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

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news