Interview: Politics, housing, and travel bubbles

It was a pleasure to talk to Andy Thompson on The Muster recently about politics, housing, and how the Trans-Tasman travel bubble might help or hinder regional economies.

Benje Patterson speaks to Andy Thompson on The Muster

Covid has increased the involvement of government in our lives, something we were not previously accustomed to. The government has found itself in a position where it can be a little bolder in its policies. Some policies are underpinned by a well-researched point of view, while others have evolved in an ad hoc manner in response to what is happening.

The housing market is a good example of policy that has evolved. The sudden surge in housing demand has forced the government to adopt a ‘wack a mole’ approach, but that’s no long-term panacea for the housing crisis. We need the few policies aimed at pushing up supply to work and so that’s where more emphasis needs to sit.

The travel bubble with Australia will provide a welcome shot in the arm for winter visitor hotspots and our city destinations, but some regions off the beaten track will lose out over the winter months. The reality is that some kiwis will head across the ditch this winter instead of checking out their own backyard, and unless we can convince Aussies to put on a beanie and travel differently, it won’t be until summer that the wider benefits of Australian visitors are enjoyed.

You can listen to the full interview below.

Benje Patterson speaks to Andy Thompson on The Muster