The political battle lines are being drawn before
September's election over affordable housing in Queenstown.
Labour announced yesterday it would build up to 1000
affordable homes in Queenstown over 10 years, each costing
between about $300,000 and $400,000, should it get elected.
''We need to be more pro-development in this country,''
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said.
He said the Government's approach of fast-tracked housing
accords was not working and it needed to intervene to deal
with a dire housing shortage.
Queenstown forms part of its already announced Kiwibuild
policy, an ambitious plan to build 100,000 affordable homes
over a decade to address the country's rising housing prices
which, on some measures, are among the highest in the
The only other area in which Labour has mandated how many
homes would be constructed under Kiwibuild is Canterbury,
where 10,000 affordable homes would be built over four years.
In some cases, Mr Twyford says, a Labour-led government would
private-sector builders but it would also buy land and
develop areas itself.
Labour has a stack of housing policies with various purposes,
such as setting minimum insulation and heating standards for
rented homes, a national policy standard to encourage
councils to increase the rate at which homes are built and to
have a portion of affordable stock, plus plans to ban
foreigners from buying residential property.
Todd Barclay, the National Party's candidate for Finance
Minister Bill English's Clutha-Southland seat, questioned the
fiscal responsibility of the plan, saying the policy was
spending more money the Government did not have, putting
taxpayers further into debt.
''It's just a bit unclear where they will get that land
In January, Prime Minister John Key said the Government had
borrowed about $50 billion to see the country through the
recession and to pay for earthquake reconstruction.
- by David Williams