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Meanwhile, the Housing Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, December 7th, 2016 - 18 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

While National’s caucus focuses on itself, as backbenchers enjoy their one shot at relevance, the country’s big problems continue.

Auckland’s housing supply continues to lag behind demand.  National’s answer – Special Housing Areas – aren’t going to deliver the 39,000 houses promised – or even 39,000 consents.  13 areas have been dumped as no progress has been made.  The original photo-opportunity launch site still has no homes under construction.  The number of houses Auckland is short by has risen from 30,000 to 40,000.

Auckland needs 13,000 homes built each year for three decades, but in the past year only 9960 have been consented, and new council data shows fewer than 7000 actually built. [emphasis mine]

So we’re still only building at half the rate needed.  Whether the Housing Accord has been any help is unclear – consents were already climbing before the Housing Accord, and have only continued to climb at a steady rate.

Today brings the news that an independent initiative has been snuffed out by the government.  Leonie Freeman’s proposed cross-sector group to focus on the housing crisis wasn’t taken up by Auckland Council as Goff feels that they’ve pulled the lever they have with the Unitary Plan – all the remaining levers: provision of social housing, the creation of affordable housing, how much funding is available – are under the government’s control.

The government didn’t even bother to respond to her.  When she called and forced an answer, they pretty much told her it was under control.

That’s how out-of-touch and arrogant this government is – as Auckland’s housing problem continues to get worse by 1000s of houses per year, there is nothing for them to worry about.

18 comments on “Meanwhile, the Housing Crisis”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    That’s how out-of-touch and arrogant this government is – as Auckland’s housing problem continues to get worse by 1000s of houses per year, there is nothing for them to worry about.

    Well, I suppose if housing is falling behind by thousands per year then rents can go up by thousands per year and thus National’s base can still get massive unearned capital gains and other people to pay for their mortgages.

    This would be just dandy as far as National is concerned. After all, they’re of the opinion that poor people are just there to pay for rich people.

  2. mac1 2

    Not just Auckland.


    But don’t blame the quake.

    From March 2016, we have this.


    Provincial towns also are feeling the pressure especially as increasing amounts of workers come into the area for seasonal work.

    • Cinny 2.1

      “Provincial towns also are feeling the pressure especially as increasing amounts of workers come into the area for seasonal work.”

      Very true around these parts, should be good crops this year too, which means more workers, more accommodation etc. Many visiting workers get weekly rates at local campgrounds, but this kind of accommodation is becoming more rare as the tourists pour in.

  3. save nz 3

    Is there anyone out there that still thinks the Natz and MSM discourses that land zoning is the main issue to solve the housing crisis?? Or was it all a scam to make a short term gain while pushing the real problems under the radar and increasing the current problems of congestion and poor quality resource consents that don’t make it into housing or become leaky homes?

    We have had SHA and unitary plan – both massive dumps for land holding developers but still zero housing.

    Another reason for Mike Woods huge victory and Natz poor showing in council elections could be the homeowners socking it to the government for the unitary plan they pushed through hot on the heels of the failed supercity.

    P.S. I think Auckland council has some diabolical approval rating from the ratepayers of 16% under the CEO structure of the supercity. Auckland rate payers don’t like their council and they are falling out of love with National too.

  4. save nz 4

    Also housing is not just about affordability and home owners vs non homeowners, it is also about making sure that after a disaster people are taken care of in a timely, fair and acceptable way.

    That water is of acceptable quality (aka Havelock North) and that the resources are not being plundered and exploited by a few (Canterbury plains water and water bottling for export being sold).

    That if more homes are planned there are the government funds for the infrastructure not just putting the costs of the new homes onto the current ratepayers with government or council loans.

    That adequate public transport is in place not just passing the buck to existing commuters who have often been forced to commute by the lack of affordable homes closer and poor public transport options.

    That there are adequate protections in place for retirees who are currently being exploited by retirement homes with no solid title to their homes and profiteering rife at a time when they are vunerable.

    That there are better protections in place for apartments owners who are often younger and have large sums for Body corporates and unexpected extra demands for costs when things go wrong.

    The answer to why the State houses are being sold off in a housing crisis and vulnerable people forced into private rentals and becoming homeless or further indebted?

    Why nobody is really been held to account over the leaky building crisis which has taken out many homes, indebted owners, driven them to health problems, taken away building resources to rebuild the same apartments again and taken out building stock while this is being done?

    Why there is not more accountability over the Pike River which allowed 29 miners to die in horrific circumstances with an unsafe mine that apparently had all the council consents even though was known to be un safe and not up to normal safety standards?

  5. Keith 5

    Their contradictory unofficial immigration policy (cheap labour) designed to give growth or the sugar high illusion of and reinforce the impression of their economic wizardry is a huge factor here.

    A lot of this problem is of Nationals own making

  6. Siobhan 6

    Gareths new idea…


    Interesting, but if he really “believed people would be able to “separate their own self-interest from the matter of what’s fair and reasonable”….he might be in for a surprise.

    • saveNZ 6.1

      I’d prefer to see fairer taxes with the ‘paper money’ people taxed because that is how the .1% is making their millions by the most part on paper through shares and companies. Remember how Dick Smith suddenly gained 400 million dollars before going bankrupt the next year? Now we have Pumpkin patch etc. Not to mention all the money laundering and tax dodging. A robin hood tax and transaction tax would get people who are moving money about and also discourage the practise.

      Homeowners already pay a capital tax on property called rates. The MSM and politicians seem obsessed with property but don’t seem to be able to look at where the real money is with globalism, and how it is being transferred around with liquidations, inflated company valuations and so forth and the damage that is doing with the loss of confidence in companies, the loss of jobs when companies go bankrupt and don’t have to pay taxes to IRD or their employees or suppliers and still get to set up a similar company the next day.

      Not to mention the billions of profits by the banks. In spite of being caught under paying taxes banks not only don’t have to pay any penalty, often they don’t even have to pay the full taxes they owe!

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Wise point. The separation of ‘fair and reasonable’ filtering from the clarion call of Profit Here, More Profit Here, for not much input, is deafening mostly.

        And Keith says in a few lines the facts, with a sweet spot in the middle that describes National’s position.

        Their contradictory unofficial immigration policy (cheap labour) designed to give growth or the sugar high illusion of and reinforce the impression of their economic wizardry is a huge factor here.

        A lot of this problem is of Nationals own makingdescribes National’s position.

      • ropata 6.1.2

        (as commented on Open Mike)
        Being a “cash-poor homeowner” is a piss poor reason to expect tax exemptions. There are a lot of hard working people getting heavily taxed and will never own a home. What happened to a fair go?

        Gareth is onto something, this is not just a crisis in housing affordability, it’s also a crisis of homelessness, and a massive house of cards ready to collapse, and possibly crash the whole NZ economy with it.

        A responsible government would use all the tools at its disposal to clamp down on problematic behaviour (speculation, rentier slumlord exploitation, dodgy foreign cash, land banking) that is screwing up the market, not necessarily punish heavily mortgaged home “owners”.

        Next we need to deal with the supply problems that our relaxed “she’ll be right” government has failed to bother fixing

        • saveNZ

          Be aware that the statistics of home ownership in NZ are roughly 34% renting, 34% homeowners with mortgage and 32% homeowners without a mortgage. So any taxation that effects property will impact approx 66% of the population and any election. There are as many indebted homeowners as there are renters in NZ. Those without mortgages tend to be older and start losing their incomes apart from super.

          I feel one of the worst things that the Natz have done on housing is actually stolen social mobility. Low wages, insecure jobs and high cost of living means that even if house prices drop, the ability for a person to get a deposit for a mortgage is difficult – they don’t even have a secure job to get finance most of the time, let alone have savings that can pay for a deposit!

          Even if you have got a home it is not the plain sailing that many seem to believe. With rising costs of rates, interest rates now on the rise, increased costs of maintenance, insurance and the risks of leaky building, natural disasters, losing ones job and being unable to pay a mortgage or rates are all modern realities. Yes prices have gone up, but it is not relevant if you are buying into the same inflated market or your house is destroyed by a disaster both natural or man made and you are waiting for the government and insurance to pay out and rebuild for years.

          As for landlords, we have a rental shortage of them. At the same time the government sold off state houses so that truly vulnerable people would have to compete to rent where there is a shortage of houses to rent and a shortage of people prepared to be landlords.

          We have one of the highest migration figures in the world so it really makes zero sense from a social or economic point of view what the National government has done to ram up housing shortages, with record migration and poor disaster management while reducing wages and conditions and the ability of people to be able to afford the basics.

          • ropata

            Man you “homeowners” are paranoid. Gareth is talking about clamping down on speculators not ordinary home owners.

            That said this cult of going into unsustainable debt (fuelled by irresponsible lenders) is a big part of the problem in the unbalanced NZ housing market. Some people (and banks) will have to bite the bullet and sell up if they are over extended. Interest rates are not going to stay at their artificial lows forever.

            • saveNZ

              Ropata – there is already a speculator tax in place and capital gains as well – the government just don’t act on it. Even during one of those awful home renovation TV programmes it showed that one house in west Auckland went up $70,000 in a couple of months and it should have been taxed for capital gains and some houses were turning over 2 or 3 times a year and not even lived in. But how many people were prosecuted?

              I just think the housing is one of those smoke and mirrors = keep the public & MSM focused on some side issues like zoning (when it is very complex and multiple problems to solve) – so they don’t start clamping down on the more lucrative tax routs for example in share trading, 0% offshore NZ tax havens, trusts and so forth.

              At the same time, like last election, the opposition goes crazy and starts knocking out their voters thinking they have enormous support for their housing taxation schemes. And that served the Natz who created the housing crisis in the first place and it was on of the many things that lost labour support in the election.

              For example does Gareth have any policy on the rout of Kiwisaver fund managers?

              Data from sorted.org.nz shows that, since inception, the average KiwiSaver fund has returned 5.2%, with the average fee being 1.1%. That means, for a decade now, over 20% of everything made by the average KiwiSaver has been taken away in fees.

          • Draco T Bastard

            All of that is a great explanation as to why private ownership of housing is really bloody stupid.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Ask why borders are being closed, criminals ejected from oz prisons to nz… …its about the economy stupid. Automatization, coupled with aging, lower birth rates, means a different economy from the deregulate, cheap oil, grow and migration boom. It cost e world more to have migration, better to build where they are.

    People are a cost, criminals are a cost, education is a cost, its a huge burden to a country to export its educate young, and get only the criminals back. As for Keys trick, of appriciating 400billion dolars worth of hiusing assets, as a good and not considering the structural bads that occur.

    My point is Key was never much for nation building.

  8. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Meanwhile…..this ‘charity’, http://www.accessibleproperties.co.nz/about/ has bought up over a thousand state houses in Tauranga…I urge folk’s to read their blurb.


    Meanwhile, the government is looking towards ‘investors’ from Australia…to whit, in all possibility, through….PowerHousing….http://www.powerhousingaustralia.com.au/

    who are the Australian partner of multinational corporatised charity http://internationalhousingpartnership.com/

    Now, flicking back a moment to accessibleproperties….

    “We are a Registered Community Housing Provider and were the first organisation to be Accredited under the Community Housing Aotearoa Global Mark scheme. We are a registered charity and operate on a tax exempt basis. Accessible Properties is owned by IHC New Zealand Incorporated, and operates independently with its own Board.

    Accessible Properties has been the most successful applicant to the Social Housing Fund with grants received in 2011/12 and 2012/13. These funds have been applied to build affordable and accessible rental housing – resulting in 171 housing units in areas of greatest need (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga).

    Accessible Properties has professional management teams based in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, who also manage a number of commercial properties.”

    Guaranteed income from tax payer funded benefits, allowances and grants AND tax free status…..

    Property investors wet dream.

    (Oh, and next time you are being seduced into donating to IHC, that lovely Kiwi Charity advocating for those poor intellectually disabled people…just bear in mind that they have moved light years from their founding principals.)

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