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PM defends Govt's record after housing crisis inquiry launched

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government believes in giving all Kiwis a warm, dry and affordable home to live in. 

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Jacinda Ardern says the Government is "scaling up" the construction of houses. Source: Breakfast

It comes as the Human Rights Commission has announced a national inquiry into New Zealand’s housing crisis and revealed a national framework outlining the right to a decent home.

Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt says successive governments bear responsibility for the current housing crisis, with accessible healthy homes becoming less and less attainable.

The Commission says its guidelines will help clarify what the right to a decent home means in New Zealand. 

Ardern told Breakfast the Human Rights Commission was free to do any investigation they wanted. 

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It says successive Governments are responsible for denying people's right to a decent home as it launched a national inquiry. Source: 1 NEWS

“We wouldn’t be pulling every single lever we have in housing if we did not agree that everyone should have a warm, dry home,” she said. 

“We have not achieved that status for New Zealanders yet. I’m not going to argue with that.” 

Ardern said building houses took time, but that the Government was granting more consents “than ever before in New Zealand”. 

“When I look at the record of what we’ve done, 8000 houses to date, 18,000 on the cards - we are scaling up as quickly as we can.” 

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Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt explains why the agency is calling the housing crisis a human rights emergency. Source: 1 NEWS

Hunt, who appeared on Breakfast before Ardern, said the Government hadn’t kept its promise to provide adequate housing. 

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"It's really important that there is a proper understanding of what a right to a decent home means, it's not just a bumper sticker, it's not just a one-liner, it's not just a slogan - it means something substantive," he said.

When asked specifically about the current Labour-led Government, Hunt credited the $3.8 billion investment announced this year as "a good start", but added more work was needed. The Housing Acceleration Fund was set up to speed up the pace and scale of home building.

Jacinda Ardern. Source: Breakfast

Quotable Value figures from last week suggest house price growth could be levelling off.