“ACT said from the get-go that Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) weren’t the solution to New Zealand’s housing problems. Now we’re giving councils back control over what happens in their community,” says ACT’s Housing spokesperson Cameron Luxton.

“ACT’s coalition agreement commits to making Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) optional for councils.

“This will be a huge relief for many. Councils up and down the country were rejecting the law, and now we’re making it entirely their choice.

“It meant someone can build a three story building one metre from your boundary with no design standards. It could mean floor to ceiling windows on the third floor looking into your living room, with no thought for existing homeowners.

“The problem was that the law focussed on changing our planning laws when we know it's not the planning laws that are the issue. If it was a matter of zoning, the problem would already be solved.

“Councils can’t afford it. Without more infrastructure, there won't be more houses in total, they'll just be in different places.

“ACT has proposed to introduce a GST-sharing scheme that would provide councils with more resources to cope with a growing population. Our coalition agreement commits to considering this as a financial incentive for councils to enable more housing.”

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