Hous­ing, poverty con­cerns

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - DANIELLE CLENT

The ma­jor­ity of can­di­dates stand­ing in He­lensville agree hous­ing and poverty are big is­sues for the elec­torate.

How­ever, when it came to the so­lu­tions, the can­di­dates were split.

Sug­ges­tions in­cluded rais­ing the min­i­mum wage, ban­ning for­eign buy­ers and re­mov­ing Auck­land from the Re­source Man­age­ment Act.

ACT Party can­di­date Alex Evans said hous­ing was the big­gest is­sue it faced – and it had stemmed from poverty.

He said the party would build more houses by re­mov­ing big cities from the Re­source Man­age­ment Act and cre­at­ing a tai­lored Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment leg­is­la­tion.

Bren­dan Whyte of the Con­ser­va­tive Party said the elec­torate def­i­nitely had a hous­ing prob­lem.

Whyte said to fix the hous­ing is­sue, the party wanted to re­duce im­mi­gra­tion lev­els, pro­hibit for­eign­ers from own­ing res­i­den­tial land and dis­cour­age land­bankers.

Labour’s can­di­date Kurt Tao­gaga said He­lensville was for­tu­nate that it wasn’t suf­fer­ing from poverty as much as other Auck­land elec­torates – but it didn’t mean peo­ple weren’t struggling.

He said his party would build 50,000 af­ford­able homes through­out Auck­land to help peo­ple into the prop­erty mar­ket.

Na­tional Party can­di­date Chris Penk said the diver­sity in the elec­torate meant there was nat­u­rally a vary­ing level of hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity and eco­nomic cir­cum­stances.

To help peo­ple liv­ing in poverty, Penk said the most im­por­tant thing was to en­sure that the econ­omy con­tin­ued to grow.

Green party can­di­date Hay­ley Holt said the ris­ing cost of hous­ing was one of the main driv­ers of poverty.

Holt said her party would put in place a rent-to­buy scheme and raise the min­i­mum wage.

While NZ First’s He­len Peter­son said she had seen an un­prece­dented num­ber of houses be­ing built in the elec­torate, sales had slowed.

She said more af­ford­able houses needed to be put in place as towns such as He­lensville and Parakai had high lev­els of poverty.

CAL­LUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF

The Special Hous­ing Area at 155 Rautawhiri Rd, He­lensville.

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