Chlöe Swarbrick

PHOTO: Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick. Photo credit: Newshub / Zane Small

The Greens, National and ACT are collectively outraged over Labour repeatedly shooting down requests for a briefing on house price forecasting.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick, who sits on Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee [FEC], has twice sought a briefing from Treasury officials on how it creates its advice on house price forecasting.

She says it’s important because in 2020, Treasury predicted a house price fall, which informed Government and Reserve Bank decisions that, instead, saw house prices increase an historic 25 percent in one year.

But Labour members voted down Swarbrick’s request – not once, but twice. Labour is traditionally the Green Party’s closest ally, but in this case, Swarbrick has the support of right-wing parties National and ACT.

“This shouldn’t be partisan. It’s about the quality and kind of advice given by officials to inform our central bank and Government’s decisions,” Swarbrick told Newshub.

“FEC has the parliamentary function to scrutinise this stuff, which makes our democracy healthier and decisions better informed and stress-tested. I’m genuinely perplexed at the unnecessary partisanship from Labour MPs in blocking this en masse.”

National MP Nicola Willis says it was a “bit surprising” to be on side with the Greens, but believes the two parties just want greater transparency.

“I think concern about New Zealand’s housing situation crosses all political divides. This is an issue that matters to everyone and I think New Zealanders would be pleased to see we can put partisan politics to the side to do what’s right,” she told Newshub.

“It’s actually quite perplexing. What do they have to hide? What is the harm in us better-understanding how officials are forecasting house prices?”