Prime Minister John Key has called Labour's KiwiBuild housing
In a major speech to a business audience at the North Harbour
Club in Auckland today, Mr Key said Labour's plan to build
100,000 houses over 10 years wouldn't do anything to ease the
cost of building.
"It will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people
don't want to live in, or require massive taxpayer
Mr Key said the Government would build 2000 houses over the
next two financial years and would work with local councils
on issues of land supply, building and resource consents
through the Resource Management Act and provision of
"We need more houses built in New Zealand at a lower cost.
That means we need more land available for building, more
streamlined processes and less costly red tape."
Mr Key said the Government were already a major player in the
housing market and were wary of spending more taxpayer money.
"There are plenty of private sector investors who want to
invest in housing - if only we can remove the roadblocks that
are slowing down the process and driving up costs."
Labour Party leader David Shearer said making changes to the
Resource Management Act would change little for the housing
problem and did not amount to a solution.
"We've actually got to get out there and build houses - I
think the Government is stuck on housing - they don't know
what to do."
Mr Shearer said Labour would definitely build 100,000 houses
over a decade and was unapologetic about the policy.
"There are too many first home buyers who simply cannot
afford to get into their own homes.
"National are stuck in the past thinking the market is the
answer - those days are over - we need to roll up our sleeves
and get stuck in," said Mr Shearer.
The Green Party announced plans this week to launch a rent to
own housing scheme called the progressive home ownership
The plan was announced days after a report showing Auckland
had among the most unaffordable housing in the world. The
median price had reached $500,000 in the past few months.
Under the Greens' rent-to-buy model the Crown would build
around 10,000 houses which low-income families with dependent
children would live in and eventually own if they chose to.
The Crown would initially own all equity in the house because
the eligible families with dependent children would not need
to pay a deposit.
Families would make weekly payments, similar to rent, to
cover the Crown's investment cost - $200 a week on a $300,000
house at a government bond rate of 3.5 per cent. They would
make additional weekly payments to buy equity in the property
until it is owned outright.
The payments would be about $100 a week, but that figure
would be flexible if circumstances changes.
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said the policy would dovetail
with Labour's KiwiBuild policy.
In response to the policy Mr Key said said the Greens had
announced a version of the board game Monopoly.
"They want to print money, they want to build houses, they
want zero interest loans. What next?"
- Kate Shuttleworth of APNZ