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PM defends housing record after poor poll

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016
Prime minister John Key is on Christmas holidays in Hawaii. © SNPA/David Alexander Prime minister John Key is on Christmas holidays in Hawaii.

The prime minister is defending the government's record on housing after a poll found most felt it wasn't doing enough to control the market.

A Newshub-Reid Research poll found 76 per cent of respondents said not enough was being done to rein in house prices.

But John Key said the government had been working on a range of measures although that appeared to be falling on deaf ears.

"As a government you can say things lots of time but sometimes it doesn't register ... we have to do a better job of explaining that," he told the Paul Henry programme.

He said housing had been the dominant issue in recent months but pointed to a big jump in construction consents, the creation of special housing areas in Auckland and a building boom as evidence it was not sitting on its hands.

"To say we have done nothing in the last few years is absolutely not true.

"There is quite a lot happening."

Auckland's property market has been hot as a shortage of supply and rapid inbound migration pushed up prices, stoking concerns about the affordability of housing.

Average house prices in the city rose by 16.5 per cent in the year to April with Quotable Value saying the average price of a home in the region was $942,760.

The government and the Reserve Bank last year introduced measures to try and cool the city's property market.

Mr Key played down expectations that Thursday's budget will tackle the problem.

"There are things in the budget tomorrow in various different forms for housing, but I don't want to overstate that because it is not the number one focus of the budget."

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