Four areas where ACT thinks New Zealand is failing

And more interestingly, where we are fooling ourselves into thinking we’re doing ok.

Housing Affordability
Demographia’s International Housing Affordability Survey tells us that New Zealand has the highest ratio (5.2) between house prices and income anywhere bar Australia (where they have a capital gains tax and foreign buyer restrictions).  While a house in the average city of over one million population costs 3.6 years’ income, in Auckland it is 8.2.  The Demographia data covers literally hundreds of housing markets and presents compelling evidence that it is the supply of land that city councils will let you build on that affects affordability.  Auckland’s result is no surprise given Auckland Council’s fetish for forced intensification.


Superannuation Sustainability
Australia, France, Germany, the U.K, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, the U.S. and basically every other developed country is in the process of raising its retirement age, or at least has announced it will.  At the 2006 census New Zealand had five workers per retiree, by the time current students retire there will be only two workers per retiree.  The interesting thing is it’s not really an issue for current or imminent retirees; they’re fairly safe unless there is a radical upheaval.  It is however an issue for the young.  Sadly, John Key’s Prime Ministership will be remembered for delaying the inevitable pension age adjustment as much as for the flag referendum.


Foreign Investment
Despite our general free market credentials we rank 48th/54 for openness to foreign investment (i.e. there are only six countries harder for foreigners to invest in).  Foreigners already see a tiny country with a volatile exchange rate that is expensive to get to, so we pay high interest rates for capital.  Idiotic decisions such as that to block the Lochinver sale for arbitrary political reasons only make our natural capital shortage worse.  We should remove economic considerations from the Overseas Investment Office’s mandate and have them focus only on security.  They know little about economics anyway.


Education Equality
Despite our high overall ranking, we have very high education inequality.  Much of it is split along ethnic lines.  A Statistics New Zealand breakdown of PISA results showed that, if considered as a separate country, European New Zealanders would rank first in the world, Asian 7th, Maori 28th and Pasifika 35th.  We need to do better at providing education that works for all New Zealanders.

No doubt ACT will have the answers.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.