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Local Government Amendment Bill passes second reading

Local Government Amendment Bill passes second reading

Another step to improving housing affordability was made today with the second reading of the Local Government Amendment Bill, says Associate Local Government Minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga.

“A key part of this Bill is a restriction on the charges developers pay to councils when new housing is built. These fees are one of the things that determine how much a new house costs. Ensuring they are under control is yet another way this Government is improving the affordability of housing for new home-buyers,” the Associate Minister says.

The fees, known as development contributions, are charged by councils for the extra community and network infrastructure they provide for new housing developments.

“The changes in the Bill make development contributions fairer, more transparent, and will help ensure they do not contribute unnecessarily to rising housing costs,” Mr Lotu-liga says.

“At the same time, the Select Committee has listened to the concerns of councils with the Bill as first introduced and have made changes to make the transition easier for them” he said.

The Bill also aims to provide greater transparency about how councils are planning and managing communities’ infrastructure and builds on last year’s amendments to the Local Government Act.

The Bill was reported back to the House by the Local Government and Environment Committee on 12 May 2014.

Mr Lotu-liga welcomed the changes made by the select committee which include adding a clause to allow councils to continue to collect development contributions for community infrastructure that has already been built or is currently under construction. The committee also added a principle clarifying the law around councils’ ability to group developments together by geographic area or category of land use.

“There have also been some clarifications around which policy development contributions are to be charged under when transitioning to a new development contributions policy. Changes made will also improve directions for commissioners making decisions under the new contributions objections process.”


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