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Dunne wants a national housing conference

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/05/2016

Peter Dunne is calling for a national housing conference, but the government doesn't believe there's a crisis to solve.

The United Future Party leader says there's too much sniping between National and Labour, and too few solutions are being proposed to deal with the shortage.

Mr Dunne's idea would need cross-party support, and National is the odd one out.

Party leaders from Labour, the Greens, NZ First, the Maori Party, ACT and Mr Dunne all said there was a housing crisis when they were interviewed by Newshub.

Housing Minister Nick Smith disagreed.

"I do not accept that New Zealand has a housing crisis, we have challenges," he said.

"Hyping it up as a crisis is helping nobody."

Mr Dunne says the fundamental goal should be to ensure a family that earns a steady income can be able to save for a reasonable period of time and be in a position to put a deposit on a house.

"The situation in Auckland is the most obvious expression of our national housing problem, but home availability and affordability for young families is by no means just an Auckland problem."

Mr Dunne says the only way to achieve a lasting solution is for central and local government, the home building industry, the banks, the Reserve Bank and the social housing sector to work together.

"Treating this as a political football will only take us so far - it's time for a more innovative way of building solutions to this pressing issue."

Mr Dunne says the conference would need to consider ways to increase the supply of residential land, what the capacity of the building industry is, how that capacity can best be utilised, how the banks can develop viable financing packages and the roles of central and local government.

"It's only through having a broad-based discussion with these key groups that we can meaningfully develop consensus solutions for our people," Mr Dunne said.

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