Days to the General Election: 40
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Best way to address housing affordability is boosting land supply, Building & Construction Minister Smith says after govt data details affordability struggles in Auckland

Best way to address housing affordability is boosting land supply, Building & Construction Minister Smith says after govt data details affordability struggles in Auckland

The number one answer to housing affordability issues is addressing land supply, Building & Construction Minister Nick Smith said after new data added to indicators of how difficult it has become for first-home buyers in Auckland to get on the property ladder.

Smith said he has been encouraged by flattening prices in Auckland, and referred to increasing affordability levels in Christchurch due to extra land coming on stream, as indicating that should also work for the Auckland market.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on Wednesday released a long-awaited government housing affordability measure for first home buyers, detailing data up to June 2015. MBIE said the series – worked on since 2012 – was still experimental, and would be made more current over the next six to nine months. MBIE is also working on reducing the lag from 18 to six months.

The series is similar to’s Home Loan Affordability Index in that it focuses on affordability for lower-quartile housing due to the fact that first home buyers typically target this segment of the market.

It also incorporates the government’s ‘IDI’ household-level income data. For potential first home buyers, it calculates how much money they would have left over if they were to transition from renting to home ownership by purchasing a 'modest' home in the area in which they currently live.

The new 'HAM Buy' index includes a National Affordability Benchmark, being the median affordability for homeowners and renters in 2013. A growing number beneath the benchmark indicates housing is becoming less affordable.

The series showed that in Auckland, the proportion of households below the benchmark in mid-2015 was 86%, having “steadily worsened” since 2013 against the national trend, which had remained steady at about 81%.

In contrast, affordability for first home buyers in Canterbury improved over that time, with the proportion of households below the 2013 benchmark at June 2015 at 78% from 84% at the end of 2010.

In relation to improving affordability in Canterbury, the MBIE release states: “This increasing affordability for first home buyers in Canterbury between 2011 and 2015 was due to average household incomes in Canterbury growing faster than housing costs after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.”

Smith was asked by media in Parliament Wednesday whether the 86% figure for Auckland concerned him. He responded that the 2013 benchmark was “quite a complex measure.”

“The more important thing for me is the trend. I don’t think it’ll come to anybody as a surprise that housing affordability has deteriorated as those house prices in Auckland have risen quite sharply,” Smith said.

“What I’m encouraged by is, in a market like Christchurch, housing affordability has improved very considerably as a consequence of measures to free up the supply of land. It provides a clear signal of the sort of measures that will work in other markets like Auckland.”

"The number one answer to housing affordability is getting on top of the land supply issues, of which the government’s been quite aggressive with the special housing areas, with changes to the RMA, and with the urban development national policy statement," Smith said.

A spokeswoman for Smith confirmed that his Christchurch comment related to increased supply having kept down the housing cost side of the equation. This had also happened to a greater extent since 2015, she said.

Meanwhile, the new MBIE series also details rental affordability. “Renting in New Zealand is consistently more affordable than buying a first home,” the department said.

Nationwide, 67% of renters were below the 2013 benchmark at June 2015 – the latest available data – down from just over a peak of 70% in 2013. In Canterbury, the latest figure was 61%, down from a peak of 75% at the end of 2010. In Auckland it was 63% from a peak of 67% in March 2013.

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.



Oh Smitty - so sad to see you still beating that worn out drum.

The number one answer to the housing crisis is DEMAND , I know it and I can see with your red face as they front you as a sacrificial lamb to come out with these lamentable dogma that you know it as well. All NZ knows it Smitty. Anyone who says different has too much invested in the housing Ponzi to recognise facts and the damage these policies are doing to the young of NZ.



Old record. Will they ever give up or will only be after losing election.

Can someone please ask them that if the problem is only due to supply shortage and for no other reason.

Even if we do agree with them for argument sake that supply is the only problem responsible than increasing supply is one side and the other is to tackle demand to reduce pressure on supply.

Anyone will know that to solve supply problem :
1 : Increase supply
2 : Control demand to ease pressure on supply.

Increasing supply is good though will take time. Meanwhile demand can be controlled with immediate effect.

Secondly if the national government decide not to act on demand than no amount of increasing supply will help and that is exactly what they want.

To sum it : National has no intent and has vested interest in supporting and promoting speculation and are hiding behind supply to avoid..........

Why discuss instead wait for few months. Elections not far away.


Yep the supply argument is a great one for them to hide behind. And councils can conveniently be the whipping boys for the govt.
Broken record...


Yes, you're completely correct about the myopic fixation on supply. The answer as to why the govt is so focused on this narrative is that it's a much better anchor for them to deflect in terms of responsibility and ability to remedy.

Focusing on supply is myopic? Interesting definition of short sightedness you have. How do you propose solving the fact that demand exceeds supply - price controls? A lottery system? Meanwhile up go rents as the supply of rentals reduce relative to the population (because presumably owning a rental is causing excess demand, better stop that!). What kind of economic witchcraft do you practise?


Let's accept the argument that the probkem is supply, supply of land in particular. Why haven't they solved it in 9 years. First there was the special housing areas, he doesn't talk about them anymore. How many houses been built on those? Then surplus crown land and the Auckland mystery tour, how many houses there? Finally the unitary plan, now that is out of the way where is the construction boom?

Fact is we need to address supply not blame supply. I agree supply is a problem so how about we fix it. I'm afraid when it comes to addressing the problem he has identified, the minister has been hopeless.

Also the project to use the gifts buying power to lower the cost of building materials, remember that one? Another great supply initiative? How is that going?

Building costs are a far worse problem now than land costs. There needs to be a tax break for anyone trying to build not only FHB.

Address building costs, monopolies of corporations ie Fletchers, anti competitive behavior of architects, builders and sub trades and address the spiraling demand created by immigration.

Demand created by open borders immigration
Just fly in & claim your place under EDUCATION

Does ANYONE still believe a word the National party says about housing (and a great deal more; but that's a longer story), and in particularly what Smith says.
They DO NOT want to fix the problem, they ONLY want to be seen to be trying to solve the problem !!
It would seem that they want the 90+% of Kiwis to be up to their necks in debt, under educated and not at peak health. This way I can only guess, they feel they can then better control the masses , a la Lords and Serfs hey day.
Wake up Kiwis or your kids and future generations will suffer no end as a consequence. And the major benefits of WW1 and WW2, lifting up the majority out of poverty, would have been a waste of time.


Its quite clear that people who want to get onto the property ladder paying a sensible price for a house should go out and vote come September election.
This madness cant continue. Its been years that they are lamenting the same story, expecting a different result


God I hate that term "property ladder" . What is that ? Where does the ladder go ?

Most people want a home.

Yeah, me too, I really want houses to be regarded for what they are supposed to be, homes, and any and all legislation around housing should start with that premise.

The government treats houses as a preferred form of investment, hence why you can use KiwiSaver to buy one. Yet you can't use KiwiSaver to buy other forms of investment, such as a business, or shares, which could generate more income for them, and also be more productive for NZ
But all that has done is increase houses prices even more. IMO affordability isn't the problem, it is the actual house price. Anything is potentially affordable if you reduce the interest rate enough.

Apparently it leads to the land of wealth and riches, which then leads to the epitome of success.

Therein lies the problem. If the goal/objective is flawed, everything encouraging it is flawed as well.


Smith still functioning as New Zealand's own Reverse Midas, I see.

And one of Labour's greatest assets.

... Wild Bill must have a " tin ear " to the electorate , if he doesn't recognize the damage his cobber Nick Smith does to the Gnats brand every time they wheel him out before the cameras , or every time they poke a microphone in front of him ...

Nick is a one man political disaster zone .... our living , breathing version of the Muppetts character , " Beaker " ...

Mateship ... maaaate ...

... it could be that billy-boy doesn't have the courage to do the Prime Ministerial thing and put his ole mate Smithy out to the back paddock ... in which case the peons have to decide if they want a PM who simply can't act in the interests of the whole

.... true ... but mateship is quite a different thing from a joint kamikaze pact ...

And , if I have a mate who keeps making a complete Richard of himself ... I know well enough to begin creating some degree of separation ... a little distance ....

... Little Andy must be loving the Gnats theatrics ... takes the spot-light off his own little circus ... Queue another " Richard " , Willy Wonka Jackson !

very funny - I like it

Smith makes Bennett and English not look so awful, and THAT takes a HELLA OF A LOT of inability and dumbness !!

I agree with Mr Smith:

The number one answer to housing affordability issues is addressing land supply.... ,


Building costs are now worse than land costs, it is not land supply it is demand

It is a supply issue. It always has been.
Just that it is multi faceted - land and construction costs.

Anyone who says the primary issue is demand is just plain wrong/misinformed.

If you look on Trademe there are huge amounts of land for sale and developers pulling out as they can no longer afford to build on the land. There is plenty of land, the huge demand has pushed up building costs both materials and labour

Yes, there is any amount of land available ... the problem is finding some gullible idiot to spend a fortune to develop the stuff and turn it into a usable form ... government won't fund it ... councils cant fund it

... if the councils can't fund the required infrastructure now , with the current incredibly low interest rates , whenever will they be able to ...

A few $ Billion of bonds with modest 6 % coupon rate would be snapped up by fund managers and private investors ...

From memory the Councils (particularly Auckland Council) are hard up against the upper limits of their debt profile - where the borrowed money went I don't know

... I think they spent quite a bit gussying up a private room next to his office for the former Orc Land mayor Luscious Lenny to entertain his Chinese lady friends ...

Ahem !

New meaning for ngati whatua room.

It seems a fine time to note that economics includes both demand and supply. Without demand, supply is not an issue.

So genius, you are.
I wonder if all us economists had ever thought of that before...
Definitely not seeing as the overwhelming consensus among us is that it is a supply issue. We must all be stupid, though. Perhaps we'll just start using the comments thread as a teaching resource for our students.

It seems a fine time to note that cutting off all new demand tomorrow won't increase affordability substantially, without an increase in supply.

You are an economist? Really? What tertiary institution do you teach at?

University of Ponza, Italy.
Past Alumni include the Prime Minister of Parnell and Bernie Madoff.

The one-handed economist exists!

Well, there is something new in the world after all.

>"It seems a fine time to note that cutting off all new demand tomorrow won't increase affordability substantially, without an increase in supply."

It seems a fine time to note that supply shortfall is massive and being every year outstripped by increasing demand, and only working on supply tomorrow won't increase affordability substantially, without a decrease demand (and demand growth). A belief that supply can ramp up enough to bring prices down in the near term is almost a belief in tooth fairies.


So it's neither demand or supply but price?

How does economic theory sort out efficient allocation of unaffordable resources to increase the wellbeing of all?

Did nobody tell you the reason tulips were so expensive in 1637 was because of a supply issue?

There sure is no limit to over-supply of stupidity, unlike real resources.

T2B - Of course building costs have ecalated but it is the bureaucracies who enforce the rules which add to the costs of which one such cost is listed below.

Auckland City Council had policy that severely restricted land supply so I don't think your demand side story stacks up. Aucklanders got carried away with their 'Super City' slogan as they pathetically desired to compete with other Internationally desireable cities but they ring-fenced the boundaries and kept controls on, that were none other than severe impediments to increasing the housing supply. I would liken this mentality to putting your child in a set of clothes that fit at age 5, all the while expecting those clothes to fit in adulthood!!

Anyone else notice that everywhere in NZ except Auckland property has become more affordable under national than it was under labour? Or that in Auckland labour made it so that 84% of first home buyers couldn't afford a home (up from about 70% at the start of Helen Clark's term), while national slowed the rate down to just 2% in 9 years? (86% at the end of term vs 84% at the start) olde "use declining interest rates to cheerlead one's team" trick. A good'un.

so you are saying it is ok that under 9 years of national it is fine that instead of 16% being able to buy they have managed it so only 14% can now buy,
twisted logic, considering they had a plan to turn it around 9 years ago and instead it is worse


Quote that come to my mind : The higher the Monkey climbs, the more you see of its behind.

Opposition parties have to do nothing as national will do self goal come election.


If land supply is the problem, Nick should tell immigrants to bring some with them.

This is what we need, fresh thinking and initiative. Thanks much.

Watch out for what you ask for. The dutch will dam the Hauraki gulf, drain it out an reclaim the land.

DGZ will be apoplectic if he ends up in a suburb much more inland than he expected.

It would be very helpful if Councils (and other local authorities) could be prohibited from charging such exorbitant fees for building consents. This ugly matter is central to housing supply and housing affordability.

Councils have been getting away with using their monopoly power to exploit those building homes for far too long. It's highway robbery.

Council fee charging regimes are savage - and only discourage people from building. Thus, the supply of new houses is less than it ought to be.

Councils ought to be subsidising people for building new homes, rather than raking them over and choking them.

Am I the only here person who feels ripped off by Council predators? I can tell you I've had a gut full!

You are not alone I am at the point of desperation, it is almost as if we have hyperinflation in the cost of building, builders are now laughing, they have gone from charging a mark up of 8% to in some cases 15% this is on top of any costs, it is daylight robbery. Fair enough to make a profit but this is outrageous. There needs to be some sort of inquiry

nope ! MBIE have been surveying people trying to consent builds in Auckland and that's been a common theme of nearly every response - i work in healthcare and we have been tryng to get two projects consented one for 42 beds ( social housing for Mental Health and TBI ) the other 24 long term care beds - and at times the consent process is enough to make you cry - no you dont need car parking ( special housing nr train and on bus route) then when you include it -sorry there is not enough -

then charge after chrage for minor aspects of work - driveway crossings for example on top of the overall consent and then ... Watercare otherwise know as a printing press - $14K per connection - which when you building 1 and 2 bed flats - the type of build desperately required for social housing - just massively inflates the basic cost -

net result these projects start to go on hold or be cancelled instead of being fast tracked to provide sustainable solutions to clearly identified problems

problem is no alternative and dire lack of vision and leadership


It is axiomatic that the price of anything is ultimately determined by the balance between supply and demand. Claiming the solution lies with is supply is wrong but politically more convenient. Politicians can be seen to be doing something 'positive' by making more land available. It avoids bringing up the snake pit of all the demand side factors which are politically so much more risky for the mainstream parties like National and Labour. They'd have to deal with immigration, with imprudent lending, with the foreign purchasing of real estate and the tax and legislative changes required to redirect speculative money. And we'd have to have that difficult conversation about our desired future population. So instead of addressing any of those difficult issues; let's just continue on with boosting GDP by any means possible, grease the wheels of industry and sprawl further.


Minister Nick Smith is wrong, there is plenty of land... Land needs water, power, phone and sewage, roads, footpaths, public transport , public spaces, schools, hospitals, waste management...

When Nick was a young lad you didnt need most of that stuff; just pipe the poos out to sea, throw your rubbish in the nearest bit of free land, chuck some gravel down to drive on, and get a connection to the local party line.
People expect so much more to be provided by the council theee days, yet they think that rates rises should magically stay in line with inflation!

In the 50s to 90s when Auckland had unrestricted land supply -there was all sorts of hidden subsidies which created car dependency and set Auckland on a course of exponential growth in infrastructure costs. We are now at a point where basically Auckland's old growth model is a busted flush.

Auckland needs a break from huge housing demand because that will have the biggest short term effect. While implementing long term changes to land supply.

Hidden subsidies for car dependency and transport infrastructure need to be removed. Freeing up land supply for the outward expansion of city needs to be done in a way that the development pays for its own infrastructure. Nimby rules preventing intensification need to done away with for the greater good.

Auckland should learn these sort lessons from Tokyo -which I write about here.

you can blame roger d for the amount of cars, back in the day cars were expensive because of duty and import licenses so family's only could afford one. there was no car to drive kids to school as the dad had it to go to work so kids walked or biked.
ok so now we have more choice, better products and cheaper, but the trade off is traffic and loss of time to get from a to b. So are we better off or just think we are

Sharetrader you obviously did not read my report on Tokyo's transport system. It did not mention Roger Douglas. Perhaps the only argument you could make is that before Roger Douglas NZ had the MoW who bought up land for infrastructure and actually built stuff on it in advance of growth. That system stopped with Rogernomics and there was no replacement. Local government could not step up as they have little taxation power, meaning their financial constraints place limits on new residential and commercial development. Senior local and central govt officials have told me this -but it is otherwise little acknowledged.

The private sector also could not step up -they could not provide private infrastructure -such as Tokyo's non-subsidised private railways. As all the hidden subsidies of car parking minimums, lack of congestion charging and Nimby limits on intensification prevent this option.

This means Auckland is stuck with the 1950s motorway driven urban sprawl city development model. Despite not having MoW to drive it and the fact that trying to put more and more motorways into the fixed space, which is Auckland's existing urban footprint, is getting ridiculously expensive -as the $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel shows.

In summary, the tools Auckland had in the past to grow -MoW, HNZ etc are not available. Even if all those infrastructure tools were available -the motorway growth model is reaching the limit where to relieve congestion and provide for more car dependent outward city growth -infrastructure costs are increasing exponentially.

i know the MOW well it is where i started my working life, it had many advantages, Bulk buying for all goverment departments, we did not pay any duty on imported goods as we were exempt, a place that churned out trades staff year after year to head off to private enterprise when they had enough experiance
i will admitt there was wastage, rorts and work was easy BUT the advantages more that made up for that
luckly i left before it was sold and dismantled so was not around to see them destory something that helped build NZ infastructure at a lower cost than private enterprise

Yep. A genuine supply solution for Auckland is complicated. It involves many factors -in particular new infrastructure tools are needed. It is not an easy fix and would take time to implement effective reforms -that is why NZ needs a break on excessive demand for housing and infrastructure -cutting back on immigration and foreign buyers will probably have the fastest effect. That would give time to implement more long term supply solutions.

Of course National are in denial when it comes to infrastructure and funding deficits -they stick with their stock excuses -it is land supply and local government planners to blame.

Problem is Ministers come and talk and go away. If ever their was proper discussion - wonder how they will response though are master in Denial, Lie and Manipulation and if nothing works pass the blame.

Should have proper open debate.


Land supply... the only thing that is restricted by the laws of physics in this equation. What an idiot.

such short turn thinking from our politicians, let keep turning farm land that earns export dollars into housing estates, and how are we going to replace the export earnings to pay for our current account deficit

Nick chose housing affordability instead of house price increase as housing affordability doesn't look so bad for National due to low interest rates. Of course anyone buying a house expecting current low interest rates to last is taking a massive risk. I'm sure he'll choose another statistic if interest rates rise - maybe the percentage of Auckland income needed to buy an 1 bed apartment in Drury or something

Depends how you measure affordability. Other measures of affordability include the ratio of house price to income...

On which basis National has failed, failed, failed spectacularly.

Despite all their 2007 campaigning on the need for urgent action on the housing crisis, their subsequent nine years' worth of denying its existence strangely enough does not seem to have done the trick. Who woulda thunk?


Land supply is a complete bollocks argument. Yes it may be technically in the same jurisdiction, but land in Pokeno is not the same as land in Ellerslie. The fringes of Auckland are now sufficiently far from centres of employment that you may as well be arguing that house prices in Auckland can be deflated by opening up Huntly to development. Furthermore, you pile on exponentially more infrastructure and transportation costs for distant suburbs.

People want proximity, and the only thing that will accomplish that is higher density where people actually want to live.

Agree with you Brutus. Proximity/location is more important than ever.

With Auckland, no point investing on the fringes: Central Auckland is the place to be. Places like Ponsonby have come up enormously over the last 20 years or so - and will continue to do so. Increasingly desirable these days to live somewhere where you don't need to worry about transport/traffic.

Plus, the buzz of the city (Ponsonby Road etc) attracts people big-time. It's a social dynamic that people warm to.

Areas like Brooklyn and Mt Victoria in Wellington have a similar pull. Location/ convenience/ vibrancy is the key.


Mouth for hire Hosking has come out today and revealed the truth about National's economic policy - reduce immigration and the Ponzi falls over.All Ponzis must collapse at some time, it is better that it is done early and in a controlled manner by reducing immigration/ housing demand which are the two main curses National has imposed on all NZ.

Too high immigration is the root cause of the housing crisis and it is easy to find areas that need correcting.
Student visas - a scam to allow an Indian Mafia arrangement at our petrol stations
Seasonal workers - a scam to allow orchardists and the like to impose low wages and poor conditions
Balance of family - a scam to allow elderly folks entry into NZ and in the fullness of time swamp our medical and pension schemes.

Bully boys like Hosking and Larry Williams continue to front for National, often attempting to blame a Labour led Akl council for the housing issues but the truth is any city would be swamped with the immigration policies National run.
The building industry is the biggest contributor to NZ's domestic economy. When it crashes it will be massive.


I used to listen to that show, I can no longer as I start developing radio rage. Hosking has become obsessed and can no longer think rationally

I presume he does not have a "financial relationship' with National similar to his "deal" with SKC?

Maybe he does have some sort of "financial relationship" that he has conveniently not declared, because no-one has asked him, as it seems he is aggressively advertising for National or REAs to the point of absurdity. It is quite difficult as it is to differentiate when they are advertising a product or just giving an opinion.

Funny how those with the loudest voices tend to be furthest from the truth

The new, slightly more palatable Cam Slater, perhaps?

Cam Slater with lipstick

Appropriate allusion is appropriate.

Here we go again going on about supply while other countries target demand.. same old supply talk for 9 years... this isn't getting us anywhere. National you failed in government now step aside please

Labour has the best way to address Housing affordability... only allow NZ citizens and Permanent Residents to buy houses....

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.

Foreigners need to be banned from purchasing all property existing and new (at least until costs reduce and our infrastructure has had a chance to catch up). There are plenty of NZ'ers who would like to build new homes without having to compete with the rest of the world.

if the law became that only New Zealander citizens could buy New Zealand land, ownership would drift back into 100% New Zealander ownership over a few decades. True you might get a rush of permanent residents seeking citizenship, but not crippling numbers.

Nationals Housing Affordability Plan 2007:

Land supply back in 2007 and they still talking about releasing land :):)

Nick S's argument certainly stacks up for Christchurch.

You can sofa-dive for coins, go out and buy a plot for under $200K.

You can max out a coupla credit cards and get a house/plot for under $450K.

So - opening the gates on Supply really does work. Christchurch is the living proof.

BUT (there's always a But...)

But it only works if'n yer have not let a massive bubbular excrescence build up first. Which Awkland has in spades, thanks to a Clueless Council, steep inwards migration, and a building industry still clonking houses together the way they did in 1917.

Christchurch worked because the whole show had a Change Event which prepared everyone for New Rules, and the benevolent dictatorship of CERA and the LURP threw away the old Council plans and opened the floodgates to Supply.

An equivalent shock for Awkland would be a massive housing price crash, coupled with swingeing rate differentials on buildable land, and a massive infrastructure building exercise funded by UDA's, bonds and other new-to-NZ financial mechanisms.

None of which is remotely Electable, so we kick the ball into touch for the umpty-umpth time and pray for Magic to Occur.

Which it won't.....we have reached Peak Pixie Dust.

not really, demand plummeted as the population decreased by 21k so it was not all about supply,
and now has only got back to the level before the earthquake
the growth for the last year was 7500 people so iam sure there building companies can keep up with demand, unlike auckland that is growing by 50k a year

Bzzzt wrong. The population dispersed from the City proper, but remained near. E.g. Rolleston, Ashburton, Timaru, Rangiora, Amberley, Oxford. So if the total population from say the Waitaki to the Conway was taken as 'Canterbury. it didnae change by much.

Supply side stuff demonstrably works here. But we weren't bubbular before Gaia started rorting the RMA. Which was the entire point of my leetle screed.

Except for a few years after the earthquakes in the last decade Canterbury has had the second fastest growth in the NZ. Check the graph in this article.

The issue I have is that Christchurch's growth model is very much along the same lines as Auckland's from 1950 to 1980s. Car dependent sprawl. A monotype of housing choices -stand alone housing. An under provision of arterial roads. No protection of rapid transit corridors. No transit oriented housing or commercial development. Growing levels of Nimby-ism -especially in the CBD with the big boys screwing the scrum to prevent competition.....

I think if this growth model is continued in a few decades Christchurch will be a smaller but as bad version of Auckland.

Yes and no, Brendon. Take Rolleston. Norm Kirk, in the 70's, touted it as the 'Satellite City' for Christchurch. It then languished, for the better part of 40 years, on the plains, with nought but a scruffy pub and a few shacks.

It now is a major employment hub in its own right: two inland ports (as it's on the junction of the West Coast and North-South rail lines), a major milk company drier across the road, IZone has eaten Christchurch City's industrial lunch (no development contributions), and work for many Rollestinians is a short walk across the road.

So Car-dependent? Not so much, in that case. Same can be said for Ashburton (two thriving business parks) and of course Timaru (freezing works, port, Fonterra plant).

Generalizations are hazardous.....

Waymad I have nothing against satellite towns. I live in one north of Christchurch. What does peeve me is that other affordable choices are not available. There is plenty of land closer than Rolleston? Why isn't that more affordable? What about cheaper intensification in the city? What about building a variety of housing choices -more terraces, more apartments..... What about having a variety of transport choices.....

Why does the property market under National in Canterbury mean 90% of the new homes are double garage with internal access, 3-4 bedroom, master bedroom with ensuite......built in a subdivision with a large number of dead end roads (cul-de-sacs).....

It is a bit like you can choose whatever you want as long as it is black.

What a load of bollocks yet again Nick Smith. Please just resign and let someone else get on with cleaning up you and National's mess. First issue its taken 10 years to admit there's a problem.

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are under pressure so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.

Days to the General Election: 40
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.