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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the government’s housing package as a good step in the right direction.

“In particular, I welcome the government’s commitment of $3.8 billion to build infrastructure and accelerate home building,” he says.

“The cost of infrastructure rather than availability of land is the major constraint Auckland faces in increasing home building. A fair share of this fund for Auckland will help ensure the infrastructure such as roading, water and public open space is in place to enable building to go ahead,” the mayor said.

“Additional funding for Kainga Ora of $2 billion will also facilitate the building of social housing, for which there is a strong need in Auckland.

“Lifting price and income caps for first home buyers will provide some assistance on the margins, but these caps will need regular adjustment to catch up with the pace of house price movements in Auckland.

“I also welcome changes to tilt the playing field more towards first home buyers to counter the disadvantages they have faced when competing with property investors in the market.

“First home buyers can’t deduct their interest rates from their income and this change takes away the advantage that investors had in competing with home buyers.

“The bright line test recognises that income earned from property investment should be taxed in the same way as any other income.

“These measures are positive for the first home buyer but will take time before the benefits are realised,” Phil Goff said.