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Green Party warns of potential teacher shortage

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/01/2017
Metiria Turei © Phil Walter/Getty Images Metiria Turei

As students start heading back to school this week the Green Party is warning of a potential shortage of teachers.

The rising cost of housing means homes are now "severely unaffordable" for many teachers and the risk is many will be forced to leave cities like Auckland in favour of cheaper alternatives, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says.

Currently the median house price in Auckland is 14 times an average teacher's income.

"That means some teachers will have to choose between having the chance to buy their own home or the career they've trained for and are passionate about," she said.

"With our population growing we need more people to choose teaching as a profession, not fewer."

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand housing is "severely unaffordable" for teachers in 11 of 13 regions.

The exceptions are Manawatu/Wanganui and Southland.

Ms Turei has called on the government to build more affordable homes, offer rent-to-buy options for low income earners, a capital gains tax on properties excluding the family home and to close negative gearing loopholes for foreign speculators.

"The government must bring the house price to income ratio back to a reasonable level carefully over several years, by using all the tools available," she said.

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