While thousands of people are on the public housing waiting list and high-prices in Auckland continue to lock first-home buyers out of the market, Mark Richardson reckons there is no housing crisis in New Zealand.
On Wednesday, American housing developer and Holland Partner Group chief executive Clyde Holland told The AM Show the Government needs to recognise how hard it is getting houses consented.
- More than 10,000 Kiwi households on public housing waiting list
- Auckland housing sales drop as foreign buyer ban kicks in
- Auckland house buyers increasingly confident prices won't rise
Instead of consenters analysing the validity of every single proposed house or project, he advocates one organisation to look at approving builds.
"The only way for New Zealand to begin moving forward is to move to approved development zones... so no longer is there a consenting process," he said.
He believes that all forms of housing are necessary, and planners need to understand the relationship between housing, transport, the environment, and work.
"Keep everything the same in the 95 percent which is currently the suburbs, but the one mile ring around transit and the walkable urban core, shift to the approved development zones so you have the ability to build at scale."
Following the interview, Richardson said Mr Holland had "corroborated my theory that there is no housing crisis in this country".
"There is an accommodation crisis - that is very different.
"I asked him in the ad break 'does it matter when you build your high rise apartment if I happen to buy a whole bunch of them and rent them out to people?'. He said 'no this is not about home ownership, this is about supplying places for people to stay'."
A breakdown of Auckland house prices by Barfoot and Thompson in January shows the average sale price for a three-bedroom dwelling is $913,056. The average rent is $568.
Richardson had a strong message to those complaining about the prices.
"I don't give a rat's ass if you can't afford a house, what I care about is if you can't afford to rent a nice place to stay."
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the public housing waiting list has ballooned to more than 10,000 households - a 73 percent increase in a year.
While the Government has built more than 1100 new state homes since taking power, its efforts with KiwiBuild haven't entirely worked out. In January, interim targets for the scheme were cut after it was announced only 300 houses are expected to be built by July - 700 less than the target.
However, an ASB Housing Confidence Survey found that for the first time in more than five years, more respondents thought it was a good time to buy than a bad time.