Housing needs a single Minister, end to KiwiBuild

Thu, 27 Jun, 2019

“The Government needs a single Housing Minister with a singular focus on reforming red tape, land supply, and properly funding infrastructure”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“The Cabinet now has five housing ministers: Megan Woods, Kris Faafoi, Phil Twyford, Nanaia Mahuta and Jenny Salesa. This is a complete farce and makes it difficult for the public to see where accountability begins and ends. A more focussed portfolio is necessary to ensure the housing crisis is effectively tackled.

“The Housing Minister also needs to end KiwiBuild. Phil Twyford showed in Opposition and early on as a Minister that he understood the real solutions to the housing crisis, but he has been weighed down by a policy that cannot work. KiwiBuild is a massive distraction. It fails to free up new land which would bring down the cost of housing.

“New Zealand is nowhere near consenting the number of houses we need to be. In the 1970s, 13 new homes were consented for every 1,000 New Zealanders. We are now consenting just seven.

“Since 1993, construction costs have increased by 212 per cent, but the price of an Auckland section has increased by 903 per cent. The housing crisis has been created by local and central governments artificially constraining land which makes houses more expensive.

“The Government should adopts ACT’s policy of reforming the Resource Management Act which gives councils the power to restrict new development. We would share GST revenue from new developments with councils to encourage them to plan for more new homes. ACT would also remove the rural-urban boundary so that Auckland can grow, boosting the supply of land and bringing down its cost.

“Until the Government addresses land supply and infrastructure funding, affordable housing will not become a reality.”