Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is putting the region's skyrocketing house prices down to a lack of supply.
In the first two months of this year, the average house price in the Manawatū-Whanganui region increased by $42,000, or $700 a day, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
"We need to see more development generally," Ardern told the Chronicle while in Whanganui on Thursday.
"We need more houses for everybody - not just social housing, but housing that's available on the private market. In some places, we're just not seeing that happening as much as we need."
Asked if she wanted house prices to fall, Ardern instead said that she wanted homes to be "affordable".
"You've got to remember, the person looking for a house today is a homeowner in a weeks time. That becomes their most important asset.
"Yes, we want houses to be accessible and we want people to be able to afford them, we want their wages to meet the housing cost that they have, but if we have a situation where we have a housing bubble that bursts, that affects people too."
Ardern said she was backing the Whanganui and Taranaki district health boards to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable communities.
She said the importance of reaching New Zealand's most vulnerable communities couldn't be understated.
"We're not all going to be safe until we've done everything we can to reach as many as we can. That includes in rural and isolated communities," Ardern said.
"Here in Whanganui, I see they're outstripping their own targets at the moment which is fantastic."
However, the reality is slightly different in Taranaki, with around 700 fewer doses of the vaccine administered compared to Whanganui, despite the region having double the population.
Ardern said there wasn't a stock issue but it was simply differing targets from individual health boards.
"Each DHB is setting their expectation of what they believe they'll deliver at each stage, but of course, ultimately what matters is how we finish and where we finish."
Local government review
Ardern was asked about the future of local government in the region, particularly for smaller councils such as Rangitīkei and Ruapehu.
Ardern said that there is a large amount of work going on in the local government and that the government had engaged proactively with local leaders.
"We've answered their calls actually when we started the three waters work. Some councils said water services were a big part of what they do.
"Now's the time for the conversation of, if that's going to change substantively, let's talk about the role of local government in service of their communities beyond just asset management and infrastructure investment."