New Zealand's Addiction to Land Speculation is its Forever Weakness

— Deceit, Speculation, and Mistrust has long characterised New Zealand’s approach to land-use.

As part of the purchase of Wellington by the New Zealand Company, one tenth of the land titles was to be set aside for Māori. Most of these reserves were never honoured. Source
Eastward view from the centre of New Zealand’s second largest city. Twelve years after Christchurch’s city centre was destroyed by earthquakes — why has large swathes of it not been rebuilt? What is wrong with New Zealand’s land-use incentives?
The above pictures are about the same size parcels of land within a few hundred metres of each other in central Christchurch. The one on the left has an annual property tax bill of over $150,000 while the one on the right pays less than $15,000. Taxing land owners who build at 10 times the rate of non-builders when a city needs to be rebuilt is stupid.

In 2015, Stats NZ found that the median Pākehā had $114,000 in wealth — compared to $12,000 for the median Pasifika, $23,000 for the median Māori and $32,000 for the median Asian.



A collection of essays about cities, housing, land, the built environment, and transport which collectively make the case for New Zealand to implement a wide ranging urbanisation project

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brendon Harre

When cities erect barriers that make it harder to build houses, I think this is landowners lobbying lawmakers so they can earn without toil.