ACT courts the millennial vote

Act Party leader David Seymour at his State of the Nation speech (Jenna Lynch/Newshub)
David Seymour at his State of the Nation speech (Jenna Lynch/Newshub)

David Seymour is banking on millennials to revive the ACT Party's fortunes, saying they're the ones with the most to lose from the Government's current direction.

The problem for Mr Seymour is relatively few of them bother to vote.

 "The failure of young people to vote at the last few elections has been their biggest mistake," Mr Seymour told Newshub.

"The people who are starting to vote, people between 18 and 30, they're going to be around longer for the consequences of this election. They have the greatest interest in voting in it."

At 33, Mr Seymour is arguably a millennial himself. He made his 'State of the Nation' address at midday on Monday which was also streamed over Facebook, putting forward his case why the youth need to vote, and vote ACT.

"Millennials are beaten up for being lazy and drinking too many lattes, but they do have a legitimate case that the rate of home building has halved, and the price of homes relative to income has doubled over the last 30 years."

The speech also laid the party's first election year policy, with their sights firmly on the Resource Management Act.

It would:

  • Supply land and infrastructure in response to demand, including when prices hit a certain level
  • Excempt urban councils, those with more than 100,000 people, from the RMA
  • Introduce new legislation which promotes adequate housing supply
  • Give greater protection for existing property owners by only those directly affected by developments, rather than third parties
  • Provide less restrictive zoning, with fewer levels of zoning and restriction. 

A new report out today claims Auckland, home to a third of Kiwis, is now the world's fourth-most unaffordable city. Median house prices are now 10 times the median household income in the region - historically, it has been three times larger. 

Labour has proposed building 100,000 "affordable" houses in 10 years, half of them in Auckland, and banning non-resident buyers.

While Mr Seymour is all for building more houses - as long as they're not built by the Government - he's opposed to blocking overseas buyers.

"Some people will blame the immigrants and the foreigners," says Mr Seymour.

"You can't just blame foreigners, put in a few more tinkering changes here and there. It's just embarrassing we built twice as many houses in the 1970s as we do now."