“ACT is tonight holding a public meeting in Christchurch to discuss a better way of building housing infrastructure than Labour/National’s housing deal, which Christchurch City Council has rejected,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Christchurch City Council recently voted against the density rules brought about by Labour/National’s deal, with Mayor Lianne Dalziel also writing to the Minister for the Environment asking the Government not to interfere and enforce the rules upon them that won’t work.

“Other councils across New Zealand are also realising the implications and looking for a way to back out.

“ACT predicted this would happen. We know there is a housing shortage, but this housing deal was not the solution. It won't deliver the houses that it promised to a generation.

“That’s because it focused on changing our planning laws when we know it's not the planning laws that are the issue. If it was a matter of zoning, the problem would already be solved.

“ACT wants to fix the real issues in housing, infrastructure financing and funding.

“Councils can’t afford it. Without more infrastructure, there won't be more houses in total, they'll just be in different places.

“ACT has a Member’s Bill before Parliament that would introduce a GST-sharing scheme that would provide councils with more resources to cope with a growing population.

“Government would share 50 per cent of the GST revenue of building a new house with the local council that issued the consent to help them cover the infrastructure costs associated with new housing developments. This would provide the environment for local councils to approve more housing consents and enable builders to build houses with less delay.

“This is a far better solution than Labour/National’s divisive Medium Density Residential Standard (MDRS) that means someone can build a three story building one metre from your boundary with no design standards. It could mean floor to ceiling windows on the third floor looking into your living room, with no thought for existing homeowners.

“ACT proposed at the time, and proposes now, important changes to the law. The Medium Density Residential Standard should be replaced with Auckland’s Mixed Housing Suburban (MHS) zone. ACT put up this amendment when the law was debated last year, we still have it ready to go.

“The MHS still allows more intensification than the status quo, but with design standards that are sympathetic to existing neighbourhoods and property owners. That would be a far more sensible approach than imposing the MDRS on the whole country.

“ACT commends Christchurch councillors for standing up for common sense and rejecting this bad legislation. ACT is committed to resolving these issues and looks forward to discussing them with Christchurch residents.”

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David Seymour