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Election 2014 Housing Policies

Election 2014 housing article

The New Zealand election is only a few days away. One of the hot topics for this year’s election is housing affordability. So where do the parties stand on this?  Here we outline the party policies in relation to housing; policies that can very much affect those on both sides of the property fence – landlords and property investors as well as tenants and first home buyers:

National

National announced in August a new HomeStart grant to replace the current Kiwisaver first home deposit scheme. Grants of up to $20,000 can be applied for by low and middle income couples, to add to KiwiSaver savings used for a deposit on a new home.

A Special Housing Areas and Housing Accord Bill was introduced in 2013 to help combat Auckland’s housing crisis.  Special Housing Areas (SHAs) are being identified across the city where fast-track development (faster consenting process) of affordable housing can take place.

National want to reform the RMA to speed up consenting and to curb development contributions levied by councils on developments.

Labour

Labour has a KiwiBuild policy which will be a government-run $1.5 billion scheme to build 100,000 affordable new homes mostly in Auckland and Christchurch initially.

They also want a capital gains tax and controls on foreign investment in residential real estate to curb speculation.

Greens

A rent-to-buy scheme for families with children. Limits on house ownership by foreign non-residents. A capital gains tax excluding the family home and support for Labour’s KiwiBuild.

NZ First

NZ First wants to establish a new state agency to buy and sell land for residential developments. There would be a two per cent interest rate for five years for buyers of those sections but with houses built using normal bank finance.

They also want to restrict home ownership to “New Zealanders” only, and propose that non-residents who are not citizens would be ineligible for home ownership except if a genuine need to do so can be demonstrated.

Maori

The Maori party have a Policy named Kainga Whenua, which is a loan scheme providing 100% loans up to $200,000 to build, maintain and repair homes on multiple owned Maori land.  This would only be available to those people who have no other access to finance to build, relocate to or buy on their multiple-owned Maori land.  They are also against the sale of NZ land to overseas buyers.

Conservative

The Conservative party want owners of large “land banked” holdings to build homes within five years or face government intervention. They would also allow higher-density housing if elected.

Internet Mana

The Internet Mana party want to introduce a low-interest, no-deposit Maori Home Ownership Scheme for Maori first home buyers; and a Kiwibank Home Ownership Scheme with low-interest loans for specified low and middle income individuals and families.

They also propose to build 10,000 new state homes per year for rent and rent-to-own.

Act

The Act Party want to remove regulatory constraints on the supply of land for building by scrapping the RMA.

They also want to amend the Bill of Rights to protect the right to own and use property as the owner sees fit to get rid of planning restrictions.

United Future

United Future’s policy is to allow families to capitalise their Working For Families entitlements for a year as a lump sum to help purchase their first home.

They also wish to work in partnership with Iwi to develop former Crown land for housing