By Natalia Albert – TOP Candidate for Wellington Central
Crikey! If you’ve been contemplating the state of housing in New Zealand, you’ve probably noticed it’s much like trying to play rugby against the All Blacks blindfolded. Every Kiwi dreams of that perfect nest, and I believe it’s time for a new strategy to get us over the line. Because what we have now and what we have been doing is obviously not working.
See, we’re growing more and more diverse, broad and varied in how the New Zealand population looks, thinks and lives. And while that’s normal, great and what most countries are going through, it’s also crunched our housing numbers and I think, an opportunity to do it better than others. The research is in, and we’ve learnt that limited urban land availability, people buying houses as an investment and growing populations have made it challenging for Kiwis to buy homes, pay rent and live close to where they work. It’s a bit like trying to fit an entire rugby team into a two-man tent – bound to cause a bit of a kerfuffle.
So, what’s the plan, Stan? We’ve got Labour, with their promises to first home buyers and warmer, healthier homes – commendable indeed. They’ve introduced new rules for rental properties and are tackling homelessness. Next up, we’ve got National, with their Going for Housing Growth plan. They’re keen to unlock land and provide housing incentives, which sounds good on paper, but in practice, it’s like swapping a pavlova for a meringue – looks similar but doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Now, let’s talk about TOP’s housing policy. I don’t mean to brag (I totally do). Our policy focuses on a fair tax system, stabilizing rents, reducing speculation, and encouraging urban densification – think of it as playing smart, rather than hard.
What’s more, we propose removing the current Bright Line Test and replacing it with a Land Value Tax, a move that would have more of an impact than current solutions. And for those of you edging closer to retirement and fearing that mortgage payments may outlive you – fear not. With our planned $3 billion development fund for Community Housing Associations and a 100% deposit requirement for investment properties, we are on the front foot to ensure more Kiwis own their homes mortgage-free by the time they hit 65.
So, let’s look to the future with a wry smile, a quick wit, and a serious commitment to housing. Let’s not just dream about a better housing future in New Zealand – let’s create it together.