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Budget report card 7/10

Budget report card 7/10

The recently announced Budget 2017 scores a 7/10 from Property Council, in recognition of improvements to both housing and infrastructure investment.

“After years of underinvestment, we are particularly pleased to see Government attempting to beef up their funding and put in place some solid foundations for future growth,” says Connal Townsend, chief executive, Property Council New Zealand.

“As the largest economic sector, contributing 13 per cent of GDP, property is the foundation of the New Zealand economy. It supports the rest of the economy because it is the infrastructure of business and the homes that shelter us all.
“A decade of nearly continuous economic growth, requires further investment to keep economic growth sustainable. New Zealand simply cannot afford to get any further behind our already large housing and infrastructure deficit.”

Whilst the Budget 2017 investment is welcomed, Mr Townsend believes it is only the beginning as New Zealand plays considerable catch-up both in terms of funding and planning our cities.

“More money is needed for infrastructure and buildings, but we recognise the current need is greater than can be accommodated in any one budget or even five budgets.

“Given the significant size of investment needed in bricks and mortar, money needs to go into new thinking and innovation around how we fund and deliver infrastructure. We also need to reform the wider planning and building systems so they deliver more effectiveness and efficiency for the economy,” says Mr Townsend.

What Property Council likes in Budget 2017:
• $2.23b four-year Crown-land programme turning 8,300 houses into 34,000 new residences for vulnerable families, first-home buyers and for the wider market.
• $11b of new funding for infrastructure across New Zealand over the next four years.
What Property Council would like to have seen (or has not yet found in the fine print):
• Indications of investment in innovation and the built environment, infrastructure funding and construction.
• Reform of the wider planning and building regulatory system.
• More assistance, above what was given in last year’s budget, to local councils for housing infrastructure.

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