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Nick Smith must urgently intervene to avoid housing delays

National should urgently legislate to make the Unitary Plan operative while allowing a high court challenge to make its way through the legal process, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Auckland urgently needs the Unitary Plan to be able to build the number of homes required to meet demand, but appeals by the Character Coalition and Auckland 2040 against provisions to establish higher density zones could stall implementation for up to a year.

 

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Kiwis drowning in debt in out of control housing market

New statistics reveal Kiwis are taking on record levels of debt in order to get into the housing market, as prices continue to outstrip incomes, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Stats NZ has today revealed real estate loans now make up a whopping 87% of all individual debt.

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Planning reform report a turning point?

 A joint report from business and environmentalists on the Resource Management laws could be a turning point for both planning and environmental protection, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. 

“The four organisations, the Environmental Defence Society, the Property Council, the EMA and NZCID are to be congratulated for a mature and considered approach in yesterday’s report.

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Privatisation and deregulation not the solution

Deregulation, privatisation, and shifting more of the cost onto students isn’t the way to address inequality, lack of innovation and declining participation in tertiary education, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

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Homeownership out of reach for middle income Aucklanders

New figures show that even middle income Aucklanders are finding themselves unable to afford to buy a first home as National’s housing crisis rolls on, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“New data released by interest.co.nz shows that the lower quartile selling price in Auckland, the average for the lowest end of the market, has just hit $695,600. That’s an increase of 53 per cent compared to what it was just three years ago.

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More toilet cleaners or more tradespeople?

The Government is not doing enough to help the construction and trades sector meet its workforce demand, instead steering students towards cleaning toilets, says Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa.

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Labour appoints key 2017 campaign roles

Labour has appointed two key roles to lead and implement its 2017 election campaign.

Andrew Kirton, Labour’s General Secretary, will also assume the role of Labour’s Campaign Manager while Phil Twyford MP will act as Labour’s Campaign Chairperson.

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More cracks appear in health funding

News that the Waikato District Health Board could lose $2.7 million from its budget because it failed to make an elective target is downright disturbing, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. 

“This is a DHB that has tried to make sure its patients get to specialists within four months, but risks failing and paying the cost.

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Student debt cracks the billion mark

New figures showing that student loan defaulters have now clocked over $1 billion in debt highlights National's failure to combat spiralling student loan debt, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

"Threatening to arrest returning student loan borrowers at the border has merely acted as a disincentive for expat kiwis to come home. It hasn't made any real dent in the student debt mountain. 

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Foreign Students just a commodity to National

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has confirmed that his party sees international students as nothing more than a commodity, says Labour's Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

"Mr Bakshi’s appalling comparison of some students to 'faulty fridges' that should be returned to their manufacturer shows how little interest National has in the welfare of foreign students. 

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