Friday, July 7, 2017
Roshan Nauhria, President, NZPP
The New Zealand housing situation stems from a lack of supply in Auckland. And Auckland is a desirable place to live, it is the powerhouse of our economy and surrounded by some of the best places New Zealand has to offer.
Years of infrastructure neglect and priorities based on ideologies and not facts has led to the current situation Auckland finds itself in. One where growth and development are hamstrung by a massive lack of infrastructure. Auckland is responsible for 40 per cent of NZ’s GDP and is expected to take 61 per cent of NZ’s projected population growth, yet is neglected when it comes to infrastructure spending. Sure we get some wider motorways, but the capital expenditure in fresh water, waste water and public transport that would allow Auckland to grow must be paid for by ratepayers.
The New Zealand People’s Party firmly believes that Auckland Council can’t be expected to solely pay for the costs of Auckland's infrastructure needs. We want to see the central government spend more of Aucklander’s tax in Auckland providing the infrastructure it needs to continue to grow.
The Unitary Plan was an important step toward allowing space for sustainable growth of Auckland’s housing stock. It will give people greater choice in the type of house they want to live in. For some apartments are too constricting and for others, a villa is a too much maintenance. With the growth in terrace housing and townhouses that are expected to come from the Unitary Plan, Aucklanders will be able to find the type of house that suits their needs in their price range.
However, now Auckland needs to fast track the infrastructure projects that will enable this growth to occur. It is no good putting more houses up in urban areas if the waste water systems can't handle their effluent. And growing city fringe suburbs without giving people a way to get to work each day is only going to jam even more cars onto our overloaded streets.
Most of the parties will say the government needs to slow down the number of people immigrating to New Zealand or put more taxes in place. Immigrants are not to blame for the struggles of the New Zealand housing problem. These are just knee jerk reactions that push the blame from those whose bad decisions created this problem to those who are helping grow New Zealand’s economy and society.
If the government listens to the voices of the communities and works with them, then this housing crisis will just be a blip on the radar. If they continue to force their ideologies on New Zealand’s communities then we will never get out of this cycle.