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Making housing affordable again

Gordon Copeland

15th August 2008

Making housing affordable again

The Deputy Chair of the Commerce Committee, Independent MP Gordon Copeland, today welcomed the release of the Committee's Report on Housing Affordability in New Zealand.

"The well researched submissions made to the Inquiry have shaped the policy, on this important issue, for The Kiwi Party," said Mr Copeland.

"Accordingly, concurrent with the release of the Report, I summarise below the essential features of that policy."

"Housing unaffordability is an urgent priority for New Zealand. Housing is now less affordable for young kiwi families than at any time in the last forty years. In some areas of New Zealand, notably South Auckland, only one third of families are now living in their own home.

Right across the country, home ownership levels have reduced significantly during the last twenty years. The Kiwi Party believes that home ownership, for as many families as possible, must become a national goal.

We will: 1. Increase the supply of land for subdivision. Artificial restraints on the supply of land, which have been the largest single contributor to the increase in house prices over the last four years, will be removed. Our aim is to see new houses coming into the market at around four times the average wage, or about $190,000.

2. End the "development levies" charged by local councils. They are, in reality, a "new house purchaser infrastructure charge", and can add as much as $20,000 to the cost of a new home! The Kiwi Party believes that new infrastructure such as sewerage, roading, etc, should be financed by issuing council bonds, with debt repayments spread on an intergenerational basis.

3. Rewrite the Building Act to simplify the issuance of a building consent. The present situation is absurd, with builders needing to provide twelve or thirteen pages of plans to obtain a building consent, but just four or five pages of plans to actually build a new home!

These three policies, taken together, will once again make housing affordable for kiwi families."

ENDS

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