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 Labour’s
Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left. Even the victory by Labour’s Stuart Nash in Napier was the outcome of a strong showing by Conservative Party candidate Garth McVicar that split the centre-right vote... More>>

Election: National Win

With all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose.

Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party.

National ended the night on 48 percent, Labour 24.6 and the Greens 10. More>>

Overall Results | Live Results | Predictions |

ALSO:

.

 
 


Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news