(ACT media release)

“The Government’s attempts to meddle in the housing market means it is facing court action for anti-competitive behaviour, no wonder we have a housing crisis when even the Government prevents development,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Housing developer Winton has applied to the High Court under the Commerce Act, claiming the Government has used its powers under the Urban Development Act to fast-track Kainga Ora developments as specified development projects and not private developments.

“When the Government is both the regulator and a player in the market there’s a clear conflict of interest, even more so when the Government is more concerned with padding out its own numbers at the expense of actually addressing the housing shortage.  

“Kāinga Ora is doing Kiwis a disservice. They are competing in the market against private developers and first-home buyers, bidding up the price of land and homes while selling off its own.

“The Government should encourage private developers to build newer and better homes so people don’t need to be on wait-lists for state housing in the first place.

“Instead it has used its powers under the law to sign-off Kainga Ora’s own large-scale developments, and not private housing developments such as Winton’s Sunfield development.

“They shouldn’t be able to pick and choose winners.

“Ministers need to front up and answer how many applications they’ve received under the Urban Development Act for specified development projects, how many have been rejected and what criteria they’ve used. They also need to answer what criteria Kainga Ora is using to pick which developments are up for consideration.

“ACT believes in better, longer-lasting solutions. As a country we need real change when it comes to housing to ensure we can live our best and most fulfilling lives.”