Why are we building all these houses?

Chris Skelton/Fairfax NZ

In my recent trip north, I observed for myself the enormous number of new houses being built everywhere, especially in the Auckland region, which prompted me to ask the question of whether or not we actually need Kiwibuild at all.

Now I am wondering whether we are going to actually need all of the new houses, as migration rates are lowering dramatically, and more Kiwis are actually leaving the country to make their fortunes elsewhere.

RNZ ?reports: quote.

Migration has fallen to its lowest level in three years in New Zealand in the past year.

Official figures show migration eased to 61,800 in the year that ended in October, because more people left and fewer arrived.

“Although migrant departures continue to be the driving force behind falling annual net migration, October also had a noticeable fall in the number of migrant arrivals,” Stats NZ senior manager Brooke Theyers said.

“Both trends helped bring annual net migration to its lowest level since the year ended September 2015.” end quote.

It is tempting to say that this outflow is due entirely to Winston gifting the election to Labour, but it is not as simple as that. As the world, and particularly the Australian economy improves, Kiwis were always going to start leaving again. What is concerning is that fewer people want to come and live here. Personally, I can understand the reason for that, as the Coalition of Losers turns us into the Venezuela of the South Pacific, but I thought that the world media was painting a glowing picture of New Zealand since the female equivalent of the Messiah came to power.

Perhaps people can see through the media garbage after all.

But back to the houses. With housing for about 10,000 residents under construction at Millwater and nearly 24,000 in progress in South Auckland, you do have to wonder if we have finally reached ‘peak house’. That doesn’t include housing developments in other parts of the country, notably the Taranaki region, which is a complete joke because the government has just killed the main industry in that region. Who exactly is going to want to live there when there are no jobs? quote.

Immigration has been declining since last year, as students and visitors on working holidays head back home, while fewer New Zealanders have returned.

High immigration levels have been a key factor driving domestic economic activity.

“We expect that migration will continue to ease back over the next few years, pulling population growth down in the process,” Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said. end quote.

This government said it wanted to reduce immigration, and it seems to have achieved that. Not by a well thought out plan, though. They just made the country a lot less attractive, decimated a couple of industries, did a lot of virtue signalling, and immigration is down. Voil?. New Zealand is no longer a desirable place to live by world standards.

So the question we now have to ask is – why did Labour campaign so hard on Kiwibuild and then, when it got into power, why did it carry on with its promise to buy build 10,000 houses a year when it must have quickly become obvious to them that enough houses were under construction already?

Kiwibuild is the biggest white elephant this country has ever seen. All it does is to provide jobs for people as PR consultants. What is going to happen when the demand for housing falls away dramatically, as will happen as immigration falls further? The government will find itself guaranteeing large numbers of houses for developers that no one wants to buy.

Maybe that is where MBIE got its figure of $18 billion as the true cost of Kiwibuild.