The last Labour government should have started collecting better data on who's buying up Auckland property, says former deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen.
Sir Michael, who was a Labour minister of finance from 1999 to 2008, said it was good the country was going to have some better information soon when the National-led government begins collecting more data.
"It's a pity we haven't done that and I accept that probably the last Labour government should have done more in that regard," he told Q+A today.
He said if a lot of people offshore were buying into the Auckland market, then that would be a factor in pushing prices up.
"Now, of course, if we were better able to address the supply issue of more houses, then that wouldn't be quite so important, but in the current context of constrained supply, then that does become the important issue."
And Sir Michael maintained that the reaction Labour's data showing 40 percent of Auckland house sales between February and April were to people with Chinese surnames wasn't xenophobic.
"If it was, I'd be deeply concerned."