Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Key warns councils to free up land for housing or else

Key warns councils to free up land for housing or else

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan 25 (BusinessDesk) - The government will intervene to free up land for housing unless local governments, especially Auckland, plan to do so themselves, Prime Minister John Key said today in his state of the nation speech in Auckland.

"We want to work co-operatively with local councils and I believe our goals in the end are the same," said Key. "In particular we are keenly awaiting the Auckland Council's spacial plan, and I'm expecting it to include multiple options for both greenfields and brownfields residential property developments.

"But if councils aren't able to change their planning processes, then the government would have to get a lot more proactive, because we are very serious about resolving this issue."

Productivity Commission and other recent research suggests New Zealanders face far higher housing costs than in comparable developed countries, owing to a combination of costly regulatory processes, uncompetitive building materials markets, restrictive urban limits and the absence of uniform home designs to drive down building costs.

The government has focused particularly on the cost of land, especially in Auckland, where it wants to see the existing Maxiumum Urban Limit relaxed, as well as more intensive "in-fill" housing within current urban boundaries.

"We need more houses built in New Zealand, at a lower cost," said Key, contrasting the National Party-led government's approach with Labour and Green Party policies to build more houses and create incentive schemes for home ownership.

"We need more land available for building, more streamlined processes and less costly red tape.

This doesn't require the Government to spend a lot of money. We are already a huge player in the housing market and I'm very wary of spending more of taxpayers' money."

Instead, barriers to private investment in housing needed to come down, he said.

"It's ridiculous, for example, that developers can wait six to 18 months for a resource consent.

It's ridiculous that we allow councils to demand almost anything as a condition for the consent.

And it's ridiculous that we allow them to charge whatever fees they want.
"Unless these sorts of issues are dealt with there won't be more affordable housing built," said Key.

Making resource consents easier to obtain for housing will be part of a wider push to reform the Resource Management Act in what Key said was a drive to make New Zealand "a magnet for investment."

"I want to see big improvements in this area and it's going to be a high priority for the Government this year," he said.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news