New Housing Policies and Tourism
Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
New Housing Policies and Tourism
Monday 29th March, 2021
New Housing Policies (announced by the Government on the 23rd March 2021)
Here it is in brief:-
- Bright-line test doubled to 10 years (previously 5 years) with an exemption to incentivise new builds.
- Interest deductibility loophole removed for future investors and phased out on existing residential investments. This is perhaps the most controversial.
- More Kiwis able to access First Home Grants and Loans with increased income caps and higher house price caps in targeted areas.
- $3.8 billion fund to accelerate housing supply in the short term.
- Govt to support Kainga Ora (Government’s Housing Provider) to borrow $2 billion extra to begin land acquisition programme to boost housing supply.
- Apprenticeship Boost initiative extended to further support trades and trades training.
If you would like to read some succinct ‘expert’ commentary go to the NZ Initiative here.
POV. A basic need for all people everywhere is a warm, dry and decent house to live in. To emphasise it is a need as opposed to a want. It then follows that those houses should be affordable either as a rental or owner-occupied. For those who can’t afford an affordable house then in a welfare state like NZ, the Government should either provide that affordable house or assist in some way. Sadly that is far from the case in NZ. As at this moment we need 100,000 houses in NZ (and climbing) and so called affordability is in fact less and less affordable for a growing group of hard working kiwi’s. These new measures above may or may not help. Personally, I am not holding my breath.
What could we do as churches and Christian organisations? We have about 3000 church properties in NZ with acres and acres of car parks, lawns and spare land. We have Christian camps up and down the country with pieces of land that could be carved off for social housing. Sure a few bureaucratic hops to get through but hang that is the least of our worries, surely?
What we need is some creative thinking and a whole lot of good old fashioned ‘guts’.
Tourism by the Numbers
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism made a huge contribution to the New Zealand economy:
- Total annual tourism expenditure was $41.9 billion – $115 million per day.
- Annual international tourism expenditure was $17.5 billion – $48 million per day.
- Annual domestic tourism expenditure was $24.4 billion – $67 million per day.
- Total annual tourism expenditure had increased by almost $15 billion, or 55%, in the past seven years.
- Tourism was New Zealand’s biggest export industry, contributing 20.1% of total exports.
- Tourism generated a direct annual contribution to GDP of $16.4 billion, or 5.5%, and a further indirect contribution of $11.3 billion, another 3.8% of New Zealand’s total GDP.
- 225,384 people are directly and another 158,802 indirectly employed in tourism in New Zealand – 13.6% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand.
- The annual GST paid by tourists is $3.9 billion, including $1.8 billion collected from international visitors.
Source: Statistics NZ Tourism Satellite Account year ended March 2019 (issued December 2020).
POV. Crickey this is a lot of money and a lot of holiday makers roaming our streets, eating at our 9000 or so cafes and restaurants and generally spending a lot of money as in $115million A DAY. My guess is that this is only going to increase when the borders open and international travel resumes pretty much as it did prior to Covid-19. This helps me understand why the Government is working hard to balance the health of all NZ’ers (from the virus) yet enable the tourism industry to operate as best as they are able.
I found it interesting that in a TV1 poll last week Wednesday, a whopping 42% of Kiwi’s felt the Government needs to toughen up at the border. The folks who responded that way probably don’t work in the tourism industry. But that said, I acknowledge it is a complex issue and I am certainly no expert in these things.