As the housing crisis in Auckland prevents so many first home buyers from stepping on the first rung of the property ladder, John Key has announced some thinking his party has been doing in this area. MyThinks talked to the PM about his plans and how they will address the potential for a bursting bubble any time soon.
MT: Thanks for speaking to us today, Prime Minister.
MT: I suppose we should get into it. Do you have any plans to deal with the cost of housing in Auckland?
JK: Well… although we don’t believe there’s a problem…
MT: …the current average house price in Auckland is $1 million. How is that not a problem?
JK: Look… I see what you’re saying but you have to remember there are a lot of voters out there who own property in Auckland. I bet they don’t see this as a problem.
MT: Isn’t that a problem for you though? I mean, there are also lots of voters out there who don’t own houses yet.
JK: Oh.. yes.. but generally they either don’t vote or vote for someone else… so… you know… whatevs.
MT: There are plenty of economists out there that are warning of the danger signs to the economy. If the Auckland housing bubble bursts there could be thousands of people out there who lose out. Are you planning ahead for when this could happen?
JK: (long period of laughter) Oh… lordy. Goodness me. Planning ahead? What do I look like? A planner? No… seriously… the National Party have an excellent plan for dealing with the housing crisis – we’re going to get voted out at some point. Let Labour & the Greens deal with it. Then when we get voted back in… presto… we’ve solved the housing crisis.
MT: Yes… but Labour and Greens would have solved it.
JK: Yes… it’s genius, isn’t it? Look… at the end of the day I can pretty much do whatever I want. People don’t care what I do. If they did, I wouldn’t be the PM any more. I would’ve been voted out years ago. Years ago!
MT: You would’ve thought… but… I don’t know…
JK: Yeah, I know. Anyway, the National Party also have a proud record of being responsible property owners. The last thing we need at the moment is any panicking like the bringing in of any new taxes. That’s why we’ve announced a new tax – a land tax – for foreign investors.
MT: How do you think that will slow house price rises?
JK: We don’t actually know. We’re guessing that it won’t, but it’s important to make an announcement like this so people actually think you’re doing something, then do nothing. The last thing we need is people being scared off investing in the Auckland market and decimating the tax-free earnings of Cabinet.
MT: Thanks for your time prime minister.