More than 2000 new households in a month have joined the public housing waiting list, which has grown nearly sevenfold in the past five years to 22,409.
In two months from September to November last year the list increased overall by nearly 1000 applicants, with the number coming off it and into new homes continuing to drag well behind.
The latest figures come despite the Government and community housing providers building more public houses than ever before, looking on track to build 2590 new public houses for the year to June - nearly 1000 more than the original target.
Meanwhile, rents and house prices are also continuing to skyrocket across the country.
National's Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis has called the latest figures a "failure" by Labour to get on top of the nation's crippling housing shortage, with the waiting list increasing by 8000 in the past year and nearly quadrupling since Labour entered Government in 2017.
Labour, meanwhile, says it is still playing catch-up after National slashed public housing stock during its tenure.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development showed as of November last year there were 20,275 eligible households deemed Priority A - the most critical, and 2134 as Priority B.
Overall, there are 72,807 households in public housing.
Government public housing provider Kāinga Ora, along with community housing providers, are on track to exceed their original target of building 1600 homes by 1000, by the end of June.
Despite this, demand continues to outstrip supply, with 2006 new entries and just 660 households being taken off the list and housed in November.
Wait times remain similar to previous months, at a median of 152 days.
Demand for wider housing support was also surging.
Close to 370,000 accessed the Accommodation Supplement in November, up from 312,000 a year ago.
Meanwhile, those accessing Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants has dropped substantially from a record of 6283 in May to 5320 in November.
The Ministry of Social Development began charging people in motels and other emergency accommodation 25 per cent of their income in October.
Willis said the latest figures showed a "sad result of Labour's continued failure to get on top of our housing shortage".
"While many of the social houses National planned in Government are now being completed, the Government hasn't kept up the pace to deal with the surging demand. Instead, it has let the situation get completely out of control."
Willis said the private sector needed to be freed up to build more houses to keep up with demand.
Public Housing Minister Poto Williams said one of the "motivating factors" for increasing numbers of people seeking public housing was that the Government had encouraged people to seek help.
"We want to make sure people in need get access to warm, dry, safe accommodation and we've encouraged people to come forward and ask for help.
"This will be one of the motivating factors behind the register increase."
Williams also pinned some of the responsibility on the previous National-led government, which sold off state houses during its tenure.
"The reality is – we're playing catch-up. Where National sold off state houses for nine years, we are building them.
"The stats show that we're projected to exceed our 2020/2021 public housing target of 1,600 with an estimated delivery of 2,484 additional public housing places – this shows that our ambitious public housing programme is continuing to deliver."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week said the previous government needed to take some responsibility for the issues with New Zealand's housing.
"I do acknowledge that under the National government they, in fact, cut the [housing] register so roughly 4500 were taken off it.
"What we have now is a much more accurate picture of need. Imagine the situation had we not continued to increase Government support."
Recently-released figures also show successive governments have spent almost $16.5 million over the past four years on buying seven motels across the country since 2016, which have been converted into emergency housing.
At the same time, the amount of money the Government has been spending on emergency housing grants has increased dramatically to close to $1 million a day.
The latest data from HUD shows $83m had been spent on emergency housing special needs grants in the third quarter of this year.
Across 90 days, that works out to be $922,000 HUD spends a day on emergency housing.