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More questions than answers in housing affordability report


More questions than answers in housing affordability report

16 December 2011

The complexities of government legislation is the reason why housing in New Zealand is unaffordable says Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

“There are too many steps in the plan making process and a lack of alignment between the key pieces of legislation local government must implement when working on any new development.

“There is also significant cost associated with the relitigation of plans and policies prepared under the Local Government Act and signed off by councilors which are then taken through the Resource Management Act process – with the Environment Court as the ultimate decider,” said LGNZ President Lawrence Yule.

LGNZ is committed to working with the Government on affordable housing but questions many of the recommendations made in the Productivity Commission’s Housing Affordability Report released today.

“The delivery of affordable housing is a complicated matter requiring consideration of transport, infrastructure, building standards and the environment. The release of more land for development is not a silver bullet to the delivery of affordable housing,” he said.

Councils across the country work closely with communities to ensure new housing development can be sustainable and meet the needs of everyone.

Local government continuously looks to improve its practice and wants to be involved in any discussion on development contributions and their implementation. The sector is already heavily engaged in discussions with the Department of Building and Housing on the administration of the Building Act.

“Calculating the whole-of-life and intergenerational costs of infrastructure is complicated. That there is a range of development contribution charges throughout the country reflects local issues, and community defined levels of service expectations. The charges and their purpose are consulted on with the community,” said Mr Yule.


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