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Q+A debate On NZ’s ‘housing crisis’

Q+A debate between National’s Dr Nick Smith and Labour’s Phil Twyford

Key quotes

On NZ’s ‘housing crisis’:

No housing crisis – Dr Nick Smith

‘..it is significantly better than what it was in 2008, and that’s because this government's actually had interest rates that were 11%, a lot better, and actually house prices have gone up far less, about 25% under this government as compared with 97% under the previous government.’

‘Well whether this government wants to admit it or not, we do have a housing crisis’ – Labour’s Phil Twyford

‘It now takes 50 years to pay off the average mortgage in Auckland. So my son's generation hasn’t got a dog's show of owning their own home in Auckland. Meanwhile in the rest of New Zealand large parts of the country are seeing house values fall.’

On a capital gains tax:

Labour’s capital gains tax will take heat out of the housing market – Phil Twyford

‘Well Westpac said in the last few weeks that Labour's capital gains tax will reduce the value of a rental property for an investor compared to other potential investments by 23%, tells us that it will make a significant difference in taking the heat out of the market and reducing the house price inflation that is such a problem in Auckland today.’

National is opposed to a capital gains tax - Nick Smith

‘..it's going to whack small business, it's going to whack farms, it's going to destroy jobs, and part of National's strong economic story is growing it. You don’t grow it with new taxes. The second thing is this. If you look at the Cullen tax review, the English tax review, and the Productivity Commission Report, they all said don’t do a capital gains tax it will make no difference in this area. And the last point I'd make is this. Australia has one. Sydney house prices have gone up by more than Auckland's in the last year. If you're going to exempt the family home a capital gains tax will have zip impact on the price that the young family pays for their home.’

On progress in Christchurch:

We’ve been going great guns in Christchurch – Nick Smith

‘We have been going great guns on an incredibly challenging situation down there, and nobody can click their magic fingers, whether it be in terms of the temporary houses we've built, the housing accord that we've got, the intervention that we've made in the Christchurch City Council – criticised by Labour to sort out the building consent department, at that Council that was a major barrier. We are going great guns in Christchurch and on track of fix it.’

They’re not going great guns – Phil Twyford

‘Four years after the quakes and they’ve only built in Christchurch a couple of thousand houses. CERA says that they need 25,000 in the next 10 years. It has been painfully slow. It is unforgivable that Cantabrians are in their 4th winter and there are people paying 400 bucks a week to live in a caravan or a sleepout. Rents are up under Nick Smith's watch by 45% in Canterbury because of the shortage, after three and a half years. It is unconscionable. It is holding up the recovery in Canterbury.’

Q+A, 9-10am Sundays on TV ONE and one hour later on TV ONE plus 1. Repeated Sunday evening at 11:35pm. Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz

Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.

Q+A is on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/NZQandA#!/NZQandA and on Twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/NZQandA


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