Delivering affordable housing is one of Australia’s biggest challenges and opportunities. This was the message from New Zealand’s former prime minister, the Rt Hon Sir John Key.
During his eight years in the top job, Key pursued an ambitious reform agenda and won three elections – an achievement that most world leaders would look at with envy. Key steered his country through the global financial crisis and a series of devastating earthquakes in its second-biggest city, Christchurch.
He says the biggest lesson from the Christchurch earthquakes was that affordable housing is dependent on land supply.
“Australia has had 28 years of uninterrupted growth – the longest growth spurt of any developed economy in the world. But that growth has masked more and more bureaucracy and regulation,” Key said.
Our challenge in Australia is to “strip away that bureaucracy to make planning quicker and more affordable”.
“Australia should absolutely be pro-migration,” Key said. “If you want to win the argument about migration, you’ve got to be able to deliver the infrastructure and the property people need”.
Think policy doesn’t matter? Look at South and North Korea, Key said. “South Korea has the world’s fifth highest incomes per GDP, North Korea has the lowest. They have the same piece of land, the same genetics, and more natural resources in the North. The different is good institutions and good policy.”
Learn more about John Key’s thoughts on bold leadership in an era of distrust in Property Australia.