“Labour has been surrounded from every angle by a wall of common sense tonight, but they managed to hold off good policy by a three vote majority,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“My bill, the Housing Infrastructure (GST-sharing) Bill, was read in Parliament tonight. Every party, ACT, National, the Greens, and Te Pati Māori, as well as both independent MPs Meka Whatiri and Elizabeth Kerekere, all voted for this bill.
“The Bill is popular because it is a good idea whose time has come. It would have given the under pressure building sector something to be celebrate if it was passed, but Labour prevented that from occurring.
“Councils need the means and the incentive to connect new homes to the grid. ACT’s GST-sharing idea is a simple but effective way of achieving both goals. The end result is more homes being built, less people living in motels, and another who see a latter of opportunity to owning property in New Zealand.
“ACT’s policy has the support of New Zealanders who recognise that something needs to be done. A recent Curia poll showed that 70 per cent of New Zealanders support the policy, with only 15 per cent opposed.
“Labour have voted against the majority of New Zealanders who want to see better infrastructure. They should explain why they think councils shouldn’t have access to more vital infrastructure funding.
“Currently, local councils face poor incentives to build. Every new development involves costs to existing ratepayers to provide new roads, water, and sewerage connections. These costs act as a disincentive for councils to approve new houses and subdivisions.
“The GST-sharing scheme is estimated to deliver $1 billion every year to support local development enabling infrastructure, but councils that consent more, get more.
“ACT has recognised for a very long time that the housing crisis is really an infrastructure crisis. We first floated this policy in 2017 and have campaigned on it every year since.
“The only time you get prompt service from a council is when they’re issuing a parking ticket. They’ll come to you, anywhere, anytime, because there’s money in it. Imagine how many consents they’d issue if there was money in it for them?
“ACT believes in better, longer-lasting solutions. As a country we deserve better when it comes to housing to ensure we can live our best and most fulfilling lives.”