Thursday, 23 June 2022

Labour-National coalition trashing the Kiwi Dream

“With housing affordability for first-home buyers the worst it’s been in six decades, New Zealand’s political duopoly has irreparably damaged the chances of young New Zealanders,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Commerce Commission is looking in the wrong place. The duopoly that’s done the most damage to New Zealand is the Labour-National duopoly over housing policy for the past 30 years.

“After National denied for years there was a housing crisis, Labour promised to fix it. It failed and so both parties decided to team up on a cross-party housing accord.

“The result is an unworkable and damaging bill that will do little to increase in housing supply. It was the ultimate in bad law-making. The underlying constraints on getting houses built are builders, materials, and infrastructure. Without changing these, homes will not be built faster, just in different places.

“Labour and National are offering voters no choice on housing. Both parties are lining up to support Labour’s disastrous RMA reforms that are more about honouring the Treaty. Only ACT is opposed and we are proposing fundamental reform of the RMA to get more homes built.

“National refuses to commit to reinstating 90-day no-cause termination and the right to charge a letting fee. ACT will do both to reverse the attacks on landlords and make it attractive to rent out houses again.

“The real issue with housing is not enough houses are being built, and not enough are being built because there’s an infrastructure shortage.

“ACT has also proposed local councils receive a payment equivalent to 50 per cent of the GST for every new dwelling constructed in its territory. This provides an incentive for councils to enable building and a means of covering infrastructure costs.

“Real planning reform will need to be far more innovative than replacing the RMA with a new RMA designed by the guy that designed the first one (yes, really) and be based on property rights.

“Building reform will depend on getting councils out of the quality assurance business, where they have clearly failed, and opening up to an international market of building supplies and designs. These are long-term ACT policies.

“Major party housing policy follows a familiar pattern. Promise. Win. Fail. Apologise. Labour is now approaching the fourth and final stage.

“Labour was elected to fix housing because National failed. Now Labour has failed as well. ACT is the only party prepared to address the crux of the problem.”