Auckland mayor Len Brown has warned other politicians to be “very careful” when discussing putting restrictions on foreign property ownership. House prices in Auckland have risen by over one third in the last three years, and overseas-based property investors are being blamed in some quarters for fuelling the boom.

Brown refutes this opinion, blaming price rises on a lack of supply. “About 30 to 35% of consents coming through now are for apartments, townhouse duplexes, so it’s all about choice and a lot of those houses and homes are around the NZ$300,000, NZ$400,000 mark,” he says. “We’re still building at about 7,000 to 8,000 a year now, and I expect this year with all of those consents coming through, an even bigger wave – maybe up over 10, 11, 12,000.”

“Auckland of course [is] hugely multicultural – 50% of Aucklanders are born overseas,” he continued. “This is all good for jobs, all good for investment in our city. I guess what I am saying is that it’s very important that we measure our response here and be very careful about how we debate it.”