Ardern and Collins quarrel over housing crisis as Parliament returns

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Opposition leader Judith Collins traded jabs over housing in their speeches in Parliament today. 

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Ardern said she would "forever find it galling to be lectured by the leader of the Opposition" on housing. Source: 1 NEWS

"House prices rose 25 per cent nationally under the Labour Government before Covid-19 hit, now it is 37 per cent," Collins said. 

"Under Labour, the state house waiting doubled before the pandemic. Now it has tripled."

"Since Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister, the average house has earned more than the average worker. It’s a sad state of affairs, and it needs fixing right away.

"We now have more than 360,000 people receiving the accommodation supplement. More than half of the entire rental market is having some of their rent paid by the taxpayer. We can’t go on this way," Collins said. 

In Ardern's speech, she told the House she would "forever find it galling to be lectured by the leader of the Opposition who left us a housing crisis, denied it was a housing crisis, and I have to say, whose major response to that housing crisis was to sell state houses to cut the public housing waiting list". 

"On the one thing that would make all the difference, planning, they did absolutely nothing. 

Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand earlier this month shows New Zealand's median house price increased by 19.8 per cent from $605,000 in October last year to $725,000 this October. In Auckland in October, the city's median house price hit a record $1 million.

Ardern also thanked New Zealand "for the honour and the privilege to be back here". 

"This is, in this 53rd Parliament, the most diverse Parliament we have ever had and that's because New Zealanders have chosen to reflect who we are as a nation in this House of Representatives. 

"We will be a Government for all New Zealanders," she said.