'Regions abandoned' in state housing sell-off - Winston Peters


Newshub can reveal the extent of the Government's state housing sell-off.

Over the last four years, almost 1900 homes have been sold. It's a total of $300 million worth of property, which makes the average sale price per house just $159,000.

They were sold in 61 districts, which span the entire country.

But just 1413 new state homes have been built and they're only in 13 districts - mainly in Auckland and Christchurch.

It means the sell-off has a shortfall of hundreds of houses.

"We keep houses where there's demand for them, but there are some ongoing sales," says Housing NZ Minister Bill English.

NZ First leader Winston Peters doesn't think it's a good enough excuse.

"They're building less homes and you've got a crisis," he says.

The regions are getting hit the hardest by the shortfall.

Mr English denies they're selling out houses from under people.

"About a third of those people will just be waiting - they're in a state house, and they're waiting for a different state house," he says.

Mr Peters says the regions are being abandoned.

"And their social crisis is as important as someone else."

The great majority of houses are being built in Auckland with 206 sold and 556 built - but there's still 2180 on the waiting list.

In Christchurch, there have been 13 sold, 596 built in the post-earthquake period but still 524 on the waiting list.

Mr English says it's following where the demand is but Mr Peters disagrees.

"They have not been building homes for a population that they have massively built-up themselves, from bringing in record immigration numbers," Mr Peters says.

So that's $300 million worth of property sold in four years, and a shortage in virtually every part of New Zealand, even the few parts that have lots of building.

But still the Government says - no housing crisis.