New Zealand has a massive deficit in state housing, but is that all National’s fault? Max Rashbrooke runs the numbers.
It has become a truth universally acknowledged, at least on the left, that the last time National was in power, its only interest in state houses lay in selling them off. But did it really?
For a long time, the actual facts were obscured by a fog of data uncertainty. You’d think public housing numbers would be a simple matter: either the state owns a specific home or it doesn’t. But dwellings can be tenanted or empty, rented at subsidised or market rates, transferred to charities to run or kept firmly within the state. They can be sold, bought, demolished or leased.
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