Privatisation is still on National’s agenda, and Winston opposes them. The so-called ‘Social Housing’ changes to state housing as the only provider, is an indicator that National wants out of public housing. It will privatise state housing gradually by selling off thousands of state housing units. National’s 2008 policy which has not officially changed, is to replace a house for everyone sold. National sold off at least 15,000 houses during the Bolger/Shipley era. These have not been replaced. Thousands more state houses are given to immigrants and refugees. NZ citizens are having to wait in line, many living in garages and sub-standard houses.The government should supply immigrants and refugees houses bought from the private sector – not from Housing NZ stock. Labour/Greens will need to initiate a state house building program for the next 15 years to get house numbers up to speed, and to provide low interest mortgages for first home buyers.
This house building program will create jobs as well. Foreign labour may be necessary until an apprenticeship scheme can train tradesmen needed for the building program. A few more Irishmen may be needed in the short term.