“National’s acknowledgement of the seriousness of the housing crisis and its adoption of ACT’s long-held position that the Resource Management Act requires fundamental reform should be welcomed”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Resource Management Act is the most serious public policy failure in a generation. It is far too difficult to build housing in New Zealand, meaning house prices and rents continue to increase as supply fails to keep up.
“In the 1970s, 13 new homes were consented for every 1,000 New Zealanders compared with just 7 last year. While inflation increased by 68 percent between 1993 and 2018, the median price of an Auckland section increased by 903 percent.
“National’s apparent willingness to start again on planning law is encouraging. We’ve been here before, however. Despite John Key promising in opposition to fundamentally reform the RMA, and National having multiple opportunities to do so with ACT’s support, it never happened.
“There’s been a trend toward historical revisionism in recent times, with journalists and National MPs claiming National’s attempts to change the RMA were blocked by its support parties. The opposite is true.
“National and ACT had a majority in 2008, but, despite pressure from ACT, National wouldn’t budge. The Nats refused to discuss the RMA in coalition negotiations in 2014. We still have the emails. In 2017, ACT and United Future offered to help Nick Smith cut planning red tape, but in the end he did a disastrous deal with the Māori Party which included iwi co-governance arrangements.
“Cutting planning red tape to get more houses built will require a bigger, stronger ACT presence in Parliament. National was too timid to get it done last time around even with our help. Getting real RMA reform done without ACT’s support will be impossible.”