ACT has campaigned on slashing the red tape that restricts the use of building materials widely approved overseas, and we’re very pleased to see the Construction Minister announce legislation to move on this.

Internationally and locally, there is constant innovation to develop more effective and more affordable building materials, but our local rules have denied my fellow Kiwi builders the use of these products. This limits competition and drives up building costs – a major reason younger generations have been locked out of the housing market.

We’ve seen massive spikes in prices for basic products, and the plasterboard crisis was just one high-profile example. The previous Government’s solution was to set up a ‘plasterboard taskforce’. It was like a bad joke.

The real problem is that we’ve banned the use of popular plasterboard equivalents used overseas, which is why ACT campaigned to allow greater access to foreign-approved substitutes, not just for plasterboard, but for any building material.

We don’t need bespoke New Zealand rules and standards for every part of the economy. Every day, regulators in other countries are doing the work of evaluating building products, and we can skip the bureaucratic process at home by using the work of trusted overseas jurisdictions. This is the same thinking behind ACT’s ‘rule of two’ policy to get medicines approved overseas signed off for use in New Zealand.

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