Housing crisis or Green interference?

Guest Post

“Houston, we don’t have a problem …… but Auckland does”


This is a new two bedroom, two bathroom home in the leafy suburbs of Houston, Texas.

You can buy it today for NZ$240,000.  


This is a  five year old house in Portland, Oregon.  It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms in a mid level suburb


It was just sold for NZ$948,000.  One bedroom isn’t going to account for the gap.



1.       Houston has very few planning regulations, few restrictions and Portland has a massive amount of planning law, heavy handed regulation, limited artificial boundaries.

2.       Auckland, in particular, but all of New Zealand is handicapped by heavy handed resource law, too much planning regulation and intrusive, unnecessary local government interference.


Portland is like Auckland.  Heavily regulated.  Too many bureaucrats.   Its houses are up to 8 times more expensive than the equivalent in Houston.

Houses in Houston are built in a shorter time, there is little housing shortage, but they are just as safe, just as secure, just as robust, look just as good.  Portland is a “smart” city, cleverly planned, heavy restrictions on all aspects of subdivision and building.  The city has a huge planning department and a heap of private sector leeches happy to see costs going up at the same pace as we encounter here in Auckland.

Yes, you have heard the calls for Auckland to be a smart city.  Led by the socialist Greens, supported by Labour’s bureaucracy builders, fuelled by the Council captured by its bloated planning department and fanned by an ever growing tribe of planning lawyers, consultants on every aspect of roading, ecology, traffic, geology, water services, recreation, Maori issues, etc etc etc. the costs just keep skyrocketing.   Delays and costs drive shortages and shortages drive pricing.


Similar plans, similar materials, similar floor area, similar size section, similar type suburb, BUT over 4 times the cost.

Until New Zealanders wake up to the unnecessary burden of green planners, the left’s demand for growing bureaucracy we will stay crippled like Portland and in awe of Houston house prices.  It is not complicated.  The evidence is compelling.  Think before you vote.

Owen Jennings.


Ref: The American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

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