The Spinoff Editorial Board rules on whether Nick Smith was right when he said housing is more affordable in Auckland now than when National came to power.
This morning, Housing Minister Nick Smith made the following statement on Morning Report:
“If you look at the Massey University Housing Affordability Index, independently produced by that university, actually housing affordability in Auckland and every other market in New Zealand is actually more affordable now than when National came to Government.”
In response to Smith’s eye-catching quote, The Spinoff hastily convened a meeting of its editorial board. The board noted the recent tendency toward young people dissolving into terrified sobs at the thought of trying to buy a house in Auckland. It considered evidence suggesting the median deposit for an average Auckland house is now roughly equal to the GDP of Palmerston North, and still growing by the cost of several 42-inch plasma TVs per week.
But were the young people wrong? Could it be they were possessed by a collective derangement, and that houses were actually affordable, provided they could kick their unsustainable addictions to Sky TV?
To inform its opinion, the Board contacted Dr Susan Flint-Hartle, an author of the Massey University Housing Affordability Index cited by Dr Smith, to query whether his statement was correct. This was her response:
When considering whether Nick Smith was correct in his statement to Morning Report, it is important to note that he was not correct, and was, most likely, just making stuff up.
It is the unanimous judgement of the board that Nick Smith was very wrong on the radio
It is so ordered