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Housing costs soaring: Labour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016 Sean Martin

One in five Kiwis are spending more than half their pay cheque on rent or a mortgage, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

The opposition has released new housing statistics that show the average Auckland family's housing costs have risen by almost 50 per cent in just under a decade.

Mr Little says since 2008 rent or mortgage costs have risen by $140 a week in Auckland and $90 a week across the whole of New Zealand.

The average New Zealander is paying $16,533 in housing costs compared to $11,967 in 2008.

In Auckland the numbers have jumped from $15,372 to $22,649 a year.

"These accommodation costs don't get picked up in the CPI ... when the government says CPI's less than one per cent, average wage growth is just over one per cent, hey ho, everybody's happy," he told TV3's Paul Henry programme.

"So there are real living costs that people are having to pick up that aren't picked up in the official statistics and show that life is getting harder."

Mr Little's figures, which are based on Statistics New Zealand data, date back to 2008 when National first entered government, but he admitted the housing problem goes back further than that and solutions should have started sooner.

Labour has pledged to build 100,000 new affordable homes for first homebuyers over 10 years and invest in more state houses to fix the problem.

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