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Budget Predominantly Positive

Budget Predominantly Positive

Property Council applauds the Government’s 2014 Budget for the provisions it makes in several areas in a forward momentum which will benefit the whole nation.

The Budget has announced a commitment to increasing housing supply which directly targets the country’s housing unaffordability crisis. Increasing supply is key to assisting with housing affordability, as well as providing more options to prospective buyers.

The development of Housing Accords to fast track supply in key areas of New Zealand, which are experiencing high levels of demand, illustrates the importance of this matter.

Measures over the next year must include releasing land for development, agglomeration of sites to enable a big enough footprint for dense development, the provision of relevant infrastructure, master planning and streamlined efficient consent processes.

The Government’s steps to accelerate infrastructure in Auckland, such as roading and rail, is particularly positive in this regard as is the Government’s work to ensure lower construction costs, more equitable development contributions and efficient Resource Management Act processes.

However, the Budget leaves a gaping hole in the area of seismic strengthening and fails to address costs and affordability issues associated with undertaking strengthening work.

At the moment, too much time is passing with ever increasing uncertainty about how to remedy the detrimental impacts of this on local communities. Costs for undertaking strengthening work are substantial and it is likely many building owners will struggle to afford them. The Government’s intervention in this area is paramount.

Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend strongly supports the priority given to the Christchurch rebuild and the desire to get development and investment into the city.

“The announcement of apprentice schemes is particularly positive, especially in respect of the priority trades we need for the Christchurch rebuild, and construction in Auckland.

“However we urge the Government to engage the Private Sector in processes and decision making, to ensure efficiencies and effecting integration of private and public sector requirements. Speedy, effective decisions are key.”


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