Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Government Must Be Realistic About Strengthening Costs

Government Must Be Realistic About Strengthening Costs


Property Council urges the Government to seriously consider costs and affordability issues associated with undertaking earthquake strengthening. Too much time is passing, with ever increasing uncertainty about how to remedy detrimental impacts on local communities.

Under proposed seismic strengthening legislation, local authorities will have five years to assess whether buildings in their local area are earthquake-prone. Building owners will then have fifteen years to strengthen any earthquake-prone buildings.

It is paramount that Government steps in to address affordability concerns associated with undertaking this strengthening work. If not, Property Council warns that significant unintended consequences will result, including the economic decline of businesses and the weakening of entire local communities.

Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend says the costs for undertaking strengthening work are substantial and it is likely many building owners will struggle to afford them.

“This will inevitably result in the closure of buildings, the loss of premises, particularly for small businesses, job losses, and the flight of capital from local communities across New Zealand,”

Property Council is also concerned around local authorities’ resources or capacity to undertake the initial assessments. Inaccurate assessments can result in dire consequences for building owners, for example, if it leads to a loss of tenants. A lack of adequate resources will also have flow on adverse impacts on local authorities’ ability to fund and undertake their other important functions – such as the consenting process, which is already under pressure.

The availability of technical and professional resources to assess and undertake strengthening work will impact on costs and timescales for completion – detrimentally where resources are scarce.

“If strengthening costs are uneconomic or unaffordable, and buildings are abandoned as a result, ratings bases will drop as will the viability of towns and cities.” Said Mr Townsend.

Property Council strongly advocates for changes to the current tax regime along with a suite of other appropriate measures to mitigate the impacts of the affordability issues. Currently, there is no level playing field in the tax regime for undertaking strengthening works – the costs are not tax deductible and they do not qualify for depreciation - nor do strengthening works ncessarily enable building owners to increase rents.

There is only so much that property owners can absorb in costs – the concern is that the policy as it stands, will result in a decline in economic activity throughout New Zealand, if fiscal policy tools and other measures to assist with affordability are not speedily deployed.

END.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news