Labour continues to transfer wealth

Mon, 14 Mar, 2022

“Jacinda Ardern continues to oversee the greatest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in New Zealand’s history”, says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The latest REINZ Monthly Property Report shows the median house price rose by 13.5 per cent from $780,000 in February 2021 to $885,000 in February 2022. Six regions hit record median house prices.

“New Zealand risks becoming a neo-feudal society, with a property-owning class on one hand and house-nots on the other.

“Labour was elected to fix housing because National failed. Now Labour has failed as well. The real problem is not just that young New Zealanders cannot afford homes, the whole Kiwi dream no longer works.

“Being a property-owning democracy was an essential part of the New Zealand story. People have come here for generations so that they could become property owners.

“It’s ACT’s role to say when things aren't right, to have honest conversations. We told the Government that KiwiBuild, the foreign buyer ban and removing interest deductibility wouldn’t work. We said in 2016 that National's bright-line test would not work. We were right.

“ACT has put forward a package that would solve the underlying problem in housing: the shortage of urban land. We need new ways to fund and build infrastructure, new coordination between central and local government, new rules for consenting land, and new ways of accessing building materials.

“This is the scale of response necessary for the scale of the problem. New Zealanders have been let down by enough gimmicks, like KiwiBuild that built 1,000 houses in three years. We need deep, structural reform that will transform the supply of housing for all New Zealand.

We’ve proposed a GST-sharing scheme, removing barriers to finance for build-to-rent schemes, and introducing a Public-Private Partnership agency.

“Every Government says it’ll fix housing. None have, but this Government is the worst. Faced with one of the biggest crises in a generation, the Government’s proposed changes to the RMA risk creating a regulatory nightmare rather than being a silver bullet for development. The proposal focusses on central planning and its first priority is to honour the Treaty. That won’t get things built.

“The Government should be asking ‘how do we create an environment for investment and development?’ Instead, this Government has targeted Mum and Dad landlords and investors with new housing taxes. By failing to ask the right question, it has failed to deliver on the very thing New Zealand needs it to – real change so New Zealanders can build more homes.

“The fact is we’re simply not building enough. ACT is the only party that offers real solutions to the housing crisis.”