New Zealand Labour Party

Nick Smith’s ‘building boom’ just ‘alternative facts’

New analysis shows Nick Smith’s claim of a record building boom is just the desperate use of ‘alternative facts’ to confuse the public and deflect criticism, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Statistics New Zealand data shows that, far from being a ‘record building boom’ as the Government claims, fewer houses are being consented nationwide and, particularly, in Auckland, than the last peak in 2004. Most of the increase in the dollar value of construction 2004-2016 is because of escalating building costs.

“Nick Smith’s $19 billion includes renovations and commercial building. Only $10.6b is new housing.

“Most of the increase in the dollar value is a result of the blow out in construction costs under National, and the fact that so few homes are being built for the affordable end of the market. The average new home now costs $2,000 a square metre, double what is was in 2004.

“Nick Smith, Steven Joyce and Bill English should be embarrassed by their phoney claim of a building boom. The current rate of consents compared to the population is less than half what it was when Norman Kirk was Prime Minister, and 20 per cent under what it was when Helen Clark was the PM.

“In a time of record population growth, it’s an absolute disgrace that the Government can’t even get house-building rates up to the level we saw a decade ago.

“The average new house costs nearly $400,000 for the building alone, not including the hundreds of thousands for land, GST, and fees. This proves that the average new first home is far beyond the reach of middle New Zealand.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild Bill is before Parliament. It requires the Government to start a programme to build 10,000 affordable homes a year and sell them to first homebuyers.

“All of Nick Smith’s bluster and deception doesn’t get a single family into a house. It’s time to adopt Labour’s comprehensive plan to end the housing crisis,” says Phil Twyford.