Labour’s housing policy announcement

Labour announced new (and some old reintroduced) housing policy at their election year Congress.

Build more affordable houses

Create an Affordable Housing Authority to fast-track development in our cities

Labour will establish an Affordable Housing Authority to work with the private sector to cut through red tape and get new homes built fast. It will partner with private developers, councils and iwi to undertake major greenfields and revitalisation projects, building affordable homes with KiwiBuild and the private market. These homes will be part of great communities built around parks, shopping centres and transport links.

Build 100,000 affordable homes across the country

Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland. Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $500,000 to $600,000, with apartments and townhouses under $500,000. Outside Auckland, houses will range from $300,000 to $500,000.

Growing the building workforce

Increased house-building will require a larger workforce. Labour’s Dole for Apprenticeships policy will subsidise employers to take on around 4,000 young people for on the job training in fields including building and construction. Labour’s policy of three years free post-school education will see tens of thousands more people study in all fields, including building and construction. KiwiBuild is projected to create 5,000 new jobs at its peak.

Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out

Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.


Crack down on speculators

Ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes

Labour will ban foreign speculators from buying existing New Zealand homes. This will remove from the market foreign speculators who are pushing prices out of reach of first home buyers.

Tax property speculators who flick houses within five years

Labour will extend the bright line test from the current two years to five years. This will target speculators who buy houses with the aim of making a quick capital gain. Current exemptions from the bright line test will continue.

Consult on rules around negative gearing to prevent abuse by speculators

Negative gearing can be used by speculators to make taxpayers subsidise losses on their properties. This is effectively a subsidy for speculation. Labour will consult on ways to close this loophole.


Read more about our plan to address housing demand here >>

Support for those in need

Focus Housing New Zealand on helping people, not making a profit

Labour will make Housing New Zealand into a public service rather than an SOE, and will substantially increase the number of state houses. Unlike the current government, Labour will not milk state housing for a dividend, and will end its programme of state house sales.

Read more about our plans for Housing New Zealand here >>

Help 5,100 more Kiwis into emergency housing every year

Labour will take serious action to end homelessness by increasing funding for emergency housing, helping an extra 5,100 people a year. This money will be given to emergency housing providers to purchase or build new accommodation and help people get off the streets.

Read more about our Emergency Housing package here >>

Require all rental homes to be warm, dry, and healthy.

Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill is currently before Parliament. It will set standards that will require all rental properties to meet proper standards in: insulation, heating, ventilation, draught stopping, and drainage. This will ensure people who live in them don’t get sick.


  1. David

     /  May 14, 2017

    “We’ll build 50,000 affordable homes in Auckland
    We’ll build 400 affordable homes in the Hutt Valley
    We’ll build 200 affordable homes in Hamilton”

    Oh yes? How exactly can they manage to build 50,000 in Auckland with all it’s geographical challenges, but only 0.4% of that number in Hamilton where expansion can move in any direction with ease?

    • PDB

       /  May 14, 2017

      A few downticks you have there but none of them backed up with a rebuttal.

      Labour were against RMA reform, against building on land like that at Pt England in partnership with local Iwi and want to seriously reduce the amount of skilled workers coming into the country though somehow can build 50,000 affordable homes in Auckland where land is expensive and in short supply & builders are already at full capacity?

      Putting more costs on landlords will only make renting more unaffordable and banning foreign housing investors is shutting the gate after the horse has bolted when housing first started to become more unaffordable under Helen Clark’s watch in the 2000’s.

      The media could do better than repeating Labour’s ‘headlines’ and actually asked how all this will be achieved as it is all pure fantasy.

  2. Oliver

     /  May 14, 2017

    Cometh the hour cometh the man. Finally someone who has the guts! to make the hard decision. Labour will win this election, mark my words. Labour and TOP coalition.

  3. John Schmidt

     /  May 14, 2017

    Affordable housing is a myth. For the people being targeted unless its free or less than $100k it aint affordable to them.

  4. David

     /  May 14, 2017

    5 years for the bright line test is ridiculous get some guts and put forward a thought through and detailed CGT after all its worked so well in affordable cities like London, Sydney, Vancouver and New York.
    So after saying he is going to ignore the health and safety act for Pike River he is now going to overide the RMA and the Akl council and the 3 years its taken them to do a district plan and after he has slashed immigration he is going to use exactly who to build them, well he could always get the government to steal staff from private sector building firms and then stop them replacing their staff from overseas.

  5. kiwi dave

     /  May 14, 2017

    Fine words, admirable sentiments – all written in 1930’s. Where’s the inspiring vision for nu zild for THIS century, Andy?

    • Blazer

       /  May 15, 2017

      compliments of DracoT.B…
      ‘The National Opposition (1936) was astonished by the use of Reserve Bank credit for housing, which disregarded traditional principles of budget finance. Forbes (George Forbes ex Prime Minister 1930-5 Great Depression era) admitted confidentially to Stewart (William Downie Stewart Jnr – Finance Advisor);
      “This places them in a unique position, the houses after erection carry no interest on capital cost, and for instance a thousand pound house can be let for 5s per week and be a financial success. The millennium seems to have arrived and it makes one wonder why we had to struggle in the bog, when there was such an easy way out of our troubles, houses, after being built with the highest paid workers in the world, at the lowest cost heard of, makes our policy of orthodox finance seem almost prehistoric.”

  6. Oliver

     /  May 14, 2017

    This policy will motivate the missing million voters from last election to come out and vote. This is a real game changer. I can’t wait to see how English responds. Let’s face it this election will be won and lost on the housing crisis.

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 14, 2017

    If they wanted to free up artificial constraints on supply they could have supported repeal of the RMA long ago.

  8. They are promising to level the playing field and make it easy for first home aspirants to get an affordable home. If they do that, then they will have to reduce the cost of materials, land and labour, and reduce the current asset value of the very large number of people who already own a home. That group is the elderly with inflexible fixed income from saving and asset value. It is called robbing the oldies to pay for the non-performing young.
    A recipe for losing an election because it must be a capital gains tax by stealth – no other description for it. The economics of house ownership is a question of slender resources being pursued by large demand. The marginal utility of housing can be represented by a “L shaped graph” so accommodation is one of the needs of a household. To satisfy that will need a mixture of owned accommodation, normal commercial rental, investment rental, and social housing. The last 2 are the source of housing for the disadvantaged, weak, disabled and low or no income earners. That means the taxpayer has to cough up the funds for social housing, and for the incentive for the rental investor to provide the capital needed for cheap, but warm and healthy yet affordable housing. These are the areas Labour should be focussing on if they want to be a Government.

    • Blazer

       /  May 14, 2017

      ‘ It is called robbing the oldies to pay for the non-performing young.’…this is an absolute ..farcical…notion.

  9. PDB

     /  May 14, 2017

    Twyford in 2014 said in terms of their ‘100,000 affordable homes in 10 years’ only 18000 homes total would be built in the first four years leaving 82000 new homes to be built in the remaining 6 years. Only 8000 of these initial 18000 homes would be in Auckland where the housing need is greatest.

    This is when ‘1000’s’ of people on the benefit will miraculously have been trained to be skilled builders, electricians and the like (stay with me now) and hence why houses will go up at the staggering rate of 262 houses/week for those final 6 years (even if a portion of those are apartments) – this ON TOP of the number of houses currently being built privately & by the current govt.

    If you believe in this being possible you also believe in the tooth fairy.—really/tabid/506/articleID/53476/Default.aspx

    • Blazer

       /  May 14, 2017

      we know you and many here just love housing inflation…..and criticise any policies to rein it in.The govt has the power to address it but as we see they do not want to kill the goose….they own too many …golden eggs’…themselves.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 14, 2017

        There is a big difference between “loving” house inflation and pointing out Labour policies will do sweet FA to fix it.
        House inflation should be slow and steady so that people have certainty about their biggest asset. Hough inflation or deflation is not helpful.
        Hopefully we’re headed back to that situation now.

        • Blazer

           /  May 15, 2017

          sitting on your hands for 8 years has most certainly done SFA to fix it.The measures Labour announced will indeed address the situation.Is a floating dollar….helpful?