Those worried about New Zealanders’ preference for property investment need to change their approach to the problem, says Auckland Property Investors Association president David Whitburn.
He said, rather than the Government hitting property investment with punitive measures such as a capital gains tax, it should be looking for ways to encourage industries needing a push.
"I don’t think property investors need to be hit with a stick. We need a carrot for other industries to get businesses listing on the NZAX or the NZX.”
He was responding to an opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald, in which business editor Liam Dann wrote that the tax system encouraged investment in property.
He said that was “deeply damaging” to the long-term growth of the economy and took investment capital away from the productive, job-creating sector. “What this country needs is more jobs and higher wages. That means more wealth-creating companies and more growth for the companies we have. Our companies need local capital.”
But Whitburn said it was wrong to suggest that property investment be made less appealing. He said there needed to be support to help grow equity markets and encourage businesses to succeed.
"We need support to help equities grow and businesses succeed. While I believe property is the best investment class ... I do still invest in the sharemarket. It's reckless to have all your eggs in one basket."