Crisis warrants emergency response

Emergency powers are needed to solve the housing crisis:

National is calling on the Government to introduce urgent temporary legislation to make housing easier to build, and has offered to support the law change through Parliament.

At her State of the Nation speech in Auckland today, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins said the time had come for an extraordinary solution to an unfolding emergency.

“It is too hard to build houses in New Zealand. We need to make it drastically easier. With rents and house prices spiralling out of control, Kiwis can no longer afford to wait.”

The law change would give Government the power to rezone council land, making room for 30 years’ worth of growth in housing supply, both through intensification and greenfield development.

The appeals process would be suspended so district plans could be completed as quickly as possible. Requirements for infrastructure to be built prior to zoning would also be suspended.

It would be a nationwide equivalent of the emergency powers put in place to get houses built in Christchurch following its earthquakes, which enabled the multiple between median incomes and house prices to remain constant there between 2014 and 2020.

What worked in Christchurch could work in the rest of the country.

Ms Collins has today written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, suggesting that a special Select Committee be established immediately to develop the emergency legislation, with the committee’s recommendations available for consideration by the end of March.

With house prices having jumped 41 per cent since Ms Ardern became Prime Minister and the waiting list for public housing almost quadrupling to 22,409 households, building public houses alone will not be enough to make a meaningful difference, Ms Collins says.

“New Zealanders have had enough. It’s time for the two major political parties to work together to fix this problem.”

National’s housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says that while the dream of home ownership has been disappearing for many Kiwis, rents have also ramped up by an average of $100 a week in just three years.

“This means people are struggling to keep up with the other necessities of life – food, power and doctors’ visits.

“National wants more for New Zealanders. We don’t want a future where the only answer to being able to afford a place to live is to get on a Government housing waiting list.”

The debate over whether or not there is a housing crisis is over.

House prices are increasing far faster than incomes and inflation, rents are following, and poeple earning more than the average wage can’t afford to buy a house.

Unless drastic action is taken to address the root cause – supply falling so far behind demand, prices will continue to climb and the problems associated with unaffordability will get worse.

The government must make it easier to build houses and it must do so with urgency.

4 Responses to Crisis warrants emergency response

  1. Andrei says:

    This shows why it is a very good thing that National is in opposition!

    Emergency powers of for real crisies like tsunamis and volcanic eruptions not for correcting failures in forward planning.

    This is the rhetoreic of a political party that is flailing

    Like

  2. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Ardern will issue a new press release, crisis solved

    Like

  3. pdm says:

    Andrei even if you are right and National is failing they still look a better option than the rabble we presently have and the real worry is that the current lot are going to get worse – not better..

    Like

  4. Andrei says:

    Andrei even if you are right and National is failing they still look a better option than the rabble we presently have

    To you maybe and to others who have a tribal allegiance to the National Party

    To me no – from where I sit the options I have when I enter the Polling Station are dire, who ever wins will enact exact same policies I fundamentally disagree with;

    I weas all set to give my tick to National last time until that idiot Todd Mueller showed us all that the National Party Caucus were a bunch of spinless disloyal twits

    So I don’t cast a party vote and haven’t since 2008

    Like

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