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Minister misled Parliament on housing

Phil

TWYFORD

Housing spokesperson


18 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Minister misled Parliament on housing

Housing Minister Nick Smith has deliberately misled Parliament by claiming that house prices rose by 26 per cent over the last five years, says Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“The truth is that the rise is 40 per cent according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s published figures.

“The REINZ figures actually show a $170,500 increase in the median between February 2009 and February 2014 which is a 40 per cent increase from $421,500 to $592,000.

“Nick Smith has chosen a bizarre method of calculating the increase in order to hide the true increase and mislead Parliament.

“He also claimed the figures were obtained from the Real Estate Institute but they have denied this.

“When Labour contacted REINZ to ask about Smith’s figures, they responded: ‘The data was not prepared by REINZ for the Minister’s office and it is not a report we release.’

“On top of Nick Smith’s cynical approach to calculating the change in his data tabled he made such basic mistakes as getting the date wrong, reporting it was an average when it is a median,

and putting in the wrong figures house prices for Canterbury/Westland.

“Nick Smith has made it up and deliberately misled the House, the media and the public to cover up for his failed housing policy that is driving up house prices and rents.

“His housing policy is also shutting out first home buyers and handing the market to speculators to make a killing.

“Interest rates will be driven up beyond 8 per cent which will place a massive burden on homeowners struggling to pay huge mortgages on stagnant wages.

“Is he so appalled and embarrassed at his own government’s track record on housing that he feels the need to make up numbers, just to make it look better.

How many photo-ops will it take to make it look like his housing policies are actually helping New Zealanders rather than hurting them and killing off their aspirations and dreams?”

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