Wednesday, February 13, 2008

National's answer to housing affordability: privatisation

What's National's answer to housing affordability? The same as their answer on health, aged-care, education and privatisation: looting the state to enrich their donors and cronies. Here's what John Key had to say about the issue on Three News tonight [video]:

[Key] "The position is as its always been, which is that I don't agree with Housing New Zealand being the developer of the land at Hobsonville."

[voiceover] Key who was raised in a state house says National would dump Housing New Zealand as the developer and bring in the private sector to build and sell the homes.

[Key] "There's absolutely no doubt that the private sector can go in there and develop a range of housing. Some would be affordable, some would be high end, but it would be a very very successful development in West Auckland"

In short, privatisation. Get the government to do the hard work, then flick it off to some crony.

This is not a policy which will benefit ordinary New Zealanders in search of their first home. Instead, it is a policy primarily aimed at benefitting rich Auckland property developers. Not only will privatisation result in fewer affordable homes in Hobsonville (why would a private developer build an affordable home when it can aim at the higher end of the market instead and make a much higher profit?), it will also result in fewer affordable homes and state houses nationwide, as the profits which Housing NZ would have made from Hobsonville would instead be redirected into the private pockets of Key's cronies. And while ordinary New Zealanders are left shut out of the housing market and poorer New Zealanders scrabbling for affordable places to live, John Key and his rich mates will be laughing all the way to the bank.