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

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences.

Such is the power of the economic orthodoxy that when opposition parties arise – say, in the shape of the Greens – their “credibility” is measured by the extent to which they give the appearance of learning and abiding by the ruling consensus.

The tension between the desire for change – and the inability of the current political framework to deliver it – creates openings for populists of all stripes. It is what has made the emergence of Internet Mana so interesting. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news