New Zealand Labour Party

Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick

The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Like the Special Housing Areas, this is a just a list of ghost houses from a Government that has made an art form out of promising houses but never building them.

“Bill English and Nick Smith are attempting to pull a fast one. They’re claiming specific numbers of houses will be built, but they’re not actually providing funding for a single house.

“This is loans for water infrastructure and bridges; National cannot point to a single plot of land and guarantee a house will be built there as a result. Even if Smith’s promises come true for once, they amount to less than 20,000 houses in five years, and just 2,200 in Auckland.

“Only Labour’s KiwiBuild policy will actually build houses that Kiwi families can afford to buy and sell them to first home buyers at cost.

“There’s no doubt a huge infrastructure deficit has built up in New Zealand after nine years of National. Labour will change the way infrastructure is financed, tapping international bond finance and packaging it for new developments, with the debt serviced through a targeted rate on the properties in a new development.

“It will be fairer, more cost efficient, and it will turn on the tap allowing investment to flow into the infrastructure our cities need for growth.

“National’s so-called Housing Infrastructure Fund is simply a line of credit for councils who are already up against their debt limits. This policy was dreamed up by political staff and rushed out without proper advice from departmental officials after National was criticised for not addressing housing and infrastructure in their 2016 Budget.

“National is good at promising its latest half-baked idea will solve the housing crisis but, after nine years, Kiwis are left with a lot of ghost houses and not a lot else,” says Phil Twyford.