We perceive ourselves as intelligent and in many respects we are, but there is a degree of ignorance and – perhaps – arrogance that goes with being a human being as well.
In some respects New Zealanders are quite aware of how lucky this country is to be free of major conflict, still have a relatively pristine environment and good performance in most social indicators. And yet, we are quite far behind – knowingly so in some respects – when it comes how we house ourselves, manage housing for the vulnerable, sick and disadvantaged and hindering our socio-economic performance as a result.
There is something about the housing crisis so fundamental that we cannot help notice, yet seem to be quite content in ignoring:
Anyone can buy a property in New Zealand. You do not have to be a permanent resident or citizen to do so, as is the case in many countries.
In the United States a non American can buy property, but there are strings attached. These are normally involve houses being registered with a residents association or similar and ownership of a property registered such an organization is understood to be an acknowledgement that the owner is expected to comply with their rules.
In China one cannot own land, but rather gain rights to use that land. A person can purchase a house in a designated area after a year or more of studying or working in China.
In Israel the land owned by the Government, Jewish National Fund or the Israeli Land Authority can generally only be purchased by Israeli citizens or Jews. This comprises about 93% of all Israeli land. The 7% that is not owned by one of these bodies is privately owned and in great demand as there are few restrictions.
I have said before and will say again that New Zealand should require people to become permanent residents at least before they can purchase property in this country. In past articles I have shown how New Zealand can take steps to improve the housing crisis here and rather than write it all out again, here it is again.