The average house on the Kāpiti Coast earned more in untaxed capital gains over the final  three months of 2020 than the average New Zealander earned in pre-tax income over the entire year. We also saw average house prices jump by more than $100,000 over the year. 

What this continues to highlight is that we urgently need a combined response from Government, local government and the industry to solve the housing affordability issues that are being further exacerbated. 

As the holder of the housing portfolio, I’m pleased that this council with the backing of our elected representatives has elevated the housing work programme, so that it now forms a significant new tranche of work within the Long Term Plan.  

Unfortunately, the problem is so significant, it will take a new response from the  government, and possibly even a political consensus to achieve real change. 

Despite the enormity of the issue, our council is already working to create a housing programme, and there are a number of activities under way. However, with such an  important issue, this programme will go out for consultation in the Long Term Plan.  

With councillors and the public’s backing, we can make some significant changes to help ensure it is easier to provide housing solutions, and that we can encourage the types of  housing that the free market is not delivering.  

We have to do our best to ensure the people that already live here have access to houses,  while also planning for the 30,000 to 50,000 who are expected to move here over the next thirty years. That requires some significant changes within our planning and processes, and our strategic thinking. It is a huge challenge for all of council, and I look forward to talking about the housing programme as the political year begins. 

If you are keen on reading what is occurring behind the scenes, here’s a short report within the Strategy and Operation Committee Meeting on 19 November 2020. 

Rob McCann 

KCDC Councillor — Housing Portfolio