The Government’s meddling is driving up the cost of land and contributing to the ongoing housing crisis, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says.
“The ‘huge upfront’ purchase of land at Ferncliffe Farms is setting off major red flags and we are calling for the Audit General to step in on the latest screw up."
“By outbidding in excess of 10 private developers to purchase the land, the Government is wasting taxpayer dollars and preventing healthy competition in the market between buyers who can develop the housing New Zealand needs without taxpayers having to foot the bill.”
“Minister Megan Woods has touted Kāinga Ora’s rule that they must spend no more than 5% more than valuation on land purchases, but when the valuations are based on wild assumptions and an inaccurate picture that rule doesn’t protect against overspend.”
“Officials from Housing and Urban Development explicitly told Minister Woods and Minister Robertson that ‘neither of the two valuations [for Ferncliffe Farms] reflect true market value of the site’. It is difficult to fathom why then the Government proceeded with the sale, and is an obvious red flag for the Auditor General to investigate.”
“The Government must get out of the way of private developers who have the expertise and private capital to get developments done. Driving up the price of land and using Kiwis’ hard-earned cash to do so is both counterintuitive and nonsensical.”