“The new National Party Leader, whoever that may be, should take the opportunity to undo its deal with the red devil on housing, or at least try to improve it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT rejected the deal National and Labour struck from the get-go. It divides New Zealanders against each other. Not only did Labour and National not consult people in the industry before striking a deal, it seems National didn’t consult its own caucus. 

“National MP Simon O’Connor gave the housing agreement as one of the main reasons he could no longer support Judith Collins, calling it an “error of judgement.” 

“The new National Leader should take the time to listen to the concerns of their caucus, and also those in the industry who have expressed concerns to the Select Committee, whether it’s councils, developers or homeowners.

“National should dump this policy altogether – but its back’s against the wall and now it can’t back out. 

“Instead – it should take the time to look at ACT’s proposals to improve this legislation, including; 

  1. Extending the timeframe for consultation. This Bill has been rushed through a truncated Select Committee process. 
  2. GST Sharing: ACT supports the building of new homes, and we understand that homes come with infrastructure costs that need to be met. That is why we proposed a policy to ensure that local councils receive a payment equivalent to 50 per cent of the GST for every new dwelling constructed in its territory. The policy provides both an incentive for councils to enable building, and a means of covering some of the costs that fall on them as a result. It transforms development from being a source of cost to a source of revenue. Also Tapping into private sector investment will help fund new projects faster and at less cost to New Zealanders. By using public-private partnerships, the Government can limit the cost and risk taken on by taxpayers and councils.
  3. Abandon the MDRS and use the existing Auckland MHS Zone to achieve intensification: ACT proposes that, instead of imposing an entirely new zone, the legislation should simply require that zones with lower intensity than those that currently exist are upzoned to Mixed Housing Suburban (MHS) and, in cities where such a zone does not exist, use the MHS zone. The exemption from Resource Consents could remain, simply using the Auckland MHS rules, and removing the restriction on further quality standards in building consents.

“ACT wants to support good policy to solve the housing crisis. We can’t support the legislation as it currently stands. We urge the National Party to take this opportunity to do what’s right and make urgently needed improvements to this policy, or better yet – dump it all together.”