The BulletinNovember 16, 2023

Bank CEO worries home ownership ‘preserve of the rich’ as migrant arrivals hit record high


Migration data points to a record high net migration gain. A bank CEO is worried about the impact on housing affordability, and Auckland classrooms are bursting at the seams, writes Anna Rawhiti-Connell in this excerpt from The Bulletin, The Spinoff’s morning news round-up. To receive The Bulletin in full each weekday, sign up here.

ANZ Australia CEO warns home ownership ‘has become the preserve of the rich’

ANZ Australia and ANZ New Zealand released their profit results this week. In Australia, the bank unveiled a $7.4b profit, while here, it increased its cash profit by 10% in the year to September 30 to $2.262b. Speaking to The Australian (paywalled), Australian CEO Shayne Elliot said lending regulations had helped make it the most difficult environment in 30 years to get approved for a mortgage and warned the Australian dream of home ownership “has become the preserve of the rich”.

‘I hope it doesn’t mean you have to be rich or have well-off parents to be able to own your own home in New Zealand’

In a subsequently reported email to BusinessDesk (paywalled), ANZ NZ’s CEO, Antonia Watson, said she shared Elliot’s concerns about New Zealand. Watson cited many factors, including high immigration, high construction costs and tight lending regulations, that she says risk creating “a tipping point for home ownership” in New Zealand, just as was occurring in Australia. “I hope it doesn’t mean you have to be rich or have well-off parents to be able to own your own home in New Zealand,” Watson said. “This is a serious issue about the social and economic fabric of New Zealand that I hope the incoming government addresses.”

Migrant arrivals hit record high

Stats NZ released international migration statistics yesterday. The 237,100 migrant arrivals are the highest on record for an annual period. People are leaving New Zealand in record high numbers (118,200) too, likely heading off on OEs after the pandemic restrained travel plans. Overall, though, the net migration gain of 118,800 people in the September 2023 year is also a record high. Migration-driven population growth has more than doubled compared to pre-Covid levels.’s Dan Brunskill has a good report this morning on the now-familiar $100b infrastructure deficit, housing and our increasing population.

Auckland schools gain more than 8000 pupils this year

As RNZ reported a fortnight ago, Auckland schools have gained more than 8000 pupils this year, the biggest jump in 20 years. The Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) is concerned about high immigration putting pressure on the education system. Most of the new students in Auckland have parents on residence or work visas. Rangitoto College principal Patrick Gale says that the Ministry of Education had failed to warn schools of growth. The extended interview on Nine to Noon with Gale and PPTA acting president Chris Abercrombie is worth a listen too. It’s a good insight into the issues roll unpredictability creates and our frustrating inability to plan for the future.

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