Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Relaxing Urban Limits Will Lead To Sprawl

11 April 2012

Relaxing Urban Limits Will Lead To Sprawl And A Less Productive Economy

The Productivity Commission’s main recommendations for affordable housing will create sprawling, congested, and less productive cities, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Dr Norman was critical of the Productivity Commission’s final report on housing affordability which recommended relaxing Auckland’s Metropolitan Urban Limit and leaving the current tax advantages enjoyed by property investors untouched.

“Relaxing Auckland’s urban boundary, combined with Government subsidised motorways, will simply lead to further unsustainable urban sprawl and further congestion on Auckland’s roads,” said Dr Norman.

“Facilitating urban sprawl is not the way to build highly productive cities where people live close to their workplaces, can easily travel around the city on alternatives to congested roads, and can enjoy high quality amenities within walking distance of home.

“The Productivity Commission’s plan will condemn people to spending large amounts of their time sitting in traffic, spending money on fuel.

“New Zealand already spends $8 billion a year importing oil, which will only continue to rise over time. The so-called Productivity Commission wants us to spend even more importing oil to fuel traffic jams on Government subsidised motorways.

“Smart urban planning can be achieved through rules that facilitate medium density development on mass transport spines, not more urban sprawl.”

Dr Norman also highlighted the incongruous findings of the Productivity Commission with the Savings Workings Group and OECD’s findings last year on the role a capital gains tax has in creating more affordable housing.

“The lack of a comprehensive tax on capital gains is keeping the dream of home ownership out of reach for many New Zealanders, especially first home buyers who struggle to get a foot on the home ownership ladder,” said Dr Norman.

“The Government appointed Savings Working Group found in 2011 that house prices rose an additional 50 percent from 2001 to 2007 due to the preferential tax treatment of housing including the absence of a capital gains tax on housing.

“Likewise, the OECD found that the absence of a capital gains tax had significantly affected home affordability, widening inequalities in wealth, and leading to disproportionate levels of investment into housing instead of into the productive sector.

“The Commission is defending the status quo saying that the impacts of a capital gains tax would be ‘unclear’ and have ‘significant practical challenges’ to implement, yet New Zealand remains an outlier by not having a comprehensive tax on capital gains.

“A capital gains tax which excluded the family home would benefit the vast majority of New Zealanders through more affordable housing and jobs as investors take money out of housing speculation and invest in the manufacturing and export sectors.”

Link to the Productivity Commission report on housing affordability:
http://www.productivity.govt.nz/final-report/1468

Link to the Savings Working Group report:
www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup

Link to the OECD Country Report on New Zealand (summary):
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/9/25/47616615.pdf

www.greens.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news