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

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news