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Calls for action to remedy building crisis

Media Release
30 September 2008


RMBF calls for urgent Government action to remedy emerging building crisis


The Registered Master Builders Federation is urging the Government and Reserve Bank to reverse the slow-down in the building and construction industry.

RMBF Acting CEO Chris Preston said building consent figures released today by Statistics New Zealand indicated an emerging crisis for the industry.

“We’re not at crisis point yet but if this trend continues, we will be. Clearly that’s bad for the industry and therefore bad for all New Zealanders,” Mr Preston said.

“It’s time for the Government and Reserve Bank to recognise the significant impact high interest rates and low immigration are having on building and construction, and take action to stimulate the industry back to acceptable levels.”

The number of new housing consents authorised in August 2008 was the lowest monthly total in nearly eight years. The value of new building consents was 40% lower than in August 2007, and was the lowest monthly value since April 2006.

“A number of other macro-policy settings are also very important: land availability, regulatory fees and compliance costs are a major drag on the sector and need to be addressed and while the Government is doing something about this, more is required.”

The number of residential consents authorised for 2008 is tracking far too low to sustain a vibrant and profitable sector, Mr Preston said.

RMBF is pleased to see that the commercial sector continues to hold steady but warns that the declining trend in new house construction needs to be addressed now.

ENDS

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