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A big fat F - for housing availability

Housing Spokesperson

17 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
A big fat F - for housing availability

John Key and Phil Heatley need to take off the ear muffs and listen up as yet another report is released highlighting the growing housing shortage in New Zealand and particularly in Auckland, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.

“The Salvation Army’s 5th annual State of the Nation report titled “The Growing Divide” has given housing availability a FAILED.

“It is clear the Government has a closed mind and cloth ears when it comes to the extent of the housing problem in New Zealand despite warnings from many independent agencies.

“The Minister hasn’t even talked to the Government’s own Productivity Commission about their recent report. It will be remarkable if he listens to the Salvation Army even though it is one of the most credible NGOs in New Zealand on social issues

“According to the report, the deficit in houses in Auckland was 3,600 for the past year alone. Auckland has grown by around 115,000 people over the past 5 years, yet consents for dwellings have only been 22,000. That’s a ratio of 5.6 people to every dwelling.

“Seven thousand new dwellings each year will be needed to accommodate population growth and a further 1 – 2,000 just to replace housing lost through redevelopment. But there is no plan, no priority and no care from this Government.

“It’s laughable to hear Steven Joyce and John Key talk grandly about their policies for ‘economic transformation’ when they can’t see that a lack of houses will be one of the biggest fetters on Auckland getting ahead.

“The only thing holding back the housing shortage tide in New Zealand has been a buoyant Australian economy, because 135,000 Kiwis have migrated to Australia.

“If the promised economic nirvana ever arrives and New Zealanders return home, the problem will reach crisis point very quickly.

“Give us a long term policy, Phil Heatley. You’ve had three years to think about it. Where is your plan?, said Annette King.



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