The Christchurch earthquakes have left many residents in a state of limbo over their lives, homes, jobs and insurance. New Zealand First MPs have inspected the damage and listened to people trying to recover from the disasters. As a result we have put forward policies to help those struggling to cope. These include providing bridging finance for people in the red zone, ‘licence to occupy’ retirement units being given the same value as unit holders, establishing a government-backed insurer and regulating rents immediately. Rents should be regulated for as long as necessary to ensure the stability of the market and a fair and reasonable cost to tenants. We believe that our policies offer some constructive, practical ideas for improvement.
- We are keeping in touch with residents and community leaders to keep abreast of problems.
- We are also in contact with the minister and CERA to press for prompt action and fairness in dealing with issues as they arise.
- Red zone purchases: Many residents are being left severely out of pocket because the rating valuation of their properties is not high enough to purchase another house. New Zealand First wants concessionary bridging finance up to $100,000 for people in this position for 10 years - at zero or concessionary interest - repayable upon sale or other disposition of the land.
- Retirement units (licences to occupy): We want the same value given to these unit holders as the rest of the red zone, as though they had an interest in the land and the unit, on the basis that the purchase be funded by (a) the complex owner under contract (as at present), and (b) the government to make up the balance.
- Insurance: New Zealand First would establish Kiwi Insurance as a government backed insurer.
- Residential rent crisis: Our policy is to regulate rents in Christchurch immediately for as long as necessary to ensure the stability of the market and fair and reasonable rents.