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

 


Council development charges reined in to assist housing

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing

Hon Chris Tremain
Minister of Local Government

15 August 2013

Council development charges reined in to assist housing affordability

The Government has decided on changes to the Local Government Act to rein in council development contributions to improve housing affordability.

“We are going to narrow the charges councils can put on new sections, provide an independent objections process and encourage direct provision of necessary infrastructure to get costs down,” Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain say.

“Development contributions have trebled nationally over the past decade and have gone up more than any other component cost of a new house. This huge increase can be attributed to the local government law change in 2002 that gave councils carte blanche to charge whatever they liked and removed any check or appeal on these charges. These charges now average $14,000 per section but can be as high as $64,000 per section,” Dr Smith says.

“There is no magic bullet to improving housing affordability and we need action on many fronts to get costs down. This initiative restricting development contributions is part of a package of measures the Government is taking including substantive reforms to the Resource Management Act, the Housing Accords legislation, the inquiry into building materials costs, changes to the Building Act to reduce compliance costs, and the expansion of the Welcome Home Loans and KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy,” he says.

“Development contributions need to be set in a way that fairly balances the costs that should rightly rest with a new development and those of community benefit that should be paid by general ratepayers. There will always be pressure on councils over rates and we need a check on development contributions to ensure the new home owner is not over-charged,” Mr Tremain says.

“These changes will also restrict what councils can charge in respect of commercial and industrial developments. These charges, if applied beyond the costs of providing the necessary infrastructure, end up as a tax and discouragement on new investment and jobs. The changes mean that councils will only be able to charge for new infrastructure and not recreational facilities or reserves for developments that do not involve residential housing.

“Councils will still be able to charge for infrastructure and resources directly associated with a new subdivision. These changes are about improving transparency, encouraging councils and developers to work innovatively on minimising costs through development agreements and ensuring funds collected for infrastructure in an area are spent as intended.”

Changes to development contributions was recommended by the Productivity Commission’s 2012 report into housing affordability and are included in the Government’s Better Local Government reform programme. A discussion paper was released in February and final decision on the policy changes made by Cabinet on Monday. The law change will be included in a Local Government Reform Bill to be introduced to Parliament later this year.

The Cabinet Paper can be found at www.dia.govt.nz/Better-Local-Government#development-contributions

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Work, Curfew

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood.

“Mr Banks was found guilty of electoral fraud in June. Regardless of what sentence is handed down, his reputation is in tatters. Sentencing is a matter for the court, and publicly deriding him further brings little benefit.”

“With the conviction confirmed, it is time for the ACT Party to step up to the mark and apologise to the people of Epsom. Mr Banks has suffered the consequences of his actions, but so far the ACT Party has gotten off scott-free” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

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. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Plan To Protect Our Maui’s Dolphins

1. Protect Maui’s from being killed in the sanctuary set up to protect them... 2. Extend fishing protections to the entire Maui’s range... 3. Help protect the livelihoods of affected fishers by supporting them to adopt dolphin-safe fishing methods. More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news