Hello Times Readers! It’s great to be able to contribute regularly to this incredible local news outlet.
I’m looking forward to some heated discussion and hard work over the coming months and years serving East Auckland. As a new Labour list MP based on Botany, there has been a lot to learn in the past five months.
Even though I’ve managed to meet many people in our community at events, I really do appreciate it when people stop me in the streets just to say hi and introduce themselves. Even if it’s in the supermarket or at a café, I really value those small interactions with everyone.
As an MP, the arts, student welfare and the community sector are three areas that I’m particularly interested in. Each of these areas have played an important role in my journey into Parliament and influence my values and outlook on the world. I’m planning to share a bit about each of these areas and how they’ve influenced me in my future columns.
However, I know people want to hear more about the new housing package recently announced by the Government. This week, we announced the next steps in our plan to tackle the housing crisis and make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home.
The package includes lifting the income caps on the First Home Loan and First Home Grant programmes, a new Housing Acceleration Fund to speed up construction and an extension to the Apprenticeships Boost payment which has already seen 21,000 new apprentices in the construction sector.
Another step we’re taking to support first home buyers is by extending the bright-line test from five to 10 years. The bright-line test, introduced by National, is designed to make flipping properties less attractive. Under current bright-line settings, if you buy a house and sell it within five years, you’ll need to pay income tax on any profits you make from the sale.
We’ve changed these settings so speculators will pay this tax if they sell off houses within 10 years. It’s important to note that the bright-line test does not apply to the main family home or inherited property.
I know these changes will support thousands of people in east Auckland struggling to get onto the property ladder. In addition, it’ll also help the next generation – setting up our community for the future.
- Naisi Chen, Labour list MP based in Botany