National has questioned why the new Government has commissioned experts to provide a stocktake of housing – saying official advice will confirm the market is flat to falling.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford has announced he has commissioned three experts to carry out the stocktake – economist Shamubeel Eaqub, University of Otago public health professor and director of the Housing and Health Research Programme Philippa Howden-Chapman and senior policy analyst for the Salvation Army Alan Johnson.
Declaring "three years of spin and denial are over", Twyford said the report would be delivered before Christmas, and provide figures on homelessness, the state of the rental market, and the decline of home ownership.
"The Labour-led Government is already pushing ahead quickly with initiatives to make housing more affordable and healthy, including banning overseas speculators, passing the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, cancelling the state house sell-off, and setting up KiwiBuild," Twyford said.
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"This report will help the Government refine and focus that work where it is most needed."
National's housing spokesman Michael Woodhouse labelled the work "smoke and mirrors", and said Twyford had decided the answers being provided by officials didn't fit his narrative.
"The views of those asked to write the report are well known. If the Housing Minister wants to read them he can look them up," Woodhouse said.
"Government officials from agencies including the Treasury, Housing New Zealand, Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment have developed a comprehensive plan on housing issues ranging from increasing supply to growing the social housing sector and that's working.
"The housing market is flat to falling and we are in the middle of a record residential building boom. The solutions were implemented by the previous Government based on official advice and they are working."