'We have to try everything we can' - Government 'exploring all the options' to ease housing costs for first-home buyers

The government is exploring schemes to ease pressure on first home buyers, with ideas such as shared equity to give a helping hand into the housing market. 

On RNZ's Morning Report today, Ms Ardern was asked why Labour's affordable home price point went up by $50,000 to $650,000 from Labour's election promise. 

"In the time we did the modelling for price points, which was two years ago, in that time building costs have risen by five per cent and the cost of land has risen as well."

She said it was still "significantly lower" than market rate in places such as Auckland. 

When asked by Guyon Espiner if the deposit for a $650,000 home was realistic for a Kiwi family, Ms Ardern said shared equity and ways to break down barriers for the first home buyer were being looked at, as well as speaking to the banking community. 

She reiterated this, telling media the government have "been exploring the options available there, whether or not you have some upfront equity taken on by a third party to ease some of the upfront costs for that first home buyer ". 

When asked if that third party would be the government, Ms Ardern again said they were "exploring all the options". 

"We are looking at shared equity, and other options, to try and make it as accessible as possible but the alternative is to do nothing and we’re not accepting that.

"We are… trying to do everything we can to even break some of the barriers that exist for deposits by looking at a range of different options to support those first home buyers". 

"We have to try everything we can."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they are looking at if some equity could be taken on by a third party. Source: 1 NEWS



Four teenagers charged with aggravated robbery of Taumarunui pizza store using sawn-off gun

Four 16-year-olds have been charged over an aggravated robbery of a pizza store in Taumarunui last week.

Two of the teens were also charged with unlawful possession of an offensive weapon, and one with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police say around 8pm on Friday four males wearing balaclavas entered Mr Pizza on Hakiaha Street armed with a sawn-off firearm.

The group allegedly stole a sum of money from the cash register before leaving.

"Police yesterday executed two search warrants in response to information from the public," Senior Sergeant Grant Alabaster says.

"Items including clothing and a firearm were located at one of the properties.

"It is rare to have a serious incident such as this occur in Taumarunui and I'd like to thank all those who assisted police with our enquiries."

All four have been charged with aggravated robbery and will appear in Taumarunui Youth Court on Wednesday 16 May.

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Most watched: Heartbroken Canterbury farmer weeps as his cows are taken for slaughter, amid Mycoplasma bovis

Note: This story first ran on Tuesday May 15

Frank Peters struggled to contain his emotions as he talked about sending 670 cows to their deaths as the Mycoplasma bovis disease spreads. Source: 1 NEWS

A Canterbury farmer wept today as he watched a truck load of his dairy cows taken away for slaughter as part of a cull sparked by the spread of the cow disease Mycoplasma bovis in parts of the country.

None of Frank Peters' cows has tested positive for the disease, but some had raised antibodies and his herd of 670 cows will be killed.

Mr Peters knew this was coming, but it still hurts him and he had to momentarily break off an interview with 1 NEWS to contain his emotions.

Frank Peters says having to cull his stock is an overreaction. Source: 1 NEWS

"Yeah it does. It doesn't matter what you say, nobody can say anything," he said.

"But it is what it is. As farmers we move on. It's still taking a bit. The scars won't go away no matter what. They'll never go away. The thing is when people come along and make decisions, the things that are beyond your control, it does hurt and it continues to hurt."

The cull has been ordered by the Ministry of Primary Industries and so far more than 22,000 cattle have been killed.

The total could reach up to 60,000.

"I still want these guys to stop. The thing is there's no need, it's just senseless killing," Mr Peters said.

He said Mycoplasma bovis has been in many other countries and has been controlled in them. 

"Farmers need to turn around and actually stand up and stand up together, because at this moment in time this government needs to make that decision and stop this process," he said.

"Don't be scared of this disease. There is nothing to be scared about. If you are a bloody good farmer you won't have a problem with it," Mr Peters said. 

The disease was yesterday confirmed at a farm in Waikato for the first time, taking the total to 39 properties, but the number is expected to rise as testing continues.