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$22.6 million of new funding for building services

19 May 2005

Hon Chris Carter - Minister for Building Issues

$22.6 million of new funding for building services

The government's ability to monitor and solve problems in New Zealand's building sector will be significantly enhanced with a $22.6 million package of new funding, Building Issues Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"The Labour-Progressive Government is determined to ensure that a problem on the scale of the leaky buildings crisis does not occur again," Mr Carter said.

"To achieve that goal, the Department of Building and Housing needs the capacity to gather information about the sector, analyse it, identify potential building and housing issues, and develop timely value for money solutions to them. The funding announced today will provide this capacity.

"For most people, their house will be the largest asset they ever own. Some 90 per cent of the average kiwi household's wealth is tied up in property," Mr Carter said.

"The leaky buildings crisis identified a need for good leadership and high quality advice from a properly funded central government building agency. The government's investment in the Department of Building and Housing is evidence of the importance of the building sector to the New Zealand economy and society."

Mr Carter said a proportion of the department's new funding would also go towards developing a better service to resolve disputes and provide advice to tenants and landlords in the rental housing market.

"More and more New Zealanders are choosing to rent homes rather than buy them. Government services must adapt to this change. The additional funding will allow the expansion of more flexible tenancy services across a wider area of New Zealand."

The $22.6m package includes $4.2m of capital expenditure to secure long-term accommodation for the department.

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