Property investors may be missing out on other, more lucrative sectors

Kiwis are still buying millions in property as an investment, but experts say that other sectors have actually performed better than even Auckland's housing market.

Newly-released figures show real estate loans make up 87 per cent of total individual debt for Kiwis.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub says people still seem to prefer a solid asset over something they can't physically see.

"There's a lot of uncertainty around what a sharemarket is, because a proportional ownership in lots of different businesses that feels quite removed from owning the security of a physical object like a house," he said.

"You can touch it, you can feel it, it's something that you know and you can live in.

"More often than not we don't have any debt against our share purchases, but for houses we can take out big mortgages and the equity gains for the home owner is in fact much bigger than what we see in sharemarkets."

Median house prices in our main cities have shot up recently, but the stock market is having an excellent run as well, according to Jeremy Hanlon of

"The NZX50 has actually outperformed the housing market in Auckland by around 50 per cent," he said.

"Just like for like, putting your money in to the sharemarket has paid off better. It's that leverage that sort of changes the game.

"You just look at the performance of other investment opportunities and it just makes you wonder if everyone is making a level-headed decision."

Mr Eaqub also had a warning for those who could not see past the allure of property investments.

"There is no one-way bet when it comes to asset prices going up or down."

“Like for like [investing in] the sharemarket has paid off better” than the Auckland property market, says’s Jeremy O’Hanlon. Source: 1 NEWS

Tobacco smuggled out of Wellington factory sold on social media

Police are warning they'll come down hard on people buying and selling stolen tobacco products after much of a haul worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was sold on social media.

Two staff members have admitted stealing around $120,000 worth of products each from a Wellington tobacco factory. Source: 1 NEWS

The warning comes as violent robberies increase and fuel the tobacco black market. 

"It's an offense if you buy stolen products. Like, if a deal is too good to be true, it is too good to be true," said Inspector Bronwyn Marshall of Wellington Police. 

The product usually ends up overseas, but in a case that's seen four men in the Hutt Valley District Court, most of the stolen goods were sold locally on social media. 

Workers at the Imperial Tobacco factory in Petone have admitted stealing tobacco products.

The tobacco wasn't taken in a robbery, but in an inside job by 10 staff members and an associate. 

Yesterday, four of those 10 appeared in court.

Two staff members have admitted stealing around $120,000 worth of products each.

"CCTV footage shows the defendants working together to remove a large number of sports bags full of tobacco products from the site," a police officer told the court.

Three workers were caught on CCTV smuggling the tobacco out in black bags. One was seen making inserts into bags and hallowing out a loaf of bread to hide the product.

Another is a security guard who helped get the product out of the factory.

The Imperial Tobacco factory has been labelled a good employer in the past and jobs there are sought after.

Those who appeared yesterday will be sentenced in November.

Two other members of the group, including another security guard, have name suppression. 


Horowhenua's new mayor refuses to enter 'cracked' council building

Horowhenua's incoming mayor is off to a shaky start, refusing to enter the council building.

Michael Feyen believes the Horowhenua District Council building is unsafe and could be an earthquake risk.

"It's a health and safety issue as far as I'm concerned," Mr Feyen told 1 NEWS.

The mayor-elect first raised concerns about the council building a-year-and-a half ago, when he filmed footage in the basement. 

In that footage, he pointed out "definite cracks" in the floor and said, "the building is obviously dropping on one side". 

He called for an independent structural assessment to be done to prove it's not an earthquake risk. 

"One would expect if you have those concerns, express it to a CEO and they would look at it. But it just hasn't happened," Mr Feyen said today. 

The council's chief executive, David Clapperton, says two reports have already been done, both indicating the building is safe. 

"I've given assurance on a number of occasions that this building is safe and sound. My position has not changed because the mayor elect has an opinion on the structural integrity," Mr Clapperton said. 

With Mr Feyen refusing to enter the building, his swearing in and possibly even the first council meeting have been moved to the local library.

However, it's now known that was also a project by the same company behind the council buildings.

The company has also rejected the claims, saying they are confident in the engineering work on the building. 

Mr Feyen said: "If the structural engineers say 'well, you definitely had a right to give us a call but we think it'll be all right, or this and that needs doing' so be it. I stand by that"

The decision on whether another report is done will be made by the council. 

Michael Feyen just wants an answer so he can get into the building and get on with the job. 

Michael Feyen believes there is an earthquake risk but the council’s CEO has brushed aside his concerns, reassuring staff. Source: 1 NEWS