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Industry supports curbing unfair development charges

MEDIA RELEASE

15 August 2013

Industry supports curbing unfair development charges

Today’s Government announcement to overhaul the development contributions regime sets new possibilities for development in New Zealand, including progressing affordable housing, according to Property Council New Zealand.

Property Council has long campaigned for increased clarity and consistency in how local authorities calculate development contributions, as well as greater transparency on how the money collected is spent said chief executive Connal Townsend.

“The existing policy frustrates affordable development, and has done so for more than a decade. In reality, development contributions are passed on to the purchaser and to some extent will always exacerbate housing unaffordability.

“Development contributions are meant to be spent on essential infrastructure to support development. However, all too often the charges are wrongly used to cross-subsidise other projects – as exemplified in a number of High Court decisions.

“Going to the High Court is expensive, therefore access to justice is unaffordable to the vast majority of potential appellants. The proposal for an independent objections process is very positive. It will help ensure increased accountability for the level of development contributions collected and how they are spent – ensuring greater efficiency and positive outcomes for local communities.

“It is also vital that local authorities report back on development contribution spending to facilitate accountability. This is important so that developers and local communities can see how money collected is spent and ensure that it is actually spent on the essential infrastructure for which it was obtained.”

Property Council will work with the Government to ensure a consistent and fair approach is established across the country, that costs are allocated appropriately, local authorities are able to plan for and recoup the cost of relevant investments, and so local communities have quality development and infrastructure.

ENDS

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