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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news