It is the issues of homelessness and building houses for new-entrants into the market that need to be the focus of any housing policy says UnitedFuture leader, Peter Dunne.
“The classic television quiz show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” plays on the desire of people to want to enrich themselves and join a special class of wealthy elites that have a net worth of over $1 Million.
“This week the average house price in Auckland ticked up to $1 million.
“The great news about that is that the average home owner in Auckland is now a millionaire.
“It makes absolutely no sense to tell those people, who now have more opportunity than they have ever had to better the lives of their families that their equity needs to be undermined by Government regulation.
“Frankly those who argue to do that show reckless disregard for the livelihoods of those New Zealand families.
“Rather the Government needs to take a much more targeted approach to the issues relating to housing.
“There are two clear areas that need to be addressed, the first, and most in need of immediate redress, is the issue of homelessness.
“For someone to live without a roof over their head, without the security and warmth of a residence, is something that needs to be addressed.
“The second area is around getting new owners into housing
“These are the immediate issues facing New Zealand in regard to housing and that is where the efforts of our political system need to be focused.
“The solution to these problems will come with a generational shift in thinking, a shift that includes the wisdom and input of every sector of society that is touched by the issues of housing.
“That means we need the input of our social housing providers, our banks, our building sector, the department of building and housing, the Ministry of Social Development, the Treasury, the Reserve Bank, Local Councils and the investors in real estate.
“The housing summit proposal would be a perfect medium for this targeted discussion to happen.
“I have already stated just how easy this would be, we could fly 100 of these stakeholders into Wellington, accommodate them, feed them and host them at Parliament for a fraction of the cost our Parliamentarians have spent on trying to score political points against each other.
“This week we watched as a fumble from the Government transformed itself into a 17 hour waste of time as the Opposition used every opportunity available to them to filibuster our Parliament to talk about their politically contrived schemes.
“The end result?
“Not much, we spent $43,000 per hour of that discussion so about $700,000 all up on playing a game of politics when we could have spent that time actually working on tailoring solutions.
“That’s why we need to de-politicise this issue to get the input of the organisations and people of New Zealand who know what they are talking about, it is only when we are armed with the information, facts and reasoning of the experts in their fields, that we as politicians can make effective change, that is why a Housing Summit remains the first step in this conversation.