Incoming Housing Minister Nick Smith has a lot of work to do if he wants to convince Kiwis housing affordability is a priority for National says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.
"Nick Smith has shown little vigour for tackling housing affordability today, trotting out the same tired arguments that saw Phil Heatley get the sack.
"We know that sections are in short supply - most of us can’t afford to buy one.
"We know that the cost of materials is steep - we’ve got friends in Oz building homes cheaper.
"We know that there is a mountain of bureaucratic red tape - most of us aren’t in a position to wade through it.
"With the average house price now close to $400,000, scraping together a deposit is near impossible. Already, hundreds of thousands of aspiring Kiwi homeowners have resigned themselves to renting for life.
"Renting should be a choice, not an inevitability.
"Unless Nick Smith offers up some actual solutions, any momentum National might have gained with a Cabinet reshuffle will be wasted.
"Talking about compliance costs, ‘time-consuming processes’ and tinkering with the Resource Management Act won’t cut it.
"Labour understands that owning your own home is an aspiration akin to having a good job and raising kids for many New Zealanders. That’s why we have committed to build 100,000 modern affordable homes over 10 years.
"Labour has no-nonsense solutions - National just has nonsense," Annette King said.