

Remember; You can only fool some of the people some of the time, not all of the people all people all of the time!

CJ099 - Some of that is fair comment (are you saying immigration isn't impacting house prices ?) - I'm not sure what you base No 5 on? No 4 youre certain that's the motivation based upon what knowledge ? On No 6 force house owners to rent their properties or force them to sell in not live in for a Yr ? Since this is pretty much a global issue and a massive issue here where I'm holidaying in Australia currently, what's your specific change/policies that a Govt can enact which will improve the position with no offsetting adverse consequences ?

Well it's fairy evident the impact foreign buyers (Non resident Investors) have had on Auckland's property market causing it to grossly distort as it became rapidly unaffordable to most NZ residents.

Taking a look at a global perspective it would be useful to look at how Canada is tackling this issue. They introduced the foreign buyers tax and any empty home tax which have been quite effective and at least they generate revenue.

Of course since China has clamped down of capital flight we've all seen a huge drop off in sales in Auckland leading to declining prices. But the could change if they relax their rules (But I think that's highly unlikely). The empty home issue could be still addressed to help eliviate limited housing stock in Auckland.

A global issue huh? wonder how much the price of igloos in Alaska have gone up

Facts?

5. If Phil Goff is in the National Party now, he's kept that well hidden.

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National can’t fix the complete mess of house hyperinflation and homelessness, & house-induced poverty for families in NZ because their philosophy means they have no tools to fix it.
National have washed their hands of Govt housing, they have opened up all NZ land and buildings to the global buying market, have permitted city land restrictions, and allowed large tax advantages for property investors while maintaining tax disadvantages to other investing, etc.
So how can they fix something that their philosophy and policies are actively creating?
National have failed, and it is impossible for them to fix housing while they maintain their status quo.

Exactly.
To counter Zac's sentiments below, here is a link to how Finland sorted out their homelessness:
https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/mar/22/finland-solved-h...

In more detail from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment (I wish they were in charge here?)
http://asuntoensin.fi/assets/files/2016/11/ACTIONPLAN_FOR_PREVENTING_HOM...

Some discussion about the issues in Sydney:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/12/crisis-measures-wont-sol...

New Zealand doesn't really have the homelessness problem that many other countries have. You don't see small families living on the street like you do in central Paris for instance. A family dedicated to getting a state provided home and willing to live in any part of NZ is unlikely to find itself living in a car or under a bridge.

As Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says, if NZ measured homelessness the same way Japan did, it would be ranked among the top of developed countries.

Japan only measures rough sleepers. According to the Otago study, New Zealand has around 1400 rough sleepers, or 0.03 per cent of the population - equivalent to Japan. Link

I think it would be fair to say that a significant number of our rough sleepers are dedicated to this lifestyle.

I dont get that, just because some countries are completely hopeless, then we use that as a barometer. Thats shameful. We should be ashamed that homelessness has increased the way it is, we should be targeting zero homeless. This may be impossible, but to compare ourselves to countries that have millions of people and have a higher chance of homelessness is disgraceful in my opinion.

It is entirely reasonable to compare ourselves with a country like Japan that has the lowest homeless rate in the OECD. People in NZ are free to choose this particular lifestyle, choose to opt out of the system. In the old days we forced people to live in institutions. It would be relatively easy to build facilities and force people to live there but would we really want to do that?

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The biggest issue is not the most visible sign of the issue - the homeless on Queen street - but the far less visible issue of thousands of families living in garages, tents and cars.

Absolutely correct. Many of the homeless are making do somehow or other, in caravans etc, out in the garage at mum and dad's or wherever, they are not the ones under the newspapers on the park benches, and that, mostly can be put down to addiction and/or mental illness.

We can compare if you want, but the aim for me is zero homeless maybe pie in the sky, but with a country the size of NZ, its a very reasonable goal to achieve.

As the posters below say, there are many ways we dont truely see visible homelessness. My Aunty was one living in the garage of my cousins. She worked two jobs as a cleaner, very hard working but could not afford rental.

The problem is Zach is that when you've been in opposition for a long time, the opposition assume they can fix every problem (even although they never did in Goivt themselves be it always in different circumstances), and worse still, their supporters think that they can fix it to zero. Reality is no one can fix it but it shouldn't stop us from trying to reduce it. Its not a lack of ambition, its reality because if it wasn't one of the 180 other countries, more particularly the ones that are simailr to us, would have by now. Comparisons to global best practice/results are very relevant to pragmatists. And Govt's that are not pragmatists are like our Southern European friends.

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Well National doesnt fix problems they exacerbate problems, they create problems that hardly ever existed, and now have become problems that will take generations to fix and billions of dollars to fix.

I remember travelling up to Auckland from Waiuku everyday to go to Uni, 50 minutes, give or take. Now 2 hours. Homelessness none, now its very common. Just two anecdotes, but apt for Nationals time in government.

Swapacrate - have you given any thought to the fact that the world is a considerably different place now to 2006 (hint not better)

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Absolutely and National have been in 9 years hence why I blame National. Especially when it comes to BE outright lies. Like we need more immigration because we need more truck drivers, fruit pickers and restaurant workers. Then he says we cant employ NZers for this as they are druggies, as a NZer I kind of take offense to that.

Then when it comes to housing they have done nothing but fuel the fire, this has a huge impact on homeless, FHB and not to mention my wallet as our homes require larger mortgages and more interest to pay. I can go on.

But NZ has certainly changed under Nationals watch.

So, you model yourself on ... hmmm ... let me think now ... Kim Jong Un, Hugo Chavez, Donald Trump ... just a selection of worldly people ... how about Vladamir Putin

If we want to compare ourselves to other countries and listen to the Government and vested interests telling us high immigration and a large population is good for us, then Bangladesh would be a very prosperous country.

New Zealand doesn't really have the homelessness problem that many other countries have. You don't see small families living on the street like you do in central Paris for instance. A family dedicated to getting a state provided home and willing to live in any part of NZ is unlikely to find itself living in a car or under a bridge.

Adams' reading skills on par with yours. If you care to look at the OECD report, Japan has 6,235 homeless whereas NZ has 41,207. But as Adams claims, you must compare like with like. Therefore, if NZ has only 1400 "rough sleepers" compared to Japan's 6,235 (as claimed in the OECD report), that doesn't make NZ equivalent to Japan. 6,235 as a proportion of 125 mio is 0.005%.

Your logic is that of a mildly demented ape.

and your contributions are worthy of a poorly trained left-wing parrot.

So which minister would get this portfolio? The one with the most experience in property i.e. as measured by the value of their personal property portfolio?

Lets put the political fight aside, you placed your vote, move on. Whoever wins wins, make the best of it.

Rather than a minister of housing, i would like to see a minister of town planning, where housing is not looked at in isolation but rather as part of the whole along with transport infrastructure, commercial space, green and social spaces.

Winston can fix this country just by tightening immigration to 10,000 desirable useful people.
We now have more people to share our productivity with so we will be poorer per capita.
We have a deficit of infrastructure that needs building and paying for.
So the fix will hurt but the longer we leave it the worse it will be.
stop the population growth and the housing will catch up and prices will find their new reality.