From collating many reports over a long while I have concluded that a fair few NZers treat houses as their retirement savings.
As I understand it, in NZ there are no tax free pensions or other tax free savings vehicles (e.g. the ISAs used in the UK, 401K plans from the USA etc) at all. Kiwi Saver is not a true pension plan (although often referred to as such erroneously) it is really just a long term savings scheme with marginal tax benefit (very!).
Compare this to a private pension in the US or UK where the money you put in is tax free. So for example, a higher rate taxpayer investing £1 from his after tax income has an additional 66p paid in by the government by way of reimbursement of tax paid etc. The money is locked up like KS until retirement.
Do you think the time has come for that kind of savings product to be made available in order to provide an alternative place for funds to be put, hopefully contributing to a reduction in house prices via reduced demand?
Alternatively, should KS be altered to be more like that?