Comments this week by Finance Minister Bill English at a Local Government meeting that I attended "that we might have to get a big ugly" to get more houses built is way off the mark.
Whilst he is correct that many New Zealanders are not on high incomes, it is possible to build good quality housing at relatively low costs if you look at building apartments, good infill and a modest amount of greenfield development.
Wellingtonians and I suspect most New Zealanders are sick and tired of poor quality developments which do little to enhance the local environment and build community.
The Government needs to do much better and focus on all the issues which contribute to making up good housing stock rather than just land supply.
Increasing Building Code requirements and subsidies to help owners green their own homes would be a good start as would assisting the third sector to develop housing projects on the scale that is required.
Photo courtesy of stuff.co.nz