Housing push to alter Resource Management Act
Sun, 28 Oct 2012 6:04p.m.
By Tom McRae
With house prices at record highs across the country, many buyers are struggling to find somewhere they can afford. But the Government is planning to make changes to the Resource Management Act to change that.
It is hoped it will speed up the consent process to make it easier for developers to build new houses.
The average house price in Auckland is more than half a million dollars, pushing it well above the rest of the country.
“The thrust of it is to make it easier both commercially and in the planning process to enable more houses not just greenfields but also within the cities,” says Finance Minister Bill English.
In Auckland, for example, the population will grow by 1.2 million people over the next 30 years, requiring 400,000 new houses.
Council says 100,000 of those will be built on previously undeveloped greenfield land, which means 300,000 homes have to be squeezed into the existing boundary, meaning more high-rise towers in the city centre and apartment buildings up to eight storeys in the smaller metropolitan centres.
The Opposition says the Government is only tinkering and needs to focus on building affordable housing.
“There's nothing in there that I can see how we're going to break the cycle of building expensive homes that young people in particular can't afford to buy,” says Labour Party Housing Minister Annette King.
Prices in Christchurch have also been hugely affected by the earthquake. More than 10,000 houses will be demolished.
“We've got a couple of special opportunities, [like] one in Christchurch where essentially we can change all the rules under the Earthquake Recovery Act, which has stirred some controversy,” says Mr English. “But we're making a lot more land available.”
The proposals go to Cabinet tomorrow. But that's not going to help buyers struggling to afford a place now. Changes won't happen for another couple years.
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29/10/2012 12:16:57 p.m.
Of course the councils dont want changes to the RMA, its their licience to print money. Dump the phoney environmental act all together the government can do it under emergency sitting.
29/10/2012 10:11:49 a.m.
The Government to stop fooling the people of New Zealand with his leaky homes full of holes plans.
This National must get it through his head that no one want him around’ so scat off Pal’.
29/10/2012 5:00:29 a.m.
The fact Keys thinks he can change any law to suit is a joke. There are ample houses already. Instead of building more why do you not just put a tax on selling your 2nd etc. Its the distribution of wealth in this country as in all countrys that is the problem. Address it instead of making it worse with stupid ignorant policy that doesnt work. Making slum neighbourhoods with high density housing is not ok.
28/10/2012 11:26:22 p.m.
Daniel Lang wrote:
It's not necessarily good to speed up resource consents because it has the possible side effect of negatively affecting the quality of the houses. A better move would be to bring in cheaper materials from overseas.
28/10/2012 10:18:47 p.m.
So the government assumes that an extra 1.2million people is a good thing? Why not focus on the immigration demand? regulations are required, just look at the leaky homes issue when they are removed!
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