“The Government is stubbornly proceeding with new building regulations that will make the rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle cost even more. If people are going to have any chance to rebuild there needs to be an assurance that bureaucracy and red tape isn’t going to get in the way,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokespe
“The Government is stubbornly proceeding with new building regulations that will make the rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle cost even more. If people are going to have any chance to rebuild there needs to be an assurance that bureaucracy and red tape isn’t going to get in the way,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“New H1 building standards are estimated to add $15,000 of additional costs on to a new residential build. MBIE’s advice to the Minister states: “consumers are already under financial pressure in light of cost of living increases and are already put off by long delays, supply chain uncertainties, and cost fluctuations.”
“It is this head in the sand approach from the Minister that has contributed to a 10.4 per cent increase in building and construction costs over the past year, far higher than overall inflation. This is already having a huge impact, earlier today it was reported a major residential construction company has gone into receivership as rising costs became too much.
“I asked the Minister in Parliament about whether they expected cost increases in 2023, they said “it’s too early to speculate” and that their officials weren’t aware of any.
“If that’s the case they should try talking to the industry. Some building merchants have already emailed their clients noting supplier price increases of up to 10.5 per cent for Pink Batts, 16.5 per cent for cement board, and 16 per cent for framing connectors and brackets.
“New Zealand has too much red tape which makes the sector especially susceptible to price increases. Last year’s farcical GIB shortage is the perfect example. The construction industry came to a standstill because it is so heavily regulated it can’t accept good substitutes for name-brand plasterboard like other countries.
“Even then the Government’s response was to establish a plasterboard taskforce. I asked the Minister what the taskforce has discovered today and was told that they “don’t deal in particular policy areas” and exists to “monitor availability of materials… and keep abreast of what the sector needs from time to time.” If they’re not aware of price increases on building materials occurring right now they’re obviously not doing a very good job.
“The number one priority of any Government right now should be making life affordable again. That means reducing bureaucracy and red tape around building.
“ACT would enact a Materials Equivalence Register so there is more competition and choice in the building materials market.
“This is the sort of thinking Kiwis need to bring prices down and address the cost of living crisis.”