Christopher Luxon

PHOTO: Will Christopher Luxon actually ‘walk the talk’ ? NEWSHUB

Christopher Luxon’s commitment to reducing rents on his own investment properties, in line with National’s housing policy, remains uncertain, despite his earlier assertion that the policy would exert “downward pressure on rents” if the party secures election.

National’s proposed housing policy encompasses several key elements, including the restoration of interest deductibility for rental properties, a reduction in the bright-line test from ten to two years, and revisions to tenancy laws, such as reinstating landlords’ ability for no-cause terminations and ending the automatic rollover of fixed-term tenancies to periodic rentals.

Despite these policy proposals, Luxon, who owns four investment properties in Auckland, conveyed his uncertainty about reducing rents on his properties during a Q+A session, stating, “It’s not about me, Jack. I don’t know. I haven’t thought that through, and I’m not thinking that through.”

Luxon emphasized the party’s intent to lower rents by unwinding the bright-line test, restoring interest deductibility, and amending tenancy laws. He also referenced official advice from the Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department, which discouraged such policy changes due to the potential increase in landlord costs and subsequent higher rents.

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When questioned about specific modeling for the housing plan’s impact on house prices, Luxon acknowledged that the National Party had not conducted such modeling but pointed to the rising public housing waitlist and rents under the current Labour government. National’s promise, if elected, is to “restore a properly functioning private rental market.”

Luxon discussed the need for improvements in the housing sector, suggesting greater utilization of community housing providers, addressing homelessness, and reviewing Kāinga Ora’s operations. He emphasized the importance of evicting unruly tenants causing significant problems in public housing and making procurement and asset management more efficient within the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development System.

Regarding the relocation of evicted anti-social tenants, Luxon indicated that it would be Kāinga Ora’s responsibility to find alternative accommodations for them, highlighting his prioritization of those in need of state housing.

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Throughout the discussion, Luxon emphasized transparency regarding his housing investments and addressed various election-year policies of the National Party.