"Getting ahead"

What do we mean in NZ when we say "getting ahead"?

Well, of course in a universal sense it suggests being financially sound, comfortable, and building a decent coffer for retirement.

But often, it is used when speaking about housing.

This is bad. (1/5)
We frame an aspiration to own houses as "getting ahead", and it speaks to the core of what's wrong with our housing market in NZ.

Owning a house should simply be a means to accommodate oneself without paying rent in retirement.

But in NZ it's more than that. (2/5)
We created an environment where buying houses can get oneself "ahead", but it doesn't mean what people thinks it means.

In a material sense, you "get ahead" of anyone who doesn't own a house.


Because it's lucrative.


Because of the tax-free status. (3/5)
The net result?

You're not "getting ahead" because you own a house.

You're "getting ahead" because in aggregate, we're pushing renters behind us & joining a class of protected interests that carries us forward.

Renters get pushed down.

That's NZ housing in a nutshell. (4/5)
That's the kiwi dream.

The quarter-acre section & 4 bdrm home.

The 3 rentals we can leave to our kids.

The class divide, now a generational divide.

And it's been weaponised by politicians to seduce us with "home ownership" as the answer to our problems.

The kiwi dream. (5/5)
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