The International Monetary Fund has concluded its 2018 visit to New Zealand, checking with a broad range of stakeholders on how things are going here. Executive Director Oliver Hartwich and I were happy to share our views with them last week. We argued that the most pressing issue facing New Zealand is housing. In addition to the obvious problems caused by housing shortages, they also fuel xenophobia. Read more
Housing affordability is an important issue to all New Zealanders and a pressing concern for many kiwi families. The high cost of housing is also one of the drivers of New Zealander’s high level of private indebtedness, and is an issue of intergenerational equality.
The Initiative’s research into housing affordability takes a different approach to the usual proposals of either just freeing up land and dropping regulations, or compelling a reluctant population to live in high density estates.
Instead our research focuses on the context in which development takes place: local government. In particular we examine the link between local government finance, and the incentives for local councils to develop land for housing.
There is a missing link between discussions of housing affordability (or rather a lack thereof) and finding workable financing management that allows local government to fund required infrastructure upgrades. By examining international best practice, we aim to close this gap with our research project.