Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Government’s Response To Current Housing Crisis In NZ: A Good Start But Nowhere Near Enough

I don’t think there is anybody in NZ who doesn’t agree that there is a serious housing crisis in New Zealand right now. The present Government has made some good moves in the right direction but mostly not enough. There are more things they could have done which would have made a real difference says Peter Malcolm spokesperson for the “Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc” –“Closing the Gap”

There are some over-riding principles that should underpin this whole issue Malcolm goes on to say.

  1. Adequate “accommodation” for all should be a right for all and this is a Government’s responsibility.
  2. Housing should not be the major form of investment for our people. People with money should be encouraged to invest in productive industries and so take housing out of the “market place”.
  3. It should be recognised that all investments, unless backed by Governments, carry an element of risk, and conditions changing for investments should not be seen as a cause for complaint.
  4. Any tax system must be fair, ie if you get money regardless of source you should pay tax..
  5. Politicians and Governments do not always get things right and they should be able to admits this, change their minds and put things right.

In terms of government providing adequate “accommodation for all”, Governments in NZ for the last nearly 50 years have let us down badly. Although this present Government has done a little, it is nowhere near enough. We are currently around 80,000 homes short for the “ general population” and about 30,000 short of “social” housing. 

The $3.8 billion for infrastructure ie for roads and services is a good start and $2.8 billion for land for social housing is great as is the increase in funding for more apprentices, but this really only a “drop in the bucket”. 

Although it is difficult to get accurate costs of building accommodation, if you include all cost ie construction, land, infrastructure, council etc a modest figure would be in the region of $1.6 million per accommodation unit (infrastructure $!million, house and land $600,000.) 

The figures above would provide approximately 4000 sections for general housing and 3000 for social housing. This is pathetically small in terms 80,000 general housing shortage and 30,000 for social housing shortage.

Then there is the question of unoccupied housing. Some have suggested there are as many as 40,000 in Auckland alone. A decent tax on these dwelling would be a great start.

Then there is the question of who pays for this accommodation. The changes to the “prices thresholds” are a good start but again not enough in terms of the numbers that this would benefit.

There are many other things the Government could do here. A return to something like the old “State Advances Corporation” for control of the finances of the “housing market”and the “Ministry of Works” for construction would be a great start. “Housing” should not be left to the market as the current situation has shown.

As for housing being a major form of investment for New Zealanders this is patently wrong on many counts. We need to control the housing market to keep prices under control. We need to shift investment away from housing into productive industry for a start. Here the Government has made a start by shifting the “bright -line test”. 

If they were really serious about this they would remove it completely for all but the family home. As to the argument that this change by Government is just CGT in another form let us again be realistic. It is a capital gain tax change and it is exactly what is needed. See 4 above

As to items 3 and 5 above I believe these should be self-evident.

Let us give credit to the Government for making a start but let them know that it is only a very small start. The crisis is now and like the pandemic needs urgent action now says Malcolm.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>

 

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels