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John Key ridicules Greens' housing policy

Thursday 24 Jan 2013 6:05 p.m.

There was one clear instance of dissent at Ratana today - the Greens announced their new housing policy.

It was instantly dismissed by Prime Minister John Key who said it reminded him of the board game Monopoly.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is one of just four women who have ever been allowed to speak at Ratana. She began by divulging a little too much information.

“Just behind this stand is where I had my first kiss - it was just a kiss.”

She then announced the Green Party’s new housing policy. The Greens believe they can sell Government-owned homes worth $300,000 without any need for a mortgage.

Each week tenants would pay $200 to meet Crown costs, $100 towards their share of the home and $50 for any extra costs - that's $350 dollars a week to own a home outright in 25 years.

But Mr Key did not approve of the idea.

“The Greens haven't announced a housing policy, they have just announced the next version of Monopoly. I mean, now they want to print money, they want to build houses, they want zero percent loans, what's next?”

But Ms Turei stood behind the policy.

“There are $300,000 houses available in Auckland right now, just not enough to meet demand,” she said. “We've talked to builders in Christchurch they say they can build a house for $170,000, and then you add on land costs after that.”

Labour's not completely sold on the idea either, saying it is basically a more expensive version of its own housing policy to build and sell 100,000 affordable homes in 10 years.

“They're taking our policy and taking it a bit further, and there's some good ideas there but for us, whether we can do it economically and is it financially responsible for us, is the big question for us,” Labour leader David Shearer says.

Despite Mr Key's best attempts to laugh off the opposition's housing plans, housing is an Achilles' heel for National and he knows it.

Labour and the Greens have created complimentary policies that will be popular - but until they can prove they'll work, Mr Key's jibes could stick.

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