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New Zealand needs successful and high-performing cities

Media release

19 August 2016

New Zealand needs successful and high-performing cities

Property Council calls on Central and Local Government to pay substantial attention to the findings of the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s draft report on Better Urban Planning.

“This report is a must read for all politicians, regardless of ilk. If we are serious about creating high-performing cities, then the recommendations in this report must be followed”, argues Chief Executive Connal Townsend.

“But to create high-performing cities, multiple policy levers must be pulled and the consequences of doing so needs to be understood.

“It is simply not good enough that we continue to put band aid solutions over growing and severe issues. Take the housing affordability issue in Auckland, a contagion that’s spread to Hamilton, Tauranga and now Wellington”.

Mr Townsend adds that “we’ve been talking about it for years and houses continue to get more expensive, pricing tens of thousands of young people and low-income earners out of owning their own homes”.

Property Council urges Central and Local Government to stop talking past each other and work together in providing the solutions we desperately in our cities.

“Cities are made up of communities. If we want these communities to be economically and socially prosperous than they need access to amenities, retail facilities, social services and jobs. The private sector can play a substantial role in providing these, but overall responsibility and leadership must lie with Central and Local Government working together”, adds Mr Townsend

The recommendations in the report are bold and Mr Townsend says “have the potential to radically overhaul our planning system and create a framework that enables the development our cities and communities need to achieve their potential”.

“We are particularly excited about recommendations to change the focus of regulations from being a handbrake to an enabler of development, developing a suite of tools for the funding of infrastructure, and spatial plans for our regions, which will signal the future location and timing of developments.

“I am also pleased to see a focus on protecting our natural environment, it is crucial that we can achieve a balance between protecting our natural environment and providing for our cities and communities.

END.

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